The Bridge of Love and Laughter
The first question:
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
Deva Mohan, action is not creativity, inaction also is not creativity. Creativity is a very paradoxical state of consciousness and being: it is action through inaction, it is what Lao Tzu calls WEI-WU-WEI.
It is allowing something to happen through you. It is not a doing, it is an allowing. It is becoming a passage so the whole can flow through you. It is becoming a hollow bamboo, just a hollow bamboo.
And then immediately something starts happening, because hidden behind man is god. Just give him a little way, a little passage, to come through you. That is creativity: allowing God to happen is creativity.
Creativity is a religious state. That's why I say that a poet is far closer to God than a theologian, a dancer even closer. The philosopher is the farthest away, because the more you think, the greater the wall you create between you and the whole. The more you think, the more you are. The ego is nothing but all the thoughts accumulated in the past.
When you are not, God is. That is creativity.
Creativity simply means you are in a total relaxation. It does not mean inaction, it means relaxation, because out of relaxation much action will be born. But that will not be your doing, you will be just a vehicle. A song will start coming through you - you are not the creator of it, it comes from the beyond. It always comes from the beyond. When you create it, it is just ordinary, mundane. When it comes through you it has superb beauty, it brings something of the unknown in it.
When the great poet Coleridge died he left thousands of poems incomplete. Many times in his life he was asked, "Why don't you complete these poems" - because a few poems were missing only one line or two lines. "Why don't you complete them?"
And he would say, "I cannot. I have tried, but when I complete them something goes amiss, something goes wrong. My line never falls in tune with that which has come through me. It remains a stumbling block, it becomes a rock, it hinders the flow. So I have to wait. Whosoever has been flowing through me, whenever he again starts flowing and completes the poem it will be completed, not before it."
He completed only a few poems. But those are of superb beauty, of great mystic splendor. That has always been so: the poet disappears, then there is creativity. Then he is possessed. Yes, that is the word, he is possessed.
To be possessed by God is creativity.
Simone de Beauvoir has said, "Life is occupied both in perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying."
And the man who is not creative is only not dying, that's all. His life has no depth. His life is not yet life but just a preface; the book of life has not yet started. He is born, true, but he is not alive.
When you become creative, when you allow creativity to happen through you, when you start singing a song that is not your own - that you cannot sign and you cannot say, "It is my own," on which you cannot put your signature - then life take wings, it upsurges.
In creativity is the surpassing. Otherwise, at the most we can go on perpetuating ourselves. You create a child - it is not creativity. You will die and the child will be here to perpetuate life. But to perpetuate is not enough unless you start surpassing yourself. And surpassing happens only when something of the beyond comes in contact with you.
That is the point of transcendence - surpassing. And in surpassing, the miracle happens: you are not, and yet for the first time you are.
The essence of wisdom is to act in harmony with nature. That is the message of all the great mystics - Lao Tzu, Buddha, Bahauddin, Sosan, Sanai - to act in harmony with nature. Animals act unconsciously in harmony with nature. Man has to act consciously in harmony with nature, because man has consciousness. Man can choose not to act in harmony, hence the great responsibility.
Man has responsibility. Only man has responsibility, that is his grandeur. No other animal is responsible - he simply acts in harmony, there is no way of going astray. The animal cannot go astray; he is not yet able to go astray, there is no consciousness yet. He functions as you function in deep sleep.
In deep sleep you also fall in harmony with nature. That's why deep sleep is so rejuvenating, so relaxing. Just a few minutes of deep sleep, and you are fresh and young again and all the dust that you had gathered and all weariness and boredom disappears. You have contacted the source.
But this is an animal way to contact the source; sleep is an animal way to contact the source.
Animals are horizontal, man is vertical. When you want to go into sleep you have to fall into a horizontal position. Only in a horizontal position can you fall asleep; you cannot fall asleep standing, it will be very difficult. You have to go back again, millions of years back, just like an animal. You are horizontal, parallel to the earth, suddenly you start losing consciousness, suddenly you are no longer responsible.
It is because of this factor that Sigmund Freud chose the couch for the patient. It is not for the comfort of the patient, it is a strategy. Once the patient is horizontal he starts being irresponsible. And unless he feels utterly free to say things he will not say unconscious things. If he remains responsible and vertical he will be continuously judging whether to say a thing or not. He will be censoring.
When he is lying horizontal on the couch - and the psychoanalyst is hidden behind, you cannot see him - suddenly he is again like an animal. He has no responsibility. He starts babbling things which he would never have said to anybody, to a stranger. He starts saying things which are deep in his unconscious; those unconscious things start surfacing. It is a strategy, a Freudian strategy, to make the patient utterly helpless like a child or like an animal.
Once you don't feel responsible you become natural. And psychotherapy has been of great help; it relaxes you. All that you have repressed surfaces, and after surfacing it evaporates. After going through psychoanalysis you become less burdened, you become more natural, you are more in harmony with nature and with yourself. That is the meaning of being healthy.
But this is going back, this is regression. This is what I was talking about the other day: going to the basement. There is another way to surpass, and that is going to the attic - not the way of Sigmund Freud but the way of Buddha. You can surpass yourself by being in contact consciously with nature.
And that is the essence of wisdom - to be in harmony with nature, with the natural rhythm of the universe. And whenever you are in harmony with the natural rhythm of the universe you are a poet, you are a painter, you ar a musician. you are a dancer.
Try it. Some time sitting by the side of a tree, fall in tune consciously. Become one with nature; let boundaries dissolve. Become the tree, become the grass, become the wind - and suddenly you will see, something that has never happened to you before is happening. Your eyes are becoming psychedelic: trees are greener than they have ever been, and roses are rosier, and everything seems to be luminous. And suddenly you want to sing a song, not knowing from where it comes.
Your feet are ready to dance; you can feel the dance murmuring inside your veins, you can hear the sound of music within and without.
This is the state of creativity. This can be called the basic quality: being in harmony with nature, being in tune with life, with the universe.
Lao Tzu has given it a beautiful name, WEI-WU-WEI: action through inaction. You can call it "creative quietude" - a process that combines within a single individual two seeming incompatibles: supreme activity and supreme relaxation.
That's the paradox of creativity. If you see a painter painting, certainly he is active, utterly active, madly active - he is all action. Or if you see a dander dancing, he is all action. But still, deep down there is no actor, no doer; there is only silence. Hence I called creativity the state of paradox. All beautiful states are paradoxical. The higher you go, the deeper you go into the paradox of reality.
Supreme action with supreme relaxation: on the surface great action is happening, in the depth nothing is happening, or ONLY nothing is happening. Creative quietude is the supreme action - the precious suppleness, simplicity, spontaneity and freedom that flows from us, or rather through us, when our private egos and conscious efforts yield to a power not their own.
Yielding to a power not of your own, surrendering to a power that is beyond you, is creativity.
Meditation is creativity. And when the ego disappears, the wound in you disappears; you are healed, you are whole. The ego is your dis-ease. And when the ego disappears you are no more dormant, you start flowing. You start flowing with the immense flow of existence.
Norbert Weiner has said, "We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves; whirlpools of water in an ever-flowing river."
Then you are not an ego but an event or a process of events. Then you are a process, not a thing.
Consciousness is not a thing, it is a process; and we have made it a thing. The moment you call it "I" it becomes a thing - defined, bounded, dormant, stagnant. And you start dying.
The ego is your death. And the death of the ego is the beginning of your real life. And real life is creativity.
You need not go to any school to learn creativity. All that you need is to go withinwards and help the ego dissolve. Don't support it, don't go on strengthening and nourishing it. And whenever the ego is not, all is truth, all is beautiful. And then whatsoever happens is good.
And I am not saying that you all will become Picassos or Shakespeares, I am not saying that. A few of you will become painters, a few of you will become singers, a few of you will become musicians, a few of you dancers - but that is not the point. Each of you will become creative in his own way. You may be a cook, but then there will be creativity. Or you may be just a cleaner, but then there will be creativity. There will be no boredom.
You will become inventive in small things. Even in cleaning there will be a kind of worship, a prayer.
So whatsoever you do then will have the taste of creativity. And we don't need many painters - if all turn out to be painters, life will become very difficult. We don't need many poets; we need gardeners too, we need farmers too, and we need all kinds of people. But each person can be creative. If he is meditative and egoless then God starts flowing through him. According to his capacities, according to his potential, God starts taking forms.
And then all is good. You need not become famous. A really creative person does not care a bit about becoming famous; there is no need. He is so tremendously fulfilled in whatsoever he is doing, he is so content with whatsoever he is and wherever he is, that there is no question of desire. When you are creative, desires disappear. When you are creative, ambitions disappear. When you are creative, you are already that which you always wanted to be.
The second question:
I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE AGAINST POLITICIANS, SO I WAS VERY MUCH SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE BLESSED INDIRA GANDHI.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
I am against the political mind. The political mind means the cunning mind, the political mind means the murderous, violent mind. The political mind means the mind that is only interested in dominating others, that is only interested in being in such a position where millions of people's lives are in his hands, this way or that. The politician's mind is the mind of the perfect egoist.
I am certainly against the political mind. I would like a world which does not go round and round the political mind. I would like a world which has the religious quality, not the political quality. At least I would like the political quality of the mind to recede into the background. At the center should be the creative mind. Politics is destructive.
But this cannot happen right now. For millions of years politics has been in the center, so this cannot happen right now. A great meditative energy has to be released first. If millions of people become meditators then, slowly slowly, the structure of the energy on this earth will change - will start moving from the political mind to the religious mind. i am against the political mind, but I know that this cannot happen right now. It may take thousands of years. The beginning has to happen right now, the seed has to be sown right now. But the fruits will come only later on. You can become a non-political person right now, and your life will have a flowering. But as far as the whole earth is concerned, it is going to take time.
What are we going to do meanwhile?
I have blessed Indira Gandhi because to me she seems to be the least political amongst the Indian politicians. It will again look strange to you, because whatsoever has been said about her, spread about her, rumored about her, is just the opposite. But my own observation is this, that she has the least political mind.
And why do I say so? These are the reasons.
First: had she been really a politician and only a politician she would not have tried to do anything that goes against the Indian tradition. The politician never goes against the tradition; he always follows his own followers. That's a mutual arrangement. Particularly in a democratic system, the politician cannot afford to go against the traditions because after five years the elections will be there. If you go against people's traditions - whether they are right or wrong is not the point - if you go against their traditions they will take revenge.
So the real politicians only TALK about change, but they never try to change anything. They only talk. The talk is okay, it hurts nobody; even the masses enjoy the talk. Talk about revolution, but don't try to do it - because when you try to do it then many of the traditions and superstitions of the masses will have to be destroyed. Then those people will be angry, and in a democratic set-up their anger can be dangerous.
Indira Gandhi tried to DO something, sincerely tried to do something. In fact that's what created trouble for her. She was trying to help the poor, against the rich. She angered the rich, the people who are powerful; she angered the vested interest. No politician would afford it, no politician CAN afford it. Talking about great things is allowed, nobody is worried about what you say - just don't try to do anything. Go on creating beautiful ideals, but never practice them.
She annoyed the rich people of this country because she was doing something for the poor. And she annoyed the poor because whatsoever she did went against their traditions. For example, she imposed birth control: the Indian masses cannot tolerate it. For thousands of years they have thought that it is God who gives children, and who are you to prevent it? It is a gift from God - that has been their idea. Now the gift is becoming very dangerous. The gift is becoming so dangerous that it is almost suicidal.
No politician would have tried that. Let the country go to its death - who bothers?
Since Morarji Desai came into power, all the programs for birth control have been put aside. And that is the only hope for this country. If this country is to survive, the only hope is to reduce the population. Already there are too many people. Seventy-five percent of the people are living below human standards, fifty percent of the people are almost starving. Within twenty-five years, by the end of this century, the whole country will be starving.
But that is not the point. The politician thinks only of HIS power NOW. He will be here as prime minister for five or ten years at the most. Who cares what happens later on? Why should he risk he power and position?
Indira risked it. Hence I call her the least political person Indian politics.
Secondly: she started succeeding in her programs. That is dangerous; you should not succeed. If the man in power fails, all other politicians are happy - because the man in power is failing and that is their chance. If the man in power succeeds then there is no chance for them to ever come into power.
And she was the first Indian prime minister who was succeeding in bringing a certain order into the country, in creating some disciple out of chaos. She was succeeding in raising people's standard of living, she was succeeding in helping people to be more productive and less destructive. She was succeeding in many many ways.
But that angers other politicians: now what is THEIR chance? Other politicians live only on the failure of those who are in power. One should not be successful; there is nothing more dangerous than to succeed.
This is strange, but this is a fact in the history of man. If somebody succeeds, his own success is going to boomerang upon him. If she had failed, there would have been no trouble. Then the politicians who were against her would have remained divided, and if they had been divided there would have been no danger for her. But she started succeeding, and their chances to come into power started becoming less and less.
They all joined together. They HAD to - it was a question of life and death for them. Now there was no question of ideologies.
A strange phenomenon has happened in India, very strange. Morarji Desai is a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and is in power through the help of those who murdered Mahatma Gandhi. Strange bedfellows! But when it is a question of life and death who cares about ideologies? Ideologies are good as playthings, toys.
All the Indian politicians of different attitudes, approaches, and diametrically opposite ideologies, gathered together and became one force against Indira Gandhi. Why? How did it happen?
She was succeeding. Politicians only pretend; they never really do anything. But she was sincere, she really tried to do something for this country. That's why this country can never forgive her.
Thirdly: Indian bureaucracy is the worst in the world. No work ever happens, files just go on moving from one table to another table for years and years.
I knew a man who fought a single case in the courts his whole life - for almost fifty years. All the judges died, whosoever tried his case; all the lawyers died for and against. And finally he himself died, but the case was unfinished. Not only the judges and lawyers died, even the government changed: in'47 India became independent. The case was started by the British government. Even the government died, another government came into power, but the case continued.
If you want to do something in this country with such a bureaucracy it is impossible. You have to force this bureaucracy to do things.
The bureaucracy was angry. It was really the bureaucracy who deceived Indira Gandhi. She was given false reports. She was given false reports that her position was perfectly okay, she could allow an election, she was going to win. She depended on the reports of the bureaucracy, and those reports were false. The bureaucracy was absolutely against her. Nobody had ever forced them to do anything, and she was forcing them to do things.
Since Morarji has come, the bureaucracy is perfectly happy. Again things are moving at such a slow pace that nothing ever moves.
Morarji himself is a bureaucrat, he started his life as a deputy collector. He knows how the bureaucracy functions; he does not interfere. If you are just there to be in power - that is the mind of a politician - you don't interfere, you don't make so many enemies.
The rich people are against Indira because she tried to bring the poor people up a little higher from their mire. The poor people were angry because she imposed birth control on them forcibly - and it can be imposed only forcibly; otherwise it is not possible. The bureaucracy was against her because she forced the bureaucracy to DO things, to implement things, and FAST. The whole country was angry. Had she been a politician, this would not have happened.
Fourth: she imposed an Emergency. She was straightforward. Had she been a politician she would have done everything that is done through an Emergency, without imposing the Emergency. That's what is being done now - everything is being done just as it was done in the Emergency, but without declaring it. The cunning politician always works indirectly, not directly. He is not straightforward.
Morarji Desai said in one of his interviews to the BBC - it was asked by the BBC men, and it was particularly and deliberately asked for you and the work that is happening here: "Will you allow us freedom to make films in your country?" He said, "I will allow it, unless it is dangerous to our defense.
Now, how are my sannyasins dangerous to the defense of this country? Doing Dynamic and Kundalini and dancing and singing, how can they be dangerous? And if there is something that Morarji thinks is dangerous he can simply tell the BBC people and all the other TV agencies that have asked to film the ashram, "Make your film, but your film will have to go through the censor board." So simple! If you feel that something is going to be against your country, you can cut it.
But this is a cunning political mind: talk about freedom - just TALK about freedom, that's all - and go on creating more and more bondage for people.
Indira was straightforward, she declared Emergency. she was honest. The Emergency was needed:
this country can only be changed if things are to be taken very seriously, as if the country is at war.
Unless things are taken in that proportion and with that intensity, as if the country is at a war, nothing is going to happen.
And the war IS there. The war is with the population explosion. It is far more dangerous than a war with Pakistan or China, because China cannot destroy you, neither can Pakistan destroy you. Maybe China can take few miles of land - but the population explosion is the real enemy. The children that are going to come will destroy you.
Things are in a dangerous situation. It is a greater crisis than India has ever faced in the past; it knows no way to tackle it. Things have to be taken seriously.
That was the effort behind imposing Emergency. But imposing Emergency in a democratic country is dangerous. It can be done only by a non-political mind. It can be done only by one who really wants to change the situation, whatsoever the cost.
She risked her power, her prime ministership, to change the course of the history of this country.
This Emergency angered the journalists and other media people. And no politician would ever like to anger the journalists, because much depends on hem, too much depends on them.
It can be safely said that fifty percent of Indira's fall was made possible by the Indian journalists.
They were getting angrier and angrier. They were not allowed to gossip, they were not allowed to make rumors, they were not allowed what they call "freedom of the press." So when Emergency was removed, they took great revenge. It is how the human mind functions.
A politician would have been alert about it.
Fifth: her son, Sanjay Gandhi, entered politics. A real politician, a cunning politician, would have allowed him to enter only from the back door. Otherwise, others become jealous. She allowed him to enter from the front door, and the whole country became jealous.
There is no reason to prevent anybody from entering politics. Even though the person happens to be the son of the prime minister, he has as much right to enter into politics as anybody else. And Sanjay Gandhi has a certain potential. There was nothing wrong in it, but to allow him through the front door is a nonpolitical thing. She functioned more as a mother and a human being than as a cunning politician.
Her own father never allowed her through the front door; he was more cautious. Again and again, he was asked. "Who after you?" He never mentioned Indira Gandhi - never. Once to a friend he said, "I cannot tell you the name of the person who will succeed me, because if I tell you the name then there is no possibility for the poor person to succeed me. Just by mentioning it I will anger all the other people who are competitors, and they will join together against him."
There is every possibility he meant "her" not "him." He was a more seasoned politician than Indira Gandhi; he knew the ways of politics.
Indira Gandhi herself came through the back door. But she is more a mother than a politician: she allowed Sanjay Gandhi to enter through the front door. That was dangerous; that became one of the most important causes of her fall. And it was MORE dangerous because Sanjay has potential.
Sooner or later, he is going to become a prime minister; he has the potential and the guts. It cannot be prevented. But Indira was functioning very nonpolitically.
Morarji Desai is more cunning, His son is also there, but always behind a screen. And these who are even more interested in power, they go even further. The chief minister of Haryana, Devi Dayal, has disowned his son and saved his seat - saved his power and disowned his son. This is how a politician functions.
Indira Gandhi risked her power and tried to save her son. That is not the way of a politician - maybe the way of a mother, of a human being.
Sixth: she mad the greatest error that a politician can commit, a very fundamental error and very obvious: Indira Gandhi forced all the political parties into jail together. That is so absurd! Even a man like me, who has nothing to do with politics, can see that it is absolutely absurd. If you put all your enemies into jail together, you are forcing them to be united against you.
She should have studied Machiavelli a little more. It is so simple; a politician would never do that.
Keep at least half the enemies out of prison, and half the enemies in prison. Keep them fighting, keep them separate, because that is the only way to rule: to divide. This is utterly stupid - putting all your enemies together in jail you have almost imposed unity on them; they cannot avoid it. Now you are the enemy of all of them.
They became friendly. And they saw the point that if they could become friendly and if they could get together, then Indira would be gone. This they had not seen for thirty ears; for thirty years they had remained divided. Suddenly Indira brought them together and they became aware that "It is so simple: if we join together then Indira is gone." The Congress Party had ruled for thirty years because the enemies were divided.
Indira functioned as a non-politician.
And seventh: after Emergency, immediately after Emergency and after a great effort to impose birth control on the people - when rich people, poor people, and the journalists and everybody was annoyed and angry - immediately after Emergency declaring a general election: that is again incomprehensible.
If she had asked me, I would have told her, "Wait at least for one year. Remove the Emergency, wait for one year." That one year would have done. The steam of the journalists would have been released, people would have forgotten the imposition - people's memories are very short - and in one year the enemies, all the political enemies, would have again fallen into their old habits, would have started quarreling with one another again.
Immediately giving a general election to the country was utterly unpolitical. That's how she got defeated.
Because of these errors, I say she is the least political of all the Indian politicians. Hence I have blessed her. I have blessed her, and I bless her again.
The third question:
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT SEX EDUCATION FOR SMALL CHILDREN?
Truth is truth, and nobody should be debarred from it. Just because children are small, do they have to be fed on lies? Is truth only for grown-ups? Does that mean truth is dangerous for the delicate consciousness of the child?
Truth is never dangerous, untruth is dangerous. And if you tell an untruth to the grown-up he may be able to defend himself; it can be forgiven. But never tell an untruth to the child, because he is so helpless, so indefensible. He depends so much on you, he trusts so much in you - don't betray him.
This is betraying! Telling any lie means you have betrayed the child.
And finally you will be in trouble. Sooner or later, the child will discover that you have been telling lies. That very day, all trust in you will disappear.
If young people start rebelling against the parents, the responsibility is not theirs, the responsibility is of the parents. They have been telling so many lies; and now, by and by, the children start discovering that they were ALL lies. And if you have been telling so many lies, even the truth that you have told them becomes suspicious. And one thing is certain, they lose trust in you. You have betrayed them, you have deceived them: you become ugly in their consciousness. Their impression of you is no good any more. In fact they will never be able to trust anybody.
That's the problem I am facing every day. When you come and become sannyasins, the problem that you have with your parents starts being imposed on me. You cannot trust me either; in a subtle way I become your father-figure. And because your parents have deceived you, who knows? I am a stranger - if even your parents deceive you, if even parents cannot be relied upon, then how can you rely upon me?
You will never be able to trust the woman you love, the man you love. You will never be able to trust the master you surrender to. You will never in your life again be able to regain your trust. And for what has your trust been destroyed? For such foolish things.
What is wrong? Sex is a simple fact: tell it the way it is. And children are very very perceptive - even if you don't tell them they will discover it on their own. They are very curious people.
Carl was assigned to write a composition entitled, "Where I came from." When he returned home from school, he entered the kitchen where his mother was preparing dinner.
"Where did I come from, Mama?" he asked.
"The stork brought you."
"And where did Daddy come from?"
"The stork brought him, too."
"And what about Grandpa?"
"Why, the stork brought him too, darling."
Carl very carefully made notes on what Mama had told him, and the next day he handed in the following composition:
"According to my calculations, there hasn't been a natural birth in my family for the past three generations."
Children are very perceptive; they go on watching, they go on seeing what foolishness you are telling them. And how long can you deceive them? Life is there, and life is sexual. And they are watching life: they will see animals making love, they will see birds making love.
And you may go on believing that they have never seen you making love - you can go on believing it, but children know that their parents make love. In the beginning they may think they are fighting or something, but sooner or later they discover that something is going on behind their backs.
Why create these suspicions and doubts? Why not be true? Truth is always good, truth is always divine. Let them know things as they are.
I know a friend who was determined to have it out with his older boy and spent several hours painstakingly explaining sexual physiology to him. At the conclusion, feeling utterly exhausted and knowing that he did not want to go through it again with his younger son, he said, "And Billy, now that I've explained it to you, can I count on you passing it on to Bobby?"
"Okay Dad," said young William.
His elder son went out in search of his younger brother at once. "Bobby," he said when he found him, "I just had a long lecture from Dad and he wants me to pass on what he told me to you."
"Go ahead," said Bobby.
"Well, you know what you and I were doing with those girls behind the barn lat month? Dad wants me to tell you that the birds and the bees do it too!"
Don't be foolish, let things be as they are. Truth can never be the enemy, sexual or otherwise.
And children are very understanding, they immediately accept the fact. They have no prejudices, they have no notion of right and wrong. If you tell them the truth they understand it is so and they forget all about it. And it will create a great trust in you: you never deceived them.
Sex education is one of the fundamental causes of the rift between the generations. They day the child discovers that his parents have been deceiving him, he loses all roots in trust. That is the most devastating shock you can give to that delicate system.
Go on telling the truth as it is, and don't try to philosophize about it and don't go on round and round.
Tell it the way it is.
Why is there so much fear about it in you? Because your parents did not tell YOU. So you feel a little shaky, nervous, afraid, as if you are moving in some dangerous territory.
Be very simple, direct. And whenever a child enquires about anything, if you know about it, tell it.
If you don't know about it, say that you don't know. There are two wrongs that you can do. One is saying something which is not so - that is one danger. Another is saying something which you don't know.
For example, the child asks, "Who created the world?" and you say, "God." Again you are leading him into some mischief. You don't know; you are pretending that you know. Soon the child will discover that you know nothing, your God is bogus.
And the problem is not that YOUR God is proven bogus, the problem is that now the whole concept of God is proved bogus. You have destroyed a great possibility of enquiring into God. You should have said, "I don't know. I am trying to know; I am as ignorant as you are. If I find out before you do, I will tell you, if you find out before I do, please tell me."
And your son will respect you for ever for this sincerity of heart, for this equality, that you never pretended, that you never tried to show, "I know, and you don't know," that you were never egoistic.
Saying to the child that God created the world, without knowing it, is nothing but an ego trip. You are enjoying yourself at the cost of the child's ignorance. But how long can you enjoy this knowledge?
Never tell the child that which you yourself are incapable of doing. Don't tell the child, "Be truthful, always be truthful" - because once he catches you red-handed being untruthful, you have destroyed something immensely valuable. And there is nothing more precious than trust.
And how long can you hide the fact? One day somebody knocks on the door and you say to the child, "Tell him that Daddy is not at home." And now the child knows that to talk about truth is one thing, but it is not meant to be followed and practiced. You have created a duality in him of saying something, pretending something, and being something else quite the contrary of it. You have created the split.
And if you know something - if the child asks about sex or how children come into the world, and you know - then simply tell it as it is. Make it as simple as possible, because the child is not asking about the physiology or about the chemistry or about the inner mechanism of sex. He is not asking about all that nonsense; that is not his interest. Don't start telling him about physiology, because in the name of sex education what they do in schools is only teach physiology. And the child is simply bored; he is not interested.
He simply wants the truth: how children come, from where they come. Just tell it. And never try to give him more information than he needs and asks form, because that will be too early. That too is happening, particularly in the West where the idea has become prevalent that children have to be given sex education. So parents are in a hurry: even if the child has not enquired, they go on pouring out the knowledge that they have acquired from books. Children feel simply bored.
Unless the enquiry has arisen in the child there is no need to say anything. When the enquiry has arisen there is no need to HIDE anything.
And it is not a question of age at all, so don't ask about small children. Whom do you call small?
What age limit? Is seven years old small? Or is nine years old small? It is not a question of age; whenever the child enquires he is ready to be given the information. He may be four, he may be five, he may be seven. The more intelligent a child is, the earlier he will enquire, that much is certain.
The stupid, the mediocre, may not enquire so early; he may enquire when he is twelve or fourteen.
But the intelligent child is bound to enquire early, because life is such a mystery that from the very beginning the child becomes aware that something is happening. All around, life is happening, life is perpetuating itself.
He sees the eggs of the birds in the garden, and then one day the eggs are broken and the birds come out. He goes on seeing his mother's belly growing bigger and bigger, and he certainly becomes curious. What is happening? Is his mother ill or something?
And then one day she comes from the hospital with a child. And from where has the child come? It has been brought by the stork. And he sees the belly is not big anymore. Now he is puzzled: what happened to the belly?
Don't create unnecessary puzzles for children. Life is puzzling enough as it is. Life is so mysterious, the enquiry is bound to be there. But remember, the more intelligent a child is, the sooner he is going to enquire. So if your child enquires early, don't think that he seems to be dirty from the very beginning. He is not dirty, he is intelligent. If anybody is dirty, YOU are dirty. He is simply intelligent.
Tell him things as they are, and tell him the way he can understand. Don't philosophize, don't go indirectly round and round, go directly to the point. Make it as clear as two plus two is four.
And you will be surprised: once the fact has been told the child goes away and starts playing. He is not really interested anymore; he never brings the question up again. If you falsify things he will bring up the question again and again - from this side, from that side, any excuse and he will bring up the question - because he wants to know the fact, and unless the fact is given he is not going to be satisfied.
Only facts satisfy. Falsifications can postpone but they cannot satisfy.
The fourth question:
BELOVED MASTER, WHY DO I CONTINUE TO TAKE MYSELF AND LIFE IN GENERAL SO SERIOUSLY?
Tada, everybody takes life seriously because everybody is so empty. By being serious you hide your emptiness, by being serious you pretend. By being serious you are just escaping from the loneliness that is there inside you, the nothingness that is inside you.
You cannot laugh, you cannot be at ease, because whenever you are at ease you become aware of the emptiness within. You have to be serious. Serious, you remain clinging to the surface. Relaxed, you start diving deep into your being - and there is fear.
People are serious for a certain reason. The reason is, they don't want to face themselves. And seriousness gives a certain dignity also; it is ego-fulfilling. If you are serious everybody thinks you must be important.
Seriousness has a connotation of importance. Important people are very serious - you don't see saints laughing. Christians say Jesus never laughed. They can't be right. I know Jesus far better, they must be wrong. But they indicate a certain attitude: how can Jesus laugh? He must be serious, utterly serious.
And all the Christian paintings about Jesus are ugly and false, because the face is made so serious.
And the painters were doing something great; they were thinking it HAD to be serious because Jesus is the savior, and how can the savior laugh and tell jokes? You don't expect a savior of the world to tell jokes; he has to be serious. He has a great burden, he is carrying the greatest burden: the burden of the whole earth, of the whole of humanity, of the original sin of man, and other unoriginal sins too. Millions of people and their sins, and he is carrying the burden of all: he is the savior.
Christians cannot believe Krishna can dance and sing and play the flute, because of their idea.
Krishna seems to be very nonserious. How can you play the flute when so many people are suffering from so many sins? Everybody is bound for hell, and you are playing the flute? Is this the time to play the flute? And you are dancing - and with so many girlfriends!
This seems to be very irresponsible. A savior dancing with girlfriends under the full-moon night, and the whole world in such a misery! Krishna should open a hospital or at least a primary school to educate people. He should do some missionary work. What is he doing under the full moon when the whole earth is drowning deeper and deeper into sin?
He looks frivolous. Jesus is serious.
Tada, you ask me: WHY DO I CONTINUE TO TAKE MYSELF AND LIFE IN GENERAL SO SERIOUSLY?
It gives gratification to your ego that you are a serious person, that you are not ordinary, you are special. That you are not like people who go to the movies and laugh and talk nonsense and gossip.
You are a serious person: you only meditate, you only read the Bible or the Koran. You only remain with great high things, you are not interested in the mundane.
Seriousness supports the ego, seriousness is the climate in which the ego can thrive.
Nonseriousness is the death of the ego.
I teach you nonseriousness.
And because of this seriousness you make mountains out of molehills. Just small things, and you make mountains. Somebody smokes cigarettes and he is very serious, as if by smoking cigarettes he is going to hell. He thins he is committing a great sin.
Don't be so stupid. Just by taking smoke in and out you cannot commit any sin. It may show that you are stupid but it doesn't show that you are a sinner. And I don't think that people are sent to hell for stupidity. Otherwise, the whole earth would have been in hell. Why are people here? All the stupid people are here in the world!
But you make mountains. You cannot bear small things, you have to be with big things.
They tell the story of the lady who went to confession and told the priest a long story about her sexual activities and as a result, for penance, the priest told her to go into the next room, say twelve Hail Marys and wash her sins away by washing her hands in the holy water which was contained in a basin on the table.
As she was busy in the next room saying her Hail Marys and washing her hands in the basin of holy water, in walked another young lady who took one look at the scene and exclaimed, "Please take your damn hands out of that water! Don't you realize I have to gargle with it!"
You think you are committing great sins? There are other people who are far more serious. You must remember one thing: even in hell you will not be the first, you will be standing in a long long queue. Wherever you are, you will be standing in a long long queue. Forget all about being the first, even in hell.
George Bernard Shaw once said... Somebody asked, "Where would you like to go, to heaven or to hell?" He said, "Wherever I go, I would like to be the first. I am even ready to go to hell, but I want to be the first. And if I have to be the second in heaven, I don't care for heaven at all."
The ego wants to be the first everywhere. The ego wants to be the greatest saint; if it is not possible then the greatest sinner - but the greatest.
Why can't you be ordinary? To be ordinary is immensely beautiful, and to be just human is divine.
Forget ideals and goals, those ideals and goals keep you neurotic. And people go on changing their goals. First they used to have paradise as the goal, saintliness or God-realization or enlightenment.
They change: now they have to attain total orgasm. Now no smaller orgasm will do - total orgasm.
And what is total orgasm anyway? And how are you going to know that this is total orgasm? Is there any way to measure it? So you will remain in misery; the total orgasm will never be achieved.
Now there are people who are continuously hankering for peak experiences, they want a peak experience every moment. They go nuts. If one moment is passed without a peak experience then life is lost. Then one moment is wasted: where is the peak experience? They want to remain on the peak continuously, twenty-four hours.
These things keep people insane. Life should be lived more sanely. And what do I mean when I say life should be lived more sanely? One should be able to accept the ordinariness of it. There is tremendous joy out of ordinariness - and that joy is not something like a peak experience, it is more diffused. It is not a peak, because peaks exist only with the valleys. If you want a peak experience then you will have to fall again and again into the valley.
You will have to repeat the myth of Sisyphus. He takes the rock to the peak and by the time it reaches the peak, the peak is so small and the rock is so big that it rolls back down the other side. He has to rush back into the valley, then he again starts the journey, again hankers for the peak experience.
And by the time he reaches to the peak, just reaching, just reaching - and finished! Flat, back to the valley.
And that's what happens to you. Each peak experience is momentary; it is the repetition of the myth of Sisyphus.
Forget all about it. Rather live a more ordinary life. That is the life of a Zen disciple, that is the life of a Sufi disciple - ordinary.
I have heard: An American enquirer came to Dacca, to Bangladesh. He had heard about a great Sufi master. He was in a hurry to meet the master: he enquired from many people, but nobody had heard of him. At the airport he went from one person to another: nobody had heard of him. He became suspicious, and he became very depressed. He had come from so far, and he had heard so much about the Sufi master who lives in Dacca, Bangladesh - and nobody even knows his name!
But as a last try, he asked a taxi driver. And the taxi driver said, "Sit in the taxi and I will take you to him." He could not believe it, so suddenly - because nobody knew about the master. He had asked but nobody knew.
The taxi driver said, "Don't be worried, I know him. In fact I am him."
And that's how it turned out to be. He was the Sufi master, but he was working as a taxi driver - just an ordinary life.
Sufis function that way. Somebody is a weaver, somebody may be a potter, somebody may be making carpets.
Do you know what Gurdjieff used to do in the West? His business was carpet selling He was a carpet salesman, that was his business. If you had seen him you would have never recognized that a great master was there.
That's how the Sufis have existed, down the ages. They don't stand out, there is no need.
It is always the ego that hankers for the peak, and it is the ego that does not allow you to live in constant joy. And constant joy is not a peak, remember. In fact it is more like peace than like bliss, more like peace. Bliss is there, but like a fragrance; you cannot catch hold of it. It is there, but very indirect, very subtle, very delicate. It is not a peak, certainly. It is very plan and simple.
Tada, you are serious because you are afraid to know your ordinariness. And that is the truth, and truth is never ordinary. Once you have accepted the ordinariness, in your very ordinariness arises an extraordinariness. Your ordinariness becomes luminous, radiant. Then each moment is a gift, and each moment bring sits own joy, its own peace, its own beautitude.
But never hanker after peaks. The idea of the peak is an ego projection. And don't become serious and don't make mountains out of molehills; there is nothing to be serious about.
Laugh a little, live a little and be playful, and you will know what life is. It comes in laughter, non in seriousness. A serious person is a closed person, a serious person is an unavailable person. A serous person exists with all the windows and doors closed. A serious person is encapsulated in himself; he never makes any bridges with people. He closes doors, he never makes any bridges.
Laugh, because laughter is a bridge. Love, because love is a bridge. Enjoy small things, because life consists of small things and enjoying small things is a bridge.
That's why Zen people have made even tea drinking a meditation. Just tea drinking, who thinks of it as something religious? But it can be transformed; it depends on your attitude. You can drink tea so meditatively: sip it meditatively, taste it, smell the flavor. Listen first to the samovar, the song of the samovar, the dance of the vapor inside, and the subtle fragrance that starts arising. Live it, be with it, make it a prayerful moment, and then just ordinary tea is transported into something divine. And if this can be done with tea, this can be done with everything else.
To live religiously does not mean to live seriously, it means to live meditatively. And meditation has nothing to do with seriousness. Meditation is playfulness.
That's why my insistence here is more and more on dancing, on singing. I have put vipassana and zazen in the background, because they can create seriousness in you, and you are already serious and it is dangerous. First your seriousness has to be destroyed, only then will you be able to enjoy vipassana without becoming serious.
First you have to dance, so in dance your armor drops. First you have to shout in joy, and sing, so your life becomes more vital. First you have to cathart, so all that you have repressed is thrown out and your body is purified of toxins and poisons, and your psyche also is purified from repressed traumas and wounds.
When this has happened and you have become able to laugh and you have become able to love, then vipassana. Now vipassana will not drive you serious, will not drive you in any way into some ego trip. Now you can sit silently; now sitting silently is not serious.
That is the special quality that I am trying to create here in vipassana - it does not exist anywhere in the world. My whole effort here is to bring tantra to the twentieth century and make it neo-tantra, to bring tao to the twentieth century and make it neo-tao, to bring zen to the twentieth century and make it neo-zen, and so on and so forth: neo-sufism and neo-yoga...
Centuries divide you from these beautiful things; those centuries have to be dropped. And those centuries can only be dropped if YOU drop what has been done to you in those centuries. You have become too serious. Modern man is very serious; it has never been so before. And this seriousness is creating a distance from God, from the whole.
Tada, go into your seriousness and see what you are hiding behind it. You are alone, you are empty, and you are not capable of facing it. It has to be faced, because emptiness is not bad, emptiness is immensely beautiful. If you escape from it, then it becomes ugly. If you go into it, it becomes silence and quietude. And if you disappear into it, it becomes creativity.
And aloneness is beautiful. It is only the person who is alone who becomes capable of love. Those who cannot be alone, they cannot be in love at all, because their love remains a kind of need.
Love can be of two types. One is when you say to somebody, "I need you, I really love you." This is ugly love, because it is based in need. You say, "I need you": you want to use the other. You are not yet able to be alone; you want to be together with somebody, you want to cling to the other. The other keeps you occupied - without eh other you become afraid of your own aloneness.
And this is what people say, and lovers enjoy it very much. When somebody says to you, "I need you, I really love you," you feel you are entering into something beautiful. You are not; you are entering into something destructive. This is the wrong kind of love.
And this is the love that exists in the world. Everybody is afraid of his loneliness and clings to the outer, uses the other as a means, someone to cling to. And when you use the other, the other is reduced to a thing. He is no longer a person, he becomes a husband or a wife. Freedom is lost.
You cannot allow the other to be free, because if you allow freedom then you will have to face your loneliness. And that you don't want to do.
So you cling. You hold the other, you possess the other. Even if it means being possessed by the other, you are ready to lose your freedom. You become mutual slaves, mutual imprisonments to each other.
Love-as-need creates what the other day I was calling "tunnel vision." You become focussed on one person and you are afraid that if the other person leaves you, you will not be able to live at all. The very idea of the other leaving you gives you immediate thoughts of committing suicide. Your life will not have meaning.
This is tunnel vision. One is willing to admit only a narrow range of sensations; all else is regarded as insignificant. And when such expectations fail, then one feels life is not wroth living. And they always fail, because nobody can really be possessed. How can you possess a presence, a person?
He is not a thing, you can never be the master. The other will go on asserting his freedom, the other will go on sabotaging your efforts to possess him. The other is trying to possess you, and you are trying to possess the other. Nobody wants to be possessed, and everybody wants to be the possessor. Now, this is doomed to fail.
Sooner or later, you will start feeling life has no meaning. This kind of love is pathological, and this is the only kind that exists and is available in the world. It drives people neurotic and psychotic. It should be changed into love which is not a need but a state. Then one can love life in more richness.
Then one can love and yet allow the other freedom. Then love is nonpossessive.
But that love is possible only when you have learned how to live with your aloneness. When you can be alone and perfectly happy and you don't miss the other at all, only then can you love. But now a totally different kind of love arrives - even to think of it will shock you.
Then the lover says, "I don't need you, I love you." It will be almost incomprehensible, a lover saying to somebody, "I don't need you, I love you." It will look contradictory, because you have always heard, "I need you, I love you very much" - you are acquainted with that approach.
But this is TRUE love, the other is destructive. It destroys both the people, it destroys all the possibilities of growing. This is true love, this is creative love, when you can say, "I don't need you, I simply love you."
Just meditate over it. Repeat it silently within yourself: "I don't need you, I love you" - and a totally different dimension opens up. Now there is no need to possess, now there is no need to reduce the other to a thing, now there is no need to destroy his or her freedom, now there is no need to allow the other to destroy your freedom. Now love can exist with freedom.
When love exists with freedom it has tremendous beauty; it has something of the ultimate in it. But now it is pure sharing. Now it is a luxury, it is no more a need.
I teach you love-as-luxury, not love-as-need. It is just an overflowing. You have so much that you cannot bear it any more, you have to give it to somebody. And from where are you getting so much?
It comes if you learn how to live in your aloneness. If you learn how to live in your aloneness, enjoy it and celebrate it, if you learn how to be empty without any desire to fill yourself up, to stuff yourself with anything - food, love, money, power - when you are not in any way interested in stuffing your emptiness, then suddenly emptiness changes its color, its quality is transformed. You relax into it.
Then you don't feel, "I am empty." You feel, "I am emptiness - and if I am emptiness, I am emptiness."
And the purity of emptiness is tremendous. In emptiness not even a particle of dust can collect.
Emptiness cannot be polluted by anything, its purity is total and absolute. That emptiness is always virgin. Out of that emptiness, living in that emptiness, great joy and great peace arise and well up.
This is what I call creativity. It can become a song, it can become a painting, it can become a dance, it can become love, it can become all kinds of things. But one thing is similar: it overflows. This overflowing love is a state, a luxury, a sharing for the sheer joy of sharing. This love is celebration.
And, Tada, you have been avoiding your aloneness, you have been avoiding your emptiness. If you go on avoiding it you will never come to know this love, this creative love. And this is the greatest experience there is. You are avoiding your own great possibility and potential.
Don't be serious, please. Drop it. It is not going to give you anything except more and more misery.
Meditate on these words of Kahlil Gibran:
Sing and dance together and be joyous But let each of you be alone Even as the strings of a lute are alone Though they quiver with the same music.
Stand together, yet not too near together, For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Be alone: that is meditation. And in aloneness wells up love: that is creation. Then love can do miracles.
But the person who remains serious remains unavailable to his own sources, his own juice; he remains unavailable to his own soil and roots. The person who is serious goes on moving round and round outside his being.
Drop your seriousness. Laugh a little, love a little, and you will know what God is.