Chapter 16: Surprise Me!
The fourth question
I DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY REAL QUESTIONS. IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME OR IS IT BECAUSE I AM A POLACK?
IT is NICE of you to accept that you are a Polack! This is the beginning of getting out of being a Polack. Polacks hide it. There are many hidden Polacks here, they are everywhere. If you ask a Polack, "Who are you?" he will say, "Why are you asking? Who are you to ask me? I am not a Polack!"
It is good that you accept. The moment a person accepts that "I am ignorant," he has taken the first step towards knowing, towards wisdom. Only the stupid person claims knowledge; the intelligent person never claims knowledge. The intelligent person has no claim about anything. All that he can say is, "I know only one thing, that I know nothing." He is as innocent as a child.
Nothing is wrong with you, Nanda. If there was something wrong with you there would be questions. Questions arise out of something wrong. When one has innocence there are no questions. Innocence wonders, it does not question. It experiences the awe of existence and life, the beauty. It is constantly wondering what it is all about, but it is not a question. It is a heartfelt feeling. One Is surprised every moment. One is always in for a great surprise.
A Hassid Master was dying. He was a very extraordinary human being, of great innocence and joy. He loved to laugh and dance and sing; that's the way of the Hassids. Jews don't think well of them; they think they are untraditional, in fact anti-traditional, but that's how real spiritual beings have always been treated by the so-called religious, by the formally religious. The real religious person is always condemned. This Master was also condemned by them. And his ways were always new; he was unconventional, unorthodox.
So when he was going to die. his disciples asked, "What are we going to do with your body? -- because you have lived such an unconventional life we don't know whether to bury or burn you. What we are supposed to do?"
And the dying Master opened his eyes, laughed his last laughter, and said, "Surprise me!" closed his eyes and died!
This is the way of the innocent: "Surprise me!" Even in death there is innocence, laughter. Even in death there is no complaint. He is waiting to be surprised. Whether you burn him or bury him, decide yourself, but make it a surprise. Don't ask it, don't follow any given instructions, because then it will not be a surprise at all. "If I say bury me or burn me, then I will already know about it."
That's how ready-made answers accumulate: you know about everything and that destroys the beauty of life; that destroys the blessing of life, the bliss of life. Your knowledge goes on covering you, covers on covers, layers upon layers. You become a junkyard! YOU are carrying such unnecessary weights. Otherwise you can fly, you can be weightless.
Nanda, you ask: I DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY REAL QUESTIONS.
That is a great insight! There are NO real questions in existence. All questions are false, unreal, non-essential, because life is not a problem to be solved; it is a mystery to be lived. Only the fools go on questioning and go on thinking that some answers will help them. No answer is going to help you; every answer will create more questions.
You can see the whole history of philosophy: every answer has brought thousands of unnecessary questions. It has not been an answer, it has been a problem -- EVERY answer. Not a single answer has come out of five thousand years of philosophizing. Philosophy is not much philosophy -- it is "foolosophy." It is the domain of the fools! Fools are great philosophers because they go on and on. They find out a question, then an answer, then the answer brings ten questions, then they go on and on; And the foliage becomes thicker and thicker. The foolishness becomes deeper and deeper.
It is good that you cannot find any real questions.
Buddha is reported to have said that a meditator loses all his questions. A moment comes when there are no questions left, and that is the moment when you attain to wisdom -- not to answers but to wisdom. Wisdom is not an answer; it is the unfolding of your consciousness. Not that you come to know something, but you start experiencing life in its totality. It is not an answer, it is an experience, and the experience goes on unfolding. So it is not experience, it is more experiencing. It is a process, not an event.
Nanda, nothing is wrong with you -- something is RIGHT with you. That's why there are no questions arising. Don't be worried, because it happens: when you don't feel any questions and so many people are asking so many questions, you start worrying about it: "What is the matter with me? People are bringing so many questions!" You don t know how many questions I go on throwing out every day -- hundreds of questions!
Mind is a question-creating factory. Just as leaves come out of trees, questions come out of the mind. You must be entering, Nanda, into the world of meditation. Then there are no questions.
A great philosopher -- or "foolosopher" -- went to see Buddha, and he asked a long series of questions. Buddha listened, and he went on and on, questions and questions and questions. Finally Buddha had to say, "Wait!" The man stopped. Buddha said, "Wait for two years, sit by my side, and for two years no question, no answer. Just sit by my side and be silent, and after two years you can ask any question you want and I am ready to answer."
The man said, "This is strange, because I have gone to many religious philosophers, theologians, thinkers, and whenever I asked questions they always answered. This is no way of answering!"
Buddha said, "Yes. you have been to many philosophers and they have answered, but HAVE YOU GOT THE ANSWERS?"
He said, "That is true. Their answers have simply created more questions."
So Buddha said, "What do you want? You want more questions? Then I can answer. But if you are REALLY interested in getting beyond the questions, then do this strange act which you have never done: sitting silently doing nothing. Just wait for two years."
The man thought for a moment and agreed, because the point was so clear. He was old, sixty years old, and he had been to many Masters -- so-called Masters, of course, because if he had been to a real Master then there was no need to go anywhere else. A real Master is a full stop. And that's what Buddha became to him -- a full stop. He agreed.
The moment he said, "Yes, I will wait for two years and remain silent, but don't forget your promise," Mahakashyapa, a disciple of Buddha who was sitting under another tree, started laughing.
The man said -- his name was Maulingaputta -- he said, "Why is this disciple laughing?"
Buddha said, "You can ask him yourself. Ask and be finished, because after that for two years you have to be silent! "
So he asked Mahakashyapa, "Why are you laughing?"
He said, "I am not laughing at you, I am laughing at myself, because this is what has happened to me. This man is tricky! He had told me to sit silently for two years, and twenty years have passed! And I don't have any questions, and he goes on again and again... whenever he passes by me he says, 'Mahakashyapa, ask! Where are your questions?' And I cannot ask because there are no questions left! He tricked me into silence! I am enjoying life, I am enjoying existence, I am enjoying my being, but there are no questions. Mysteries, of course, but no questions, no problems. So I cannot ask anything. and he goes on poking me. Whenever I come across him he says, 'Mahakashyapa, have you forgotten? I am ready to answer now, but you don't ask!'
"So I would suggest to you," he said to Maulingaputta, "that if you really want to ask, ask now. Be finished with it! Otherwise, after two years it will be too late!"
Buddha said, "I will stick to my promise. If you ask me, I will answer."
And two years passed, and really Buddha remembered. Exactly on the same day after two years, from ten thousand sannyasins, he called Maulingaputta, "Where he is?" He was hiding because he knew two years had passed, so he was hiding somewhere in the crowd. He said, "Maulingaputta, come out! Ask your questions. Where are your questions? "
And he said, "Mahakashyapa was right. They have all disappeared, Bhagwan, I don't have any questions to ask. And please, don't ask me again to ask questions, because that will be very embarrassing. You will be asking me and I will not ask anything, because I don't have any questions. They have simply withered away."
That's what happens when you enter into the world of meditation.
Nanda, it is nothing to do with your being a Polack! You have become innocent, you have become like a child. And becoming a child, becoming reborn, becoming innocent is the greatest achievement there is, the highest peak of spirituality. When you are utterly innocent your vision becomes so clear, your insight is so perfect that you can see. There are no barriers, hence no questions arise.
The blind man asks whether the light exists or not, and he can be forgiven because he is blind. The man with eyes never asks whether light exists or not. Have you heard of any man with eyes asking whether light exists or not? And if somebody with eyes asks that, that will only show that he is mad. Eyes are enough -- one knows light exists.
Whenever a man asks whether God exists or not he is simply showing his blindness. He is showing that his inner eyes are not functioning, that his insight is clouded. When somebody asks, "What is love?" what does he show? What does it indicate? It simply indicates his heart is closed; his heart is not open like a lotus. He has forgotten all about his heart; he has bypassed his heart. He lives in the head; he has made his house in the head. And slowly slowly, logic is all that he knows, hence he asks, "What is love?" A man of heart will not ask, "What is love?" He will know.
When you ask you simply show that you need clarity -- not an answer but a clarity. And what am I doing here, in fact? I am not trying to answer your questions; I am trying to destroy your questions! These are not answers. I am hammering! I am destroying your questions, your heads! My whole effort is to free the energy from your head -- it is imprisoned there -- and to allow it to move into the heart, and then into the being which is your real center. The heart is mid-way between the head and the being. Thinking is head; it creates questions and never gives you any answer. It is the world of philosophy -- the world of the fools. Below it is the world of feeling, heart; it is the world of the poets.
Have you observed the fact that philosophers ask, poets answer? Every poetry is an answer, no poetry is a question. No poetry has a question mark on it; it is an answer. The heart answers! Hence it is far better to come into the world of feeling; that is wiser, but still you are a little far away from absolutely clear insight, because when the insight is clear there is not even an answer, what to say about a question? Not even an answer!
The philosopher questions, the poet answers, and the mystic is neither interested in questioning nor interested in answering. If you come to a mystic Master, his whole work is to destroy your questions, your answers, everything that you are carrying along with you, to make you utterly empty. That is the moment when insight starts functioning; you become innocent.
I have heard:
Morarji Desai, when he was the prime minister of India, was traveling in a plane with his cabinet. "If I throw out a hundred-rupee note," he said, "I will make one person very happy."
One of the members of his cabinet added, "But if you throw out two fifty-rupee notes you will make two people happy."
Another said, "Well, you could make ten people happy by throwing out ten ten-rupee notes."
And the wisest of them all said, "Why not throw one rupee notes? You will be making one hundred people happy?"
At this point a little child who was sitting in the seat next to them said, "Why don't you make seven hundred million people happy by throwing yourself out of the window?"
This is clear insight! Only a child can have it. Only a child can say it.
Nanda, you are coming close to the second birth. The first birth is given by the mother and the father; that is a physical phenomenon. The second birth happens through the Master; that is a spiritual phenomenon. YOU are coming close to the second birth. And once you are twice-born, once you are a dwija -- twice-born -- you will not have any questions, you will not have any answers, and you will not be worried about why you are not having real questions. You will be immensely rejoiced that you are free from questions and free from answers. Then you enter into the real, the essential, the very core of things. Then you enter into the depth, the profound depth of that which is.
God is a code word for "that which is." God is not a word, it is a code word, It does not mean anything unless you know the code. G stands for "that," O stands for "which," and D stands for "is": that which is. God is not a person but all that surrounds you, within and without. When your insight is clear, when all the clouds are gone and the sun is uncloudedly in the sky, who bothers about questions and answers? Who is concerned with words and theories, ideologies, philosophies, theologies? They all disappear.
In that silence is the truth. That silence is the shrine of the truth. Enter into it. Take the jump into it. That is the essential thing. If you miss it you miss your whole life and the great opportunity that life has given to you. If you reach this essential core you are blessed, you have arrived home.
That is the message of the DESIDERATA and that is my message too.