Chapter 2: The Ultimate Nightmare

Question 2



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Question 2


Who has told you that none of my disciples have yet achieved? I cannot see a single person who has not achieved. They are all buddhas, enlightened people deceiving themselves, playing tricks with themselves, in a hide-and-seek with themselves.

But it is difficult for you to see. Unless you have seen your own enlightenment, you cannot see. Once you have seen your own enlightenment, the whole world is enlightened. The whole world, I say, is enlightened the moment you are enlightened.

Then you know that that is their choice. If they want to deceive themselves it is perfectly okay -- that is their freedom. If they want to play the game a little more, it's perfectly okay. Why shouldn't they? A few lives more... it is for you to decide.

Not only that my disciples are enlightened -- life is enlightened. These trees... maybe fast asleep, snoring, but they are also enlightened. Since the day I became enlightened, I have not seen anything which is not enlightened. I cannot see otherwise.

So forget about others. It is a question only about you. Are you ready to stop the deception, the game that you are playing with yourself? Only that much should be your concern. Don't be worried about others.


The questioner must have a very deep-rooted desire for achievement, a very deep-rooted achieving mind. So he looks around through that achieving mind -- and of course, an achieving mind cannot believe that anybody else has achieved. Even to concede that I have achieved, he must have struggled hard. In fact, he cannot believe that too. Just to be polite he has said that he will grant it to this man -- but no one else.

It is natural when it has not happened to you. How can it happen to anyone else before it has happened to you? That will look unjust. If it has to happen, it must happen to you first. That's the way of the ego. The ego goes on denying.

But please be a little alert, because if you go on denying, saying that it has not happened to others, by and by you will become convinced that it cannot happen, it is impossible, and then you are closing doors for your own enlightenment also. Once you accept that it has happened to somebody, the possibility opens for you also -- that it can happen to you.

Just look again, a second look. Watch people. Come out of your achieving mind and have a look. Can you hear the birds singing? They are enlightened... buddhas chatting. It has to be so. God is not separate from life. God is a synonym for life. Divinity is not something separate which happens or does not happen. It is hidden in everything that is. In a rock, in a tree, in a bird....

But for the first time you have to realize it within yourself, because that is the closest reality to you. Once you see it there, you see it everywhere.

And the second thing:


I am not saying to you to prepare. I am not teaching any preparation. I am simply saying look -- this is the ego, and this is the block that is hindering the path. Drop it right now! Who is saying to you to prepare?

If you prepare, then you will prepare for ever and ever. Have you not lived long enough already? Have you not been here so many millions of times? You have been repeating like a circle, a wheel... moving again and again -- the same wheel. Birth, youth, old age, death, birth again. It goes on moving.

When I am talking about dropping the ego, I am not saying prepare for it. If you are not yet prepared, then when will you be prepared? Enough is enough! Drop it right now!

Either you drop it right now or you don't drop it. Don't befool anybody that you are preparing. Preparation is a trick of deceiving others, and, more basically, yourself 'I am preparing. One day I am going to drop the ego.' But why 'preparing', and why 'one day'? Why not today? If you have seen the fact, then what is the need?

When you come across a snake on the path, do you prepare to jump? You simply jump out of the way. You don't say, 'How can I jump right now? I see the snake, I see the danger, I see death standing in front of me, but how can I just immediately jump? It needs preparation, it needs rehearsal. just I will prepare and then I will jump.'

No, your mind simply stops when you see a snake on the path. The mind has no space to think, no time to waste. You jump first and later on you think. Then you can think as much as you want, but first you jump.

What I am showing you is -- the snake is not so dangerous as your ego. It is your ego which is the real snake.

In the christian parable of Adam and Eve and the snake, the snake is nobody else but the ego. Snake is symbolic because snake is very cunning -- ego is very cunning. And snake is very slippery -- and ego is very slippery. And snake moves without legs -- and the ego also moves without legs. It is a miracle. In fact the snake should not move. It is a miracle -- without legs it goes on moving. The ego is not there and goes on moving.

In the christian parable, the snake convinced Eve that the tree of knowledge is worth tasting. 'The god has prohibited because he does not want you to become knowledgeable; he does not want you to become wise, as he is. He is jealous. If you also become wise like him then who will worship him? He wants you to remain ignorant so you remain dependent.' This is what the ego is doing. The ego convinced Eve. Eve convinced Adam. Why through Eve? That has to be understood.

The feminine mind is more prone to be egoistic. The reason is that the feminine mind lacks ego. The male mind is egoistic already, but the feminine mind lacks ego -- it is a passive mind, not active, not aggressive. The male mind is already aggressive, the male mind is already egoistic. It is already outgoing. The male mind was not lacking it.

Whenever something appeals to you, it appeals only when you lack it.

You see somebody beautiful: if you are ugly, it appeals. You see somebody strong, and if you are weak, it appeals. The appeal is always of the opposite, of that which you are not. A poor man is attracted towards riches. The really rich are those who renounce riches. A poor man cannot renounce riches.

The feminine mind is not egoistic. It is more surrendering, more receptive, hence the appeal.

The trick worked on it. And once the feminine part is convinced, it is very difficult for the male part not to follow. The man has always been a follower of woman. Whatsoever the outward appearance.... He tries to show that he is the master -- that too is because he lacks that. He may be the master in the world, but the moment he comes home he is no more the master. In the home the woman remains the master. Even a napoleon or an alexander is nobody before the wife. Even a napoleon becomes a coward.

The male mind follows the feminine mind. Once the ego convinced the feminine mind, sooner or later Adam followed. The snake is the old symbol for ego.

I'm showing you the real snake on your path.

This snake has convinced you to eat the fruit of knowledge, and all religion is nothing but going back, unlearning. Religion is nothing but vomiting knowledge. What did Adam do? -- he ate the fruit of knowledge. Christ vomited the same fruit. Adam went far away from the divine source, from the garden of eden, from god's garden. Jesus entered it again.

When I am saying that ego is poisonous, I am just stating a fact. I'm not saying prepare to drop it. I am saying if you understand me, it will be dropped right now. Not even a single moment has to be wasted. Once you see the point, in the very seeing, the ego has dropped. If it has not dropped in the seeing then you have not seen the point. Then you are playing a trick. Then you think you have understood but you have not understood.

"The funniest joke I have ever heard on radio consisted of nothing but silence. On one of his radio shows, Jack Benny, notoriously the cheapest man in the world -- at least in the image he has built up for himself -- was stopped by a thief who said, 'Your money or your life!'

There followed a lengthening silence, and in due course the audience, catching on, began to laugh louder and louder and louder. Finally, just in case there were a few people who didn't get the point, the thief said, once the laughter had died down, 'Come on! Your money or your life!'

To which Mr. Benny replied, 'I'm thinking. I'm thinking.' "

Money or life? If life is gone, what are you going to do with the money?

If you have understood me, in that very understanding is the dropping of the ego.

Not that you drop it. How can you drop it? You are to be dropped. How can you drop it? It is dropped. Suddenly you are not there. A totally different quality of energy arises in you, which was blocked by the ego.

Yes, you are there and yet you are not there. A very strange experience... the most strange, the strangest. You are you and yet you are not you.

How can you drop it? If you drop it, the dropper will remain inside. The ego has deceived you. It drops. Once understood, it drops. There is no question of preparation. I am not saying prepare to drop it. If you prepare to drop it, you may become humble, more humble, more humble, but then the ego will hide behind your humbleness. Then you will start thinking, 'I am the most humble man in the world. I am the MOST humble man in the world.' That 'I am' still remains the same.

The ego can become pious, it can become religious. The ego can become saintly -- but that doesn't make any difference. If poison becomes pious it makes no difference. A purified poison may become more poisonous and a purified ego is certainly more poisonous than an ordinary ego.

Look at the religious people: they have a very subtle ego, very polished,.cultured, refined. It is difficult to catch it. It is more slippery than ordinary egos, more subtle in its ways, more cunning in its deceptions... better protected, better secured. Even your talk of god may be just a hiding place for it.

No, you cannot drop it. Understood, it drops on its own. Suddenly you see it is slipping out of your hands. There is no need to drop it; only once you don't cling to it, it drops. In nonclinging it drops. And if you understand that you are holding a poisonous snake, is there any need to prepare?

No, I am not talking about preparation. If you have understood it, let it drop. If you have not understood it, please don't prepare. Then it is better as it is. Don't decorate it. It will make it more ornamental, more flowery, and it will be more difficult then to drop it. It will become more precious.

A man of character has more difficulties in dropping his ego than a man who is characterless. A man who is moral has more difficulties in dropping his ego than an immoral man. The immoral man's ego is already wounded, ill. The moral man's ego is decorated with medals. The moral man's ego is still giving good pay-off. The moral man's ego is more like a flower and less like a thorn. It is more difficult to drop it.

It has happened -- it looks paradoxical, but it has happened so many times -- that sinners have achieved to god more easily than so-called saints. Of course, it is not recorded much, because all the records have been made by saints. Sinners have not bothered to make records and history and this and that.

"A rabbi died -- a very religious, very moral, moralistic man -- and the same day a sinner also died. The rabbi could not believe it -- he was being taken to hell! He started making much fuss. He said, 'What is happening? I, a saint, and being taken to hell! And this sinner I have known my whole life -- he lived just in front of the synagogue -- and he is being taken to heaven! There must have been some mistake.'

He made such a fuss that they both were presented before god. And the rabbi said, 'You know well -- my whole life I have been praying and praying, and repeating your name. And this man has never done any prayer, he has never been to the temple, and he has done all that is wrong -- he has been the most immoral man in the town -- and he is being given heaven and I am being taken to hell! This is injustice! Explain it!'

God said, 'Yes, I know it -- but he never bugged me. You were. constantly bugging me. Even in the night it was difficult to sleep because of your remembrance.' "

Innocence is needed -- and innocence is where the ego has disappeared. Simplicity is needed -- and simplicity is not a cultivated thing.

When all cultivations disappear, complexities disappear, one becomes simple. One may go to the temple, may not go -- it doesn't matter. One may pray, one may not pray -- it is irrelevant.

But innocence, simplicity, a deep surrender... that one is no more a doer, that one no more thinks of himself as I, one has surrendered that I, one is no more like an island, one has become part of the main, the continent, one has said, 'Let the whole live. I disappear in it....'

Then do whatsoever happens to you and it is right. Let the whole live through you and it is moral.

Morality is not something that you have to do and practise. It is something... when you disappear and the whole is allowed to exist through you, when you flow with the river, when you don't go upcurrent. Remember this. If you have understood, watch your ego slipping. Don't cling to it, that's all. Allow it to be dropped and shattered.

"Once I knew a man. He is a professor, a very learned man. He came to see me. He was very sad, so I asked him, 'You look pretty down in the mouth. What is the matter?'

He said, 'My psychiatrist says I am in love with my umbrella, and that that is the source of my troubles.'

'In love with your umbrella!' I was a little surprised.

'Yes,' he said. 'Isn't that ridiculous! I like and respect my umbrella and enjoy its company, but love?..."'

You may not think that you love your ego, but you love it. You can say, 'I like and respect my umbrella and-enjoy its company, but love?' -- but just changing words does not make much difference. You love it. Whatsoever miseries it brings, still you love it. Whatsoever troubles it creates, still you love it. In spite of all the hells that the ego creates, you go on loving it.

And when you come to me and you ask how to drop it, I am simply surprised, I cannot believe. If the ego itself has not convinced you by creating so many hells, so many miseries for you, that it is not worth carrying, then nobody can convince you. The ego has done everything that can be done to harm you, to hurt you. It is like a cancer. You are dying of it -- but you go on clinging to it. There must be some deep-rooted reason in it.

The deep-rooted reason is that you feel afraid of non-being. If ego is gone then you are gone. If ego is gone it looks like death -- ultimate death, utter death. The fear of non-being forces you to cling to the ego. At least... maybe it creates miseries, but you are, at least you are.

You would like to suffer rather than not be. This is the problem. ou would like to be in hell rather than not be. At least one is. If these are the two alternatives for you: one that you disappear, and the other that you live eternally in hell, just think -- and you will choose hell. 'At least I will be there. But this utter disappearance? This complete non-being?...'

That's what Buddha means when he says nirvana. He says consciously choose non-being; only then will you be able to drop the ego. That's what I mean when I go on praising the beauties of ecstasy... the blissfulness, the benediction of enlightenment. I am trying to create a situation in which nonbeing can be chosen.

Not to be is the most beautiful moment. Buddha called it anatta,: non-being. He dropped the old word, atma, the self. He used the contrary word, no-self. He says when you come to your self, you will come to no-self. There you will not find any self.

Many escaped him because they said, 'We have come here to know our self, to be our self. We have come here to become crystallized beings, and you are teaching non-being.' Many escaped him.

And this country, a very religious country -- at least apparently -- completely forgot about Buddha. Buddha was born here, but he could not get roots here. Just one word, anatta, no-self, created the whole trouble. Had he used self, atma, there would have been no trouble, many would have followed him, because behind the word atma, self, the ego goes on hiding itself.

Buddha tried to cut the very roots of the problem. He said become conscious. This thinking that you are is your whole problem and your whole misery. Drop this very effort to be. Accept non-being -- and all benediction is yours.

This problem is going to face you. The ego is not the problem. The real problem is to be or not to be.

And my whole teaching is not to be, because that is the only way of being, that is the only way of authentic being. Paradoxical, but it is so. The more you think you are, the less you are.

Let me try to explain it to you. Have you watched? When you have a headache, only then you have a head. With headache comes head. When headache disappears, head also disappears. If you go on feeling your head, that means you must be carrying some sort of headache, more or less, but the headache must be there; only then the head is felt. When the head is perfectly healthy it is not felt at all. It becomes non-being. When you are ill, you feel the body. When you are healthy, you don't feel the body at all. That is te criterion of a healthy body: that the body is not felt at all. One completely becomes bodiless, then one is healthy.

When health is there, nothing is there -- not even the consciousness of health, because that too belongs to an ill person. You must know many people, hypochondriacs, who go on talking about health, medicine, this and that. Not that they are healthy -- their very talk shows that they are not healthy. A healthy person is not worried about it.

I was reading the life of Martin Luther, the founder of protestant christianity. For his whole life he was continuously worried about his constipation. I don't think that he was praying when he was praying; he was thinking of constipation... continuously thinking about it -- the stomach, the constipation, the motion. And it is said that his first satori happened on the toilet seat. It must have been so, it is bound to be so.

He must not have been a healthy person at all. Not only was he not healthy; I cannot think that he was even spiritual. You can remain ill, but there is no need to think about it continuously. There is no need to make much fuss about it, and contemplate about it. He was too much body-oriented.

And he must have had an achiever's mind, because all people who are too much in the future have constipation in the present. Constipation is a very spiritual disease. People who are too ambitious are always constipated. You cannot find a politician and not constipated. Because the mind is so tense, it cannot relax the intestinal system; everything is held back. If you are really healthy, you forget the body.

If you are really there, you forget the ego.

When one perfectly is, there is no I; the I does not arise out of it. There is AMNESS but there is no I. Amness is infinite; it has no boundaries. The I is very atomic, a shrunken thing, a constipated thing, an ill, diseased thing.

Prepare yourself, not to drop the ego, but prepare yourself right now -- not in the future, don't make plans -- to understand.

And what preparation is needed for understanding? Will you have to do many yogasanas, yoga postures, to understand? Will you have to stand on your head for many years to understand?

To understand, only one thing is needed: right listening, nothing else.

Please listen to what is being told to you. What I am saying to you, just listen to it. If you can listen to it, in the very listening, seeing will happen; you will have a different vision. In that vision is transformation.


Next: Chapter 2: The Ultimate Nightmare, Question 3


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Chapter 2






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