Questions and Answers
OSHO, YOU TOLD LAST NIGHT ABOUT THE HINDU SYSTEM OF CREATING A MUD IDOL FOR WORSHIP, AND AFTER THE WORSHIP, ABOUT ITS VISARJAN DISPERSION - INTO THE SEA OR A RIVER. THIS HAPPENS ON THE OUTER PHYSICAL PLANE. WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND INNER MEANING OF THIS OUTER RITUAL? WHAT IS IT THAT MUST BE CREATED INWARDLY? WHAT IS IT THAT SHOULD BE DISPERSED AND WHEN SHOULD IT BE DISPERSED?
SECONDLY, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHETHER THIS DISPERSION IS A GRADUAL PROCESS OR A SUDDEN HAPPENING AND WHETHER IT IS AN ACT OF AWARENESS OR JUST A LET-GO?
LIFE is a learning and an unlearning also. One has to learn many things, and then one has to unlearn them - and both are necessary. If you do not learn, you remain ignorant. If you learn and cling to it, you become knowledgeable but you remain unwise. If you can also unlearn that which you have learned, then you become wise.
Wisdom has a childlike quality, but it is just "childlike" - not exactly the same. The child is ignorant and the sage is wise. The child has yet to know and the sage has gone beyond. The child has no knowledge, the sage also has no knowledge. But in a child it is negative, in a sage that "no knowledge" has become positive. He has crossed beyond, he has transcended. So this is one of the basic principles of spiritual explosion: to unlearn, to go on unlearning, that which one has learned, and it is related to all planes of spiritual growth.
We discussed last night a very strange Hindu ritual. Hindus create images of gods, mud images, just for a particular ritual - for a particular worship on particular days. Then they worship the mud image as Divine, and when the time is over, when the ritual is finished, they disperse it into the sea or into the river. The same image which was created is dispersed.
I told you that stone images came with Jainism and Buddhism. Hindus never believed in stone images because stone can give a false appearance of permanence while the whole life is impermanent. So man-created gods cannot be permanent either. Whatsoever man can create will remain impermanent; it is bound to be manlike. But we can create certain things which can give a false permanence, which can appear falsely permanent. A pseudo-permanence is possible. With metal images. with stone images, with cement or concrete images, a false permanence is created.
Hindus have always believed in mud images. They create them and then they uncreate them, knowing that they were meant for a particular purpose, as a device. When the purpose is over, they dissolve them. Why? Because if you do not dissolve them, a deep clinging is possible, and that clinging will become a barrier. Ultimately, man has to reach to a point of absolute "unclinging"; only then is one free. That is what is meant by MOKSHA - freedom - no clinging, not even to gods.
So, ultimately, not only are images to be thrown, but gods also. Everything objective is to be thrown so that ultimately only the subjectivity remains, only consciousness remains, without any object of consciousness. This is the inward meaning of dispersion.
Look at it in this way: whenever we are aware of anything, we divide Existence into two - the object and the subject. If I see you, I have already divided the Existence into two - the seer and the seen. If I love you, I have divided the Existence into two - the lover and the beloved. Any act of consciousness is a division: it creates a duality. Again, when you are unconscious there is no duality.
If you are deeply asleep Existence is one: there is no duality. But then you are not aware of it. When you are unconscious Existence is one, but you are not aware of it. When you are aware, you have divided by the very act of awareness and now you do not know Existence. You know something which has been created by your awareness. When you reach a third point, when you are aware and not conscious of duality, fully conscious without any object, then you have reached the world of the Ultimate.
A man asleep is just like a sage; a sage is just like a man asleep - with only one difference: the man who is asleep is not aware of where he is, of what he is, and the sage is aware. But he is just like the man who is asleep because there is no division. He knows, yet without dividing Existence. One has to pass from unconscious to conscious, and then to superconscious. This is what is meant by ignorance, learning and unlearning.
We can divide it in many ways: first there is the nastik or atheist. He says there is no God: everyone is. This is the first stage. The second is that of the astik or theist who says that there is a God. And in the third stage, again there is no God. The third is the ultimate aim, when the astik again becomes a nastik.
When he was saying that there is a God he was saying that there is no God - because even to say that there is God is to create a duality. Who is the sayer? Who is to declare whom? Buddha is such a nastik. He says there is no God. This is the ultimate goal. He is just like an astik, not really a nastik. He is the most supreme theist possible. But then duality cannot be, so he cannot say that there is God. Who can say that there is God? Now only One remains, so any assertion will be a violence against the One. So Buddha remains silent, and if you insist he says there is no God.
He is simply saying this: "Now I am alone. There is no one except me. Now my existence is the only Existence; the whole Existence is now my existence." Any assertion will create a duality.
So a nastik, an atheist, has to learn to be a theist and then unlearn again. If you go on clinging to your theism, you have not reached the goal. You are just on the bridge and you are falsely believing the bridge to be the goal. So, inwardly, not only are images to be thrown - ultimately, that one of whom those images were carved is also to be thrown. First disperse God's mud images and then, ultimately, disperse God also. Only then do you become God yourself.
Then the worshipper himself becomes the worshipped. Then the lover himself becomes the beloved.
Then the seeker himself becomes the sought. Only then have you reached because now there is no further search, no further inquiry. So inwardly we will have to create many images, thought images, and then go on dispersing them.
I am reminded of Rinzai, a Zen monk. Someone was learning with him, meditating with him - a disciple. Rinzai said, "Unless you are absolutely void, nothing is attained." The disciple was a lover of Buddha, a follower of Buddha, so he was ready to throw everything from his mind, but not Buddha. He said to Rinzai. "I can throw everything, the whole world, even myself, but how can I throw Buddha? That is impossible!"
Rinzai is reported to have said that Buddha could become a Buddha because he had no Buddha inside - because there was no clinging to anything like a Buddha. That is why Gautam Siddharth could become a Buddha. "You will never be able to become that. Throw your Buddha!" Rinzai told him. The disciple entered inward. It was very arduous, very difficult, very painful. Ultimately he succeeded, and one day he came running. He was happy, very happy, filled with joy at his own attainment. He said, "Now I have attained the void."
Hearing this, Rinzai became sad and he said, "Now throw this void! Do not come here with this void within you, because even void Can be an image."
It is! When you can use a word, it becomes an image. Even when I say "void", a certain image is created in your minds. I say "emptiness", and a certain thought is created in your minds. So the word "emptiness" cannot create emptiness. The word "emptiness" creates a certain parallel image of emptiness in your minds.
So Rinzai said, "Now go and throw this void. Do not come near me with this nonsense of 'void' within you."
The disciple just couldn't understand. He said, "You yourself have been teaching me that one should attain void, and now that I have attained it you do not seem at all pleased."
Rinzai said, "You have not understood me at all, because when one attains the void he cannot say,'This is my attainment.' He cannot say,'Now I have attained the void.' He becomes the void."
Others will know about it, but he cannot say it. Others will feel it, but he cannot assert it - because the moment you assert, it becomes a concept, a word, an image.
Inwardly also, every image has to be discarded. But how can you discard if you have not created?
How can you throw something which you do not have? So remember this also because these are the two fallacies; on the path of the seeker, these are the two barriers: one, you do not have anything so you think, "Now I have discarded." But you cannot discard something which you do not have.
For example, you can say, "I have discarded Buddha" - but you never had him in the first place, so how can you discard? You can say, "I have discarded the void" - but how can you discard unless you have achieved it? If, without ever having had images, you think that because you do not have any images now you have become one with the Ultimate, you are in the first state of ignorance. You are a child, not childlike. You are ignorant, you are not a sage.
Create, then you can renounce. But one will ask, "Why create? When something is to be renounced, why create it at all?" The very effort to create enriches you. And then the second act of throwing it enriches you more.
Look at it in this way: Buddha became a beggar, so any beggar on the street can think that "I am also like Buddha because he was a beggar." And he was! And if Buddha is begging before your house and some other beggar is there, what is the difference? Both are beggars. But the difference is there in a very subtle way. Buddha is a beggar by his own effort. It is the highest thing possible when someone becomes, by his own effort, a beggar.
The other is also a beggar, but not by his own effort. He is a beggar in spite of all his efforts. When you are a beggar by your own efforts, you have become an emperor. And if you are an emperor not by your own efforts, you are a beggar. Buddha is a beggar knowing the futility of riches; the other one is a beggar not knowing the futility of riches. So the other can feel that he is a beggar, and Buddha can never feel that he is a beggar. The other will hide the fact that he is a beggar and Buddha will declare that "I am just a beggar."
These are the paradoxes of life. The real beggar will always hide the fact that he is a beggar. He will try to create a facade that he is not a beggar - that even if he is begging he is not a beggar, that circumstances are such or that a particular circumstance has created this phenomenon, but he is not a beggar. Beggars are beggars in spite of themselves and their efforts. That is why they are unhappy. Even if one is an emperor in spite of himself and his efforts, he is going to be unhappy and discontented.
Buddha calls himself a bhikkhu- a beggar. There is no hiding of the fact: he declares it. Why?
Because he is not afraid of being a beggar. Only an emperor can declare that he is a beggar. A beggar can never declare it. Buddha with his begging bowl is a sovereign; he is a king. Even kings are just beggars before him. He had something and he has discarded it. Unless you have, you cannot discard. So remember this: do not go on discarding things which you do not have.
Many of us go on thinking that we have renounced many things. Then you deceive yourself, and this deception is very costly in the inward journey. For example, Krishnamurti goes on talking about discarding images, thoughts, beliefs. Then many people listening to him will think, "This is okay. We do not have any beliefs, so we are already in that state of mind that Krishnamurti is talking about."
They are not! They are deceiving themselves.
First you must have beliefs, only then can you discard. If you do not have any beliefs, you cannot discard. If a child listens to me and I say to him that sages are childlike, that they unlearn, the child can then say, "Okay, I am already a sage. I am not going to learn. When one is going to unlearn, why this long suffering of learning? I am already a sage."
Jesus has said, "You will enter my Kingdom of God only when you are childlike." But remember the word "childlike". He never says "children" because many children die and they are not going to enter the Kingdom of God. "Childlike" - that means a second childhood, not the first childhood: a second childhood after learning, after knowing, after experiencing, after attaining and then discarding.
You cannot know the flavour of this second childhood. It is absolutely different from the first childhood. To have something and then to discard it is a new experience. So I always say that a poor man is not really poor because he does not have riches. He is poor because he cannot discard anything. That is the real poverty. He cannot throw anything, he cannot say no to anything.
That is the real poverty. When you can say no, you gain a strength.
But a poor man cannot say no. How can he say no? His whole being is saying, "Yes! Give to me."
His whole being is just a hunger. He is a starved soul. He cannot discard, he cannot throw anything, he cannot renounce. That is real poverty. Inwardly, spiritually, that is the disease.
That is why in a poor country religion cannot flower; it is impossible. A poor country can only go on deceiving itself that it is religious. In a poor country, religion is impossible. I do not say that no poor individual can be religious - individually, that is possible - but as a society, no poor society can be religious, because the poor society cannot conceive of discarding and renouncing. Only when a society is rich does renunciation become meaningful. So renunciation is the last luxury possible - the ultimate luxury. When you can renounce, that is the highest peak of luxury.
A Buddha can renounce: he is a prince; a Mahavir can renounce: he is a prince. The twenty-four teerthankers of the Jains are princes: they can renounce. Krishna and Ram can think in terms of renunciation: they are kings. But when a poor man begins to think that "If Buddha has come to the streets to beg, then I am already a Buddha because I am already begging," he is misunderstanding the whole phenomenon.
And the same applies to learning: you can renounce learning, but first learn. Many times I am talking about the stupidity of knowledge. Then those who do not know, they think, "Okay! How good it is that we do not know!" When I talk about the stupidity of knowledge, I do not mean ignorance; I mean transcendence. Knowledge becomes stupid when you have it. When you do not have it, you are not higher than knowledge. You are lower than knowledge. So when I say knowledge is stupidity, I am comparing with wisdom, not with ignorance. Otherwise you may take it to mean that your ignorance is bliss.
Before renouncing anything, be sure that you have it - only then can you renounce it. And when you can renounce something, anything, only then do you gain something through renunciation, and that which is gained is higher than that which is renounced. It is higher! That is WHY the lower can be renounced; otherwise it will be impossible to renounce. You can renounce knowledge because now you feel that wisdom is higher - not only higher, but now you also feel that knowledge is a barrier to the higher. You renounce ignorance because knowledge is higher than ignorance. If you renounce knowledge FOR ignorance, then you have misunderstood the whole point, you have missed the point.
This sutra says to disperse - but first create. First create a god, first create a god's image. What is meant by creating a god's image, or by creating a god? It is a very meaningful effort, and it changes you, it transforms you. It is not so easy as you think. When you make a mud image of Ganesh, for example, you know this is simply mud. You have given it a form; that is all. Then you worship it - a mud image created by you yourself. Then to surrender yourself to it, then to touch the feet of the god you have created, is a transformation.
It is one of the most arduous things. It is not easy, because when YOU have created it how can you worship it? When you know this is mud and nothing else, how can you worship it? This very process of worshipping will change you. And if you can worship something which you have created, only then will you come to know the worship of that which has created you.
It is difficult, it is very arduous, but it begins from there. You become humble before your own image, your own self-made image, a home-made god, and you surrender. This gives you a deep humbleness, a deep humility. And then the image is not just an image - it is transformed. You put your whole heart into it.
Really, look at the revolution that happens. You are the creator of the image, and then you worship the image as your creator. The whole thing has moved. You have become the created and the created image has become the creator. This is a total transformation of consciousness, so it is a metamorphosis. If it happens, then discard it. Then only can you know what dispersion is. If it happens, only then is there dispersion. Otherwise it was just a mud image; you worshipped it without any transformation, without any alchemical change. It was a mud image; you were just acting the worship. You knew already that this was just a formal act.
Vivekananda was speaking in an American city. He talked about a Bible principle and he quoted Jesus as saying that faith can move mountains. An old woman just sitting in the first row was overjoyed because she was always troubled by a small hillock just by the side of her house. So she thought, "If faith can move mountains, then why not that small hillock?"
So she ran home. She looked through the window at the hillock for the last time, because now the hillock was going to disappear. Then she closed the window, and thrice she said, "God, I believe in you. Remove this hillock from here." And after three times she opened the window to see that the hillock was still there. So she said, "I already knew. Nothing was going to be moved. I already knew that this was nonsense."
If you already know this is nonsense, then faith cannot move anything. Then anything is a mountain because faith means that you know that the mountain is going to move. So, really, faith can move mountains if first it moves your heart - otherwise it is impossible. You are worshipping a mud image, and you already know that this is a mud image which you have brought from the market. So it is a formality: one has to do it. And then you go and disperse it.
No! When really the mud image has become Divine, then your whole mind would like to cling to it. Then you can renounce the whole world, but you cannot renounce this image. Then suicide is easier than dispersion of this image. Then it is your heart, it is your being. Only then does the Hindu ritual say to go and disperse it.
When the real worship has happened, when the image has become Divine, then to disperse it is the greatest spiritual act, because then you are breaking your clinging to the last barrier. And when one can break this clinging to the Divine, nothing will create any attachment for him - nothing!
But this is difficult. Dispersion is easy because the whole thing was just a formality. Ask Ramakrishna to disperse his image of Kali. For him the transformation has taken place. When he was made the priest of Dakshineshwar, he was given only sixteen rupees per month. So he was a poor priest, the poorest, really, because the Dakshineshwar temple was made by a Sudra rani - a Sudra queen. No high-caste Brahmin was ready to become a priest there. No Brahmin was ready to become a priest in a temple made by a Sudra.
Ramakrishna accepted the position. Many asked him why. He was a high-caste Brahmin. Even his own family was against it. But Ramakrishna said, "I have fallen in love with the image, so it is not a question of service. Service is just an excuse so that I can enter daily. I have fallen in love."
But when a priest falls in love with the image, it creates problems. A priest should remain formal.
He is not meant for real worship. He is meant for a formal show. Whenever you are in love with something, then difficulties are bound to arise. Love is such a disturber!
Within seven days he was called by the committee - the management committee of the temple - and they said, "We are going to fire you. What are you doing? It has been repeatedly reported to us, time and time again reported to us, that you are doing many wrong things in the temple. It has been reported that before you put flowers at the feet of Kali, you smell them - before! Before putting them at the feet, you smell them! And food, the worship food: before it goes to the temple, it has been reported that you eat it - before worship! That is not possible for a religious man. What are you doing? Are you mad? The food can be taken only afterwards. If you smell the flower, it has become impure."
So Ramakrishna said, "I resign then, because it is impossible for me not to smell the flower first. It is impossible!"
"Why it is impossible?" the committee asked.
Ramakrishna said, "I know that when my mother makes something, cooks something, she first tastes it and then she gives it to me. So I cannot give any food to Mother, to Kali, without first knowing whether this is worth giving or not. And if love makes things impure, then I leave."
This man Ramakrishna will have very great difficulty in dispersion. If this Kali image is to be dispersed, it may even prove suicidal. He may die by the very shock. So remember this: this E dispersion is meaningful only when you have really worshipped. And to disperse the god then is the ultimate jump. Then you are thrown from the world of forms into the world of the Formless, because an image is a form - beautiful, holy, but still a form. Unless you go beyond form and explode into the Formless, the journey is not finished. So, inwardly, that is what is meant by dispersion.
OSHO, TOTAL CONTENTMENT IS A CONSEQUENCE OF DESIRELESSNESS, MOMENT TO MOMENT LIVING AND TOTAL FLOWERING OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS. THIS IS THE STATE OF AN ENLIGHTENED ONE. BUT A SPIRITUAL SEEKER WHO IS JUST A SEED, A POSSIBILITY TO GROW INTO THE DIVINE, IS BOUND TO PASS THROUGH SPIRITUAL ANGUISH, SPIRITUAL THIRST AND THE UNEASINESS OF THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL. THUS, A SEEKER IS BOUND TO BE IN A CONSTANT INNER DISCONTENTMENT UNLESS ENLIGHTENMENT HAPPENS.
HOW CAN A SEEKER COPE WITH THE FACT OF HIS INNER DISCONTENTMENT IN VIEW OF THE PRINCIPLE OF TOTAL CONTENTMENT?
Really, our minds move in circles - and the same thing comes up again and again in different forms, in different words, in different phrases, but the logic remains the same. For example, this second question.
There are three states of mind: one is without discontent. An animal exists without discontent; a child exists without discontent - but this is not contentment. It is only "without discontent"; it is a negative state.
Socrates has said, "Even if it is possible to be contented as a pig, I am not going to choose it. I would rather be a discontented Socrates than a contented pig." Pigs are very contented. When you look at a person and feel that he is contented, it doesn't mean that he is a sage. He may be just a pig. A life without discontent is not necessarily a spiritual life. It may be just that the man is foolish, because to feel discontent one needs intelligence.
Look at the eyes of the cows: no discontent, but no intelligence either. Look at the eyes of idiots:
they are cow-like, no discontent! Why? Because discontent is part of intelligence. When you think, you are bound to worry. When you think, you are bound to think of the future. When you think, many alternatives become apparent. One has to choose, and with choice comes anxiety, with choice comes repentance, with choice comes trembling. The more intelligent you are, the more discontented you are.
But this sutra says, "Total contentment": that is the third state. The first is without discontent, the second is with discontent, the third is again without discontent - but the third means contentment. It is positive. If you are intelligent, you will be discontented. But if you are really totally intelligent, you will pass through it, you will go beyond it, because ultimately your intelligence will show you the path; it will bring you the fact. You will be brought by your intelligence to know this fact that discontent is futile, useless. It is not that you won't be capable of discontent - you will be capable of it - but the very phenomenon of discontent becomes useless: it drops. So by "total contentment", this third state is meant.
Look at some examples: Buddha is not a contented man. A contented man is not going to leave his palace, he is not going to leave his wife, he is not going to leave everything. Buddha left everything that he had - not only outward things, but inward things also. He went from one teacher to another for six years continuously. He would go to one teacher and then move again. With every teacher, whatsoever was to be learned, he would learn it, and then he would ask for more.
Then the teacher would say, "Please, now forgive me. I cannot show you anything more. This is all I can show you and you have achieved it."
But Buddha would say, "I am not contented yet. My fire is burning, my uneasiness remains the same, my longing is as alive as ever. Whatsoever you have said, I have followed it completely, but nothing has happened. So tell me if something more is to be learned."
Then the teacher would say, "Now you move; go to someone else. And if you gain something more than this, please remember to tell me."
So he moved continuously from one teacher to another for six years. He didn't leave any stone unturned. He visited all the teachers, both known and unknown, and then he became "teacherless".
It was a long learning with teachers, then he became teacherless. Then he said, "Now I have come to a point where I have learned all that can be learned from others, and yet the discontent remains.
So now I am going to be my own teacher, and there is no other way."
You can become your own teacher only when you have met many, many teachers and followed them. Only meeting will not do. When you have followed them and still your discontent remains, only then. Otherwise, listening to Krishnamurti you feel, "Okay! No teacher is needed. I am already a teacher." You are deceiving. A moment comes when no teacher can help, but that moment comes only through a long line of teachers - and that, too, not just by meeting and listening to them, but by following them.
Then Buddha said, "Now no one can help me. I am helpless, so I will try on my own." And he tried, and that was a long effort. He did whatsoever came to his mind. It was an effort into the unknown, so everything was uncharted: no guide, no teacher. Whatsoever came into his mind he would try.
He tried long fasts. He became just a bundle of bones. He was just on the verge of death when it occurred to him, "I am simply killing myself. This is not going to help. I have been simply starving myself."
After taking a bath in the Niranjana, he was trying to come to the shore, but he was so weak and the current was so strong that he was taken by the current. Flowing in that current, clinging to a root of a tree, he thought, "I have become so helpless and weak through this starvation, and if I cannot pass over this small river, how am I going to pass over the infinite river of Existence?" One day he reached a point where no teacher could be of any help. Then another time he reached to a point where no effort could be helpful. He thought, "I cannot do anything."
That night he achieved Nirvana. In the evening he relaxed under a tree. There was nothing to do now - nothing to do! Others' minds proved useless; his own mind also proved useless. Now what to do? Where to move? Every movement stopped. There was nothing to do any more, so he relaxed under the tree.
For the first time, after many, many years, he slept - because if there is any desire, sleep is not possible. You can dream, but you cannot sleep. So we are simply dreaming, not sleeping. Sleep is a very deep phenomenon. Either animals sleep or sages. For man, it is not meant to be. Man dreams.
Buddha slept for the first time, because there was nothing to do - no future, no desire. no goal, no possibility of anything. Everything dropped that evening. Only simple consciousness remained - the consciousness of a child who was not a child: "childlike" consciousness, simple, but attained through long learning and effort.
He slept well. He is reported to have said that that night's sleep was a miracle. He must have become one with the tree, with the river, with the night, because when there is no dream, there is no division. What is the division between you and this tree you are sleeping under if there is no dream?
Then there is no periphery, no boundary. In the morning, at just five o'clock, the last star was setting.
He opened his eyes. Those eyes must have been like a lotus.
When you open your eyes in the morning, they are burdened, heavily burdened by the night's dreaming. They are tired. Do you know that eyes have to work in dreams much more than they work in the daytime? When you are seeing a film, your eyes go on moving continuously with the film. That is why, after three hours of seeing a film, your eyes are totally tired. You do not even blink; you forget to blink. You are so excited, and you have to move so fast. And if nothing is to be missed, you cannot blink. So in a film, you are not blinking. Your eyes are just following madly - running.
The same happens in the night on a deeper level. The whole night you are dreaming. Your eyes are moving.
Now psychologists can decode your eye movements from without. They call it "rapid eye movement - REM." They can feel your eye movements and they can tell what type of dream you are dreaming.
If it is a sexual dream, then the eyes move faster than in any other dream - the fastest. You are so excited, and your eyes can reveal it. So now even dreams are not a private thing. Your wife can just put her fingers on your eyes and feel what you are doing in your dream. Are you seeing some woman? Your eyes show fast, rapid movements.
Buddha slept, but we dream. In the morning our eyes are tired from a whole night's work, so we have to open our eyes. That is why I say "lotus-like". A lotus never has to open itself: it just opens.
The sun has risen and the lotus opens. That is why we call Buddha's eyes "lotus-like". The eyes opened because the night was over, the sleep was over. He was emerging, revitalized from deep inner sources without dreams, for the first time.
If your sleep is without dreams, it becomes meditation. It is just like Samadhi. So he was coming out of a deep Samadhi, a deep inner ecstasy. He saw the last star setting. And with the disappearance of the last star, everything of this world disappeared. He became Enlightened. Then later on he was asked, "By what effort did you attain?" He said, "With no effort." But then there is the possibility of misunderstanding. Of course, he is right that he attained with no effort. But how did he attain the "no-effort"? With a long effort! That must not be forgotten.
He is reported to have said, "I attained the Ultimate when there was no desire to attain it even." But how did he attain this no-desire to attain the Ultimate? Through a long discontent - a discontent of lives together. Buddha said, "I have struggled for many, many lives, but through that struggle nothing was attained." But this is not a small thing. This feeling that "through effort nothing is attained" is a great attainment, because now something becomes possible without effort. Now only does something become possible with contentment.
So the first state is without discontent; that is an animal state. In it one is unaware of the problems life creates, unaware of the problem that life is - blissfully unaware, but ignorant. It is a deep unconsciousness. Then the second state comes: discontent bursts forth. All that was blissful in unconsciousness disappears. Everything becomes a puzzle and a problem, and everything takes the shape of struggle, conflict, and everything has to be achieved through effort - long effort. And then, too, it is not certain that you will achieve it. Then a world of anxiety surrounds you. You live in anxiety; you become an anxiety.
Kierkegaard has said that man is anxiety. He is! An animal is not anxiety, but man is anxiety! A sage like Lao Tzu or Buddha is, again, no-anxiety. These two no-anxieties - animal-like and Buddhalike - are absolutely different, qualitatively different. One has to pass through anxiety to gain again a state of no-anxiety.
So discontent is not disallowed, discontent is not condemned. But discontent cannot be allowed to be the ultimate state. Discontent is not the goal!
So this sutra means to go beyond discontent. Do not cling to it. It is a passage; one has to pass through it. But one should pass: one should not remain in it. Always remember this, because many questions will come up in your mind.
You think that these questions are different. Chuang Tzu has said somewhere that it is very difficult to ask different questions. We go on asking one and the same question, without feeling, without being aware, that the question is the same. Again and again it takes shape: only the shape is different, the words are different. But why does this happen? This happens because the question is not significant: the questioner is significant because the questioner remains the same. If you answer one question he will create another, but the question will be the same because the questioner remains the same. He will ask the same thing from a different angle. A slight change in the angle, and he will feel that now this is a new question. This is not a new question! Why does this happen?
Because questions are not significant. The mind that asks is significant. Why does it ask?
I have heard about one man who married a girl of his choice. He was in love, and then within six months the love evaporated and life became a hell. So he thought, "I have chosen the wrong woman." Anyone will think that way; that is how the mind works. He did not think that "I am a wrong chooser - I have chosen this woman, no one else." It was not an arranged marriage. When marriages are arranged, you have a consolation that you were not the chooser. Your father made the mistake or your mother or someone else - some astrologer. But when you are the chooser, then the real difficulty comes.
America is facing the real difficulty. No one is at fault. you have chosen. Then the mind begins to play a trick. It says, "The woman was wrong. She deceived. That was not her real face. Now the real face has come up."
So this man divorced. He married again, and within three months the same thing began to happen again. The woman was different, but deeply she was the same because the chooser was the same.
He married and divorced continuously eight times, and then it dawned upon him that every time the same woman turns UP - the same woman! Why? The chooser is the same. How can you choose someone else? The choice is the same.
You fall again in the same trap - because if you like particular eyes you will choose again those particular eyes. And those particular eyes, like a particular gesture, belong to a particular type of person. That particular gesture belongs to a particular type of person - just like a particular laugh.
That particular laugh cannot be laughed by anyone and everyone. That shape of lips, that gesture, those eyes. that laugh, they belong to a particular mind. You are again choosing the same person.
So you only go on changing names, and again and again the same person turns up because you remain the same. So unless you divorce yourself, no divorce is possible - and no one is ready to divorce himself. When one begins to think of divorcing oneself, spirituality begins. So the question is the same.
The three states of mind are to be remembered always, and the first and the last appear alike. If you are thinking in terms of the first and second, then the second is to be chosen. Then the second is worthwhile to be chosen. Then discard the first. Discard childhood, discard ignorance, discard that blissful unawareness of discontent. Choose discontent. Be adult. Choose struggle.
But when I say "choose", it is a relative statement against the first state. When I say "discard the second", it is for the third. So I will say use the staircase to come up, then leave the staircase. But our so-called logical minds will say, "If one is going to leave the staircase, then why take the trouble?
Do not go up; do not go upon it at all. Remain where you are. Why travel? Why go when one has to leave?" But if the same mind is pushed, forced, then he will go. Then I will tell him, "Now leave the staircase," but he will ask, "Why? After so much effort, after so many difficulties, now I cannot leave this staircase!"
To reach a higher state, you have to go through passages and then leave them, to use staircases then leave them. And every step is a step only when you take it and leave it. If any step becomes a clinging, it is not a step: it has become a stone - a blocking stone. So it depends on you. You can change blocking stones into steps, and you can change your steps into blocking stones. It depends on how you behave.
Remember this: everything that is to be used will have to be dispersed; everything that is used as a device will have to be discarded. But in the very process of using, one becomes attached. It happens like this: you are ill and you take a certain medicine. The illness may disappear, but then the medicine will create a problem. Then it is difficult to leave the medicine. So medicine can prove a greater disease, a bigger disease, because one becomes accustomed. And then one begins to think, "This medicine helped me to go beyond disease, so this is a friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed, so how to leave the friend?"
Now you are turning your friend into a foe. Now this medicine will become a disease. You win need another medicine - an antidote. But then it is a vicious circle. You go on being attached to other things. Mind works in circles and goes on and on in the same rut. Remember this: if a thorn is there in your foot it can be removed by another thorn, but the second thorn is not to be put in the wound again just because it is friendly and because it has helped you. But we go on doing this. We cling to the second thorn without knowing that the second thorn is as much a thorn as the first one. It may even be stronger - that is why it helped you pull out the first - so it may prove even more fatal. Do not substitute. When one thing is finished, let it be finished. Do not create a chain.
It is difficult, arduous, but not impossible. With awareness it becomes easy. And do not believe in the mind too much. But remember, first you have to be a mind. First create a mind, but do not believe in it too much. Be logical, but be open. Life needs logic, but life is not logic alone. It goes beyond.
Mulla Nasrudin was serving in a house, in a rich man's house. But Nasrudin was a difficult man, very logical, and logical men are very difficult.
The master said one day, "Nasrudin, it is too much! I do not think there is any necessity to go to the market three times for three eggs. You are too mathematical, too logical, and I do not think I can convince you. But there is no need to go to the market three times for three eggs! You can bring them all at once - one time is enough!" Nasrudin agreed to reform.
When the master fell ill, he said to Nasrudin, "Go and bring a doctor."
Nasrudin went, and he came back with a hoard, with many people, a crowd. The master asked, "Where is the doctor?"
Nasrudin said, "I have brought the doctor and all the others also."
The master asked, "Who are all these others?"
So he said, "One is an allopath. If he fails, I have brought one ayurveda man. If he also fails, there is one homeopath. If he also fails, then there are many others. And if everything fails, then these four men are here with the last man: the undertaker - to carry you out of the house." This mind is logical, legal, but also stupid.
Mulla Nasrudin was the only man in his village who could read and write. One day one yokel came and asked him to write a letter. So he wrote a letter, and when the letter was complete the yokel asked, "Now please read it, Mulla, so I can be sure that nothing is left out."
It was very difficult, because even for Mulla Nasrudin to read his script by himself was a very difficult feat. So he said, "Now you are creating problems."
He tried; he looked at the scrawl. He could read only, "My dear brother," and then he said, "Now everything becomes confused."
So the man said, "This is terrible, Nasrudin. If you cannot read it, then who will read it?"
Nasrudin said, "That is not our business. Our business is to write. Now let them read. It is their business. Moreover, the letter is not addressed to me, so how can I read it? It is illegal."
Logic, legality, they have their own stupidities. They are good compared to ignorance; they are stupid compared to higher things. Mulla Nasrudin's stupidities are apparent, but they are all human stupidities. When stupidities are apparent, they are not dangerous. When they are not apparent, they are dangerous.
Remember this: mind cannot help you to go beyond itself. It can help you to go beyond ignorance.
It cannot help you to go beyond itself. And unless you go beyond it, there is no wisdom.