The first question:
AS A CHILD, SUNDAYS HAVE BEEN SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL TO ME.
NOW, SINCE A FEW DAYS, I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING AND GO OUT, SEE THE SUN SHINING THROUGH THE TREES, HEAR THE BIRDS SINGING AND GET THIS FEELING, ‘AH, ANOTHER SUNDAY.’ I PUT ON MY BEST CLOTHES AND HAVE SUNDAY FOR THE WHOLE DAY. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?
Don’t make a problem out of it.
The mind is constantly searching for something to pounce upon — even happiness. It makes a problem out of happiness also. If you are feeling happy, you ask, ‘Why?’ That question is dangerous.
If you are suffering it is good to ask ‘why?’ because the suffering has to be dissolved, transcended; ways and means have to be found to get out of it — so the ‘why?’ is relevant.
But when you are happy, then to ask ‘why?’ is to disturb it. There is no need to ask any questions. When happiness surrounds you accept it totally without any questioning.
If you are ill, diagnosis is needed, analysis is needed, because the disease has to be found.
But if you are healthy you don’t go to the doctor to ask, ‘Why am I healthy? Diagnose my health. What is happening to me?’ You don’t go.
It is a habit of the mind because it has been always living in misery, unhappiness, and always the ‘why?’ has been relevant. So when clouds disappear for the first time and the sun shines in your life, the old question goes on persisting — ‘Why?’ Learn to accept happiness, learn to enjoy it without any questioning, learn to trust happiness, don’t doubt it, because the very doubt will be a poisoning. Happiness rarely happens. Those moments are very few and far between. When they come, welcome them, open your door, receive them with your full heart, don’t withhold anything. Even a question will become a very, very strong wall between you and your happiness.
Every day is a Sunday. It should be so. Every day is a holiday. It should be so. Because all days belong to him. Each moment is holy. Once you understand it, you will stop asking questions like this.
Don’t think that any particular day is needed for you to be happy — only a particular mind. It has nothing to do with time; everything depends on the attitude, how you look at life. There are people for whom even a Sunday is not a Sunday. There is no light, no sun rising — even on a Sunday. They are clouded in their own darkness, shrouded in their own misery. They carry their hell around them. Even if you force them into heaven, they will go on carrying their hell. They will live in their hell. Nobody can force them out of their hell unless they decide to drop it. It is your decision to be happy or to be unhappy.
I have heard about a Sufi mystic who was always happy, always and always. Nobody had ever seen him unhappy. It was as if he did not know that language, as if the only way he knew how to be was happy.
He became very old and one day a man asked him, ‘Will you please tell me your secret?
How you remain so happy? How you remain so unperturbed? How each moment you can be so blissful? It is impossible. It is unbelievable. What is your secret?’
The old man laughed and he said, ‘Long before, I found one simple thing: that each morning, when I opened my eyes, there are two alternatives to choose for that day — either to be happy or to be unhappy. And I always chose to be happy. Simple is my secret: each day gives me only two alternatives to choose — to be happy or to be unhappy.
And I always choose to be happy, that’s all. There is nothing more to it.’
But you will not believe in this. You will say this old man is deceiving. He must have some other secret.
But I also tell you this is the secret. All great truths are simple truths, very simple. Try tomorrow morning. Before you open your eyes have a clear-cut vision of two alternatives: being in hell or in heaven. Visualise misery on one hand, visualise blissfulness on another hand. See deeply into both. Don’t be in a hurry. Look into both as deeply as possible and wait — then decide. If you want to be unhappy then decide, let it be your decision — and then be truly unhappy the whole day. Be committed to your decision and don’t try to escape from it. Whatsoever happens, you remain miserable. And if you decide to be happy, then stick to it and soon you will realise that your life is your decision.
You are suffering because you go on deciding in that way; you are suffering because you go on clinging to your suffering. You have made a habit out of it. It is just mechanical.
Good, you should feel grateful that it is happening to you — that every day is becoming a holiday. Holidays are disappearing from the world. In the legal sense people have more holidays. Workdays are being reduced all over the world, from six to five, from five to four, and soon even that will not be so — in the very highly developed technological societies, one day of the week will do and for six days people can have holidays. But ‘holiday’ is disappearing — that quality of sacredness, that quality of holiness is disappearing.
I have heard about a very reformed temple. Of course it is in Southern California because everything in California is a little far-out, even religion.
There is a reformed temple in Beverley Hills that is so reformed that on the holiest of the days, Yom Kippur, there is a sign on the door saying: Closed for the Jewish Holidays.
That quality, that consciousness is disappearing from the world.
People have more leisure — that is another thing. But what do they do with their leisure?
They create more misery for themselves or for others. Finding nothing to do, they do harm to themselves or to others. More accidents happen on the holidays — more car accidents, more murders, more suicides. And after the holiday people are so tired that they need a whole week’s rest to recuperate, to recover. They do a thousand and one things on holidays just to keep busy, because not to be busy is to be with oneself and that has become almost impossible.
To be with oneself and to be happy with oneself — that dimension is completely lost.
That’s what a holiday is, or should be. One is so full of God, so full of being, that there is no need to do anything, there is no need to be occupied. Occupation is just an escape. It is a good way to avoid encountering yourself, encountering life. Holidays are disappearing.
It is good that every day a feeling arises in you that this is a holiday. It is. If it was not so before, then you were missing something. Now it has started happening, don’t make it a question.
I used to know a man who was an atheist. Once I heard that he had become a theist. I could not believe it. So when I came across him I asked him, ‘How come you decided to become a theist?’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘I used to be an atheist but I gave it up.’
‘Why?’ I enquired.
He said, ‘No holidays.’
If you are an atheist then there are no holidays, then there is no God, then there are no Sundays. The Christian parable says that God created the world in six days and on the seventh day, Sunday, he rested. That rest was very beautiful, it was out of great creation.
He was feeling fulfilled. He had created the whole world and, on the sixth day, he looked and he said, ‘Good, very good.’ And he rested. He was happy, like a small child who has made something and looks from every side and says, ‘Good. I have done it.’ He rested on the seventh day. That rest-day was a fulfillment-day.
The parable has much significance. It says that you can have a rest-day only after creation. If you don’t create anything, your life will be restless; you will not be able to have a holiday. Create something — only then you can rest. Rest is a by-product. You cannot directly rest — first you have to be so creative, you have to feel so good about yourself, so happy with yourself, so worthy, that you can allow rest for yourself, that you can allow a day just for fun.
Ordinarily people can’t allow a day of rest for themselves because they feel so condemnatory about themselves, they feel so unworthy because they have not done anything worthwhile, that they have not experienced any fulfillment, nothing has happened, they have not blossomed. Hence continuous occupation, continuous activity is needed.
Many people go on working and working and working and one day they die…because their work is not creative. When is the work creative? The work is creative when you love it, the work is creative when you feel in tune with it, the work is creative when you enjoy it, the work is creative when you choose it, when it fits with your being and there is a great harmony between you and your work.
Once that happens, whatsoever you do is creative. And when after each creative moment you can relax, that relaxation is earned. Yes, God earned relaxation for the seventh day.
For six days he worked hard, he created the whole world; on the seventh day he had earned relaxation, he was worthy of it. That’s the meaning of the parable.
If you are creative only then can you have holidays, not otherwise. If you want to have holidays become more and more creative. I am not saying be creative in the eyes of others — that is irrelevant — just be creative in your own eyes, whatsoever you do. If you love it then do it, otherwise don’t do it — choose some other way. Life is vast. Says Jesus, ‘There are many mansions in my God’s house.’ There are many dimensions in life. There is enough opportunity to choose.
If you are not feeling fulfilled in something that you are doing, then don’t do it, because this will be a sheer wastage and you will not have earned holidays. A man who has lived according to his being, who has done his own thing, earns death. Then he dies, but the death is a Sunday; then he dies, but he dies fulfilled. He has no complaints. He lived the way he wanted to live.
If I am going to die and God asks me, ‘If I send you back, how would you like to live?’ I will say, ‘The same. I loved it. I enjoyed it. I would like to live the same way.’ Just think about you. If you die and God asks you, ‘If you are sent back to the world what changes would you like to make in your life?’ Will you be able to say that you would like to live the same way, absolutely the same way? If not, then you are doing something wrong with your life. Then you are dragging your life, then you are not living it. Then you are simply killing time — as they say. Then you are simply wasting your energies, they are simply dissipated. They will not become an integral force and there is not going to be any blossoming — your tree is going to remain without any fruits and flowers. Then how can you be happy and how can you enjoy?
Time as holy opportunity, that is the meaning of holiday — a holy day, a day which is not profane, a day which is not ordinary. And once you know how to be creative, each moment becomes holy.
Whenever you create something you participate with the creator — you have become a small creator in your own right. If you write a small poem or you sing a song, maybe nobody likes it, nobody applauds it, but that is irrelevant. You enjoyed it. Singing, you were happy, you participated in that moment with God, you helped him to create a song, you became instrumental. In fact, whatsoever is created is created by him — you allowed him to create a small song through you. Then you feel tremendously good, good about yourself.
And that is one of the basic qualities of a religious man: he always feels good about himself. He is not in any way guilty, guilt does not exist in him — because he lived life as he wanted to live it; he loved his life the way it happened; it was the only life he wanted to live. Then there is no guilt. Remember, a guilty person is not a religious person. A guilty person is ill, a guilty person is neurotic, a guilty person needs psychiatric help.
A religious person feels tremendously good about himself; whatsoever he is doing, he is doing something intrinsically valuable. This should be insisted upon as much as possible:
worth in life arises only when you do something intrinsically valuable.
There are two types of values in life. One is intrinsic value. You sing a song — it has an intrinsic value, it is the means and it is the end also. Or you sing a song in the marketplace to earn a little money. That money is not intrinsic to the song, that money is an outside value. And if you are singing your song only for the money, the activity is no longer holy, it is profane. If you are singing your song for the happiness that it brings to you…. Maybe as a by-product it brings money also, but that is irrelevant. If it brings, it is good, if it does not bring, that too is good — but your activity has an inner glow to it, it is intrinsically valuable in itself. If you are happy that you could sing, you are happy that you had an opportunity to sing, then every day will become meditative, holy.
If you are doing the meditations here correctly, this is going to happen to everybody.
That’s my whole effort here: to help you enjoy each moment as it comes.
AS A CHILD, SUNDAYS HAVE BEEN SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL TO ME.
NOW, SINCE A FEW DAYS, I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING, SEE THE SUN SHINING THROUGH THE TREES, HEAR THE BIRDS SINGING AND GET THIS FEELING: ‘AH, ANOTHER SUNDAY.’ I PUT ON MY BEST CLOTHES AND HAVE SUNDAY FOR THE WHOLE DAY. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?
Something tremendously beautiful is happening to you. ‘Allow it to happen. Don’t help your mind to create any trouble.
The mind will try because the mind feels happy only when there is some misery. Mind’s happiness is not your happiness and your happiness is never mind’s happiness. Your goals are different; in fact, diametrically opposite. Mind feels happy only when you are miserable — then there is something to do, then mind becomes dominating, then he can dictate: do this, do that. One has to fight with the misery so one has to take the advice of the mind. When you are happy, mind is not needed. You can discard it, there is no need for it.
It is just like when the country is at war the army is needed. Then suddenly you see the army becomes predominant — everywhere you see soldiers, the military, moving from here to there, all the trains full of them. When the war disappears they also by and by disappear, then you don’t see them so much, then they are discarded. Not completely — because our peace is not complete; our so-called peace is nothing but the gap between two wars. They recede back into their cantonment areas, into their camps, but they go on parading there, preparing there for some war that can happen any moment. But they are no longer dominant. And if a country really attains to peace then the military will have to be disbanded, it will not be needed.
Or think…. You are ill, then suddenly the physician, the doctor, becomes important in your mind. When you are healthy you forget completely that doctors exist. When you are ill, then suddenly, passing on the street, you read doctors’ name plates — they become predominant, they become the figure and the rest of life becomes just a background.
When you are not ill and you are healthy they are no longer figures. The gestalt changes.
The same is happening with the mind. If you are miserable, mind is needed to get rid of the misery. If you are happy, mind is not needed; you can simply throw it, you can put it aside.
Mind feels neglected when you are happy so it starts creating problems about happiness.
The mind can say, ‘Look, don’t be foolish. It is not possible. Every day cannot be a Sunday. Look at the calendar: this is Monday or Friday, it cannot be Sunday. This is just illusion. And every moment cannot be a moment of happiness — who has ever heard that a person can live always in happiness? This is not possible. You must be getting some wrong notions, some delusions. Or you have hypnotised yourself. Or something has gone wrong. Beware! This is not humanly possible!’
Mind thinks that only misery is possible; it has a great investment in misery.
Remember it. Working here with me, by and by this moment will come to everybody. It has to come. That’s what we are working for. When it comes, don’t listen to the mind.
People come to me. They say, ‘We are feeling so happy. How come? We have never felt so happy.’ And if I look at their faces it seems that something has gone wrong. Because they are feeling happy, it appears to them that something has gone wrong.
I have heard about a great priest who was teaching his disciples how to give religious sermons.
The priest was instructing his newly-minted ministers on the importance of facial expression harmonising with the speech.
‘When you speak of heaven, let your face light up, let it be irradiated with a heavenly gleam, let your eyes shine with reflected glory. But when you speak of hell — well, then your ordinary faces will do.’
Misery has settled; it has almost become your character. To be miserable has become your ordinary existence. When happiness comes you cannot believe in it, you cannot trust in it.
This is a very ill state of affairs, but it is how it is. You will have to learn how to trust happiness, you will have to learn how to trust joy, you will have to learn how to be nondoubting when happiness comes — to be vulnerable, open. If you cannot learn that, happiness may knock at your door and you may not open it.
Watch your patterns and don’t be so identified with them. People go on repeating the old tapes again and again and again. It is not that happiness has not knocked at your door, it has knocked many times. And it is not that God has not stretched his hand towards you, he has been groping for you for millennia. But you have become very clever and cunning in dodging him.
If the Devil comes and gets hold of you, you immediately surrender because you say, ‘What can I do?’ If God comes to you, you cannot surrender, because in the first place you cannot believe that God exists. This is really something! There are people who say there is no God but still they believe in the Devil. It is difficult to believe in God, it is not so difficult to believe in the Devil. It is easier; in fact, without the Devil how will you be miserable? Without the Devil, on whom will you throw your responsibilities? Whom will you find as an excuse? The Devil is your excuse. You can remain miserable and you can say that the Devil is making you miserable.
And this Devil goes on changing his form. It has taken many forms: sometimes it was fate; sometimes it was the Devil. Now, according to Freudians, it is your unconscious; to Marxists, it is the social structure. But there is somebody who goes on creating misery for you.
Nobody is creating misery for you. You are clinging to it.
But this is very hard to accept because then your whole image becomes neurotic — and you carry a very golden image of yourself.
I have heard a very beautiful anecdote. It is a rare beauty.
Senior citizens Israel and Emma met at a singles’ dance on Miami Beach, and within two weeks they were married. They felt it was a perfect match, for they were both ninety years old.
On the first night of their honeymoon, they got into bed and the old man squeezed Emma’s hand. She squeezed back and they fell asleep.
The second night, Israel squeezed her hand again. Emma squeezed back and they went right to sleep.
On the third night, Israel once more squeezed his bride’s hand. ‘Not tonight,’ said Emma, ‘I’ve got a headache!’
People go on repeating old tapes to the very end.
This is an old tape that is creating the question, ‘What is happening to me?’ It is as if something like a catastrophe, or something like a calamity is happening to you. Nothing is happening to you, you are coming back home. Nothing is happening to you, you are dropping nonsense, you are dropping the rotten mind, you are stopping playing the old tapes.
The second question:
OSHO, I AM HAVING A GREAT STRUGGLE DEEP INSIDE ME BEFORE TAKING THE FINAL STEP, BUT LAST NIGHT, WHEN I SLEPT IN ORANGE CLOTHES, I FELT MYSELF A DIFFERENT PERSON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
It is dangerous to take responsibility for you because one day things are going well, another day they are going bad. I’m not doing anything!
I have heard about a Sufi mystic who had a small school and guests used to visit him from far-away places. One day a prince came to visit him and the Sufi did not have the right pots, utensils, in which to prepare and offer food to this prince. So he went to the king and he told him, ‘A prince has come to our poor school and we will need a few pots, golden and silver, from you. We will return them tomorrow because by tomorrow morning he will be leaving.’
So he took seven pots. The next day he came with nine pots. The king asked, ‘You took only seven, why have you brought nine pots? These two small pots don’t belong to me.’
He said, ‘What can I do? Last night your big pot gave birth to these two twins. These are the twins.’
The king could not believe it, could not think that it could happen, but greed overtook him. He said, ‘What is wrong in it? This man, by some mistake, has brought these pots, so why not accept?’ He accepted. He said, ‘Very good. You are a very honest man.
Otherwise who brings babies? If pots give babies, people keep the babies.’
After a month the Sufi came again. He said, ‘Again the prince has come and we need more pots because he has brought a few friends also.’ So he took almost twenty pots. But then he never came for two, three days.
The king called him, ‘What happened? You have not returned.’
He said, ‘I am sorry. Ten of them died.’
Now the king was very mad. He said, ‘Have you gone mad? How can pots die?’
He said, ‘Just think of that other time. If pots can give birth to babies, why can’t they die?’
So today it was good, but I am not going to accept responsibility because tomorrow it will be bad and then you will come to me and say, ‘Osho, what are you doing to me?’
It is you and only you. Don’t throw your responsibilities anywhere.
That night you were a little good to yourself, you allowed something to happen.
I AM HAVING A GREAT STRUGGLE DEEP INSIDE BEFORE TAKING THE.FINAL STEP, BUT LAST NIGHT, WHEN I SLEPT IN ORANGE CLOTHES, I FELT MYSELF A DIFFERENT PERSON. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I am not doing anything at all — it was just the gesture of wearing orange. The person is not a sannyasin yet; that is his struggle. He is thinking continuously about whether to take sannyas or not to take sannyas.
You allowed something. It was just like a rehearsal: you slept in orange clothes just to see what happens. The very idea that something was going to happen helped it happen. You relaxed in orange clothes, the mind was more at ease — at least you have done something.
A very small gesture but yet you have done something. At least you decided to sleep in orange.
A person who has been continuously in conflict, for him even a slight decision gives such a relaxation that others cannot even imagine it. It will be difficult for others to see because they sleep in orange every night; they cannot believe that something could happen just because of orange.
The person who has asked the question is in deep conflict, struggle, divided. Even this small gesture helped him to relax. Even this much courage…although it was not much, because he must have put the light off so nobody could see! It was not much but still something! He took courage in the darkness of the night to become a sannyasin. He must have felt good, relaxed.
Whenever you come to any decision you feel good. And the greater the conflict, the greater the happiness that will come out of this decision.
But don’t bring me in because it is very dangerous. Don’t play that game at all.
Let me tell you one anecdote.
‘Rabbi Jacobs, I need fifty dollars to get out of debt,’ sobbed Gottlieb. ‘I keep praying to God for help but he doesn’t send it!’
‘Don’t lose faith,’ said the rabbi. ‘Keep praying.’
After Gottlieb left his house, the rabbi felt sorry for him. ‘I don’t make much money,’ he thought, ‘but that poor man needs it. I’ll give him twenty-five dollars out of my own pocket.’
A week later, the rabbi stopped Gottlieb and said, ‘Here, God sent this to you!’
Back in his home, Gottlieb bowed his head. ‘Thank you, Lord!’ he said. ‘But next time you send money, don’t send it through Rabbi Jacobs — that crook kept half of it.’
So please be direct. Don’t bring me in. Otherwise some day or other you are going to be angry with me.
From the very beginning it is better to be clear. This man is going to take sannyas some day — he will have to — so I have to make him completely clear that it is his decision to take sannyas, it is not my persuasion. It is his decision to jump into the fire. I will keep myself completely clear — out of it. Only then does your decision help you to crystallise.
When you take it on your own, absolutely on your own, you become centred.
Sannyas will make you more free, not less. Sannyas is not a sort of slavery, it is freedom — freedom from the formalities of the society, freedom from the oppressive burdens of the others, freedom to be yourself. Sannyas is an effort to become an individual. My help is available here but it is only your decision which will change you. Even if YOU take my help, it is you who takes it. I am like a river flowing — it is your decision to drink out of me or not. It is absolutely yours, and let it be so.
It needs much courage to take all the responsibility on one’s shoulders. But that courage is a device.
Feingold, on his deathbed, was surrounded by his children. ‘Don’t worry, Papa, we’ll have a big funeral,’ declared his eldest son. ‘There’ll be a hundred limousines, ten cars with flowers.’
‘We don’t need all that!’ interrupted Feingold’s second son. ‘Fifty limos and five cars with flowers is more than enough!’
‘Whatta ya makin’ such a big deal?’ said the dying man’s youngest son. ‘We don’t need any flowers. We’ll just have the immediate family! Two cars is enough!’
At that moment, Feingold raised himself up and said, ‘Listen, boys! Just hand me my pants and I’ll walk to the cemetery!’
You have to walk! Don’t wait for one hundred limousines and ten cars full of flowers.
Nothing doing. Get into your pants and walk!
But be on your own. Only that way one grows. There is no other way to grow.
The mind always wants to throw responsibility onto somebody else; the mind always wants to become a slave. The mind is a slave. It is afraid of freedom, it is afraid of responsibility — hence so many churches and so many organisations exist in the world, because so many people are ready to fall in their traps. In fact churches are not responsible, it is the people’s need. Because they need certain types of imprisonments somebody is going to provide them.
The economists say that in life there is a subtle law working of supply and demand, demand and supply. You demand and somebody is bound to come along to supply it.
People demand slaveries for themselves — hence the existence of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and thousands of others who are ready to make a sheep out of you. They say, ‘Come here. Here is the shepherd’ and you become just part of the crowd.
I am not here to make you a sheep. You have been a sheep for too long already. I am here to make a man out of you. It is going to be arduous, but you have to start becoming responsible for your own life. Once you start feeling responsible for your own life you start growing, because then there is no point in wasting time in postponing, in waiting.
Nobody is coming to help you. All waiting is futile, all waiting is sheer wastage.
So if there is a conflict go deep into it. Decide something. Only through decisions do you become more and more conscious, only through decisions do you become more and more crystallised, only through decisions do you become sharp. Otherwise one becomes dull.
People go on from one guru to another, from one master to another, from one temple to another — not because they are great seekers but because they are incapable of decision.
So they go from one to another. This is their way to avoid commitment.
The same happens in other human relationships: a man goes from one woman to another, goes on changing. People think he is a great lover — he is not a lover at all. He is avoiding, he is trying to avoid any deep involvement because with deep involvement, problems have to be faced, much pain has to be gone through. So one simply plays safe; one makes it a point never to go too deeply into somebody. If you go too deep you may not be able to come back easily. And if you go deeply into somebody, somebody else will go deeply into you also — it is always proportionate. If I go very deep in you the only way is to allow you also to go that deep in me. It is a give and take, it is a sharing. Then one may get entangled too much, and it will be difficult to escape and the pain may be much.
So people learn how to play safe: just let surfaces meet — hit-and-run love affairs. Before you are caught, run.
This is what is happening in the modern world. People have become so juvenile, so childish; they are losing all maturity. Maturity comes only when you are ready to face the pain of your being; maturity comes only when you are ready to take the challenge. And there is no greater challenge than love. To live happily with another person is the greatest challenge in the world. It is very easy to live peacefully alone, it is very difficult to live peacefully with somebody else, because two worlds collide, two worlds meet — totally different worlds. How are they attracted to each other? Because they are totally different, almost opposite, polar opposites.
It is very difficult to be peaceful in a relationship, but that is the challenge. If you escape from that, you escape from maturity. If you go into it with all the pain, and still continue going into it, then by and by the pain becomes a blessing, the curse becomes a blessing.
By and by, through the conflict, the friction, crystallisation arises. Through the struggle you become more alert, more aware.
The other becomes like a mirror to you. You can see your ugliness in the other. The other provokes your unconscious, brings it to the surface. You will have to know all hidden parts of your being and the easiest way is to be mirrored, reflected, in a relationship.
Easier, I call it, because there is no other way — but it is hard. It is hard, arduous, because you will have to change through it.
And when you come to a Master an even greater challenge exists before you: you have to decide, and the decision is for the unknown, and the decision has to be total and absolute, irreversible. It is not a child’s game; it is a point of no return.
So much conflict arises. But don’t go on continuously changing, because this is the way to avoid yourself. And you will remain soft, you will remain babyish. Maturity will not happen to you.
I have heard.
After taking off her clothes for an examination, Mrs. Greenberg sat on the table.
‘Lady,’ said the doctor, ‘I have to tell you that you are by far the dirtiest, filthiest, most unclean woman I have ever examined in my life!’
‘How d’ya like that!’ said Mrs. Greenberg. ‘The doctor I went to yesterday said the same thing!’
‘Then why did you come here?’
‘I wanted to get another opinion!’ answered Mrs. Greenberg.
People go on collecting opinions. Be finished. Take courage. You have enough opinions with you already. Decide.
One thing is certain: the past which you have lived has not been an enrichment for you, so there is nothing in deciding for it. The known has nothing to be decided for it, only the unknown. Only the unknown should have a call for you because that you have not yet lived; you have not moved in that territory. Move! Something new may happen there.
Always decide for the unknown, whatsoever the risk, and you will grow continuously.
But go on deciding for the known and you move in a circle with the past again and again.
You go on repeating it; you have become a gramophone record.
And decide. The sooner you can do so, the better. Postponement is simply stupid.
Tomorrow you will also have to decide, so why not today? And do you think that tomorrow you will be wiser than today? Do you think that tomorrow you will be livelier than today? Do you think that tomorrow you will be younger than today, fresher than today?
Tomorrow you will be older, your courage will be less; tomorrow you will be more experienced, your cunningness will be more; tomorrow death will come closer — you will start wavering and being more afraid. Never postpone for the tomorrow. And who knows? Tomorrow may come or may not come. If you have to decide you have to decide right now.
Dr. Vogel, the dentist, finished his examination on a pretty young patient. ‘Miss Baseman,’ he said, ‘I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull out your wisdom teeth!’
‘Oh, my!’ exclaimed the girl. ‘I’d rather have a baby!’
‘Well,’ said Dr. Vogel, ‘could you make up your mind so that I can adjust the chair?’
Make up your mind. Don’t go on postponing infinitely.
The third question:
SOMETIMES IT SEEMS LIKE WHEREVER I GO I AM FACING THE WALL.
The wall is not outside, the wall is inside you. So wherever you go, you carry your wall.
When you are alert, you feel it; when you are not alert, you don’t feel it — but the wall is inside you.
The wall is of your own ego — ego surrounds you like a wall. It persuades you that by surrounding you in this way it will protect you. That’s the seduction of the ago. It goes on telling you again and again, ‘If I am not there you will be unprotected, you will become too vulnerable, and there will be too much risk. So let me guard you, let me surround you.’
Yes, there is a certain protection in the ego, but the wall becomes your imprisonment also. There is a certain protection, otherwise nobody would suffer the miseries that ego brings. There is a certain protection, it protects you against the enemy — but then it protects you against the friends also.
It is just like when you close your door and hide behind it because you are afraid of the enemy. Then a friend comes but the door is closed, he cannot enter. If you are too afraid of the enemy then the friend also cannot enter into you. And if you open the door for the friend, there is every risk that the enemy may also enter.
One has to think about it deeply; it is one of the greatest problems in life. And only a very few courageous people tackle it rightly, others become cowards and hide and then their whole life is lost.
Life is risky; death has no risk. Die, and then there is no problem for you and nobody is going to kill you because how can anybody kill you when you are already dead? Enter a grave and be finished. Then there is no illness, then there is no anxiety, then there is no problem — you are out of all problems.
But if you are alive, then there are millions of problems. The more alive the person, the more problems there are. But there is nothing wrong in it because struggling with problems, fighting with the challenge, is how you grow.
The ego is a subtle wall around you. It does not allow anybody to enter into you. You feel protected, secure, but this security is deathlike. It is the security of the plant inside the seed. The plant is afraid to sprout because — who knows? The world is so hazardous and the plant will be so soft, so fragile. Behind the wall of the seed, hiding inside the cell, everything is protected.
Or think of a small child in the mother’s womb. Everything is there — whatsoever the need of the child it is fulfilled immediately. There is no anxiety, no fight, no future. The child simply lives blissfully. Every need is fulfilled by the mother.
But would you like to remain always in your mother’s womb? It is very protective. If it was given to you to choose, would you choose always to be in the mother’s womb? It is very comfortable, what more comfort is possible? Scientists say that we have not yet been able to make a situation more comfortable than the womb. The womb seems to be the last, the ultimate in comfort. In fact, Freud and his followers say that the desire of moksha is nothing but the desire for the same lost womb of the mother. So comfortable — no anxiety, no problem, no need to work. Sheer existence. And everything is supplied automatically — the need arises and immediately it is supplied. There is not even the trouble of breathing — the mother breathes for the child. There is no bother about food — the mother eats for the child.
But would you like to remain in the mother’s womb? It is comfortable but it is not life.
Life is always in the wild. Life is there outside.
The English word ‘ecstasy’ is very, very significant. It means: to stand out. Ecstasy means to get out — out of all shells and all protections and all egos and all comforts, all death- like walls. To be ecstatic means to get out, to be free, to be moving, to be a process, to be vulnerable so that winds can come and pass through you.
We have an expression, sometimes we say, ‘That experience was outstanding.’ That exactly is the meaning of ecstasy: outstanding.
When a seed breaks and the light hidden behind starts manifesting; when a child is born and leaves the womb behind, all the comforts and all the conveniences behind, moves into the unknown world — it is ecstasy. When a bird breaks the egg and flies into the sky, it is ecstasy.
The ego is the egg and you will have to come out of it. Be ecstatic! Get out of all protections and shells and securities. Then you will attain to the wider world, the vast, the infinite. Only then you live, and you live abundantly.
But fear cripples you. The child, before he gets out of the womb, must also be hesitating about whether to get out or not. To be or not to be? It must take one step forward and another step back. Maybe that’s why the mother goes through so much pain. The child is hesitating, the child is not yet totally ready to be ecstatic. The past pulls it back, the future calls it forth, and the child is divided.
This is the wall of indecision, of clinging with the past, of clinging with the ego. And you carry it everywhere. Sometimes, in rare moments, when you are very alive and alert, you will be able to see it. Otherwise, although it is a very transparent wall, you will not be able to see it. One can live his whole life — and not one life, many — without becoming aware that one is living inside a cell, closed from everywhere, windowless — what Leibnitz used to call ‘monad’. No doors, no windows, just closed inside — but it is transparent, a glass wall.
SOMETIMES IT SEEMS THAT WHEREVER I GO I AM FACING THE WALL.
Not facing it exactly, you are carrying the wall in front of your eyes. When your eyes have a clarity then you see it; when your eyes are dull and you are unconscious you can’t see it.
This ego has to be dropped. One has to gather courage and shatter it on the floor. People go on feeding it in millions of ways, not knowing that they feed their own hell.
Mrs. Cochrane was standing beside the coffin of her dead husband. Their son stood at her elbow. The mourners, one by one, passed in review.
‘He’s feeling no pain now,’ said Mrs. Croy. ‘What did he die of?’
‘Poor fella,’ said Mrs. Cochrane. ‘He died of gonorrhoea!’
Another woman gazed at the corpse. ‘He’s well out of it now,’ she said. ‘He’s got a smile of serenity on his face. What did he die from?’
‘He died of gonorrhoea!’ said the widow.
Suddenly, the son pulled the mother aside. ‘Mom,’ he said, ‘that’s a terrible thing to say about Pop. He didn’t die of gonorrhoea. He died of diarrhoea!’
‘I know that!’ said Mrs. Cochrane. ‘But I’d rather have them thinkin’ he died like a sport — instead of the shit-he was!’
To the very end they go on playing games continuously.
The ego does not allow you to be true, it goes on forcing you to be false. The ego is the lie, but that one has to decide. It needs great courage because with it will shatter all that you have been nursing up to now. It will shatter your whole past. With it YOU will shatter completely. Somebody will be there but you will not be that person. A discontinuous entity will arise within you — fresh, uncorrupted by the past. Then there will be no wall; then wherever you will be, you will see the infinite without any boundaries.
The old man, entering his favourite bar, found that the usual barmaid had been replaced by a stranger. He was nonplussed at first, but gallantly told her that she was ‘the best- looking girl I’ve seen in a long time’.
The new barmaid, a haughty type, tossed her head and replied acidly, ‘I’m sorry I can’t return the compliment.’
‘Oh well, my dear,’ the old man answered placidly, ‘Couldn’t you have done as I did?
Couldn’t you have told a lie?’
All our formalities are nothing but helping each other’s ego. They ARE lies. You say something to somebody and he returns the compliment. Neither you nor he is true. We go on playing the game: etiquette, formalities, the civilised faces and masks.
Then you will have to face the wall. And by and by, the wall will become so thick that you will not be able to see anything. The wall goes on getting more and more thick every day — so don’t wait. If you have come to feel that you are carrying a wall around you, drop it! Jump out of it! It takes only a decision to jump out of it, nothing else. Then from tomorrow don’t feed it. Then whenever you see that you are again nursing it, stop. Within a few days you will see it has died, because it needs your constant support, it needs breastfeeding.
The last question:
WHEN THE OTHER BANK IS THIS VERY BANK, THEN THERE IS NO NEED FOR ENLIGHTENMENT. IF ONE IS ALIVE IN THIS MOMENT, THEN WHY SHOULD ONE DREAM OF ENLIGHTENMENT?
These questions with ‘then’ and ‘if’ are very cunning questions. And you are not deceiving anybody else, you are deceiving yourself. Listen to the question again.
WHEN THE OTHER BANK IS THIS VERY BANK, THEN THERE IS NO NEED FOR ENLIGHTENMENT.
If you have come to know that the other bank is this very bank then you have already become enlightened, there is no need. This is what enlightenment is all about. If you have come to know that this moment is all and the place that you are in is the whole, and that this world is the other world — you have attained, you are liberated. Because if there is no other world there can be no desire. If this moment is all, all desire ceases.
WHEN THE OTHER BANK IS THIS VERY BANK, THEN THERE IS NO NEED FOR ENLIGHTENMENT.
IF ONE IS ALIVE IN THIS MOMENT, THEN WHY SHOULD ONE DREAM OF ENLIGHTENMENT?
There is no need.
But these questions won’t help. It has not happened to you. This bank is not yet the other bank and this moment is not yet the eternity.
You have listened to me and you have become parrot-like. I say that there is no need for any enlightenment, the very search for enlightenment is nightmarish — but that is not going to help. You will have to drop all searching, then you will be able to realise the fact that you are already enlightened.
There is nowhere to go, you are already THERE; you have always been there from the very beginning, there has been no going astray. We have lived in God, we have lived as Gods, there is no other way.
If you have understood this then there is no need for enlightenment, it has already happened. If you have not understood it — you have simply listened to me and you are playing with words — then you will be getting into more and more confusion.
Your desire will not stop by these ‘whens’ and ‘ifs’; it will continue. Your ambition will not disappear. Be more practical — don’t become theoretical, don’t become metaphysical, don’t become philosophical. Be more practical. Listen to your own state. You have desires, you have desires for tomorrow, you have hopes for a future, you are continuously hoping that something is going to happen — something great, something extraordinary, something special. And only to you and to nobody else.
These ‘ifs’ and ‘whens’ will not stop that. If you can drop all hoping, all desiring — what Zen people call TRISHNA — if you can drop all desire to become somebody or something, if you can drop becoming, if you understand the foolishness of hoping and it disappears and you are left without any trace of desire, that’s what enlightenment is.
Then there is no need. But be practical.
I have heard.
Scientists concluded that the ice cap was going to melt and the whole world would be flooded within six months.
When the news broke, religious leaders went into deep conference. The Protestant hierarchy released a statement: ‘Because of the impending disaster, Protestants will go to church and pray for two hours every day.’
The Catholics made an announcement: ‘Because of the coming deluge, Catholics will make every other day, all day, a day of prayer, for the next six months.’
Rabbis from all over the land convened, then they too issued a message to the world:
‘Because the whole world will be flooded, learn how to live under water.’
Be more practical, be more of a Jew.
Otherwise my words can mislead you. I have no intention even to guide you, but my words can misguide you because you can take them on the surface.
You can say, ‘Yes, Osho says there is no need for enlightenment, so forget all meditation and be the fool you have always been.’ This is not going to change you.
Try to understand each word that I say to you-. Each word that I utter is pregnant with tremendous meaning but you will have to decode it.
The rabbi had stood before the synagogue’s board of directors for almost an hour pleading with them to buy a chandelier for the temple.
When he’d finished, Blum, the elderly president, stood up. ‘What’re we wasting time talkin’ for?’ he demanded. ‘First of all, a chandelier — we ain’t got nobody who could even SPELL it!’
‘Second, we ain’t got nobody here who could PLAY it!’
‘And third, what we need in the synagogue is more LIGHT!’
That’s how things go. That’s what the poor rabbi is saying all the time — a chandelier is needed.
What I am saying to you is that you need a deep centering in the herenow so that no desiring of the world distracts you, no desire of liberation distracts you. You are so deeply herenow that you ARE simply herenow; your mind is moving nowhere else, your mind is not wandering anywhere.
In that pure moment, completely centred and grounded, YOU are enlightened — but you will have to attain to that moment. And that cannot be attained by great philosophical talk — you will have to work hard, you will have to be very practical.
Right now, as you are, you are completely drunk, drunk with desire.
He had been to a party and had imbibed a little too freely. Along about four in the morning he was staggering home. Crossing a bridge he met a policeman. The cop was a friend, and they leaned over the bridge rail to converse a bit.
‘What’s that down there in the water?’ the drunk suddenly asked.
‘Look again. That’s the moon,” said the cop.
He looked again, shook his head, and then demanded, ‘Okay, okay. But how the hell did I get way up here?’
‘Because the moon is so far down, how the hell did I get way up here?’
I go on talking to you knowing well that you are drunk with a thousand and one desires. I am telling you to drop these thousand and one desires. And you are ready to drop them…if I can give you a new desire for them, if I can give you a bigger substitute, if I can give you one great desire so that all desires can be sacrificed for it. You are ready to drop your desires but you are ready to drop them only for a greater desire. That I cannot do — the greater desire will be a greater bondage to you. Hence Zen people say that enlightenment is a nightmare. Hence Zen people say don’t try to become a Buddha otherwise you will fall into the seventh hell. Don’t try to reach to the ultimate reality because your very desire to reach it will hinder you. All desiring is a hindrance — the desire for God and liberation also.
You would like me to give you a big desire, a desire with capital letters, so big that you can pour your small, tiny desires into it. But that is not what I am going to do. I want you to drop all your desires and not to substitute them with anything else. Only then can you be desireless.
Desireless, you are enlightened.
Enlightenment is not somewhere waiting for you, it is already here. It surrounds you right now. It is within you and without you. It is in every beat of your heart. But YOU are not here — you are chasing your desires far away, somewhere in the future, on some planets.
You are not to find enlightenment somewhere else, the only thing that you have to do is to come back home. Enlightenment is waiting for you there. You simply don’t go anywhere — that’s all. The whole effort is negative — don’t go anywhere. Enlightenment is not a journey, it is your deepest core of being.
It is like you sleep in Poona and you dream in the night that you are in Philadelphia. And you are in Poona all the same, whether you dream of Philadelphia or not. You are lying down here sleeping in your room and in your dream you are in Philadelphia. In the morning you open your eyes and you say it was all a dream because you find yourself in Poona, not in Philadelphia.
Those who have awakened have found themselves in enlightenment. Philadelphia was a dream. This world is a dream — when you awake, this world disappears and you find yourself in the other world. This bank is a dream. When you awake, suddenly you find you have been always on the other bank and you were dreaming about this bank. Desire is a dream, desire is a dreaming process. It leads you away, but it leads you away only in the mind not in reality. In reality you are gods — in minds, it depends. You can make anything out of your mind.
That’s what Hindus say: that it is mind which makes you a tree, it is mind which makes you a tiger, it is mind which makes you a cuckoo, it is mind which makes you a man.
When there is no mind, you are a god. God is your reality and everything else that you see is just dream.
If you understand, there is no need for any enlightenment. If you don’t understand then be alert: listening to me can be dangerous. You can stop all meditations, you can stop all work and you can say there is no need. But then you will remain in Philadelphia.