The first question:
YOU SAY WE CANNOT TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES UNTIL WE ARE 'AWAKENED '. THE WESTERN GROWTH MOVEMENT SAYS WE CANNOT BE AWAKENED UNTIL WE TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES. IS THERE A CONFLICT?
ANAND SALAM, THERE IS NO CONFLICT AT ALL - it is just seeing the same phenomenon from two different angles. They are two aspects of the same event; they are together, they are simultaneous. There is no contrariness in them: they are complementary.
When I say you can take full responsibility for yourselves only when you are awakened, I mean that you don't even know who you are - how can you take responsibility for something you are not even aware of? You are acquainted only with the tip of the iceberg - how can you take responsibility for the unconscious, which is nine times more than the conscious? The conscious, at the most, can take responsibility for the conscious. Even that is difficult because it is constantly influenced by the unconscious. You are pulled, dragged into things by the unconscious - you don't know why.
You fall in love with a man or a woman - how can you take responsibility for it? because falling in love is not a conscious decision on your part. It is an unconscious phenomenon. It simply overwhelms you; suddenly one day, you find that you are in love. You have not done anything for it, you have not prepared for it, you were not planning for it. It comes out of nowhere, out of the blue... and you are possessed by it, you are madly possessed by it. How can you take responsibility for your love? Love comes from roots about which you are not aware.
That's why I say unless you are awakened you will not be able to take total responsibility. Your responsibility will be fragmentary, superficial, shallow.
And the growth movement people are also true: they say we cannot be awakened until we take full responsibility for ourselves. Yes, how will you be awakened? You have to start taking responsibility.
It cannot be total right now - let it be partial. It cannot be absolute right now - let it not be absolute.
It can only be fragmentary; it cannot be total. No need to worry. Even a fragmentary responsibility is far better than irresponsibility. Even to be aware about a small part of your being is far better than not to be aware.
The choice is not between total awareness and partial awareness: the choice before you is between partial awareness and NO awareness. Choose partial awareness; that's what the growth people say - they are true. And when you choose to be responsible for a few things, you will become a little more alert. When you become a little more alert, you will be able to become a little more responsible... and so on and so forth.
The more responsible you become, the more alert; the more alert you become, the more responsible. They will go hand in hand.
The growth movement is a gradual process of enlightenment. What I am saying is not a process but a metanoia, a metamorphosis, a transformation, a sudden transformation. rf you understand me, in a single moment, like lightning, you can become enlightened. But if you don't understand me, then you will have to crawl slowly through group methods, meditations, prayers, Yoga, Tantra, Tao... you will have to move slowly, slowly. Either you become enlightened instantly, this moment, or you have to grow into it slowly, slowly. The growth movement is a movement for growth; growth can only be gradual.
What I am teaching to you is sudden enlighten-ment. It needs NO time; not even a single moment is needed. Listen to me! and in this very moment... because what I am saying or what I am trying to say is that YOU ARE already enlightened. You need not be enlightened. You have simply forgotten; it is a kind of forgetfulness. Not that you have to become - you ARE that. Just a recognition, just a turning in, just a deep look inside yourself... and you will start laughing. You have always been there! You had never left i n the first place.
Enlightenment is your nature.
But there are two types of people and you cannot clo anything about your type. Either like a Hui Neng, listening to the four lines of the Diamond Sutra, you become enlightened. Now, you cannot ask how to become Hui Neng; that is not possible. Either you are or you are not; there is no more to it.
Hearing about Hui Neng, down the centuries, many people have been cramming the Diamond Sutra, particularly those four lines. Day in, day out, people have been repeating them. "If Hui Neng can become enlightened just by hearing four lines of the Diamond Sutra, then why can't I?" But you go on repeating - the more you repeat, the more unenlightened you will be. It can't happen that way!
You are not a Hui Neng; things are finished there.
With sudden enlightenment that is the problem: either it happens or it doesn't happen. You cannot do anything about it. It is beyond you. The BHAKTAS have called it the grace of God - as if it comes from Him, it is a gift; you need not be worthy of it. Only one person in thousands, or even in millions, is capable of that. All the remaining ones have to move slowly, have to move gradually.
That's why here I go on talking about instant enlightenment, and I go on sending you into groups, meditations, processes. Sometimes people come to me and ask, "If enlightenment is possible right now then why do you send us? Why do you make us suffer - in the Primal, in the Encounter, in the Gestalt? Why do you send us to these Rolfers who are very skillful torturers?" What can I do? If you cannot listen to me, you will have to go to the Rolfers. Either you become awakened right now - it is your choice - or go on... then I will send you to the groups. They will torture you, goad you, provoke you, pull you this way and that. They will create such misery for you that you will decide finally that it is better to become enlightened rather than suffer so much.
And unless you say to me "Now I am enlightened" I will go on sending you. They help.
You have to follow the long, the hard way, if you cannot understand the shortcut, if you cannot take the jump, then you will have to get down by the ladder, rung by rung. Finally you reach the same place. One who has jumped into the valley and one who has been coming down by a ladder, finally they reach the same point.
And remember: even descending by a ladder, when you come to the last rung, you jump! What will you do when you have come to the last rung? Your jump will be small, the other person's jump has been big - he jumped from the top of the hill, you jump only from the last rung. But the LAST moment is ALWAYS of jump. It cannot be otherwise.
Whether you follow the gradual path or the sudden - the sudden is, of course, a pathless path, a gateless gate - whatsoever you follow, finally, at the last moment, the quantum leap has to happen.
It depends how much courage you have. If you have real courage to risk all, to stake all, to surrender all, it will happen THIS moment. If you are miserly, business-like, clever, cunning, conditional, then it will happen slowly.
For the majority, growth groups are of immense importance. They prepare you, they help you to come to the point from where, even if you are not very courageous, you can take the jump. But the jump has to happen because you have to become discontinuous with yourself.
Don't see any conflict between these two. It has always been thought that there is a conflict between the sudden and the gradual. This may be the first place in the world where the sudden and the gradual are meeting. Otherwise, those who have been teaching sudden enlightenment... Hui Neng.
Of course, Hui Neng became suddenly enlightened - how can he teach you gradual enlightenment?
And his followers, although they are not enlightened they go on talking about sudden enlightenment, and they are against the gradual, antagonistic to the idea of gradual growth.
And the people like, for example, Patanjali, who have grown from a seed to a big tree, not like a jump, who have grown like a small child growing towards youth, step by step - he charts the whole map: from the body to the mind, from the mind to the soul, from the soul to the infinite. He charts the WHOLE process; he is gradual. Now, he will be against Hui Neng, because when Patanjali talks about the eight limbs of Yoga, Hui Neng talks only about the eighth - samadhi - the seven are dropped, the seven are not included at all. For Hui Neng, those seven are a kind of postponement:
Why waste time with yoga asanas - yoga postures - what are you doing? Enlightenment has nothing to do with the body. In what posture you are, enlightenment has nothing to do with that. You can be standing on your head, you can be sitting Buddhalike, you can be lying down - it can happen! It can happen in any posture because it is not a physical phenomenon at all.
No yoga posture has any relevance! certainly not for Hui Neng, because he was passing through the market, somebody else was reading the Diamond Sutra, he simply heard it... and hearing it, it happened. There is no question of any yoga posture. There is no question of a certain diet.
There is no question of any practice of breathing. All the seven limbs are dropped; only the eighth - samadhi, ecstasy.... He immediately became ecstatic. It happened to him, so he is right; he says, "It has happened to me - -it can happen to you, it can happen to everybody. Why waste your time practising un-necessary things? All else is arbitrary. The essential is samadhi."
Now, Patanjali knows differently. Samadhi has not happened immediately to him; he has been growing towards it, slowly, slowly. It has been a growth - not only of one life, but many lives. It has been gradual, it has been slow; it has been like a seed becoming a tree. And he will say, "Don't listen to such people - these people are mad. Things don't happen like that! No seed has ever been known to suddenly become a great cedar of Lebanon - no seed has ever been known to. This Hui Neng has gone mad!"
Or, Patanjali will find some way to explain it. He will say, "Hui Neng must have been doing all the other things in his past lives; he was ready - he had fulfilled the seven limbs in his past lives. That's why suddenly the eighth has happened, but the eighth Cannot happen unless those seven have been fulfilled. Hui Neng LOOKS sudden, but is not sudden."
And ask Hui Neng, "What about Patanjali?" and he will say, 'He is befooling himself. The thing could have happened directly - he was unnecessarily going round and round. He could have jumped."
And the difference.... Hui Neng will say, "Man is not a seed - man is already a cedar of Lebanon.
Just forgotten! If man is a seed, then time is a must to become a tree" - -but Hui Neng's whole point is: "Man is ALREADY the tree. Just fallen asleep. In sleep dreaming that 'I am a seed.' He has to be simply shocked and awakened. Just the dream has to be broken. Once the tree opens its eyes, it will KNOW that there is no need for any growth."
For Patanjali, 'becoming' is the most valuable word; for Hui Neng, 'being' is the most valuable word.
To me, both are true. I am a bridge between Patanjali and Hui Neng. And I understand: Hui Neng is ultimately true, but 'ultimately' true; and very rarely will you be able to find a person who becomes enlightened by hearing four lines... it is not easy to find such a person. But it is possible; I don't say it is impossible.
For ninety-nine percent? Patanjali will be the way. So I don't discard Patanjali - I don't discard anything. Everything is accepted and used. Use all the methods skillfully and you will be benefited by all. And don't become obsessed with a method. Don't say that "I believe in gradual growth." If you say, "I believe in gradual growth," then you are preventing the possibility of sudden enlightenment.
Maybe you are the person - who knows? - you are Hui Neng! Even Hui Neng was not aware until he became enlightened. Who knows?! Somebody may be here who is a Hui Neng, a potential Hui Neng, and if he starts thinking that "No, it is not possible. I don't believe in sudden enlightenment,"
that very idea will prevent him. Then he will listen to the four lines of the Diamond Sutra and will not become enlightened because of his idea.
I would like you to remain open.
But I am not saying that everybody is going to become enlightened just by listening to those four lines of the Diamond Sutra, because then there is again a danger: listening to those four lines, you may start believing you have become enlightened. That will be a pretension, that will be delirium, that will be madness. Both dangers are there.
I make you aware of all the dangers, all the possibilities; I make all the paths available to you.
Don't believe in any path. Don't discard any path offhand, a priori, no. Keep open. And use whatsoever feels right in this moment. And everything will help and everything will support and everything will strengthen, and everything will open you up. All things can be used. And you can be benefited by al the paths.
The second question:
I AM FRUSTRATED - YOU SAY BE HERENOW, DROP THE MIND, BE SPONTANEOUS - TO ME THIS WOULD BE AN ENLIGHTENED STATE. I DON'T EXPERIENCE BEING ENLIGHTENED, SO WHAT DOES THIS ASSHOLE DO IN THE MEANTIME?
MEANTIME, ENJOY BEING UNENLIGHTENED - because, knows, tomorrow you may become enlightened.
I make you beware: meanwhile enjoy being unen-lightened - because once enlightened, you are en- lightened forever. Watch out! Then don't come to me and say that "Now I have become enlightened and I want to enjoy things which only can be enjoyed in a state of unenlightenment." Then I will not be of much help.
I can help you from unenlightenment towards en-lightenment; I cannot help you from enlightenment towards unenlightenment. That is not possible. That has never happened! That is not possible - once you know, you know. Then a thousand and one things will immediately become impossible.
So don't waste time - enjoy!
You ask me: I AM FRUSTRATED...
Because you are carrying an idea of becoming enlightened - and you are unenlightened! And the idea of becoming enlightened is continuously hammering, and continuously you know you are unenlightened, so frustration....
You misunderstand me. You continuously misunderstand me. I am not giving you a goal, enlightenment is not a goal. Naturally, you will ask, "Then how does it come?" If you can start enjoying your unenlightened state, it will come on its own - enjoyment bridges both. That's why my emphasis is on joy, celebration, happiness - because happiness bridges both.
The unenlightened person can also be happy, and the enlightened person is necessarily happy. That is the only quality that they share; that is the only quality that overlaps. I have not come across any other quality that overlaps. Hence, I say: The quality that overlaps can be used as a bridge.
The unenlightened person can be joyous only momentarily - obviously, because his mind is wavering. He is continuously dragged to the past, to the future, here and there, and he cannot remain here. But for moments he can... just coming from the past and going to the future, he can for a moment be in the present. Coming from the future, going to the past, he can have a halt, just a little holiday in the present. He passes many times in the day, again and again; he shuttles back and forth. Shuttling back and forth he crosses the present many times. In those fragmentary spaces he can be happy. His happiness cannot be eternal. But happiness is happiness, eternal or momentary.
When you are dancing and celebrating, your dance and celebration has the same quality as when Kabir is dancing or Meera is dancing the SAME quality. The difference is of quantity, not of quality. It is only momentary; it comes and it goes. It does not stay; it is like a flash. By the time you become aware of it, it is gone. But it is the same thing!
It becomes a sun to a Kabir, to a Meera; it becomes a constant source of light. But lightning in the clouds has the SAME quality - it is not different. It is the SAME light - although you cannot read a book, and you cannot write a letter. By the time you take the pen in your hand, the lightning is gone and it is deep darkness. But still, remember, the quality of fire, the quality of electricity is the same - whether it is a constant source like the sun or a very momentary flash of lightning, the difference is only of time.
Happiness overlaps. When Buddha is, he is happy, he is simply happy; it remains. It is like breathing; it is a climate around him - it never leaves him. To you it comes like a fragrance: for a moment your nostrils are full of it and the next moment it is gone and you are full of the stink of the world - but it is the same fragrance. In Buddha's life the flower has bloomed, in your life the flower has not bloomed - it comes and goes.
You are feeling frustrated because this idea of enlightenment is becoming a heavy phenomenon for you. You are making a goal out of it, and you will create misery. And a miserable person can never become enlightened.
Drop misery!... And you will ask: "How to drop misery?" Drop goals. Goals create misery. When you are hankering for something and you cannot get it, you become miserable. When you don't hanker for anything, but start moving in a new dimension, whatsoever you have, you start enjoying it.... You may be sitting in the small garden of your cottage and thinking of the great palace - how to get it? In that very idea of the great palace which you can see far away in the sunlight, the marble palace, you are becoming miserable. The more you become focussed on THAT palace, the more you forget the beauties of this small cottage - the flowers are there, the lawn is green, the trees are happy, the wind is blowing, the sun is showering, the birds are singing.... For the birds there's not much difference between a palace and a hut. And the flowers bloom the same, and the sun showers the same - on the just, on the unjust, on the poor, on the rich, on the beautiful, on the ugly, on the successful, on the failures.
You are missing.
Forget the palace! In forgetting the palace, you will not be miserable. Start moving with this bird that is blessing you, sitting on your small tree singing a song. Listen to it! And these rays of the sun that are falling on you, rejoice! sing a song! dance with the trees! Lie down on the grass; feel the wetness of it and the aliveness of it.
That's what I mean: Meanwhile enjoy your unenlightenment.
And if you can enjoy your unenlightenment, you will be surprised that the hut has become a palace.
You will be surprised by the transformation that happens around you - because it has happened inside you. When you change, the whole world changes.
If you can enjoy your unenlightened state, enlightenment is going to happen to you. It cannot happen by desiring - it happens only by rejoicing. Jesus says again and again: Rejoice! Rejoice! Why?
There is a key, a golden key: if you can rejoice, you will become capable of more rejoicings. If you can rejoice, your heart will dance, throb, will be able to open more... and more will be coming.
You always get that for which you are ready. More you cannot get.
You say: I AM FRUSTRATED. YOU SAY BE HERENOW, DROP THE MIND, BE SPONTANEOUS...
You go on misunderstanding me. When I say to you, "Be spontaneous," you make a goal out of it - and that's what I am saying not to do, please. Be spontaneous means don't have any goals. You make a goal out of being spontaneous. You start trying: How to be spontaneous? The moment you bring 'how', you can never be spontaneous, because there is no how to it. How always leads into the future. How always prepares, plans. How can you plan to be spontaneous? Spontaneity is an understanding that "I have not to run after the desires." Seeing the futility of desires, one no more runs after them and there is spontaneity.
When I say drop the mind, you start trying to drop the mind. Who is trying? The mind starts trying to drop the mind itself. Now, this is impossible the mind cannot drop the mind. You have to understand these things!
What I am teaching you here is not something that has to be done: it is something that has to be understood. And you are much too interested in doing. You are in such a hurry to do something that you don't listen to what I am saying, you don't get the point, and immediately you start planning how to drop the mind. Now, WHO IS this planning? Who is this thinking how to drop the mind? It is the mind itself. Now a new desire has arisen in you of dropping the mind - now a new marble palace, now a new goal.
Mind is desiring. Mind is goal-orientation.
To drop the mind means: see the point! that mind leads you astray; it never allows you to be herenow. Seeing that, be finished with goals. Seeing that, don't create new goals of dropping the mind and being spontaneous and being herenow. Seeing the point, have a good laugh... relax, rejoice. And you are herenow, and in the herenow there is no mind. And when there is no mind, there is spontaneity. Meanwhile, enjoy!
I DON'T EXPERIENCE BEING ENLIGHTENED.
You will never experience being enlightened. How can you experience being enlightened? You are the barrier. And enlightenment is not an experience - because there is no experiencer in it.
Enlightenment is experiencing, not experience. In experience there is division - the experiencer, the experienced. Between the two exists experience. When the experiencer and the experienced are no more separate, they have melted into each other, when the observer has become the observed, when the knower and the known are no more separate, then there is a totally new phenomenon for which I would like to use the word 'experiencing'. I would like to use a verb: experiencing.
Experience is a noun, closed, finished. Experiencing is ongoing, it is riverlike. Those two, the duality of the knower and the known, have dissolved into the river. There is nobody who knows enlightenment, and there is not anything like enlightenment which can be known as an object.
Forget about these complex things. Simply start enjoying. That simple thing can be done easily - you can dance, you can sing, you can love, you can eat, you can go for a walk, you can have a good sleep. All these activities are beautiful if you can be totally in them, dissolved.
Mind will go on trying its ways on you, its tricks on you. And you will be led astray by the mind many times. Whenever you remember, again have a good laugh, rejoice. Don't start fighting with the mind.
Neglect. Ignore. This is just an old habit. Watch. Don't pay much attention.
By not giving attention, slowly, slowly you will starve the mind. It will start shrinking. One day, it will not be there. When the mind is gone, you are gone. When you are gone, there is enlightenment.
You say: I DON'T EXPERIENCE BEING ENLIGHTENED, SO WHAT DOES THIS ASSHOLE DO IN THE MEANTIME?
You ARE enlightenment... you have simply forgotten it. A remembrance will come to you - not by your effort, but by being in tune with existence.
An old boxer phoned his manager. "Harry," he said, "you gotta ged me anudder fight, I wanna fight Slasher Delaney."
"No, boy," replied Harry. "You're over the hill, no more fights. How many times do I hafta tell ya?"
"But please Harry; just this one, I know I can beat 'im. Please Harry, one more fight!"
"No! You're past it. Quit while you're still on yer feet. You can't fight again."
"But Harry," pleaded the old fighter, "why can't I fight Slasher Delaney?"
"Why can't you fight Slasher Delaney?" yelled the manager, "because, you stupid shit, you are Slasher Delaney!"
ALTHOUGH I HAVE BEEN STANDING ON MY HEAD FOR LIFETIMES, I CANNOT WALK WITHOUT FEET.
YOU CAN GO ON STANDING ON YOUR HEAD FOR MANY more lifetimes... that has nothing to do with it. To walk without feet you need not stand on your head. That has no relevance. It has no relationship.
To walk without feet and to fly without wings, you need not do any unnecessary things like standing on your head. Standing on your head you will not even be able to walk with your feet - what to say about walking without feet? Standing on your head you will not be able to walk at all. Standing on your head you will be dead, you will not be alive.
When I say walk without feet, what am I saying? I am saying, first: learn how to walk with feet, and then be very very watchful inside, be alert. Create a luminous consciousness. See who is walking when you are walking. Are you really walking? You have come from England to India, or from Japan to India - has anything really moved inside you? You have not walked. The body has been carried from Japan to India, but your consciousness is the same.
You were a child; now you are a young man or an old man, you have walked a long way - but have you really changed? Deep at the very core of your being you have not walked at all; there has been no journey. You are exactly the same at the very core of your being.
Walking, if you watch, you will know there is no walking. Talking, if you watch, you will see there is no talking. Thinking, if you watch, you will see there is no thinking. The deepest core of your being remains untouched, untouchable. It is a lotus in the water - remains in the water but untouched.
Knowing that witness is what I mean...
THINK WITHOUT MIND
FLY WITHOUT WINGS
WALK WITHOUT FEET
I am not teaching you some circus tricks here - that you can fly, so stand on your head.
A circus manager was interviewing people for jobs in his circus. By the end of the day he had hired very few and turned down many, while getting very bored with all their tricks. As he was ready to leave his office, a man walked in and said, "I would like to get a job in your circus."
Without giving him a glance, the manager asked, "And what can you do?"
"I can fly like a bird," said the man.
"Sorry, we have no need for that, and all jobs are taken," said the manager.
"Oh well," said the man, disappointed - and flew out of the window.
But, Parinirvana, I am not teaching those tricks here. You have to drop all tricks - these are all tricks!
People become very much interested, because ego feels very much fulfilled if you can do something which nobody else can do: if you can walk without feet, if you can fly without wings, you will feel greatly happy - although you have not achieved anything! Stupid birds are flying, so what have you achieved? There is no achievement in it.
It happened: a man came to Ramakrishna, and he was very haughty and very arrogant, and he said, "Do you know? - I can walk on the river." They were sitting on the bank of the Ganges in Dakshineshwar. Ramakrishna laughed. He was a very very innocent man. He said, "You can walk on the river?"
And the man said, "Yes."
And Ramakrishna said, "How many years did it take you to learn the trick?"
He said, "Eighteen years."
Ramakrishna laughed; said, "You fool - eighteen years?! When I want to go to the other side, just two paise... something worth two paise - eighteen years?! I have never come across such a fool,"
he said. "You have wasted your life! I just go by the ferryboat. There is no need...!"
But these things attract; the mind becomes very much interested if something miraculous can happen to you. And miracles are happening continuously, but you don't see them - that you are breathing, that you are alive, that you are loving, that you are seeing the sunrays, the sky, that the world is such a benediction. Miracles are happening every moment! But you would like to fly like a stupid bird, and then you will feel very good that you have become a great yogi or something.
Remember: be ordinary; don't try to be special in any way, otherwise you will be moving in a wrong direction. To be special means to be egoistic, and ego is the only Problem. There is no other problem. Forget about being special. Just be ordinary. And there is great joy in being ordinary. Just be human.
And by being ordinary you will come to know - you will know the art of walking without feet and flying without wings. That art simply means that "I am not the doer. I have relaxed. Now God walks in me, God talks in me, God loves through me, but I am a hollow bamboo. I have no special goal in life - His goal is my goal. And if He has no goals, I am perfectly happy with no goal. I am flowing with the river. Wherever it leads, that is my home - if it leads anywhere. If it doesn't lead anywhere, then that is my home."
This is relaxation. And to relax in reality is to attain, is to be enlightened. Enlightenment is an utter let-go.
The fourth question:
IF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SO MUCH DESTROYED BY GUILT AS YOU SAY THEY HAVE BEEN, THEN HOW DO THEY MANAGE TO LIVE AT ALL?
I ALSO WONDER! It is a great mystery, a riddle, how they manage to live at all. Their sources of life are poisoned. In fact, they are not living - they are only managing to live. Managing to live is not living. Managing to live is just somehow dragging, pretending; it is pseudo, phoney.
All your life sources have been poisoned. And unless you get rid of the priest and the politician, you will never be able to really live. At the most you can manage. But by managing you can only postpone death, you cannot really live. You can go on postponing death one day more, one day more - but this is not life!
Life needs passion. Life needs intensity. Life needs fire - because only when fire is there and flame is there do you bloom; otherwise, you are just lukewarm, so-so.
What is your love? How can you LOVE? For five thousand years love has been condemned, so much so that even if you think that you are no more part of any church, that you don't go to the priest, it doesn't matter much. The poisoning has gone so deep in the blood, in the bones and the marrow that even if you don't go to the church, the church continues in you; deep down it goes on pulling you, controlling you.
Still you manage! Still one has to love and one has to live, so one lives and one loves, but love creates only agony, not ecstasy. And each agony proves that the priest is right. And the priest is the cause of the agony! That is the beauty of the whole thing. But each time you feel the agony of it, you are reminded again that the priest was right, that love is misery.
Love is not misery! Love is sheer joy. But it has been contaminated, polluted, so many things have been forced into it, that it is no more love, it is something else. Each time you feel frustration, the priest stands proved: "He was right, I was wrong; I should have listened. I should have been wiser."
Each love relationship proves the priest was right, because no love relationship is a love relationship at all. It is possessiveness, it is jealousy, it is domination, it is anger, it is violence - it is hatred.
The very idea that you possess a person is the ugliest that you can invent. Psychological monopoly destroys all love7 and when love is destroyed, naturally you feel in agony, because the ecstasy is missing and you invested so much for the ecstasy. And the ecstasy is not there and you are left crushed, in a collapse. Deep down, the priest speaks: "Listen, I have been telling you - had I not told you before that love is illusory? that love is misery? that love brings anguish? Be alert in future.
The priest has made you so much against life. He could not destroy life completely, that is true. He cannot. It is like a tree, but you have poisoned the roots. He could not destroy life; life is irrepressible, life is divine, life is God. The priest was impotent to kill it completely, but at least he succeeded in poisoning lt.
I have heard:
At a mountain resort, a man who was on vacation without his wife, and a woman who was on vacation without her husband, met at table. After a few days of pleasant conversation, they both grew fond of each other and eventually found themselves in bed together. But they felt very guilty and conscience-stricken.
"My wife," said the errant husband, "works and slaves to make a nice home for my children." And he burst into tears.
"My husband is so good to me," said the cheating wife. "He is working his fingers to the bone to send me on vacation, and I wind up in bed with a lover." And then she burst into tears too.
This kept on for five days. So what happened? They spent the whole week long making love and crying, and crying and making love.
This is what is happening all over the world. You cannot go totally into anything. You cannot escape totally either. You are hanging in the middle; you don't belong to this side and you don't belong to that side. You cannot escape from love, because when you escape from love you feel utterly lonely and there is misery. That misery is brought by nature, because nature intends you to relate; nature intends you to fall in tune with the total, and to fall in tune with the total you have to start with individuals.
Individuals are the doors for the total. So if you escape to the Himalayan caves or to a Catholic monastery, nature will take revenge, nature will never forgive you. You will be lonely, sad; your life will be a kind of vegetation. You will vegetate. Your prayers will also be dull, because without a loving heart how can prayers be alive? Your reading of the Bible or the Diamond Sutra will not have any flame, because when love dies, all flame dies. You will be just dragging, dull, dead. You will somehow live, waiting for death. Death will be your delivery. Life will be a constant burden.
Nature will take revenge and nature will tell you, "Go back to life. Relate with people. Life is in relationship and joy is in relationship. Go and love! Prayer arises out of love. Merged in love, one comes to experience meditation for the first time. Go into life!" Life will go on goading you. Life cannot leave you so easily. It never leaves. It has never left anybody!
So you will be miserable. Your only joy will be one, that you are going to paradise and heaven and there you will enjoy all things, and all these worldly people, these are going to hell and they will be burnt. And your only joy will be this fantasy, that everybody else who is enjoying in the world is going to hell. You can have a vicarious enjoyment. It is a kind of sadism. You want the whole world to go to hell; just because you are suffering, you would like everybody else to suffer. You are angry; deep down you are envious and jealous. You cannot forgive these people who are dancing in the streets, who are making love, who are living, who are singing songs. Those songs go on floating in the monastery. You have to take revenge.
Hell is created by the monks just as a kind of revenge. Hell exists not. It is a pure invention of those who have left life and cannot enjoy their seclusion. And for themselves they have created a heaven.
In the heaven they will enjoy all the things that they have left here - all the things!
In the Mohammedan paradise, wine flows in rivers. Here they have left wine; in the paradise they will be rewarded a thousandfold, a millionfold. In heaven there are beautiful women who never go beyond eighteen. They are stuck there; their growth stops. Eighteen is the only age. And their beauty is not the ordinary beauty of this world, not muddy; they don't smell of sweat, they are fragrant. They have bodies of gold.
Mm? - these are fantasies. These people have missed women here; now they are fantasizing.
They are somehow consoling themselves: "Just wait a little more. Death will come and you will be delivered, and God is going to repay you infinitely." They have done a great job because they have left life. And life is persistent inside them - that life is creating fantasies.
When you fast your hunger creates fantasies of eating. When you become a celibate, a forced celibate, your hunger for the warmth of a woman or a man's body creates fantasies. If you escape, life will not forgive you, nature will not forgive you, God will not forgive you! You have gone against God, because this life is God's: if you go against life, you go against its creator.
If you don't escape and you don't listen to the priest, and you go against the priest, the priest will never forgive you. So whenever you are with a woman, the priest is there inside destroying the joy of it. He is creating your so-called conscience, morality, puritanism; he is condemning you there. And you start self-condemning. And because you can't go deep into love, this priest is pulling you back, love becomes agony. Rather than becoming an ecstasy it turns into an agony - then the priest is proved right. And you start thinking about how to go into a monastery, how to leave all this love.
The priest cannot forgive you if you are alive. And if you become dead in a monastery, life cannot forgive you. You are in this dilemma.
Listen to life and not to the priest. The priest has been in the service of the Devil; he is Satan's disciple. Listen to life. Go deep in life. If love brings misery, then find out - it cannot be love.
Something else is pretending to be love, something else is masquerading as love. Analyze it, and drop all that is not love from love. And, slowly slowly, you will start moving towards prayer and meditation.
The last question:
WHY AM I SO MUCH FASCINATED BY PORNOGRAPHY?
MUST BE YOUR RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING - Sunday school; otherwise, there is no need to be interested in pornography. When you are against the real, you start imagining.
The day religious upbringing disappears from the earth, pornography will die. It cannot die before it.
This looks very paradoxical. Magazines like PLAYBOY exist only with the support of the Vatican.
Without the Pope there will be no PLAYBOY magazine; it cannot exist. It will not have any reason to exist. The priest is behind it.
Why should you be interested in pornography when alive people are here? And it is so beautiful to look at alive people. You don't become interested in the picture of a naked tree, do you? because all trees are naked! Just do one thing: cover all the trees... and sooner or later you will find magazines circulating underground - naked trees! And people will be reading them, putting them inside their Bibles and looking at them and enjoying. Try it and you will see.
Pornography can disappear only when people accept their nudity naturally. You don't want to see cats and dogs and lions and tigers naked in pictures - they ARE naked! In fact, when a dog passes you, you don't even recognize the fact; you don't take note of it that he is naked. There are a few ladies in England, I have heard, who cover their dogs with clothes. They are afraid - the nudity of the dog may disturb some religious, spiritual soul.
I have heard, Bertrand Russell has written in his autobiography that in his childhood days those were the days, Victorian days - that even the legs of the chairs were covered, because they are LEGS.
Let man be natural and pornography disappears. Let people be nude... not that they have to sit nude in their offices; there is no need to go that far. But on the beaches, on the rivers, or when they are at ease, relaxing in their homes, resting under the sun in their gardens, they should be nude!
Let children play around nude, around nude mother and father. Pornography will disappear! Who will look at the PLAYBOY magazine? for what? Something is being deprived, some natural curiosity is being deprived, hence pornography.
You ask: WHY AM I SO MUCH FASCINATED BY PORNOGRAPHY?
You will be surprised to know that the word 'fascinated' comes from the word 'phallus'. Man has been pathologically fascinated by the phallus - for NO reason. The only reason is that people have been hiding it. Even if you go to a nude primitive community, the WHOLE body is nude, but the sexual organ they will hide - so at least that much pornography Will continue.
Why this fear? How did it come? It must have a deep root cause somewhere in the past, maybe lost to human consciousness, but it is there.
The word 'phallus' in its turn comes from a Sanskrit root PHALA. PHALA means the fruit. Reaching to the roots of this word 'fascination' is very paying: first it comes from 'phallus', and 'phallus' comes from PHALA; PHALA means fruit, bearing fruit. Man became aware that the sexual organ is the most important organ because it gives birth to life; he became aware that somehow life must be residing in it. It is precious - hide it! It is a treasure. Don't let anybody see it. Somebody may take your treasure, somebody may steal it, somebody may harm it.
This idea got deep into the unconsciousness of man. There is no reality behind it. There is no reason. Pornography is a by-product. And the priest became aware of one thing - it was obvious - that people fall in love and they forget the whole thing, the whole world. Falling in love, or making love, they simply disappear from this world, they move into another dimension. And that dimension is the priest's dimension - he wants monopoly over it. He does not want any other way for you to approach God; he wants you to come through the right way that he provides: the prayer, the meditation, this and that. And he became aware that people have a natural key with them, a natural door opens into the divine - that has to be stopped. Otherwise who will be interested in their prayer and in their meditations? Who will be interested in churches and temples? First people's natural capacity to enter into God has to be stopped and destroyed, then the profession can flourish.
That's how it has happened.
Get rid of the priest within you, say goodbye. And then suddenly you will see that pornography has disappeared. Kill the priest in your unconscious and you will see a great change happening in your being. You will be more together.
A small beautiful story for you to meditate...
Three priests went to Grand Central Station to get a train to Buffalo. The older two appointed the youngest one to go to the counter to buy three tickets. Behind the wicket stood a gorgeously buxom young lady wearing a dress of outrageous decollete. The young priest was visibly flustered.
Finally, he blurted out, "Please let me have three pickets for Titsburgh."
When he realized what he had said, he was mortified, and ran back to the other two priests.
The second took the money and approached the window. Here he too encountered the same upset, but managed to say, "Can I have three tickets for Pittsburgh?" And then, laying down a Realizing what he had said, he was so abashed he left the tickets on the counter and ran back to the other two priests.
The third, the eldest, then strode up to the counter to ask for the tickets and the change. Regarding at length the female clerk dressed in such a revealing fashion, he considered it his duty to admonish her.
"Young lady," he said, "you know if you go around dressed in such a provocative manner, you will most certainly obtain your just desserts in the life to come. It is my bounden duty to tell you that when you pass to the Great Beyond, St. Finger will certainly be there pointing his peter at you...."