This Is Sacred, This Is Divine

Fri, 6 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:




IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER because Zen is not a philosophy, it is not a doctrine. It is an experience, an experience of your own interiority, of your own subjectivity - not an objective experience. If it were some object outside you, there would be a possibility of describing it, of analyzing it, of defining it. It is indefinable by its very nature; it is not within the grasp of intellect. It is an experience of dropping out of your mind, disappearing from your mind into your being, slipping out of the mind and entering into your being.

The mind is a false entity; your being is your real face, your original face. The mind is created by the society, hence there are different kinds of minds - Hindu mind, Christian mind, Jewish mind - but the being is one; it is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan. Being is not even individual, it is universal.

It is like a dewdrop slipping into the ocean. It disappears as a dewdrop; nothing remains of it as a dewdrop. It dies, but, on the other hand, it is reborn. It becomes the ocean. But there is nobody to say what has happened and there is no way to say it; no words are adequate enough.

I can tell you how it happens, but I cannot tell you what it is. I can indicate towards it... fingers pointing to the moon... but fingers are not the moon. And there are millions of people who go on worshiping the fingers. The more attached you become to the fingers the less capable you will be of seeing the moon. The fingers have to be forgotten. Once you have got the point where to look, then forget the fingers and look at the moon.

Zen is one of the purest spiritual experiences, uncontaminated by any thought, any theology, any speculation. It is non-argumentative, it simply is.

Listen to Yoka. Yoka says:





WHEN HE FULLY REALIZES the body of the Buddha, the body of the universal law, HE HAS NOTHING. He becomes nothing.


If you live in this understanding, you can change in a single moment. You can transform yourself absolutely, without wasting any time.

Beautiful hints. First, you have to forget all that you have learned. All your learning is a barrier. Put it aside. Zen cannot be learned and cannot be taught, but you can imbibe it, you can imbibe the spirit of it.

Living with a Master you can drink, you can drink the invisible nectar, you can be filled with it, but you will have to fulfil one condition: you have to put the mind aside.

Gayan has written to me that while listening to me she feels like dancing. That's how the disciple is bound to feel: something inside you starts dancing, singing. Something inside you rejoices.

Something inside you immediately falls in tune with the Master; a deep synchronicity happens. It cannot be taught, it cannot be learned, but it can be transferred. That transfer is beyond words and beyond scriptures. It needs a totally new art: the art of surrender, the art of total let-go.

The first condition is: forget all that you have learned. The second condition is: be calm, quiet, contented. Desire keeps you away from the present moment, far away. And Zen is the taste of reality here and now. It is the feel of the here and now. Zen is not concerned with any God after death, Zen is concerned with the godliness that surrounds you right now.

These sounds, these birds, these trees, these people, this silence... three thousand people disappearing into a silence, losing their identities, egos... and suddenly Zen is there! It becomes almost tangible. You can touch it, you can eat it, you can drink it. But there is no way to convey it through words. You have to be calm and quiet and contented so that you can be in the present. You have to be free of all care.

Care simply means you are not trusting existence; you are trying to be careful on your own. You are afraid. You are not yet aware that existence cares for you, that it mothers you, that it fathers you.

Once you start feeling the mothering, the fathering that surrounds you, in the air, in the sun, in the moon, in the stars, you drop caring for yourself. There is no need to be worried. You start flowing with existence. You drop pushing the river. And then, Sagar, you will be able to understand what Zen is. You have to live naturally and reasonably.

Remember, the society has made you absolutely artificial. It has given you ideas, it has imposed certain moralities, characters upon you. It has destroyed your spontaneity. You have to regain it, you have to reclaim it. That is the most essential thing to be done.

Once you have claimed your naturalness, Zen starts welling up within you. Zen is your nature, your very nature. When you are spontaneous and responsible, responding to reality moment to moment without any ready-made formulas, reflecting reality like a mirror, you are living the life of Zen. And that is the reasonable life - not rational, remember, but reasonable.

A reasonable man is not rational. They are not equivalent, they are not synonymous. The rational man is never reasonable, the rational man tries to deny all that is irrational. And life consists of both the rational and the irrational. The reasonable man accepts both. He accepts the paradox of life: he accepts the rational, he accepts the irrational; he sees no inconsistency in them. Hence he remains undivided; nothing can divide him. No division exists in his being and he sees no division anywhere.

Life and death are one to him, summer and winter are one to him, men and women are one to him.

He knows that divisions are superficial; deep down everything is one. He knows the oneness of life, hence he is not disturbed by any contradictions.

The man of Zen contains all contradictions. He is vast enough, he can contain contradictions. He enjoys paradoxes. He does not make life a problem. He looks at life as a mystery. He is not interested in solving it, he is interested only in living it - living it to the uttermost.


Hence he is not worried like the Hindu monks who escape from the world because the world is illusory. Do you see the stupidity of it? If the world is illusory, why are you escaping from it? For what? If it is not, if it is not really there, then why are you escaping?

If you see a man running and you ask him, "Where are you going?" and he says, "There is a rope which only appears to be a snake - it is not a snake - and I am running away from that appearance of a snake," you will say, "You are stupid! If you know it is a rope, then stop running. And if you know it is not a rope, then stop saying that it is illusory, that it is only an appearance."

But that's what Hindu monks have been doing for thousands of years: calling the world maya, illusory, and yet renouncing it. Renounce your wife because the wife is illusory, renounce your children because they are illusory, renounce your day-to-day, ordinary life because it is illusory.

Escape to the Himalayas - everything is illusory. But then why are you escaping? From what?

That is the beauty of Zen. Zen says:


He knows that all is illusory so there is no need to escape. It is unfounded, you need not be worried about it. It is a rope - it appears to be a snake. So why escape? Why renounce? Let it appear to be a snake, let it be there as a rope. Whatsoever it is, the appearance is unfounded, hence there is no need to renounce.

Zen does not teach renunciation. It teaches understanding, awareness, alertness, the capacity to see things as they are. And then there is no need to escape from anywhere. Wherever you are, Zen helps you to relax.

And there is no need to search for God, to search for satori, samadhi, enlightenment - the very search is a barrier. We search for things only if they are not within our being; if they are within our being, there is no need to seek and search. Just relax! In that very relaxation you have found them. Satori is our nature. Samadhi is our nature. God is our nature. Hence, the man of Zen goes nowhere; he simply rests in himself.


To function from the state of not-knowing is to function in the present. If you function from the state of knowing you are functioning out of the past. All knowing is from the past. Knowledge means the past: your experiences, your memories. If you function through them you are not responding to reality. The only way to respond to reality is to be utterly innocent.

When you function from the state of not-knowing, your response is total and always adequate. It always brings fulfillment, it is liberating. Hence Yoka says it is: "the nature of the Buddha".

And when you realize this totally, you are nothing. Not that you become an enlightened soul, no; you disappear The ego is found no more. There is nobody to become enlightened: that is enlightenment.

According to Zen, when there is nobody to be enlightened, enlightenment has happened. When you are just a pure nothing, a silence so profound, so unfathomable that there is no way to measure it; so virgin, so pure that nobody has ever walked into it - even you cannot enter into it - only when you disappear, is it there.

This nothingness is the ultimate truth. Buddha calls it shunya, the void. And if you can live in this nothingness, then your ordinary life is another name for the sacred life.

That is one of the greatest messages of Zen. It does not destroy your ordinary life, it enriches it.

All other religions have been destructive, they have been poisoners, they have been condemnors.

They have been condemning your ordinary life and praising some ideal life which exists nowhere.

They condemn that which is and they praise that which is not.

Zen says: This is all. There is no other life, there is no other existence. This ordinary existence is beautiful. There is no need for any other world; this world is more than enough. Zen is the greatest alchemy. It transforms your ordinary, mundane life into a sacred, holy life.

A Zen Master, Rinzai, was asked, "What did you used to do before your enlightenment?"

He said, "I used to do the same as I am doing now. I used to carry water from the well for my Master and I used to chop wood for my Master and for the commune. I continue to do the same: I carry water from the well and I chop wood for my disciples."

The man said, "But then what is the difference between an enlightened man and an unenlightened man?"

Rinzai said, "The unenlightened man thinks that this is an ordinary life - chopping wood, carrying water from the well - and the enlightened man knows this is holy, this is sacred, this is divine."

And the last thing to be remembered, Sagar, is that Zen does not believe in a gradual process. It says: Because your nature is Buddha, because your very nature is enlightenment, you can get it right now. There is no need to wait even for a single moment. Zen believes in sudden enlightenment, hence Yoka says it can happen in a moment.

All other religions are postponements. Hindus say you will have to be born many many times; only then can you get enlightened. Why? - because first you have to undo all the bad karmas that you have done in your past lives. Now, you have lived for millions of lives, how long is it going to take to undo those karmas? And while you are undoing those karmas you will be doing other karmas, so again you will be accumulating bad karma. That means it is impossible to become enlightened or next to impossible.

Zen says: Whatsoever you have done has been done in a dream. Wake up, and it is finished. It is not that when you wake up you first have to undo what you have done in your dream; just by waking up all dreams are finished. Knowing that they were dreams is to end them. You have lived your sleepy life for many lives and whatsoever you have done has been done in your sleep. It is nothing very important: it is of the same stuff that dreams are made of.

Just wake up!

The second question:




It is impossible to understand what the awakened ones say unless you are also awakened. They speak your language - they have to speak your language out of sheer necessity, because there is no other language - but their meaning is totally different.

When the Buddhas say that you are asleep, they don't mean ordinary sleep. Of course, you are not ordinarily asleep, you are awake. You go to the marketplace, you go to the office, you do your things. Of course, in the night you sleep. But Buddhas say you are asleep twenty-four hours a day.

Certainly they are not using the word "sleep" in the same sense which you are acquainted with; they mean something else, something totally different. They are talking about a metaphysical sleep.

They are talking about an inner state of unconsciousness.

You walk, you talk, you do a thousand and one things, but like a zombie. You live mechanically.

You don't live in awareness. When you listen to the awakened ones you are listening again through all the barriers that you have created in your sleep, through all the layers of your sleep. You go on misinterpreting them. Of course, you are right - you are awake, Niraj. In that sense, all the Buddhas are wrong. They too know it. But when they say you are asleep they mean something more fundamental, not the ordinary sleep, not the ordinary awakening.

When they tell you, "Wake up!" they mean: Be totally conscious so that nothing unconscious and dark remains in your being, so that no nook or corner of your being remains dark and unconscious.

Right now only a very small part is conscious - one-tenth - very fragile; nine-tenths of your being is unconscious. You are just like an iceberg: just a little fragment of it shows on the surface - one-tenth, exactly one-tenth - and nine-tenths is underneath the water.

When you listen to the awakened ones you will have to learn to understand their language, not according to you but according to them.

As the Prime Minister was waiting to board the special plane that was taking him to the capitals of Europe, the Home Secretary, who had come along to see him off, whispered, "What is your advice on the Homosexual Bill?"

"Oh... yes... hmm," said the Prime Minister. "Tell him we'll pay him off when I get back!"

You listen according to yourself. You don't listen silently. You don't listen having put your mind aside.

"Have you ever had an X-ray before this?" the doctor asked the sexy Italian girl.

"No, doc," she said, "but I have been ultra-violated a couple of times."

Your mind is constantly distorting; it is giving its own color to everything that it hears. Your mind is making you stupid, although you think your mind is making you intelligent.

Listening to the Buddhas needs a certain space, a different kind of space. You have to listen very silently, you have to listen without any thoughts. You have not to listen with any prejudice, you have not to decide for or against. You are not to be in a hurry to decide whether they are right or wrong.

Just listen without being for or against. Don't be in a hurry, otherwise you will do something stupid.

The Polish rapist is standing in the "line-up" of criminals at the police station. Bright lights blaze in his face. There are sleazy characters to either side of him.

The police bring in the rape victim, and he jumps forward and shouts, "That's her!"

Keep your stupid mind silent. Tell the mind, "Please be quiet." It is okay in the ordinary world but not with the Buddhas, not with the awakened ones.

Whenever new disciples used to come to Gautam the Buddha he would say to them, "For two years just sit by my side silently, then something will be possible. Then I can say something to you and then you will be able to understand."

Once a great philosopher, Maulingaputta, came to see him. He had thousands of disciples of his own. He was a well-known philosopher, very much respected, a great scholar. When Buddha said to him, " For two years be here and be silent, then there will be a possibility of something transpiring between me and you," of course he was offended.

He said, "Do you think I am an ignorant person that cannot understand you? You can say whatsoever you want to say right now; there is no need for me to wait for two years. I can understand the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita - why not you?"

Buddha said, "If you have understood the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, why have you come here? For what? Your questions are answered! If you have understood the Upanishads, then what is left? Then don't waste my time. You know already. So get lost!"

He must have felt very shocked. He had come with five hundred disciples; they were also shocked.

But he must have been a man of great guts - he understood the point. He said, "That's right. If I had understood - really understood - then there would have been no need to come to you. I have come to you because my questions have not yet been answered. I know all the Vedas and the Upanishads, but they have not transformed my being."

Then Buddha said, "Follow what I am saying. For two years no asking of questions. Unlearn everything. For two years keep quiet and be silent and sit here."

When this was happening, Sariputta, one of Buddha's great disciples who was sitting there, started laughing.

Maulingaputta said,'Why is this man laughing? Is he crazy or something?"

Buddha said, "You ask him."

Sariputta was asked. Sariputta said, "I am laughing because this man is really very cunning" - he is talking about Buddha - "I came just like you and he told me to be quiet and silent for two years.

And in those two years all my questions disappeared. Now I have nothing to ask! And he goes on asking me,'Sariputta, why don't you ask now?' So my suggestion to you is: if you want to ask, ask now; if you don't want to ask, then listen to him. Then be silent for two years."

And this happened. After two years Buddha asked Maulingaputta - exactly after two years - "Where are your questions?"

And he laughed, bowed down, touched his feet, and he said, "They have disappeared in silence.

Just watching you, just seeing you, slowly slowly my clarity became more and more transparent.

The mind disappeared and I could see you with a no-mind. A totally different kind of relating has happened. Something has transpired. There are no questions, no answers either, but I am utterly contented. I have arrived home."

A man says to his friend,'When you get to New York, call up my college chum, Jimmy Sexover. He is now working at the XYZ Company."

When the out-of-towner reached New York he phoned the XYZ Company and asked the receptionist, "Have you a Sexover there?"

"Sex hour? Hell!" she replied. "We don't even have a coffee break!"


Because man is asleep! It is a simple fact. Watch yourself and you will find the truth of it.

You say: I DON'T AGREE.

YOU CAN'T agree. You will have to disappear for the agreement to happen. If you persist, agreement is not possible. Both things are not possible: you and the agreement. Either the agreement is possible, then you will not be there, or you are possible, then agreement will not be there.


If you are awake there is no need to think that you are awake. When you love a woman you don't say, "I think I love you." If you say that she will slap your face! If you love her you love her. What is the point of saying, "I think"? When you are thirsty you don't say, "I think I am thirsty." If you are thirsty you are thirsty. You simply say, "I am thirsty."


You are fully asleep! Maybe dreaming in your sleep that you are awake... that is possible. That's what thinking is all about: dreaming, dreaming with open eyes.

Listen to the Buddhas. Be more silent, quiet, calm. In your silence you will disappear, and then the agreement, then the harmony... It is not a question of agreeing philosophically, it is a question of being harmonious with the awakened one, falling in tune with his being. That's what real agreement is.

Niraj, if you go on thinking like this you will miss me totally. Here, thinking is not required, non- thinking awareness is required. It is hard to put thinking aside because we are so much accustomed to thinking and we think it is very clever to think about everything. There are things you cannot think about; either you know or you don't know. And the things I am talking about belong to that category:

either you know or you don't.

If you are fully awake, what are you doing here? Such a nice guy, what are you doing here? If you are fully awake, go and help other people to be fully awake. But you are not awake. I know you, I know your sleep - it is deep. You need a real hammering on your head. Unless your skull is broken you will not awaken, you will not be able to wake up.

Ordinary alarms won't do. I am creating extraordinary alarms. So I go on sending you from one group to another group. That means being pulled and pushed and beaten and shaken and shocked.

We don't leave any opportunity for you to remain asleep. Only when a little bit of awakening happens to you will you understand what is happening here, what is transpiring here between me and the mad people who have gathered here.

The third question:


Anne Halpa,

Deconditioning is possible only through negations, never through affirmations. Affirmation is the way of conditioning the mind. You have to negate: neti neti. The Upanishads say: "Neither this nor that."

You have to go on negating till nothing is left to negate. When there is absolute emptiness and no content is left to be negated anymore, this is the state of a deconditioned mind.

A deconditioned mind is not a mind at all, it is a nomind. And how can you achieve a no-mind through affirmations? Affirmations mean that you are repeating something constantly, creating an atmosphere of autohypnosis. That's what people have been doing for thousands of years. Go on telling the child, "God is. He created the world," again and again and again - and the whole society goes on repeating it in the home, in the school, in the church - everywhere you go on repeating it - and the child becomes conditioned. Then he starts thinking as if he knows that God is. He is simply a gramophone record! It has become imprinted on his mind that God is. If he had been born in Soviet Russia the situation would have been just the opposite, because there they go on repeating, "There is no God."

One of my friends visited Soviet Russia. He was a teacher, and he was very interested in the Soviet system of education, so he visited schools, colleges, universities - many schools. And he told me that even small children laugh at the idea of God.

On his first visit he went to a small school and asked the small children, "Do you believe in God?"

They all laughed. They said, "Do you?" And he said, "Yes, I believe in God." And they said, "In the past, primitive people used to believe in God, ignorant people used to believe in God. Now nobody believes in God." These children are conditioned to believe that there is no God.

Just because of the word "no", don't think that it is a negation - it is an affirmation. Affirmation can be of belief, affirmation can be of disbelief.

Real negation means helping people to get rid of all kinds of beliefs and disbeliefs, helping them to get rid of all the conditionings that the society enforces upon you.

Adolf Hitler in his autobiography writes: "There is only a very small difference between truth and untruth. Truth is untruth repeated many times, that's all."

And he is right in many ways. Repeat any untruth, just go on repeating it, and sooner or later people will start believing it. People have believed in all kinds of things for the simple reason that the people who were in authority were believers, they believed in these things. If they believed in God, then the masses believed in God. People look up to the authorities: the priests, the politicians, the rich people, the scholars, the professors. If they are all believers, then there must be a God. If they believe that there is no God, then the masses start following them. The masses are simply imitators.

And the society - every society - creates a certain atmosphere of conditioning. No society exists in the world yet which does not live through this process of conditioning.

And the whole process of conditioning is harmful, poisonous, because it destroys the freedom of the individual. It destroys his capacity to inquire into truth. It destroys his adventure into life. It destroys his initiative to explore what is. Before he ever asks a question, the answer is imprinted upon him.

And the people who go on doing this have vested interests. The priests would like you to believe in God. The communists would like you not to believe in God. There is nobody who is interested in you; they are all interested in their vested interests.

So, Anne Halpa, affirmations cannot be helpful. All affirmations are conditionings. You need total negativity.

That's what Zen is: it negates. It says there is no God, it says there is no soul, it says there is no paradise, it says there is nothing. It leaves you nothing to believe in. Even if you start believing in nothing, the Zen Master is going to hit you hard.

It happened:

A disciple of Bokuju would again and again bring his new experiences - that he had experienced energy rising in his spine - and he would be beaten. And Bokuju said, "Get out of here! Don't bring such nonsense to me! You are not it. You are the watcher who watched the energy rising. So don't get identified with it, otherwise it is again a new identification, a new ego: the birth of a new ego, a spiritual ego, which is far more dangerous than ordinary egos."

Then he came one day and said, "You are right. Now I am seeing great light. I am full of light, all is light!"

He was beaten again and he was told, "You are not light either, you are the watcher. Who is seeing the light? You are the seer."

And it went on this way again and again for years. After ten years he came really happy, fell at the feet of the Master and said, "Now you will be happy with me - no need to beat. I have experienced nothingness!"

And this time the Master was so angry! He threw him physically out of the window - of a two-story house. He fell on a rock, and the Master looked from the window and said, "How are you feeling now?"

And the hit was so hard that it really brought him to his senses! He started laughing. Lying down there on the rock he started laughing. The Master also jumped from the window, embraced the disciple and told him, "Now I am happy, really happy!"

The other disciples asked, "What has transpired? It is so mysterious!"

Bokuju said, "To say,'I have experienced nothingness,' is wrong because then you have made an object of nothingness. Nothingness has again become your affirmation - a thought, a content. You have to get rid of nothingness too! When he laughed, then, in his laughter, I could see nothingness.

There was nobody who was laughing, there was simply laughter - no claim, no claimer, just simple laughter, pure laughter. There was nobody who was laughing."

And that very moment the Master felt connected with the disciple for the first time. Otherwise, all those experiences were creating barriers.

Affirmations can't help. All affirmations are conditionings.

"Cats, my dear," said the spinster, "I hate the very sight of them. I had a sweet little canary and some cat got that. I had a perfect parrot, and some cat got that. I had an adorable fiance, and - oh, don't mention cats to me!"

This is how things become conditionings. Now the very word "cat" has become associated with many many bad experiences. The word "cat" has nothing to do with those experiences.

It is said of Napoleon that he was defeated because of cats. The enemy general brought seventy cats in front of the army because he came to know that the moment Napoleon saw cats he went crazy. He would lose all balance, he would lose all intelligence and become very nervous.

And that was a truth, because when Napoleon was only a six-month-old child, a wild cat had jumped on his chest, and since then, although he could fight with lions, don't mention cats! That had become a very deep conditioned reflex.

Behaviorists all over the world are trying to manipulate this process of conditioning in order to create a robot-like humanity. Skinner says that we can change the whole of humanity within a few years.

There is no need for a Buddha or a Jesus or a Mohammed to change humanity - and they have not changed it. For centuries they have been teaching, and nothing has happened; humanity has remained the same. We can change humanity very easily. All that is needed are methods of conditioning people.

If you want somebody not to steal there is no need to put him into prison for ten years. That is not going to help; in fact, that will condition him to be a bigger thief than he ever was, because he will be living with thieves. He will be living with greater experts than himself and all that he is going to learn is why he got caught in the first place. Next time he is not going to commit the same mistake.

That's why once a person goes to jail he becomes a regular. Then he comes again and again. Then the jail becomes his home - he becomes a jail-bird. He goes outside only to practice his art, and he comes back again to do the homework. The homework he does in the jail.

Skinner says there is no need to waste time, just give him electric shocks and within two, three weeks we will condition him. He will never think of stealing. Even the idea of stealing will be enough, and he will start trembling and he will fall down on his knees. Just the very idea will be enough to make him so nervous... All those electric shocks will be remembered by him.

He proposes that every vice can be dropped from humanity just by giving electric shocks or with methods like that, and all virtues can be established by giving rewards, beautiful rewards.

For example, they have found that in your head there are different centers for different experiences.

There is a pleasure center: when you are making love, the pleasure that you derive from it has nothing to do with your genital organs, it happens in your head. The genital organs simply trigger a process. In fact, the pleasure happens in your head, in your brain.

Now, Skinner says there is no need to go into such a long process of courtship and talking nonsense to a woman or to a man and then getting caught and married and having a thousand and one troubles. He says simple things are possible. You just have to keep a small box in your pocket which will be connected with the pleasure center in your head - without any wires, it will be a wire-less connection. So don't be worried that people will see wires coming out of your head and going into your pocket, and everybody will know what you are carrying in your pocket! Just a small box in the pocket, and you can push the button, and suddenly you have a great orgasm and you are all smiles!

Skinner says to reward people for their virtue, for their good deeds, by manipulating their pleasure center, and then they will keep doing those things.

For example, if whenever you go into the church suddenly you have great orgasms, naturally you will go more often. In fact, you will not leave the church at all! You will have to be forced to go out and do something else.

Skinner was working on a rat. He connected the rat's pleasure center with a small box and taught the rat to push the button. You will be surprised what the rat did: six thousand times he pushed the button; until he fell dead he went on pushing! He forgot everything else. He forgot food, he forgot to drink, he forgot everything else. He just went on and on pushing - six thousand times. Poor rat!

Could not bear that much joy! Died, but died in ecstasy!

This can be done to man. This is going to be done because the idea is simple, very simple, and the process is simple. And governments are bound to use it because it is easy to condition people not to do certain things and to do certain other things. Then everybody will be a saint and nobody will be a sinner. But saints or sinners, they will all be robots. They will not have any choice of their own.

Ultimately it can happen that there is no need to have your own small boxes. Just in every country's capital - in New Delhi, in Washington, in London - the prime minister or the president holds the key.

And every once in a while he pushes the button and the whole country goes into an orgasmic joy!

Then everybody will be obedient. Nobody will break any commandments, nobody will go against them. And the whole country can be punished just by pushing a button, because just as there is a pleasure center in the brain there is a pain center in the brain. Just push the pain center and you are in such agony, you are in hell.

But this is not going to bring freedom to humanity. This will be the destruction of all freedom and all possibility of freedom. It has to be stopped.

Anne Halpa, affirmations, whether repeated in the old, primitive way or done by a more scientific, technological methodology, are the same. Man needs to be totally free of all conditionings. And that is possible only through absolute negation. Only pure consciousness is left and everything else is negated. Just the watcher is left and nothing to watch. The seer is left and nothing to see. The experiencer is left and nothing to experience.

That's what we in the East have called "the witness". And that is transcendence - transcendence of all bondage, transcendence from body, mind, and all the limitations that body and mind impose upon you. Nirvana is possible, absolute freedom is possible, but only via the negative.

The fourth question:



Anand Shama,

We know what passion is hence it is not very difficult to understand what compassion may be.

Passion means a state of biological fever - it is hot. You are almost possessed by biological, unconscious energies. You are no longer your own master, you are just a slave.

Compassion means you have transcended biology, you have transcended physiology. You are no more a slave, you have become a master. Now you function consciously. You are not driven, pulled and pushed by unconscious forces, you can decide what you want to do with your energies. You are totally free. Then the same energy that becomes passion is transformed into compassion.

Passion is lust, compassion is love. Passion is desire, compassion is desirelessness. Passion is greed, compassion is sharing. Passion wants to use the other as a means, compassion respects the other as an end unto himself or herself. Passion keeps you tethered to the earth, to the mud, and you never become a lotus. Compassion makes you a lotus. You start rising above the muddy world of desires, greed, anger. Compassion is a transformation of your energies.

Ordinarily you are scattered, fragmentary. Some energy is being absorbed by your anger, some energy is being absorbed by your greed, some energy is being absorbed by your lust, and so on and so forth. And there are so many desires surrounding you that you are left without any energy; you are left hollow, empty.

And remember what William Blake says - there is great insight in it - he says, "Energy is delight."

And you don't have any energy left; all your energy keeps on going down the drain. When all these energies are no longer being wasted they start filling your inner lake, your inner being. You become full. A great delight arises in you. When you start overflowing, you have become a Buddha and you have come upon an inexhaustible source.

Compassion is a key word, but you will understand it only if you go deep into meditation. Meditation is the key to transform passion into compassion. You will have to become more conscious. Right now you are unconscious - notwithstanding what you think, you are unconscious.

A girl taking a job in an office is asked by her intended employer how much she hopes to earn.

"Twenty dollars a week," she answers.

"Twenty dollars?" he says. "I'll give you that with pleasure."

"With pleasure, that will be thirty dollars," she replies.

Watch what you do, what you say, what you think, and you will be surprised: without taking any alcoholic beverages, without taking any drugs, you are in a mess.

Mrs O'Brien was berating her husband for his drunken behavior at the party the previous night.

"Sure, and you were making an ass of yourself," she asserted, "cavorting around like that!"

"I was not cavorting or nothing!" O'Brien defended himself. "I was walking as straight a line as any man there... till all those people started stepping on my fingers!"

Just look at what you have been doing to yourself, to your life. What have you made of yourself? What have you gained? What meaning have you attained? What significance have you experienced? People don't ask such embarrassing questions because then they feel very depressed. But these questions have to be asked. Unless you ask these questions you are not going to change.

An Irish immigrant walked up to a vending machine, put in a coin, and pressed the button labelled "Coffee, double cream, sugar". No cup appeared. Then two nozzles went into action, one sending forth coffee, the other, cream. After the proper amounts had gone down the drain where the cup should have been, the machine turned off.

"Now, that's real automation!" the Irishman exclaimed. "This thing even drinks it for you."

Man goes on living like a robot, functioning well, efficiently. In fact, the more like a robot you are, the better you function, the better the society feels with you - because it is a society of robots. To be awakened, alert, conscious here is dangerous. It is a society of blind people; to have eyes is to invite danger.

But without creating consciousness you will never be able to know the beauty, the blessing that God has bestowed upon you. You will never know the great opportunity that has been given for you to grow, to become. You can be sunlit peaks and you are just dark holes!

"Shit!" said Polaris. "I got a real jolt in court this morning. The judge fined me five hundred dollars for attempting to rape some broad I met on the subway. And then when he took a good look at her he fined me an extra ten dollars for being drunk!"

If you become alert to at least one thing - that you are not alert - that's a great beginning.

A big Irishman said to a homely woman on the subway, "My God, you're looking lovely tonight."

"Oh, thank you, sir."

"But don't mind what I say, I'm drunk."

Even if you are aware of that much - that you are drunk - you are not absolutely drunk.

Socrates says, "If you know that you don't know, that is a great beginning. Then it is possible for you to know." To be aware that "I am ignorant" creates the possibility of seeking, searching in your own interiority for the truth - for your truth.

Compassion is the ultimate transformation of passion. You are in passion, but you go on thinking that you are right as you are. You go on defending yourself. And anything that disturbs your comfortable, mechanical life, you go against.

One visitor has written to me: "Your medicine seems to be too bitter. Are you sure, Osho, that you are a physician and not a horse doctor?" When I look at all the monkeys and the donkeys and the Yankees surrounding me, I wonder myself! I must be a horse doctor. The medicine is bitter and it is difficult to push it down your throat.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasruddin went to the horse doctor and said "My horse has become so lazy that something has to be done. He does not run. He does not even walk! What to say about running? So give me something really vital."

The doctor said, "We have the medicine, but it is very bitter and the horse may not take it, so you will have to use a certain device. Take this bamboo pipe, it is hollow within. Fill it with the medicine - it is a powder." He gave the powder. "Put one end of the pipe into the horse's mouth and the other in your own mouth and then blow so that it will go down the horse's throat."

Everything went well up to the last moment... the horse blew first! Nasruddin, an eighty-year-old man, jumped the fence of his garden and ran so fast that no Olympic runner would have been able to compete with him.

His wife rushed to the horse doctor. She said, "Give me a double dose immediately because I have to catch him! He has escaped!"

Looking at you, I can only say that I must be a horse doctor. But I take every care so that you cannot blow before I blow!

The medicine is bitter because the first thing to be understood is that you don't know anything. It is bitter to accept. The second thing: you are a machine. It is very bitter to accept. The third thing: you are just living in mud, crawling into dark holes, while you are meant to be flying into the sky towards the sun. It is hard to accept. You want lullabies, you want me to sing beautiful songs to you so that you can fall asleep, so that you can dream better dreams.

When you come to me you don't come to be awakened, you come to me so that you can dream beautiful, sweet dreams. That is your purpose in coming; that is not my purpose in being here. Once you are here you are caught. Then, slowly slowly, I start taking your dreams away. Then, slowly slowly, I go on destroying your illusions. Once your illusions are dropped, your dreams shattered, a great awakening is waiting for you - a great awakening which makes you a Buddha.

And when you are a Buddha, only then will you experience what compassion is. It is cool love - not cold, mind you - cool love. It is a sharing of your joy with the whole of existence. You become a blessing to yourself and a blessing to the whole existence. That is compassion. Passion is ugly, compassion is beautiful. Passion is a curse, compassion is a blessing.

The last question:


Hello, Deva Mohan. How do you do?

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"The Rulers of Russia, then, are Jewish Politicians,
and they are applying to the world the doctrine of Karl Marx
(Mardochai). Marx, was a clear and lucid Talmudist... full of
that old Hebrew (sic) materialism which ever dreams of a
paradise on earth and always rejects the hope held out of the
chance of a Garden of Eden after Death."

(Bernard Lazare, L'antisemitisme, p. 346; The Rulers of Russia,
Denis Fahey, p. 47)