Everything is interdependent
The first question:
WHILE TALKING ABOUT WISDOM, INSIGHTS, AND ENLIGHTENMENT, YOU OFTEN SAY 'WE IN THE EAST'. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF THIS PHRASE.
THE EAST HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EAST. The East is just symbolic of the inner space, of the inner world of consciousness. East is symbolic of religion, West is symbolic of science. So even if in the East a person attains to a scientific attitude, he becomes Western. He may live in the East, he may be born in the East - that doesn't matter. Or, whenever a person attains to religious consciousness - he may be born in the West, it makes no difference - he begins to be a part of the East. Jesus, Francis, Eckhart, Boehme, Wittgenstein, even Henry Thoreau, Emerson, Swedenborg - they are all Eastern. The East is symbolic, always remember. I am not concerned with geography.
So whenever I say 'we in the East', I mean all who have come to know the inner reality. And whenever I say 'you in the West', I simply mean the scientific mind, the technological mind, the Aristotelian mind: rational, mathematical, scientific, but not intuitive; objective but not subjective.
Once you understand it, then there will be no problem. All the great religions were born in the East.
The West has not yet produced a great religion. Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Tao: they were all produced in the East. It is something like a feminine mind, and it has to be so because on every level there is a meeting of yin and yang, the male and the female. The circle has to be divided. The East functions as a feminine part, the West functions as a male part.
The male mind is aggressive; science is aggressive. The feminine mind is receptive; religion is receptive. Science tries hard. It forces nature to reveal its secrets. Religion simply waits, prays and waits, invokes but does not force; calls, cries, weeps, persuades, almost seduces nature to reveal its mysteries and secrets, but the effort is feminine. Hence, meditation. When the effort is male, aggressive, it is like the laboratory: all sorts of instruments to torture nature, to force nature to reveal its secrets, to hand over the key. The male mind is an attack. The male mind is a rapist mind, and science is a rape. Religion is the mind of a lover; it can wait. It can wait infinitely.
So whenever I say 'we in the East', I mean all, wherever they were born, wherever they were brought up. They are spread all over the world. The East is spread all over the world, just as the West is spread all over the world. When somebody from India gets a Nobel prize for his scientific discoveries, he is a Western mind. He's no more part of the East, he's no more part of the Eastern tradition. He has changed his home, he has changed his address. Now he has fallen in line, in the queue with Aristotle.
The East is within you, and we call it 'East' because East is nothing but the rising sun: awareness, consciousness, alertness.
So never be confused whenever I say 'we in the East'. I don't mean the countries that are in the East, no. I mean the consciousness that is Eastern. I don't mean India when I use the word 'India'.
It is a bigger thing for me. It is not just on the map as other countries. It is simply symbolic of the tremendous energy that India has put into the inner search. So wherever you are born, if you start moving towards God, you become Indian. Suddenly, your pilgrimage towards India starts. You may come to India or you may not come; that is not the point. But you have started your pilgrimage.
And the day you realize, suddenly you will become part of Gautam Buddha, Mahavir the Jaina, the Upanishadic seers, the rishis of the Vedas, Krishna, Patanjali. Suddenly, you are no more part of the technological mind, the logical mind; you have become supra-logical.
The second question:
JESUS CHRIST, BUDDHA, MAHAVIR, LAO TZU: ALL THOSE ENLIGHTENED HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO GO AROUND THE WORLD PREACHING. WHY IS IT THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING THE SAME?
I am doing the same, but just the other way round. I am allowing the world to come around me. This is my way. Buddha has done his thing, I am doing my thing.
The third question:
It is from Prem Madhuri.
I AM OFTEN ONE OF THE CROCODILES OF WHICH YOU SPEAK, AND SURE ENOUGH, BODHI SHOWS EVERY SIGN OF BECOMING ONE OF THE GREAT PHILOSOPHERS. THAT'S FINE, BUT WHAT OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE WRETCHED CROCODILE?
The woman has suffered long because the feminine mind has suffered long. The woman has been oppressed long because the feminine mind has been oppressed long. Centuries upon centuries of oppression, exploitation, suppression; much violence has been done against women. Naturally, she has become cunning. Naturally, she has become very clever in devising subtle methods to torture men. That is natural. That is the way of the weak. Nagging, bitching - that is the way of the weak.
Unless you understand it, you will not be able to drop it.
Why do women go on continuously nagging men, continuously finding ways and means to torture them? It is unconscious. It is centuries of repression that have poisoned their being, and of course, they cannot attack directly. That is not possible for many reasons. One: they are more fragile than man. They may learn karate, aikido, judo, but that will not make much difference. They are fragile; that is their beauty. If they learn too much karate and judo and ju-jitsu and aikido and become very muscular and strong, they will lose something - they will not gain. They will lose their femininity, they will lose their flower-like fragility, delicacy. That is not worth the effort.
Woman is fragile. She's meant to be that way. She has a deeper harmony than man. She's more musical, more rhythmic than man, more rounded. One thing: because of her fragileness she could not be as aggressive as man. Another thing: man has been training her in a certain way; man has been giving her a certain mind which does not allow her to move out of her bondage. It has been so long that it has reached to her very bones. She has accepted it. But freedom is such a thing that whatsoever happens, you remain freedom-oriented. You can never lose the desire to be free, because that is the desire to be religious, that is the desire to be divine. Freedom remains the goal, whatsoever happens.
So, what to do when there is no way to revolt and the whole society is that of man? How to fight it? How to protect a little dignity? So woman has become cunning and diplomatic. She starts doing things which are not directly an attack, but indirect. She fights with man in subtle ways. That has made her almost a crocodile. She waits continuously for her opportunity to take revenge. She may not be aware of anything in particular that she is fighting against, but she is just a woman, and she represents all womanhood. Centuries and centuries of indignities and humiliation are there. Your man may not have done anything wrong to you, but he is the representative of all men. You cannot forget it. You love the man, this man, but you cannot love the organization that men have created.
You can love this man, but you cannot forgive man as such. And whenever you look into this man, you find the male mind there, and you start.
This is very unconscious. This creates a certain neurosis in women. More women are neurotic than men. It is natural, because they live in a man-made society, tailored for men, and they have to fit into it. It is tailored by men for men, and they have to live in it, they have to fit into it. They have to cut many of their parts, their limbs - alive limbs - to fit into the mechanical role that is given to them by man. They resist, they fight, and a certain neurosis arises out of this continuous fight. This is what bitching is.
I have heard: A sweet old lady went to a pet shop. Just in the shop window was a very beautiful dog, and she said to the shop owner, "That nice, sweet dog you have in the shop window?"
He said, "Yes lady, a very beautiful bitch. Isn't she beautiful?"
The woman was enraged. She said, "What! Watch your tongue! Don't use such words. This is a respectable part of the town. Be a little more cultured!"
Even the shop owner was a little puzzled, embarrassed. He said, "Sorry, but have you never heard the word used before?"
The lady said, "I have heard it used before, but never for a sweetie, sweet doggie!"
It is always used for women.
Just the other day I was reading a book called BITCHING, written of course by a woman.
Something has gone very, very wrong. It is not a question of one woman, it is a question of womanhood. But by bitching and nagging and constant quarrelling, it cannot be remedied. That is not a remedy for it. Understanding is needed.
The question is certainly right. Madhuri is a crocodile, and she is doing much nagging and quarrelling with Bodhi. Of course, Bodhi is growing out of it. He has changed a lot. The whole credit goes to Madhuri. When you have to live with a woman continuously fighting and nagging, either you escape or you become a philosopher, that is certain. Only two ways are available: either you escape, or you start thinking that this is just maya, dream, illusion:
"This Madhuri is nothing but a dream...."
You become detached. That is also a way of escaping. You remain there physically, but spiritually you go far away. You create a distance. You hear the sounds Madhuri is making, but as if on some other planet. Let her do; by and by, you become detached; by and by, you become indifferent. For Bodhi it has been good.
Now, Madhuri is asking, "That's fine for Bodhi, but what of the consciousness of the wretched crocodile?" Do the same as Bodhi is doing. What is he doing? He's becoming more and more of a watcher. He is not offended at what you are saying and doing. Even if you are hitting him, he will watch it, as if something natural is happening: old leaves are falling from the trees - what to do? A dog is barking - what to do? It is night and it is dark - what to do? One accepts, and in that acceptance one watches whatsoever is happening. Do the same. Just as Bodhi is watching you, you also watch yourself. Because that crocodile is not your inner essence. No, it is nobody's inner essence. That crocodile is just out of the wounds that you are carrying in your mind, and those wounds have nothing to do with Bodhi. Those wounds may have been done by somebody else or may not have been done by anybody in particular, but just by society.
Watch when you start behaving in a neurotic way, in a neurotic style. Watch it!
Just as Bodhi is watching you, you also watch yourself.
And a distance will arise, and you will be able to see your own mind creating unnecessary trouble.
You will gather an awareness. Continuously watching things, one gets out of the mind, because the watcher is beyond the mind.
If you don't do that, the possibility is that as Bodhi grows more and more philosophical and understanding, you will become more and more of a bitch - because you will think that he is becoming cold, you will think he is getting far away, and you will start hitting him harder, you will start fighting harder. Seeing that he is going somewhere else, leaving you, you will take more and more revenge. Before it happens, become alert.
I have heard: A man arranged to pay for his wife's funeral arrangements by installments, but after a few months he ran into financial difficulties and was unable to keep up the payments. Finally, the undertaker rang up one morning and said, "Look, either I get some money from you at once, or up she comes!"
Don't create such a situation that one who loves you starts thinking of your death, one who would have liked you to be immortal starts hoping that you die, that it is better that you die.
Mulla Nasrudin is mad after movies. Every night he's in the moviehouse, somewhere or other. One day the wife said, "I think that even if for one night you are at home, I will drop dead." He looked at her and he said, "Don't try to bribe me."
Don't create such a situation.
The wife of one of the club's oldest and more revered members had recently passed away. His fellow members were offering their condolences, and one said, "It is hard to lose one's wife...."
Another member muttered bitterly, "Hard? It is damned near impossible! "
Nobody says this, but this is what people create - a very ugly situation. And I know that you are creating it unknowingly, and I know that you are creating it in the hope of just the opposite.
Sometimes it happens that the woman starts hitting the man just to break his coolness, just to break the ice. She wants him to at least be warm: "At least be angry, but be warm. Hit me back, but do something! Don't stand there so aloof." But the more you create such a situation, the more the man has to protect himself and go far away. By and by, he has to learn space travel, so that the body remains here and he goes off far away - astral travel.
These are vicious circles. You want him to be close and warm and hugging you, but you create such a situation in which it becomes more and more impossible. Just watch what you are doing. And this man has not done anything in particular to you. He has not harmed you. I know there are situations where two persons don't agree, but that is part of growth. You cannot find a person who is going to agree. totally with you. Particularly men and women don't agree because they have different minds, they have totally different attitudes about things. They function from different centers. So it is absolutely natural that they don't agree easily, but nothing is wrong with it. And when y9u accept a person and you love a person, you also love his or her disagreements. You don't start fighting, you don't start manipulating; you try to understand the other's point of view. And even if you cannot agree, you can agree to disagree. But still, a deep, subtle agreement remains that, "Okay, we agree to disagree. On this point we will not be coming to an agreement - right - but there is no need to fight." The fight is not going to bring you closer; it will create more distance. And much, almost ninety-five per cent of your quarrelling, is absolutely baseless; it is mostly misunderstanding. And we are so much fogged in our own heads that we don't give an opportunity to the other to show his mind.
In this too women have become very, very afraid. The problem, again, is of the male and female mind. Man is more argumentative. This much women have learned: that if you go through argumentation, he will win. So they don't argue, they fight. They get angry, and what they cannot do through logic, they do through anger. They substitute with anger, and of course, the man, thinking, "Why create so much trouble for such a small thing?" agrees. But this is not an agreement, and it will function as a block between the two.
Listen to his argument. There are possibilities that he may be right - because half of the world, the outer world, the objective world, has to be approached through reason. So whenever it is a question of the outer world, there is more possibility that the man may be right. But whenever it is a question of the inner world, it is more possible that the woman may be right because there, reason is not needed. So if you are going to purchase a car listen to the man, and if you are going to choose a church, listen to the woman. But it is almost impossible. If you have a wife you cannot choose your car - almost impossible. She will choose it. Not only that, she will sit at the back and drive it.
Man and woman have to come to a certain understanding that as far as the world of objects and things is concerned, man is more prone to be right and accurate. He functions through logic; he is more scientific; he is more Western. When a woman functions intuitively she is more Eastern, more religious. It is more possible that her intuition will lead her to the right path. So if you are going to a church, follow your woman. She has a more accurate feeling for things which are of the inner world.
And if you love a person, by and by, you come to this understanding, and a tacit agreement arises between two lovers: who's going to be right in what.
And love is always understanding.
Two monsters from outer space were walking along the street when they saw a traffic signal. "I think she likes you," said the first monster. "One is winking at you." Just then the signal changed from go to stop. "Just like a woman," muttered the second monster, "can't make up her mind from one moment to the next."
It is very difficult for a woman to make up her mind because she is more fluid, more of a process, less of a solidity. That is her beauty and grace. She is more river-like, goes on changing. Man is more solid, more square, more certain, decisive. So where decisions are needed, listen to Bodhi, Madhuri. And when decisions are not needed, but floating, drifting is needed, then you can help Bodhi to listen to you; and he will listen.
The feminine mind can reveal many mysteries, as the male mind can reveal many mysteries; but as there is a conflict between science and religion, so is the conflict between man and woman. One day it is hoped that man and woman will come to complement each other rather than conflict with each other, but that day will be the same day as when science and religion also complement each other. Science will listen with understanding to what religion is saying, and religion will listen with understanding to what science is saying. And there is no trespass, because the fields are absolutely different. Science moves outward, religion moves inward.
Women are more meditative, men are more contemplative. They can think better. Good; when thinking is needed, listen to the man. Women can feel better. When feeling is needed, listen to the women. And both feeling and thinking make a life whole. So if you are really in love, you will become a yin/yang symbol. Have you seen the Chinese yin/yang symbol? Two fish are almost meeting and merging into each other in a deep movement, completing the circle of energy. Man and woman, female and male, day and night, work and rest, thinking and feeling: these are not antagonistic to each other, they are complementary. And if you love a woman or a man, you both are enhanced tremendously in your beings. You become complete.
That's why I say that Hindu concepts of God are more complete than Christian, Jewish, Mohammedan, or Jaina concepts; but both are concepts. Mahavir stands alone; no woman is to be found anywhere around. It is just a male mind, alone; the complementary is missing. Only one fish is in the circle, the other fish is not there. It is a half circle, and a half circle is not a circle at all because to call a circle 'half' is almost absurd. A circle has to be full; only then is it a circle.
Otherwise, it is not a circle at all.
The Christian God is alone; no concept of female around Him. Something is missing. That's why the Christian or Jewish God is much too male, revengeful, angry, ready to destroy for small sins, ready to throw people into hell forever - no compassion, very hard, rock-like. The Hindu concept of God is closer to reality; it is a circle. Ram you will see with Sita; Shiva you will see with Devi; Vishnu you will see with Laxmi - always the complementary is there. Hindu Gods are more human compared to other Gods, which are almost inhuman. Hindu Gods are almost as if belonging to you, just amidst you, just like you - more pure, more whole, but connected to you. They are not disconnected; they are connected to your life experience.
Let love be your prayer also. Watch! Watch the crocodile in you and drop it, because that crocodile will not allow you to flower in deep love. That will destroy you, and destruction never fulfils anybody.
Destruction frustrates. Fulfillment is only out of deep creativity.
A meek little man was just returning home from his wife's funeral. As he arrived at his front door, a chimney pot fell off the roof of the house and gave him a sharp blow on the back. Glancing up he muttered, "Ah... she has arrived already." Don't create such images of you in the mind of one who loves you.
And man needs much from a woman to grow: her love, her compassion, her warmth. The Eastern understanding about man and woman is this: that a woman is essentially a mother. Even a small girl is essentially a mother, a growing mother. Motherhood is not something that happens as an accident, it is a growth in a woman. Fatherhood is just a social formality; it is not necessary. It is not natural, in fact. It exists only in a human society; man has created it. It is an institution. Motherhood is not an institution, fatherhood is. A man has no inner necessity to be a father.
When a man falls in love with a woman, he is seeking a beloved. When a woman falls in love with a man, she is seeking someone who will make her a mother. She is seeking someone who she would like to become the father of her children. That's why when a woman tries to find a man her criterion is different; strong, because she will need protection and the children will need protection; rich, because she will need protection and the children will need protection. When a man is finding a woman, he is only concerned with a wife. His concern is with a beautiful woman whom he can enjoy and be with. He's not too concerned about being a father. If he becomes a father, that is accidental.
If he starts liking it also, that also is accidental, because he likes the woman and the children have come out of her. He loves the children through the woman, and the woman loves the man through the children. Of course, it has to be so; the circle becomes complete. A woman is essentially a mother, in search of being a mother.
So the Eastern concept is that the woman is in search of being a mother, and the man is in search, deep down, of finding his lost mother. He has lost the womb of the mother, the warmth of the mother, the love of the mother. He is searching again for the woman who can become his mother.
Man essentially is a child. Even the very grown-up seventy or ninety-year-old man is a child. And a very small girl essentially is a mother. This is how the circle completes.
In the East, in the days of the Upanishads, the seers used to bless new couples with a very absurd idea. It will look absurd to the Western eye. They used to say, "God should give you ten children, and finally, the ultimate fulfillment of becoming a mother to your husband also." So in all, eleven children: ten children from the husband, and finally, the husband also becomes a child to you - eleven children. A woman is fulfilled when the husband also becomes a child to her.
Man goes on seeking his mother. When a man falls in love with a woman, he falls in love again with his mother. Somehow, this woman gives an idea of his mother. The way she walks, the face she has, the color of her eyes or the color of her hair, or her sound; something that gives the idea of the mother again. The warmth of her body, the care that she shows about him is a search for the lost mother. It is a search for the womb.
Psychoanalysts say that the male urge to penetrate the woman's body is nothing but the urge to again reach to the womb. It is meaningful. The very effort of man to penetrate the woman's body is nothing but an effort to reach the womb. Once you understand what is happening between your energy and your man's energy, what is really going on, watch it. By and by, the energy will start falling in a circle.
And help each other. We are together to help each other, to make each other happy and blissful, and finally, to give an opportunity through the meeting of man and woman for God to happen. Love is fulfilled only when it becomes samadhi. If it is not samadhi yet and the nagging and conflict and bitching continues, and fighting and anger, and this and that, then your love will never become a harmonious whole. You will never find God, which can be found only in love.
The fourth question:
INTERDEPENDENCE IS A NICE CONCEPT, BUT HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE WHEN YOU URGE AN OF US TO BE TOTALLY SELFISH?
First, interdependence is not 'nice', and it is not a concept.
It is not nice at all. Independence feels nice; dependence feels very, very bitter; interdependence is neither nice nor bitter. It is a very balancing thing: neither this way nor that. It leans to no side; it is a tranquility. And it is not a concept, it is a reality. It is how it is. Just watch life and you will never find anything which is not interdependent. Everything that exists, exists in the ocean of interdependence.
It is not a concept, it is not a theory. You just drop all theories, all prejudices, and look at life.
Look at a small tree, a rose bush, and you will see the whole existence converges on it. From the earth it is connected. Without the earth, it would not be there. It goes on breathing the air. It is connected with the atmosphere. From the sun it goes on getting energy. The rose is rosy because of the sun, and these are very visible things. Those who have been working hard say that there are invisible influences also. They say that it is not only that the sun is giving energy to the rose, because nothing can be one way in life. The traffic cannot be one way. Otherwise, it would be a very unjust life. The rose would go on getting and giving nothing. No, it must be that the rose is also giving something to the sun. Without the rose, the sun would also miss something. That has yet to be discovered by science, but occultists have always felt that life is a give and take. It cannot be one way. Otherwise, the whole balance would be lost. The rose must be giving something - maybe a certain joy. Certainly, it gives fragrance to the air, and certainly it must be giving some creativity, a situation for the earth to be creative. The earth must be feeling happy through it; it has created a rose. It must be feeling fulfilled. A deep satisfaction and contentment must be coming to the earth.
Everything is connected. Nothing is unconnected here. So when I say interdependence, I don't mean that it is a concept, a theory, no.
Independence is a concept because it is absolutely false. Nobody has ever seen anything independent. An absolute dependence is false because nobody has ever seen anything absolutely dependent.
A child is born: you think he is completely helpless and dependent on the mother? Can't you see that the mother is also gaining much from him? In fact, the day the child is born, the mother is also born as a mother. Before it, she was just a plain woman. Now, something tremendously new has happened to her with the birth of the child. She has attained to motherhood. It is not only that the child is dependent on the mother, the mother is also dependent. You will see a certain grace happening to the woman when she becomes a mother, a certain harmony happening to her. If the mother dies, of course, the child will not be able to survive. But if the child dies, do you think that the mother will be able to survive? No, the mother will die. Again there will be a woman; the motherhood will disappear with the child. And this woman will be less than she was before the child had happened to her. She will always miss something; a part of her being has disappeared with the child. That missing part will function as a wound continuously.
Everything is interdependent.
The tree goes on eating the earth, it goes on giving you fruit; you go on eating the fruit. Then you die, and the earth eats you, and the tree again eats the earth. And the fruit? - your grandchildren will be eating you through the tree. Everything is revolving. When you are eating an apple, who knows? Your grandfather, your grandmother, or your great-great-grandfather must be there in the apple; chew well, digest well. Otherwise, the old man will not feel good. Let him become a part of your being again. He has been seeking you through the apple. He has come back again.
Everything is interdependent. So it is not nice, it is not bitter; it is a simple fact. You cannot evaluate it, because nice and bitter are our evaluations, interpretations. And it is not a concept, it is a reality.
"But how is that possible when you urge all of us to be totally selfish?"
Yes, it is only possible if you are totally selfish. If you are totally selfish, you will come to see that if you want to be really happy, you have to make others happy - because life is an interdependence.
When I say to be selfish, I am saying to just think about your happiness. But in that happiness much is involved. If you want to be healthy, you have to live with healthy people. If you want to be clean, you have to live in a clean neighborhood. You cannot exist like an island. If you want to be happy you have to spread your happiness all around. It is not possible that all around there is an ocean of misery, and you are like an island, happy - impossible. You can be happy only in a happy world; you can be happy only in happy relationships; you can be beautiful only with beautiful people. So if you are really interested in being beautiful, create beauty all around you.
A man who is really selfish becomes altruistic. To be really selfish is to go beyond self. To be really selfish is to become a Buddha, a Jesus. These people are absolutely selfish people because they think only of bliss. But in thinking of their bliss, they have to think of others' bliss also. I am absolutely selfish. I have never thought about anything else but my own self. But in that, from the back door, enters everything.
I am interested in your happiness, in your bliss. I am interested to create a community of blissful people. I am interested to create a garden of beautiful people, because if you are happy and blissful and beautiful, I will become tremendously blissful and happy.
Bliss increases in sharing. If you don't share your bliss it will die. If you don't share your ecstasy, soon you will find that your hands are empty. So when I say be absolutely selfish, I mean: that if you try to understand what is your self, what your selfishness is, you will see that everybody is implied, involved. And your involvement becomes greater and greater and bigger and bigger. A moment comes when you can see as a fact that the whole is involved.
There is a beautiful story about Buddha.
He reached the ultimate door. The door was opened, but he would not enter. The doorkeeper said, "Everything is ready, and we have been waiting for millions of years. Now you have come. Rarely it happens that a man becomes a Buddha. Enter. Why are you standing there? And why do you look so sad?" Buddha said, "How can I enter? Because there are millions of people who are still struggling on the path. There are millions of people who are still in misery. I will enter only when everybody else has entered. I will stand here and wait."
Now, this parable has many meanings. One meaning is that unless the whole becomes enlightened, how can one become enlightened? Because we are parts of each other, involved in each other, members of each other. You are in mer I am in you, so how can I separate myself? It is impossible.
The story is tremendously significant and true. The whole has to become enlightened.
Of course, one can come to a certain understanding, but that understanding will reveal that others are involved, and the consciousness is one. To be selfish is to dissolve completely into the total, because only foolish people try to protect themselves. And in trying to protect themselves they go on destroying themselves. Jesus says, "Save yourself and you will be lost. Lose yourself. Save yourself and you will be lost!" He is giving you one of the best techniques for being selfish: lose yourself, and you gain. You gain by losing yourself. You become happy by spreading happiness all around; you become peaceful by spreading peace all around.
"But how is that possible when you urge all of us to be totally selfish?"
It is possible only if you are totally selfish. Then you will always see the point. If you live in a family, if you are a wife or a husband, you will be able to see that it is in your favor that the husband is happy. It is just selfish that the husband remain happy and singing and delighted, because if he becomes sad, depressed, angry, then you cannot remain happy for long. He will affect you. Everything is infectious.
If you want to be happy you would like your children to be dancing and happy, because that is the only way your energy will be dancing. If they are all sad, ill, and sitting in their corners, dull, your energy will immediately fall low. Just watch! When you move with people who are happy, suddenly your sadness disappears - disappears! When you move with people who are sad, suddenly your energy falls low.
Then the mathematics is simple. If you want to be happy, make people happy. If you want to be really enlightened, help people to become enlightened. If you want to be meditative, create a meditative world. That's why Buddha created a great order of sannyasins: an oceanic atmosphere in which people could come and drown themselves.
Just the other night one sannyasin came and he said, "I am feeling very uncomfortable with sannyas, because I feel as if I have become just a part of the herd." Now, this is a very egoistic attitude. Just part of the herd? Everybody wants to be apart, everybody wants to be independent, oneself, alone like a peak, unconnected. This is what the ego-trip is. I give you ochre robes, change your names, and by and by, you are lost in an ocean where you don't exist separately. You start merging yourself with others. Of course, the ego will feel hurt, uncomfortable, uneasy. But the ego is your disease; it has to be dropped. And one should be able to enjoy being a non-entity, being so ordinary, so mixed, that nobody ever comes to know that you are separate, different from others. But the ego has only one idea: how to be separate and different.
I have not told that sannyasin. I wanted to tell him but I thought that maybe it would hurt him - such an egoist who thinks that just being in orange feels very uncomfortable, he has become part of the herd - I wanted to say to him that it is better that you shave half your head, half your moustache, half your beard, so wherever you go you will be separate. And tattoo your forehead, and do things which nobody is doing. You will always feel good and very comfortable. Ego is doing that.
I have heard about one man who wanted to become very famous, who wanted to see his pictures in the newspapers. He shaved half his head, half the moustache, and half the beard, and he walked around the town. Within three days he was the most famous man around the town. All the newspapers had his pictures, and children were running around him and yelling and shouting, and he enjoyed it very much. You can do the same, in the same way.
The ego wants to be separate; and that's why the ego is false, because separation is false. To be together is to be real. All separation is false and illusory, and all togetherness is true and real.
The fifth question:
DURING THE LECTURE YOU USED THE TERM, 'ATTAIN TO HAPPINESS', AND MY MIND JUMPED IN AND SAID: WORK MORE, WORK HARDER. BUT HOW CAN I WORK TOWARDS SURRENDER? THAT FEELS CRAZY.
This is from Amida.
She has a great work-oriented mind: work is valuable, play is valueless; and all that has to be achieved, has to be achieved through work. That has become an ingrained habit in her mind. But this has been taught to everybody. The whole world lives according to work ethics. Play is, at the most, tolerated. Work is appreciated.
So even here, when I am talking about surrender, when I am talking about being receptive and feminine, your mind goes on popping. Whenever it finds any support, immediately it pops up and says, "Yes." The very word 'attainment' has started a chain of thoughts within you: attainment? - work, hard work has to be done. Just the word has triggered a certain chain of thoughts, as if the mind was just waiting and watching to jump upon anything which could give it a continuity.
That's how you listen to me. I have to use words, words which are very loaded, words which you have interpreted in different ways, words which have different connotations to you, associations, meanings. I have to use language, and language is a very dangerous thing. Just listening to the word 'attainment', the whole work-oriented mind comes to function. Then you don't listen to me, to what I am saying. I am saying that attainment is possible only when you don't try to attain.
Attainment is possible only when all effort to attain is dropped, because that which you are trying to attain is already there. It cannot be attained. The very effort to attain it will continue to create barriers between you and your reality. But the mind goes on watching, and is always ready to find some support for itself.
Let me tell you one anecdote.
The policeman in a small village had been there some twenty years and he was not very popular with the residents. Far from being the local village bobby who was as much a member of the populus as the local butcher or the local postman, he had always seen himself as the sheriff in a Western film, and treated even the most minor infringement as if it were a case for New Scotland Yard. It was his proud boast that every resident of the village had received a summons as a result of his devotion to duty. As the time approached when he would be replaced by a police car which would cover no less than six villages, including the one which he had come to regard as his own, he suddenly realized that he had never had a case against the local vicar. And his pride could not allow him to retire without bringing this man to justice. His task appeared hopeless. But as he watched the vicar cycling around the village, one day he hit upon a master plan. Positioning himself at the bottom of the only hill in the village, he waited for the vicar to cycle down. When the vicar was about a yard away, the constable stepped in front of him, thinking to himself, "He will run over my foot. It will hurt, but I will get him for not having adequate brakes." The vicar's reflexes however, enabled him to stop his bicycle an eighth of an inch in front of the policeman's boots. The constable reluctantly admitted defeat and said, "I thought I had you that time, vicar."
The vicar said, "Oh yes, but God was with me."
"Got you!" said the policeman. "Two on a bike!"
That's how the mind goes on - watching. Any excuse: rational, irrational; any excuse, even any absurdity, and the mind immediately jumps and tries to continue in the old pattern. I am saying so many things to you, and of course, I have to use language. Be alert, be alert of this tricky mind which is just hiding there behind you, and just waiting for something which can be an excuse for its being strengthened more.
Work is good; but work as work is ugly, not good. Work is good if it is also a play. Work is good if it has an intrinsic value; you paint because you love to paint, because you enjoy painting. Of course, if the painting is sold and you receive some money, that is secondary, that is irrelevant, that is not the point. If you get the money, good; if you don't get the money, you are not missing anything, because you were so delighted while painting. You are almost rewarded. More than your effort, you have been rewarded. If the painting can be sold that is a plus reward: God is being too kind to you. But as far as your reward is concerned, you have already got it. When you paint your painting, when you write your poem, when you work in the garden and perspire in the sun, you have got your reward.
Work as play, work as enjoyment, work as worship - then it is beautiful; it has a grace to it. Work as an economic activity is ugly. Then you become a part of the market-place. Then you are thinking only in terms of what you are going to get out of it. Then you are never here-now. Then you are always in the result, and the result is in the future. Never be result-oriented - that is the misery of the human mind - be present-oriented. And you are not going to get your innermost being through work. You are going to get it by being present, by being aware. So use your work also as a situation.
But what happens? You listen to me: you go on noting down inside your mind what I am saying.
You don't really listen to me. You go on collecting cues. You don't collect understanding. You collect cues, and that's what creates problems.
Let me tell you another anecdote.
In the old days, the doctor took his assistant with him to the bedside of the patient. The Irish priest's face was red, and his temperature was high. The doctor slapped him on the back. "Get up, and eat some corned beef and cabbage," he told him. The next day the Irishman was back at work. The apprentice made a note: red face, high temperature - corned beef and cabbage.
Shortly afterwards, in the absence of the doctor, the young man was himself called to the bedside of a German patient whose face was red and who had a high temperature. The apprentice prescribed corned beef and cabbage. The very next day they notified the apprentice that the German was dead. He then entered the following in his notebook: corned beef and cabbage - good for Irishmen, kills Germans.
This is what you are doing with me - collecting cues. Just try to understand what I am saying. Don't collect cues. Just watch me, what I am doing here. What is transpiring between me and you here, right in this moment; what energy exchange is happening between you and me right this moment:
watch it, feel it, and let it be dissolved into your being. Don't take notes, otherwise you will be always in trouble.
The last question:
... and very serious, Please don't take it as a joke. Chitananda has asked,
BY THE WAY, YOU ARE THE ONLY NON-NEUROTIC PERSON AROUND. WHY DON'T YOU HAVE CHILDREN? DO ENLIGHTENED PERSONS HAVE CHILDREN SOMETIMES?
I never thought about it.
You may not learn anything from my answers, but I go on learning from your questions: a very good idea. I will remember it. But there is a practical problem: it is very difficult to find a non-neurotic woman.
First, it is difficult to find a non-neurotic person, and then a woman? - almost impossible. The difficulty is multiplied.
Let me tell you one anecdote.
A very wealthy city financier was a wizard on the stock exchange but was very lousy on the golf course. He was in the habit of taking out his bad temper on his caddy, and one morning, after a particularly bad round, he shouted, "You must be just about the worst caddy in the world!" "Oh, no sir," replied the caddy, "that would be too much of a coincidence!"
The worst golfer and the worst caddy in the world? - that would be too much of a coincidence.
To find a non-neurotic woman would be too much of a coincidence. It has not happened before, and I don't think it can happen. Never has it been known that any enlightened man had any children.
Yes, you may have heard that Buddha had a son, but that happened before he became enlightened.
Mahavir had a daughter, but that too happened before he became enlightened. Gurdjieff had many children from many women, but that too happened before he became enlightened. And you must be well aware that those children, even Buddha's son Rahul, did not prove much of a Buddha's son.
Mahavir's daughter has not proved in any way a Mahavir's daughter; she proved ordinary. She was so ordinary that one of the sects of Jainas believes that this is just a myth: Mahavir never got married and he never had any children. The daughter was so ordinary, almost as if she was not. Have you ever heard of any enlightened person's son or daughter becoming enlightened? The coincidence is too much of a coincidence.
And there is something else involved. First, a non-neurotic person finding a non-neurotic woman, and then both together finding a non-neurotic soul to be born. The problem is very complicated because you seek a woman only because you are neurotic. Because you have not met with your inner woman yet, you seek a woman. You seek a man because you have not met with your inner man yet. Because you are not a complete whole inside, you go out.
First, the moment you become a whole inside - that's the meaning of being a holy person, a person who is whole - then you don't seek outside. There is no need. You also don't escape. If a woman comes along, you don't run away and you don't report to the police that a woman is coming along.
That too is good. If a woman comes along, perfectly good. If she goes away, that too is perfectly good.
And you give birth to children; that too out of neurosis - because you always want occupation, somewhere to be occupied. Your basic occupation is with the future, and children make the future available to you. Through them, your ambitions will be able to move. When you are gone, your children will be here. When you were trying to become a prime minister and you could not, your children will become. You will prepare them and the continuity will be there.
When one dies, and if one does not leave any children behind, one feels at a dead-end, a cul-de-sac.
But when you leave children behind you feel a sort of immortality through them: "That's okay; I am dying, nothing to worry about. But a part of me will be living through my child." People are much too interested in children because they are much too afraid of death. Children give you a false notion of immortality, a continuity of some sort. A non-neurotic person is not interested in children, is not interested in any sort of continuity. He has found the eternal, and he is not worried about death.
A few anecdotes about why it is so impossible to find a non-neurotic woman... I will not comment; I will simply read a few anecdotes.
Mrs. Cohen had come into some money and asked an interior decorator to re-do her house. Mr.
Jones asked, "Certainly Mrs. Cohen, I will be glad to help. Can you give me some idea of your taste? Do you like modern decor?"
"Well you know, Mrs. Cohen, you really must give me some idea of your taste, otherwise I will not even be able to get started. What is it exactly that you have in mind?"
"Decor, schmecor. What I want is that when my friends come to visit, they will take one look and drop dead!"
The second: The young couple was engaged in a most affectionate embrace when there came the sound of a key in the front door. The young lady broke away at once, eyes wide with alarm.
"Heavens!" she cried, "it is my husband. Quick, jump out of the window! "
The young man, equally alarmed, made a step toward the window, then demurred. "I can't! We are on the thirteenth floor!"
"For heaven's sake!" cried the young lady in exasperation. "Is this a time to be superstitious?"
Third: The wife came home wearing a new hat. "Where did you get that hat?" her husband asked.
"At a clearance sale."
"No wonder they wanted to clear it out," he said. "It makes you look like an idiot."
"I know it."
"Then why in the world did you buy it?" he demanded.
"I will tell you," she said. "When I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror, I looked too stupid to argue with the clerk."
The fourth: Mulla Nasrudin was telling me that marriage is the process of finding out what kind of man your wife would have preferred. "My wife said to me this morning, 'If you really loved me, you would have married someone else.' I assured her that I was very happy being married to her, and said, 'If I could change places with Richard Burton, I would not do it.' She said, 'I know you wouldn't. You never do anything to please me.'"
This is it!