It is true that so many so-called democratic countries are not courageous enough even to give me a tourist visa. It is a great compliment. They have never given such a compliment to any other man in the whole of history.
Their religion is twenty centuries old, so is their morality, so is their tradition; and they are afraid of a man who has no power, and who is coming just like a tourist - only for three weeks. Their paranoia is apparent.
It seems they have made castles in the air. Even my presence will be enough to destroy those castles; otherwise, it is impossible - a tourist for three weeks cannot destroy a tradition which has been there for two thousand years, a morality they have been conditioning the people in for two thousand years. They have accepted defeat, and they have also shown that they are not democratic.
They don't value freedom of speech, respect for the individual. They don't have any value that can be called "democratic." They have simply shown their cowardice.
But I am never pessimistic. One country or other is going to dare to show courage in spite of all the pressures, and once one democratic country allows me in - I am not much worried about the Soviet Union and other communist countries, for the simple reason that if I can raise the level of consciousness of any single, non-communist country, the Soviet Union is going to invite me and my people.
It is sheer competition. It is not only a question of them having more nuclear weapons, it is also a question of them having a more solid, integrated individual. If any democratic country dares to let me work on its people, that will be enough to show to the Soviet countries that if these people are ready to drop two-thousand-year-old superstitions, it is not difficult for the Soviet Union. Its superstitions are not even two centuries old.
If they can see it as a fact - today what they see in democratic countries is only fiction... talking about God, talking about the soul, but there is no evidence.
I can produce as proof people so significantly different from ordinary people that the Soviet Union cannot lag behind; otherwise, even with all the nuclear weapons it will be defeated.
The question is to make religion a fact.
I started criticizing the BIBLE on many points; and now Christian theologians are having a conference in Europe - late, but it is better than never. Still cunning, still not mentioning my name, that I was the man who criticized all those things in the BIBLE - now they themselves are discussing how to save the holiness of the BIBLE and how to interpret the ugly facts that are there. At least they have come to the recognition that there are ugly facts. So either they have to be dropped or interpreted in such a way that the common masses can be befooled a little more.
They are ready even to drop God if Christianity can be saved. They are ready to drop the idea of Jesus' virgin birth if that can save Christianity. They are ready to drop the idea of Jesus' resurrection if Christianity can be saved. And for two thousand years they have been insisting that without God, without the virgin birth, without resurrection, there is no Christianity; these are the distinct characteristics of Christianity.
They will be happy simply to keep the name, even if everything is dropped. Nobody is concerned with God or the virgin birth or resurrection. You can interpret it in a way that it looks like parables...
but up to now, for two thousand years consistently, these same people and their forefathers have been insisting that these are historical facts.
If a two-thousand-year-old tradition can do that, it is not difficult, not impossible at all, for communism to drop just two things: the materialist attitude, and the by-product of it, that there is no soul in man.
But somebody needs to prove it. If thousands of people meditate and spiritually become totally transformed, new human beings, the Soviet Union is not going to be the last....
I am trying the democratic countries, but I have not forgotten the Soviet Union or the other communist countries. They will follow suit once they see that meditation can transform human beings and can give them new values, new awareness, new freshness. I will not knock on the doors of the Soviet Union. They will invite me and you to come to their land and change their inner being.
And their tradition is just a hundred years old, not much of a tradition. And there is no problem in dropping it, in dropping two things - the idea that matter is all, and the idea that there is nothing spiritual in existence. They are in a much more simple situation than the Christians or the Hindus or the Mohammedans - they have a thousand and one things to drop. They have accumulated for centuries superstitions upon superstitions. The Soviet Union has only two superstitions.
All that is needed is a country which is ready and courageous enough to allow me to experiment on a greater scale, so that I can show to the whole world that spirituality is not a fiction, that enlightenment is not an illusion.
The evidence has to be proved in the individuality of human beings. Once it is proved, the Soviet Union is going to be the first to invite us - because it is a competition. They cannot lag behind any other country. It may be nuclear weapons or enlightenment, it does not matter; the question is of competition. In their mind the whole thing is competitive. And to me, that is a great hope. There is no need to be worried.
We cannot approach them directly. They will be absolutely antagonistic, because their whole philosophical standpoint is against me.
In countries whose whole philosophy is not against me... in fact, I can make philosophy more substantial, more alive, not just a dead past but a living present. If they are afraid, naturally the Soviet Union cannot open its doors to me. So I have kept the Soviet Union on the side.
Once a country allows me to work, allows my people to come and transform the whole atmosphere - to bring peace and silence and tranquillity, love and compassion - the Soviet Union is not going to be so stupid as not to see it. And their conditioning is a very thin layer, it can be dropped.
So there is no need to be worried about the Soviet Union.
It is something very ancient in man. It must be a heritage from his animal ancestors. A position gives power, gives identity. In sitting in front it seems to you that you are more important; those who are sitting at the back are less important.
But at least with me you have to drop this animal heritage. Be a human being. Rather than depending on the place, turn the wheel completely: wherever you sit, that place is important. Why make the place important, and yourself unimportant and dependent on the place? Have some self- respect - and self-respect has nothing to do with sitting in the front row. It has something to do with your inner understanding, that wherever you are, you are yourself, and you accept yourself. The place where you sit becomes more important just because you are sitting there.
There is a story about Nanak, a great mystic, who founded the religion of Sikhism. He traveled far and wide. And he was more generous in his attitude; he allowed anyone who wanted, to be in his world. Even Mohammedans entered it, Hindus entered it; all kinds of people from different religions became part of it. The man had tremendous charisma.
He went to the holy place of Mohammedans, the Kaaba. It is said that every Mohammedan at least once in his life should go to visit the Kaaba; otherwise he has missed something tremendously important. And even poor Mohammedans go on collecting money - they will starve, but they will collect money. They will sell their houses, their lands, and will go on a pilgrimage to the Kaaba. And they are given tremendous respect for it, those who go to the Kaaba.
The pilgrimage is called hajj, going to the source. It was at the Kaaba that Mohammed first proclaimed the basic elements of his religion. And the person who goes and comes back is given the title hajji, which is just like 'holy'.
There was no need for Nanak to go to the Kaaba - he was not a Mohammedan. But he never considered himself as Hindu or confined to any religion. Millions of people go to the Kaaba, and Nanak thought it would be a good place to go, to see and meet millions of people.
He went to the Kaaba. It was a long journey, and when they reached, it was getting dark, the sun had set, and they were so tired that he told his companion, Mardana.... That was a beautiful combination.
The disciple, Mardana, was a great musician, a genius, and Nanak would sing - his teachings are all songs - and Mardana would play on his instruments. And the company of two had become famous.
Mardana was Mohammedan. The master was Hindu, the disciple was Mohammedan, but there was such a meeting between the two, that nobody was a Hindu and nobody was a Mohammedan.
Nanak told Mardana, "First we should rest tonight. Tomorrow we will start moving amongst the people."
And as he was going to sleep, Mardana said, "Master, you are doing something wrong. You are lying with your feet towards the Kaaba. That is never done."
Nanak said, "But do you think Nanak comes every day to the Kaaba? That too is never done, will never be done again. So don't be worried, just follow what I am doing."
Poor Mardana, he was a Mohammedan, he knew that this was absolutely wrong, but if the master was doing it.... He also slept putting his feet towards the Kaaba, just outside the Kaaba temple.
Somebody saw them, informed the high priest, and the high priest came with guards. They woke up Nanak and Mardana and told Nanak, "We had heard that you are a holy man. What kind of holy
man are you? You don't understand a simple thing - that the Kaaba is the holiest place in the world - and you are lying with your feet towards the Kaaba."
Nanak said, "I was told by Mardana - he is my disciple - that it is the holiest place. But my difficulty is, wherever I put my feet I find the place holiest. It is not the place, it is my feet which makes every place so holy. And if you are skeptical, you can try; you can turn my feet wherever you want."
Up to this point I see that this is history; beyond this it is a metaphor - but significant, meaningful, completing what history cannot complete. The priest turned Nanak's feet in every direction, and they were amazed that the Kaaba turned to exactly where Nanak's feet were turned. They went all round turning him, and Mardana could not believe it. Nanak was laughing and saying, "Do your best, don't leave out any place - because this is my problem: where should I keep my feet? Every place is holy, the whole existence is divine."
The priest touched the feet of Nanak and said, "Please forgive me. People have come here, but none was like you. We have never seen the Kaaba moving wherever someone's feet are moved.
Why did you come here?"
Nanak said, "Just to show you that it is not the Kaaba that is holy. Unless your feet are holy, nothing is holy. Worshipping a stone you think you are worshipping something holy."
Wherever you are sitting, wherever you are, your being there should make the place important, not vice versa - not that you start thinking, "Which place is important?" Do you see my point? You are putting places above you. This is self-condemnation. You are not respectful towards yourself.
And this is happening all over the world. Somebody becomes the president of a country, and thinks he has arrived. To be the president or the prime minister is just to reach to a certain place - you have not grown. Your growth would show that wherever you are, you have created the center.
Become more appreciative of yourself, accept yourself.
And at least with me you have to learn it absolutely - that nothing else matters. What matters is your self-respect. Why should you bother who is sitting in front? I don't see any difference. Those who are sitting at the back, I am available to them as much as to those who are sitting in front. My presence is filling the whole room. I am giving myself equally to you all. Now it is up to you whether you receive me or not. If you get interested in trivia - where you are sitting, whether you are in the first row or in the second row or in the third row - then it is you who are closing yourself.
Just open yourself and rejoice that you are here with me.
The trivia should never be a concern. The significant part is that you are receptive to me. Give it a try. And the more receptive you are... you will be surprised that your body may be sitting at the back, you are in the front. Somebody's body may be sitting in the front, and he is in the back. It will all depend on who is more receptive.
And always think that the problem is yours. Don't dump it on anybody else - that because of somebody else you have to sit in the second row.
If you can't even forget where you are sitting, how are you going to welcome me within you?
Just be receptive, be available.
And I am equally available to all.
It does not matter at all where you are sitting.
That Stephen Jay Gould is saying it is certainly a sign of maturity, and a few people are coming of age, but very few. But that is a good beginning. More will be following. Twenty-five centuries ago, the Indian mystic, Mahavira, said, "Nothing is certain. There is no such thing as certainty." Because of this - he used a strange language - people were puzzled, because before every sentence and every statement he will put a word syat. Syat means 'perhaps', it is to avoid certainty; otherwise your minds are too willing to make things certain.
If you asked him anything he would simply say, "perhaps." He would leave you in uncertainty because perhaps does not mean yes and does not mean no. Perhaps exactly means po. The word 'po' is the invention of a modern, contemporary logician.
Looking at scientific researches, which are tending more and more towards perhaps... because what is certain this moment becomes uncertain the next moment, because life is a flux, a change.
Except change, everything changes. You cannot be certain of anything. The cowards will be very afraid because they were clinging to things, thinking they are clinging to certain absolutes, ultimates.
This logician has invented a word - because there is no word between yes and no. Both give certainty; one gives positive certainty, another gives negative certainty. He has invented a word 'po'.
Just the sound of 'po' takes away all certainty. You start wondering, "What do you mean - yes or no?" and he says, "po" - neither yes nor no, or both yes and no together.
Life is continuously moving, changing. It is a dialectic between yes and no, positive and negative, day and night, life and death.
Mahavira, twenty-five centuries ago, had already used the word 'syat'. If you asked him if there was a God, he would say, "Perhaps." But is that an answer? Either God is or is not - that is our mind, how we have been trained. If you ask somebody, "Are you there, in the room?" and he says, "perhaps,"
what you are going to make out of it?
Mahavira saying "perhaps" is closer to reality - because the man's body may be in the room, he may not be, his mind may be millions of miles away. How can he say yes? What about the mind?
How can he say no? What about the body? He says "perhaps"; he leaves it up to you - that it is something that cannot be confined to positive or negative terms. Both have to be used together.
In the beginning of this century scientists were very certain - in fact, that was one of the definitions of science; philosophy is all wishy-washy, religion is simply fiction, science is certainty. Two plus two is always equal to four. But this was in the beginning of this century, and in the previous century science had been very fanatic about certainty because it was only superficial, the work had not gone deep. Now it has gone deep, so deep that to understand it you will have to sharpen your intelligence.
Bertrand Russell has written one of the most important books on mathematics, PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA, and you can understand how complex the thing is. Two hundred and sixty-five pages are simply devoted to proving that two plus two are really four. Two hundred and sixty-five pages of a big book - which nobody reads, which is almost unreadable; it is only for mathematicians.
Even Bertrand Russell alone could not write it, because he was not a mathematician - he was a philosopher, and he has philosophic ideas about mathematics - so he had to work in collaboration with one mathematician, Whitehead, who was also a philosopher, and could understand both philosophy and mathematics.
Both worked together for years to write PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA - which nobody reads. Two geniuses wasted years. And you can see the wastage: "two plus two is equal to four," needs two hundred and sixty-five pages of intense logical argumentation. But the book was written at the beginning of this century. Now it is no longer relevant.
They did hard work. You simply know that two plus two are four; they did hard work from all aspects to prove it. But now the new mathematicians say that two plus two are not four; sometimes they can be five and sometimes they can be three - it all depends.
Their reasoning is very deep but very clear. Their reasoning is that two plus two making the figure four has remained traditionally an absolutely certain truth, because you have forgotten one thing - that these figures don't exist, they are imaginary. Two chairs plus two other chairs, that is reality; but two plus two...? Because you have never met any mathematical figure... Mister One going to the market? The whole of mathematics is imaginary.
New mathematics tries to bring it to reality, and then there is a problem. In reality two things are not exactly the same. What to say about four things being exactly the same? For example, two women plus another two women, you cannot make them four - because all four are unique. To combine those four unique persons is to take it for granted that each is given one number - which is not right.
In reality it all depends; sometimes one man may be equal to the whole world - a Socrates, a Gautam Buddha, an Albert Einstein may alone be equal to the whole humanity, or perhaps more - because the rest of humanity has not contributed anything and this single man has contributed great insights into matter. You cannot count him as one, equal to anyone; you are not right, you are not thinking of the quality.
But then it becomes difficult. So they say for ordinary use in the marketplace, two plus two are still four; but for extraordinary perceptivity, two plus two can be five, can be three, can be anything - it all depends. The old mathematics is gone, the old certainty is gone.
The Euclidean geometry was certain; that was its beauty. There was no question of uncertainty, the definitions were clear. The shortest distance between two points makes a straight line. But it is all abstract. If you actually want to create a straight line, you cannot.
So there is now neo-Euclidean geometry which says straight lines don't exist - because you can draw a straight line here on the floor, but this floor is part of a round earth. If you go on stretching your straight line, both ends, sooner or later it will come to a point where it becomes a circle. If a straight line stretched finally becomes a circle, then it was not a straight line, it was an arc, part of a circle; it was just that the part was so small, and the circle was so big, that you fell into the fallacy of certainty.
There are no straight lines. All Euclidean definitions have been proved wrong. In abstraction they are right, but in reality they fail; and modern science is trying to be closer and closer to reality.
And that's why I say that it is coming very close in many points, and agreeing, without knowing it, with the mystics, because the mystics were also trying to come to the real, not to the imaginary. From a different path they were coming to the real. And when they came to the real, either they became silent - because to say anything is going to be wrong - or they said things like Mahavira did, "perhaps it is so, perhaps it is not so," - making at the same time positive and negative statements, which for ordinary use seems to be just confusing.
Mahavira could not influence many people, and the basic reason was that he had come twenty- five centuries ahead of his time. Einstein would have understood him. Mahavira was not a mathematician, but what he was saying was essentially the same - the theory of relativity. It is stupid to say that somebody is tall, unless you also say in comparison to whom, because there is no such thing as tallness; it is only a comparison. Some pygmy has to be compared with him, then he is tall.
There is an ancient proverb: Camels don't like to go to the mountains. I don't know what the camels think about it, but it is certain they don't go to the mountains. They go to the deserts where there are no mountains. But the people who formed the proverb knew better. Camels don't like to go to the mountains because as they come close to the mountains they feel very inferior, they have an inferiority complex.
Freud discovered it just recently, and camels have known it since the beginning - that it is better not to go to the mountains; there you will get an inferiority complex, and then it is very difficult to get rid of it. It is better to be in the desert where you are the highest, tallest, biggest thing. So why not enjoy a superiority complex? Why unnecessarily go to the mountains?
Everything that we say is relative, and the relativity changes, because as I said to you, life is a flux.
I have told you the story that Mulla Nasruddin had a beautiful bungalow in the mountains, and once in a while he would say - when he was tired of business and other things - "I am going for three weeks or two weeks or four weeks." But he was never consistent. He would go for three weeks, and by the fourth day he is back.
His friends said to him, "If you were going to come back after four days, why were you telling unnecessary lies? We were not objecting, saying that you cannot come back on the fourth day.
It is your house - you can come and go wherever you want, and you can stay there as long as you want. But why do you always say...? We have never found you sticking to the date that you have given."
Mulla Nasruddin said, "You don't know the reality. I have kept one of the ugliest women as a housekeeper, to look after the house, to clean the house and keep it ready for whenever I go."
Those fellows said, "But that has nothing to do with your four weeks, three weeks...."
He said, "Just listen. When I go, I see her, and feel she is disgusting. And I have made it a point that the day she starts looking beautiful to me, I escape. I say, 'Now it is time.' So it all depends. I don't know exactly how long it will take for her to appear beautiful to me. Missing women, sometimes it takes four days, sometimes seven days; it is unreliable. But one thing is certain - I have made it clear - the moment I start thinking of the woman as beautiful I say to myself, 'Mulla, this is the time.
Escape! This is the same woman!'
"And I pack up my things and rush away, because if I stay a little longer I may never come back.
And the woman is so disgusting! But in three or four days' time, one gets accustomed to her, and the need for a woman, for a companion, for a friend - there is nobody, only that woman - it changes your perception."
So the same man can say that the woman is disgusting one day, and after a week he can say she is the most beautiful woman. This is "po".
It is better not to say yes, not to say no; to keep the judgment suspended, uncertain.
Science is certainly coming of age. Man is lingering, and one hopes that he will also come of age.
The moment man comes of age, all religions will disappear; they are childish. All political leaders will look like buffoons - that's what they are. Cunning, hypocritical, destructive, murderous criminals - that is what they are. If man comes of age the whole vision of life is going to change. Science certainly is coming of age. But one of the unfortunate things is, the vast majority of humanity is not aware of the latest insights of science or the oldest insights of the mystics.
My effort, my whole life, I have devoted to bringing the mystics' vision close to the scientific approach.
I want that one day when science has become really fully mature, the distinction between mysticism and science will disappear. They will speak in the same language.
Mysticism will speak of the inner reality of man, science will speak of the outer reality; but the language will be the same. And the understanding between the two will be immense. There will be no conflict - there cannot be.