There is no Ladder
The first question:
EVERY DAY YOU TALK ABOUT THE 'EARTH' AND ABOUT THE 'SKY' - ABOUT THE POTENTIAL AND ABOUT THE ULTIMATE. BUT WHAT IS THE 'LADDER' IN BETWEEN? WHAT IS THE PROCESS THAT HAPPENS IN BETWEEN? WHY DO YOU NOT TALK ABOUT THE 'LADDER'?
The ladder exists not. There is no ladder. There is no in between. There is not any gap, it is all one. The earth and sky are not disconnected. They are already joined together. They are in a deep union, communion. The very idea of the ladder arises because we have been taught that there is a gap between this world and the other. There is none. It has not to be bridged. The other shore is in this shore. You are not to go anywhere, you are not to do anything. The potential is actual, and the first step is the last step. But the mind boggles down, the mind cannot conceive it. Mind always wants to have steps, ladders.
Mind can cope with a ladder, mind cannot cope with a quantum leap. Mind can cope with evolution, mind cannot cope with revolution. That's why mind is never revolutionary; it is always orthodox, it is always conventional. Mind cannot be revolutionary by its very nature.
You have been taught again and again that the body and soul are two, that God and the world are two. And you have been taught that you have to find God against the world, you have to go beyond the world to find God.
I am giving you a totally new message you are not to go beyond, you are to go within. The beyond is within, and the within is the beyond. All is herenow. In this very moment the whole existence is present in all its possibilities. It is only a shift of consciousness, not a ladder. It is a change of gestalt, not a ladder. Nothing changes, all remains the same - just a leap happens within you. Suddenly you start seeing things which you were not seeing but they were already present; they have always been present.
Have you looked in some gestalt psychology books? - there are pictures. A famous picture is one picture where there is an old woman, and also, hidden in the same lines, is a young woman. You can see the old woman; if you go on looking and looking and looking, suddenly a moment will come and the consciousness will shift to another gestalt and you will start seeing the young woman. If you go on looking at the young woman long enough, suddenly something will change and you will start seeing the old woman again. When you have seen both and you know perfectly well that both are there, even then you cannot see both together. Because the old woman consists of the same lines, the young woman also consists of the same lines, you can see only one at one time. At another time you can see the other, but you cannot see both together, simultaneously.
If you see the world, you cannot see God, that's true - but God is not opposite to the world, it is just another gestalt. If you see God the world disappears. It doesn't mean that you have transcended the world. It is the same world, just your vision has made a new gestalt. That's why you will find it again and again, down the ages, Charavakara, Epicurus, Karl Marx - all the materialists of the world say that only matter exists, consciousness is a by-product, an epi-phenomenon. Consciousness is illusory, the real thing is matter: this is one gestalt. They are not wrong.
Then there is another tradition: Shankara, Vedantins, Berkeley, they say the world exists not, only God is, only consciousness is. Matter is illusory, MAYA. They are also not wrong; that is another gestalt - but no one is absolutely true either.
The real man of understanding will say that God can be looked at as the world, the world can be looked at as God.
William James is reported to have said, "Mind is one way in which the world is assembled and things put together; matter is another" - just ways of putting and assembling things together. Neither does matter exist against mind, nor does mind exist against matter. You are body - this is a gestalt; you are soul - that is another gestalt. There is no ladder in between, because these are two gestalts.
Remember the picture again: is there a ladder between the old woman and the young woman?
There is no ladder because they consist of the same lines. Nothing changes, the picture remains the same and you don't go anywhere... but a shift, a flick in consciousness. You see things in one way, you assemble things in one way, then you see things in another way, you assemble things in another way. Neither are materialists right, absolutely right - they are not, they are partially true; nor are Vedantins right - they are partially true. They both suffer from partiality. That's why their argument can continue forever, it will never be decisive.
Just think of two persons arguing: "In this picture there is a young woman", and another man says "There is an old woman." They can go on arguing forever because they have partial truth, and it can never be decisive. They will never be able to commune with each other, they will never be able to understand what the other is saying, because how can one who has seen the young woman believe that the old woman exists there in the picture? and vice versa. The materialist and the spiritualist go on arguing.
I am neither. I am simply saying to you that which is. Both exist, but both are not separate. We call them two because we can see them in two ways.
You ask me about the ladder - there is no ladder. I am not proposing any gradual, slow progress for you here. That's how you have lived for many lives: thinking that gradually, gradually, slowly, slowly, you will attain. If you see my point you attain right now!
But you are looking for a ladder.
Somebody has asked, "OSHO, THESE TALKS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON SUFISM, BUT YOU ARE NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT SUFISM. YOU ARE SAYING MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS BUT THEY ARE NOT SUFISM."
I am not talking about Sufism, that is true. I talk Sufism, not ABOUT Sufism! I am a Sufi, so whatsoever I say is Sufism. I am not giving you steps to move to the beyond, I am simply making my own experience available to you. I am simply sharing my being with you. This is not a message, it is a sharing. It is not a teaching, it is imparting. Being with me can reveal to you that nothing has to be achieved, that all goals are false, that all is already achieved.
I don't want you to BECOME enlightened. I declare that you are enlightened! But you are not courageous enough; you say, "How can I be enlightened? I will have to wait. Some day I will become enlightened." You are so cowardly - that's why you need time even to recognize your Godhood. You have condemned yourself so much that you cannot conceive that you can be a God. Because you cannot conceive that you can be a God, you cannot conceive how Buddha can be a God, how Christ can be a God.
When Christ declares "I am God", he's simply saying to you "You are God. Look! I have the courage to declare. You also participate. See the point. I am as much of the flesh as you are, I am as much the body as you are." There is nothing special about Christ; the only special thing is his courage.
Otherwise he is just like you. I am just like you; the only thing is that I respect myself and you don't respect yourself, I love myself and you don't love yourself.
You are also very suspicious. That's why I call myself Bhagwan. There are questions: "Why?"
Because I am! And you are also, but you are not courageous. This Buddhafield is being created so that you can gather courage, so that you can become bold, so that you can say things as they are and you can see things as they are.
I'm not supplying you with any ladder. You would like it very much, because then you can postpone.
I am simply saying to you, jump... and be! Have a quantum leap!
There are not stations between you and God. The moment you are concentrated in your courage, suddenly the gestalt changes - God is revealed in millions of forms. And the moment you become God, the whole existence becomes God. If somebody says "I am God and you are not God", then he is a cheat, he is a charlatan, he is playing a game, he is on an ego-trip.
The second question:
SINCE RETURNING TO POONA TWO WEEKS AGO I FEEL MYSELF BECOMING ATTACHED TO YOU. BEFORE, I NEVER GAVE MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW LONG YOU WOULD REMAIN IN YOUR BODY AND NOW I AM WANTING YOU TO STAY A LONG TIME. I AM THINKING OF YOU IN MY FUTURE AS I HAVE WITH SO MANY OF MY OTHER ATTACHMENTS. I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THE DESIRE TO BE IN YOUR PHYSICAL PRESENCE RATHER THAN FEEL YOU WITH ME IN THE WEST. IS THIS A STEP A DISCIPLE GOES THROUGH IN COMING CLOSER TO A MASTER, OR IS SOMETHING GOING WRONG THAT I NEED BE AWARE OF?
Sambodhi, to be attached to me is the beginning of disciplehood. And this is not the kind of attachment that you have known before. Those attachments were a kind of bondage. You were attached to your chains, now you are becoming attached to freedom. To be attached to a Master is to be in love, to fall in love with freedom.
A Master is one who makes freedom available to you. Be attached; don't be worried. Just because of the word don't be deceived, don't think that you have known this attachment before. All those attachments were just on the way: they come and they go, they are momentary. This attachment will not go. You will go before this attachment. You will disappear. This attachment is going to kill you, to destroy you, to annihilate you. All those other attachments were not to annihilate you, they were to strengthen you. You fall in love with a man or a woman and you are attached, very much attached, because it enhances your ego. It gives you a sense of significance - you are somebody.
You are attached to money because money enhances your ego. You are attached to power, respect, respectability, knowledge, because all those things give you a sense that you ARE.
To be attached to a Master is to commit suicide.
This is the right beginning, Sambodhi. Now you are really turning into a disciple, and I know this is happening.
Sambodhi has come here accidentally. She has come because of Amitabh, she has been in deep attachment with Amitabh. When Amitabh moved here, she came. Amitabh became a sannyasin so she became a sannyasin. But she was joined to me through Amitabh. Now, for the first time, I have seen the glimpse in her eyes that she is approaching me directly. Hence, this problem of attachment is arising. But this attachment is to something vast, something enormous - you will be lost in it.
This is new, radically new, and fear will arise, and the mind may rationalize that this is again an attachment. And the mind has never been against other attachments, remember. The mind was never afraid of other attachments, the mind was really always FOR attachments. Now, for the first time, the mind will say, "What are you doing? You are getting into attachment." Now the mind will become a saint and sermonize to you that "This is attachment. Don't get into this attachment.
Beware, you are falling into a trap."And this mind has never said this same thing to you. In fact it was always taking you into deeper attachments. Mind exists through attachments.
Now this is a totally different kind of attachment - mind is afraid. The mind will say, "If you take this step, then this will be suicidal." The mind will create new rationalizations, philosophize.
Sambodhi, you say, "Since returning to Poona two weeks ago...." It is not only that you have become aware. Two weeks ago when you came here and when I saw you for the first time, I had seen your eyes: they are turning towards me for the first time without Amitabh in between. This is a good sign.
Now you have REALLY become a sannyasin. Now the initiation is happening. The first time it was so-so. I had initiated you because I knew the potential. I had seen the potential, that sooner or later you would fall in love with me, so for the time being, hang around. Any excuse would do - Amitabh is a beautiful excuse.
And this will be helpful to Amitabh too, because he will be unburdened. He wanted deeply that Sambodhi should be directly related to me, not through him. He was feeling a little embarrassed.
He w ill be happy that the thing has happened.
Now don't hesitate.
"SINCE RETURNING TO POONA TWO WEEKS AGO I FEEL MYSELF BECOMING ATTACHED TO YOU. BEFORE I NEVER GAVE MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW LONG YOU WOULD REMAIN IN YOUR BODY AND NOW I AM WANTING YOU TO STAY A LONG TIME."
Disciplehood is born.
And the Master is not only his soul, he is his body too. And when you come close to the Master, the first thing that starts changing you is his body. You will be surprised to know this, I have never said it before: his very matter starts changing your matter. His very matter becomes contagious.
Your soul will be changed later on, it cannot be changed in the beginning. Things have to move from the outer towards the inner, from the exterior towards the interior. First the temple has to be changed, only then the deity. So there is naturally a deep attachment with the Master's body. It is not just accidental that many Master's bodies have been protected down the ages. In Tibet they have protected ninety-nine bodies down the ages. The very matter, the very body where enlightenment has been recognized and has happened, transforms its quality. It vibrates in a new rhythm. To be close to it is to be permeated by its vibration. To touch the body of the Master is to partake of his body. That is why Jesus says, "Eat me, drink me."
A Master has to be eaten, drunk. A Master has to be digested, chewed, so he enters into the deepest matter of your being. The body is the beginning and the beginning has to be transformed.
Only a transformed body will know a transformed being. Only in a different rhythm of the body will you know God, because the gestalt will change.
So it is very natural that disciples become attached to the body of their Master. Even when the Master is gone the body will be worshipped. Just a hair of Mohammed is kept in Shrinagar, in a mosque - just a single hair! - and it has tremendous effect on those who know how to be in the presence of that single hair because that single hair has the same vibe as Mohammed. It continues to vibrate in the same way. It contains the subtlest message: the real Koran is contained in that hair.
The tree under which Buddha became enlightened has been preserved for twenty-five centuries, because the tree has a different vibe. No other tree in the whole world has that vibe. It is unique, it has seen something happening. When Buddha was transformed, naturally the tree absorbed all those vibrations. It drank. Those vibrations penetrated into the very fibers of the tree. The tree still vibrates in the same way. Still, to sit under the Bodhi Tree is a tremendous experience - but only if you know. If you are aware and alert and in love with Buddha, then the secret of the tree will be revealed to you.
Even while a Master is alive only those who are perceptive, feel; but those who are really perceptive go on feeling even when the Master is gone. Any small thing from the Master's body - the room in which he lived, the tree under which he became enlightened - has some quality, something of the beyond.
Enlightenment is as contagious as any disease. And when a great Master exists the disease starts taking epidemic proportions. You are not here just to hear me, because that you can do by reading books, by listening to the tapes. You are here to partake of my being, you are here to partake of the matter that has become transformed with me. So it is a natural desire, nothing wrong in it.
"BEFORE I NEVER GAVE MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW LONG YOU WOULD REMAIN.... "
You were not concerned with me, now you are concerned. You were not involved with me, now you are involved. You were not committed to me, now you are committed. Now somehow my destiny is going to be your destiny too.
"NOW I AM WANTING YOU TO STAY A LONG TIME."
If you need me... even if a single person needs me I will be staying a long time. It will depend on your need. How much you need me, that much I can stay. My own needs are fulfilled, I can go any moment. There is nothing more left. All that has to be done has been done and all that has to be experienced has been experienced. I am fulfilled. This moment I am ready to go, or the next moment any moment is perfectly okay now.
But if you need me, your very need will sustain me in the body. If you desire me and my presence, if your thirst is strong enough, that can keep me in the body. ONLY that can keep me. My own roots in the body are no longer there. But your need, your desires, your longing, your search for truth - if it is strong enough, big enough, it is possible for me to stay long enough. It all depends on you.
So don't be worried that you are falling into some wrong kind of desire. This is absolutely natural.
"I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THE DESIRE TO BE IN YOUR PHYSICAL PRESENCE RATHER THAN FEEL YOU WITH ME IN THE WEST."
There is no problem; then just be here, Sambodhi. I am creating this Buddhafield for all those who need to be with me, who want to be not only spiritually connected with me but materially too. I am a material spiritualist, or a spiritual hedonist. Any paradox will do to describe me.
The third question:
YOU SPOKE TODAY OF LOVE AND DEATH AND THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCING LOVE TO PASS CONSCIOUSLY INTO DEATH. I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED DEEP LOVE, ONLY SUPERFICIAL ATTACHMENTS. I DO NOT LOVE EVEN MYSELF SO HOW CAN I LOVE ANOTHER? I KNOW THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO REGARDING THIS IMPASSE AS THERE IS A SEASON FOR ALL THINGS AND AT THE RIGHT TIME WHAT IS NEEDED HAPPENS. IS THERE ANYTHING MORE I CAN DO THAN WAIT?
First, don't console yourself. Consolation is not the way to real understanding. It is true that there is nothing that you can do, but this can be just a consolation, a kind of defeatism. Then it is untrue.
Even a truth can be used as a lie; it all depends on you. This is just in your mind: "What can I do?
So I have to wait." But your waiting will be impotent because it will be out of a kind of defeatism, out of a kind of pessimism.
There is another kind of waiting which is not impotent, a waiting which is aflame, a waiting which is passionate, a waiting which is prayerful, a waiting which does not come as a consolation but comes as an understanding.
What is understanding? Understanding is: "I cannot do on my own, but God can do through me." And any time is the right time, and any season is the right season. There are not seasons when enlightenment happens, just as it happens that in the spring all flowers bloom. If there were seasons when enlightenment happened, then many people would have become enlightened when Buddha became enlightened, then many people would have become enlightened when I became enlightened. There are not seasons. As far as enlightenment is concerned, it is always spring, it is always the right season. But why is it not happening to you?
And I say waiting is the only thing that can be done - but remember, it has to be a waiting full of prayer, full of longing, of a great intensity; not impotent, not lethargic; waiting with a very, very active energy, not just passivity. And these are two different kinds of waitings.
When you wait for your beloved there is not passivity: you are all aflame, you are full of energy. In fact you are never so full of energy as when you are waiting for your beloved. You are all awareness.
Just a dead leaf moves in the wind on the road, and you rush, and you open the door - "Maybe she has come?" A postman passes by and his footsteps are heard, and you run - "Maybe she has come!" Everything, every sound, becomes her sound. The wind comes and knocks on the door, and you run - "So she has come!" It is not lethargy, you are not lying down on your bed. You are very, very actively waiting.
My feeling is that the questioner is in a kind of defeatism, pessimism, lethargy. If you are waiting in lethargy it will not happen. Then no season is spring.
The energy has to be totally there, vibrating, pulsating, streaming - and yet you are waiting, you are not doing anything. What can you do? What can be done? Man as himself is tiny, but man can pray, man can cry and weep.
Let your waiting be full of tears, let your waiting be full of prayers. Let your waiting be not just passive but immensely, intensely active. That is the doing that is needed. You will have to make the distinction very clearly.
The real opposition is not between waiting and doing. The real opposition is between active waiting and passive waiting. Active waiting and passive waiting are the enemies. Doing and non-doing are not the enemies.
You say, "YOU SPOKE TODAY OF LOVE AND DEATH AND THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCING LOVE TO PASS CONSCIOUSLY INTO DEATH. I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED DEEP LOVE - ONLY SUPERFICIAL ATTACHMENTS."
The reason may be that because you called those attachments superficial, that's why you have not been able to experience deep love. You condemned. To call anything superficial is to prevent yourself from going deeply into it. Nobody wants to go into anything superficial. But the word is significant. What does superficial mean? It simply means that you are just touching the surface of it. If you go deep into it, it will become deep. Every superficiality has a depth in it, otherwise it would not be superficial either. The surface of the ocean is possible only because the depth of the ocean is there. The surface contains the depth and the depth cannot be there without the surface. Just see the point.
Anything superficial can become deep, it depends on you; and anything deep can remain superficial, that too depends on you. And people have been taught to condemn all superficial things. That's why they are debarred from experiencing the depth of life. Everything is superficial. You fall in love with a woman - this is superficial. You have a friendship - that is superficial. You love flowers - that is superficial, because flowers are momentary. And your religions go on saying, "Search for the eternal. Don't fall in love with the momentary." And the momentary contains the eternal! The moment is eternity. Because the wave contains the ocean, if you condemn the wave you will never know what the ocean is.
Drop condemnations. Forget all these words - superficial, momentary, temporal, worldly - these are all dangerous words. Once you start using them, once you get accustomed to them, you are prevented from every depth. It is like you condemn the door: you say, "A door is a door. I am in search of the temple." But wherever you will go you will find the door first, and then the temple. And you are against the door, so you go on moving and you never reach any temple. The door belongs to the temple. It is as divine as the deity within.
Learn to respect the momentary and soon the eternal will knock on your doors. Love the superficial too! Love the physical too! Be sensuous, be sexual. Don't condemn, because these are the doors.
Only through these doors will you enter into something which is non-sexual, non-sensuous. This is the mystery of life: that sensuality leads to non-sensuality, sexuality leads to non-sexuality. The body leads into soul, and the world becomes the door to the divine, to God.
"I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED," you say, "DEEP LOVE."
How can you experience deep love? First, all that you experience you call superficial. Second, you have not experienced deep love but you must have some idea what a deep love is supposed to be - a perfectionist ideal that deep love has to be 'like this'. And you will never find it, because in life everything is mixed. In life the sky and the earth are mixed: you will never find pure sky and you will never find pure earth either. You will be surprised to know that all the great religions spread into the world by the same routes from where all great epidemics spread; the same routes have been followed by religions too. The same route that the plague spreads by is the route Christianity moves on. But you cannot condemn just because the same route has been followed.
Everything is mixed in life. You have to learn that life has a multiplicity in it, and you have to start decoding different things in life. Decode the surface and you will reach to the profound depth. Get into the body and how long can you avoid the soul? People have great ideas about love, how love should be; they have impossible ideals about love. Then they cannot fulfill that ideal and they feel condemned.
Drop all ideals of love. You don't know what love is! All that you know you call superficial, and all that you don't know you gather from poets and philosophers - who may have gathered from other poets and from other philosophers, and this goes on and on. You don't know what profound love is.
You know the superficial. So it is perfectly good, for the moment. Go into the superficial, go totally into it, and by going totally into it you will come across the deep, the profound. And then you will be surprised that it has NO connection with the ideals that people are carrying. It is so indefinable that no definition has ever been just and fair to it. And it is so mysterious that no explanation is possible.
It cannot be reduced to any theory. Accept the ordinary; the extraordinary is hidden in it.
And your waiting seems to be just a dull, passive, dead waiting, a kind of great lethargy. God will not happen, this is not the waiting for God. Only death will happen. Out of this kind of waiting only death happens, nothing else.
And don't postpone, don't play games. These are mind games.
You say, "I KNOW THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO...."
How do you know? How do you know that nothing can be done? Have you done ALL that can be done? Have you come to this point by your own experience, that nothing can be done? Then you would not have asked the question: "Is there anything more I can do than wait?" You are still searching to do something. This is not your experience; there is still some desire to do. There is something still groping in the dark, but you are consoling yourself that "There is a season for all things and at the right time what is needed happens."
This is cliche. Drop it. You have heard it repeated too often, it has entered into your mind. This is just consoling yourself. This consolation will become poison. This is a way for the mind to postpone.
The mind never wants to get into anything - it only desires, it lives in desiring. In fact if what it desires happens the mind is immediately frustrated with it.
There is a beautiful poem of Rabindranath Tagore:
"I searched for God for many, many lives, and I saw Him always far away, somewhere passing by the side of a star. And my longing became greater and greater and greater, and I searched and searched. And I was very happy in my search, immensely happy in my search. Then one day it happened: I reached the house where God lived. I read the nameplate. I was thrilled, I was all joy - so I have arrived! I was just going to knock on the door, then the mind said, "Wait a minute. Think about it twice. You may really find Him there. Then what? If He is really there, then what will you do? How will you live? You live through desire for Him, you live through desire. You are a seeker, a searcher; that is the only way you know how to be. If you have found Him you will be stuck. Then what will you do?'" And Rabindranath said, "I really became frightened. All joy disappeared." Yes, this was something very, very important to be considered - "If I knock on the door and He opens the door and embraces me, then what? Then where do I go from there? Then I am stuck in His embrace And He may be beautiful, but that is the end of me and my world and the ways that I have always known, and it has been so beautiful searching and seeking." He says, "I took my shoes off my feet and carried them in my hands down the staircase because I was afraid He might hear the noise, 'Somebody is there,' and He might open without my knocking. Then I escaped, and I ran as fast as I have ever run before. Since then I have been running from Him, and I don't look back. I have again started searching and again started asking people 'Where is God?' And I again see Him sometimes, somewhere there, far away in the stars. I start searching and I go on searching, and all the time I know where He lives so I avoid that house. I go everywhere else."
Mind exists in desiring. And the best way to continue desire is to lie down in a deep lethargy and wait for the right season to come. It never comes - because the right season is always there. Only when you are intensely aflame does it come; otherwise it is there. When you are aflame, when you become spring, you are immediately in contact with the spring which is eternally present. Don't be lethargic.
I have heard....
The frogs who had been out on the tiles were suffering from a terrific hangover. "Oh dear," remarked one, "I wish we had some aspirin." At that moment a tortoise who had ambled by overheard his remarks and said, "I say, you fellows, I will go down to the village and get you some aspirin, if it will be of any help."
"Ah, my dear fellow, would you really? That's most kind of you to offer," replied the frog. And the tortoise started off.
Well after about two weeks there was no sign of any aspirin or the return of the tortoise. So one frog said to the other, "I say, do you think that tortoise can be relied upon? He has been gone an awfully long time."
At this remark the tortoise, who had been having a quiet rest behind a boulder, said, "If you speak like that behind my back, I jolly well won't go and get that aspirin. So there!"
You can live in a kind of lethargy for ever and ever; nothing will happen to you. And I am not saying that God does not happen to those who wait. He happens only to those who wait! but waiting has a different quality. Waiting has to be aflame, only then does God happen. Every fiber of your being should be awake, alert: any moment it is going to happen, how can you fall asleep?
Jesus is reported to have said again and again to his disciples, "Be awake. Don't fall asleep." And he tells the parable where a Master told his servants, "I am going on a pilgrimage but I may return any day, any moment, day or night. You have to be awake for twenty-four hours because I may come at any time, and I will come without informing you."
This is the situation: the servants have to keep watch day and night. They have to be alert, the Master can come at any moment.
God can come at any moment - you have to be alert, watchful. Your waiting should be alert, watchful, intense. That is your doing. Waiting is not against doing. Waiting is the highest kind of doing, the subtlest kind of doing. Waiting is the greatest art of doing.
The fourth question:
WHY IS IT SAID THAT LIFE IS STRANGER THAN FICTION?
Because life is! Fictions are only reflections of life; how can they be stranger than life? Fictions are only parts of life. Life is a very complicated whole: it does not begin, it does not end. Your fiction starts and ends.
I know a person who always reads his novels from the middle. I asked him, "What is the point?" He said, "This way you remain more in suspense - the end is not known, the beginning is not known.
If you start from the beginning you are only curious about the end. I am curious in a double way. I enjoy it more totally!"
Life is like that - it is always in the middle. You are always in the middle, the beginning is not known.
Religions have tried somehow to supply the beginning. All those philosophies on how the world began are just nonsense, because the world never began. It has always been in the middle. That is the mystery, but the mind hankers for the beginning.
And then there are people who supply the answers. They say, "On a certain day God created the world." And what had He been doing before that? Just sitting there stupidly? And how long had He been sitting? Christians say, "God created the world EXACTLY four thousand and four years before Jesus - on a certain Monday He started, and ended by Saturday evening, and rested on Sunday."
Then what w as He doing before that? - immense eternity! He must have got bored. In fact Eve must have committed suicide or must have gone mad.
The world never began. How can there be a beginning to the total? Because even if the beginning is conceived you will need a few things before the beginning, and then it will not be the beginning.
You will need space. God says, "Let there be light! " But where? THERE IS needed. Time will be needed. How can Monday start suddenly without time? It needs a Sunday before it, otherwise how will you call it Monday? It will be so absurd.
No, the world has no beginning and the world has no end. It simply goes on and on and on, and everything is so complicated and everything is so intertwined with everything else that nothing is separate. I am in you, you are in me. You are in the trees, trees are in you. Rocks are in you, you are in the rocks. The farthest corner - if there is any - is connected to you. Touch a small pebble and you have touched the whole of existence. Kiss a woman and you have kissed the totality, because that woman is part of totality. When you kiss a woman you have kissed her mother too, and the mother's mother. You may not like it... but nothing can be done about it - millions and millions of mothers-in-law, standing in a queue behind your woman, from the very beginning. And you have also kissed the child that is going to be born to the woman, and the children's children, and the whole future. Because the woman will go on reverberating, she will live in the daughter, and the daughter's daughter, and she will go on living in millions of ways.
When you kiss a woman you have kissed the whole past and you have also kissed the whole future.
Touch reality anywhere and you touch the total. And the total is so immense, immeasurable.
Life is very strange because it is a great mystery.
I have heard about a certain Doctor Smartass.
Once upon a time there were two young men who became close friends. While sitting and talking at lunch one day, much to their surprise they discovered that they were both in treatment with the same psychotherapist, Doctor Smartass. As they compared notes, they agreed that the doctor was competent and helpful. He was also maddeningly composed and pompously sure of himself. If only there was some way to shake him up, to make him feel as unsettled as he made them feel.
Gleefully they hit upon a scheme to unhorse the good doctor. Together they made up an elaborate dream, rehearsing the telling of it until each could present it as his own. That Monday would be the day of reckoning. The first young man would go in for his appointment in the morning and tell the therapist 'his' dream. His friend would repeat the performance in his own session that same afternoon. Let's see how Doctor Smartass would handle that one.
On Monday the first young man went to his session and told his carefully rehearsed dream. He hid his secret glee as he had the therapist work on interpreting the dream. That afternoon, his friend gave a brilliant straight-faced performance as he too recounted the dream as if it were his own.
Every detail of the second telling was the same as the first.
He was delighted to see an uncharacteristic look of bewilderment come across the therapist's face.
"God, that's strange," said the doctor. "That's the THIRD time today I have heard that exact same dream."
Life IS strange. Things really happen here.
Life is unexplainable. All explanations fall short. All explanations are stupid, silly. The real people who understand the mystery of life don't give you any explanation about it. They help you to experience the mystery but they don't de-mystify it. That's where science and religion depart from each other. The whole effort of science is to de-mystify existence, to explain everything - and whenever a thing is explained the wonder is lost. Then love becomes nothing but hormones, then falling in love is nothing but chemistry. Then all that you do and all that happens to you becomes very mundane, very ordinary, very superficial, not worth doing really.
Just think... you are falling in love with a woman because of your chemistry. Because certain chemicals are released in your body, certain hormones are moving in your blood, that's why you are feeling sexual, attracted. If those hormones are taken out, if that chemistry is changed, you would not feel attracted. All love will disappear. The moment you think of the chemistry of love, love disappears. Then there is only chemistry - two chemistries getting attracted to each other - almost victims of chemistry. The joy, the gladness, the glory, the splendor - all are gone.
The scientist tries to supply answers, although the scientist has failed - but people have not yet heard about it. This century has seen one of the greatest phenomena: the scientist has failed, UTTERLY failed! - because the scientist has come closer and closer to truth, and the closer the scientist comes to the truth the more bewildered he becomes. The closer he comes to truth the more the truth seems to be more and more mysterious, unknowable.
Albert Einstein said before he died, "The world to mc is now more unknowable than it was when I started my work. I had started with the idea that I would find a few explanations, I would make things better explained, a little bit, but I would help to create a few explanations. But all those explanations that existed in my youth are no longer there. I am simply bewildered. I am dying not as a physicist but as a mystic. And next time, if I am to come back, I would like to be born as a plumber rather than as a physicist."
A great statement... because the plumber knows more about the mystery, lives it, enjoys it. By 'plumber' he means, "I would like to be an ordinary person, a very ordinary person - a farmer, a gardener, a plumber. I would not bother about de-mystifying existence. I would rather live it, experience it. I would rather sing about it and dance about it."
Life IS strange, and that is the basic contribution of religion to the world. Religion helps you to go into the mystery without de-mystifying. That's where theology goes wrong. Theology is NOT religion.
Theology is again the same endeavor as science - trying to find explanations. Zen Masters are right when they laugh at your questions, and Sufis are perfectly right when they answer your questions in absurd ways. The answer does not relate to the question at all. If you become puzzled, it is a great step. If you forget your knowledge, if you unlearn your explanations, it is really a great step towards God.
Live without explanation and you will live a religious life.
The fifth question:
I FEEL A RAPPORT WITH YOUR WRITINGS - ALMOST LIKE A CONTEMPORARY. SURELY THIS FEELING WILL CHANGE IF I BECOME A SANNYASIN. WILL THIS CHANGE BE BENEFICIAL?
To feel en rapport with my writings is one thing, to feel en rapport is totally another. To be convinced by my writings will not change you, it will simply add to your knowledge. To fall en rapport with me will destroy you, annihilate you, will transform you. When you are reading you are the master, you own the book, and you can go on finding ways and means to defend yourself against the book. And the book cannot do much; you are free to interpret it in your own ways.
That's what you must be doing. That's why you are saying, "I feel a rapport with your writings - almost like a contemporary." Your ego is being fulfilled through them.
What is actually happening is you are not being convinced by what I say, you are really convinced that whatsoever you have been thinking before is right! - "Osho also agrees with me." That's what you think falling en rapport is. It is not you getting into agreement with me, it is me getting into agreement with you. And with a book, that you can do very easily: you can forget those portions that don't agree with you or you can interpret them in such a way that they start appearing to be in agreement with you. The book is dead. You can do anything to the book.
I am alive. And I am SO contradictory. I relish contradictions. That is my nourishment - that if you agree with me today, tomorrow I will create trouble. If you agree with me again, next day I will create trouble again. By and by you will relax and you will forget agreeing with me: "What is the point? This man goes on contradicting himself every day."
This is a device so that you stop agreeing with me through the mind. Then arises a different kind of agreement - a conversion - you start agreeing with my being. That is true rapport.
Sannyas is nothing but a gesture from your side that you are ready to go with me into the dark unknown, that you trust me, that now you are ready not only to listen to my thoughts, you are ready to listen to my silence too. The book can give you only the thoughts, it cannot give the pauses in between. And they are really valuable, they are really significant, not the words.
Looking into my eyes is more significant than reading my books. Sitting close to me, feeling me, being overwhelmed by me, opening your heart towards me - that is the real thing. The book has only one work to do: it can bring you to me, that's all. Then its work is finished. The book is not the end, the book is just the beginning. Don't get stuck there.
You must be feeling very good; that's why you say, "almost I feel like a contemporary." You are not! - because to be contemporary with me you will have to exist in no-time, because I exist in no-time. I don't exist in the twentieth century. I am not a thinker. You can be contemporary with Bertrand Russell. If you think in the same way, with the same logic, with the same conclusions, you are contemporary with Bertrand Russell - but to be contemporary with Buddha is a totally different phenomenon. You will have to go deep into silence because Buddha exists in silence, Buddha exists in no-time. He exists in eternity. That's why even TODAY you can become a contemporary with Buddha, even today you can become a contemporary with Lao Tzu, and for centuries to come you can at any time become contemporary with a Christ. Whenever you transcend time you become contemporary with enlightened people.
Just by agreeing with my thoughts you will not become my contemporary. You will be contemporaneous to my thoughts, that's all - but not to me. And I am not a thought but an experience.
You ask me, "SURELY THIS FEELING WILL CHANGE IF I BECOME A SANNYASIN."
Surely. It is going to change, it has to change. You will feel totally differently. The ego will start disappearing. It will hurt.
Becoming a sannyasin means you have become a disciple. Now you will put your mind aside, now you will get more and more in tune with my vibe. This in the East WE call SATSANGA: to be in the presence of the Master, to see the Master, to touch the Master, to be touched by the Master, to be seen by the Master. It is not a verbal communication. Verbal communication has its own purpose.
Because you cannot start without verbal communication, that's why I have to go on speaking. If I had been totally silent here you would not be here. You are here because I have spoken.
But if you remain here only just to hear me you miss the whole point. Then you will gather only words; those words will turn dead in your hands. Howsoever alive and warm they are when I release them, the moment they get into your clutches they will be cold, dead stones. Unless you become contemporaneous with my being... and that can happen only in meditation. Meditation is the bridge between the Master and the disciple.
You will change, surely you will change. But YOU HAVE to change! Are you not yet bored with yourself? Only a dull person can remain happy in the ordinary way, only an insensitive person can remain happy in an ordinary way. A sensitive person, sooner or later, starts feeling, "I am moving in a rut," that "I am moving in a vicious circle." The more sensitive you are, the sooner you recognize that there is a need to be transformed, radically transformed, that there is a need to go through a revolution, that one needs a breakdown and a breakthrough.
The sixth question:
I HAVE HEARD THAT AT THE TIME OF GIVING SANNYAS TO YOUR MOTHER, YOU HAD STEPPED OFF YOUR CHAIR AND TOUCHED THE FEET OF YOUR MOTHER. THIS UNIQUE SITUATION HAS THRILLED ME. PLEASE QUENCH MY DESIRE FOR KNOWING SOME MORE.
WHO IS GREATER - MOTHER OR GURU?
They are greater than each other.
Asking that question is wrong. The very formulation: it is just like asking, "Which is greater - the hen or the egg?" You don't understand. You divide hen and egg; they are indivisible. The hen is a state of the egg, the egg is a state of the hen.
To ask: Who is greater - mother or guru, mother or Master? is possible only if you don't understand what a mother is and what a Master is. Both are to be respected for a certain thing that is common to both: they both give birth. That's why they are respected. The mother gives birth to the physical being, the first birth is through the mother. The second birth is through the Master. The Master is a mother! Becoming a disciple means getting into the womb of the Master. A Buddhafield is a womb. To enter into the womb of the Master, to enter into his milieu, to become part of his energy - the second birth happens. You become a twice-born, a DWIJA. This is what Jesus means when he says,,"Unless you are born again.... "
A second birth is a must, otherwise you will live only as a physical being. The mother has given you just the physical being. The temple has been created by the mother, the deity has to be born yet through a Master.
The English word 'mother' and the English word 'matter', both come from the same root. They both come from the same Sanskrit root, MATHRA. It is beautiful that mother and matter both come from the same root. What does it mean?
The mother gives you matter, she supplies you with matter. The mother is your matter, she is your body. The mother is the earth, the Master is the sky. But remember, without the earth the sky cannot happen. Without the temple the deity is not possible. So the mother has given you an opportunity.
but that is only an opportunity. You will have to find a Master to transform the opportunity into a realization.
Now this is a problem: who is more respectable, who is greater?
Without the mother you would not be here, and the Master could not work. Without the Master you would be here but your being here would be pointless. In fact, respecting the mother and the Master are both for the same reason - because they both give birth. Naturally, the higher birth is given by the Master, so the Master is greater. But the foundation is laid down by the mother, so the mother is greater. That's why I say they are greater than each other.
And you have asked, "I HAVE HEARD THAT AT THE TIME OF GIVING SANNYAS TO YOUR MOTHER, YOU HAD STEPPED OFF YOUR CHAIR AND TOUCHED THE FEET OF YOUR MOTHER. THIS UNIQUE SITUATION HAS THRILLED ME. PLEASE QUENCH MY DESIRE FOR KNOWING SOME MORE."
It is a strange phenomenon. Very rarely does it happen that a mother comes to become a disciple of her own son. Mary never became a disciple to Christ, and Christ was angry about it. He wanted, because he wanted all that he had become to be shared with the mother. But the mother never became a disciple; that's why the strange statement. Jesus was surrounded by a crowd and Mary came, and somebody in the crowd said... the crowd was too much and she could not enter, and she wanted to have a talk with Jesus... somebody said, "Your mother is waiting for you outside the crowd. She wants to see you." And Jesus said, "I have nothing to do with that woman." It looks ugly.
Those words on Jesus' lips don't fit. But why does he say "I don't have anything to do with that woman"? She remained a woman. Jesus was angry, and his anger can be understood. It is out of love that he was angry. He wanted his mother to be transformed. He was sharing his light with strangers, and his own mother and his own father would remain in darkness. He was sad about it.
His sadness showed in his anger.
When my mother came to be initiated by me, I touched her feet because she proved to be a rare mother. To bow down to your own son is really arduous and hard. It is almost impossible to touch the feet of your own son - it needs great courage. It needs great risk to drop all your ego. I touched her feet not because she is my mother, I touched her feet because she dared! I touched her feet for the same reason, for the SAME I say, that Jesus was angry. The reason is the same: I was immensely happy. It is rare, happens only once in a while. And I touched her feet also for another thing: because after that she would not be my mother and I would not be her son. The account has to be closed as beautifully as possible.
It was a drastic step. She had always thought about me as her son. Now, no more. Now she would be my disciple and I would be her Master. Up to then she had been giving advice to me, she had been directing me - "Do this and don't do that." Now all that is not possible. Now I will be directing her, I will be giving advice to her, I will be ordering her to do this or that. The whole situation is going to be radically changed.
I respected her courage, I respected her egolessness. And the account has to be closed beautifully:
this was the last time I would be a son to her; it will remain in her consciousness forever. Since that moment all the ties have been broken. It was the beginning of a new relationship. I touched her feet not only because she is my mother. I touched her feet because she dared, she dared a lot. She dropped her ego.
And the last question:
IT IS TRUE THAT IN A VERY CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WHEN ONE 'PLAYS' THE GOOD, UNDERSTANDING, CALM AND RELAXED ONE, IT IS ONLY LEFT FOR THE OTHER TO BE NERVOUS, TENSE AND ANGRY? PLEASE EXPLAIN.
Yes, a certain kind of balancing always happens in relationship. If one is playing very calm and quiet and cool, the other will have to do all the work of being angry, nagging, miserable, fighting.
Just a few days ago Chaitanya Hari had asked a question, "Why did Socrates continue to live with this naggy-daggy woman, Xanthippe?"
The question is relevant, because he is also living with a naggy-daggy woman, Krishna. But remember, Socrates was responsible. He was playing too cool, too philosophical. Xanthippe was not as bad as she appears. If you go into the psychology of it, she was the victim of a philosopher.
She had to do all the work, the poor woman.
And so is the case with Krishna! Krishna was saying to me, "Osho, do you think this Chaitanya Hari is a saint?" He is not! He only pretends! Now Chaitanya Hari is also responsible if Krishna turns out to be a Xanthippe. She alone will not be responsible.
There is a kind of balancing. Whenever two persons are together a balancing happens. Don't try to play cool, otherwise the other will have to become more hot than needed. Don't try to play like heaven, otherwise the other will become hell. Be natural, be normal. It is sometimes good to be angry and sometimes good to be sad, and sometimes to be hellish and sometimes to be heavenly.
Then both remain natural, then both remain normal. A normal relationship is a hell-heaven relationship. When one is - pretends to be - heavenly or hellish, then the other is not left with anything else. The only role left is to do the opposite. This has to be understood. This is one of the greatest problems in the world.
I have heard....
Once Avicenna, an Arabian physician and philosopher, hearing of the spiritual fame of Abel Hasan Khargani, visited the Master at his home in Khargani. At the time the Master was absent from his home, having gone to the nearby jungles to fetch firewood at the request of his wife. When his wife was asked by Avicenna where the Master was, she replied hotly, "Why do you wish to see that lunatic and imposter? What business have you with him?" And she went on at length criticizing and belittling the Master, and disparaging his spiritual status.
Avicenna was greatly perplexed. What she said contradicted what he had previously heard, and he felt disinclined to continue his search for him. However, seeing he had come so far just to see the Master, he finally decided to do so. On going towards the jungle he was astounded to see approaching him the Master returning from the jungle with a great bundle of firewood loaded on the back of a tiger.
The philosopher, after paying respects, inquired of the Master the meaning of and difference between what he had been told by the wife and what he had seen with his own eyes.
The Master replied, "There is nothing amazing about it. It is a mere question of labor. When I put up with and bear the load of suffering from the wolf (read 'wife') in my house, then automatically this tiger from the jungle carries my load for me."
The Sufi Master is saying "There is a kind of balancing in existence too." Not only is there a balancing between Xanthippe and Socrates, there is a balancing between this couple and existence too.
Socrates was immensely respected by people; disrespected by the wife, tortured by the wife, but respected by the people.
This story is beautiful. Khargani is saying, "It is a mere question of labor, there is nothing amazing about it. When I put up with and bear the load of suffering from the wolf in my house, then automatically this tiger from the jungle carries my load for me."
Always remember, life can exist only in balance. It has always been so. Good women always find bad husbands, and good husbands always find bad women, bad wives. It is such that there is no exception to it. There cannot be any exception to it.
One man went to Socrates and asked, "I would like to be married. I am young. What do you suggest, because I have heard so many stories about your married life? You are the most experienced person about marriage. I have come for your advice. What should I do? Is it right to get married, or is it good to remain a bachelor? Which is more blissful?"
Socrates said, "You better get married."
The young man said, "You puzzle me."
Socrates: "There is nothing to be puzzled about, it is simple. If you get such a woman as I have got, you will become a great philosopher. I have had to become! This is sheer necessity! Just to survive I have had to become tranquil and meditative and silent. This has helped me immensely. And if you get a good wife you will be happy, if you get a bad wife you will become a philosopher. In both ways you will be profited. Get married!"
But I cannot say that Socrates is not responsible in Xanthippe's behavior. And I cannot say that Sufi Master Abel Hasan Khargani is not responsible in his wife's behavior.
That's why in the East many seekers of truth have remained bachelors. There is a reason for it. The reason is, the fundamental reason is - not that you cannot attain to truth with a wife - because of compassion, because if you become too meditative living with a wife, you will destroy her being. She will start balancing, she will become ugly, she will become negative. If you are all positivity she will become negativity. Then you will be committing a crime against her, and you will be responsible for it. Down the ages, in the East, seekers of truth have remained bachelors. It is just out of compassion:
why destroy another human being?
Socrates was so silent, so meditative, so involved in his search for truth: the wife simply felt neglected, ignored. She wanted his attention. I can see it happening - pouring the kettle-bottle on him she was simply asking for attention. He must have been too cold, so she was making him a little hot. He must have been in a kind of dispassion, she was trying to create some passion in him.
If he could be angry, then he could be loving too.
But he was not angry. He used it as a device: he became even more calm and quiet. He allowed that hot water to burn his body, but he remained a witness. Now this must have driven the wife more crazy. How can you forgive such a husband who will not jump and hit you back? If he had hit the wife back the wife would have become cooler.
If you are married it is better to remain normal. Your search for truth should be interior. In your relationship with the wife or with the husband you should remain a normal human being. Otherwise you will be committing a crime, a sin: you will destroy the woman or the man. Then meditate when you are alone. And sometimes if it is needed, be angry! Just in play, act it, even if it is not needed, because once you have decided to live with a woman or a man you have certain responsibilities to fulfill. You have to be angry sometimes too - that is your responsibility.
If Chaitanya Hari does not understand, then Krishna is going to become a naggy-daggy woman, and half of the responsibility will be his.
Now he sits silently and meditates upon music - and in the middle of the night! Krishna jumps on him and beats him. No wife can tolerate this, no woman can tolerate that she is there, alive, warm, full of love, wants to be hugged, cared for, caressed - and you are sitting there thinking of music?
It can't be allowed, it is too much. I have all sympathy for Krishna. All that she wants is, "Come to bed. Hug me, be with me. It is enough. The whole day you have been thinking about music and meditation, there is a time to relax too."
If one decides to be in a relationship one has to take care not to destroy the other, not to throw the other to the polarity too much. Life balances itself. If you are all positive the other becomes all negative. So be fifty-fifty, negative-positive both, so the other also remains fifty-fifty, negative-positive both. And when both are both, there is a kind of beautiful relationship, a beauty arises. There is great music and harmony. They become an orchestra.
If it is not happening it is better to be a bachelor, it is better to be alone. At least you will not be disturbing any other human being.
The East is right: if you are a seeker after truth it is better to be alone. And if you are already in a relationship and then the search for truth has started, then at least you can act. There is no need to be really angry, you can act and that will do. You can be hot sometimes. At least you can show it - that much you owe to the other.
A story... Krishna and Chaitanya Hari have to meditate over it.
Wearied from the long drive, the model stopped at a motel, only to be told that the last room had just been rented, but if she didn't mind, there was a couch in one room which she could use provided the male occupant of the room had no objection.
The model knocked on the door and said to the man, "Look, you don't know me, I don't know you, we don't know them, they don't know us. Can I please bunk on your couch for a while?"
"Sure," he said - and went back to sleep.
A little while later, the model woke him up and said, "Look, you don't know me, I don't know you, we don't know them, they don't know us - do you mind if I just sleep on the edge of the bed?"
"Okay," he said, and fell asleep again.
A short while later, the model again woke him up and said, "Look, I don't know you, you don't know me, we don't know them, they don't know us, so what do you say we have a party?"
"Look," said the man, "if I don't know you, you don't know me, we don't know them and they don't know us - then who in hell are we gonna invite to the party?"