You can't hold on and clap too
THESE LAST DAYS, I HAVE COME FROM DISCOURSE SHAKING AND QUIVERING FROM INSIDE OUT. IT COMES AFTER YOU HAVE LEFT. ALTHOUGH MY BODY TREMBLES, IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE FEAR... OR NOT ANY FEAR THAT I HAVE KNOWN BEFORE. THE IMAGE THAT COMES IS OF ME HANGING BY MY FINGERTIPS TO A WINDOW FRAME HIGH IN THE SKY, WITH NOTHING BENEATH IT. THERE IS NO HOUSE, JUST A WINDOW FRAME AND YOU ARE LEANING OUT AND DANCING AND SINGING MADLY. IT IS SO INVITING, THAT I FORGET MYSELF AND START CLAPPING AND SINGING, TOO.
AFTER YOU HAVE GONE, MY SURVIVAL MECHANISM COMES RUNNING AND TREMBLING, TRYING TO TAKE OVER AGAIN. IS THIS WHAT IS HAPPENING, BELOVED OSHO?
Devageet, a very ancient Sufi story.... A man has lost his way in the dark night, in a thick forest.
He cannot see any sign anywhere that he is close to some village, some town; but he cannot stay either. It is so dark, and the fear of wild animals....
Trembling, he gropes his way along and falls into a ditch. Afraid, because in the darkness he cannot see how deep the ditch is, he clings to the roots of a tree.
The night becomes colder and colder, and he is shivering and trembling. His hands are becoming almost frozen with cold. And now the ultimate fear grips him, that there are not many more moments to his life. His hands are slipping from the root, he cannot keep them tight, he is almost paralyzed...
and finally, it happens.
The root is lost, and the man falls. But the whole valley is filled with his laughter, because there was no ditch - just six inches below there was plain ground. And half of the night he unnecessarily struggled and tortured himself. He has not only found the plain ground - that was the road.
Devageet, you are in the same situation. You say, "It does not look like fear." It is not fear; it is death itself.
The image that comes is of you hanging by your fingertips to a window frame high in the sky, with nothing beneath it. There you are not right. In the darkness you cannot see that just beneath it is the way - only six inches you have to fall.
Only for six inches, you have to accept death.
But the image is correct... there is no house, just a window frame. That is absolutely true about me.
I am just a window frame, and those who trust me are going to be in the same situation in which Devageet is.
I try my best to invite you to dance, and if you are mad enough you are going to start clapping, at least. And that is the moment when you forget that you cannot hold on to the window frame and clap too. The moment you start clapping, the window frame is lost; your hands have slipped from the root.
Those six inches seem to be a long journey, because it is sure death. You are falling, in your mind, into an abysmal depth. It is another matter that nobody dies. Just for six inches... how much time does it take? Perhaps a few seconds, or not even a few seconds, and the whole valley will be filled with laughter - your laughter.
You have found the way, just by not clinging to anything, even to a window frame which is hanging in the empty sky. Every temptation is there to hang onto it. Against that temptation I have to persuade you at least to clap. And soon you will know that you have passed through a death and reached to a new life, a new path. It is a resurrection.
The Christians have committed a great mistake by making the resurrection of Jesus a historical fact.
It is not a historical fact. It is an existential reality that if you drop all clinging, your whole life will disappear and you will find yourself a totally new life - with new visions, new longings, new desires, new light, new challenges, new stars calling you for the pilgrimage.
That Sufi story was not written by a story writer. It is the experience of all those who have lived with a master, who have dropped everything and are just clinging to the master - his love, his trust. And now the whole art of the master is, somehow, to make you clap. Once you have lost the window you have found the door to the divine.
Gautam Buddha used to say, "When you burn a candle, first the flame burns the wax of the candle, but there comes a moment when all the wax has disappeared... the candle also disappears."
The master first helps you to be unattached to everything, and brings your total energy in a deep trust... very single-pointed, holding the hand of the master. Now that is your only protection, and for this protection you have dropped all other protections.
But you don't know that the master is going to drop you one day into an abysmal depth - which only appears abysmal. It is only six inches from the mind to your heart; that is the distance.
And once you have reached to your heart, you have found the way to your being.
Now, your ultimate realization is not far away.
Devageet, whatever is happening to you is beautiful. Allow it to happen, and help others also. Finally the clinging with the master has also to be dropped.
Gautam Buddha has said, "If I meet you on the way, cut off my head immediately." It is one of the most strange statements made by any master ever. What does he mean? He means that as you go deeper in your meditation, the whole world will be left behind, but the love that has become stronger and stronger every moment with the master will be the last barrier.
Between you and existence, the last barrier is going to be the master. And Buddha is absolutely right, "Don't think even for a single moment. If you meet me on the way, immediately cut off my head. Once I am removed from your way, you have found your home."
The master is a device himself. First to help you un-cling to other things - money, power, prestige; and then finally to help you with the final un-clinging, to the master himself. And you will be immensely grateful that the master did not block the way.
This is the only criterion whether the master is real, authentic - or phony. The phony master will try to make you go on clinging to him. Your clinging to the master gives him his ego nourishment. Only the authentic master can help you be free of him.
To make you free from the world is very easy, but to make you free from the master himself.... And he has to do it himself; he has to manage in some way that you start clapping and fall from the window frame. The fear will last for only a few seconds, and suddenly you are on a new ground, in a fresh consciousness, in a more profound understanding, in a blissful realization of your eternity. All fear disappears because all death disappears.
Fear is the shadow of death, and unless you know that you are deathless you cannot be free of fear. And unless you are free from fear you will not know what freedom is. All these things are interconnected.
Devageet, whatever is happening is exactly what should happen.
MOST OF THE TIME I LIVE ON THE SURFACE, MY EGO IS DOMINANT AND I THINK THE WHOLE TIME. THEN ONCE IN A WHILE, WHEN I SEE YOU IN THE MORNING DISCOURSE, OR WHEN I FEEL CLOSE TO YOU, I FEEL GREAT LOVE AND MY HEART OPENS, AND I GET A TASTE OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE. BELOVED MASTER, PLEASE HELP ME TO CHANGE MYSELF.
Anurag Sudeha, you are saying, "Most of the time I live on the surface." That is the reality of the whole of humanity, so you should not feel sad about it. It is where humanity is stuck - on the surface.
There are depths beyond depths, but the fear of the unknown, the fear of losing the known and entering into unknown dark waters prevents people. They start making their whole life superficial.
They love superficially, they live superficially.
There are at least six thousand holes in your lungs, but you breathe by only two thousand holes.
Four thousand holes, which are deeper, never come into contact with fresh air, with oxygen, with life. They remain filled with stale carbon dioxide. Not only metaphorically, but physiologically too, you breathe very superficially. Perhaps there, too, is some deep-rooted fear.
Only in Japan have they worked to find out, for centuries... and that is their speciality, their uniqueness, their contribution to the world. Just as India has been trying to find out the center of your life, Japan has been trying to find out the center of your death.
Both have discovered that just below the navel, two inches below the navel... the Japanese call the center of death hara. That is why in Japanese suicide is called hara-kiri. Hara-kiri is the least painful way of committing suicide, because you are directly forcing the dagger into the very center of death.
It takes only a split second. Everything else is far away from the death center.
Perhaps man is afraid of taking deep breaths because if you take deep breaths you will not be breathing in the chest; on the contrary, your belly will start rising up and down where the death center is.
If you have observed Indian statues of Gautam Buddha you will see a very athletic body. The belly is almost missing, the chest is big - just like a lion whose belly is small and chest is big. That was the conception of the athletic body. But if you see the Japanese statues of Buddha, you will be surprised that he has such a big belly. What happened? Why did Japan create... Gautam Buddha was not a Japanese, why did they create the statues with big bellies? - because Japan has an understanding which India has never bothered to discover: one has to breathe from the belly.
In all other kinds of gymnastics developed all over the world, you are taught that you should pull the belly in and force your chest forwards; fill your chest with as much air as you can, but pull your belly in. Aesthetically it looks beautiful. The big belly does not look very beautiful.
But the question before the Japanese was totally different. It is not a question of beauty; the question is that if you breathe deeply, so deeply that the belly comes up and down, your chest will relax. Your belly is bound to become bigger, but a strange phenomenon happens as you start breathing from the belly - you feel tremendous relaxation. It is a kind of meditation. You are so close to death, and just as a dead body relaxes, you start relaxing. And the closer you are to death, the farther away you are from the mind. Mind stops thinking.
So in Japan the first exercise for meditators is breathing from the belly, which goes against all gymnastic rules, but it has a tremendous spiritual value. Your mind relaxes, your body relaxes, and oxygen reaches to all the holes of your lungs, forcing out dead carbon dioxide. It brings a tremendous release of liveliness, playfulness, laughter. Whenever you laugh deeply it is called "belly laughter."
Unless your belly also laughs with you, your laughter is superficial. It is a Jimmy Carter smile - just an exercise of the lips. It is possible without any difficulty. You can stretch your lips ear to ear. That's what poor Jimmy Carter was doing, and the whole day. I have heard that his wife used to close his mouth at night, because the whole day remaining in the same pose is bound to create a static situation, and the lips of Jimmy Carter must have lost elasticity.
I have heard the story - I don't know whether it is true or not, because I don't have any evidence for it, but it is beautiful - that one day his wife forgot to close his mouth and he went on smiling, and a mouse jumped into his mouth. The wife just saw the tail of the mouse going in; the whole mouse had already gone in. She phoned the doctor, not knowing what to do. And he was still smiling!
The doctor had never come across such a case. He said, "There is no precedent, and I have never come across, in any medical book, any such case. But just try one thing while I am reaching there - because it is snowing and it will take almost half an hour to reach to your house - you just hang above his mouth a piece of cheese. Perhaps the mouse may come back, smelling the cheese."
So she ran into her kitchen and brought a piece of cheese from the fridge. But by the time she came back, what she saw almost gave her a nervous breakdown. She saw a cat going inside, because the cat was in search of the mouse! She phoned the doctor again: "the situation has changed."
But the wife of the doctor said, "The doctor has left, he must be on his way. And this case is even more unprecedented. I don't know anything; I cannot even suggest anything. This is just my opinion, because I am not a doctor, but try to find a mouse. Instead of cheese, now a mouse is needed. Hang it over his face; perhaps the cat may come out." By the time the doctor reached there, Jimmy Carter's wife was hanging a mouse over his face. The doctor said, "I had told you to hang a piece of cheese.
Are you mad or something?"
She said, "But the whole situation has changed. By the time I had brought the cheese, I saw a cat was going in, and this was your wife's suggestion."
He said, "My God, a cat is also in? Then you are doing right!"
People are smiling without any meaning in it; it is superficial. People are saying things to others which they don't mean, and they have never thought... that's why they are saying these things.
One of my professors was so talkative that he even used to talk in his sleep. His wife complained to me, "He loves you so much, perhaps you can tell him that, at least in the night, stop lecturing the class. But he goes on talking, and does not allow anybody in the house to sleep silently."
And he had a very loud voice - he was known as "the loudspeaker." He never used one. Even in addressing five thousand people, there was no need for any loudspeaker.
The wife said, "Not only we cannot sleep, even the neighbors...."
And the whole day... in the class he was talking, in the common room he was talking, in the cafeteria he was talking. I told him, "Have you ever thought about how much energy, how much fuel you are burning in talking so much? And nobody wants to listen to it. In fact they feel tortured - people want to escape from you. I have seen people turning into other roads, seeing that you are approaching.
Nobody comes to see you in your house; and if you go to somebody else's house, the wife says that her husband is out - and he is in. Everybody is avoiding you, and you are not gaining anything out of it."
He thought for a moment, and he said, "You are right. Once in a while I also wonder why I go on talking."
I said, "You try this just for one day, and you will find so much joy - talk telegraphically. Only use the absolutely necessary words, just like when you give a telegram. Then you don't go on writing like a letter; you use the absolutely essential words - ten words at the most. And your telegram is more effective than your long letters, because in those ten words you have condensed your whole message. The impact is going to be deeper. "So," I said, "you try it."
"But," he said, "How to stop... I go on forgetting. The moment I see somebody, I forget."
So I gave him a round marble stone, a small ball, and told him, "Keep it in your mouth, so you cannot speak."
He said, "You seem to be very dangerous. Even at times when it is necessary to speak, first I will have to take out this ball. Anybody will laugh - 'Why were you keeping this ball in your mouth?'"
I said, "There is no hurry, your house is not going to be on fire. It is not that you will have to face an emergency. You try it."
I persuaded him - he tried it just for one hour. The whole university was amazed - what has happened? People were saying, "Good morning," and he was simply waving his hand. He could not say even, "Good morning." And everybody was worried about this man - silent for one hour completely, sitting in his chair. But he enjoyed it so much that when I asked for my ball back he said, "I cannot give it."
I said, "What are you going to do with it?"
He said, "I am going to keep it in my mouth even in the night, to give a surprise to my neighbors, to my family, to my children, to everybody - because they will all be waiting for my speech in the night, and I will be sound asleep."
And he said to me, "This is strange. Because I am not speaking, fewer thoughts are coming to my mind; I'm feeling so calm and quiet. You have invented a great thing, this marble ball." He told me, "You should market it. If everybody carries it, there will be so much silence in the world."
I said, "You carry it for a few days, and then try without it, because this should not become an addiction."
After ten days he tried, and was successful. He came to me in the middle of the night to tell me, "The whole day today I have not used your ball. And I have come to give it back to you with great thankfulness, because these ten days I have known for the first time so many things - the silence of the night, the songs of the birds, and an inner tranquility. And I wonder how this can happen only by this marble stone. It has done magic."
I said, "It is not magic or anything. You had become accustomed to talking. Without talking you felt as if you were missing something."
People, when they are nervous, immediately start searching in their pocket for the cigarettes. It is not different from my marble ball. The marble ball is cheaper, more aesthetic, less harmful. But smoking cigarettes is just a way to continue using your mouth, your lips. There are people who have discovered chewing gum - such a nonsense activity. But these are substitutes for talking.
To avoid talking, it is better to chew gum, because at least you are not interfering with somebody else's life - it is your teeth, you can chew as much gum as you want. But just a little understanding, and neither the cigarettes nor the chewing gum are needed.
A little taste of silence, and you will enjoy all those moments when you are not needed to talk, when you can sit silently. And remember one fundamental law of existence, that if you can deepen your experience in any one dimension, you become capable of deepening your experience in other dimensions to the same extent.
For example, if you can deepen your silence, you can deepen your love without any difficulty, because it is the same process. You can deepen your laughter, you can deepen your vitality. Your life can become not just a superficial, formal thing, but something that contains depths beyond depths.
Just to sit by the side of a man who has looked deeply, you will find yourself moving into deeper waters.
Your observation, Sudeha, is right, that most of the time you live on the surface. Most of the people do the same. You say, "My ego is dominant and I think the whole time." Thoughts are basic constituents of the ego. The more thoughts you have, the stronger is your ego. That's why when a meditator comes to a point where mind stops completely, his ego also disappears.
Ego is nothing but the collective name of your thoughts. It is not a separate entity, it is just the collective name. All your thoughts are just the bricks... out of those bricks, the house of the ego is made.
As you stop your thoughts and start moving into a space of no-mind, of non-thinking, you will not find the ego there. You will be there, but there will not be any sense of "I-ness," only a pure "is-ness."
And it is a great achievement.
It is a tremendously valuable achievement to lose your I, and just to feel a simple existence, a pure "is-ness." It is the beginning of experiencing God. As your "is-ness" becomes more and more crystallized, you become aware that you are not and God is; you are not, and the universal consciousness is.
And because you are not, there is no question of your death - you have never, been in the first place, so how can you die? And this "is-ness" that you are feeling now, in the silence of no-thought, has always been here. You have been part of it from eternity, and you will remain part of it until eternity.
This is the experience of the immortal soul.
The seers of the UPANISHAD have the best expression for it. They call man, amritasya putrah: sons and daughters of immortality. You are not born out of a mother's womb; you are not born out of a father, a mother; they have been just a passage for the immortality to take shape. They have given you your blood, your bones, but they have not given you your life. Your life has always been here.
Sudeha, while your ego remains dominant you will remain on the surface. If you want to know the deeper realities and mysteries, then you have to watch your thoughts. Just by watching, they start coming less and less to you. And a day comes when you find you are there without any thoughts.
That is the greatest day of your life. To be more accurate, that is the birthday of your being. From that day, you start living on deeper levels, where life has its roots.
And it is possible, because you feel it when you come close to me. You say, "I feel great love and my heart opens, and I get a taste of what is possible." It is my invitation to you. If you can feel the opening of the heart, then you are not a difficult problem. If you can feel love, and even the awareness that this is the taste of what is possible, then you have almost reached to the door of the temple.
Nobody is preventing you; and the doors are always open. Don't ask me, "Beloved Master, please help me to change myself." There is no need to ask me. You are moving in the right direction, just a little more courage....
Chidananda has sent me a small joke.
How many psychoanalysts does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it all depends on how much the light bulb wants to change. In fact, no psychoanalyst is needed to change a light bulb.
Anybody can change it, just the light bulb has to be ready. If the light bulb resists change then it is very difficult; if it runs around and jumps and escapes....
You are asking me to change you, and what do you think I am doing? Do you think that first I take your permission? In fact, before you asked me to change you, I had already finished my work. That's why you are having the taste, that's why you are feeling the opening of your heart.
This is invisible surgery, so you don't see it clearly. It is not something objective, it is something subjective that I am doing every day, twenty-four hours. And it is not work as far as I am concerned; I have just to continue radiating my love towards you, wherever you are, and the revolution in your being is going to happen. It has already happened, just it will take a little time for you to recognize it. But the first recognition has come to you.
Just go on feeling more and more close to me. And when your heart opens, don't hold back; let it open totally. And when you feel the taste, don't be afraid, because that taste is going to transform you totally. It is going to bring a new man in your place.
Be ready. Things have started moving inside you - you don't have a stone heart. And I am absolutely certain that it won't take a long, long time for you to recognize that your ego has evaporated, and your thoughts have fallen like dry leaves.
Just this evening, I saw that dry leaves are falling from the trees like rain. In the same way, thoughts fall. You cannot see them, but I can see them. When you are clapping and dancing and swaying, I can see that thoughts are falling all around you.
There are a few idiots sometimes who come here. They are observers, and I know that they are idiots because when your rotten thoughts are falling they are collecting them. When you will be going light with wings, light, ready to fly, they will be loaded with all your rubbish and crap to their houses, feeling themselves very learned.
Avoid... whenever somebody is going really mad in clapping, keep alert that he does not drop his thoughts on you!
I heard about one psychoanalyst.... A man was brought to him. The man had got an insane idea that very slimy creatures, small creatures, were crawling all over his body; and he was throwing them away all the time, the whole day.
His family became worried. His business was going bankrupt because people thought, "This man is absolutely mad and unbelieveable. You cannot trust him." And he was not interested in anything.
Customers were standing there, and he was throwing his... with such disgust on his face.
The psychoanalyst said, "Don't be worried," to the man's family. He said, "You go, leave him with me.
He will need a few sessions." The psychoanalyst tried to explain to him that the creatures were just imagination, hallucination, but he was not listening; he was throwing them off all the time, because they were crawling all over his body. This was not a time to understand psychology and things like that, and he was coming every day. The seventh day, he said, "Because I am so much involved with these slimy creatures, I cannot even hear you, exactly what you are saying, so can I pull my chair close to you?"
The psychoanalyst stood up, and he said, "Wait! Don't put those slimy creatures on me, because for two nights I have not slept - the whole night they are crawling on me. And I pray to you that you find some other psychoanalyst, I am finished. You finish somebody else! And such dirty, slimy creatures... from where did you get them? Being seven days with you has been enough. Now I have to first get rid of my own creatures, then I will see you. Don't come here again!"
I can see when, for example, Devageet is throwing off his slimy creatures, one should be alert - you can get them. He is becoming a man from a gorilla; you may become a gorilla from a man! It is only a question of thoughts - just the idea has to get in you, that you are a gorilla. So beware of Devageet.
He has finished, he has come out of his gorillahood, but that gorillahood is here. Somebody may get into it.
There are all kinds of idiots - just out of curiosity to see what is in it.... Going in is easy, getting out is very difficult.
WHEN YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT SUCHNESS THE OTHER DAY, IT FELT SO GOOD. IT FELT LIKE NOURISHING ME FROM THE INSIDE, AND MAKING ME FACE THE REALITY OF HAVING TO LEAVE THIS INCREDIBLE OASIS FOR A LITTLE WHILE. BUT THEN, BEING HAPPY TO HAVE MY MIND UNDER CONTROL, MY BODY FREAKED OUT TOTALLY, AND NOW I FEEL LIKE A STUPID LITTLE GIRL AGAIN, LYING IN BED WITH A BIG COLD, UNABLE TO DANCE WITH YOU IN DISCOURSE, JUST BEFORE LEAVING. SUCHNESS WAS THE KEY TO CALM DOWN MY MIND. DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER KEY FOR ME TO CALM DOWN MY BODY, TOO? WHY DOES MY BODY FREAK OUT SO EASILY WHENEVER THINGS GET A LITTLE MUCH? HOW CAN I BREAK THIS OLD PATTERN?
Nandan, the golden key of suchness is no ordinary key; it is a master key. It can work for the mind, it can work for the heart, it can work for the body. Just the body will take a little longer.
When you heard me talking about suchness, first your heart calmed down, felt the cool breeze of suchness, a deep acceptance of existence. But as the heart calms down, it starts changing your mind. The mind is going to be number two. It will take a little longer time than the heart.
But the same key will work, and your mind will also cool down. The body will be the third, because this is the position: your being is your center, and closest to your being is the heart; then is the circle of the mind, and then is the outer circle of the body. The body is the farthest from your being, so things reach there a little late.
So lying down in your bed, allow the body also to feel suchness, that if it is suffering from a cold it is okay. A cold is not a disease but a cleansing.
The inner mechanism of your body has a layer of mucus. It is a kind of lubricant to make your body function more easily, more smoothly. And just as in any mechanism you need a change of the lubricant once in a while - at least once a year, or twice a year. The mucus which has become old and is not as efficient as it used to be has to be thrown out, and the body grows new mucus.
A cold is not a disease, that's why there is no medicine for colds. If it was a disease, a medicine would be possible - hence, the saying, "If you don't take the medicine your cold will last for seven days, and if you take the medicine then your cold will last for one week."
Medicine or no medicine, it is not a disease, it is a cleansing. So accept it, and even when there is a certain sickness in the body, don't resist it. Use medicine, but the whole attitude, the whole psychology will be different.
Medicine can be used with two different, almost diametrically opposite viewpoints. One is, to destroy the disease that is a negative attitude. That is the attitude almost everybody lives with.
One who understands suchness will not take that attitude. His attitude will be that perhaps this illness is needed at this time. You don't reject it. You are taking medicine only to help your body to accept the disease, to give your body enough strength so that you can live with the disease in suchness. You are not taking medicine against the disease; you are taking medicine to help your vitality, your health, to be strong enough so that you can accept this disease as a friend, and not create any antagonism.
And you will be surprised that this idea of suchness helps you in the turmoils of your heart, emotions, feelings, in the confusions of your mind, and in the sicknesses of your body.
You are worried because you have to leave. But I have told you: always look through the eyes of suchness, that you are leaving to come back. And distance always creates greater longing, more love. So when you come next time, you will be coming dancing, more joyfully.
Chidananda has sent another joke:
Do you know which are the three categories of infertile people? The first are the surgeons, because they only work in their rubber gloves. The second are the lawyers, because they only work with their tongues, and the third are the Italian communists, who are coming and coming, but they never come.
But, Nandan, you are neither Italian nor communist - you are going to come! So just go; go in orderto come back as soon as possible. Go dancingly! We should make everything a celebration.
Going also should be a celebration, because it will give you a chance to come back with more joy, with more bliss, with more longing of the heart.
Distance never destroys love, it always enriches it.