The first question:
EASTERN PHILOSOPHY LOCATES THE ESSENCE OF MAN IN THE ATEMPORAL OBSERVER. WESTERN PHILOSOPHY SINCE THE RISE OF TECHNOLOGY, LOCATES THE CHIEF DIGNITY OF MAN IN THE ABILITY TO CONTROL THE WORLD, TO ACT. IN PSYCHOSYNTHESIS ASSAGIOLI MARRIES EAST AND WEST BY POSITING BOTH A PASSIVE WITNESS AND AN ACTIVE WILLER. DO MIXED MARRIAGES WORK?
Yes, they work. They produce philosophical bastards! That's what goes on happening again and again.
No marriage can be of any help. Unity is needed, not marriage. Marriage is a duality, the two remain two. And the two continue to fight -- deep down the conflict continues. It continues in all kinds of marriages because the question of domination persists. The husband wants to dominate, the wife wants to dominate. There are subtle ways of nagging, subtle ways of possessing -- and it continues. If you are trying to create a marriage-like arrangement between East and West the same will be the result, the same will be the outcome.
The East and the West have to disappear. They are ugly words. The earth is one so there is no need for any marriage. The earth is round and one, it is not divided anywhere. There is no line that divides East from West, it is all in the mind of man, it is all a kind of politics. The words East and West have lived too long and have created much mischief, have been very destructive. Many times it has been tried to create a kind of marriage but it cannot succeed because marriage does not dissolve the duality; rather, it accepts the duality and respects it. One has to see into the division and its falsity. It is utterly false, it is untrue.
Human consciousness is one -- that has to penetrate deep into our hearts. I am never for any marriage. There are people who try to create a kind of marriage between Hinduism and Islam, Christianity and Hinduism, East and West, and this and that. It never succeeds.
It only gives a false appearance that things are going okay. It is just appearance, it is not truth. Hidden behind it is much violence and conflict, and the old game persists under new names. You simply change the bottle, you never change the wine, and by changing bottles nothing happens. It is futile. Man has to be more mature now, man has to see into things, and if they are meaningless they have to be dropped.
Why marriage?Just drop the whole idea that anything divides humanity -- religions, hemispheres, geographies, nations. All divisions have to disappear. Only then can this world be at peace.
In the West there have been people who are as Eastern as any Easterner can ever be -- for example: Mr. Eckhart,Jacob Boehme, Plotinus, Pythagoras, Heraclitus. They are as Eastern as any Buddha, any Nagarjuna, any Shankara, any Lao Tzu. And there have been Western minds in the East which are as Western as any Westerner can be: a Charvaka is as Western as a Bertrand Russell.
It is not a question of East and West. All kinds of people exist in all kinds of places. The egoist has existed in the East as much as in the West. The idea to conquer -- to conquer nature, to conquer God -- is as much Eastern as Western. And the idea to surrender, to surrender utterly, is as much Western as Eastern. At the most emphasis differs, that's all - - only emphasis. It is not very essential. Emphasis differs -- and emphasis is very very accidental.
The moment you see that the essential is the same.... Otherwise how do you explain why Lao Tzu has so much appeal in the West And why Karl Marx has so much appeal in the East How do you explain it? Why is Buddha becoming more and more prominent in the West? Why is Zen becoming enormously significant in the West? And why is technology becoming so important in the East? The East is rushing towards the West to know what technology is, to know how to become more and more technologically skillful. And the West is coming to the East to know what meditation is.
Human enquiry is the same -- if there is any difference it is only emphasis. It has nothing to do with the East, it has nothing to do with the West. In the East there are as many materialists as in the West and in the West there are as many spiritualists as in the East.
Once you see this, you don't try to create a synthesis -- you simply see that there is no need for any synthesis because it is already one.
It is exactly like the bi-sexuality of man. Each man is a woman as well and each woman is a man as well. Only the emphasis is different. Maybe a man is fifty-one per cent man and forty-nine per cent woman, that's all. Or he may be fifty-five per cent man or sixty per cent man -- but the forty per cent woman is there. And that difference is not constant and fixed, it changes. In the morning maybe you are more woman, in the evening you become more man. And sometimes when a woman is in a rage, angry, she can become more of a violent man than any man can be. And when a man is in love and compassionate he can become more loving than any woman can be. There is a reason for it. When a man is loving he is loving from a part of him which is not ordinarily used and because it is not ordinarily used it is very potential. It is like fallow ground. For many years nobody has been harvesting any crop on it so it will yield more. When a woman becomes angry she is more dangerous than any man can ever be, naturally, because her man part has never been used. It is very sharp, it is brand-new, it is right from the show- room. It is going to be very, very dangerous.
But this has to be understood: each man carries a woman within his heart and each woman carries a man within her heart. A unity is already there.
And so is the case with East and West.
And you change. You can watch this climate changing within you. Beggars come in the morning to beg because they know that people are more feminine in the morning, that there is more possibility that they will give something, that there is more possibility, that they will say yes. By the evening people have become hard. They have suffered one day more. They have seen all kinds of cunningnesses and deceptions and they have met all kinds of politicians and diplomats and rogues, so they have become hard. By the evening no beggar comes. By the evening it will be impossible to persuade anybody to give anything. By the evening everybody becomes so hard that there is every danger that they would rob the beggar themselves.
In the morning you are more soft. After the whole night's rest, after the whole night with God deep within your unconscious, you get dissolved. The whole night is of a sincere existence; there is no deception, no repression. Whatsoever you wanted to do you did in your dreams. There was no repression. You were not in any fight. There was nobody else, you were alone -- and you were utterly free. That is the importance of dreaming: it gives you a taste of freedom. Otherwise you would go mad. The world makes you a slave; the dream again frees you. You can fly in the sky, you can go to the moon, and you can do whatsoever you like. Nobody prevents you. Your freedom is utter, your freedom is ultimate. No limitation exists.
That's why dreaming is so important -- it keeps you sane. If a man is not allowed to dream for three weeks he will go insane. In the beginning it used to be thought that it was sleep that keeps people sane. Now it is no more so. Researchers say that a man does not suffer much because of the lack of sleep, he suffers much because of the lack of dreaming. Many experiments have been done and now it is a proved scientific fact. You can be allowed to sleep but if you are interrupted while you are dreaming, within three weeks you go mad. Even after one week it becomes intolerable.
Why does dreaming help so much? Why does it keep you cool? It gives you freedom.
Freedom is an inner necessity, hence all those who have known the ultimate reality call it freedom, moksha, nirvana -- absolute freedom. That is the urge, the desire, the great desire: to become absolutely free. The reality does not allow you to be free but the dream gives you freedom.
And in the morning you are more at ease, more at peace, more together. Again your compassion is back, again you are flowing, again your juice is flowing. Now to say no will be difficult, to say yes is easier. In the morning people are less egoistic than in the evening; in the morning people are less violent, less ambitious than in the evening. In the morning people are more religious -- by evening they turn into politicians.
Hence the morning prayer and its importance.... When you open your eyes the first thing is either meditation or prayer because this moment is very, very valuable. You will not get it again in the whole day, you will have to wait twenty-four hours to get it again. This is a great, significant, potent moment. Use it, don't disturb it. Get into it. Get into this lucidity of being, into this grace that is flowing all around you.
No, I am never for any synthesis, I am always for the pure unity before the division.
Assagioli tries synthesis. Synthesis is always dead. You have accepted the division, you have accepted that East is East and West is West and now you try to synthesize. You have accepted the very premise of the division. That is where Assagioli goes wrong.
Don't accept the premise. Destroy the premise and then see into the reality. East is not East and West is not West -- they are both, they are together. In each man the West exists and the East exists -- the West is the male part and the East is the feminine part. And the unity has not to be done in some philosophical way, the unity has to be done existentially within each man.
When you are praying you are Eastern, when you are meditating you are Eastern; when you are fighting you are Western, when you are competing you are Western. Whenever the male part becomes assertive you are in the West. These are not geographical divisions. Wherever you are, if your male part remains dominant you are a Western man or a Western woman. Wherever you are, if your feminine part, the softer part, remains dominant, if you remain flowing like water and you are not hard like rock, then you are Eastern. And each man can be both. Yes, the water can also become frozen and rock-like and the rocks can also melt.
To me, the synthesis has to happen in each individual, each single individual; it has to happen in the heart. And 'synthesis' is not the right word for it. It is the discovery of the pure unity before you had ever thought that East and West, man and woman, yin and yang, are separate. It is to fall into that chaos, into that unity where things are one. They are still one deep inside you but you don't go to that depth, you don't touch that depth, that is true. You remain on the surface. All divisions are on the surface. If you go deep within yourself, the first meeting -- if you are a man -- will be with the man, the second meeting will be with the woman, and the third meeting will be with something that transcends both. 'rat is the real thing.
The second question:
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION?
Consciousness can go either out or in; these are the two ways available for consciousness.
When consciousness goes out, it thinks above the object, the other, the thou. When consciousness tomes in, thinking disappears -- because there is no other, no object. It falls into subjectivity.
When consciousness goes out, philosophy is erected. Philosophy is thinking about objects. Philosophy is extra version. When consciousness goes in, it forgets all about objects, it starts enjoying the being of subjectivity, of inferiority. You are simply there enjoying the very fact of being alive, the very fact of being conscious. No object is these, you are pure subjectivity. No thought is there, you are pure consciousness.
Extra version is philosophy, introversion is psychology and transcendence of both is religion.
Buddha uses two words. For the outside he uses DHATU, the object. Philosophy is concerned with the object. It forgets the observer, it remembers the observed. The arrow is pointed towards the without, DHATU, the object. And for the inner journey Buddha uses the word CHITTA, subjectivity. When you are moving inwards psychology is created, when you are moving outwards philosophy is created. And science is a growth of philosophy.
But the modern psychology, the so-called psychology, is not psychology in the sense that Buddha uses the word 'psychology' because the modern psychology again goes on thinking ABOUT mind, in an objective way. It uses the philosophical method. Hence it misses the point. That is the difference between modern psychology and the real psychology.
Gurdjieff used to say that the real psychology has yet to be born. What does he mean by real psychology? Is Sigmund Freud not a real psychologist? Is Carl Gustav Jung not a real psychologist? Is Adler not a real psychologist? No, they all think in the objective way. Their psychologies are nothing but philosophies. They think about mind; the mind is taken as an object. They think about the mind from the outside. They watch. They observe. They analyze. They dissect. But the observer remains outside; the observer thinks.
Gurdjieff says that the real psychology us yet to be born. In a sense he is right, in a sense he is not. If we think about Freud, Jung, Adler and company then he is right, but if we think about Patanjali, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Hui Neng, then he is wrong. The real psychology has existed for millennia. The real psychology has existed for so long that we have forgotten about it. The new, the so-called psychology is very immature. It is a very late arrival just one hundred years old. It is very childish.
The real psychology is the psychology of the Buddhas. The real psychology is to go inside your being -- not to watch how rats behave, not to watch how others behave, not to go on looking outside, but to go inside with closed eyes, deep, meditatively, alert, fully alert, watching what happens inside. Go on dropping from the outside into your inside, into your inferiority. Go on forgetting the world of objects, then the world of thoughts, then the world of feelings -- go on dropping out, go on dropping out. A moment comes when your consciousness is there without any content.
To know this consciousness is to know what real psychology is -- the psychology of the Buddhas.
And you ask: What is religion? The division between the 'out' and 'in' is still a division, so the 'in' is also not very much 'in',it is part of the 'out', it is another aspect of the same coin.
On one side is written 'out', on another 'in'. So philosophy and psychology are two aspects of the same coin: one is extroversion, another is introversion.
What is religion? Religion is to throw away the whole coin itself. No more going out, no more going in, no more 'going' at all. When going disappears, when the pilgrimage has ended, then you simply are -- neither as an object nor as a subject. Then there is no knower and the known, then there is no observer and the observed -- then there is oneness, an oceanic feeling of oneness. Then you are in the rose, then you are in the trees, then you are in the rocks, then you are in people. You are everywhere. You permeate the whole existence. This is religion.
Philosophy is going out, psychology is going in, religion is not going anywhere at all. All journeys have been dropped, there is no identification with anything, in or out. This transcendence is what religion is.
To another way.... To you ask Zen people they have their way of saying it. They say philosophy is that, psychology is this and religion is just suchness, TATHATA. That is an object; this is subjectivity; thusness, suchness, TATHATA, existence, isness, KONOMAMA, or SONOMAMA, just isness with no demarking line, with no label attached to it, with no identity, just pure being -- is religion.
So first move from that to this, then move from this to such. TATHATA IS the ultimate word of Zen people. One who has attained to TATHATA is called TATHAGATA. That's why TATHAGATA IS one of the names of Buddha -- one who has attained to suchness.
And when you are freed of this and that, you are freedom itself.
IN SPRING HUNDREDS OF FLOWERS
IN AUTUMN A HARVEST MOON
IN SUMMER A REFRESHING BREEZE
IT WINTER SNOW WILL ACCOMPANY YOU.
IF USELESS THINGS DO NOT HANG IN YOUR MIND
ANY SEASON IS A GOOD SEASON TO YOU.
IN SPRING HUNDREDS OF FLOWERS -- suchness. You are those flowers, you are those birds singing, you are those stars shining, you are those rivers flowing.
IN SPRING HUNDREDS OF FLOWERS
IN AUTUMN A HARVEST NOON
-- you are that moon.
IN SUMMER A REFRESHING BREEZE
-- you are that breeze.
IN WINTER SNOW WILL ACCOMPANY YOU.
-- you are that snow
and you will be accompanying yourself.
USELESS THINGS DO NOT HANG IN YOUR MIND
-- useless things, this and that,
if they don't hang in your mind
and you remain in suchness,
ANY SEASON IS A GOOD SEASON TO YOU.
The method of philosophy is thinking, logic; the method of psychology is meditation, non-thinking, and religion has no method. Sitting silently, doing nothing, and the grass grows by itself.
The third question:
IS ZEN AGAINST POLITICS?
Zen is so much against politics that it never talks about it. It is so much against politics that it cannot even be against it. If you are against it, it will affect you. Then somehow you will remain in some way related to it. To be against is to be related. When you are very much against, you are very, very related. It is a way of relationship -- you are related to your enemy too, sometimes even more than you are related to your friend.
Zen is so much against politics that it does not say anything about it, but it is against it.
any religion, any religion worth calling a religion, is bound to be against politics because the very phenomenon of religion is non-political.
What is politics? Politics is ambition, politics is ego, politics is aggression, politics is violence, politics is an ego-trip. How can a religious person be political? He can pretend that he is religious but he cannot be religious. And how can a political person be religious? He can pretend that he is religious but he cannot be religious.
These two thugs cannot go together because to be religious one has to drop ambition.
And if you drop ambition politics disappears. To be religious one has to drop the ego, and when you drop the ego, politics is dropped. A religious person has to be without any ego whatsoever.
So religion as such is anti-political or non-political. But the religions that you see around you -- Hinduism, Mohamedanism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhist are all political. They are no longer religious. Whenever a religion becomes too organized, whenever religion becomes all establishment, whenever religion has a vested interest in the society, in this particular society, in the STATUS QUO, then it is no longer religion. A Buddha is religious, Buddhism is not religious. Jesus is religious -- that's way he was crucified by the politicians -- but Christians are not religious, they are very, very political.
A large political meeting was attended by a small boy trying to sell four young puppy dogs. Finally, a man approached the boy and asked jokingly, 'Are these political pups, sonny?'
'Well, then,' said the man, 'I'll take these two.'
A week later at the same place there was a religious gathering and the same boy showed up to sell the remaining two dogs. A man walked up to him and asked, 'My little lad, what kind of puppies are these you have?'
'These are religious pups, sir.'
The first man who purchased the other two dogs happened to overhear this. 'Say,' he said, 'didn't you tell me that those pups that I bought from you last week were political pups?'
'Yes, sir,' said the young dog-seller, 'but these puppies ain't -- they've got their eyes open.'
Politics is blind. It is a blind trip of the ego. One goes on groping to find some source of power so that one can feel, 'I am somebody.' Politics comes out of an inferiority complex.
Deep down you feel that you are nobody, deep down you are afraid of your nothingness.
You cannot accept it. You have to deny it. Politics is a denial of your inner nothingness, religion is rejoicing in it.
Let me repeat it. Politics is an effort to deny your inner nothingness. Of course, you can never succeed in it because that inner nothingness is your very nature, it cannot be denied. Your interpretation is wrong. That inner nothingness has nothing to do with inferiority complex, it is your interpretation that creates the inferiority complex. And out of the inferiority complex you start to become superior -- you become a prime minister, you become a president or something. This inner nothingness drives you somewhere -- it may be to money, it may to power, it may be prestige, it may be knowledge, it may even be to renunciation -- but this inner nothingness drives you to find some way to forget that you are nothing, to start feeling that you are somebody, that you are something important, valuable, significant, that without you the world with be at a loss.
This inner nothingness is a driving force towards politics, but nobody can succeed in denying it. You can manage to postpone it but again and again it will assert itself, again and again it with be there sitting on the throne, again and again when you think you have arrived you will know, deep down, whenever you look inside, that you have not arrived.
The inner nothingness is untouched by whatsoever you have done, by whatsoever you have accumulated, by whatsoever you have achieved -- it remains untouched, that emptiness is still there. That's the misery of the successful man. Nothing fails like success. Failure is never such a failure as success is a failure because the person who has failed can still hope. In failure the hope that you may succeed some day is still there, but in success all hope disappears.
I have heard about President Coolidge, one of the great American presidents. When his term was over he declined to stand again for the presidency although there was every possibility that he would be chosen again. He was very much loved -- he was such a silent man.
So people started approaching him and asking, 'Why? Why are you not standing again? It is almost certain you will be chosen.' But he would say no. And he would say no with very deep, sad eyes. Finally somebody forced him to answer exactly why he went on saying no. He said, 'Because I have come to know that there is nothing in it and to repeat it a second time will be stupid. I have come to know that nothing is gained by gaining such things. I remain the same person.'
How can a chair change you? You can sit on a golden chair or you can sit on a very, very ordinary stool, it doesn't make any difference -- you remain the same. How can the chair change you? How can the change of the chair change you? But this is the was the politician goes on be fooling himself.
No. A religious person cannot be politician. A religious person, by his very religiousness, is non-political. He approaches life in a totally different way. What is the difference?
What is the radical differences The radical difference is that the religious man does not interpret his nothingness as inferiority. That is the revolution. The day it happens that your inner nothingness is not inferiority, that your nothing is your very being.... It is the way God is in you. God's way of being present is being absent -- that's how God is present in the world. He is so non-violent that he remains absent.
Deep inside you the hole that you feel, the dark hole, is not dark. It is luminous with light.
Enter into it. And it is not nothing, it is the very secret of the whole life, the whole existence. It is all. That nothingness is just the way God appears to those people who don't look deeply. It is a misunderstanding.
The religious man befriends his nothingness. That's what meditation is all about:
befriending your nothingness. He enjoys it. He celebrates it. He dances it. He sings it. He goes again and again into it. Whenever he has a chance, whenever he has the opportunity, he closes his eyes, he drops into his nothingness, he disappears there. What is the very door of God. From there you connect yourself to the divine.
Once you have started enjoying your nothingness, who bothers about politics?
Nixon was out walking along the beach at San Clemente and decided to go for a swim.
He got out beyond the waves and suddenly began drowning. Three teenage boys happened to come along, dived into the ocean, and pulled Nixon ashore. When he had regained his breath, Nixon thanked the boys. 'In appreciation,' he said, 'I'd be willing to use my influence to help you boys in any way I could. Is there anything special you want?
'I'd like to go to West Point!' said one boy.
'I believe I can arrange that,' said the ex-President.
'I'd like to go to Annapolis!' said another boy.
'I'll see to it immediately,' said Nixon.
'I'd like to be buried in Arlington Cemetery,' Announced the third boy.
'That's a very strange request,' said Mr. Nixon. 'Why would you want to be buried in Arlington Cemetery?'
'Well,' said the youngster, 'my father is a religious man and when I get home and tell him who I saved from drowning, he's gonna kill me!'
Remember, the politician is always there. Till the ego is completely thrown away it is always there. The ego is the politician. If you are egoistic, you are political. You may not stand in an election, you may not strive for any political power, but if you have the ego you will remain political in subtle ways. You may dominate your wife or your husband, you may dominate your children, you may dominate your servants. You will remain cunning and you will never miss any opportunity to dominate.
So when I use the word 'political' I don't just mean state affairs, no, I mean all affairs where domination is involved. If you want to have more money you are political because if you want to have more money you will have to exploit people. If you want to have more power you will have to fight. If you want more prestige you will have to be competitive. Your so-called saints are all political. They have their ambitions. Each saint wants to become the greatest saint -- then he is political, then he will have to fight with other saints who are competitors.
A religious person is non-competitive and that's why I insist again and again -- I am never tired of this insistence -- on you being meditative, because meditation is the only joy which is non-competitive, the only joy that you attain but nobody loses because you attain. Nobody is a loser.
If you have more money somebody will have less money; if you have more power somebody will have less power; if Morarji becomes the prime minister, Indira is no longer a prime minister. Somebody loses. Somebody's gain is going to be somebody else's loss.
But a religious person will not like to do anything in which somebody becomes a loser.
This is violent, this is ugly, this is inhuman. Then what is left for the religious person? He can celebrate his being. He can meditate. In meditation you gain and nobody loses. Only God is infinite, everything else is finite. Money is finite, power is finite... if you have it somebody will not have it. Only God is infinite. You can have as much as you like. You can have the whole of it and yet nobody is a loser. That's the beauty of religion -- it is non-violent joy, it is non-competitive joy.
A panhandler stopped a congressman on a Washington street and asked him for a dime.
'A dime won't buy anything these days,' said the politician. 'Don't you want a quarter?'
'No,' replied the panhandler, 'with all the shady politicians around here I'm afraid to carry too much cash.'
He is right.
And this is one from the twentieth century, somewhere in the twentieth century....
The anchorman on an educational TV late night news program me surprised his viewers with this announcement:
'We have good news and bad news for you. First the bad news: our planet is being invaded by Martians. And now for the good news: they eat politicians and pee gasoline.'
The fourth question:
ICHAZO RECKONS THAT OUR CULTURE, THE WHOLE SOCIETY, IS NOW RAISING ITS CONSCIOUSNESS, THAT WE ARE NO LONGER ON AN INDIVIDUAL TRIP BUT THAT HUMANITY IS BEGINNING TO AWAKEN. AND HE SAYS THAT THE UTOPIAN VISION OF HUMANITY AS ONE ENORMOUS FAMILY IS NOW A PRACTICAL NECESSITY.
This is how politics enters into religion. And this is nothing new. Down the ages there have been people saying it again and again. This is how fascism enters into religion. This is what Friedrich Nietzsche was saying and he became the originator of Adolf Hitler and his philosophy. He way saying that now humanity had come to a point where it was going to enter into a new arena, the arena of super-humanity, superhumans.
This is what Sri Aurobindo was saying in India -- he was basically a politician and he remained a politician to the very end. He was also saying that now we had come to a point where collective effort, not individual effort, was needed.
Remember that these ideas about collective effort are dangerous. That's how politics enters into religion. Religion is utterly individual and will remain individual. Only the individual can meditate. When you meditate you disappear from the collective world. If you start meditating here with five hundred people you may start with five hundred people but the moment you enter into meditation you are alone. Those four hundred and ninety-nine are no more. Meditation is a movement in tremendous aloneness. It has nothing to do with the collective. You can meditate together but when you go into meditation you go alone.
Three words will have to be understood: the collective, the individual and the universal.
Ichazo goes on getting confused between the universal and the collective. The individual is in the middle, the collective is below the individual, and the universal is above the individual. If the individual becomes part of collectivity, he loses something, he is no longer as conscious as he was before, he is no longer alert. That's why in a crowd you are no longer as responsible as you were when you were alone. A crowd can commit great sins. In a crowd you don't feel responsibility. The collective is lower than the individual - - all the great sins of history can be attributed to the collective. The individual is far better than the collective.
You see a mob burning a Hindu temple or a Mohammedan mosque. If you get each individual from the mob and enquire, he will say, 'I did not really want to do it but other people were doing it and I was just standing there so I got into it.' No individual Mohammedan will be able to say with a clear heart that he has done a great thing, a great job, a religious thing, in burning a Hindu temple. And no Hindu will say that he has done a great thing by killing a Mohammedan or by burning a mosque. But he will say that in the crowd he was lost.
You may have also felt it. In a crowd you become lower than you ordinarily are. In a crowd you become baser, you become lower; you are more animal than you are human.
The collective is animal, the individual is human and the universal is divine. When a person enters into meditation he does not become a part of the collective, he becomes dissolved into the universal which is a higher point than the individual itself.
But politicians always talk about the collective. They are always interested in changing the society -- because in changing the society, in making efforts to change the society and the structure of society and this and that, they become powerful. The society has never been changed. It remains the same -- the same rotten thing. And it will remain the same unless it is understood that all consciousness happens in the individual. And when it happens, the individual becomes universal. If it happens to many individuals then the society is changed -- but not as a social thing, not collectively.
Let me explain it to you. There are five hundred people here. You cannot be changed as a collective unit, there is no way. You cannot be made divine as a collective unit, there is no way. Your souls are individual, your consciousnesses are individual.
But if out of these five hundred people, three hundred people become transformed, then the whole collective will have a new quality. But these three hundred people will go through individual changes, through individual mutations. Then the collective will have a higher consciousness because these three hundred people are pouring their consciousness into the collective, they are there. When one man becomes a Buddha, the whole existence becomes a little more awakened -- just by his presence. Even if he is a drop in the ocean then too the ocean, at least as far as one drop is concerned, is more alert, more aware.
When that drop disappears into the ocean it raises the quality of the ocean. Each individual being transformed changes the society. When many, many individuals are changed, the society changes. That is the only way to change it, not the other way round.
You cannot change the society. If you want to change the society directly your effort is political. Ichazo must be getting political. It happens. When you start becoming powerful religiously, when you start leading many people, when you become a leader, then great ideas start happening in the mind. Then the mind says that now the whole humanity can be changed, now we should plan for a great change of the whole humanity. Then greed grows, ambition grows, ego expects. This has always happened and this will happen always. Beware of it.
Never become a victim of the idea of the collective; the collective is lower than you. You have to become universal. The universal is not social, the universal is existential. You have to fall in tune with the whole existence, you have to get hooked with the dance of the universe -- not with the social, not with small communities or sects, not with Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans, not with this earth, not with the East, not with the West, not with this century. You have to get hooked with the whole of it, the whole existence.
But that is higher than the individual. The mass is a pitfall. The mob is always there to pull you down. And it happens to so-called religious people. Ichazo is not really very religious to me. He has gathered techniques from here and there, he is very eclectic. From Gurdjieff's work, from Sufis, he has gathered a few techniques. He is a technician. He knows the technology but he does not know the goal. And he himself has not attained to it. But he is very, very technically expert, skillful. His movement, Arica, can turn into a fascist's movement any day. It creates a kind of fascism in its followers.
There are a few Aricans here -- ex-Aricans, I should say. The ways of the Aricans are very political. Just a few months ago, Amida -- Amida was very close to Ichazo for many years -- received a letter saying that she was expelled. Expulsion is basically political.
How can you expel? What do you mean by expulsion? This is monopoly. She has come to me so she is expelled from Arica. Now my books and my tapes are not allowed there.
No Arican is allowed to read my books. This is political. What nonsense! This is monopoly, possessiveness. This is how politics comes into being.
A religious mind is an open mind. You have to see, you have to listen to everybody, you have to learn from everybody. You should not be closed. Being with a really enlightened Master you become very, very open to existence, utterly open. You with even be open to the Devil if he comes to teach you something. You will be open and you will learn and you will trust yourself. There is no fear because you know yourself -- he cannot deceive you.
These people who become so afraid that somebody may get out of the fold, may get hooked with somebody else, are really basically doubting their own philosophy. They don't believe in their own philosophy. They know that somewhere something may be better, somewhere somebody may be higher, and people will go there and they will leave them. Their fear is the fear of losing followers, so they create China Walls around them.
No, it never happens when there is a religious person. He gives you his love, he gives you his being, he gives you his wisdom, and he makes you free. And you can go on and on learning and each learning will prove that your Master is right. That is the trust.
Wherever you go, even if you go to somebody who is against me and you listen to him, if I am right, listening to him will prove that I am right. It will not be a loss, you will become richer.
Trust needs no fear, love needs no fear. But it is not love, it is not trust, it is just fear -- a fear is being created. If you go somewhere else you will be expelled. And people are very afraid of things like expulsion. Is this a communist party or what? Expulsion? People are very much afraid of being expelled because they want to belong to some group because they don't have any soul of their own. In the group they feel good, they belong to a certain community -- the chosen few, the elite, the heralds of a new world which is going to come, the leaders of the new world, the supermen, the first race of the super-men. They feel very good.
But that you feel only in the group; when you are alone you become suspicious. And when you are in the group you need not feel responsibility. The group takes it from you, you are relaxed, the group takes care.
You have been brought up in dependence. First you were dependent on your parents.
Then you become dependent on your own family -- the wife, the husband -- then you become dependent on your children. You have always lived a life of dependence -- on the society, the state, the church, the family, the community. You have lived a life of dependence.
So when you go to a Master you again want somebody to depend on. But a real Master will not help you to depend on him, a real Master will try to make you independent. His whole effort will be that you should be on your own feet, you should become your own being. That's what Zen people do.
I was reading just the other day....
A young man came to Hui Neng again and again. Hun Neng was very rough. Only Zen Masters can be rough. Why? Because if they really want you to be independent they are rough. He us very rough. He would slap the young man, he would close the door in his face, he would shout -- and once he threw him out of the window and he fell about fifteen feet into a ditch. And not only that -- then Hui Neng looked out of the window and laughed.
Certainly the man left him. This was the last straw. Enough is enough. He left him immediately, he didn't come back for one year. And he went to other Masters and he learned many things and he roamed about and then one day, sitting silently in a cave, he became enlightened -- the first satori happened. And then you know what? He rushed back to Hui Neng to thank him. The day that the satori happened he knew that exactly the same situation had been created when he had been thrown into the ditch. He had missed.
But now he knew because now he had again come to that point, he had come to that situation inside. Just a moment before the satori happened he was surprised to see that this was the same situation inside as Hui Neng had managed to create when he had thrown him out of the window and when he had looked down a ad he had laughed. And he had missed! That man had tremendous compassion.
He came rushing towards him. He touched his feet and he said, 'Master, thank you. Thank you that you were so rough with me. Thank you that you never taught me except to beat me. Thank you for all that you have done for me.'
A real Master wants a disciple to become a Master in his own right. But ordinarily you don't want that independence yourself, you want somebody to cling to. You are a clinger.
You want somebody to be very authoritative, somebody to sit on a high throne and say to you, 'You don't worry, I will take care of you. You forget all about everything. I am here so I will take care. You simply come and follow me.' But if somebody is like that remember that this is a sure sign -- this authoritativeness, this taking other people's responsibility -- this is a sure sign that the man himself wants people to depend on him.
He is dependent on his dependents. He enjoys it. He loves the idea that so many people are dependent on him. He himself is a dependent, remember; he is not different from you.
It is the same trip from the other end. If you all leave him he will suffer as much as you will suffer. Sometimes he may suffer more because his investment is more. If you leave a man like Ichazo, if all his followers disappear, he may go mad or he may commit suicide.
He will be very shaky, he will tremble, he will not know what has happened, he will lose all his self-confidence. He gains all his self-confidence when he looks into your eyes and sees that you are looking towards him and you feel that he is right, he is true, he is the Master. When he sees that look in your eyes, when he sees that reflection in your eyes, he feels confident. Yes. It is so. This is a mutual deception.
My approach is absolutely non-political, hence it is absolutely individual. And that is the religious approach as such. Religion will remain individual, it will never become a collective phenomenon, it cannot. Politics will always become collective, it will never become individual.
Politics is collective, religion is individual, spirituality is universal. Remember it.
The fifth question:
WHY CAN'T THERE BE ONLY ONE RELIGION IN THE WORLD?
Because people are mad. Because people are fast asleep.
There can be one religion one day, maybe, we can hope for it -- but that one religion will not be like Christianity where all have become Christians, no; that one religion will not be like Hinduism, where all have become converted Hindus; that one religion will not be like Judaism, no.
When I say one religion I mean there will be no religion like Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Jainism, Buddhism. There will be a kind of diffused religiousness.
That can be and that should be. But remember it, mind it -- by one religion I don't mean one religion, one organization, I mean a diffused religiousness... a religiousness without any label to it, without any particular church and particular dogma and particular Bible to it, just a kind of religiousness, a kind of meditativeness, a kind of prayerfulness. Only that is possible.
In the past, people have tried to create one religion. Christians have tried hard enough and killed millions of people. Mohammedans have tried very hard to create one religion. But that one religion was a kind of politics. It was that everybody should come under one fold. When I say one religion I mean there should be no fold at all. Everybody should be free to have his own religion, to do his own thing. People are different. So I will have my own prayer in my own way. How can there be only one prayer? People are so different, their needs are so different -- people are so unique.
Somebody will be worshipping a tree and somebody will laugh at it. Somebody will think it is foolish, nonsense -- worshipping a trees. Somebody will be a pagan -- worshipping through a tree and entering God through it, through that green, through those flowers, through that foliage. To a man who is very aesthetic a tree can be a great symbol of God; to a non-aesthetic man, to a mathematical man, it will be a sort of joke. What are you doing? To a mathematical mind it may not look very religious. There are mathematical minds and for them mathematics is prayer.
Albert Einstein is reported to have said, 'Mathematics is prayer to me and I have come to God through mathematics.' Yes, there is a possibility and he did by and by become more religious. As death approached he became more and more religious; in fact, just before dying he was almost a mystic. And he had never gone to any church, he had never believed in the Bible or the Koran or the Upanishads. His Koran, his Bible, his Upanishads, were the universe, space, time and the stars and something that is beyond the stars.
Entering into that mystery, going continuously into that mystery, he became a mystic. He started feeling the invisible, the intangible; the affable was no longer meaningful, the ineffable became more and more significant. The visible disappeared and the invisible started appearing. He became a mystic.
Somebody's mind can turn science into a religion but to somebody else science will be just hard work, mathematics will be trouble -- for him poetry may be his religion. People are different.
So when I say one religion I don't mean that there will be one prayer and everybody will be doing that prayer in the same way and will be repeating the same words, no. When I say there is a possibility of one religion I mean religiousness -- somebody will be praying before a statue and somebody will be praying without a statue and somebody will be praying before a tree and somebody will be bowing down before a river and somebody will be praying through service and somebody will go to the mountains and disappear forever into the wilderness of it, but they will all be praying. And the quality of the prayer is the same; it does not matter whether you pray before a statue or you pray before a tree or you pray in an empty room. It does not matter because prayer has nothing to do with the object. The object is just an excuse.
Somebody will pray in Chinese, somebody with pray in German and somebody will pray in English -- language does not matter. And somebody may like Jesus' words to use for his prayer and somebody may like Mohammed's words. Everybody to his own liking...
but there can be one religiousness.
Right now there are three hundred religions on the earth and these three hundred religions, all these three hundred religions, are against the religion I am talking about.
These are the real enemies.
Obliged to remain in a certain town over Sunday he started out to attend a service in one of the churches of his own faith. But losing his way, and seeing an open church door just across the street, he entered not knowing to what creed the congregation belonged. As the service progressed his religious emotions waxed warmer until finally he gave vent to them by shouting out, 'Praise God!' Immediately one of the ushers tapped him on the shoulder and said, 'You can't do that in this church, sir.'
He is simply saying, 'Praise God!' But that may not be the way of that church. And the usher says, 'You can't do that in this church, sir.' You see the ridiculousness of it?
Praising God cannot be done in church?
People are different. Somebody will have his prayer through dancing and somebody may just like to sit silently doing nothing. All should be respected. In a one-religion world, with one religiousness permeating the whole of humanity, all will be respected. There is no problem. If you are reading the Koran and you enjoy it, the real thing is to enjoy it, the real thing is to get in tune. Somebody else may get the same high through the Bible, through 'The Sermon on the Mount'. So what is Wrong? And somebody else may get high just by dancing and singing a song of Meera. So what is wrong?
But these three hundred so-called religions are basically political organizations which are against each other.
A very Catholic woman returned from downtown New York, disheveled and distraught.
'What happened to you?' asked a fellow Catholic woman.
'I was in the Garment District at the same time as the Protestants were holding a rally.
The mobs were thick and disorderly.
Suddenly two thugs grabbed me and pulled me into an alley. They tore off my clothes and raped me. It was horrible.'
'Didn't you scream?' asked the other.
'What, and have the Protestants think I was cheering them?'
This is how things are. People are so against coach other's religiousness. But that shows that they have not understood what religiousness is, otherwise how can they be against anybody's religiousness? These are again ego patterns.
People are different. About everything they are different. They are different about their love, they will be different about their prayer. They are different in their behavior, they are different in their communications, they are simply different. And this is good. The world is rich because people are different.
The hood broke into a private party and, with gun drawn, lined the guests along the wall.
'Okay,' he snarled, 'now I'm going to rob all the women and rape all the men.
One of the women giggled. 'You mean you're going to rape the women and rob the men,'
'Listen,' a man in a lavender suit said, 'just let him do things his own way.'
People are different. This much has to be allowed. The world can have one religion, not as an organization, not as a pattern, but only as a diffused climate of religiousness.
The sixth question:
OSHO, I GO ON FORGETTING YOUR WORDS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Who has told you to remember my words? That's how it should be, exactly, precisely.
You have to forget my words; you have to remember the essence, not the words. And the essence need not be remembered, it has only to be understood.
If you are listening to me rightly you need not remember what I have said. In fact, if you try to remember it you will miss the whole point. Then the words will be there and the essence will be missing. Go on forgetting the words otherwise you will be burdened by them, and you will lose track.
You just try to understand. When I say 'try to understand' I mean just be silently, passively, alertly listening. Don't judge and don't argue and don't decide whether I am saying something which is right or wrong. Just listen silently. If you become too worried whether I am saying something which is right or wrong then you are not listening. I am not saying that you should believe what I am saying, no. Just listen. And this is the beauty of pure listening -- if you can listen purely, whatsoever is true will get into your heart and whatsoever is untrue will drop. There is no need to be worried about it. The heart knows.
It is almost natural. It is like if you are being given blood, your blood will refuse it if it is not of its own kind. A certain kind of blood will be needed, the same number of blood will be needed. If you have been operated upon and some skin has been transplanted, just anybody's skin will not do. Your body will reject it. The body knows. Your owl skin will have to be removed from some other part of the body then the body will accept it.
That's how it is. Truth is the food of the heart. When the truth is heard the heart simply accepts it. It is not a question of deciding whether it is true or not -- this is the way of the mind. The mind is continuously worried about whether it is true or not true, and because of this worry the mind earl never listen. The mild is deaf. It pretends to listen but it never listens. You just put your mind aside, let your heart listen to me, let your heart be diffused into me, let your heart be in tune with me. And if there is something true it will get home.
If it is not you need not worry, it will disappear.
You need not be worried about my words. Be worried about me, not about my words. I am not propounding a philosophy here, I am simply giving myself to you.
There is a famous saying of Chuang Tzu -- he must have said it in answer to a questioner exactly like this one.
THE FISHING NET IS TO GET FISH.
TAKE THE FISH AND FORGET THE NET.
THE SNARE IS TO GET THE RABBIT.
SO TAKE THE RABBIT AND FORGET THE SNARE.
The seventh question:
I HAVE BEEN DOING ALL THE FIVE MEDITATIONS EVERY DAY REGULARLY FOR THREE YEARS AND BECAUSE OF THESE MEDITATIONS I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE. I AM FEELING VERY HAPPY BUT MY FAMILY IS WORRIED. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You are overdoing it, sir. You have to choose one meditation. One is enough. Five is too much. Of course you will feel happy because you have nothing else to do. And if the family is worried it is natural, they are right too.
A big Yorkshire farmer found it necessary to go to London for several months and decided to leave one of his best workers in charge. 'I want you to take care of things, Harry, as if I were here myself. Understand' Harry nodded.
Four months later the boss farmer returned to find everything in shape. Said Harry, pointing things out, "The chicks have been laying plenty of eggs, the wheat has grown double strong, the vegetables are better than they've ever been, and as for those monthly spells your wife used to have, I've even got those to stop.'
This is doing too much. This is going too far.
You please come to one meditation. It will be difficult, I know, after three years. You should have asked before. It will be difficult to go back to the world and to work and you will find it a little hard, but it has to be done. I am not teaching you any escapism here -- this is escapism because now you are not doing anything else.
You are dropping all your responsibilities and I am not for that. Those responsibilities have to be fulfilled -- fulfilled with great joy. Your wife, your children, your parents, your old father, your old mother, need you. That is where God has put you -- into a certain responsibility. Fulfill it.
I am against all those escapists who escape from the world and become twenty-four-hour- a-day meditators. I am against them, I am utterly against them. One hour of meditation is enough. Meditation is such a powerful thing that one hour out of twenty four hours is enough. It will illuminate your whole life.
And the test of whether your meditation is succeeding or not is in life. When you meditate and you go to the shop you will know whether you are succeeding in your meditation or not. Are you still as greedy in the shop as you used to be before? Do you still get angry when somebody says something against you? Can people still manage to push your buttons as easily as before? In the market-place is the test of all your meditations.
If you just do meditations and nothing else that is like preparing and preparing and never going to the examination. That is not right. The test has to be there every day -- one hour meditation, twenty-three hours test. And you will grow strong.
And the last question:
WHAT IS ZEN?
Go on, beat it. That is exactly what Prajnaparmita sutra says too. GATE, GATE, PARA GATE, PARA SAMGATE BODHI SVAHA -- go, go with all sentient beings, go from delusion to enlightenment.
Go on, beat it. That's what Zen is.
It is not a philosophy to be understood, it is a transformation to be gone through. It is not something like information, it is not even reformation; it is total change, it is absolute radical change. It is a death and a resurrection. Die into Zen and be born into Zen.
The word 'Zen' means dhyana, it comes from the root DHYANA. In China it became CHAN, and in Japan it became Zen -- but it comes from Buddha's word DHYANA. Zen means dhyana. Zen means meditation.