Knowledge Is Dangerous

Fri, 17 April 1975 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - Sufis - Until You Die
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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YES, THE QUESTION of knowledge is a very dangerous one - for many reasons.

The first is that when a man knows, he also knows the complicatedness of life, the complexity of life.

When a man knows, he also knows the mysterious ways of how life functions. So it is not a question of asserting a truth. The basic question is how to lead someone to the Truth. Sometimes lies are used because they help; and sometimes truths cannot be used because they hinder.

Every great master - Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed - they are all great liars. This will be hard to believe; but when I say it, I say it with much consideration. And I know why it is so.

The basic question is not to tell the Truth to you. The basic question is how to lead you towards the Truth.

Somebody asked Buddha, 'What is Truth?' and Buddha said, 'That which can be utilized.'

This is not a definition of truth, because lies can be utilized - but Buddha is right. If something can help you, it may be a fiction, but if it helps you and leads towards the Truth, it is true. And sometimes just otherwise may be the case: you know the truth, but it becomes the hindrance, and it leads you more and more into confusion, into darkness. So the final outcome should be the criterion; the end result should be the criterion.

It happened once: A Sufi master was feeling thirsty. He was surrounded by his disciples, and he asked a small boy, who was also sitting there listening to him, to go to the well. He gave him an earthen pot and told him, 'Be careful! The pot is earthen, but very valuable. It is an antique piece.

Don't drop it, don't break it.' Then he slapped the boy's face hard two or three times and said, 'Now go!'

The people who were sitting there couldn't believe it. One of the kind-hearted men asked, 'What are you doing? This is absurd! The boy has done nothing wrong. He has not dropped the pot, he has not broken it, he has not done anything - and you punished him?'

The Sufi master said, 'Yes, I know it. But if he had dropped the pot, then what would be the use of punishment?'

The Sufi master is saying that in life, it is not always so that the effect follows the cause. In life, sometimes the cause follows the effect; sometimes the effect precedes the cause. Life is complicated. Sometimes the future comes first and then the past. It is not always so that the past comes first, and then the future.

Life is not as easy as you think. It is difficult, complex; past and future all meet into it. That which has been is still there somehow. How can it disappear? All that has been is still there! In this very moment, the whole past - not of humanity only, but of the whole universe - is implied. Your mother, your father, your father's father, and grandfather, and grandfather's grand father, and Adam and Eve, all are implied in you. Something of you was in the Adam, in the Eve, and they are totally in you.

The whole past is there - and the whole future also. All that is going to happen in the world, in the universe, you already carry it as a potentiality.

You are the whole world. Causes and effects, past and future - everything is joined together in you.

Every line of existence criss-crosses on the point where you are.

The question of knowledge is dangerous. When a man knows, he knows this complexity. And whenever he does some thing, he has to consider the whole complexity - otherwise he will miss, he will not be helpful.

That's why I say that many people become enlightened, but very few are masters; because to become enlightened, you have to solve only your problems. When you become enlightened, the knowledge is such a vast ocean that to manage it and to be able to help others becomes very, very difficult. And sometimes people who don't know this dangerousness of knowledge may be thinking they are helping. They destroy. They may be thinking that they are kind, but they are cruel. They may be thinking that they are pulling you out of your confusion, but they are throwing you more and more into confusion. It has happened many times, even sometimes with enlightened people.

The vastness is such, the complexity is so deep, but whenever you say something to somebody, it becomes simple. You have to bring it down, reduce it to a simple phenomenon. Much of it is lost, and then it may not be a he]p.

For example: Krishnamurti. He is enlightened. If anybody has ever been enlightened, he is enlightened. But the complexity is such, and he has reduced the whole thing to such a simple formula, that the mystery is missing. He looks like a logician, he talks like a rationalist - the mystery is lost. He has been repeating particular formulas, and they have not helped anybody. Many are deluded through them, but nobody is helped - because he has a very fixed attitude, and life is not fixed. It is true: sometimes a man achieves the Truth without the help of any master. The opposite is also true: sometimes a man achieves the Truth through the help of many masters, not only one.

It is true that you can grow alone; the opposite is also true, that you can grow in a community, in a school, in a family of seekers. It is true that a man can reach to the Final without any method; the opposite is also true.

With people who have a very logical attitude about life, this becomes difficult. They divide life into yes and no. They say, 'Either say yes or say no.'

You may have heard the name of a Western thinker, de Bono. He has something very beautiful to say to everybody. He has coined a new word - that word is 'po'. You will not find it in any dictionary because it is a new word. He says that there are situations when if you say yes you will be wrong, and if you say no you will be wrong again. There are situations when you need to be just in the middle - then say po. It is a word which doesn't mean yes, doesn't mean no, or it means both.

Either below yes or no, or above yes or no, but undivided - po, yes plus no.

There are situations: if somebody asks a certain question in which you are deeply involved, if somebody asks, 'Do you think that you love me?' it will be difficult, because you are never a hundred percent certain whether you love or not. If you say yes you are committed to a wrong statement, because who can say yes? Only one who is total can say yes with his total being behind it. How can you say yes? The moment when you are saying yes, a part of you is still saying no. Wait, don't decide. There is confusion; a part of your mind is saying, 'I don't know whether I love or not.' If you say no, that will also be wrong - because a part of you is saying yes. And you are always part, you are not total. De Bono's word 'po' is handy: when somebody asks you again, 'Do you love me?' say, 'Po.' It means yes and no both: 'A certain part of me loves you, and a certain part doesn't love.'

Mulla Nasruddin was in court. There was a case against him, because the wife had reported to the court that he had been beating her. If the judge had asked, 'Do you beat your wife?' he could have said yes, or he could have said no, whatsoever the case may have been. But the judge asked, 'Mulla Nasruddin, have you stopped beating your wife?' If he says yes, that means he was beating her before. If he says no, it means he is still beating her.

So he came running to me after telling the judge, 'Give me a little time; tomorrow I will answer.'

When he came to me I said, 'You say po.'

And he said, 'What is this po?'

I said, 'That is the judge's problem. Let him decide what po is. You simply say it.'

The whole human language is divided into yes and no, into black and white - but life is grey. This po means life is grey; at one extreme it becomes dark black, at the other extreme it be comes white - but exactly in between the two, the grey waves and exists.

Two calamities have fallen on the Western mind: one is Aristotle, because he gave you a logical attitude towards life which is false. He gave you either yes or no, and he said, 'Both cannot be true together.' And they are always true together; they are always true together. One cannot be true without the other, because life is both: day and night, summer and winter, God and Devil. Life is together, undivided. When a man comes to realize this undividedness of life, it becomes very, very difficult - what to say and what not to say. Whatsoever he says will be false, because language only allows either yes or no.

The second calamity that has fallen on the Western mind is the crucifixion of Jesus. Because of that crucifixion, the whole Western mind became disturbed. First Aristotle divided life in two and then the crucifixion of Jesus divided the heart in two. Aristotle divided the mind, the intellect, in two; and the crucifixion of Jesus divided the heart into two. If you are a Christian, you go to Heaven; if you are not, you go to Hell. If you are a Christian, only then are you human; if you are not a Christian, then nobody bothers about you. You can be killed very easily. There is no need to have a second thought about it.

The crucifixion divided the heart, the emotional part of man. And Christianity has done so much violence - no religion has ever done so much - because of the crucifixion. Jews have been killed for these two thousand years continuously. And Christianity has become a crusade, a war against the non-Christians, the pagans.

Love divided, heart divided, mind divided - the whole West has become schizophrenic, a split personality. And the whole effort of Sufism is how to make you one, so that all your divisions disappear; so that your heart is one, a unitary whole; your mind is one, a unitary whole. And not only that: your mind and heart also become one, a unitary whole. Then you attain to what is real.

But right now, how to help you towards the real? Devices will be needed, because just talking about the truth will not help. It has never helped. Rather, it has hindered. If truth is told to you, it will become a dogma, and the dogma is a hindrance. It will become a scripture, a tradition, and a tradition is a betrayal.

Truth cannot be said directly to you. Something has to be done to you so that you proceed, by and by, towards the Truth. The knowledge has to be transferred in a very indirect way. It cannot be direct. It has to be grown, by and by, within you through situations. And, of course, because you are false, only false situations will be helpful. Real situations will not be helpful. You are false, you understand the language of the false, and a false situation is needed continuously around you, to force you towards a certain window from where you can see the sky.

For example: you live in a closed house. You have never been out of it, you have never seen the sun, you have never heard the birds, you have never touched the breeze passing through the trees.

You have never been out, never seen the flowers, the rains. You have lived in the closed house, completely closed, not even a window open. Then I come to you, and I would like you to come out and sing with the birds, and dance with the breeze, and be like flowers opening and opening, opening towards the infinite. But how to tell you about the world which is outside? The language is not there. If I talk about flowers, you will not understand. 'Flowers?' you will say, 'What do you mean by flowers? First prove that they exist.' How can it be proved if you have not known? And whatsoever is done to prove it, you can disprove it, you can argue about it. And people who have lived in a closed world are always argumentative - always. The more closed a mind, the more argumentative it is - because it has not known anything which goes beyond argument and logic and reasoning. It is confined. You have lived in darkness - how to talk to you about light and the sunshine, and the sunrays?

And you are not alone in your darkness; many exist with you in the darkness. I am alone there talking about flowers and light, and the world outside, and the open sky. And not only you, but the whole majority will laugh - I have gone mad. 'What are you saying? You must have been dreaming,'

you will say to me. 'Your fantasy,' you will say, 'there exists no outside world. This is the only world; there is no other world. What are you talking about?'

And some of you must think that I must have some design, some conspiracy, to take you out and rob you of something - 'because there is no outside world! And why is this man continuously trying to prove that there is an outside world? He must have some profit-motive behind it. Don't be deceived by this man!' That's how you have behaved with Jesus, Mohammed, Mahavir; that's how you have always been behaving with people who bring you good news from some other world, who have been messengers of something unknown to you. The majority is with you; you can take a vote, and you can decide what is true and what is not true.

The difficulty is: in what language to talk to you, what parables, what symbols to use? Whatsoever is said will be misunderstood - because anything can be understood only when the experience, the basic experience is there. Even if a slight glimpse has come to you of the outside world, even once, if even from the keyhole you have looked, then there is a possibility. A contact, a communication becomes possible. But you have not looked at all. You have not even dreamed. You have not even imagined. Not even in fantasy has the outside entered in you. You are completely closed. What to do?

I will have to use some device. The device is neither true nor false. It is a 'po' device - you cannot say yes, you cannot say no. I will have to use your language and your situation. And I will have to talk to you on your terms, in your terms. It is useless to talk about the flowers - you don't know. It is useless to talk about the sky - you don't know. You have completely forgotten that you have wings.

Some device. For example, I can create a fever in you: 'This house is going to fall. Get out of it as soon as you can! Time is running out. This house is going to fall!' That's what Jesus did. He said, 'This whole world is going to fall. Time is running out! The end is coming near - the day of judgment.' It has not come up to now. And Jesus told his disciples: 'Before you are dead, the day of judgment will have come. So transform yourself, change yourself - repent! Because the time is running short and the house is going to fall. It is already on fire! Can't you see?' What is he saying?

You cannot understand the language of freedom, but you can understand the language of fear.

Freedom cannot be said to you, but fear - yes, you can understand that. Death you can understand.

You cannot understand LIFE. So he says the day of judgment is coming near. And Jesus says, 'There is only one life. Once lost, lost for ever.' That's why Jesus never used the Indian device of reincarnation.

All the three religions born in the West - Jews, Mohammedans, Christians - they have never used the Indian device. All the religions born in the East - Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism - they have all used the device of reincarnation. The situations were different; I will tell you why they used the device. And when people come to me and ask me, 'Is reincarnation a true doctrine?' I say, 'Po.'

It is neither true nor false. It is a device; it is a device to help people. Try to understand. And both the devices bring you to the same point; both the devices bring you to the same state of mind - so they both are true because they both help. True in the sense of Buddha. They are pragmatic; you can utilize them - they have been utilized.

Jesus says, 'This is the only life,' to create a fever, a fear. Because if he says there are many lives, you will relax; you will say, 'Then there is no hurry. This house is not going to fall in my life, and there will be other lives, so why be in a hurry?' You can postpone. 'And if there are many, many lives, that means many millions of opportunities, then why be in such a hurry? Why not enjoy this house and the darkness a little more? Any time we can go out. The house will be there, we will be here. The door win be there; the outside is not going to be lost.' You can postpone.

Jesus dropped postponing. He said, 'There is only one life, only this one. And this life is continuously running out of your hands, running out of your fingers. Every moment you are more and more dead.

And soon, in this life, before you are dead, the day of judgment will be there. And all your sins will be judged and you will be punished. And those who are with me will be saved!' What is he saying?

He is saying, 'Come with me. Be with me.' He is trying to bring you out of your house. He will be moving out, and if you trust him, and if you have become too much afraid... and he created almost a neurosis, a fear, a trembling. In that fear people followed him.

Once you follow Jesus, you are out, you know that that was a trick. You have been tricked out. But then you are not angry: you are grateful because that was the only way. And you were so false that even a Jesus has to use a lie to bring you out. But once you are out, you forget about the judgment day and God and the Kingdom; and you forget about death and fear. Once you are out in the world, the open world, of sky and the breeze and the sun shine, you celebrate, you enjoy, you feel grateful for ever and ever towards Jesus, because he was so compassionate, because he even used a lie to bring you out.

In India we have used another device, for certain reasons.

India is very, very old; the most ancient country in the world. It has existed for thousands of years.

The West is very young, the East is very old. And when you talk to an old man, you have to talk differently; when you talk to a young man, you have to talk differently - because their attitudes have changed completely. A young man always looks towards the future; an old man always looks towards the past, because for an old man there is no future. The death... and then there is no future.

An old man looks towards the past; only the past exists for an old man.

As you grow old, the past grows more and more, and the future becomes less and less. For a child there is no past, only the future. If you talk to the child, you have to be future-oriented. That's why Christ goes on talking of the coming Kingdom of God, the life abundant - the future. In India, that would not have been useful at all. People have become so old, the whole mind has become so old, that you cannot be fooled by words like 'Kingdom of God'. They have lived too much, and you cannot allure them towards more life. They are bored and finished with life. You cannot tell them that abundance of life will be there. They will say, 'This much has been too much! What will we do with an abundance of life?' No. The Eastern mind wants to be freed from life and death both. The East is bored, as every old man is bored. He lived, groped in every dimension, and everything was found to be futile, fruitless.

An old mind is bored. The East is bored with life. You cannot promise more life. That will not be a promise; on the contrary, that will look like a punishment. So in the East we have been using a totally different device, and that device is: the wheel of life and death.

We say that millions of times you have been born - we give more boredom to the mind - for millions of lives.... Hindus say that everybody has been in this world, at least before human birth, eighty-four crore times - that is, eight hundred and forty million times everybody has been in the world. And everybody had been repeating the same pattern - childhood, the fantasies of childhood; the youth, the foolishnesses of youth; the old age, the boredom; and death. And the wheel moves and moves and moves. Eight hundred and forty million times you have been just the same: always hankering, desiring the same things; always achieving them or not achieving them, but in the end frustration; whether you achieve or you don't achieve, in the end frustration. The whole story always comes to the same point: frustration - of those who are successful and of those who are not successful. Just think! Eight hundred and forty million times you loved, and became frustrated. Eight hundred and forty million times you tried, became ambitious, succeeded in getting a little prestige, money, and then became frustrated. Eight hundred and forty million times born, and then, by and by, life going out and dying again.

What is the message of this theory of reincarnation? The message is: Enough is enough! Now, be finished with it! Now come out! If you remain inside, this wheel will go on and on and on. Now drop out! - a real drop out. Not dropping out of the society, or of the school, but dropping out of the wheel of life and death. Just drop out and run away! - out of the house.

This is the language a bored man can understand. But both are devices. Don't ask me which is true. They are neither true nor false. The truth you will know when you are out of the house; truth you will never know inside the house. So whatsoever helps you towards the sky, the freedom, the openness, that is true. That's why I say all religions are true, in the sense that they all help. And a religion becomes untrue when it stops helping.

It happens: whenever a society becomes old... now Jesus' idea won't help the West very much.

Now the West itself is becoming old. That's why the Western mind is turning towards the East. Now the philosophy of boredom will be more helpful - now you are also old. Christianity has less appeal; Hinduism, Buddhism, more appeal. Now you are old! Now Jesus' idea won't be of much help.

Jesus can remain influential in America only for a few years - the Jesus freaks and Jesus people - because America is still young, with no history, with no past. Otherwise, the West is turning more and more Eastern. Reincarnation appeals more than one life. The day of judgment looks childish, and one life does not look enough. How can you judge a man just giving him one opportunity? At least a few more opportunities are needed to judge a man, because he has to learn by trial and error. If you give him only one opportunity, you don't give him any opportunity really. If he errs, he errs. There is no time left to raise oneself above error. More opportunities are needed.

These are devices. The word 'device' means neither true nor false. It can help. If it helps, it is true.

It can hinder; then it is untrue. Every religion is true when it is born, and becomes, by and by, untrue - because situations change, and the religion be comes untrue. It fits in a particular situation, then it doesn't fit. Then it becomes a burden. Then it kills you, it becomes murderous. Then it suffocates you. Then it doesn't give you more lease on life. It becomes poisonous.

Every religion has its own day. And when people become more aware, they will see when the religion is born, they will see when the religion is young; they will enjoy the religion when it is young and helpful. And when the religion dies, they will do the same as you will do with your father and mother when they die. Of course, with great suffering and pain you take them to the grave, or to the burning GHAT. You burn them with tears in your eyes, but you have to burn them! You know that she was your mother and she gave you birth, and he was your father and he was everything - but he is dead!

Then unnecessary dead burdens will not be on the mind of man.

Right now, there are three hundred religions in the world - and almost all of them dead. Just a few have a little life - that, too, like a small candle, not like a sun somehow pulling themselves together.

If you understand that religion is a device, then it will be clear to you that a device cannot be a device for ever.

I am creating many devices. They will be dead one day. Then they have to be dropped! If you follow a particular meditation I have given to you, even in your life you will find, sooner or later, that it is dead. The work is done. It is no longer needed. You have gone beyond it. Then don't carry it and don't get attached to it, because that attachment will be suicidal. Just as you go on changing your clothes - your body grows bigger, you go on changing your clothes - in the same way you go on changing your devices. And when you are really out, then there is no need for any device. All devices were there just to bring you out of your closedness, out of your grave, out of your insensitivity, out of your unconsciousness.

It is reported in a Sufi master's life, that he was passing along a street near a mosque. The muzzin was on the tower, and by accident the muzzin fell from the tower. Accidentally he fell on the Sufi master and broke his neck, the Sufi master's neck, but he was not hurt at all; the man who fell was not hurt at all. He fell on the neck of the Sufi master, the neck was broken, and the Sufi master had to be hospitalized.

The disciples gathered there, because this Sufi master used to use every situation; so they gathered and they asked, 'How will you use this situation?'

The Sufi master opened his eyes and he said, 'The theory of karma is false, because they say: You reap, you sow; you sow, you reap - as you sow, so you reap. But that is false. Look! Somebody else falls, and somebody else's neck is broken. So somebody else can sow, and somebody else can reap.'

Remember this. Sufis say that life is so interrelated that the theory of karma cannot be right. And they are true, because that device is also true. If life is so related, then how can the theory of karma be meaningful? The theory of karma says that you are connected with your past life, only with your past life; you are a sequence of your own karmas, and you reap the results of your own karmas. But Sufis say life is interrelated: Everybody else's karma is my karma, and my karma is everybody else's karma. It is a net of interrelationships. You shake a flower, and Sufis say that the very foundations of the stars are shaken. You do something, but the whole is affected. You throw a small pebble in the lake, and the whole lake is affected.

Everybody is just like a small pebble in the lake. And whatsoever you do creates waves, vibrations.

When you are here no more, those vibrations will still be continuing somewhere - somewhere near a star, very distant from the earth, but those vibrations will be there. You look at a man and you smile. Sometimes it happens....

It happened to one of my friends. He was travelling on a train. Just at a midway station, a small station, the train stopped. It was not a regular stopping station for the train; for some reason the train stopped. Another train was standing at the platform, and this friend was in an air-conditioned compartment. Out of his window, out of the glass-covered window, he just looked outside. In the other train, a beautiful woman... just for a second; just for a second and the train left. And that woman changed his whole life. And the woman may not have even known that somebody had looked at her. He says that the woman was not looking at him, she was not even aware - but the form of the woman, the face, the proportionate body of the woman, has persisted in his dreams.

He has not married yet. He's searching for that woman. He does not know her name. He does not know where that woman has gone, from where she was coming, where she was going. Nothing is known. Just for a single moment the train stopped. He looked out of the window - and the window was not open, just glass-covered, in an air-conditioned room - he just had a glimpse, and then the train left! Just a small pebble in the lake.

He has remained unmarried and he says, 'Unless I find that woman, or something of that woman, I am not going to marry.' And I don't think there is any possibility of him finding her, because almost nine years have passed. But the whole history of the world will be different - because this man may have got married to a woman, may have given birth to an Adolf Hitler. Who knows? But he is not married. The Adolf Hitler will remain unborn. The third world war will not be there. Who knows what would have happened had he not seen this woman from the window? Now the whole history will never be the same as it would have been - just the stopping of a train for two or three seconds, and the whole universe will never be the same again.

Can you think! If Hitler had not been born, the whole world would have been totally different - totally different. If the mother of Adolf Hitler had miscarried, then...? Or if she had been on the pill, then...?

Just a small pill! - and the whole history of the world would have been totally different, totally! You might not have been here. Hitler created such change. Everybody is creating change. And I'm not talking only about great mischief-makers like Hitler, or great mahatmas. No. Even a dog in your town is as important to the total as any Adolf Hitler. You never know: if the dog was not there, the world would have been different. Just a vagabond dog that belongs to nobody - but it is part, it is part of the whole. And every part is as important as any other part, because in the whole every part is as significant as any other part. There is no small, no big; no one more important, no one less important.

The whole is whole because of all.

Sufis say that the theory of karma is basically an egoistic attitude. And they are right! It says that you are, so whatsoever you sow you will reap. It gives strength to you, the ego.

They have used another pattern to bring you out of the who]e thing. You are no more. The whole is.

Just a wave you are. What is the point of thinking that you are? Sufis say that when you understand this interrelatedness, you simply drop your concept of the ego, you are no more a self. Sufis say only God has the right to say 'I'. Nobody else. Because only He has the center, nobody else.

This is a device. Hindus have their own device when they say, 'You reap whatsoever you sow.' They are saying that if you are miserable, you are the cause - don't throw the responsibility on anybody else. If you are miserable, you are the cause; if you are in anguish, you have sown some poisonous seeds somewhere, in some life, and you are reaping it. Why do they insist on it?

For two reasons.

One: if you are responsible, if you feel you are responsible, only then can you drop them; otherwise, how will you drop them? If you think that everybody else is as responsible as you are, then you will continue as you are. What can be done? You cannot change it on your own. The dropping is impossible.

And second and more significant: the Hindu device says that this whole phenomenon of your past, of whatsoever you have done, or whatsoever you have thought, is right now present in you. People think the past cannot be undone. Hindus say no, it can be undone - because the past is part of the present. You carry it. Not only can you change the present and the future, you can change the past, you can drop it. The more responsible you feel, the more it becomes possible to drop it. And they say that because you are solely responsible for your life, freedom is also possible. If everything is connected, then when everybody becomes enlightened, only then can you become enlightened.

And this can become a loophole. You can postpone: 'When everybody becomes enlightened, then only... otherwise how can I alone become enlightened?'

To help you, many devices have been created. They all come from people who know, but they are all limited. No device can be unlimited. It is devised by a certain man, devised for certain other men.

It is meaningful only in a certain context. That's why knowledge is dangerous. If you carry it out of context, it will cripple you. If you carry it out of context, it will suffocate, it will become a poison. It will not lead you out. On the contrary, just the reverse will be the case: it will become a hindrance, a closed door. That, too, has to be understood.

For example: Sufis say that you cannot drop ego if you believe in the theory of karma. Right - this is the right use, but you can use it wrongly. You can say, 'Everything is so interrelated, then how can I become enlightened alone? That's impossible. Either the whole becomes enlightened, or the whole remains ignorant.' Now, you are using the same device to remain in the same house, closing it.

The same passage can lead you out. The same passage can lead you in. By the same staircase you can go up, and you can come down. It depends on you.

Hindus say that you are responsible for your karmas. This is good. If you are responsible, you can change; transformation is possible - you alone are involved. You can drop or you can carry as you wish. And who would like to carry anguish, misery, hell? You will drop it. But you can use it in just the opposite way. You can say, 'If I am responsible for my karmas...' then the I becomes very, very important. So you cannot find more egoistic people than Hindu sannyasins.

If you go and look at a Sufi, you will always find him absolutely humble. If you have ever come in contact with a Mohammedan Sufi, you will always feel him to be absolutely humble. No comparison exists anywhere. A Sufi is absolutely humble. His face, his eyes, his very being, will be humble, because he is a non-entity - the Whole exists.

If you come to a Hindu sannyasin, you will never find a more egoistic person. The way he walks, the way he looks - look at his eyes, and particularly at his nose - you will find ego written all over. He has wrongly used the whole thing. If you are responsible for your karmas, then the ego is strengthened, then you become more and more of the ego.

You can use a device wrongly. Every device is double-edged. Remember this. That's why the question of knowledge is said to be a dangerous one.

Now we will enter into this story.









The doctor lied. The doctor said something that was not going to happen. But through it something else happened. He said, 'The woman is going to die.' She became so worried. Death became a haunting, a nightmare. She must have thought continuously of death. She couldn't eat. But she didn't die. And after forty days, the doctor said, 'She is cured. Now she will be fertile.'

What happened? He could have said in the very beginning 'You go on a diet, or you fast.' That would have been true - but that would not have been wise, because the woman was not going to diet, and for forty days she was not going to fast. In fact, many other doctors must have told her before, and she had never listened. So it would have been true to say, 'Diet or fast for forty days and you will be cured,' but it would not have been wise.

Truth is not always wise, and untruth is not always foolish. The question of knowledge is a very complicated one.

The doctor created a situation. He was really a wise doctor. He created a situation: he knew that only the fear of death would be of any help. He shocked the woman by the fear of death; he gave her such worry and anguish and anxiety that she completely forgot about food. Who eats, who enjoys eating, when death is knocking on the door? Every moment she must have been looking at the clock, at the calendar: One day is gone. Who bothers about food? and how can you enjoy food, when death is there? It was impossible. But she didn't die. Rather, her body was completely renewed. A new lease of life happened.

Untrue, but wise - and this is how every master is.

Gurdjieff has been much criticized, because he was a liar. And the lying came from the Sufis; he was a Sufi. He was disciplined in Sufi monasteries and schools. And in the West, in fact, he introduced Sufism in this age in a totally new version. But then it was impossible for the ordinary Christian mind to understand him, because truth is a value, and nobody can think that a master, an enlightened master, can lie.

Can you think of Jesus lying? And I know he lied - but Christians cannot think about it: 'Jesus lying? No, he is the truest man.' But then you don't know - the question of knowledge is very, very dangerous. He lied about many things. A master has to - if he wants to help; otherwise, he can be a saint, but no help is possible from him. And a saint without help is already dead. If a saint cannot help, what is the use of his being here? There is no point in it. All that he can attain through life, he has attained. He is here to help.

Gurdjieff was very much criticized, because the West couldn't understand; the ordinary Christian mind could not understand. So there are two versions about Gurdjieff in the West. One thinks that he was very mischievous man, not a sage at all, just a devil incarnate. Another is that he was the greatest saint the West has come to know in these past few centuries. Both are true, because he was just in the middle. He was a 'po' personality. You cannot say yes, you cannot say no about him.

You can say that he was a holy sinner, or, a sinning saint. But you cannot divide, you cannot be so simple about him. The knowledge that he had was very complex.

A man came once to Gurdjieff, and he talked about himself - that he was a vegetarian, and that he never touched alcohol, and that he never smoked, and this and that. Gurdjieff said, 'If you are to be with me, you have to leave everything in my hands.'

The man was not aware of what type of man Gurdjieff was. He said, 'Of course! I have come to you - I surrender.'

And Gurdjieff said, 'Then the first thing is: now eat meat.'

The man was really in difficulty. He couldn't believe it. He thought Gurdjieff was joking. He said, 'You, and saying that?'

Gurdjieff said, 'Yes, that's the only way I can break down your ego. This vegetarianism is not vegetarianism - it is just part of your ego. So here you will have to eat meat, drink as much alcohol as you can, smoke, move with women, and leave everything to me.'

You cannot believe a saint talking like this. But then your saints are not very wise. And Gurdjieff did help that man - because that was the trouble. You will always find people who are vegetarians, teetotallers, non-smokers, always you will find very subtle egos. And alcohol cannot harm as much as the subtle ego can harm. And the man followed. It was very difficult, nauseating for him. But once he said it, he followed.

Within three weeks the man was transformed. And Gurdjieff would give him so much to drink...

Gurdjieff used to have a feast every night, and the feast continued for three, four, five hours. At nine, ten, it would start, and it would end in the middle of the night. And Gurdjieff himself was such a capable man that he could drink as much as possible and would never get drunk. And he would force the disciples to eat. Their bellies would be bursting, and they would be crying and tears would come into their eyes, and they would say, 'No, now no more!' And he would force.

He was trying to change your body chemistry. And he changed many people who followed with him, who were capable and courageous enough to move with him; not afraid people who ordinarily become religious, but brave people. This man I am talking about, he followed. He would fall down drunk, and then the next day there would be a hangover. Within three weeks Gurdjieff transformed his whole mind. And, by and by, he dropped the meat, dropped alcohol, dropped everything. And that man said then, 'For the first time I became vegetarian - because that old vegetarianism was not true. It was just a mask for the ego.' When he forced meat and alcohol on this disciple, he was breaking down the ego. He shattered the man completely.

And sometimes just the reverse would happen. A man would come who was a drunkard, and a meat-eater, and a smoker, and Gurdjieff would stop everything. He would put him on a diet or on a fast.

A master, if he is to help, has to be very very wise. Gurdjieff used to call his way 'The Way of the Sly Man'. All masters are sly. If they are to help, they have to be. But your concepts think that masters are just innocent virgins, just dream-stuff, no substance, marble statues. You can go and touch and feel the coldness, that's all. There have been such people, but they are worthless. They have helped nobody. They may have enjoyed a certain silence and peace, of course, but that silence does not have the quality of life in it. They are dead marble statues. The silence is cold. The silence is not warm enough to be alive. They have stilled themselves, they have become controlled, but they are not free. They have not attained to the freedom.

A man who is really free is beyond good and evil, sin and virtue. In fact, he is beyond all dichotomies, all dualities. He is both and he is neither. And only such a man, with so much enriched life - which comprehends opposites in it, which comprehends all contradictions in it - can be of any help and benefit to anybody. But to come to such a master is difficult, because you come with your notions, you come with your ideologies, you come with your judgments.

So this is the trouble: You will be influenced by a man who cannot help you, and you will escape from the man who could have helped you. This is the misery of the human mind. Be aware about it so you don't commit the same mistake.

The question of knowledge is a very dangerous one.

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Masonic secrecy and threats of horrific punishment
for 'disclosing' the truth about freemasonry.
From Entered Apprentice initiation ceremony:

"Furthermore: I do promise and swear that I will not write,
indite, print, paint, stamp, stain, hue, cut, carve, mark
or engrave the same upon anything movable or immovable,
whereby or whereon the least word, syllable, letter, or
character may become legible or intelligible to myself or
another, whereby the secrets of Freemasonry may be unlawfully
ob-tained through my unworthiness.

To all of which I do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear,
without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion
of mind in my whatsoever; binding myself under no less a penalty
than that

of having my throat cut across,

my tongue torn out,

and with my body buried in the sands of the sea at low-water mark,
where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours,

should I ever knowingly or willfully violate this,
my solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice.

So help me God and make me steadfast to keep and perform the same."