Avirbhava, to feel terrible for being called "intelligent" proves you really to be intelligent. The first and the most important part of intelligence is innocence. That's why you felt terrible - because in the world innocence and intelligence have been divided, not only divided but put diametrically opposite to each other.
If intelligence remains innocent it is the most beautiful thing possible, but if it is against innocence then it is simply cunningness and nothing else; it is not intelligence.
The moment innocence disappears, the soul of intelligence is gone; it is a corpse. It is better to call it simply "intellect". It can make you a great intellectual, but it will not transform your life and it will not make you open to the mysteries of existence. They are open only to the intelligent child, and the really intelligent person keeps his childhood alive to his last breath. He never loses it - the wonder the child feels looking at the birds, looking at the flowers, looking at the sky.
Intelligence also has to be, in the same way, childlike.
Jesus is right when he says, "Unless you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God." What he calls "God" I call "existence". But the statement is true. "Born again" means becoming a child again.
But when a mature person becomes a child again, there is a difference between the ordinary child and the reborn. The ordinary child is innocent because he is ignorant, and the reborn innocence is the greatest value in life because it is not ignorance, it is pure intelligence.
So don't be afraid of intelligence; be afraid of intelligence only if it is against innocence.
And I know Avirbhava: she is innocent. That's why she must have felt terrible being called intelligent.
To her it must have appeared that she is being called cunning, crafty, clever. And her feeling is right.
But don't be against intelligence if it goes in tune with your innocence. Innocence alone becomes ignorance. Intelligence alone becomes cunningness. They both together are neither ignorance nor cunningness, but simply a receptivity, an openness, a heart which is capable of wondering at the smallest thing in life.
And the man who knows the feeling of wonder, to me, is the only religious man. It is through his wonder that he comes to know that existence is not just matter, it cannot be. It is not a logical conclusion for him, not a belief for him, but a real experience. Such a beautiful experience, so mysterious, so unfathomable, indicates tremendous intelligence in him.
But existence is not cunning. It is very simple, it is innocent.
If you can keep these two qualities together, you need nothing else. These two will lead you to the ultimate goal of self realization.
It is a complicated question. It has two sides, and both have to be understood. First: you have never been accepted by your parents, teachers, neighbors, society, as you are. Everybody was trying to improve upon you, to make you better. Everybody was pointing at the flaws, at the mistakes, at the errors, at the weaknesses, at the frailties, which every human being is prone to. Nobody emphasized your beauty, nobody emphasized your intelligence, nobody emphasized your grandeur.
Just being alive is such a gift, but nobody ever told you to be thankful to existence. On the contrary, everyone was grumpy, complaining. Naturally, if everything surrounding your life from the very beginning goes on pointing out to you that you are not what you should be, goes on giving you great ideals that you have to follow and you have to become, your isness is never praised. What is praised is your future - if you can become someone respectable, powerful, rich, intellectual, in some way famous, not just a nobody.
Constant conditioning against you has created in you the idea, "I am not enough as I am, something is missing. And I have to be somewhere else - not here. This is not the place I am supposed to be, but somewhere higher, more powerful, more dominant, more respected, more well known."
This is half the story - which is ugly, which should not be the case. This can be simply removed if people are a little bit more intelligent about how to be mothers, how to be fathers, how to be teachers.
You are not to spoil the child. His self-respect, his acceptance of himself, you have to help it to grow.
On the contrary, you are becoming a hindrance for growth. This is the ugly part but it is the simple part. It can be removed, because it is so simple and logical to see that you are not responsible for what you are, that this is the way nature has made you. Now unnecessarily weeping over the spilled milk is sheer stupidity.
But the second part is tremendously important. Even if all these conditionings are removed - you are deprogrammed, all these ideas are taken out of your mind - then you will still feel you are not enough; but that will be a totally different experience. The words will be the same, but the experience will be different.
You are not enough because you can be more. It will not be any longer a question of becoming famous, respectable, powerful, rich. That will not be at all your concern. Your concern will be that your being is only a seed. With birth you are not born as a tree, you are born only as a seed, and you have to grow to the point where you come to flowering, and that flowering will be your contentment, fulfillment.
This flowering has nothing to do with power, nothing to do with money, nothing to do with politics.
It has something to do absolutely with you; it is an individual progress. And for this, the other conditioning is a hindrance, it is a distraction, it is a misuse of a natural longing for growth.
Every child is born to grow and to become a fully-fledged human being, with love, with compassion, with silence. He has to become a celebration unto himself. It is not a question of competition, not even a question of comparison.
But the first ugly conditioning distracts you because the urge to grow, the urge to become more, the urge to expand, is being used by the society, by the vested interests. They divert it. They fill your mind so you think that this urge is to have more money, this urge means to be at the top in every way - in education, in politics. Wherever you are, you have to be at the top; less than that and you will feel you are not doing well, you will feel a deep inferiority complex.
This whole conditioning produces an inferiority complex because it wants you to become superior, more superior than others. It teaches you competition, comparison; it teaches you violence, fight. It teaches you that means don't matter, what matters is the end - success is the goal. And this can be easily done because you already are born with an urge to grow, with an urge to be somewhere else.
A seed has to travel far to become flowers. It is a pilgrimage. The urge is beautiful. It is given by nature itself. But the society, up to now, has been very cunning; it turns, deviates, diverts your natural instincts into some social utility.
These two are the sides that are giving you the feeling that wherever you are, something is missing; you have to gain something, achieve something, become an achiever, a climber.
Now your intelligence is needed to make it clear what your natural urge is, and what is social conditioning. Cut the social conditioning - it is all crap - so that nature remains pure, unpolluted.
And nature is always individualistic.
You will grow and you will come to blossom, and you may have roseflowers. Somebody else may grow and will have marigolds. You are not superior because you have roseflowers; he is not inferior because he has marigolds. You both have come to flowering, that is the point; and that flowering gives a deep contentment. All frustration, all tension disappears; a profound peace prevails over you, the peace that passes understanding. But first you have to cut the social crap completely; otherwise it will go on distracting you.
You have to be rich but not wealthy. Richness is something else. A beggar can be rich, and an emperor can be poor. Richness is a quality of being.
Alexander the Great met Diogenes, who was a naked beggar, with only a lamp - that was his only possession. And he kept his lamp lit even in the day. He was obviously behaving in a strange way; even Alexander had to ask him, "Why are you keeping this lamp lit in the day?"
He raised his lamp and looked at Alexander's face, and he said, "I am looking for the real man day and night, and I don't find him."
Alexander was shocked that a naked beggar should say such a thing to him, the world conqueror.
But he could see that Diogenes was so beautiful in his nudity. His eyes were so silent, his face was so peaceful, his words had such an authority, his presence was so cool and calm and soothing, that although Alexander felt insulted, he could not retaliate. The presence of the man was so much, that Alexander himself looked a beggar beside him. In his diary he has written, "For the first time I felt that richness is something other than having money. I have seen a rich man."
Richness is your authenticity, sincerity, your truth, your love, your creativity, your sensitivity, your meditativeness. This is your real wealth.
Society has moved your head towards mundane things, and you have forgotten completely that your head has been moved.
I remember it actually happened.... In India a man was driving on a motorcycle, and it was very cold so he put his coat on back to front because his chest was feeling very cold and the wind was just hitting him. From the other end of the road a sardar - the sardars are simple - was also coming on his motorbike. He could not believe his eyes because he thought, "This man has got his head on back to front!"
He became so afraid, that as he came close, he stumbled with his motorbike against the poor man, and the man fell on the ground, almost unconscious. The sardar looked closely and he said, "My God, what has happened to him? The city is far away, the hospital is far away, but something has to be done."
Sardars in India are the most strong people. And the poor man was unconscious, so he forced his head and put it right according to the coat. At that very time a police car reached there and the policemen asked, "What is happening?"
He said, "You have come in the right time. Look at this man - he has fallen from his motorbike."
They asked, "Is he alive or dead?"
The sardar said, "He used to be alive when his head was in a wrong position. When I turned his head in the right position he stopped breathing."
Those policemen said, "You were too interested only in the head. You did not see that the coat is wrong, not the head!"
The sardar said, "We are poor and simple people. I have never seen anybody wearing a coat whose buttons are at the back. I thought some accident had happened. He was breathing, although he was unconscious. I turned his head - it gave me trouble, but when I want to do something, I do it. I did it, and turned his head exactly right until it was fitting with the coat. Then he stopped breathing.
A strange fellow!"
Your head, your mind, has been turned in many ways by many people according to their ideas of how you should be. There was not any bad intention. Your parents loved you, your teachers loved you, your society wants you to be somebody. Their intentions were good, but their understanding was very short. They forgot that you cannot manage to make a marigold bush into roseflowers, or vice-versa.
All that you can do is help the roses to grow bigger, more colorful, more fragrant. You can give all the chemicals that are needed to transform the color and the fragrance - the manure that is needed, the right soil, the right watering at the right times - but you cannot make the rose bush produce lotuses.
And if you start giving the idea to the rosebush, "You have to become lotus flowers" - and of course the lotus flowers are beautiful and big - you are giving a wrong conditioning which will help only in that this bush will never be able to produce lotuses; and also, its whole energy will be directed on a wrong path so it will not produce even roses, because from where will it get the energy to produce roses? And when there will be no lotuses, no roses, of course this poor bush will feel continuously empty, frustrated, barren, unworthy.
And this is what is happening to human beings. With all good intentions, people are turning your mind. In a better society, with more understanding people, nobody will change you. Everybody will help you to be yourself - and to be oneself is the richest thing in the world. To be oneself gives you all that you need to feel fulfilled, all that can make your life meaningful, significant. Just being yourself and growing according to your nature will bring the fulfillment of your destiny.
So the urge is not bad, but it has been moved towards wrong objects. And you have to be aware not to be manipulated by anybody, howsoever good their intentions are. You have to save yourself from so many well-intentioned people, do-gooders, who are constantly advising you to be this, to be that.
Listen to them and thank them, they don't mean any harm, but harm is what happens.
You just listen to your own heart - that is your only teacher.
In the real journey of life, your own intuition is your only teacher.
Have you looked at the word 'intuition'? It is the same as 'tuition'. Tuition is given by teachers, from outside; intuition is given by your own nature, from inside. You have your guide within you. With just a little courage you will never feel that you are unworthy. You may not become the president of a country, you may not become a prime minister, you may not become Henry Ford; but there is no need. You may become a beautiful singer, you may become a beautiful painter. And it does not matter what you do.... You may become a great shoemaker.
When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America.... His father had been a shoemaker, and the whole senate was feeling a little embarrassed that a shoemaker's son should preside over the richest people, the high-class people, who believe they are superior because they have more money, because they belong to a long-standing famous family. The whole senate was in a way embarrassed, angry, irritated; nobody was happy that Lincoln had become the president.
One man, who was very arrogant, bourgeois, stood up before Lincoln gave his first, his maiden address to the senate. And he said, "Mr. Lincoln, before you start I would like you to remember that you are a shoemaker's son." And the whole senate laughed. They wanted to humiliate Lincoln; they could not defeat him, but they could humiliate him. But it is difficult to humiliate a man like Lincoln.
He said to the man, "I am tremendously grateful that you reminded me of my father, who is dead. I will always remember your advice. I know that I can never be such a great president as my father was a shoemaker." There was pindrop silence - the way Lincoln had taken it....
And he said to the man, "As far as I know, my father used to make shoes for your family too. If your shoes are pinching or some trouble is there - although I am not a great shoemaker I have learned the art with my father from my very childhood - I can correct it. And the same to anybody in the senate; if my father has made the shoes, and they need any correction, any improvement, I am always available - although one thing is certain, I cannot be that great. His touch was golden." And tears came to his eyes in the memory of his great father.
It does not matter: you may be a third-class president, you may be a first-class shoemaker. What fulfills is that you are enjoying what you are doing, that you are putting all your energies into it; that you don't want to be anybody else; that this is what you want to be; that you agree with nature that the part given to you to play in this drama is the right part, and you are not ready to change it even with a president or an emperor.
This is real richness. This is real power.
If everybody grows to be himself, you will find the whole earth full of powerful people, of tremendous strength, intelligence, understanding, and a fulfillment, a joy that they have come home.
It is just because from your very childhood you have been told that the goal is not emptiness, but fullness. Emptiness symbolizes the beggar's bowl. In the West particularly, the word 'emptiness' never achieved any positive meaning. In the East the case is different.
We have two words for emptiness. One - which will translate the English word 'emptiness' - is riktata. It simply means absence of something. And the other is shunyata for which, in the Western languages, there is no equivalent because that kind of experience has not happened in the West.
Shunyata is emptiness from one side, and fullness from another side. For example, this room is full of people now, furniture, things. We can empty it - all the people can leave the room, all the furniture can be removed - and then somebody can come and see and can say, "The room is empty." He is just seeing one side of the phenomenon.
What he is saying is that the things that were in the room are not there. But he is forgetting that now the room is full of roominess. The room has more space now than it had before. Before it was cluttered; its space was cut up into pieces - furniture, people, things. Now it is clean, now it is pure.
Now it is itself, full of itself. That is the meaning of shunyata in the East; the second side - which has been overlooked in the West.
So the Western mind has a certain antagonism about emptiness because it knows only its negative aspect. It does not know its positive side. That's why it looks spooky, fearsome.
And moreover, when I am sitting here talking to you and suddenly you become aware that there is nobody - the chair is empty - it becomes more spooky. You start feeling as if you are seeing something which is not the case; or, if this is the case, then just a moment before you were seeing a person when that person was not real, ghostly.
You have to look deeply into the phenomenon of the enlightened person. He is and he is not - both together. He is because his body is there; he is not because his ego is no longer there. All the furniture of the mind has been removed: now it is really a hollow bamboo. And if the hollow bamboo is functioning as a flute, then too it does not become anything else other than a hollow bamboo.
And the experience becomes even more mysterious because the hollow bamboo flute is creating a music.
The Western mind has been trained to think that nothing can come out of nothing. The Eastern mind has been trained to see that everything comes out of nothing. And modern physics agrees with the mystics of the East.
It is very surprising that the modern Western physics goes against all Western religions and agrees with all the Eastern mystics. The same experience.... The hollow bamboo is not giving you music of its own, somebody else - perhaps existence itself, perhaps a strong wind passing through the hollow bamboo - is creating music. But the music is coming in from one side and is going out from the other side; the flute remains hollow.
The West is so much interested in things being solid, steel-solid. It is not a coincidence that it creates men like Stalin. The word 'stalin' in Russian means 'man of steel'. It was not his name; it was given because he was so like solid steel - there was no hollowness in him. Hollowness is condemned.
When you want to condemn somebody you say, "He is just hollow."
But in the East it is a totally different thing. The greatest mystics - Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Bodhidharma - they all call themselves hollow bamboos. They have disappeared as an ego. There is no one who can say, "I am", and yet the whole structure is there, and inside is pure space. And that pure space is your divineness, your godliness; that pure space is what, on the outside, is pure sky. The sky only appears to be - it does not exist. If you go in search of sky, you will not find it anywhere; it is only an appearance.
The enlightened man has an appearance like the sky, but if you get in tune with him sometimes you will find he is not. That can make you feel spooky, afraid; and that's what must have happened.
You got in tune with me. In spite of yourself, once in a while you will get in tune with me. You may forget yourself once in a while and will get in tune with me - because only if you forget your ego can there be a meeting. Otherwise there cannot be any meeting. And in that meeting you will find that the chair is empty. It may be just a glimpse for a moment, but really you have seen something far more real than anything else that you have ever seen. You have looked inside the hollow bamboo and seen the miracle of the music coming out of it.
You know I have prohibited Milarepa from using my chairs because who knows? - I may be sitting there!
Yes, you are right, this is a game of questions and answers. They are simply an excuse so that you can be with me. You are so accustomed to words that without words you cannot find out what you are doing here. You feel a little crazy. But with words, everything feels right.
I would have preferred to sit silently with you, but the trouble is, if I sit silently, then your mind goes yakkety-yak, yakkety-yak. I can even hear the sound - so many wheels moving. So I decided this way it is better.
I use words. Listening to my words you stop thinking. And in those moments when there is no thinking, much transpires, much that cannot be said but can only be understood; much which no language is capable of expressing. But the very presence of a man who knows, starts stirring your heart, changing your being.
The West does not know, is unacquainted with many things. For example, it has nothing to compare with what is called in the East satsanga. To a Western mind it will look absolutely absurd. Satsanga simply means sitting with the master, doing nothing; nobody speaks but nobody thinks either. Any observer is bound to get puzzled.
When, for the first time, P.D. Ouspensky was allowed to be brought to George Gurdjieff - one of Gurdjieff's inner circle of disciples had been trying for months, saying that he wanted to bring a friend.
Finally he was given permission. On a cold night in Russia - the snow was falling - Ouspensky, with great excitement, thousands of questions and words passing through his mind ... he was a world-famous man, one of the most significant mathematicians of his time. And as far as writing is concerned I don't see anybody comparable to him; he writes magically. His books were already translated into many languages. And nobody knew Gurdjieff; just a small group of twenty people was all that he had. Ouspensky was thinking that this was the same way that he had been introduced into other societies, clubs, meetings... but there was something totally different.
By dim candlelight Gurdjieff was sitting looking at the floor, and twenty people around him were sitting in the same posture looking at the floor. These two also joined in, and Ouspensky - seeing everybody, what they are doing... neither was he introduced nor was anything done. The man who had brought him simply sat in the posture and started looking at the floor.
Ouspensky, thinking that perhaps this was the way, also sat in the same posture and started looking at the floor. But whatever he would do his mind was working: "What am I doing here? And he has brought me to introduce me to George Gurdjieff. This is the fellow, it seems, who is sitting in the middle; but he has not even looked at me. And what are they searching for on the floor? There is nothing - a clean floor. And all the twenty are just sitting!"
Minutes passed - and minutes seemed like hours. A silent night, just the flickering light of a small candle, and the sound of the snow falling outside.... And those people went on sitting. Half an hour passed, and his mind was running like mad: "What is happening, and what am I doing here?"
At that moment Gurdjieff looked at him and said, "Don't be worried. Soon you will be sitting here with these people in the same way, without disturbance. They have learned how to sit with a master... to sit in such a way that the consciousnesses start merging and melting into each other. Twenty-one people are not sitting here, just twenty-one bodies and one soul, and no thought. But it will take time for you. Forgive me for making you wait for half an hour; it must have seemed to you as if days have passed.
"Now take this paper, go to the other room. On one side write what you know. On the other side write what you do not know. And remember that whatever you write down as knowing, we will never discuss; that is finished. You know it and it is none of my business to interfere in it. What you do not know, that will be the only part that I will teach you."
With trembling hands - for the first time Ouspensky became aware of thinking about what he knows.
He has written about God, and he has written about heaven and hell, and he has written about the soul and the transmigration of the soul - but does he KNOW?
He went into the other room and sat there with the paper and the pencil. And as he checked in his mind what he knows, what he does not know - for the first time in his whole life he was checking it; otherwise nobody bothers about what one knows, what one does not know. And after a few minutes he came out with the empty paper, and he said, "I do not know anything. You will have to teach me everything."
Gurdjieff said, "But you have written so many books. I have seen your books and I did not think that a man who knows nothing could be writing so well."
Ouspensky said, "Just forgive me. I am not acquainted with the way you work, but within a few minutes you have made me aware of my utter ignorance. And I want to begin from the very scratch.
Forgive me for those books. They were written certainly in sleep, because now I can see I don't know anything about God. I have read about God but that is not knowing. Just one thing I want to know: what is happening here?"
And Gurdjieff said, "This is a way of creating hollow bamboos. All these people are waiting here to become empty. When they become empty, that is their entrance to the school. This is just outside the school, a school is inside. When they become empty, when I am satisfied that they are empty, they will be taken in. We are not here to teach you anything. We are here to help you to know. We will create situations in which you yourself come to know."
Satsanga... just to be with the master.... But for the West it is difficult; hence I speak to you. These questions and answers are really just a game to help you to get rid of words, thoughts. Slowly, slowly you are finding it more and more difficult: what to ask?
Just last night Maneesha was worried, "If questions are finished and you start leaving because there is no question, I will shout 'Osho, I have found a question! Wait!'" No, I will not leave. I am waiting for that moment when no question is left within you; then my real work will begin.
Right now we are just sitting outside the school. Once you are silent, utterly silent, then there is no need to ask anything; there is nothing to ask, there is nothing to answer.
Silence is the question.
Silence is the answer.
Silence is the ultimate truth.
In silence we meet with existence - words, languages, all create barriers. And to be silent means to be a hollow bamboo. And the miracle is, the moment you are a hollow bamboo, a music descends through you which is not your own. It comes through you; it belongs to the whole. Its beauty is tremendous, its ecstasy immeasurable.
These meetings are just a preparation for that music to descend in you.
But you can make a flute only of a hollow bamboo. If you are full of your thoughts and ego and philosophy, religion, theology and politics - all kinds of rubbish - then that music is not for you.
And to me, that music is the ultimate experience, the last benediction, the highest flowering of your consciousness.