Peasant Wisdom



Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Hassidism The Art of Dying















CONSCIOUSNESS has two dimensions: one is that of having and the other is that of being. And there are only two categories of human beings: one who is struggling hard to have more and more, and one who has understood the futility of it and has changed their life into the other direction, the direction of being. These people are trying to know who they are.

In the world of having you only believe that you have something, but really you don't have anything. You come alone empty-handed and you go alone empty-handed. And all that happens in-between is almost like a dream. It appears to be true, while it is there it appears to be real, but once it is gone then you understand that nothing was really happening. The reality has remained untouched by your dreaming. The world of having is nothing but a world of dreaming.

The religious person is one who has become aware of the futility of it all. You cannot have anything except yourself. And all that you have, except yourself, is a deception. It is an illusion. And, in fact, that which you have possesses you more than you possess it. The possessor finally becomes the possessed. You-think you have so many things -- riches, power, money -- but deep down you are being possessed by those same things, you are being encaged, enchained, imprisoned by those same things.

Look at the rich people. They don't possess riches -- they are as poor as any other poor man in the world, they are as beggarly as any other beggar. In fact, whatsoever they possess possesses them. They are burdened by it.

So the first thing to be understood is that these are the two doors: having, being. If you are still lost in the dream of having, you are in the world. You may be sitting in a cave in the Himalayas, that makes no difference -- the world is still there because the world is in the very desire to possess. And nobody has ever possessed anything.

Only one thing can be possessed and that you already have with you -- your own self, your own consciousness. But to have that being one has to work hard. You cannot get to it easily. First you will have to detach yourself from the world of having. That will be almost like a death because that's where you have got identified -- you are your car, your house; you are your bank balance. And when you start awakening out of this dream you start feeling as if you are disappearing because all your old identities start disappearing. One identity disappears, one part of you disappears. There is emptiness left behind.

When all your identities disappear -- and simply you are left, there is only pure space -- as pure as life, as pure as death. Nothing else is there. That is your being. Only that being can be possessed because it is already there. You can possess only that which is already there, you cannot possess anything else. All desiring is desiring for the futile. It leads only into frustration.

Ordinarily, even when people become religious, they go on thinking in terms of having -- possessing heaven or possessing the pleasures of heaven -- but still they go on thinking in terms of having. Their heaven is nothing but their projected desire of having everything. All that they have missed here they would like to have in the after-life. But it is the same desire.

The really religious person is one who has become aware of the futility of desiring, of the impossibility of having anything here in this world or thereafter in the other world. You can only possess yourself. You can only be the master of your own being. If you are not trying for that.... It is hard work, there is no shortcut to it; notwithstanding what Timothy Leary says, there is no shortcut to it. Acid, drugs, are not going to help you there. That is very cheap, it is very cunning. It is a chemical deception. You want to get into the world of your innermost being without any effort. It is a dishonesty. Without earning it you want to possess it.

When a Mahavira possesses it he has worked hard for it; when a Baal-Shem possesses it he has worked hard for it. He has sacrificed his whole being for it. His whole being has become just a prayer, a devotion, a sacrifice to the divine. He is not there, he has simply offered himself totally. Then he possesses. Or a Kabir or a Zarathustra...they have all worked the hard way. The hard way is the only way. There exists no shortcut.

But man has tried to invent shortcuts always, in many ways. The drug trip is the latest invention of the cunningness of the human m ind. Just by taking a tablet or injecting a certain chemical into your body you think you can become a Buddha, you think you can attain to that total possession of your being. You will simply become a slave of-the chemical, not the master of your being. Now there will arise a craving for the chemical -- more and more, again and again. Bigger and bigger quantities will be needed. Soon you will be a wreck, soon you will be a wasteland, soon you will be deserted by all that is beautiful and true and all that is divine. But the lure is there. The human mind thinks it can find some shortcuts.

You may all remember certain dreams. I n dreams, if you are travelling in the train, you skip many stations. You are\\in London and then suddenly you are in Tokyo -- you skip the whole journey. The unconscious continually craves for shortcuts. In dreams it is okay but in real life it is not possible -- you cannot skip any stage and you cannot skip any station on the way. Howsoever fast you go, there is no way to skip anything.Faster or slower, it eventually does not make any difference. But you have to go all the way and you have to go the hard way.

Acid and drugs have always lured man. It is nothing new. It is as old as man himself -- in the Vedas they used to have SOMA. In India they have continued to use drugs down the centuries -- charas and ganga and opium -- they have tried everything. Now the madness is spreading all over the world. Now people are trying to find a shortcut -- a very easy and cheap thing -- that you can possess, that you can just swallow. Samadhi cannot be swallowed. And God is not a chemical phenomenon; you have to earn it, only then can you have it.

Then there are others -- there are other methods also. It is not only drugs that are a shortcut, there are other methods also. They all guarantee you that, with very little effort, in fact with no effort at all, you can reach to the goal -- for example, just chanting a mantra a few minutes every day. Chanting a mantra can only dull your mind; all repetition dulls the mind, makes you silly and stupid. If you simply go on chanting a mantra, it kills your sensitivity, it creates boredom, it brings a sort of slumber to your consciousness -- you become more unconscious than conscious, you start slipping into sleep. Mothers have known always that when a child is restless and cannot go to sleep they must sing a lullaby. A lullaby is a mantra. The mother repeats something again and again and again and the child feels bored. The constant repetition creates a monotonous atmosphere. The child cannot escape anywhere -- the mother is sitting by the side of the bed and repeating a lullaby. The child cannot escape; the child cannot say, 'Shut up!' He has to listen. The only escape available is to go into sleep. So that he tries -- to avoid this lullaby and to avoid this mother.

The mantra works in the same way: you start repeating a certain word and then you create a monotonous state for yourself. All monotony is deadening; all monotony dulls you, destroys your sharpness.

It has been tried in many ways. In the old monasteries all over the world -- Christian. Hindu, Buddhist -- in all the monasteries they have tried the same trick on a bigger scale. The life of a monastery is routine, absolutely fixed. Each morning you have to get up at three o'clock or five o'clock, and then the same circle starts. Then you have to do the same activity the whole day for your whole life. This is spreading a mantra all over your whole life, making a routine.

By and by, doing the same thing again and again, a person becomes more like somnambulist. Whether he is awake or asleep makes no difference, he can simply go on making the empty gestures and empty movements. He loses all distinction between sleeping and waking.

You can go to the old monasteries and watch monks walking in their sleep. They have become robots. Between when they get up in the morning and when they go to sleep, there is no distinction -- the territories are overlapping. And it is exactly the same every day. In fact, the word 'monotonous' and the word 'monastery' come from the same root. They both mean the same.

You can create such a monotonous life that intelligence is not needed. When intelligence is not needed you become dull. And when you become dull, of course you start feeling a certain sort of peace, a certain silence -- but it is not real, it is pseudo. The real silence is very alive, throbbing. The real silence is positive; it has energy in it, it is intelligent, aware, full of life and zest. It has enthusiasm in it.

The false silence, the pseudo silence, is simply dull. You can see it. If a stupid person is sitting there -- an idiot, an imbecile -- you will feel a certain silence around him; it is the same silence as you can feel near a cemetery. He has a space around him which is very dull. He seems to be very indifferent to the world, not in contact at all, disconnected; he is sitting there -- like a lump of mud. There is no vibration around him of any life, of any energy; there is nothing streaming around him. This is not real silence. He is simply stupid.

When you come close to a Buddha, he is silent because of his intelligence, he is silent because of his awareness, he is silent, not because he has forced himself to be silent, he is silent simply because he has understood the pointlessness of being disturbed in any way. He is silent because he has understood that there is no point in being worried and there is no point in being tense. His silence is out of understanding. It is overflowing understanding. When you come near a Buddha you will have a totally different fragrance -- the fragrance of consciousness.

And not only will you feel a freshness, a breeze around him, you will feel that you have also become more alive, aflame. Just by being close to him your own inner being is lit; a lamp starts burning within you. When you are close to him, with just the very affinity, the closeness, you suddenly feel you are no longer so depressed. His presence is pulling you out of the mud in which you had established yourself perfectly. His very presence is uplifting -- you will feel life, love, compassion, beauty, reality.

A person who goes on chanting a mantra and living a monotonous life of routine is dead; he just goes into the gestures and motions because he has to. And he has done the same things so many times that there is no need to be alert about it -- he can do it in his sleep. He has become very efficient, but his efficiency simply means that he has become mechanical. That's why he is silent. You will see this type of silence if you come across people who practise Transcendental Meditation. They have stilled themselves by repeating a certain mantra; they have forced their mind to keep quiet. But this is cheap and you cannot get the real with such cheap measures.

The real becomes available only when you work for it with your totality.

But remember, I am not saying that the real becomes available by your work...there is a paradox i n it. You have to work hard, you have to work in a total, passionate way and yet you have to remember that it does not happen by your work alone. It happens by grace. That is the message of Hasidism.

You work hard -- it never happens without you working hard, that is certain; it happens only when you have worked hard, but that only creates the situation for it to happen. It is not like cause and effect. It is not that you heat water to a hundred degrees and then it has to evaporate -- it is not like that. It is not a natural law; it has nothing to do with the world of gravitation. It is a second law, a totally different law -- the law of grace. You work hard, you come to a hundred degrees, then you wait there -- throbbing, expectant, alive, happy, celebrating, singing, dancing. You wait there at the hundred-degree point. It is a must, you must come to the hundred-degree point -- but now you have to wait, you have to wait patiently, lovingly. When the right moment comes, when your work is complete and your waiting is also complete, then the grace descends. Or, you can say that the grace ascends -- both mean the same because it comes from the deepest core of your being. It looks like it is descending because you have not known your innermost core up to now. It seems as if from somewhere above it is coming to you -- but it really comes from somewhere within you. The within is also the beyond.

Hard work is needed to attain to grace but the real thing finally happens only because of grace. This is a paradox. It is difficult to understand it. Because of this paradox millions of people have lost their-way. There are a few who say -- and they are very logical, their logic is impeccable -- there are a few who say that if it comes only by their effort then why bother about grace and God? If it happens only by their effort, then okay, they will make all the effort, they will make it happen. So they don't talk about grace or God. They will miss, because it never happens only by your own effort.

Then there are people who say that if it happens only by grace and never happens by our own effort, then why bother? We should wait -- and whenever God wills it, it is going to happen.

They both miss. One misses because of egoism -- 'Only my effort is enough. Only I am enough' -- the other misses because of laziness, lethargy. Both miss.

The one who arrives home has to follow the paradoxical path. This is the paradox: 'I have to work hard, not only hard, I have to put myself totally at the stake -- only then will I become capable of receiving grace. But it happens through grace. A moment comes when I have done all that I can do and then I pray that now no more is possible from my side, now something is needed from the other end, now you also do something.' And God starts working on you only when you have done all that you could have done. If something is still lacking and a part of your being is still not involved, then God cannot come to your help. God helps only those who help themselves.

This is the paradox of the Hasid. He works hard and still he trusts that the ultimate flowering is going to be only by His grace, by God's grace.

And it is beautiful. We are very small. Our effort cannot create much. Our fire is very small -- by this fire alone we cannot set the whole existence aflame. We are just drops. We cannot create oceans out of these drops. But if the drop can drop into a deep prayer, the ocean becomes available. When the drop relaxes, it becomes capable of containing oceans in itself. It is small if you look only at its periphery; it is tremendously vast if you look at its centre.

Man is both, man is a paradox. He is the tiniest particle of consciousness, an atom, very atomic, and yet he contains the vast. The whole sky is contained in him.

So first these two languages have to be understood: the language of having and the language of being. And you have to change your gears from the language of having to the language of being.

Let me tell you a few anecdotes.

A Japanese high official confronted his daughter, 'I have been told that you are going out on dates with a foreigner. Furthermore, he is an American soldier, and what's more, he is Jewish.'

The girl shot back, 'What schmuck told you that?'

Now the word 'schmuck' tells everything. There is no need for anybody to say anything anymore.

The person who knows only the language of having has a totally different quality to his being: the way he walks, the way he sits. the way he talks, the words that he uses, the words that he avoids using, the people he mingles with and the people that he avoids, the places that he visits and the places that he does not visit -- everything indicates something. Even single, ordinary words indicate something. Even if he comes to a Master, a man who is always trying to have more and more and more can be seen, by the way he comes, by the desire With which he comes. Even if he surrenders, in his very surrender you can find his language.

A man came to see me. By the way he came, I could see that he was absolutely indifferent towards me. It was so clear, it was so loud. He was not flowing towards me, he had no flow in his being; he was a stagnant pool of energy.

I was surprised. I wondered why he had come to me. And then he started talking about God. The word 'God' was simply irrelevant on his tongue. It made no sense. He was speaking some language which he did not know how to use. I was waiting, because there must have been something else behind these words about Bod. He was saying, 'I want to realise God and I want to realise myself.' But by the way he was saying it and by the way he was expressing it, it was absolutely clear that he had not come for these things. Maybe just to be polite towards me or just to start a dialogue, he was using these props.

And then by and by he said, 'I will come one day and become a sannyasin also.'

So I said, 'If you have come, and you are a seeker, and you want to realise God, then why waste any more time? As it is, you have wasted enough already.' He must have been almost sixty-five. He said, 'That's right. But right now I am contesting the election.' There was a by-election going on. 'So I have come for your blessings.' I said, 'Then why did you waste so much time talking about God, talking about the soul, talking about meditation?'

Indians are very proficient about such things -- just by tradition they have learned these words. These words are in the air, they have caught them. They don't have any roots in their being, they just float in their heads. These words exist in them without any roots, and unrelated to them.

I said, 'Why did you waste so much time talking about God and the soul? You should have said the real thing in the beginning.' He was a little embarrassed. And I told him, 'From the very beginning I was wondering why you have come to me -- because you were coming towards me and yet you were not coming towards me. Your language was clear and loud. You were sitting here and yet you were not sitting here and I could see that your presence was false, only physical. And I could see the politician in you; in fact, you were talking about God as a political strategy. It was your politics.'

There are those people who say, 'Honesty is the best policy.' Even honesty they have made into a policy. Policy means politics. 'It pays to be honest,' they say. So honesty is also a useful instrument to earn more money, to earn more prestige, to be more respectable. But how can honesty be a policy? Just to say such things -- that honesty is the best policy -- is to utter a profanity. It is almost saying that God is the best policy, or that meditation is the best policy, or that love is the best policy.

If your language is of having, you can use God and meditation and things, but they will be just garbs, masks, and something else will be hidden behind them.

     'I'm afraid it's bad news,' said the doctor to the husband of a nagging wife. 'Your wife has only a few hours left to live. I hope you understand there's nothing more to be done. Don't let yourself suffer!'     'It's all right, Doc,' said the husband. 'I've suffered for years -- I can suffer a few more hours!'

People have different languages. Even if they use the same words they don't use them with the same meaning. Listen to the meaning and never listen to the words. If you listen to the words you will never understand people. Listen to the meaning -- the meaning is a totally different thing.

The woman lion tamer had her beasts under perfect control. At her summons, the fiercest lion came meekly to her and took a piece of sugar out of her mouth. The circus crowd marvelled -- all except one man, Mulla Nasrudin.     'Anybody could do that,' he yelled from the audience.     'Would you dare to do it?' the ringmaster yelled back scornfully.     'Certainly,' replied Nasrudin, 'I can do it just as well as the lion can.'

Whenever you are listening, listen to the meaning. Whenever you are listening to a person, listen to his whole personality -- and you will immediately be able to see whether the person lives in the dimension of having or in the dimension of being.

And that will be very helpful for your own inner growth and your own change of gears. Just watch people. It is easier to watch people than to watch yourself, in the beginning, because people are more objective, and there is a little distance between you and them. And you can be more objective about people because you are not involved in them. Just watch. Make it a point.

Buddha used to say to his disciples, 'Watch everybody passing by; coming and going in the streets, watch people. See exactly what is happening -- Don't listen to their words because they are very cunning, they have become very deceptive. When somebody is saying something, listen to his face, to his eyes, to his being, to the gesture, and you will be simply surprised how, up to now, you have lived only with words. A person may be saying, 'I love you' and his eyes may be simply denying it. A person may be smiling with his lips and his eyes may be ridiculing you, rejecting you. A person may be saying 'Hullo' and holding your hand, and his whole being may be condemning you.

Listen to the language of the body, the language of the gesture -- the language behind the language. Listen to that meaning.

And first become alert about it in others. Let everybody who comes to you be an experiment of awareness. Then by and by you will become able to watch yourself. Then turn your whole flood of life upon yourself; then use the same with yourself. When you say to somebody 'I love you' listen to what you really are saying -- not these words. Words are almost always fake.

Language is very tricky and can garb things so beautifully that the container becomes very important and you lose sight of the content. People have become very sophisticated as far as their surface is concerned but their innermost co-re remains almost primitive. Listen to the centre of the circumference. Go into each word.

First others have to be watched, then watch yourself. And then by and by you will see that there are a few moments when you also move into the dimension of being. These moments are the moments of beauty, the moments of happiness. In fact, whenever you see that you are feeling very happy, you have corrie in contact with the dimension of being -- because there is no other happiness possible.

But if you don't observe it accurately, you may misunderstand it. You are sitting with a woman you love, or with a man you love, or with a friend, and suddenly you feel a deep well-being arising in you, a deep joy -- for no reason at all, for no visible cause. You are just aglow. Then you start finding causes outside: you think maybe it is because the woman is sitting by your side and she loves you so much. Or it is because you have met the friend after so many years. Or it is because the full moon is so beautiful. You will start finding causes.

But those who have become alert in listening to their heart, to their real meanings, will not be looking for causes outside. They will look inside. They have come in contact with their being. Maybe the woman you loved functioned as a situation, as a jumping-board, and you jumped into yourself.

It is difficult to jump into yourself when there is some antagonism outside. You have to be outside then. When somebody loves you, you can drop all defense measures, you can drop all your strategies, you can drop your politics, you can drop your diplomacy. When somebody loves you, you can be vulnerable; you can trust that he or she is not going to take advantage of you, that you can be defenceless and you will not be killed and crushed, that you can be defenceless and the presence of your friend will be soothing, it will not be poisoning you. Whenever there is a situation where you can leave yourself defenceless and you can drop your strategies and your armours, suddenly you are in contact with your being -- you have moved from the dimension of having to the dimension of being. Whenever it happens, there is happiness, there is joy, there is rejoicing. Even if it is only for a split second, suddenly the doors of heaven are open. But again and again you lose it because you are not aware. It happens only accidentally.

Remember, a religious person is one who has understood this accidental happening and who has understood the innermost key of it. And now he does not move into his dimension of being only accidentally, he has the key -- and whenever he wants to move, he opens the door, he unlocks the door and goes into it.

This is the only difference. In ordinary happiness and the happiness of a religious person, the only difference is this: that the religious person has become capable of moving any time, any place, into his being. Now he knows the direct route and he does not depend on outside props.

You depend too much on outside props. Sometimes you are in a beautiful house; it feels good. You are travelling in a beautiful car -- the car is humming and everything is going beautifully -- it feels good. In that feeling you start coming closer to your being. But you misunderstand; you think it is because of this car so you have to possess this car. Maybe the car functioned as a situation but the car is not the cause. Maybe a beautiful house functioned as a situation but it is not the cause.

If you think it is the cause then you move into the world of having; then you must have the most beautiful car -- you have to have it. Then you have to have the best house, you have to have the best garden, you have to have the best woman and the best man. And you go on collecting and collecting and collecting and one day suddenly you recognise or realise that your whole life has been a wastage. You have collected much but you have lost all sources of happiness. You got lost in collecting things. The basic logic was that with whatever you felt good and happy, that thing had to be possessed.

Listen to me...that thing need not be possessed. You just watch what is happening inside you and you can start having that happening without any outside help. That's what a sannyasin does. It is not that you have to have all, that you have to possess all, but you have to remain alert that you cannot possess ANYTHING in this world. All that you possess can function only as a situation -- it is not the cause. The cause is inside. And you can open the door without any outside prop, at any time, in any place, and you can go in and you can rejoice.

You are no longer attached. You can use things, they are useful....I am not against things, remember. Neither are the Hasids against things, remember. Use things but don't believe that things can cause you happiness. Use things, they have a utility, but don't believe that they are the goals. They are not the ends, they are only the means. The goal is within you, and the goal is such that one can move directly into it without any outside help. Once you know it, you become a master of your being.

This -- whatsoever I am saying -- has to be experienced by you. Just by my saying it and just by your listening to it and understanding it intellectually, it is not going to help much.

Mulla Nasrudin refused the cow-puncher's command to drink, for three reasons.     'Name them!' roared the terror of the town.     'First,' said the Mulla, 'it is prohibited in my religion. Second, I promised my grandmother on her death-bed that I would handle not, touch not, taste not, the accursed stuff.'     'And the other reason, the third?' insisted the bully, somewhat softened.     'I have just had a drink,' said Nasrudin.

If you only listen to me, if you only understand me intellectually and never experiment in your own inner lab of consciousness, whatsoever I am saying will remain just in your head. It will never become a lived experience.And unless it becomes a lived experience it is worthless knowledge, it is junk. Again you can start collecting knowledge, then again you are into the same trip -- the dimension of having. And you can go on collecting as much knowledge as is available. It is one of the misfortunes of modern man that so much knowledge has become available. It was never so.

The thing that has proved the greatest calamity for modern man is the tremendous amount of knowledge which has become available. It was never available before. A Hindu used to live with Hindu scriptures; the Mohammedan used to live with Mohammedan scriptures; the Christian used to live with the Bible -- and they were all secluded and nobody went into the other's world of knowledge. Things were clearcut; there was no overlapping.

Now everything is overlapping and a tremendous amount of new knowledge has become available. We are living in a 'knowledge explosion'. In this explosion you can start gathering information; you can become a great scholar very cheaply, very easily, but it is not going to transform you at all.

Again, remember, knowledge belongs to the dimension of having; knowing belongs to the dimension of being. They look alike but they are not. Not even are they not alike, they are diametrically opposite to each other. A man who goes on collecting knowledge goes on losing knowing. Knowing needs a mirror-like mind -- pure, uncorrupted. I am not saying that knowledge is useless. If you have your knowing, clear, mirror-like, fresh, you can use your knowledge in a tremendously useful way. It can become beneficial. But the knowing has to be there in the first place.

Knowledge is very easy; knowing is very difficult. For knowing you have to pass through many fires. For knowledge nothing is needed -- as you are you can go on adding more and more knowledge to yourself.

A gay man-about-town, long on charm but short on cash, surprised his friends by his sudden marriage to an extremely ugly woman whose only virtue was her well-padded bankroll. After the marriage, his friends were doubly mystified by his insistence on taking his wife everywhere with him.     'I can understand your marrying that painfully ugly woman for her money,' one of his close friends remarked frankly, 'but why do you have to bring her with you every time you go out?'     'It's simple,' the husband explained. 'It's easier than kissing her good-bye.'

It is easier to have knowledge, very cheap, costs nothing; it is very difficult, arduous, to attain to knowing. That's why very few, very rare people try to meditate, very rare people try to pray, very rare people ever make any effort towards knowing what truth is. And whatsoever you have not known on your own is meaningless. You can never be certain about it. The doubt never disappears; the doubt remains like a worm underneath, sabotaging your knowledge. You can shout loudly that you believe in God but your shouting does not prove anything. Your shouting only proves one thing: that there is doubt. Only doubt shouts loudly. You can become a fanatic believer but your fanaticism simply shows one thing: that there is doubt.

Only a man who has doubt within himself becomes a fanatic. A fanatic Hindu means one who does not really trust that Hinduism is right. A fanatic Christian simply means one who has doubts about Christianity. He becomes fanatic, aggressive -- not to prove anything to others, he becomes fanatic and aggressive to prove to himself that whatsoever he believes he really believes. He has to prove it.

When you really know something, you are not a fanatic at all. A man of knowing, one who has come to know even glimpses of God. glimpses of his being, becomes very, very soft, sensitive, fragile. He is not fanatic. He becomes feminine. He is not aggressive. He becomes deeply compassionate. And, by knowing, he becomes very understanding of others. He can understand even the diametrically opposite standpoint.

I have heard about a Hasid rabbi.

He was saying, 'Life is like a river.

A disciple asked, 'Why?'

The Rabbi said, 'How can I know? Am I a philosopher?'

Another day the rabbi was saying, 'Life is like a river.'

Another disciple asked, 'Why?'

And the rabbi said, 'Right you are. Why should it be?'

This is tremendous understanding. No fanaticism. A man of knowing attains to a sense of humour. Let this always be remembered. If you see someone who has no sense of humour, know well that that man has not known at all. If you come across a serious man, then you can be certain that he is a pretender. Knowing brings sincerity but all seriousness disappears. Knowing brings a playfulness; knowing brings a sense of humour. The sense of humour is a must.

If you find a saint who has no sense of humour, then he is not a saint at all. Impossible. His very seriousness says that he has not achieved. Once you have some inner experiences of your own you become very playful, you become very innocent, childlike.

The man of knowledge is very serious. The man of knowledge always carries a serious, gloomy atmosphere around him. Not only does he carry a serious atmosphere, he makes anybody he comes into contact with, serious. He forces seriousness on them. In fact, deep down, he is worried that he does not know anything. He cannot relax. His seriousness is a tension. He is anguished. He knows that he knows only for its name's sake, he knows that his knowledge is all fake -- so he cannot laugh at it.

Now listen to it.

The rabbi said, 'Life is like a river

And a disciple asked, 'Why?'

And the rabbi said, 'How can I know? Am I a philosopher?'

And another day the rabbi said again, 'Life is like a river.'

Another disciple asked, 'Why?'

And the rabbi said, 'Right you are. Why should it be?'

You see the non-seriousness? You see the tremendous sense of humour?

Hasidism has created a few of the greatest saints of the world. And my respect towards them is immense because they are not serious people. They can joke and they can laugh -- and they can laugh not only at others, they can laugh at themselves. That's the beauty. If you go on collecting knowledge, you can have a great amount of knowledge but it is not going to be of any help when the need arises. You can go on throwing it around and showing and exhibiting it, but whenever the need arises and the house is on fire you will suddenly see you have forgotten all that you knew -- because you never knew in the first place. It was just in your memory.

Wherever there is an emergency situation...for example, when a person is dying. He will forget all his knowledge. In that moment he will not remember that the soul is immortal. That was advice for others. In that moment he will not remember that he is going back to God -- and that one should go happily and dancing. In that moment he will start clinging, to life; all his knowledge will be gone.

I used to know a very learned man, a very intellectual man, famous all over the country. He was not only learned, he was a follower of J. Krishnamurti. He used to come to see me sometimes and he would say that there is no need for any meditation -- Krishnamurti says so.

I used to listen to him and laugh. He would ask me, 'Why do you laugh whenever I say these things?' I told him again and again, 'I listen to YOU, I don't listen to what you say. Your being gives me a totally different message. If there is really no need for meditation, there is no need for scriptures, there is no need for any methods, there is no need even for prayer -- and you have understood it, then this would have transformed you totally.' He would answer seriously, 'That's right. I have understood intellectually but some day I will understand it nonintellectually also. I have taken the first step, the second will be coming.'

Then one day his son came running to me to tell me, 'Father is very ill, it seems like a heart attack and he remembers you.' So I rushed to him. He was lying on the bed repeating Ram, Ram, Ram. I shook his head and I said, 'What are you doing? Your whole life you said there is no meditation -- what are you doing repeating Ram, Ram, Ram...?' He said, 'Now don't disturb me at this moment. Death is at the door. I am dying. Who knows? Maybe God is. And who knows, maybe the people who have always said remember his name and he will forgive you, are right. This is no time to create a debate or an argument; let me repeat it.'

For forty years he had not said a single mantra, but now, suddenly, forty years of knowledge is discarded. It is of no use -- in this dangerous situation when death is there, he forgets Krishnamurti completely. He becomes again an ordinary Hindu. It was okay for an ordinary Hindu villager to repeat Ram, Ram -- he can be forgiven -- but this man? He had written books, he had lectured all over the country, he had helped many people to drop their mantras and to drop their meditations and their scriptures. And now suddenly he is repeating a mantra.

But he survived the heart attack and he came to see me after two or three months -- and again he was back to his knowledge. I said, 'Now stop your foolishness. Death will come again and you will repeat Ram, Ram, Ram. So what is the point of it all?'

A very rich old man had remained a bachelor. Now he was nearing seventy-five. Then suddenly a friend, a married friend, convinced him that he should get married. 'You should not miss this pleasure,' he said.

So he decided to get married. Because he had so much money he immediately found a beautiful girl. Off they went on their honeymoon.

He took the married friend and his wife with him as guides in this new exploration. The next morning they met in the motel at breakfast. The friend had given him every bit of information about sex and how to make love and what to do and what not to do. 'What a fantastic time I had last night,' said the married man. 'We went to bed last night. My wife was eager, I was eager and we had a marvellous night of love. What about you, old man?'     'Oh, my God!' said the old rich man. 'I forgot clean about it!'

After a whole life of bachelorhood, even if somebody guides you, tells you things and you memorise them, they don't have any deep contact with your being -- they simply float above your head. They don't touch you.

The old man said, 'Oh my God! I forgot clean about it!' Seventy-five years of sleeping alone creates a mechanical habit of its own.

If you go on accumulating knowledge, it creates a habit; it never gives you any knowledge but it gives you a habit, a habit for accumulating more, a very dangerous habit. Even if you come across a Buddha or a Jesus, you will miss, because there also you will be accumulating. You will be taking notes inside the mind -- 'Yes, this is right, worthy of being remembered.' Your accumulation will become bigger and bigger but you will be just a dead museum, or, a museum of dead things.

And the more you are concerned with this 'having knowledge', the less will be the possibility for the real knowledge to be there; the knowledge that comes by knowing being, by BEING, will be missed.

Remember, the mind is nothing but that which you have collected up to now. The mind is all that you have inside your being. Beyond the mind is your real being, beyond having is your real being. Outside you have collected things; inside you have collected thoughts -- both are in the dimension of having.

When you are no longer attached to things and when you are no longer attached to thoughts, suddenly -- the open sky, the open sky of being. And that's the only thing worth having and the only thing that you can really have.

Now the story.













A tremendously significant saying. Maybe the peasant hasn't meant it in such a significant way but the rabbi took it in that way. It was a precious stone. Out of that ordinary peasant.... He may not have meant it the way the rabbi understood it -- you understand only in the way that YOU can understand.





The old man must have meant it in the ordinary way. He was saying that in this life you can have only that which you have worked for. There is no other way. One has to work hard to have something.

That is the experience of an ordinary farmer. The farmer was not a king; a king can have much that he has not earned by his own labour.

A very great, rich man was once asked by a poor man, 'What is the best way to get rich in the world?'

The rich man said, 'The best way is to find the right parents.'

You can have much without ever having earned it if you were clever enough to find the right womb. Very few people are that clever. They simply rush into any womb available!

You can rob, you can cheat, you can exploit...there are a thousand ways. But the farmer. the peasant, really lived by his own earning. He was not a king, he was not a politician, he was not a rich man -- whatsoever he earned, that's all he had.

The farmer must have said it in the very ordinary sense, but look at the beauty of it. Whatsoever you hear, you hear from your dimension. The rabbi heard it in a totally different way. It became a very illuminated saying in his being. It was a simple, ordinary statement, but the rabbi was in a deep meditation, the rabbi was in his other dimension -- the dimension of being.

When you are in the dimension of being, small things, ordinary pebbles, become precious stones. Ordinary things take on so much colour, become so colourful. Ordinary events become so depends on you, on your vision.





This is true. In the innermost world it is absolutely true -- although it may not be so true in the outside world. In the outside world there are a thousand and one ways to be dishonest, to cheat, to rob, to steal, to exploit. In fact, in the outside world the workers don't have much, only the cheaters. The cunning people have much. Those who work don't have much. Those who don't work, they have much.

But in the inside world the statement is absolutely true. You cannot have anything there in your being that you have not earned. And it is earned the hard way; there are no shortcuts. So don't try to cheat God.

A man who is deluded by having things, loses all opportunities of attaining to the state of being.

I have heard.

A husband took a shot at his mother-in-law, so she brought charges against him.     'You were drinking,' said the judge, 'so I must tell you something. It was liquor that inflamed you. It was liquor that made you hate your mother-in-law. It was liquor that got you to buy the revolver to shoot her. It was liquor that made you go to your mother-in-law's house, point the revolver, pull the trigger and fire. And note, it was liquor that made you miss her!'

It is the same story, the same liquor. Throughout your whole life it is your ambition to have that functions like the liquor. So watch it. Beware of it. That is the only illusion in the world.

One day when you go, then you will realise -- but then it will be too late.

I have heard about a man.

He went to Florida with his wife, and became fascinated by the spectacle of eight horses chasing each other around a track. He and his wife bet heavily, and after a few days they had only two dollars left between them. But he was a hopeful type and he convinced his wife that everything would be all right if she let him go out to the track alone.

A friend drove him out. There was a forty-to-one shot in the first race, and he decided to bet on it. The horse came in.

In every race the man backed the long shot, and in every race he won. By the end of the last race he had over ten thousand dollars, and he decided to press his lucky streak. On the way back to the hotel he stopped off at a little gambling club and ran his stake up to forty thousand on the roulette wheel. One more play, he decided, and he would leave. He put the entire forty thousand on black.

The wheel spun. The croupier announced, 'Number fourteen, red.'

The man walked back to the hotel. His wife called him from the verandah.     'How did you make out?' she asked eagerly.

The husband shrugged: 'I lost the two dollars.'

In the end, when death comes, the whole game of thousands and thousands of dollars, achieving this, attaining that, becoming this, becoming that, the power, the prestige, the money, the respectability -- nothing counts. Finally you have to say only, 'I have lost my being.'

In running, rushing into the dimension of having, only one thing happens -- you lose your being. Life is a great opportunity, a great opportunity. In fact, there are millions of opportunities in it to attain to yourself, to know who you are. But that comes the hard way. You have to work for it.

Don't try to borrow. Nothing can be borrowed in that inner world. And don't try to become just knowledgeable. Attain to a clarity, attain to a vision where no thought exists in your mind. This is the hardest thing in the world. To drop thoughts is the hardest thing in the world, the greatest challenge. All other challenges are very small. This is the greatest adventure that you can take and those who are courageous, they accept the challenge and go into it.

The greatest challenge is how to drop the mind, because only when the mind ceases, the God can be. Only when the known disappears, the unknown can be. Only when there is no mind, no you, nothing of you left, suddenly there is that which you have been seeking forever and forever. God is when you are not. This is the hardest thing to do.

The last anecdote.

Rabbi Grossman and Father O'Malley were seated beside each other at a banquet.     'Have some ham,' offered the priest.     'I'm afraid not,' answered the rabbi.     'C'mon, try some,' the priest encouraged. 'It's real good!'     'Thanks, but I don't eat that kind of meat because of my religion.'     'It's really delicious!' said Father O'Malley five minutes later. 'You oughta try this ham, you'd like it!'     'No thank you!' replied Rabbi Grossman.

After dinner, the two men shook hands. 'Tell me,' said the Jewish clergyman, 'do you enjoy sex with your wife?'     'Oh, Rabbi, you should know I'm not allowed to be married,' said the priest. 'I can't have sex!'     'You ought to try it,' said the rabbi. 'It's better than ham!'

That's all that I can say to you. You ought to try the state of no-mind, the state of being. It is better than all the worlds put together.

The world of being is the only real world, the world of truth. And unless you have come to it, you go on wandering in foreign lands. You can never come home. You come home only when you have come into the innermost core of your being -- which is possible. It is difficult, but not impossible; arduous, but not impossible. It is difficult certainly, but it has happened. It has happened to me, it can happen to you.

But don't cling to cheap remedies. Don't try to cheat, chemically or otherwise. Don't try to borrow knowledge. Don't go on accumulating.

It is already there, accumulations only hide it. It is already there. Once you stop accumulating and you drop all the junk you have accumulated inside you -- that's what your mind is, the junk. If you drop that junk, suddenly it is there in its absolute purity, in its absolutely beauty, in its absolute benediction.

A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom. He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome that was kept in a place of honour in his room.

The sage would allow nobody to open the volume.

When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as heirs, ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained.

They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page.

They became even more bewildered, and then annoyed, when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase that met their eyes.

It was: 'When you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.'

Let me repeat it: 'When you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.'

The container is your consciousness, the content is your mind. The container is your being, the content is all that you have accumulated. When you realise the distinction between the content and the container between the mind and the being, you will have knowledge. In a single split moment, when you remember and you recognise that you are not the content, you are the container -- there is a mutation, there is a revolution. And that is the only revolution there is.



Next: Chapter 6, Why No Women?, The first question


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