The Breath of the Soul

Fri, 5 March 1980 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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The first question:



I AM NOT TO BLAME. The whole blame goes to this old guy Yoka. Yoka is one of the rarest enlightened people; his sayings are tremendously beautiful. Very few sayings are available, but each saying is a diamond unique in itself.

Reading his sayings, I came across this statement:


I love the statement that the "man of Zen walks in Zen and sits in Zen" for the simple reason that meditation cannot be just a part of your life. You cannot make a fragment of your life meditative; it is not possible to be meditative for one hour and then non-meditative for twenty-three hours. It is absolutely impossible. If you are doing that, that means your meditation is false.

Meditation can either be a twenty-four-hour affair or it cannot be at all. It is like breathing: you cannot breathe for one hour and then put it aside for twenty-three hours, otherwise you will be dead. You have to go on breathing. Even while you are asleep you have to go on breathing. Even in a deep coma you have to go on breathing.

Meditation is the breath of your soul. Just as breathing is the life of the body, meditation is the life of the soul.

The people who are not aware of meditation are spiritually dead.

George Gurdjieff used to say that very few people have souls - and he is right. One is born not with a soul but only with a seed which can grow into a soul - which may not grow. It will depend on you.

You will have to create the right soil, the right climate for it to grow, to bloom. You will have to provoke the spring into coming to you so that your soul can flower, otherwise you are just a body-mind. The soul is only an empty word. Meditation makes it a reality. Meditation is the climate in which the soul happens.

Zen is another name for meditation. The word zen comes from the Sanskrit root dhyan - it has traveled far. Dhyan means a state of absolute silence, of thoughtless silence, but full of awareness.

Even the thought that "I am aware" is enough to distract you from your meditation. Even to know that "I am in meditation" is enough to destroy it.

A state of meditation is an innocent, silent state. You are blissfully unaware of your awareness. You are, but you are utterly relaxed. You are not in a state of sleep; you are fully alert, more alert than ever. You are alertness, rather.

Dhyan is the greatest contribution of the East to the evolution of humanity.

Buddha himself never used Sanskrit; he used a language that was used by the masses of those days, he used Pali. In Pali, dhyan becomes jhan. When Buddha's message reached China, jhan became chan. And when it traveled from China to Japan, it became zen. But it originates from dhyan. Dhyan means meditation, but the English word "meditation" does not have that flavor, it has a long association with contemplation. The English word "meditation" means meditation upon something; there is an object of meditation.

And in Zen there is no object at all, only pure subjectivity. You are aware, but not aware of something.

There is nothing to be aware of; everything has disappeared. You are not even aware of nothingness, because then nothingness becomes your object, then nothingness becomes your thought. You are not aware of emptiness either. You are simply aware; there is no object to your awareness. The mirror is empty, reflecting nothing, because there is nothing to reflect.

You have to remember it, otherwise "meditation" can give you a wrong impression. Whenever the word "meditation" is used, immediately the question arises, "On what?" That question is irrelevant. If you are asking, "On what?" then you are asking what to think about, contemplate about, concentrate on - and that is not meditation.

Concentration is not meditation, concentration is an effort of the mind to focus itself. It has certain purposes of its own. It is a method in science - useful, but it is not meditation.

Contemplation is a little vague, more abstract. In concentration, the object is more visible; in contemplation, the object is abstract. You concentrate on a flame of light; you contemplate on love. And in Christianity, contemplation and meditation have become synonymous.

Meditation should be given a new meaning, a new fragrance - the fragrance of Zen. Concentration is of the mind, meditation is not of the mind at all, and contemplation is just in between, in a limbo. It is something of the mind and something of the no-mind, a mixture; a state where mind and no-mind meet, the boundary.

One has to reach to the absolute state of awareness: that is Zen. You cannot do it every morning for a few minutes or for half an hour and then forget all about it. It has to become like your heartbeat.

You have to sit in it, you have to walk in it. Yes, you have even to sleep in it.

Ananda, one of Gautam Buddha's chief disciples, asked Buddha, "One thing always puzzles me and I cannot contain my curiosity anymore although my question is irrelevant. The question is that when you go to sleep you remain the whole night in the same posture. Wherever you put your hands, your feet, whatsoever side you lie on, you remain exactly the same, like a statue. You don't move, you don't change your side, you don't move your hands,. your feet - nothing changes. You wake up in the morning in exactly the same posture that you had gone to sleep in. One night, just out of curiosity, I looked at you the whole night - not a single movement. Are you controlling yourself even in your sleep?"

Buddha said, "There is no question of control. I am awake, I am in meditation. I sleep in meditation.

Just as I wake up early in the morning in meditation, every night I go to sleep in meditation. My day is my meditation, my night too. I remain absolutely calm and quiet because deep down I am perfectly aware. The flame of meditation goes on burning smokeless. That's why there is no need to move."

Yoka says:


This is of great significance for you all. Meditation has to become something so deep in you that wherever you go it remains, abides with you; whatsoever you do it is always there. Only then can your life be transformed. Then not only will you be meditative in your life, you will be meditative in your death too. You will die in deep meditation.

That's how Buddha died. That's how all the Buddhas have always died: their death is something exquisitely beautiful. Their life is beautiful, their death too. There is no gap between their life and death. Their death is a crescendo of their life, the ultimate peak, the absolute expression.

When Buddha died he was eighty-two years old. He called his disciples together - just as he used to when he talked to them every morning. They all gathered. Nobody was thinking at all about his death.

And then Buddha said, "This is my last sermon to you. Whatsoever I had to say to you I have said.

Forty-two years I have been telling you, saying to you... I have poured out my whole heart. Now, if somebody has any question left he can ask, because this is the last day of my life. Today I leave for the other shore. My boat has arrived."

They were shocked! They had come just to listen to the daily discourse. They were not thinking that he was going to die - and without making any fuss about death! It was just a simple phenomenon, a simple declaration that "My boat has come and I have to leave. If you have any question left you can ask me, because if you don't ask me today, I will never again be available. Then the question will remain with you. So please, be kind and don't be shy," he told his disciples.

They started crying. And Buddha said, "Stop all this nonsense! This is no time to waste on crying and weeping! Ask if you have something to ask, otherwise let me go. The time has come. I cannot linger any longer."

They said,'We have nothing to ask. You have given more than we would have ever asked. You have answered all the questions that we have asked, that we could have asked. You have answered questions which for centuries will be fulfilling for all kinds of inquirers."

Then Buddha said, "So I can take leave of you. Good-bye."

And he closed his eyes, sat in a lotus posture, and started moving towards the other shore.

It is said: the first step was that he left his body, the second step was that he left his mind, the third step was that he left his heart, the fourth step was that he left his soul. He disappeared into the universal so peacefully, so silently, so joyously. The birds were chirping; it was early morning - the sun was still on the horizon. And ten thousand sannyasins were sitting and watching Buddha dying with such grace! They forgot completely that this was death. There was nothing of death as they had always conceived it. It was such an extraordinary experience.

So much meditative energy was released that many became enlightened that very day, that very moment. Those who were just on the verge were pushed into the unknown. Thousands, it is said, became enlightened through Buddha's beautiful death.

We don't call it death, we call it Mahaparinirvana, dissolving into the absolute - just like an ice cube melting, dissolving into the ocean. He lived in meditation, he died in meditation.

It is because of Yoka that I have chosen this title'Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen." In this simple phrase, the whole experience of all the awakened ones is condensed.

Yoka also says:


Yes, Zen is like the roar of a lion. All other religions speak in a way that does not hurt so much.

They are compromising; they compromise with your sleep. Zen is non-compromising. It does not care about your sleep and your beautiful dreams. It shocks you, it shatters you. Its whole effort is to wake you, whatsoever the cost. Yes, it is like a lion's roar.


It can be heard only with a deep love for truth. It can be heard only by those who are real inquirers, not just curious, not just spectators, not just philosophers, but who are really ready to go through a radical transformation - who are ready to die and be reborn. It is only for those few people who have guts and courage, because it is not a Sunday religion like Christianity, that each Sunday you go to the church and your paradise is assured. It is not like Mohammedanism, that you pray five times, go on repeating like a parrot the same words, which are not your words, which are not spontaneous to you, which have been imposed by others on you - you may not even know their meaning.

It is such a stupid world! Mohammedans pray in Arabic, which they don't understand; Hindus pray in Sanskrit, which they don't understand; and now Buddhists pray in Pali, which they don't understand - for the simple reason that priests have been very much insistent on keeping the dead language because those prayers are very poor if they are translated into the language which you understand.

You will be at a loss - you will not be able to see what there is to pray in them; they will lose all the mystery. The mystery is because you don't understand them. Hence Latin, Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit - dead languages which nobody understands anymore. Priests go on insisting that prayers should be in those dead languages.

You are saying something the meaning of which is not known to you. What kind of prayer is this? To whom are you addressing it? You don't know anything about God. And what you are saying is not arising out of your heart, you are just being a gramophone record - His Master's Voice.

Zen is not interested in such compromises. It wants you to really wake up. And it is hard work, a thankless job. A Zen Master has chosen something for which nobody is going to thank him.

Everybody will feel sabotaged by him and everybody will feel hurt by him. Everybody will feel he is disturbing their sleep. Only very few people, who are real inquirers, who are ready to risk all, will be able to understand, because Zen says your whole life has to be transformed, not just a part of your life.

When you are in the temple, in the mosque, in the synagogue, you become religious, and when you are outside of it you are irreligious, just the old self. Then your being in the temple is a pretension.

It divides you, it creates a schizophrenic humanity, it creates people who have split minds. If you go and see them praying in the mosques, in the temples, you will say, "How beautiful they are!" And the same people in the marketplace become so ugly. And the same people will kill each other with such cruelty you could not have conceived of it! If you had seen them praying in the mosque, in the church, you would not have believed that they would butcher each other so cruelly, so mechanically.

Christians have killed thousands of Mohammedans, Mohammedans have killed thousands of Christians Hindus have killed Mohammedans, Mohammedans have killed Hindus, Hindus have killed Buddhists, and so on and so forth. All these religions have been enemies to each other. They talk of love, but that is only mere talk; the reality is totally different. And why is it so?because their prayer is false.

Zen wants you to be religious, not in a formal way, but to be really religious in your day-to-day life. Zen does not divide your life into the mundane and the sacred, it says everything is sacred.

So eating, be meditative. Walking, be meditative. Whatsoever you are doing... taking a bath, be meditative. Wherever you are, you are in the temple. This whole existence is God's temple! Behave as you would like to behave in a temple. God is present everywhere.

Zen does not talk about God at all, but only of godliness: a certain quality, a fragrance which is everywhere. Only when you have the capacity to learn will you be able to see it. All that is needed on your part is the capacity to be silent, receptive, welcoming, open.

The second question:




Sol Lewis,

Chaos is not there outside - the outside is a cosmos - but inside there is a chaos. And it is because of the chaos inside that people don't look inwards. They are afraid to look, very frightened of looking in. They keep themselves occupied in every possible way so that there is no time left, no space left to look in. They go on listening to the Buddhas, who say, "Know thyself." They understand what is meant by "knowing thyself", but they don't make any effort to know themselves. They are afraid of the chaos.

Inside there is chaos. Outside there is no chaos. The stars are moving in a rhythm, the whole existence is rhythmic, it is in absolute accord. It is just man's mind which is in a chaos. And if you see any chaos outside, that is man-made, man-created.

Man remains a chaos unless he becomes a no-mind. Mind is a chaos - mind is bound to be a chaos - and you have become identified with it. What is mind? Past plus future. The present is not part of the mind at all, the present belongs to existence - and the present is an absolute harmony. The past is no more and the future is not yet, and your mind consists of these two non-existential things:

memories and imaginations, memories and desires, memories and hopes. It is because of this that you are living in a mad state.

Everybody is insane inside. We don't call anybody insane unless he moves too much to the extreme; but the difference between insane people and the so-called sane is only of degree - and anything can trigger it. You are just boiling somewhere near ninety-nine degrees; just one degree more - your business fails, you go bankrupt, your wife dies - and that one degree is added to your ninety-nine degrees, and you start evaporating; you are insane.

The psychiatrists, the psychotherapists, all function only to keep you within limits. They keep you normally abnormal - that is their function. They are the agents of society, just as in the old days, priests were the agents of the society. Psychotherapists are the new priests, a new priesthood which functions to keep this society running, which keeps this society believing that everything is okay.

Nothing is okay. Everybody is on the verge of a breakdown and anything, any accident, can push you into the world of the insane. You are getting ready, you are always getting ready. The more sensitive you are, the more alive you are, the greater the possibility that you may go insane.

At the funeral of his wife Perelli made a terrible scene, so terrible and heart-rending, in fact, that friends had to forcibly restrain him from jumping into the grave and being buried with his beloved Maria. Then, still overcome with grief, he was taken home in the rented limousine and immediately went into complete seclusion.

A week passed and nothing was heard of him. Finally, worried about the poor guy, his late wife's brother went to the house. After ringing the doorbell for ten minutes - and still worried - the brother- in-law jimmied the front door, went upstairs and found his dead sister's husband busily banging the maid.

The bedroom was a mess - empty champagne bottles everywhere.

"This is terrible, Perelli! " the brother-in-law declared in shocked tones. "Your dead wife, my sister, has been dead only a week and you're doing this! You're doing THIS!"

So busy in the saddle was Perelli that he managed only to turn his head. "How do I know what I'm doing?" he said. "I got such grief! I got such grief!"

People are in a mess! They are just keeping face somehow, managing a facade, pretending that everything is okay. But nothing is okay.


Yes, it is true. But we learn from chaos only if we go inwards, if we enter into the chaos consciously, deliberately, knowingly. If we encounter the chaos, of course, we learn - there is no other way of learning. It is really out of this chaos that stars are born. It is out of this chaos that Buddhas are born - but you have to encounter it.

And we go on doing just the opposite: we go on hiding it, covering it. We don't want to show it to anybody and we don't want to see it ourselves. We are so frightened, we are so scared. We are afraid that we may not be able to manage. We are afraid that if we go in we may not be able to come back. So we cling to anything on the outside; any excuse is enough to cling. We go on clinging to something or other - we just go on avoiding ourselves.

The person that you are avoiding the most in your life is you. Your whole life is managed in such a way that you never come across yourself. You have been trained, brought up, educated, cultured, civilized in such a way that you will never meet yourself. You will meet everybody except yourself, you will be introduced to everybody except yourself for the simple reason that the society does not know how to cope with the inner chaos.

It is only in the presence of a Master, in a Buddhafield, that people gather courage to face themselves. And in the beginning it is a breakdown, but if you are moving into it consciously, soon the breakdown becomes a breakthrough.

To transform breakdowns into breakthroughs is the whole function of a Master. The psychotherapist simply patches you up. He puts a few bandages on you, a little ointment here and a little ointment there. He helps you to stand on your own two feet again, back in the old way. He makes you your old self again. You start functioning, you start doing the old things that you have always been doing.

That is his function. He is not there to transform you.

You need a metapsychology, the psychology of the Buddhas.

It is the greatest adventure in life to go through a breakdown consciously. It is the greatest risk because there is no guarantee that the breakdown will become a breakthrough. It does become, but these things cannot be guaranteed. Your chaos is very ancient - for many many lives you have been in chaos. It is thick and dense. It is almost a universe in itself. So when you enter into it with your small capacity, of course, there is danger. But without facing this danger nobody has ever become integrated, nobody has ever become an individual, indivisible.

Sol, the claim is absolutely right: we learn only from chaos. But we learn only if we go through the chaos, and we have to go through the chaos in a particular way, with a style, with a method. Just going into chaos without any method will be a breakdown - you will go mad.

Zen, or meditation, is the method which will help you to go through the chaos, through the dark night of the soul, balanced, disciplined, alert. The dawn is not far away, but before you can reach the dawn, the dark night has to be passed through. And as the dawn comes closer, the night will become darker.

This is really the function of religious communes, because alone you may not be able to do it, but in a commune where many people are ahead of you, many people are behind you, with a Master who has attained to the dawn, who goes on calling you forth, who goes on saying to you, "Don't be worried, the goal is not far away."... And there are people ahead of you who say, "Don't be worried. We have passed through such a state and you will also pass through it. Just a little more perseverance, a little more awaiting, a little more patience!"

And there is the Master like a shining star. And he goes on helping you in every way, holding your hand in moments when you would like to run away, to escape, to go back to your old world, to forget all about it because it is such a nightmare.

Yes, Sol, one learns, but one learns the hard way; there is no shortcut.


It is not a question of how much more, it is not a question of quantity; either you are asleep or you are awake. No one is more asleep than anybody else. The people who are asleep are asleep in the same way. It does not matter how deeply you are asleep - it is not a question of quantity - you are asleep, that is enough. And the same is the case with awakening: if you are awake, you are simply awake. Nobody is more awake or less awake.

For centuries theologians have been discussing... theologians always discuss stupid things. In India they have been discussing for centuries "Who is more awake, Mahavira or Buddha?" Jainas say Mahavira is more awake, Buddha's followers say Buddha is more awake. And the whole point is nonsensical, the whole argument is foolish. There is no question of more or less: if somebody is awake, he is awake. Buddha is awake, Mahavira is awake. The night is over; the chaos has been transformed into a cosmos.

And this is the miracle: when you are perfectly awake your very chaos becomes a cosmos, because it starts settling into an orchestra; the noise becomes music. Suddenly, all that was insanity, madness, is transformed into Buddhahood, into enlightenment - the same energy! Chaos means energy - energy of which you are unconscious. If you become conscious, the very phenomenon of consciousness is a transforming phenomenon. You need not do anything else; just being conscious is enough.

The spring has come. Suddenly, buds start opening, flowers bloom - thousands of flowers; the inner world becomes full of fragrance.

Man is absolutely asleep.

The drunk Mulla Nasruddin noticed one parrot perched atop a farmhouse gable. Attracted by the bright plumage, he ran to fetch a ladder, climbed onto the roof, and was about to clap his cap over the bird when the parrot fixed him with a beady eye and asked, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Gosh, I didn't mean nothing!" said the Mulla, "I thought you was a bird!"

People are not in their senses! You think you are awake, and that is one of the greatest mistakes - it keeps you unawake. The very idea that you are awake is a deception. If you think you are already awake, then there is no need to do anything to be awakened.

You have to realize that you are drunk, drunk with many things: with greed, with lust, with anger, with ambition, with ego. These are all drugs! It is a very strange world: ordinary drugs, which are not so harmful, are prohibited. People are continuously talking against smoking, which is not very harmful. It is a kind of pranayama: breathing in, breathing out - of course, a little foolish because you can breathe pure air and you are breathing dirty smoke, and paying for it, but it is nothing much to be worried about. Or people are against alcohol. One in a while a little bit of alcohol is not bad, it is fun! And it is purely vegetarian! You are not harming anybody. But there is so much antagonism against alcohol and smoking.

And the new drugs are far better than alcohol. For example, LSD is far better, less harmful than alcohol. Taken in right doses, with a right guide, in a right atmosphere, it can reveal many things to you. It can become a method of encountering yourself. It can give you new visions, new insights into your being and into existence itself. But people are against it, although they are not against greed, they are not against ego trips, they are not against ambition.

Just a few months ago Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister of India. He is very much against alcohol, obsessed, he wanted absolute prohibition. But he is not aware that he is more alcoholic than anybody else. He is such an egoist - very rare to find - and so full of greed and ambition. He has been trying to occupy some post or other his whole life. Now he is eighty-five, but still, a few days ago he said, "If people want me again, then I will stand in the elections." It is a well-known fact that he was even willing to become Chief Minister of Gujarat - after being the Prime Minister of India he was ready to be just a chief minister of one of the small states. Such power-hungry people!

But nobody thinks that these are all intoxicants: ambition, greed, lust for power. These are keeping humanity in a chaos. These are the people - and they are not alone. We are all in the same boat.

A few are very madly after power, a few are not so madly after power, but everybody thinks in terms of power, money, prestige, respectability. These things go on keeping you drunk. And then a person can do anything.

Morarji Desai wants to live as long as he can. Maybe deep down he thinks that he can become physically immortal by drinking his own urine! He is against alcohol, but not against drinking his own urine. Now, alcohol is pure fruit juice - far better than drinking your own urine! But he does not call it urine, he calls it "water of life".

Just the other day Indira moved into the Prime Minister's house. For two, three months, she didn't move. Why? For the simple reason that the whole house had to be cleaned because Morarji lived there for two, three years! Every utensil had to be cleaned and changed and the bathroom tiles had to be removed and demolished. The whole house was stinking!

I have heard that when he went to America he was very puzzled. Wherever he went - he was invited to many parties - ladies would always gather in the other corner of the room. He inquired, but nobody was answering. People politely tried to change the subject, but he insisted. Finally somebody said, "Sir, if you insist, then we have to say: those ladies are afraid that if you suddenly feel thirsty, then? So they keep aloof, a little far away."

These people have been dominating humanity - ambitious! Now he wants to live. For what? Just to have more power, to have more power for a longer time.

Man is not destroyed by other small things - marijuana, LSD, etcetera - he is destroyed by something far deeper. Ambition is the most poisonous thing. We are unconscious.

Sol, unless we become very aware of our inner poisons we will not be able to transform our beings from darkness into light. We will remain dark holes - and we have the capacity to become eternal light.

Three Irishmen, none too sober, were talking together in a bus terminal. They got so engrossed comparing their bowling scores that they didn't notice the bus had pulled in. As the driver sang out, "All aboard," they looked up, startled, and dashed from the platform. Two of them managed to hop on the bus, but the third didn't make it.

As he stood sadly watching the bus depart in the distance, a stranger tried to cheer him up, saying, "You shouldn't feel too bad. Two out of three made it and that's a pretty good average." The Irishman shook his head. "But they came to see me off.

And it is not only so with the people who are drunk, it is not only so with the people who are politically drunk, it is so with your so-called religious people too. Those who think they are helping mankind - great missionaries, public servants - they are the most mischievous people for the simple reason that they themselves are in chaos and they are trying to help others. They double your chaos, they multiply your chaos. The world would be far happier and far saner if there were no missionaries, no public servants. If people are left to themselves they will come to their senses sooner. But there are public servants; they cannot leave you, they cannot leave you alone.

A man was beating an old woman on the street. A crowd gathered. The man was very strong, tall, muscular, but finally somebody in the crowd gathered courage and asked, "What's the matter? Why are you beating that poor old woman?" He said, "I want to help her to go to the other side, but she insists on not going. And I am here to help old people to cross the road. The traffic is dangerous."

That's what is happening: missionaries, public servants, are bent upon helping you!

Jake the barber, passing by a tenement house in the pre-dawn hours of the morning, saw a man leaning limply against the doorway.

"What's the matter?" he asked sympathetically. "Drunk?"

"Yeah, I'm afraid sho."

"Do you live in this house?"


"Want me to help you upstairs?"

"Yeah, shank you."

"What floor do you live on?"


With much difficulty, Jake half dragged, half carried the wilting figure up the dark stairway to the second floor.

"Is this your apartment?" he asked.

"Yep," affirmed the man, his eyes already closed in alcoholic slumber.

Jake opened the unlocked door and shoved the drunk inside. He then groped his way back downstairs. But as he was going through the vestibule, he made out the dim outline of another man, apparently in worse condition than the first, staggering in front of the house.

"What's the trouble, mister?" he asked. "Are you drunk, too?"

"Yesh," came the feeble reply.

"Do you live in this house also?"


"Don't tell me you live on the second floor, too?"


Again Jake half carried the stranger to the second floor. He pushed open the same door and shoved the man inside the darkened room.

As Jake was emerging from the building he discerned yet a third man, evidently worse off than either of the other two. This poor fellow was dishevelled and bleeding from cuts and bruises on his head and face. He was about to approach him and offer him assistance when the object of his solicitude darted into the street and threw himself into the arms of a policeman.

Offisher," he gasped, pointing a quivering finger at Jake, "perteck me from this man. All night long he's done nothin' but drag me upstairs an' throw me down the elevator shaft!"

Sol, it is not a question of how much more man needs to awaken; man simply needs to be awake.

And the only way to be awake is through meditation; there is no other way. Zen is the only way..."Walking in Zen, sitting in Zen."

The third question:



Ritmo and Deva Mastanando,

I have been telling you of other things. Have you ever tried them right away? I am telling you about meditation every day and you go on postponing it! And sex you tried right away! You did me a great favor - you did not try it here! That shows its stupidity.

Sex is not stupid, you are stupid! It is because of you that poor sex also becomes stupid. And you will never know unless you rise a little higher. Unless you become a little more alert, you will not see the stupidity. You can't see it remaining on the same level - nobody can see it.

Go to the madhouse, ask any madman, "Are you mad?" He will be mad at you! But no madman will accept that he is mad. He will say, "What are you talking about? The whole world is mad except me.

I am perfectly sane." No madman accepts he is mad. If a madman accepts he is mad, that is a sure sign that he is getting out of his madness, he is becoming sane.

You will not be able to see the stupidity of it unless you learn a little more meditativeness so that you can observe, so that you can remain detached, so that you can see from a vantage point, so that you can have a little perspective. Right now you don't have any perspective; you are too close.

Just stand very close to the mirror, your nose touching the mirror, and you will not be able to see your own face. That is not the fault of the mirror. You have to give it a little space, then the mirror can reflect you. You are too close.

Sex seems to be the greatest obsession. The priests have to be given all credit for it. For centuries they have been condemning sex as sin and they have made it an obsession.

I don't call sex a sin, I simply call it stupid. I am not saying that you will suffer hell - what more hell do you need to suffer? You are already suffering in it. And what does it go on giving to you? It just keeps you engaged - engaged in the other so that you can avoid yourself. That is its basic stupidity:

it keeps you ignorant because it keeps you ignoring yourself. The man is interested in the woman, the woman is interested in the man. Everybody is interested in the other. It seems as if the other has all that you need, and the other is also thinking that you have all that he or she needs. Both are beggars - and believing that the other has the kingdom.

Sooner or later you feel frustrated, but your frustration never teaches you anything. It is very. difficult to learn anything. If one woman has failed you you start looking to other women. If one man has not been up to your standards - and no man can be, no woman can be because that is not possible, that is not in the nature of things - then you start looking to other men.

And all kinds of perversions are there, but if you ask any perverted person, he will not say that he sees any stupidity in it.

A Frenchman was making love to someone's wife when the husband returned two days early from his business trip. Quick as a wink, the Frenchie scrambled out of the sack and took off like a big big bird. However, the angry husband was just as fast on his feet and he grabbed a rifle and shot the Frenchman's balls off. Not at all perturbed, the Frenchman stuck out his very long tongue and shouted, "Missed me!"

Now if you ask this Frenchman, he will not say that he is doing anything stupid; he is doing the most fantastic thing in the world!

Three woodcutters came down to the town after a long four-month work period, during which they had not seen or heard a thing except trees and their axes. Within hours they were totally drunk and decided to visit the local whorehouse.

The madam of the institution found herself in a fix, as she could only offer two girls and didn't want to lose her third customer. So she told one of the girls to put the inflatable tailor's dummy into one bed.

While two of the woodcutters were escorted to the beds with the real girls, the most drunk of them was put to bed with the dummy.

As the three met the next morning, they exchanged the reports of their experiences. When the turn to share his experience came for the one who had been in bed with the air-filled rubber woman, he said, "First it was really nice, but she was too quiet. Then, when I bit her nipple, she gave one big fart and flew out the window."

Ritmo and Mastananda, you will not be able to see what you are doing. Be a little more meditative and don't be in such a hurry: that I told you and right away... It seems it was just an excuse. You believed that you were experimenting, you believed that you were doing something in order to know.

People can believe all kinds of things - but you cannot deceive me! People can go on rationalizing.

You think you did it because I said sex is stupid? You would have done it anyway! Even if I had said that sex is very intelligent, then too you would have done it. If I had not said anything about sex, then too you would have done it.

Have a look at your mind. Try to understand how you go on rationalizing and deceiving yourself.

And you cannot understand what I am saying unless you rise a little higher from the state of consciousness where you are right now. If you want to see more you have to rise a little higher.

It is as if you are standing on the road and I am sitting on the treetop. I say to you, "A bullock cart is coming down the road." You say, "I don't see any bullock cart. There is no bullock cart." But I can see; my perspective is greater because I am on a height. You will only see the bullock cart when it comes very close to you, and then after a few yards it will disappear again. And I will say to you, "It has not disappeared. It is still there on the road." You will say, "It is no longer there, it is gone."

The higher you rise, the more you can see. And when you reach the ultimate height, Buddhahood, you can see everything. Then there is no past and no future; then there is only present. And in that clarity, sex is the most stupid thing because it keeps you in bondage the longest. I am not condemning it, I am simply stating a fact. It is your bondage. It keeps you unconscious. It does not allow you to see what you are doing. You are possessed by it.

Back in the early 1960's when France was fighting its last colonial war, a draft-dodger from Paris pretended to have poor eyesight during his physical at the army induction center.

The army doctor didn't buy that, so he sent for a gorgeous young nurse and told her to take off her clothes.

"Describe what you see, young man," the doctor asked.

"All I see is a blur, doctor," the slacker replied.

Said the military M.D., "Your eyes may not be as good as they should be my lad, but your prick is pointing straight toward Algeria!"

That's why I call it stupid: it keeps you unconscious, it keeps you in a kind of possession. It is hormonal, it is chemical. It is not you; it is just your biology that goes on forcing you to do certain things. If you watch, you will be surprised: What are you doing? And why are you doing? If you watch you will be surprised: What are you gaining out of it? What have you gained up to now? And in your saner moments you know perfectly well what I am saying, you understand it; but those saner moments are very superficial - they come and go - and soon you are back in the same trap again.

Mastananda, go back again, do it right away, but be watchful, be meditative. And I will be there, standing by your side, and let us see what happens. Either you will not be able to do it at all or you will find that it is a biological compulsion, it is an obsession, it is not you. Your consciousness will remain floating up; deep down in the valley it will happen, but you will remain detached, unconcerned, cool.

And that will give you the insight.

Sex becomes a tantric experience when meditation is added to it.

The fourth question:




THEY CAN'T BEAR to see their husbands having a good time!

And the last question:





ASK HIM, "Who is this tomato?"

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