Chapter 17

Fri, 1 February 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Above All Don't Wobble
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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[A visitor says that he was at John Bennett's school in England, where they did Gurdjieffian exercises: Actually I left there quite confused - I suppose there's no way out of that. I never had much ability to do any of the exercises or things like that.]

It may not have suited you because Gurdjieff's work is for a particular type, the will type - people who can work hard and very persistently, almost madly... because the whole thing depends on a very deep crystallisation of the ego. Once the ego is crystallised then further steps can be taken.

But the whole Gurdjieffian system depends on you having a centre, a self.

Ordinarily you don't have a centre. In fact Gurdjieff says you don't have a soul - that is only a possibility; you may die without attaining it. What he calls the soul is nothing but a crystallised self, and crystallised so much so that it takes the position of being sovereign, enthroned, in the crowd of your many selves.

Ordinarily you have many egos, not one, and a conflict continuously going on. Sometimes one is in power, sometimes another is in power; a sort of democracy. A political head is not permanent, so much politics goes on within. So much politics and so much chaos goes on within that you never know where you are, who you are, what you are. Sometimes you have the feeling that you are this, but by the time you realise it that self is gone, is no more m power.

When you have a permanent self then Gurdjieff's system really starts functioning. To attain that permanent self, one has to do tremendous work, in fact absurd work. Just out of too much work crystallisation happens; the work functions out of a chemical opportunity.

For example in many sufi schools from where Gurdjieff got the point, you have to remain alert for the whole night - for months. The only process to be done is not to allow yourself to fall asleep; it

is very difficult. After a few days it becomes almost impossible, but if you can go on and on and on suddenly you realise one day that you are tired no more, that you are no longer feeling sleepy. You are as fresh as if you have been sleeping all the time - a deeper layer of energy has been broken.

We have three layers of energy. One is day to day, routine; you need it for eating, digesting, working, moving. It is finished in twenty-four hours and the next day you create it again. And there is a second layer of energy which is deeper; it becomes available only in emergencies.

Suddenly the house is on fire. You were tired and were falling to sleep, but now you feel that much energy is available. You are running and doing things and for hours you are in hard work. Not for a single moment do you remember that you are tired or that you would like to fall asleep. This is an emergency level available only in dangerous times. Gurdjieff used to create many situations for this purpose - just to bring this emergency level into functioning.

And then there is a third layer that comes only when you are touching the point of death; not only emergency but a death situation. He himself did the last of his experiments, which was to go through a very dangerous car accident. It was managed, it was not an accident; he did it with everything planned. Even doctors could not believe how a man could survive after such a crash. It was impossible - but he survived. The whole body was broken, all the bones were broken, but he survived. The whole effort was to come to a point where death touches you; you were almost going to die - and then the third layer becomes available to you. If in that moment you can remain alert, then you have touched the very rock bottom of your being - call it God. So the first layer is only of the ego, the second layer is of the soul, and the third layer is that of God.

But the whole work of Gurdjieff is hard, work of the will, and I don't see that you are the type. To you something more like Zen will be helpful. It moves from the very opposite pole: no effort, nothing to be done but relaxing and surrendering. It is not a question of work on your part. The only thing that you are expected to do is to accept non-doing and relax into it. That is totally different; not only different, but just the opposite polarity of the same thing.

And these are the two types - call them male and female, yin and yang, or whatsoever you like.

But you are the feminine type, and this is the problem and has to be understood: that all feminine types are attracted to a male type. So if you were attracted towards Bennet or Gurdjieff or that type of work, it's natural. The male type is attracted to the feminine paths of surrender. That's where confusion arises - the opposite is always attractive.

So try Zen - something in which you have just to sit, just to walk, just to be, as if nothing is to be done. Gurdjieff says you have not soul, it has to be created. Zen says you have everything - just relax and enjoy it; it is there.

Man is standing just in the middle of these two polarities. Move to any extreme and realisation is possible, because the jump is possible only from the extreme ends. You cannot jump from the middle of the road; you have to move to an extreme, and jump from there. So either move to the extreme of work, will - or move to the other extreme of surrender, no effort, passivity.

The whole of the East, particularly the Far East, has developed no-effort methods; and the Middle East, the Sufis particularly, have developed the path of will. So if you have been doing things just

following the path of will, I will suggest to you that you move to the other extreme. Suddenly the key may fit....

Mm mm, we are doing here some buddhist meditations - Vipassana. It will be very good if you can do one ten day course and see. It is just sitting....

Because if you can relax and be passive - and it will be very easy for you - all confusion will disappear. Confusion arises only when you are doing something which is not in tune with your type.

Once something is in tune with your type, all confusion disappears. Confusion is simply indicative, symptomatic, that you are doing something that doesn't suit you. You may go on doing it and it does not suit you, you go on doing it and it does not suit you, and the mind will say that you are not doing hard enough and that is why there is confusion - and more and more confusion will come. Once something fits... it is just as when the shoe fits - suddenly you forget the shoe. Whenever a method fits, you simply forget about it and everything falls in line. Only the right key and the lock opens.

Try to remember what I am saying. Your type is the feminine type. You are not an aggressive being; you are very non-violent. Not very out-going, not intrusive in any way; you would like to be within yourself. But this work, whatsoever you have been doing, can be helpful; at least it can show you that this is not your type.

You be here and try Vipassana.

[The sannyasin who had come to darshan a little time ago saying he didn't feel he laughed totally, returned tonight, saying he had followed Osho's instructions to swallow and regurgitate two bucketsful of salted water every morning.

He said that although he didn't know what the procedure had done, he felt much better. Osho told him to continue as long as he wanted.... ]

It is very healthy. It will make your whole body settle in a different type of health, and you will feel it more and more by and by. It cleanses the whole system. Your appetite will be better, your sleep will be better. Let it become a routine.

[A visitor says: I'm just a visitor but I wanted to ask you one or two simple questions. The first one is, and maybe the other: What am I?]

... It it is the most difficult question. If you really want the answer, be here. Just being a visitor won't help. It is not a question that can be answered. You will have to grow into it... you will have to seek and search. I can help you to seek, but answers cannot be given. All answers will be childish.

Nobody can tell you who you are. You have to find it out - that is the whole goal of life.

It sounds simple but it is not - don't be deceived by the sound.

[The visitor continues: Yes.... The other thing that I wanted to ask was that I have a feeling when I am reading books about spiritual development by yourself and other people, that I understand it all very well; intellectually it seems to be quite clear.

It is obvious, that comparitively speaking I'm in a mess, I'm suffering, and I should be able to get out of it. I can also see something of the way in which one. should do this, but perhaps the biggest obstacle is wanting this thing itself.]

Mm, right. It is very obvious, and intellectually not a problem at all to understand. But the problem is that intellectual understanding is not the right understanding; it is just peripheral. It is good as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. So if you depend only on intellectual understanding you may become more and more informed, knowledgeable; you will come to understand everything, and still you will remain the same. The transformation is not possible through intellect. The transformation is going to be of the total being. It is going to be orgasmic. Intellect is just a part of your total being, so you will have to understand in the heart also as you understand in the head. Not only that; you will have to understand in your very bones, in the very guts, if you really want to understand.

When you understand intellectually you understand the logic of it, you understand the verbal coherency of it, the consistency of it. It appeals to you as a logical syllogism. But life is not logic. It is infinitely more than that. Not only is it not logical; it is very illogical, because logic thinks in terms of either/or - and life is paradoxical. Life is absurd. It is more like chaos than like a logical system...

more poetic, less mathematical.

This is one of the problems for the modern mind - it is too much hung up in the head. And you have lost contact with the body, with the heart, with your real substantial being.

So you will have to do something, not just reading. Meditation, swimming, running, dancing, singing, weeping and laughing may be helpful - thinking alone won't help. Read a book, there is nothing wrong in it - but don't be confined to it. It can open a door but don't remain at the door. If you stand there, if you cling to the door, you will never enter the palace. And treasures are not there, nobody keeps treasures at the door. They are hidden deep in the innermost shrine of your being.

So meditate more, love more. Find moments when you are in the body and not in the head. Do something where you can be total. For example if you are dancing you have to become total. A moment comes in whirling when only whirling remains, and your head completely disappears. It is good to read. If you are aware you can use that too, but use it as a means and don't make it an end.

If you can come to a camp it will be good. Just be here for a few days and meditate. Just try to understand from a different dimension, not from the intellect. Intellectual understanding is as if you are thirsty and you ask for water, and I explain to you that water means H2O. You understand perfectly, there is no problem, it is obvious. But that is not going to help your thirst, it is not going to quench it. H2O won't help. You can write out the formula and you can remember it, but the formula is not going to quench the thirst. Thirst needs real water, and H2O is just a parallel concept - it is not reality.

Just try to be more body-oriented. Have you done a few groups - growth groups - Encounter or other things? They will be more helpful. They will bring you back to reality. You need somebody to pull you down; you are going higher and higher. You are missing the roots in the earth.

[A recently arrived english sannyasin said she hoped the man she had just met and fallen in love with in England would come to join her here soon. She said this was the first time she had fallen in love, and much was happening that she did not understand.

She expressed some doubt as to whether he would come though. She said he was 'very spiritual' but regarded Christ 'as the centre of our totality'. Osho said that was perfectly alright and... ]

If love and meditation can grow together it is perfectly beautiful. In fact one should become meditative, then only you can love, never before it.

A mind that is not meditative cannot be in love. It may mean something else. It may call it love, but it cannot be - because love is a quality of a meditative mind. It never comes before. Once you are settled in your being, vou are so full of happiness that you would like to share it with someone. Deep inside you are singing so much that you would like to sing to someone.

Before that you are so miserable that there is nothing to share. So when people are not meditative and they are in love, they create more misery for each other, that's all. They become hell to each other.

Write to him and tell him that he can come, and I will help him to come closer to Christ - he need not be worried about that.

Two to three months, mm? and you will completely disappear!

[A sannyasin says: I feel I have too many masks - because when I am when another person is there I change.]

Don't be worried about it; it is natural, and it is so with everybody. It is nothing special to you so don't be disturbed by it. The only thing is that whatsoever you do, do it very consciously.

In a way it is good too. If you are sitting in a sad mood and somebody comes and you remain sad, you will make him sad too. And he has not done anything. He has not deserved it in any way, so why make him sad unnecessarily? You smile and talk, and you just manage, knowing well that this is a mask. When the man goes you become sad again. That was just a social formality. If you do it consciously there is no problem....

You continue seeing it and continue doing it - there is no need to stop it. In life many things are needed, because you are not alone, and if you don't live according to the formal pattern of the society you will create more misery for yourself, nothing else. So no need, no need.

If you have a wound there is no need to go and show it to everybody; it is none of their affair. Why create misery in their minds about your wound? Why be an exhibitionist? Let it be there; take care of it, treat it and try to heal it. When you go to the doctor show it to him, but there is no need to show it to every passer by on the road. Just be conscious.

The consciousness is coming; it is good, don't be worried about it. One has to use many masks; they function as a lubricant, mm? Somebody comes and asks how you are, and you start telling him

your whole misery. He did not ask for it, he was just saying hello. Now for one hour he has to listen to you. This will be too much! Next time he will not even say hello; he will escape. Whenever he sees you he will escape down some street to go somewhere else, because he will see that now you are coming - and that even to say hello is dangerous And you were being true.

You were perfectly right - but the whole of life is not an Encounter group. He has asked how you are. You simply say 'perfectly okay' and you go on your way. When you say perfectly okay, it doesn't mean that you mean it. Nobody is perfectly okay. Only rarely if a buddha comes across another buddha and says 'Hello, how are you?' (much laughter from the group) - only then 'perfectly okay' will be perfectly okay. But it is rare - buddhas never meet.

Just be conscious. Whatsoever you are doing - wearing a mask - be conscious; wear it knowingly.

It should not be an automatic thing.

[The sannyasin adds: I feel many fears with this also. Whenever I change masks there is fear.]

Fear is there too, and that too, is natural. Death is there so fear is bound to be there. You will become fearless only when you have come to know that which is deathless within you, not before it.

Accept that too, and be aware of it. One should be aware of everything layer by layer, mm? Man is just like an onion. Layer upon layer - fear, jealousy, anger, hatred, sadness - then you come to an emptiness. That emptiness upon which there are so many layers is you, your being. The taste of being is just like non-being. It is so vast that it is empty.

This is good that layers are coming on the way. There is no need to throw them, no need to run naked on the streets. You know that you are naked under the clothes; perfectly okay, one has to remember that. But you have to wear clothes because everybody may not be ready to see you naked, so why unnecessarily impose on them?

[The sannyasin adds: Another thing: sometimes when I am in the street, or I am walking or on my bicycle, I remember myself - because I have done the Gurdjieff training. But you say to drop the technique; that it is not for me.]

If you want you can continue, but then don't bring mc problems about it. This is the trouble with you people.... You were doing it and you were bringing problems about it to me, so I had to tell you to stop it. But if you want to, continue; that is your thing then. You follow me? Because you insist on doing something and then you create problems....

[The sannyasin replies: I don t insist; it comes alone.]

Drop it whenever it comes - because you don't know what you are doing..If you are riding on a bicycle and you try the method of self-remembering, then one day or another you will have an accident. Gurdjieff was not aware of Poona streets and the Poona traffic. For that technique you need total isolation, otherwise you will be in danger. So there is no need to create unnecessary dangers; that which can be avoided, should be. If I feel someday that you need it, I will send you to some lonely place and you can do it there - but not on Poona streets.

Gurdjieff took his first group of disciples to a place very far away in Tiflis, in Soviet Russia. For three months they were cycling in a forest. That was his first group. After three months he took Ouspensky back to the city. Ouspensky says he became almost mad. The traffic was impossible and he could see that the whole city was dead - all the people mad, talking nonsense. For three months he had been absolutely silent and self-remembering, and when you come back to the city after three months, either you are mad or the whole city is mad! He started asking that he be taken away from there, otherwise he would go mad because his head was exploding.

Those methods are to be done in a school, in isolation - not on ordinary streets and in traffic.

Otherwise you take the risk, mm? Good.

[A visitor says: Osho, for some years I've been studying, and been sitting zazen, and it's been really beautiful for me.

But the last couple of years I've been feeling that I need to break out in a certain way; that I need to experience or need to work through some things that are more external than just going within, Zen.

And through different ways I've come across your writings and I've met sannyasins in the United States, so I came here to stay for a few months.]

That will be very good. It can happen .... A few people have a personality that is very balanced and they cannot go to any extreme. If they go to one extreme they will have to go to the other also, so that a balancing happens.

As I see, you are a very balanced person, a person who walks in the middle of the way. Zazen is good but it is one extreme, and alone it won't be helpful to you; you will need a few active methods too. So continue zazen, it is not to be stopped, and start dynamic methods too. This camp will bring a balance, and after it I will suggest to you what other groups to do.

If you stop zazen you will move to the other extreme, and that is not going to help you. You are just in the middle and you need to remain just in the middle. Continue zazen so that one hand goes on becoming passive, and another goes on becoming active; both processes together - outgoing, ingoing. Suddenly between the two will be your experience. Just between the two will be the breakthrough.

[The visitor asks: Do you think that I should become a sannyasin to experience everything here fully?

Osho gives him sannyas.]

This will be your name: Swami Madhava Deva. Madhava is one of Krishna's names. It means the sweet one, and deva means god, divine. In short simply use deva, and it will remind you of the divine continuously.

And much is going to happen... you leave it to me.

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