God is a Ventriloquist
The first question
OSHO, THE OTHER NIGHT AFTER DARSHAN I DREAMT THAT YOU SANG "I'M A STRANGER IN PARADISE" TO ME. IT WAS INCREDIBLE, AND YOU WERE REALLY GOOD AT IT! DO YOU EVER SING AND DANCE, BEYOND THE METAPHORICAL USE OF THE WORDS? YOU ARE SO FULL OF GRACE. WOULD YOU DO IT NOW?
I AM doing it every moment... yes, even now. And not in a metaphorical sense but in as realistic a sense as possible. Singing or dancing to me mean much more than you understand by those words. Your meaning is very limited; my meaning is vast. It is not metaphorical but certainly vast, unbounded.
In fact, once you become aware of your own being you cannot do anything else but sing, dance, celebrate. Before that your singing is not much of a singing, your laughter is not much of a laughter.
In fact it is just its opposite.
Once Friedrich Nietzsche was asked, "Why do you go on smiling and laughing about very small things which do not seem worth laughing at?"
Nietzsche became very serious and said, "I laugh just out of fear. I laugh because if I don't laugh I am afraid I may start crying and weeping."
And he is saying something tremendously important. It is true about you - about everyone who has not become a Buddha, a Christ, a Krishna. You laugh just to cover up your wounds, you sing so that you can forget your tears, and you celebrate because your life is so miserable. The more miserable you are, the more occasions you seek to celebrate, because that is the only distraction from your misery.
My laughter, my song, my dance are bound to be basically different from yours. I laugh because there is only laughter in my heart - my laughter is not a cover-up. And I sing because there is nothing else to do - my breathing is my singing. It is not something that I am doing, it is something that is happening of its own accord. Even if I want to stop, it cannot be stopped. In fact, there is nobody to do it and nobody to stop it either.
But I will tell you a joke:
Every day a man came into the bar with a box tucked underneath his arm, asked for a shot of whiskey, drank it and went away.
One day the barman, after observing this customer for some time, decided to ask him what he had inside his box in exchange for a free drink.
He opened the box, and inside appeared a little flea, singing, accompanied by a little roach playing the piano. The bartender was amazed.
So the next day when the man came in, the bartender offered him another free drink to listen to the flea singing and the roach playing the piano.
As time went on the bartender became more and more intrigued with this show and insisted on seeing it every day in exchange for a free drink.
One day, not being able to contain his curiosity any longer, the bartender offered the man a full case of his best whiskey in exchange for the secret behind the little performers.
The customer, after giving it a little thought, agreed. Once again he opened the box and the flea came out singing and the roach playing the piano. And he said. "The trick is this: it is not really the flea who sings, but the roach is a ventriloquist!"
It is not in fact me who is singing and dancing and doing all kinds of tricks, the secret is: God is a ventriloquist!
The second question
OSHO, I HAVE DROPPED ALL MY ATTACHMENTS; BUT STILL SUBTLE ATTACHMENTS REMAIN. I AM EVEN ATTACHED TO NON-ATTACHMENT, TO NO-MIND, TO NO NO-MIND. I AM AWARE OF THE SUBTLE EGO. HOW SHOULD WE GO BEYOND THIS VICIOUS CIRCLE?
IT is a great blessing that you are aware of it, of the vicious circle. It is one of the most significant things, to be aware of it. Only after that can something be done - or undone. But there are many people who are not aware of it, even people who have risen to great heights of spirituality, who are almost enlightened - just one step more and they will be Buddhas. But the last step is certainly, and obviously too, the most subtle one.
It is easy to drop the mind; it is difficult to drop no-mind; and it is very very difficult to drop no no- mind, because the mind is a very cunning fellow - it goes on creating itself again and again. It goes on receding: you drop the mind, it becomes the no-mind; you drop the no-mind, it becomes the no no-mind, and so on and so forth, AD INFINITUM. You drop your attachments, it becomes attached to the very idea of non-attachment. You drop out of the world, you renounce the world, now it clings to the very idea of renunciation. But the clinging remains. It goes on changing its object of clinging, but it continues to exist.
Just the other day I received a long letter from Holland from one of our most beautiful sannyasins, Amrito. He went to see J. Krishnamurti, and J. Krishnamurti behaves almost like a bull when he sees my sannyasins. The red color... and he simply loses all his enlightenment! That's why in Spain I have so few sannyasins: the bulls don't like it!
The moment he saw Amrito attired in his sannyasin dress he became furious. For one and a half hours continuously he spoke against clinging to the Master. Amrito was laughing at the whole thing - why was he so disturbed? He could see his love, his compassion, his effort to help him, but he could also feel that there was something more to it; he couldn't figure out what it was. What hc could not figure out is J. Krishnamurti's clinging to the idea of non-clinging. He is still very serious about it.
My sannyas is a non-serious phenomenon; it is really very light-hearted. It is given in love and laughter and it is received in love and laughter. It is not the old idea of sannyas - of serious people, anti-life, anti-love, trying to escape from the world. It is not escapist at all. On the contrary, I teach my people to BE in the world - and as totally as possible and as passionately as possible and as intensely as possible.
But Krishnamurti has carried a wound throughout his long life. He was brought up by Theosophists and from his very childhood he was taught a thousand and one rules, because they were bringing him up with a certain idea: that he is going to be the World Teacher, that he is going to be the new Christ, the Messiah, that it is through him that the world is going to be redeemed - he is no ordinary person. They were preparing him as a vehicle so that God could descend in him and he could become a mouthpiece for God. Of course, tremendous discipline was needed and he was almost tortured.
There were two brothers, Krishnamurti and Nityananda; both were being prepared. Nityananda died - and my own feeling is that he died because of too much discipline: fasting, yoga, and so many occult and esoteric processes they had to pass through. And they were very young, very tender.
Krishnamurti was only nine years old. They had to get up early, three o'clock in the morning, and the training would start.
And the man who was in charge, Leadbeater, was a hard taskmaster. Not only was he a hard taskmaster, he was also a homosexual person. And it is a well-known fact that his interest in small children was basically sexual. He was found in very compromising postures with Krishnamurti too!
Those wounds have remained. Krishnamurti cannot forgive Leadbeater. Half a century has passed, or more; Leadbeater is dead, the whole Theosophical movement is dead, but those scars of Master and disciplehood, of training, surrender, obedience, have not left Krishnamurti yet. They have become very subtle as time has passed. For almost fifty years he has been fighting against ghosts which are no more in existence. He goes on boxing in the air with ghosts which are non-existential.
My sannyas and my existence are so new to him he cannot understand it - he has not made any effort to understand it. For one and a half hours he was hammering o4 Amrito: "This is the most dangerous thing that you have done. Never become a disciple to anybody! Don't cling to a Master!"
Politely, many times Amrito reminded him that "I am not clinging to anybody. And my Master is not in favor of clinging: he gives us total freedom. It is out of freedom that we are with him, and any moment we decide not to be with him... he does not create any guilt because of that."
But he won't listen. He cannot understand this NEW phenomenon: a new kind of relationship between the Master and the disciple, the relationship which is not a relationship of dependence of any kind.
You are not clingers to me, you are not enslaved by me. My effort here is to help you to be free, to be totally free. I am included in that freedom. You have to be free of all, and I am included in that all.
And if you are still with me it is not because you are dependent on me; it is because you are grateful for such a freedom. Who will not love a relationship which is basically rooted in freedom?
Relationship becomes ugly when it is not allowing you to be free, when it encages you, when it cuts your wings, when it chains your soul, when it does not allow you to be yourself. I am not imposing any rule on you, I am not forcing any discipline on you. My only message is of love, freedom and awareness.
But Krishnamurti was utterly deaf.
Amrito writes to me that "I came out with a headache." That is natural - Krishnamurti himself suffers from headaches! For fifty years continuously he has suffered from headaches, severe headaches, not ordinary; for days they continue. Sometimes they become so serious that he wants to hit his head against the wall!
And the reason is that he has dropped everything - as you say, Virago - but now a new attachment has arisen in him, the attachment to non-attachment, clinging to non-clinging. He has attained to the state of no-mind, but he has not been able to drop that IDEA of no-mind.
And it is not going to help if you drop the idea of no-mind and then you become attached to no no-mind. It is the same game! It goes on becoming more and more subtle, and the more subtle it is the more dangerous, because you will not be able to see it. It will become so deep inside you that your consciousness will not be able to reach it. It Will poison your very source.
You tell me: I HAVE DROPPED ALL MY ATTACHMENTS...
Who has told you to drop all your attachments? The vicious circle starts there, in the dropping.
Then you become attached to the idea of dropping. Then a new ego arises: "I have dropped all attachments." And suddenly you can see, and it IS GOOD that you can see, that "Now I am becoming attached to this idea. What to do now?" You can drop even THIS idea, and then you will feel even more happy, more proud. "Look!" You will thank yourself: "Virago, see! You have done the miracle. You have dropped even the idea of non-attachment." But now again it has come from the back door.
You ask me: HOW SHOULD WE GO BEYOND THIS VICIOUS CIRCLE?
Why start it in the first place? I am not telling you to drop attachments, I am telling you to just understand them. That's enough. Just see what your attachments are with no effort to drop them, with no judgment, no evaluation. Just see what they are. Whatsoever they are, they are there. What can you do? - Just as you have eyes and hands and legs and a certain color of hair and skin, so your attachments are there. Accept them! In that acceptance the revolution begins.
The moment you accept your attachments and you start understanding them, with NO idea to drop them... Remember, if there is the idea to drop them behind your understanding, your understanding cannot be profound and total; that idea will be a hindrance. Why drop attachments? God has not dropped the attachment to his world - why should you drop your attachments to the world?
I have never dropped a single attachment in my life. I have seen them through and through, and by seeing through and through the miracle happens: suddenly you find the attachments are no more binding. They are there, but as far away as the horizon, and as non-existential as the horizon. They are no more binding on you. You can LIVE in the world and yet you are not OF the world.
And that's my whole vision of sannyas. Be a lotus leaf: in the lake and yet untouched by the water.
Then there is no vicious circle. You create the vicious circle, and then you ask how to transcend it.
And every effort to transcend it will be creating it again and again.
My humble suggestion is, please don't start the stupid thing! It is better not to start it. Once you start it, it is almost impossible to get rid of it.
The third question
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE RELIGIOUS? AFTER AWARENESS, WHAT IT THE FIRST QUALITY OF A RELIGIOUS BEING?
RELIGION in the past has created in people nothing but ego. It has given people ideas of superiority, of greatness, of extraordinariness. In fact, only the very egoistic people in the past became interested in religion. And religion gives you a chance to fulfill your ego more easily than any other dimension of life.
If you want to be the richest man in the world, it is not going to be easy; but if you want to renounce the world it is simple. To be the richest man in the world will need many things. It will need a certain intelligence; it will require a constant effort, an unwavering, strong, staunch mind to remain attached to the goa, that you have decided upon in order not to change it, not to drop it. Even if all the circumstances change you have to go on dogmatically, blindly following it. It needs a certain willpower; it needs cunningness, cleverness, a certain quality of being political, competitive, ambitious, unscrupulous, not bothering about any moral values, reminding yourself again and again that the end justifies the means, so whatsoever means you are using is good if it fulfills the end. Be violent, be deceptive, be dishonest - IF it pays.
They say, "Honesty is the best policy." But remember, it is a policy, it is not a value - it is not something intrinsically valuable. Because it pays it is a good policy; if it does not pay, then dishonesty is the best policy.
And you have to be very mindful of what you are doing, of what you are saying, because you will have to tell many lies. You will need a good memory, otherwise you will forget what you have said yesterday and what you are saying today.
A politician needs a good memory. He may not be very intelligent, but he needs a good memory - and they are two different things. A good memory is a mechanical thing; a good intelligence is a totally different phenomenon. There have been people of great intelligence and very low-grade memory: Albert Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison - the highest intelligence with the lowest memory.
And there have been people of great memory with no intelligence at all.
I was visiting the Hindi University in Benares. A man was brought to me and introduced to me as someone who holds two dozen M.A.s - two dozen! So once in a while you come across a person who has double M.A.s, but two dozen M.A.s! He has set a record in the whole world. No other human being ever has possessed twenty-four M.A.s in twenty-four subjects.
But the man was utterly stupid! In fact, even without seeing him I would have said that he must be stupid. He wasted his whole life just collecting certificates. And when I told him, "You look stupid,"
he was very angry! He said, "You are the first person - everybody has praised me! "
But I said, "I can see in your eyes there is no quality which can say that some intelligence is inside. I don't see any sharpness in you. You have collected degrees, but you have lost something while you were collecting all this nonsense. Your memory is good, but your intelligence is poor."
It is not necessary that both should exist together.
In the past, religion was the easiest approach to fulfil your ego. No intelligence is needed, no memory is needed, no will is needed, no struggle is needed. All that is needed is a weak, impotent personality. All that is needed is a cowardly man who is incapable of fighting in the world. He can escape to the monastery, and just by escaping to the monastery he becomes a great saint. In the monastery his whole day is uncreative: he is not doing anything, he is not enriching the world. And if he is doing something at all, that is a kind of self-torture. He may be fasting, praying five times a day, doing many yoga postures, standing on his head for hours, standing naked in the cold or in the heat - all kinds of self-violence. And these qualities have been praised, highly praised.
We have praised stupid people as saints and we have praised uncreative people as religious, as spiritual. They have not contributed anything to the world; it is because of them the world is suffering so much.
In India religion has been very predominant, more predominant than anywhere else. And you can see the consequences! India has almost become the hell of the earth. People are starving; people are hungry, dying, ill, no energy, lethargic, no desire to do anything - in every possible way immoral, but still thinking themselves spiritual because once a month they go on a fast, or once a week, or because they go every day to the temple, or because they read the Gita every day, or because every day they go on chanting some stupid mantra thinking that they are doing Transcendental Meditation.
And you don't see any meditativeness anywhere. You don't see any peace, silence, joy. You don't see anything that can be said to be the outcome of centuries of religiousness.
My vision of religion is totally different.
Anand Shravan, you ask: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE RELIGIOUS?
To me to be religious means many things, because religion is a multi-dimensional phenomenon.
First it means an egoless state - first and foremost it means a deep acceptance of one's nobodiness.
Religion is not a ladder that leads you higher than others. It is not trying to achieve some superiority but, on the contrary, it is relaxing into your ordinariness. A religious person neither feels inferior nor superior; in fact, he never compares himself with anybody else. He cannot compare - his understanding makes it clear to him that comparison is not possible because there are no two persons similar. How can you compare people who are so dissimilar' You cannot compare Buddha to Krishna, Krishna to Christ, Christ to Mohammed, Mohammed to Kabir, Kabir to Nanak - no, that is not possible. You cannot compare anybody with anybody else; everybody is unique.
But when I say everybody is unique, remember the word "everybody." I am not using the word "unique" in a comparative sense - more unique than others, more unique than somebody else.
EVERYBODY is unique! Uniqueness is an ordinary quality, the MOST ordinary quality. A religious person is utterly ordinary.
In India there is a tremendously beautiful treatise which contains only the names of God and nothing else: VISHNU SAHASRANAM, THE ONE THOUSAND NAMES OF GOD - just names and nothing else. But those names are something unbelievably beautiful, showing different aspects of God. In those one thousand names there are two names: one is "God is the most ordinary" and the other is "God is the most extraordinary." Ordinary and extraordinary, both - two names of God.
The religious person is ordinary, very ordinary. He lives a very simple, unpretentious life with no claim to extra-ordinariness. But that's what makes him extraordinary, so there is no contradiction in those two names.
To be extraordinary is a very ordinary desire. To be ordinary is not an ordinary desire; it is extraordinary. And to relax into one's ordinariness is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the world. The moment you relax into your ordinariness and you start enjoying the ordinary small things of life... in the early morning a cup of tea, a walk in the woods, a swim in the river, listening to the birds or just sitting under a tree - "doing nothing, sitting silently, spring comes and the grass grows by itself" - or cooking food or cleaning your house...
Religion is not concerned with what you do, it is concerned with the quality that you bring to your work. You may be praying in a church and there may be no religion in it, because the WAY you are doing it is irreligious.
I have heard:
A king and the high priest of the country were both praying early in the morning. It was still dark and they could not see in the temple. The king was saying, "My God, I am just dust under your feet. I am nobody. Have mercy on me!" And the priest said almost the same, maybe in different words but the same thing, "I am nobody. Have mercy on us!"
And then they both heard, with surprise, a third voice. By that time it was becoming a little light and they could see - the poorest beggar of the town was also praying and he was saying, "God, I am dust under your feet. I am nobody. Have mercy on us!"
The king blinked his eyes, turned towards the priest and said, "Look who is saying that he is just ordinary, that he is nobody. Just look! Who is saying,'I am nobody'? Just a beggar! The king can say,'I am nobody,' the high priest can say,'I am nobody,' but a beggar? How egoistic! How pretentious!"
They both laughed at the idea of the beggar trying to be just like the king or the high priest. He was also bragging about being nobody. The king and the priest thought it insulting.
Of course, THEY can say they are nobody, because everybody knows they are not. Even God knows they are not! They are just being humble. But this poor beggar - what humility is there? He is certainly nobody, and he is saying, "I am nobody." What is the point of saying it?
Remember, your so-called saints have tried to be humble before God, but just in order that they can be higher in the eyes of people. But MY idea of a religious man is that he does not even claim ordinariness - he claims not. He is simply ordinary, whatsoever he is.
A Zen Master, Rinzai, was asked, "What did you use to do before you were enlightened?"
He said, "I used to chop wood and carry water from the well."
And the man asked, "Now, now that you are enlightened, what do you do?"
He said, "The same thing - chopping wood and carrying water from the well."
The man was puzzled. He said, "I cannot understand. Then what is the difference? Then what is the POINT of becoming enlightened? Before you used to chop wood and carry water, now you continue the same thing. Then what is the difference?"
And Rinzai laughed. He said, "The difference is: before I was doing it because I HAD to do it, it was a duty; now it is a joy. The quality has changed - the work is the same! "
You eat, the religious person eats, but the quality is different. In the Upanishads it is said: ANNAM BRAHM, "food is God. " The religious person eats as if he is eating God, because all is God. He drinks as if he is drinking God, because all is God. To you he is just sipping tea - he is sipping God!
Hence the Zen tea temple and the tea ceremony. The Zen Master gathers his disciples, prepares tea, and they sit silently listening to the samovar and its humming sound, and the aroma of the tea fills the small room. And the room is made in the garden by a pond. Birds are singing outside, the air is fragrant, and they are all sitting silently. The Master pours the tea; they receive it with great gratitude, with deep love. It is a gift from the Master - it is no more ordinary tea, it is not tea at all - as if the Master has poured his own being in their cups. Then silently, meditatively, prayerfully, they drink the tea.
When Christian missionaries came to know about it they could not believe how tea - drinking could be called meditative. In a Christian church if you start drinking tea and coffee or smoking cigarettes you will be thrown out. "What are you doing?" Even in a Hindu temple you will not be allowed to drink tea. "This is a temple," they will say, "a sacred place, and you are doing such a mundane activity!
Go to some hotel - this is not a hotel."
But I agree with the Zen people: the small things of life have to be transformed by your inner transformation. This I call the religious quality; everything becomes sacred. Taking a bath, making love, eating food, going to sleep - everything becomes sacred, because wherever you look is God and whatsoever you do you do WITH God.
Anand Shravan, to experience life as divine is the most fundamental quality of a religious person.
For him God is not a person but the whole energy of existence. God is godliness; not a person but a quality. He breathes godliness, he lives surrounded by godliness.
And you ask: AFTER AWARENESS, WHAT IS THE FIRST QUALITY OF A RELIGIOUS BEING?
That is very difficult to say because it happens to different people in different ways. After awareness... awareness of course, is the method that transforms you, makes you religious. But then one never knows. Meera.started dancing and singing. Buddha never danced and never sang in the same way as Meera. Meera never sat under a tree silently like a Buddha. Jesus speaks in words of fire. The words of Buddha are like lotus flowers falling from the beyond; there is no fire in them. Jesus is fire. He could drive away the money-changers from the temple almost violently, with a whip in his hand. He turned their boards upside down and single-handed he drove them out of the temple. You cannot conceive such an act from Buddha. Jesus is pure rebellion; Buddha is just silence.
It is said the first thing that Zarathustra did in his life was to laugh the moment he was born. Now children are not supposed to laugh when they are born, they are supposed to cry! Zarathustra laughed, and that laughter remained like an undercurrent his whole life. He is the most life-affirmative Buddha ever. He loved life so deeply that for him there was no God other than life.
Mahavira renounced life, renounced the market-place. But he was not an escapist, he was not a coward - not at all. He lived with ferocious wild animals in the jungle, naked, in total insecurity, with no possessions. And he worked hard; in fact, nobody else in the whole history of humanity has worked so hard to achieve the ultimate state of no-mind. Buddha achieved it through relaxation and Mahavira achieved it through effort.
Now, individuals differ and one never knows. If you are carrying a talent hidden inside you for being a poet, the moment awareness happens to you you will suddenly start on a new pilgrimage: you will become a poet, you will explode like a poet. Or you may be a Vincent van Gogh or a Picasso, unaware of it. Once awareness happens you may start painting. One never knows because each person is such a mystery, unpredictable.
So I cannot say, Anand Shravan, what will be the first quality of a religious being AFTER awareness.
Awareness certainly has to be the most fundamental background - without it nobody can be religious - but AFTER that nothing can be said. People have behaved differently, and I accept them all as religious: the Zen Masters who painted, Krishna who played on his flute, Buddha who sat silently under the tree, Meera who danced all over the country from village to village, Jesus with all his rebellion, Zarathustra with his laughter. There is no way of saying, and it is better that there is no way of saying what will be the first thing, because the danger is that if it can be said you may imitate.
If I say that after awareness has happened you will dance, there is every possibility that at least you will try. Howsoever awkward it looks, howsoever embarrassing to others, but you will try - you have to prove that you have attained to awareness, you have become a Buddha. Now, unless you dance...
I don't think Mahavira dancing would look very good! Meera looks beautiful while she is dancing. In fact, it would have been unfortunate if she had not danced and simply sat under a tree; we would have missed the beautiful songs she sang. Nobody in the whole world has sung such beautiful songs. They come directly from the innermost core of her being. They are not ordinary poetry, they are divine. It is not that she is composing them; they are simply flowing through her naturally. She never learned to dance; it exploded! It was an explosion.
So it is good that it cannot be said. Although all the religions have said something, and that's where they have created difficulties for people. Christians say what the qualities will be, Jainas say what the qualities will be, Buddhists say what the qualities will be. And then Buddhists and Jainas and Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans all have tried to imitate. People are imitators. Even if Charles Darwin had not discovered that man was born of the monkeys, sooner or later we would have had to accept it - because of his imitativeness. Man simply imitates.
My own approach is to leave you free. Awareness certainly has to be there, because without awareness nothing will happen, but then you have to be left absolutely free. Then you have to wait, then you have to see what happens. Not only will others be surprised, you are also in for a great surprise after awareness, because your innermost genius will surface and for the first time you will know what you really are. A rose will become a rose, a marigold will become a marigold, a lotus will become a lotus. And nobody knows, because man's intrinsic nature is freedom.
And it is good that different people will express their religiousness differently. It makes the world more beautiful, more ecstatic, more wondrous. It makes the world something worth living; otherwise it will be a monotonous world, it will be a boring world, it will lack variety.
The fourth question
Osho, AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA, WE SAW THE ULTIMATE IN SCIENCE TO EXPLORE OUTER SPACE AND CREATE "A BETTER MAN," AND AT RAJNEESH SPACE CENTER, POONA, IS THE EFFORT TO EXPERIENCE THE INNER SPACE AND CREATE "A NEW MAN." THE FORMER IS THE LAUNCHING PAD FOR THE NEW CENTURY BACKED BY THE WORLD'S RICHEST AND MOST POWERFUL NATION. THIS ONE IS THE FLYING SAUCER FOR THE NEW CONSCIOUSNESS AND YET DECRIED BY ONE OF THE WORLD'S POOREST NATIONS. ONE IS MATTER AND THE OTHER SPIRIT. WHAT IS HAPPENING?
THE IDEA of a better man is an old idea, very old, as old as man himself. Everybody is willing for a better man because it needs no radical change. A better man means something is added to you:
you remain the same, you remain continuous; there is no discontinuity. And you become richer, better.
The idea of a better man is rooted in greed, hence everybody will support it. The rich countries will support it, the poor countries will support it. India was totally in favor of Mahatma Gandhi because he was trying to bring a better man.
The idea of a better man is reformatory, it is not revolutionary. But the idea of a new man is dangerous because it requires guts. Its basic requirement is that you have to die to the old and you have to be born anew - it is a rebirth. Hence I am opposed. And it is not only here that I am opposed and decried, I will be opposed and decried anywhere else in the world; even if I am in Florida the same will happen.
In fact, there is more possibility of opposition in a richer and powerful country than there is in a poor and starving country, for the simple reason that millions of Indians have no idea of what is going on here. They have no time, they have no interest. It is not a vital issue for them, the birth of a new man. Their vital problem is how to survive, and you are talking of the birth of a new man! They are not even able to survive. Their problems are totally different. They are ill, they are hungry, their children are uneducated, they are unemployed, they don't have any land, no food, no shelter - and you are talking about a new man? They are not interested; it is not their problem.
But if I talk about the new man in America I will be killed immediately, imprisoned. I will not be tolerated at all, because that means a danger to the whole American way of life.
The American way of life depends on ambition, and my new man has to be utterly ambitionless.
America's whole approach is: things should be bettered, everything should be made better. It does not matter where it is going to lead, but things have to be better, better and better. They are obsessed with the idea of bettering things. You have to have more speed, better machines, better technology, better railroads, better roads - everything better! Of course, in the same way, you need a better man. It fits with the whole American style of life.
Man is also thought to be a commodity. Just as you need better cows and better dogs and better cars and better airplanes, you need a better man! There is no difference: it is the same logic.
I am talking about a NEW man. The new man is not necessarily the better man. He will be livelier, he will be more joyous, he will be more alert, but who knows whether he will be better or not? As far as politicians are concerned he will not be better, because he will not be a better soldier - he will not be ready to be a soldier at all. He will not be competitive, and the whole competitive economy will collapse. He will not be interested just in accumulating junk, and the whole economy depends on that. All your advertising agencies are just bringing to your mind the idea of collecting more and more junk.
The new man will have a totally different vision of life. He will live in a more loving way, because to him love is richness. He will know that money cannot buy love or joy. He will know that money is utilitarian; it is not the goal of life.
The whole American system depends on doing better. "Do it better!" What you are doing is not the point. "If you are murdering people, do it better! " You can see what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: America really did it in a better way than anybody else has ever done it. "Reach the moon! " Nobody asks why. If you ask why you are crazy; such questions are not to be asked. The only question worth asking is: "How to reach the moon in a better way than anybody else? Defeat Russia. It should be an American who is first to walk on the moon. " For what? That is not the point.
As far as I am concerned, I can't see the point. The American standing on the moon looks so silly!
But that is their way of thinking, their philosophy: "Even if you are looking silly, look silly in a better way. Defeat everybody else!"
My new man means the end of the old world. So it is not only a question of my being decried and opposed in India - I will be decried and opposed anywhere else. In fact, I have chosen India for a particular reason: here people are so lethargic. Even if they want to kill me they will take twenty, thirty years! By that time I will have done my work - I will have done the harm. It is not for no reason that I have chosen India: people are lethargic.
Just a few days ago a man threw a knife at me to kill me. Now, such a knife can be thrown only in India! When it fell just in front of me I thought it was a stone. My eyes are not bad, I don't need glasses yet: I can see very clearly. I thought it was just a stone - it looked so dirty! And when I saw the pictures of it I was very much puzzled - you could not even cut vegetables with it! This is the beauty of being in India. Now, in America or in Germany they would have done it with more sophisticated means. India is the best place at the moment to do my work, my kind of work.
And why is the new man decried? He has always been decried. Jesus was killed because he was talking about the new man, not about the better man. Mahavira was not killed, Buddha was not killed, because they were talking about the better man. You should see the difference.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Unless you are born again you shall not enter into my kingdom of God."
Now you cannot find any parallel in Mahavira, in Patanjali, in Moses, in Mohammed; no, nowhere can you find a parallel. Jesus insisted that first you have to die to the past, only then can a new consciousness arise in you. He was crucified.
Socrates was talking about a new man, remember. These are the differences. Why was Socrates killed? Athens was one of the most cultured cities of those days; in fact, not only of those days, but even today no city compares with Athens. Twenty-five centuries have passed, but neither New York nor London nor Paris nor Bombay nor Calcutta nor Peking nor Moscow - no city has been able to achieve that peak of culture, sophistication, civilization, that Athens did.
But why did such cultured people become so animalistic, so barbarous as to kill a man like Socrates?
He was talking about the new man. If he had talked about the better man he would have been worshipped..
Those who have talked about the better man have always been worshipped, because they are telling you that the past is beautiful but it can be beautified more. They are not against the past, they are not against conventions, they are not against traditions; they are all for them. The tradition has to be the foundation and on that foundation you can raise a better temple, a better house.
To talk about the new man, Kul Bhushan, is dangerous. A new man means cutting away totally from the past, disrupting, uprooting yourself completely from the past, dying to the past and living in the present. And old habits die very hard. We have become accustomed to hearing about a better man; it has gone into the very circulation of our blood. Every saint, every mahatma talks about the better man; that's his business, we know. But about a new man? Then we become afraid. He is bringing something absolutely new; he is taking us into the territory of the unknown, he is trying to uproot us from the familiar. And we have lived for thousands of years in a particular way; we are conditioned by it, we are part of it. Only very few people can manage to get out of it. Hence my message is going to remain only for the chosen few.
Remember, old habits die hard - and our religions, our philosophies are very old, our styles of life are very old. And I am aU for the new. We think the old is gold - and I say the old is just junk! I agree with Henry Ford that history is bunk. It is all bullshit! We have to free man from all that has gone before, and we have to free man totally, absolutely, categorically.
"Mummy, why did you marry daddy?"
"Ah!" replies the mother. "So you are wondering too!"
"Didn't I meet you in Texas?"
"I've never been to Texas."
"Neither have I. Guess it must have been two other fellows."I These drunkards, these unconscious people have been dominating the whole of humanity.
It is a very rainy day. Two madmen are sitting on a bus. When the bus stops at the traffic lights, one madman looks out of the window and says, "Hey, Charlie, look at all that water! I am going to take a bath!"
So he opens the window and jumps out. After a few seconds his friend hears a shout, "Dive a little further away, Charlie, the water here is too shallow!"
Mad people and drunkards - they have been our deciding factors in the past. We have never listened to the awakened ones. The awakened ones cannot talk about bettering man. It is like telling an ill person that "I will give you medicine to better your illness." The ill person does not want to better his illness; he wants to get rid of it, he wants to be healthy.
It is Saturday night; the circus is packed. The owner enters the ring, stands in front of the audience and says: "Dingling Brothers Circus offers five thousand dollars the contents of this envelope, to any man courageous enough to perform three daring feats: make Zorba the elephant sit down; comb the hair of Leo, our lion; and thirdly, make love to this old lady over here."
As he is saying this, an attendant is bringing into the ring an enormous gray elephant, a ferocious- looking lion and a poor, stooped-over old lady.
"Who is gonna go for it? Five thousand dollars, five thousand just for laying out this old elephant, combing this cat's hair and loving this old lady."
From the back of the crowd comes a yell, and a drunkard, a strongly-built man, comes stumbling into the center-ring and says, "I will do it!"
So they open the door to the cage. The drunk enters, walks over to the elephant and kicks him in the balls. The elephant sits down with a thump. The audience claps.
Next he goes into the lion's cage and they get into a fight, struggling, rolling over each other, the lion roaring, the man screaming... total chaos.
After thirty minutes he comes out of the cage all bruised and battered. The lion is inside, stretched out and panting exhaustedly. The drunk staggers over to the Master of Ceremonies and asks, "Well, where is that old lady whose hair I gotta comb?"