Back to Eros
The first question:
I HAVE BEEN A DEVOTEE OF BABA MUKTANANDA AND RAN A CENTER FOR HIM. I EXPERIENCED A PERIOD OF EXTREME DIFFICULTY AND IT WAS NOT UNTIL I READ YOUR BOOKS THAT I UNDERSTOOD ALL THAT WAS AND STILL IS HAPPENING.
I QUESTION THE NEED TO BE ATTACHED TO ANOTHER TEACHER, ALTHOUGH I FEEL AND UNDERSTAND YOUR TEACHINGS DEEPLY. I KNOW I CANNOT GO BACK TO BABA'S METHODS. I'M CONFUSED - CAN YOU HELP?
Bernadette Brown, only a disciple can be helped. And the disciple has to become involved, committed. Without commitment there is no possibility of any help. A tree has to be rooted in the soil, only then can it grow. If it starts talking about not getting attached to the earth, it will die.
Why are you afraid of getting attached to a new master? Do you think you have gone beyond attachment? Is it really non-attachment? Or is it just the attachment to the old teacher that is hindering your path?
You are still attached to a person to whom you think you cannot go back. Now, this is unintelligent.
Remain attached to him by all means, if you feel you are growing there - that is intelligence.
Wherever growth is happening, wherever you are getting more and more mature, more and more blissful, remain attached by all means.
But the moment growth has stopped, the moment you can see that you are not going anywhere, or going round in circles, it is time to become detached. Seek new soil, seek new lands, new pastures.
And one has to go on seeking till one becomes a master in one's own right.
Why be afraid of the new? You are attached to yesterday's sun, and a new sun has risen today. And because of your attachment to yesterday's sun you are keeping your eyes closed! Your fear is that of betrayal. But what can you do? It is not that you are betraying anybody, it is simply a search for your own growth - and that is your responsibility.
And you will have to go on seeking, searching. On and on one has to go, till one arrives at one's own being. And learn from everywhere, and don't be so miserly. Now you want my help, but without becoming attached to me. It is impossible; you will have to be plugged in with we.
That's what sannyas is all about. Unless you are plugged in, my energy cannot flow into you. You can go on reading my books, but that is quite a different matter. It will remain intellectual, it will never become existential.
It is a totally different phenomenon when you are a sannyasin and you listen to my words than when you are not a sannyasin and you listen to my words. They are the same words, but the meaning is totally different.
When you are in a love relationship with me, those words simply become aflame. They have a light in them, they are luminous. They are not ordinary words; they are words of your master, they are words coming from a source to which you have become devoted. They are really YOUR words - as if your own being has spoken to you. There is intimacy, there is love. And in that love, the miracle happens.
It is up to you. But don't be clever; that cleverness will not help. To be with me means to be involved with me. You can be here, but if you are not with me, your being here is superficial. You will remain on the periphery, you will remain an outsider. And great secrets can only be delivered in deep intimacy. They can be only delivered through love.
You say: I HAVE BEEN A DEVOTEE OF BABA MUKTANANDA...
It is already a "have been," it is finished. You have learned whatsoever you could learn from him; you have grown out of it, you have passed that class. Now enter into a new class, enter into a new land, explore this new country.
You say: AND I RAN A CENTER FOR HIM. I EXPERIENCED A PERIOD OF EXTREME DIFFICULTY AND IT WAS NOT UNTIL I READ YOUR BOOKS THAT I UNDERSTOOD ALL THAT WAS AND STILL IS HAPPENING.
If just by reading my books you have been helped, then think what is possible if you get involved with me. Even the impossible is possible.
And Muktananda has helped you, that's why you are here. It is not betraying him. He has helped in his own way; without him you would not have been here. But now you have to go beyond. You have used the boat, now you have to leave it behind. Don't become too attached to the boat, otherwise the whole journey becomes absurd. If you are too attached to the boat you will not leave it; you will not get to the other shore, and you will be puzzled and you will be confused.
Reading my books is an intellectual way of communicating with me. Being a disciple is a non- intellectual, intuitive way of communing with me. Reading my books, listening to my words, is from head to head. Becoming a sannyasin is from heart to heart.
Yes, a few things can be communicated through the head, through words, but those few things are not really the heart of the matter. The real heart of the matter can be communicated only from heart to heart. Only in tremendous devotion, receptivity, passionate love, surrender, in trust, does the flame jump from the master to the disciple And the flame can jump only when you have come very close.
It is up to you.
You ask: I QUESTION THE NEED TO BE ATTACHED TO ANOTHER TEACHER.
If you are still attached to Muktananda, go back to him, forget all about me. Then I am not for you.
But don't become confused, because I am a totally different kind of man. Then you will remain attached to the primary class, then you can go on playing the same game again and again.
Muktananda is a teacher - orthodox, conventional, a puritan, part of the status quo, traditional. I am just the opposite: I am not a teacher, I am not teaching you any doctrine, I am not giving you any creed.
The word 'creed' is beautiful, it comes from a root CREDERE: CREDERE means 'to believe'. I am not giving you any belief-system, I am destroying all belief-systems.
Muktananda has given you a belief-system. He is an ordinary teacher, in the service of the society, in the service of the past, in the service of this rotten structure, establishment. He is not a master.
I have seen him, I have met him: there is no fire in him. Nothing has happened in him - or whatsoever has happened is very ordinary, can happen to anybody. Those type of things happen in India to thousands of people. He has no insight, he is not an enlightened person. You can remain attached to him and you can go on playing the game, but you will remain in a very primary state.
And I am not saying that he has not helped you - even a primary class helps, otherwise nobody would ever enter into the university. But I am a totally different kind of person, diametrically opposite.
I teach you rebellion. I am against the whole past, I am all for the present. And the future is going to be born out of the present.
I am not for the establishment. My whole work here is to create a totally different kind of humanity.
The humanity that has existed up till now is ill, abnormal, neurotic. I don't belong to any tradition: I am not a Hindu, not a Christian, not a Mohammedan. I am utterly finished with the past, and I teach the same to you.
I don't give you a doctrine, I give you an insight into reality. I don't give you a belief, I take all beliefs and prejudices away from you, so that you can become a clean clear mirror and that which is can be reflected in you.
But this is possible only if you come close to me. The closer you are, the better. And by being closer I don't mean a physical closeness, I mean a spiritual closeness.
You say: I QUESTION THE NEED TO BE ATTACHED TO ANOTHER TEACHER ALTHOUGH I FEEL AND UNDERSTAND YOUR TEACHINGS DEEPLY.
Now you will be in turmoil. You are creating a split in yourself. Your heart is finished with your so-called teacher, Muktananda; just your mind is clinging. Your heart will be with me now, and your mind will go on clinging to the past. The mind always clings to the past. The mind is absolutely against the present and the future; it lives, exists, on the past, on the dead. Now you will be in a great split; your mind will say one thing, and your heart will say another thing.
And my ways are so totally different from your other so-called teachers that the rift will become bigger and bigger every day. Either burn all my books and forget all about me - be at peace at least; you will remain stupid but there will be peace - or be finished with your old attachments. Then you can start growing again.
I can help you.
You say: I KNOW I CANNOT GO BACK TO BABA'S METHODS.
There is not much of a method to your Baba Muktananda. It is so childish, the whole thing is so unintelligent! But there are people who need it; there are people who can only understand a very superficial thing. It is fortunate that you have grown out of that need. Now please don't go on carrying your childhood clothes with you: they won't fit you, they will suffocate you.
And your devotion is towards truth. If your devotion is towards truth, then from wherever it comes, you have to bow down there, you have to surrender there.
You say: I AM CONFUSED - CAN YOU HELP?
I can help. But, Bernadette Brown, can you take my help? That's the question. The crux of the matter is not can I help - can you take it, can you receive it?
Sannyas is just a gesture from your side that you are ready to receive it. And I can give it to you only when you are ready to receive it.
The second question:
IF THE SELF IS THE SAME IN ALL MEN, DOES THIS MEAN THAT ALL MEN ARE IDENTICAL?
IF SO, HOW CAN ANY ONE MAN BE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF CREATION?
Richard Mitchley, the supreme self is the same in all men. And not only in all men but in all beings - men, animals, birds, trees, rocks. The supreme self is the center of the whole existence. It is not my self or your self, it is simply THE self. It is universal, it is not personal.
And still every individual is different, every individual is unique. This is one of the most paradoxical things, but it is so.
All waves are part of the same ocean. And still each single wave taken, thought about, meditated over, is totally different from any other wave that has ever been, is, or will ever be. Both are true.
Each wave is nothing but part of the ocean, the same ocean: the ocean is the supreme self. But the wave has a form. One wave is so tidal and is trying to reach the stars; another is so small, so humble. They are different: their shape, their form, their manifestation, is different. No two waves are the same, and still the ocean behind each wave is the same. So I don't see that there is any difficulty in understanding this simple truth, although it is paradoxical.
The self is one. And still the selves are all different. Self with a capital 'S' is one; selves with a lower-case 's' are millions. And they are all different - they are waves. God creates out of the same stuff, but each time he paints differently, he sculpts differently.
I have heard:
An American art dealer traveling in China saw a beautiful hand-carved chair in an artisan's shop and was enchanted with it. He asked the artisan how much he would charge to make eleven additional chairs.
"All different?" said the artisan.
"No, all exactly like this one."
"Well," said the artisan dubiously, "If they must all be exactly alike, I will have to charge you more for each chair."
"More!" exclaimed the American, who had hoped for a better price on a quantity order. "Why more?"
"I would become bored making them all alike," replied the artisan. "I would be happier making each one different."
God would have really become bored if he was to go on producing the same type of people again and again. God is not an assembly line. The production is not mass; it is always unique, whatsoever is created. You cannot find two pebbles alike on the whole of the earth, not even two leaves alike.
What to say about two human beings?
But the stuff is the same: it is the same universal consciousness out of which we are all made, sculptured, painted. It is the same, but still each one is given a different form. And the world is beautiful because each individual has a uniqueness - his own face, his own authenticity. Yet go deeper in him, and you will find the individual disappearing. And when you have reached to his very core, there is no individual left, but only the universal.
So let me say it in this way: on the circumference we are different, at the center we are the same. The center is one, the circumference is millions. And each circumference has its own way of expression, of being.
God is a creator, not a producer. And his creativity is infinite. He never duplicates, he never imitates, he never creates carbon copies. He creates each individual only once - and that is your grandeur, your dignity, your glory.
Mitchley, you ask me: IF THE SELF IS THE SAME IN ALL MEN, DOES THIS MEAN THAT ALL MEN ARE IDENTICAL?
They are not identical. On the circumference they are absolutely unique. At the center there is no question of identity: it is one. There are not two, so how can they be identical? At the center there is only one universal existence; there is no question of being identical with anything else - there IS nothing else. On the periphery, on the circumference, there is no question of being identical: all waves are different, no two waves are similar.
And you ask: IF SO, HOW CAN ANY ONE MAN BE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF CREATION?
Each single wave is an essential part of the ocean; it is not accidental. By essential I mean it is needed by the ocean, otherwise it would not have been there in the first place. God needs you the way you are, he needs you exactly the way you are. So please don't try to become somebody else.
Don't try to become a Buddha, don't try to become a Jesus, don't try to become a Mohammed.
Just be yourself, because that's how he wants you. If he had wanted Mohammeds he would have created many more Mohammeds; he does not want them. He is finished with Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus - whomsoever he has created, he is finished with them. Now he has created you. YOU are needed - not Mohammed, not Krishna, not Christ. You are needed, you are you are.
So don't try to imitate any great ideal, don't try to be a copy of somebody else. Be sincere to the form that God has given to you, because that is the only way to thank God, to be grateful to God.
Be authentically your individual being.
And if you are an authentic individual being you will be able to know the universal too, and more easily, because the universal is not far away from the authentic individual. The ocean is just there in the wave: a look inwards, and the ocean is revealed.
But if you have become false, you cannot look inwards. The mask cannot look inwards. The false cannot look inwards, because the false has nothing like an inner side. Only the real has two sides, the outer and the inner. The false has only one side, the outer. It has no inner side; it is just a mask, there is nothing inside it. It is just a painted face.
Please don't be Hindus, don't be Mohammedans, don't be Christians. Be religious - and by being religious, I mean look inwards, search inwards. And you will find these two things: first, your authenticity, your individuality, and in the second step you will find your universality. First the small self has to be true, then you will find the supreme self.
From the small truth to the ultimate truth: that is the journey, the pilgrimage.
The third question:
I BEGIN TO SEE MORE CLEARLY THE GAMES THAT I AND OTHER PEOPLE PLAY. ARE THESE OBSERVATIONS TO BE TRUSTED, OR AM I WASTING TIME ON MIND GAMES AGAIN?
Prem Tusheer, trust only the pure consciousness when there is nothing left to be observed. If something is left to be observed, it is still a game. It is the same game, played with the new toys.
You say: I BEGIN TO SEE MORE CLEARLY THE GAMES THAT I AND OTHER PEOPLE PLAY.
Now, if you don't become alert, you may start playing this game of observation. And you will be continuously observing.
I have heard about a psychoanalyst who went to see a beauty contest. Naked beautiful women were passing: the whole audience was excited, everybody was totally absorbed in watching the beautiful women. But the psychiatrist, the psychoanalyst, was watching people.
His friend who was sitting by his side asked him, "What are you doing? The women are there on the stage, why don't you look there?"
He said, "I am looking at the people. I am watching how they are reacting, what is in their eyes."
Now, this is the same game again. A few people are watching the naked women, and somebody is watching the people watching the naked women. Now the game has gone a little deeper. And there may be a third person who can watch this psychoanalyst watching people watching naked women...
and so on, so forth, it can go on and on.
Observation is good, but don't let it become a game. It CAN become a game, and then it is all the same; what game you are playing is not the question. You can play religious games, you can play psychological games, you can play spiritual games - you can go on playing.
The worldly person is after money: he is playing a game. The otherworldly person is after renouncing money: he is playing another game. The worldly person is interested in being a great success, famous, well known. The religious person is escaping to the caves, so nobody knows him, so he becomes absolutely anonymous.
But whether you want to be known by others, or you want NOT to be known by others, you are focused on others: it is the same game.
A man triumphantly walked into his favorite bar after asking for and receiving a quite substantial raise in salary at his job. "Joe!" he shouted to the bartender. "Drinks for the whole house are on me, except for that Jew over there in the corner. Don't give him a drop!"
The Jewish man, although a little hurt, remained quiet.
A short while later, the man cried out to the bartender again, "Joe, another drink for everybody here!
But nothing for that Jew over there in the corner. I don't want him to have anything!"
At this, the Jew could contain himself no longer and with great frustration he walked over to the man.
"What is it?" he yelled. "What have we Jews ever done to you? Why do you treat me this way?"
With great contempt the man looked at the Jew and said, "You sunk the Titanic, that's what you did!"
"What!" cried the Jew in utter disbelief. "What kind of nonsense is this? An iceberg sank the Titanic, you fool!"
The man nodded his head knowingly and replied, "That's right - Steinberg, Greenberg, Iceberg, you are all the same to me!"
All the games are the same. Play - but remember, all the games are the same. One has to come to a point where there is nothing left to observe, no content in the consciousness. Contentless consciousness is meditation.
And when there is no content, all games disappear, because you cannot play with nothingness.
There is no way to play with nothingness. When all games have disappeared, all contents have disappeared, you will be surprised to know, you will have also disappeared with your games - because the 'I' exists only through games. You can change your games: the 'I', the ego, starts riding on other games.
When all games disappear - the game of observation included, the spiritual game included - when there is no content, and consciousness is there, just pure, with nothing to cling to, with nothing to hold on to, that is the moment when you go beyond games, beyond the world.
The world consists of games. Nirvana consists in going beyond all games.
The fourth question:
IS THERE NOT SOMETHING LIKE A DEEP INBUILT LONGING IN MAN TO DIE AS AN EGO, TO DISAPPEAR, TO DISSOLVE - AND HOW IS THIS LONGING DIFFERENT FROM FREUD'S THANATOS, FROM LIFE-NEGATION?
Sona, in reality, there is no ego to disappear. Disappearance is possible only if the ego is real. If the ego really exists, only then is disappearance possible. Then what is meant when it is said, "Let the ego disappear?" All that is meant is this? "Look deep down, and you will not find any ego in you."
That is the disappearance. It is not that the ego disappears - it has never been there in the first place. You only believed that it was there; it was just a notion, an idea in you, nothing else.
It is as if it is evening and the sun has set and the night is descending and you see a rope, but it looks like a snake to you. Out of your fear you project a snake on the rope, and you start running, you are so frightened. There is no snake. If somebody catches hold of you, laughs, takes you to the rope, shows you that there is only a rope and nothing else, will you say that now the snake has disappeared, dissolved, gone away, died? That will be nonsense. You will also laugh; you will say the snake was never there in the first place. The rope was always a rope: you projected a snake on it. That snake was just a fear ripple in you.
So is the ego. Ego is just an idea, and if you start trying to drop the ego you will be in great difficulty.
It cannot be dropped. How can you drop something which doesn't exist?
That's why people who try to drop the ego are in such an absurd situation: they go on dropping it and it goes on bubbling up, popping up. They become very humble, but deep down in their humbleness there is ego. Humbleness itself becomes the cause of their ego. They start proclaiming to the world:
"There is nobody more humble than me, I am the tops." Now humbleness has become another form of the ego.
The ego cannot be dropped, the ego can only be looked into. Once you look into it, it is not found, because it is not there. It disappears like a dream disappears when you wake up in the morning.
You can wake up, that's all; the ego cannot be dissolved. And the whole effort is absurd, because in dissolving it you have accepted its existence - and the whole fault lies there.
Sona, you ask: IS THERE NOT SOMETHING LIKE A DEEP INBUILT LONGING IN MAN TO DIE AS AN EGO?
No, there is none, because the ego is not there. Yes, there is a deep inbuilt longing in man to know, "Who am I?" - that is there, but not to die as an ego. There is a great urge in man to know, "Who am I?" It persists, it permeates your whole life.
Even small children start asking, "Who am I?" The question is something very fundamental. It is an inbuilt phenomenon, the inquiry into one's own being. And when you inquire deeply into your own being, the ego is not found. What is found is God. When you go in, the ego is not found, God is found. When you go out, God is not found, and you go on believing in the ego.
The ego is a belief of an outgoing consciousness, non-ego is the experience of an ingoing consciousness. It has nothing to do with Freud's THANATOS; that's a totally different phenomenon.
Man has a lust for life, that is EROS. But when this lust for life gets frustrated again and again, it is replaced by its antagonist, by its diametrical opposite.
Just as love can become sour and can turn into hate, the lust for life can become a lust for death.
You will be surprised to know that in poor countries very few people commit suicide. Logically it should be just otherwise: poor people should commit suicide more, there is nothing in their life to live for. But rich people commit suicide more. What is the secret of this illogical phenomenon? The richer a society becomes, the more people commit suicide; more and more people commit suicide - why? The lust for life goes sour.
The poor man has not even lived - how can he be frustrated with life? Frustration is possible only when you have lived and seen that there is nothing in it. The poor man still hopes: he hopes for tomorrow, he still hopes for life.
The rich man knows everything about life; he has seen it, he has lived it. He has looked all around, he has searched everywhere, and it has not been found. In tremendous frustration, the EROS, the life-instinct, turns suicidal. The rich man wants to die, because there is no point in living, because there is no hope any more. He has all that the world can give, and still it is meaningless. So why go on prolonging it unnecessarily?
The biggest problem that the future is going to face is suicide. Science will make the earth richer and richer, and more and more people will be committing suicide, because they will see, "Now what is the point of going on living the same life again and again? There is nothing that can fulfill one here: why not finish it?"
In the rich countries, in the rich cultures, it is always a very significant question: What is the meaning of life? But in a poor country nobody asks what the meaning of life is; people ask for material things.
The meaning of life is the last question: when you have known life, you can ask it.
In the West, people are asking about the meaning of life, and turning East. And people in the East are turning West, because they want more technology, better houses, better food, better roads, better cars; they want all that has become available in the West. The East is turning communist, the West is turning religious. The East is turning more and more materialist - why? Because in the East, eros is unfulfilled, so thanatos, the death-wish, cannot yet take possession.
In the West, eros has come to a saturation point. It has touched the highest peak; now there is no further to go. The circle is turning back, the wheel is turning back: it will turn into thanatos.
In fact the preparation for a third world war is nothing but preparation for a universal suicide. So much energy, so much technology, so much intelligence is poured just preparing for a third world war which will destroy all life on earth - not only human life, but ALL life. Why is there so much passion for war? It is just a vicarious way to commit suicide.
Thanatos is eros gone sour. Unless your eros can be again revived, unless your eros can be turned inwards, unless something that has nothing to do with material things, something of the ultimate, enters your life and becomes your inquiry, eros is bound to turn into thanatos. But it is not a necessary phenomenon. When your eros is dying, you can take a jump to an new quality of eros.
Jesus says, "Come to me, I will show you the path of life abundant, life eternal." And that has been the teaching of all the great masters of the world. "You are finished with this life? Good," they say.
"No need to turn sour. We will show you the way to eternal life which never turns sour because it is eternal and infinite. You can go on and on and on for ever, and there are always surprises.
That's what religion is all about: the search for an eros which never turns into a thanatos. Real religion is always life-affirmative: it affirms the life of the earth, and when it is found that that life is no more fulfilling to somebody, it opens the doors to divine life. If those doors remain closed then there is a problem; then your energy will start turning into its very opposite.
Energy can always turn into its very opposite. Love can become hate, anger can become compassion, greed can become sharing, friendship can become enmity, and vice versa. Energies can always turn into their diametrically opposite, because all energy is a dialectical process. The thesis can turn into its antithesis.
You love a person and then you feel unfulfilled: you start hating the person. Marriage can turn into a divorce; only marriage can turn into a divorce. If you really want no divorces in the world, let marriage disappear and there will be no divorces. How can there be a divorce if there is no marriage?
Whenever you long for something with great expectation, and the expectation gets frustrated, there is a crisis. And two are the alternatives: either your energy will turn to its opposite, or your energy will take a quantum leap, and will change its plane - will move onto another plane.
Live the earthly life totally. And when you see that now it no longer fulfills you, then take a jump, a quantum leap, into unearthly life. Live the extrovert life to the full, and when you see that now you have matured, graduated from it, then turn inwards.
This is my whole process. And the moment of crisis is the greatest moment. In the moment of crisis you need somebody to guide you: you need a master. The psychotherapist cannot help you; he can only help you to get readjusted to your old life with which you are feeling frustrated. He may manage for a few months, a few years, again the same thing will happen.
Only a master can help you towards a quantum leap, a jump from a lower plane to a higher plane.
And there is no end: there are higher and higher planes, peaks and peaks beyond peaks waiting for you. When you have climbed one peak, you are surprised: there is another peak challenging you.
This is the eternity of life.
The fifth question:
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE INNER WORLD OF A PERSON? BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS FELT THAT THE MOMENT YOU SEE SOMEBODY, INSTANTLY HIS WHOLE LIFE IS REVEALED TO YOU. THIS IS MY OWN EXPERIENCE TOO.
There is not much mystery in it, it is very simple. If YOU are a mirror, if you are silent, if there is no turmoil within you, if there is no thought process and traffic of the mind inside you, the other is simply reflected. It is not a great secret.
If you go to the lake and there are no ripples and waves on the lake, you are reflected in the lake, the moon and the stars are reflected in the lake. The lake knows no art; it is not an art anyway, it is a simple phenomenon.
I am sitting here silently, with no traffic of the mind. You come in front of me, the mirror reflects you.
The lake of my consciousness reflects you: I see you, all and all, from one end to another end, in your totality. But this knowing is not knowledge, this knowing is just mirroring. It is as simple as this....
Donald Crowe stopped his camper truck along the Yellowstone National Park road. "A bear!" shouted Donald with delight.
His wife cautioned him, "Dear, the signs say, 'Do not feed the bears'!"
"A sandwich or two isn't going to hurt the bear."
Donald jumped out of the camper and neared the bear with a sandwich in his right hand. He then tossed the sandwich which the bear caught and downed in one gulp. Finally he gave the bear his second sandwich.
Suddenly the bear growled ferociously. He wanted the third sandwich which Donald didn't have.
Donald turned his pocket inside out to show he had no more food. "No more. See? I've given you all my sandwiches."
The bear began to rush towards Donald. Donald ran for his life. As he breathlessly tore the camper door open, Donald gasped, "That bear just doesn't understand English!"
There is no need to understand your language, there is no need to understand anything about you.
There is no need to understand you at all: you are simply reflected. A bear is a bear. How do you know that a bear is a bear? How do you know that a rose is a rose? There is no analysis involved in it, no technique, no technology.
They tell the story of the psychiatrist who had a plane to catch and who still had three women in his waiting-room together with their children. So he decided to treat them all at once.
He walked up to the first lady who was obviously very heavy and fat and said to her, "Madam, it's plain to see that your problem involves food, that is all you ever think of. What is your child's name?"
"Honey," replied the woman.
"You see, you even were subconsciously thinking of food when you named your child. My advice for you is to go home and stop thinking of food."
The next woman he approached was dressed up with jewelry and very expensive clothes. "Madam, it is plain to see that your priorities deal with the material things of life and that money is your god.
What is your child's name?"
"Goldie," she replied.
"You see, even subconsciously you were thinking of wealth when you named your child. My advice is to go home and forget about material things."
As he approached the third women she got up, grabbed her son and in a loud voice said, "Come on, Dick, we'd better go home now."
Things are very simple. You just have to be a mirror, and people reveal everything themselves. You need not even ask a single question. The way they walk, the way they sit, the way they look, the way they talk, reveals everything. It is not revealed to you, because you are not looking at them at all. You are so preoccupied in yourself, you are so preoccupied with your thoughts, that you are surrounded by a fog.
Otherwise, everybody is revealing everything. Everybody is naked. You just need open eyes, a silent mind, and you will be surprised: nobody can hide anything from you, there is no way of hiding anything.
The sixth question:
PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT INTELLIGENCE IS.
Patrick Coughlan, intelligence is just an openness of being - capacity to see without prejudice, capacity to listen without interference, capacity to be with things without any a priori ideas about them - that's what intelligence is. Intelligence is an openness of being.
That's why it is so utterly different from intellectuality. Intellectuality is just the opposite of intelligence.
The intellectual person is constantly carrying prejudices, information, a prioris, beliefs, knowledge.
He cannot listen; before you have said anything, he has already concluded. Whatsoever you say has to pass through so many thoughts in his mind that by the time it reaches him it is something totally different. Great distortion happens in him, and he is very closed, almost blind and deaf.
All experts, knowledgeable people, are blind. Do you know the old story of the five blind people going to see an elephant?
A teacher was telling her students, small girls and boys, the old ancient fable. She told the whole story, then she asked a small boy, "Can you tell me who the people were who went to see the elephant and then started quarreling?" She wanted to know whether the boy had heard while she was teaching the story.
And the boy stood up and said, "Yes, I know. They were the experts."
She was thinking he would answer, "They were five blind people." But the small boy said, "Those were the experts." He is far more right; yes, they were experts.
All experts are blind. Expertise means you become blind to everything else. You know more and more about less and less, and then one day you arrive at the ultimate goal of knowing all about nothing. Then you are completely closed and not even a window is open; then you have become windowless.
This is unintelligence. Intelligence is to be open to wind, rain and sun, to be open to all. Not to carry the past is intelligence, to die to the past every moment is intelligence, to remain fresh and innocent is intelligence.
Donald was driving his sports car down the main avenue when suddenly he noticed to his rear a flashing red light. It was a police car.
Quickly Donald pulled over to the side. "Officer," he blurted, "I was only doing twenty-five in a thirty- five-mile zone."
"Sir," said the officer, "I just..."
"Furthermore," interrupted Donald indignantly, "as a citizen I resent being frightened like this!"
"Please," continued the officer, "calm down, relax..."
"Relax!" shouted Donald, overwrought. "You're going to give me a traffic ticket, and you want me to relax!"
"Mister," pleaded the officer, "give me a chance to talk. I am NOT giving you a ticket."
"No?" said Donald, astonished.
"I just wanted to inform you that your right rear tire is flat."
But nobody is ready to listen to what the other is saying. Have you ever listened to what the other is saying? Before a word is uttered, you have already concluded. Your conclusions have become fixed; you are no more liquid.
To become frozen is to become idiotic, to remain liquid is to remain intelligent. Intelligence is always flowing like a river. Unintelligence is like an ice cube, frozen. Unintelligence is always consistent, because it is frozen; it is definite, it is certain. Intelligence is inconsistent, it is flowing, it has no definition, it goes on moving according to situations; it is responsible, but it is not consistent.
Only stupid people are consistent people. The more intelligent you are, the more inconsistent you will be - because who knows about tomorrow? Tomorrow will bring its own experiences. How can you be consistent with your yesterdays? If you are dead you will be consistent. If you are alive you HAVE to be inconsistent: you have grown, the world has changed, the river is flowing into new territory.
Yesterday the river was passing through a desert, today it is passing through a forest; it is totally different. Yesterday's experience should not become your definition for ever, otherwise you died yesterday. One should be able to go on moving with time. One should remain a process, one should never become a thing. That is intelligence.
The seventh question:
IN A LECTURE YOU SAID THAT THE REALLY AWARE WERE ABLE TO LIVE ALONE. HOW DOES THIS FIT WITH THE DREAM OF A COMMUNITY?
Sitaro, the really aware person is certainly one who is capable of living alone. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that the one who is really capable of being alone is also capable of being together with somebody In fact only he is capable of being in togetherness.
The person who is not able to be alone cannot be together with somebody, because he has no individuality. The person who has no individuality cannot be together with somebody - why? There are many problems. First, he is always afraid that if he comes too close to the other person he will lose himself. He has no integrity yet: he is afraid.
That's why people are afraid of love, of too much love. People are afraid to come too close, because if they come too close they may dissolve in the other. That is the fear. The other may overpower them, the other may become their whole reality. They may be possessed by the other - that is the fear.
Only a person who knows the beauty of being alone is capable of coming as close as possible, because he is unafraid. He knows that he IS, he has an integrated being in him. He has something crystallized in him, because without that crystallized something he would not be able to be alone.
The second thing: when a person is not capable of being alone he is always dependent on the other.
He clings - because he is afraid the other may leave, and then he will have to suffer loneliness. He clings, he exploits the other, he creates all kinds of bondages around the other.
And whenever you make the other your possession, you become the possession of the other. It functions in both ways. When you reduce the other to a slave, the other reduces you to a slave. And when you are so afraid of the other's leaving you, you are ready to compromise; you are ready to compromise in any way.
You will see this happening to all husbands and wives. They have compromised, they have sold their souls, for a single reason: because they cannot be alone. They are afraid the woman may leave, the man may leave - and then? They very idea is so frightening, scary.
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person - without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not give by the other.
Then why do they want to be together? It is no longer a need, it is a luxury. Try to understand it. Real persons love each other as a luxury; it is not a need. They enjoy sharing: they have so much joy, they would like to pour it into somebody. And they know how to play their life as a solo instrument.
The solo flute player knows how to enjoy his flute alone. And if he comes and finds a tabla player, a solo tabla player, they both will enjoy being together and creating a harmony between the flute and the tabla. They both will enjoy it: they will both pour their richnesses into each other.
And, Sitaro, you ask: HOW DOES THIS FIT WITH THE DREAM OF A COMMUNITY?
That is the difference between the so-called society and a commune. The society consists of people who are needful, who are all dependent in some way or other. The children are dependent on the parents - but remember, the parents are also dependent on the children. It may not be so obvious, but it is so - just search a little more. The mother cannot be without the child; of course the child cannot be without the mother, but the mother also cannot be without the child.
Family members are dependent on each other, they cling to each other. It gives a certain comfort, security, safety. Then the family depends on other families. People depend on the church, people depend on clubs, people depend on societies. It is a great world of dependent people, childish ungrownups.
A commune is a totally different world. It is not a society. A commune is a gathering of people who are all capable of being alone, and they would like to be together to create a great orchestra of being. A commune is not a dependent phenomenon, it is an independence.
That's why many times in this ashram people come and tell me, "Everybody here seems to be so happy with himself that it looks as if nobody is interested in anybody else." Particularly the newcomers feel it, that it is as if people are indifferent. It is not so; they are not indifferent. But you are coming from a society where everybody is dependent on everybody else. This is not a society - not like your old society. Here, everybody is enjoying HIS being, and nobody interferes in anybody's life, there is no interference.
My whole effort is to make you so alert, so loving, that you don't interfere. Love never interferes, love gives total freedom. If it is not giving freedom, then it is not love. It is not indifference that newcomers feel - and, slowly slowly, they understand. By the time they have lived here for a few weeks, they know what is happening. People are not indifferent, people are very loving. But they are non-interfering, so they don't impinge upon you. And they are non-needy, they are not greedy, they don't cling to you.
Of course, you have known only that kind of people, so this new type frightens you. You think that you are not needed, that nobody cares, that these people are very selfish, that they are too self- occupied. It is nothing like that; that is not the case at all, it is absolutely untrue. But to you it may appear so in the beginning.
A commune of sannyasins will be a celebration, a gathering of people who are not in any way needy of the other. It is beautiful if two persons are together; it is good if it continues and they can sing a song together, it is good to sing a chorus. But if things go wrong, if it becomes heavy, if being together interferes with your freedom, then you can go and sing your song alone. There is no need to be part of a chorus.
And the commune is a space where this much freedom is allowed. There will be couples, but there will not be husbands and wives. There will be FRIENDS in the commune.
That's why the Indian government, the Indian society, is very much afraid of me, because I am going to create a totally different kind of community which will shatter all their ideas - their so-called morality, and their traditionally cherished ideals of marriage, and all that nonsense.
People can live together if they enjoy being together, but only just for that joy of being together - it is not a need. If at any moment a person decides to get out of a relationship, he can get out of it without any trouble, without any turmoil, without any crying and weeping and fighting and making things ugly, without any nagging and prolonging.
People have to be true. If they feel good being together, good. If they feel it is no longer "growthful," it is no longer maturing, they say goodbye to each other. They feel grateful to each other: whatsoever has been shared was beautiful, they will cherish the memory for ever, but now the time has come to depart. They lived in joy, they will depart in joy; their friendship will remain intact. And it may happen again: they may start living together again. They will not leave any scars on each other, they will not wound each other, they will respect the other's freedom.
My commune particularly - and whatsoever I am saying, I am saying about my commune - my commune will create individuals who are capable of being alone and who are also capable of being together - who can play solo music and who can become part of a chorus.
The last question:
I HAVE BEEN A HINDU MONK FOR SEVEN YEARS. I HAD BEEN TOLD TO BE A CELIBATE, SO I FORCED IT UPON MYSELF. IT WAS VERY ARDUOUS BUT SOMEHOW I SUCCEEDED, AT LEAST PHYSICALLY, IN IT. BUT THEN THE WHOLE THING WENT INTO MY HEAD. NOW I CONSTANTLY THINK OF SEX AND NOTHING ELSE. I AM IMPRISONED IN IT, AND WHENEVER I SEE A WOMAN I START TREMBLING INSIDE.
BELOVED MASTER, PLEASE HELP ME TO COME OUT OF IT.
It is natural. This is not the way to get beyond sex. Repression is never the way; repression really makes things more complicated. Sex is simple. Repression makes it very complicated, because repression shifts the whole sexual energy from the genital organs to the head. And when sex has entered into the head, it is an ugly phenomenon. It is not sex, it is sexuality. It is pornography.
When sex has entered into your head you are creating your own private pornographic blue films.
That's why you are afraid of a woman. The moment you see a woman, fear arises, because all that you have repressed is there like a volcano, and you are sitting on top of it. It can explode. The woman can be the triggering point; she may be like a spark, and you may explode.
You have become very inflammable, you are carrying a great dangerous energy. Sex is beautiful, lived naturally; repressed, it becomes ugly and moves into the head. And when sex moves into the head, there is no way of getting out of it. You can get out of it only by going through it: the way out is THROUGH.
You are fortunate that you have come here, otherwise your Hindu monkhood would have destroyed you totally. All monks become sexual, more sexual than ordinary people. Their whole thinking centers around sexuality. And remember, whenever some energy moves from its natural center to some other center, then things are very difficult. First your energy has to be brought back to the sex center.
That's the whole process of Tantra. Your energy has to be brought to the natural center where it belongs. From the unnatural center there is no possibility of release.
But this happens: when you repress something where will it go? Only your head has some empty space, only in your skull is there emptiness. So whatsoever you repress is bound to go, slowly slowly, to the head. The pressure will be felt only as a tension in the head. And the more it is there, the only way that will be suggested by your so-called teachers - Muktanandas, et cetera - will be:
Repress it more.
And they will give you methods to repress it more: go on a fast, stand on your head... It will go more into the head if you stand on your head! Even gravitation will pull you towards your head. And you will get into more and more difficulty.
It was an exciting moment: the two friends' wives were going to give birth on the same day and at the same hospital. The doctors came and told the first man, who was Jewish, that he had a new baby son and that there were no complications.
Within minutes the doctor came again, telling the second man that he too had a new baby boy, but the boy had a skin problem around his neck and they would need to do a skin graft.
The first man asked the doctor, "Tell me, would the skin from my son's circumcision be helpful?" The doctors thought it a great idea and the graft was performed and things turned out beautifully - not even a scar.
Having moved to separate cities, the two friends hadn't seen each other for over eighteen years when they met at a restaurant while each was vacationing in Miami Beach. Enthusiastically they exchanged stories. Finally, the Jewish man asked, "Have there been any problems with your son's neck?"
"Nothing to speak of," said the other. "With the exception of one mysterious thing - even the doctors cannot figure it out. Every time my son sees a pretty girl, he gets a stiff neck."
Now it is very difficult! No doctor can help now, unless further surgery is done.
Your seven years of monkhood have done it: you are getting a stiff neck! But you have come in time, we will do the surgery. Don't be worried; we will teach you how to stand on your feet and not on your head, and we will teach you that each center has to function normally in its own way; no other center has to interfere.
But the head has become a substitute center. A few people go on thinking about food, a few people go on thinking about sex, a few people go on thinking about something else. And by thinking, you are not living it, by thinking you are creating a false appetite, and by thinking, it cannot be fulfilled. By thinking your hunger will not go; and by thinking, sex and your natural desire for it will not disappear, it will become accumulated. And the more accumulated it is, the more poisoned it becomes. It becomes stale energy.
I would also like you to go beyond sex, because going beyond sex is a tremendously beautiful experience of freedom - freedom from the body, freedom from that continuous obsession. When sex really disappears, without any repression, when it disappears through meditation, for the first time it gives you the taste of total freedom. You don't need anybody any more; you are out of the grip of biology.
In fact when sex has disappeared you become a man for the first time, because with sex you remain part of the animal world. But the way to go beyond is through it: you cannot bypass it, there is no shortcut.
So drop your monkhood, your celibacy, and drop all the nonsense that has been fed to you. Start from ABC again, because this is a NEW sannyas: this has to be a new birth. Forget all that has been conditioned into you. Seven years is a long time, and to be with the wrong people, to be with poisoners for seven years, is to be conditioned by them in a particular way. It will be difficult for you to drop it, but it has to be dropped.
And if you have understood that those seven years have not helped you at all, then there is no problem. If you have understood, don't cling to those ideas, simply drop them. Forget all about it, start again. Be a simple, ordinary human being.
And if you can live naturally, in that very living, God comes as a grace. God comes through nature, never against nature. God comes through nature - and his coming transforms. When his energy descends in you, sex disappears. And when sex disappears of its own accord, it is a beautiful phenomenon, it is a benediction.
But live it, and live it totally - that's the only way to go beyond it. No repression any more, no inhibition any more. Accept is as a gift of God - it is. And if you accept it, you will become ready to receive more gifts, better gifts.