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OSHO Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

THE DHAMMAPADA: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, VOL. 2

Chapter 7: Does the spoon taste the soup?

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 2

 

HOW LONG THE NIGHT TO THE WATCHMAN,

HOW LONG THE ROAD TO THE WEARY TRAVELER,

HOW LONG THE WANDERING OF MANY LIVES

TO THE FOOL WHO MISSES THE WAY.

IF THE TRAVELER CANNOT FIND

MASTER OR FRIEND TO GO WITH HIM,

LET HIM TRAVEL ON ALONE

RATHER THAN WITH A FOOL FOR COMPANY.

"MY CHILDREN, MY WEALTH!"

SO THE FOOL TROUBLES HIMSELF.

BUT HOW HAS HE CHILDREN OR WEALTH?

HE IS NOT EVEN HIS OWN MASTER.

THE FOOL WHO KNOWS HE IS A FOOL

IS THAT MUCH WISER.

THE FOOL WHO THINKS HE IS WISE

IS A FOOL INDEED.

DOES THE SPOON TASTE THE SOUP?

A FOOL MAY LIVE ALL HIS LIFE

IN THE COMPANY OF A MASTER

AND STILL MISS THE WAY.

THE TONGUE TASTES THE SOUP.

IF YOU ARE AWAKE IN THE PRESENCE OF A MASTER

ONE MOMENT WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY.

THE FOOL IS HIS OWN ENEMY.

THE MISCHIEF HE DOES IS HIS UNDOING.

HOW BITTERLY HE SUFFERS!

WHY DO WHAT YOU WILL REGRET?

WHY BRING TEARS UPON YOURSELF?

DO ONLY WHAT YOU DO NOT REGRET,

AND FILL YOURSELF WITH JOY.

Man is a bridge between the known and the unknown. To remain confined in the known is to be a fool. To go in search of the unknown is the beginning of wisdom. To become one with the unknown is to become the awakened one, the buddha.

Remember, again and again, that man is not yet a being -- he is on the way, a traveler, a pilgrim. He is not yet at home, he is in search of the home. One who thinks that he is at home is a fool, because then the search stops, then the seeking is no longer there. And the moment you stop seeking and searching, you become a stagnant pool of energy, you start stinking. Then you only die, then you don't live at all.

Life is in flowing, life is in remaining a river -- because only the river will reach the ocean. If you become a stagnant pool then you are going nowhere. Then you are not really alive. The fool does not live, he only pretends to live. He does not know, he only pretends to know. He does not love, he only pretends to love. The fool is a pretension.

The wise lives, loves, the wise inquires. The wise is ready, always ready, to go into the uncharted sea. The wise is adventurous. The fool is afraid.

When Buddha uses the word 'fool' you have to remember all these meanings of the word. It is not the ordinary meaning that Buddha gives to the word 'fool'. For him, the fool means one who lives in the mind and knows nothing of the no-mind; one who lives in information, knowledge, and has not tasted anything of wisdom; one who lives a borrowed life, imitative, but knows nothing of anything that arises in his own being.

By "the fool" Buddha means one who is well acquainted with the scriptures, but has not tasted a single moment of truth. He may be a great scholar, very learned -- in fact, fools ARE scholars; they have to be because that is the only way to hide their foolishness. Fools are very learned people; they have to be, because it is only through learning words, theories, philosophies, that they can hide their inner ignorance, that they can hide their emptiness, that they can believe that they also know.

If you want to find the fools, go to the universities, go to the academies. There you will find them -- in their utter ignorance, but pretending to know. They certainly know what others have said, but that is not real knowing. A blind man can collect all the information there is about light, but he will still remain blind. He can talk about light, he can write treatises on light; he may be very clever in guessing, in fabricating theories, but still he remains a blind man and he knows nothing of light. But the information that he collects may not only deceive others, it may deceive himself too. He may start thinking that he knows, that he is no longer blind.

When Buddha uses the word 'fool' he does not mean simply the ignorant, because if the ignorant person is aware that he is ignorant, he is not a fool. And it is more possible for the ignorant person to be aware that he is ignorant than it is for the so-called learned people. Their egos are so puffed up; it is very difficult for them to see -- it goes against their investment. They have devoted their whole lives to knowledge, and now, to recognize the fact that all this knowledge is meaningless, futile, because they have not tasted truth themselves, is difficult, is hard.

The ignorant person can remember that he is ignorant -- he has nothing to lose; but the learned, he cannot recognize that he is ignorant -- he has much to lose. The knowledgeable person is the real fool. The ignorant person is innocent; he knows that he knows not, and because he knows that he knows not, because he is ignorant, he is just on the threshold of wisdom. Because he knows he knows not, he can inquire, and his inquiry will be pure, unprejudiced. He will inquire without any conclusions. He will inquire without being a Christian or a Mohammedan or a Hindu. He will simply inquire as an inquirer. His inquiry will not come out of ready-made answers, his inquiry will come out of his own heart. His inquiry will not be a by-product of knowledge, his inquiry will be existential. He inquires because it is a question of life and death to him. He inquires because he really wants to know. He knows that he knows not -- that's why he inquires. His inquiry has a beauty of its own. He is not a fool, he is simply ignorant. The real fool is one who thinks he knows without knowing at all.

Socrates was trying to do the same thing in Athens: he was trying to make these learned fools aware that all their learning was false, that they were really fools, pretenders, hypocrites. Naturally, all the professors and all the philosophers and all the so-called thinkers...and Athens was full of them. Athens was the capital of knowledge in those days. Just as today people look towards Oxford or Cambridge, people used to look towards Athens. It was full of the learned fools, and Socrates was trying to bring them down to the earth, was shattering their knowledge, was raising such questions -- simple in a way, but difficult to be answered by those who have only acquired knowledge from others.

Athens became very angry with Socrates. They poisoned this man. Socrates is one of the greatest men who has ever walked on the earth; and what he did very few people have done. His method is a basic method. The Socratic method of inquiry is such that it exposes the fools as fools. To expose a fool as a fool is dangerous, of course, because he will take revenge. Socrates was poisoned, Jesus was crucified, Buddha was condemned.

The day Buddha died, Buddhism was thrown out of the country, expelled from the country. The scholars, the pundits, the brahmins, could not allow it to remain. It was too uncomfortable for them. Its basic attack was on the brahmins, the learned fools, and naturally they were offended. They could not face Buddha, they could not encounter him. They waited for their opportunity in a cunning way: when Buddha died, then they started fighting the followers. When the light was gone, then it was the time for the owls, the learned fools, to reign over the country again. And since that time they have reigned even up to now -- they are still in power. The same fools!

The world has suffered much. Man could have become the glory of the earth, but because of these fools...and because they are powerful they can harm, and because they are powerful they can destroy any possibility, any opportunity for man to evolve. Man has been moving in circles, and these fools would not like man to become wise, because if man becomes wise these fools will be nowhere. They won't be in power anymore -- religiously, politically, socially, financially, all their power will be gone. They can remain in power only if they can go on destroying all possibilities of wisdom for man.

My effort here is to create a Socratic inquiry again, to ask again the fundamental questions that Buddha raised.

In the new commune we are going to have seven concentric circles of people. The first, the most superficial circle, will consist of those who come only out of childish curiosity, or out of already accumulated prejudices, who are, deep down, antagonistic -- the journalists, etcetera.

They will be allowed only to see the superficial part of the commune -- not that anything will be hidden, but just because of their approach they will not be able to see anything more than the most superficial. They will see only the garments. Here also the same goes on happening. They come and they see only the superficial.

Just the other day I was reading a journalist's report; he was here for five days. He writes, "for five days," as if it is a very long time to be here; five days, as if he has been here for five lives! Because he has been here for five days he has become an authority. Now he knows what is happening here because he has watched people meditating. How can you watch people meditating? Either you can meditate or not, but you cannot watch people meditating. Yes, you can watch people's physical gestures, movements, dance, or their sitting silently under a tree, but you cannot SEE meditation! You can see the physical posture of the meditator, but you cannot see his inner experience. For that, you have to meditate, you have to become a participant.

And the basic condition for being a participant is that you should drop this idea of being a watcher. Even if you participate, if you dance with the meditators, with this idea that you are participating only to watch what happens, then nothing will happen. And, of course, you will go with the conclusion that it is all nonsense -- nothing happens. And you will feel perfectly right inside yourself that nothing happens, because you even participated and nothing happened.

That man writes that he was in darshan and much was happening to sannyasins -- so much was happening that after a deep energy contact with me they were not even able to walk back to their places -- they had to be carried away. And then he mentions, "But nothing happened to me." That is enough proof that all that was happening was either hypnosis, or people were pretending just because the journalist was there, or it was just an arranged show, something managed -- because nothing was happening to him.

There are things which can happen only when you are available, open, unprejudiced. There are things which can happen only when you put aside your mind.

The journalist writes again, "The people who go there, they leave their minds where they leave their shoes -- but I could not do that. Of course," he says, "if I had left my mind behind, then I would have also been impressed." But he thinks the mind that he has is something so valuable -- how can he leave it behind? He feels himself very clever because he didn't leave his mind behind.

Mind is the barrier, not the bridge. In the new commune, the first concentric circle will be for those who come like journalists -- prejudiced people, who already know that they know. In short, for the fools.

The second concentric circle will be for those who are inquirers -- unprejudiced, neither Hindus nor Mohammedans nor Christians, who come without any conclusion, who come with an open mind. They will be able to see a little deeper. Something of the mysterious will stir their hearts. They will cross the barrier of the mind. They will become aware that something of immense importance is happening -- what exactly it is they will not be able to figure out immediately, but they will become aware vaguely that something of value IS happening. They may not be courageous enough to participate in it; their inquiry may be more intellectual than existential, they may not be able to become part, but they will become aware -- of course, in a very vague and confused way, but certainly aware -- that something more is going on than is apparent.

The third circle will be for those who are sympathetic, who are in deep sympathy, who are ready to move with the commune a little bit, who are ready to dance and sing and participate, who are not only inquirers but are ready to change themselves if the inquiry requires it. They will become aware more clearly of deeper realms.

And the fourth will be the empathic. Sympathy means one is friendly, one is not antagonistic. Empathy means one is not only friendly; one feels a kind of unity, oneness. Empathy means one feels with the commune, with the people, with what is happening. One meets, merges, melts, becomes one.

The fifth circle will be of the initiates, the sannyasins -- one who is not only feeling in his heart but who is ready to be committed, to be involved. One who is ready to risk. One who is ready to commit, because he feels a great, mad love -- mad, mad love -- arising in him. The sannyasin, the initiate.

And the sixth will be of those who have started arriving -- the adepts. Those whose journey is coming closer to the end, who are no longer sannyasins only but are becoming SIDDHAS, whose journey is coming to a full stop, is getting closer and closer to the conclusion. The home is not far away, a few steps more. In a way, they have already arrived.

And the seventh circle will consist of ARHATAS and BODHISATTVAS. The arhatas are those sannyasins who have arrived but are not interested in helping others to arrive. Buddhism has a special name for them: arhata -- the lonely traveler who arrives and then disappears into the ultimate. And the bodhisattvas are those who have arrived but they feel a great compassion for those who have not yet arrived. The bodhisattva is an arhata with compassion. He holds on, goes on looking back and goes on calling forth those who are still stumbling in darkness. He is a helper, a servant of humanity.

There are two types of people. The one who is at ease only when he is alone; he feels a little uncomfortable in relationship, he feels a little disturbed, distracted, in relationship. That type of person becomes an arhata. When he has arrived, he is finished with everything. Now he does not look back.

The bodhisattva is the second type of person: one who feels at ease in relationship, in fact far more comfortable when he is relating than when he is alone. He leans more towards love. The arhata leans more towards meditation. The path of the arhata is of pure meditation, and the path of the bodhisattva is that of pure love. The pure love contains meditation, and the pure meditation contains love -- but the pure meditation contains love only as a flavor, a perfume; it is not the central force in it. And the pure love contains meditation as a perfume; it is not the center of it.

These two types exist in the world. The second type -- the follower on the path of love -- becomes a bodhisattva. The seventh circle will consist of arhatas and bodhisattvas.

Now, the seventh circle will be aware of all the six other circles, and the sixth circle will be aware of the other five circles -- the higher will be aware of the lower, but the lower will not be aware of the higher. The first circle will not be aware of anything other than the first circle. He will see the buildings and the hotel and the swimming pool and the shopping center and weaving and pottery and carpentry. He will see the trees, the whole landscape...he will see all these things. He will see thousands of sannyasins, and he will shrug his shoulders: "What are these people doing here?" He will be a little puzzled, because he was not thinking that so many mad people can be found in one place: "All are hypnotized!" He will find explanations. He will go perfectly satisfied that he has known the commune. He will not be aware of the higher -- the lower cannot be aware of the higher. That is one of the fundamental laws of life -- AES DHAMMO SANANTANO -- only the higher knows the lower, because he has passed from the lower.

When you are standing on the sunlit mountain peak, you know everything down in the valley. The valley people may not be aware of you at all, it is not possible for them. The valley has its own occupations, its own problems. The valley is preoccupied with its own darkness.

The fool can come to a master but will remain unbenefited because he will see only the outer. He will not be able to see the essential, he will not be able to see the core. The fool comes here too, but he listens only to the words -- and he goes on interpreting those words according to his own ideas. He goes perfectly satisfied that he knows what is happening.

There are many fools who don't come here -- they don't feel the need. They simply depend on other fools' reports. That's enough. Just one fool can convince thousands of fools, because their language is the same, their prejudices are the same, their conceptions are the same...there is no problem! One fool has seen, and all the other fools are convinced. One fool reports in the newspaper and all the other fools read it early in the morning, and are convinced.

The sutras:

HOW LONG THE NIGHT TO THE WATCHMAN,

HOW LONG THE ROAD TO THE WEARY TRAVELER,

HOW LONG THE WANDERING OF MANY LIVES

TO THE FOOL WHO MISSES THE WAY.

The night is very long to the watchman -- why? He cannot relax, he has to keep himself somehow awake. It is a struggle. He has to keep himself awake against nature, because the night is meant for relaxing and resting and going to sleep. He is fighting against nature -- so is the fool. The fool goes on fighting against nature. He tries to swim against the current; hence, his misery is long, unnecessarily long. He multiplies it a thousandfold because he cannot let go, he cannot relax.

The first indication of a foolish mind is that it cannot relax, it is always tense, it is always on guard, it is always afraid.

HOW LONG THE NIGHT TO THE WATCHMAN.... It is not so long for those who are resting, relaxing, and have gone into deep sleep. It goes so fast! Just one moment you were awake, then you fall asleep...and the next moment you are awake, it is morning. You cannot believe the night has flown so fast. If you have been really restful...the more you rest, the faster the night flies. If your rest is total, time disappears. This is something to be understood.

Time is a psychological phenomenon. I am not talking about the time that you see on the clock, I am talking about the psychological time. When you are happy, relaxed, peaceful, time flies fast. When you are in pain, misery, anguish, time goes very slowly; it seems unending.

Have you sat by the side of a dying man in the night? It seems as if the morning will never come. The night seems so long...it is the same night. The same night you can sit with your beloved, and it flies so fast that you cannot believe it -- because you were happy and you were relaxed and you were enjoying and you were moving with nature, not fighting. Love means surrender, love means relaxation.

Albert Einstein was asked again and again in his life, "What is the theory of relativity?" It is a complicated theory and it cannot be explained easily to people who are not aware of higher mathematics. In fact, it is said that only twelve persons on the whole earth understood exactly what Einstein meant by the theory of relativity. How to explain it to a layman?

So he had made this beautiful explanation. He would say, "Sit on a hot stove and then one second seems to be almost like eternity, nonending -- it is so hot, is it so painful. And then you hold the hand of your beloved and sit by her side on the bank of the river on a full-moon night, and hours go like moments." This, he used to say, is the theory of relativity.

Everything depends on you, on your psychological state. Time is not a physical, material phenomenon; it is psychological. Hence, in deep meditation time disappears totally. And this is not something new, the mystics have known it down the ages. They have said, all the mystics of all countries, that time stops when meditation really begins.

Jesus is asked by somebody, "You talk so much about the kingdom of God -- what is going to be very special about it, something that we don't know at all? Tell us something about the kingdom of God which will be absolutely special."

And do you know what he said? A very strange answer -- he said, "There shall be time no longer."

Yes, in the kingdom of God there can be time no longer, because time exists only in proportion to pain, anguish, anxiety. If all anxiety, all pain, all nightmares disappear, time disappears. Time is a mind phenomenon: if there is no mind, there is no time. And you also know about it. This relativity you have felt.

Vivek was saying just the other day, and many times she has said it, that time flies so fast here that she cannot believe that she has been here for seven years. It looks as if just seven days ago she had come here.

And still we are amidst the world! Once we have moved away from the world, once we have our own small world, once we drop all the bridges, time will start disappearing. My effort is to give you a taste of timelessness. Once you have tasted it, then you can go back into the world and it will remain with you. The most important thing is to taste it once at least -- no-time -- and suddenly you are transported into another world.

This world consists of time and space. That's how Albert Einstein defines it: spaciotime. He makes one word out of the two, because he says time is nothing but the fourth dimension of space. So this world consists of space and time, and in meditation you disappear from both, or both disappear from your being. You don't know where you are. YOU ARE, certainly, more than you have ever been; you are totally there but there is no space confining you and no time defining you. A pure existence. Once tasted, all foolishness disappears.

The fool lives in time, the wise man lives in timelessness.

The fool lives in mind, the wise man lives in no-mind.

HOW LONG THE NIGHT TO THE WATCHMAN, HOW LONG THE ROAD TO THE WEARY TRAVELER.... Just look at people's faces -- how tired, weary, utterly frustrated they look. And they not only look it, they are. Their souls are tired, their very beings have become a kind of boredom. They are dragging themselves -- no joy, no dance in their steps, no song in their hearts, no gratitude, no thankfulness that they are...on the contrary, so many complaints.

One of Dostoevsky's characters in THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV says, "I would like to return this life to God if I meet him. I don't want to live anymore. Life is such an anguish!" He wants to return the ticket. How can he be thankful?

Just think: if you meet God some day, what are you going to say to him? It will be difficult even to say "Hi!" You will be so angry with him, so utterly annoyed, irritated, that this is the man who created you, this is the man who created the world! It is simply because of this that God goes on hiding; otherwise people are bound to kill him. They won't leave him alive; he has to hide, just to survive he has to hide.

HOW LONG THE ROAD TO THE WEARY TRAVELER, HOW LONG THE WANDERING OF MANY LIVES TO THE FOOL WHO MISSES THE WAY. And the fool is bound to miss the way. Why? -- because he thinks he already knows the way, because he thinks he is on the way. Everybody else is wrong, he is right. He believes that if everybody follows him, everything will be right in the world. He is a fanatic. He has the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas -- what else is needed? He knows all the beautiful dogmas of all the religions -- what more is needed? He knows the way!

But when Buddha uses the word 'way', he means dhamma -- AES DHAMMO SANANTANO. He means the way that takes you out of your ego, the way that takes you out of your mind, the way that takes you out of your identities, the way that makes you an absolute nothingness...the way that helps you to dissolve into the whole.

He is not talking about religions, he is not talking about so-called techniques, devices, methods. When he uses the word 'way', he means exactly what Lao Tzu means by 'tao'. Tao exactly means "the way" -- the way to what? The way beyond yourself, the way that leads you out of your confined, imprisoned state, into the open.

HOW LONG THE WANDERING OF MANY LIVES.... And it is really a long long wandering -- not of one day or of one life, but of many lives, of millions of lives. And if people are tired it is not surprising. If their eyes look full of dust, it is not surprising. If their souls are covered with layers of dust, it is not surprising. If they no longer reflect, if their mirrors are lost, it is not an accident -- it is understandable, although unforgivable, because nobody else is responsible for this situation except you. If you decide, you can drop all the layers of dust THIS very moment, and the moment you drop all the dust of your thoughts, you are on the way. You ARE the way!

Jesus says, "I am the way, I am the truth, I am the door." Christians go on interpreting it as if Jesus is the way; that is not true, that is falsifying Jesus utterly. When Jesus says, "I am the way," he is saying, "Whoever can say 'I am', there is the way." He is not talking about Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary; he is talking about this "I-amness."

The moment, in deep silent meditation, you come across this I-amness, you are the way. It is not a question of being a Christian. It is not what Christians go on telling the whole world, "Unless you come to Jesus, you will not find the way to God." That is sheer nonsense! -- because Buddha has found without being a Christian, and Mohammed has found without being a Christian, and Mahavira has found and Krishna has found and Lao Tzu has found...I have found without being a Christian. That is nonsense.

But what Jesus really means IS true.

Moses asked God when he encountered him...a beautiful story; remember, it is a story, not history. History is a very ordinary thing; history consists of Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan and Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong -- history is very ordinary. It consists of all that is ugly. It is not history, it is a parable, a metaphor, of tremendous poetry and beauty.

It says when Moses encountered God he asked, "Who are you?" And God is reported to have said, "I am that I am."

That's what Jesus means when he says, "I am the way."

If you can feel your own being, your own "amness," you will find the way. The fool cannot find it. He goes on and on...living in the same desires, in the same stupid thoughts, in the same memories. The fool is repetitive; he only repeats what he knows -- he never endeavors to go beyond his knowledge. And truth is unknown.

Just watch your mind and you will be able to understand what I am trying to convey to you. Your mind is repetitive! It says, "Yesterday the food was very good, let us go to the same hotel again.... Yesterday that man was very friendly, let us find him again." It wants to repeat the yesterdays, and it does not allow the today to have its own being. It does not allow even the tomorrow to have its own being; for tomorrows also, it has plans to repeat just what it has known in the past. And what have you known in the past except misery? But you have become familiar with it and you go on repeating it.

The fool is repetitive: the wise lives every moment anew.

All the soldiers of an American regiment in Korea put up a dollar apiece and draw lots for which of them will take the resultant money and spend one night in the finest brothel in the Orient.

Hymie Kaplowitz, the terror of Brooklyn, naturally wins, and on his return from the legendary brothel describes to his assembled bunk-mates what happened: the hanging gold curtains, the sensuous oriental music, the exotic aphrodisiacal meal served by little naked twelve-year-old girls beforehand, etcetera, ending every passage with "...nothing like Brooklyn!"

Finally he describes how the most beautiful woman he had ever seen comes slowly down the ornate staircase, wearing only a pagoda-headdress with trailing veils of white lace, and leads him up the stairs by the hand to her perfumed bed "...nothing like Brooklyn!"

"And then?" all the other soldiers ask feverishly.

"And then?" answers Hymie. "Oh, then it was just like Brooklyn."

The fool's mind goes on repetitively doing the same thing again and again. The fool's mind is a vicious circle -- it moves in circles. The wise man is not at all repetitive. He lives each moment anew, he is born anew each moment. He dies to the past every moment, and is born again.

The wise man's whole life is a process of rebirthing. The wise man is not born once, he is born every moment again and again. The old never takes hold of him. But the fool is born only once, and then he goes on repeating.

If you go on repeating you will miss the way, because your amness, your being, is absolutely fresh and always young. It is never old. The mind grows old, the body grows old, but the being knows nothing of time -- how can it grow old? It is always young, it is always youthful. It is as fresh as dewdrops in the early morning sun, it is as fresh as lotus leaves in the lake.

IF THE TRAVELER CANNOT FIND

MASTER OR FRIEND TO GO WITH HIM,

LET HIM TRAVEL ON ALONE

RATHER THAN WITH A FOOL FOR COMPANY.

The best thing is to find a master, because the master is the greatest friend possible; hence Buddha says MASTER OR FRIEND.

IF THE TRAVELER CANNOT FIND MASTER OR FRIEND TO GO WITH HIM, LET HIM TRAVEL ON ALONE RATHER THAN WITH A FOOL FOR COMPANY. But avoid fools. And that's what you never do. You collect fools around yourself. There is some secret in it: when you are surrounded by fools, you appear superior. It is very ego-fulfilling; hence nobody wants to live with somebody who is superior. People want to live with their inferiors, because your inferiors give you the idea that you are great.

To be with a master you will have to drop that idea that you are great, you will have to drop all that rubbish, you will have to drop your whole ego, you will have to surrender. You will have to dissolve in the master; hence people avoid masters. How many people went to Jesus? Very few, they can be counted on the fingers. How many people went to Buddha? Very few.... This has been always so. But people are very happy going to the Rotary Club. It feels very good when you are surrounded by fools -- it feels very good: all fools dressed up, and every fool feeling better than the others, and every fool bragging about himself, and every fool is being supported by other fools.

People love to be in the crowds, because in the crowds you can forget your inferiority. That's why people don't leave crowds. One crowd is that of Hindus, another is that of Mohammedans, the third is that of Christians and so on and so forth. Nobody wants to leave the crowd.

And even if sometimes people leave one crowd, they immediately join another. They escape somehow from one prison just to enter into another -- they cannot live alone. Buddha says it is better to live alone than with fools. If you can find a master or a friend, good; if you cannot, then it is better to be alone. Of course, it will be hard to be alone, it will be difficult because the crowd will create so many difficulties for you. The crowd does not love individuals, it does not want anybody to be independent; it wants everybody to be dependent on the crowd. It will create trouble for you. But all those troubles are cleansing, all those troubles are challenges. They sharpen your intelligence, they will make you wise.

"MY CHILDREN, MY WEALTH!"

SO THE FOOL TROUBLES HIMSELF.

BUT HOW HAS HE CHILDREN OR WEALTH?

HE IS NOT EVEN HIS OWN MASTER.

The fool lives around the idea of "my" and "mine": my nation, my religion, my race, my family, my wealth, my children, my parents...he lives around "my" and "mine." And he has come alone and he will go alone; nobody brings anything into the world and nobody takes anything from the world. Alone, empty-handed we come; alone, empty-handed we go. The wise knows it; hence the wise claims nothing as "mine." He uses things, but he does not possess them. Using is perfectly good -- use all the things of the world, they ARE for you. The world is a gift from God -- use it, but don't possess it. The moment you become a possessor, you cannot use things -- the things start using you. The moment you become a possessor, in fact you are possessed by your things, you become a slave. And the very idea of possessing is stupid. How can you possess anything? You don't even possess your own being. What else can you possess? You are not even a master of yourself.

Buddha says: "MY CHILDREN, MY WEALTH!" SO THE FOOL TROUBLES HIMSELF. And how many anxieties arise out of this "mine," "my" business? Totally false! Basically false, but it can create many many miseries. It is like when in the dark night you see a rope and you think that it is a snake. Now you are running, screaming, trembling, you may have a heart attack. And there was no snake at all -- there was only a rope! But the heart attack will be real, remember: an unreal snake can create a real heart attack.

These are unreal problems. Claiming "mine" -- anything! Country, church, children, wealth, anything -- when you claim "It is mine!" you are creating a great source of anxiety, anguish for yourself. You are creating a hell around yourself.

BUT HOW HAS HE CHILDREN OR WEALTH? Buddha asks. HE IS NOT EVEN HIS OWN MASTER.

A fool fell out of a sixth-story window. He is lying on the ground with a big crowd around him. A cop walks over and says, "What happened?"

The fool says, "I don't know. I just got here."

What do you know about how you got here? What do you know about from where you come? What do you know about where you are bound to go? What do you know about who you are? The most fundamental questions remain in darkness, and still you go on claiming, "This is my house...."

When Buddha became enlightened, he came back home. The father was very angry, obviously -- this was his only child and he became a drop-out. The father was getting old, and he had managed a big kingdom. He was very much worried: "Who is going to own it? Who is going to rule it? That fool, my son, has escaped."

Many efforts were made to persuade Buddha to come back, but all efforts failed. When he became enlightened he came on his own -- that encounter is one of the most beautiful encounters in human history.

Buddha's old father is very angry, so angry that out of anger tears start coming into his old eyes. He shouts, screams, abuses, and Buddha stands there, utterly calm and quiet, as if nothing is happening. Maybe for half an hour, or for one hour...then the father, the old man, is exhausted. Then he becomes aware that the son has not even uttered a single word, he has not reacted at all. "And he looks so calm and quiet! What is the matter? Is he deaf or something? Has he gone mad or something?" He asks, "Why aren't you answering me?"

Buddha says, "The man who had left you is no more. You are not talking to ME -- you are talking to your son, who is no more. Much water has gone down the Ganges since then. Twelve years have passed. I am a totally different person."

Buddha, of course, means metaphorically. He means, "I am no longer the same consciousness, no longer in the same mind. My attitudes have dropped, my prejudices gone. I am a totally fresh being. Now I know who I am. That time I was a fool. Now the light has come within my soul. That's why," he says, "I am no longer the same."

Buddha's old father again becomes infuriated. He says, "What do you mean that you are not the same? Can't I recognize my son? Don't I know you? I have given birth to you, my blood flows in your veins, you are made of my blood and bones -- and I don't know you? You have some nerve to say this!"

And Buddha again says, "Excuse me, but I say again that my body may be a part of your body -- I am not. Now I know that I am not my body, not my mind. Now I know who I am. And you have nothing to do with my being; you have not created my being, you have not given birth to my being. I have been before my birth, and I will be after my death. Please try to understand me; don't get irritated, don't be annoyed. I have come only to share my joy that I have found."

But parents think the children are theirs, the children think the parents are theirs. In this world, your being is absolutely alone. Yes, share your joy with others, but never possess. Only the fool possesses, the wise man has no possessiveness.

THE FOOL WHO KNOWS HE IS A FOOL

IS THAT MUCH WISER.

THE FOOL WHO THINKS HE IS WISE

IS A FOOL INDEED.

Ponder over it: what do you think about yourself? It is going to be painful to see your foolishness. It is easy to see other people as fools -- in fact, everybody knows that everybody else is a fool -- but to see your own foolishness is a great step towards wisdom. To see your own foolishness is already transforming your being, your consciousness.

A man is visiting in France. Does a little wandering the first night. Makes love to the host's wife, his daughter, the cook, the second maid, etcetera. The host berates him in the morning.

"What is the big idea? Here you are my guest. I receive you as a friend. And what do you do? You make love to my wife, my daughter, and half the servants -- and for me, nothing?"

The fool is always concerned with only one thing -- his ego. Anything that is for him is good -- anything. And he is ready to cling to it. The fool even clings to misery, because it is HIS misery. He goes on accumulating whatsoever he can get, because the fool has no idea of his inner kingdom, of his inner treasures; he goes on accumulating junk because he thinks this is all that can be possessed. Junk outside and junk inside; that's what people go on collecting -- things they collect and thoughts they collect. Things are junk outside, thoughts are junk inside, and you are drowned in your junk.

Have a look, a dispassionate, detached look at your life, what you have been doing with it, and what you have got out of it. And don't try to befool yourself, because this is how mind goes on. It says, "Look how much you have got! So much money in the bank, so many people know you, respect you, honor you; you have such a great post, politically you are powerful...what else? What else can one hope for? Life has given all that one can hope for."

But money or power or prestige are nothing, because death will come and all your great citadels of wealth, power, prestige, respectability, will just start falling as if you have made them with playing cards. Just a blow of death and everything shatters.

Unless you have something that you can take beyond death, remember, you don't have anything at all -- your hands are empty. Unless you have something deathless, eternal, you are a fool. The Buddha calls that man wise who has attained some real treasure -- of meditation, of compassion, of enlightenment.

DOES THE SPOON TASTE THE SOUP?

A FOOL MAY LIVE ALL HIS LIFE

IN THE COMPANY OF A MASTER

AND STILL MISS THE WAY.

The spoon cannot taste the soup, the spoon is dead -- so is the fool. He only appears to be alive; otherwise, his heart is dead, almost dead, because his heart is not functioning. He lives only through the head, and the head is only a spoon.

Through the head you cannot taste any joy of life. Can you see beauty through the head? You can see the flower, but you will miss the beauty; you will see the moon, but you will miss the beauty; you will see the sunset, but you will miss the beauty. Your head cannot know anything of beauty.

Your head can know something about sex but cannot know anything about love. Your head can understand the prose part of life, your head is a calculating machine -- but it cannot know the poetry of existence. And the poetry of existence contains the truth. The music of existence contains the real benediction. It can be known only by the heart. Only the heart can experience it.

Remember, all that is meaningless, the head is efficient with it; and all that is significant, only the heart is capable of it. And we all are living in the head. Our schools, colleges, universities, exist only for a single purpose, for a single crime they exist, and that crime is: divert people's energies from the heart to the head so that they can all become calculating machines, efficient clerks and deputy collectors, stationmasters.... But the education system does not allow you to become a lover, a poet, a singer. It does not allow you to know the real significance of life. It does not allow you to enter into the temple, it keeps you outside.

The head is superficial, the heart is at the center. And if the heart is not functioning, you are a spoon, a wooden spoon. You will not taste the soup. A FOOL MAY LIVE ALL HIS LIFE IN THE COMPANY OF A MASTER AND STILL MISS THE WAY.

To be in the company of a master is the greatest blessing possible, because being in the company of one who is awakened, the possibility opens up for you also to be awakened. One who is awake can make you awake, because awakening is contagious. He can shake you out of your dreams and nightmares. But the fool can live in the company of a master his whole life and miss. How does he miss? Because with the master also he is connected through the head -- that is his way of missing the master.

Now, there are a few people here who ARE missing and who will go on missing if they remain head-oriented. This is not a place to live in the head. Be headless! A true sannyasin will be headless. He will be heartful, because it is only through the heart that I can penetrate into you. It is only through the heart that there is any possibility of communion. Otherwise, you will listen to my words and you will collect my words, and you will become parrots and you will repeat my words -- and that is all futile...unless you taste, unless you drink out of me.

THE TONGUE TASTES THE SOUP. Please don't be spoons, be tongues. When you are around a buddha, don't be spoons, be tongues -- be alive, be sensitive, be heartful, be loving, be trusting.

THE TONGUE TASTES THE SOUP.

IF YOU ARE AWAKE IN THE PRESENCE OF A MASTER

ONE MOMENT WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY.

A SINGLE moment is enough! It is not a question of being with a master for a long time; time does not enter into it. It is not a question of quantity, of how long you have lived with the master. The question is how deep you have loved the master, not how long you lived with the master -- how intensely, passionately you have become involved with the master...not the length of time, but the depth of your feeling. Then a single moment of awareness, of heart wakefulness, a single moment of silence...and the transmission, the transmission beyond all scriptures.

THE FOOL IS HIS OWN ENEMY.

THE MISCHIEF HE DOES IS HIS UNDOING.

HOW BITTERLY HE SUFFERS!

THE FOOL IS HIS OWN ENEMY, says Buddha. Why? -- because it is simply of his own accord that he goes on missing all that is significant in existence. Nobody is barring the way. The poetry of life is available to all. The fool remains deaf, he keeps his ears closed. Life is full of light, but the fool keeps his eyes closed. Life is continuously showering divine joy, flowers go on showering, but the fool remains completely oblivious. Even if sometimes in spite of himself he comes across a flower, he does not believe in it. He says, "I must be deceived."

It happens almost every day. People write to me that in their meditation something strange is happening: they are feeling very happy -- it can't be true! Nobody ever writes to me, "I am feeling unhappy -- it can't be true!" But whenever happiness is felt, joy arises, they become afraid, they can't believe it. They start suspecting. They start suspecting and they start theorizing that it must be the hypnosis of the place, it must be the many orange people around, that's why they are being affected. How can they be happy?! They have known only misery their whole lives, they have become accustomed to it, misery has become their being. Now, ecstasy? No, these flowers can't be true -- something is wrong.

In almost all the languages of the world there are proverbs such as this one in English: you say, "It can't be true because it is so good." The good can't be true? Nobody believes in the good. "Too good to be true," you say. Nobody says, "Too bad to be true." No proverb like that exists in any language of the world: "Too bad to be true." The bad is accepted, the ugly is accepted, the mundane is accepted -- and the sacred is denied.

And even if you accept the sacred, you only accept it formally. You go to the temple and the church as a social formality; you don't really believe in God, you don't really believe in the temple. It is good, it keeps things smooth, it is like a lubricant. If you go to the temple and the church, people think you are a good man, honest, religious; and if people think you are religious, honest and good, you can cheat them in a better way than you could otherwise. They will trust you, and you can cheat them and deceive them only if they trust you. It is a social formality, maybe a social strategy to cheat and deceive people. But you don't believe.

Whenever something immense, huge, bigger than you, descends on you, you simply shrink back, you close your eyes, you become an ostrich. You simply deny it! It can't be so. It is not that God has not come on your way -- he has come many times, he has knocked on your doors many times, but you don't open the doors. On the contrary, you go on finding rationalizations. Sometimes you say, "It must be the wind, it must be the rain, it must be some neighborhood child playing on the steps, knocking on the door." You go on explaining to yourself...but you never open the door and see who is there.

THE FOOL IS HIS OWN ENEMY. THE MISCHIEF HE DOES IS HIS UNDOING. HOW BITTERLY HE SUFFERS!

WHY DO WHAT YOU WILL REGRET?

WHY BRING TEARS UPON YOURSELF?

Out of his great compassion he raises this question -- he is talking to YOU -- WHY DO WHAT YOU WILL REGRET? WHY BRING TEARS UPON YOURSELF?

DO ONLY WHAT YOU DO NOT REGRET,

AND FILL YOURSELF WITH JOY.

Remember, let this be the criterion: whatsoever brings joy and bliss and benediction IS true -- because bliss is God's nature. Truth is another name for bliss. Untruth brings misery. If you live in lies, you will live in misery. And if you are living in misery, remember and find out on what lies you have based your life. Withdraw yourself from those lies. Don't waste time and don't postpone. Immediately withdraw! That withdrawal I call sannyas.

It is not withdrawing from the world, it is withdrawing from the lies that you have been living up to now. It is not renouncing the world, it is renouncing the lies that you have based your life upon. The moment you withdraw yourself from the lies, they start falling, start dying, because they depend on you, they nourish themselves on you -- they cannot live without your support. Withdraw your cooperation, and all lies disappear. And when all lies disappear, what is left is truth.

Truth is your innermost nature. Truth has not to be found anywhere else. AES DHAMMO SANANTANO -- this is the ultimate law, the inexhaustible law, the ultimate truth, that it is within you. You need not go anywhere. You can find it within yourself if you can fulfill only one condition: withdraw the lies in which you have invested so much -- withdraw from them. Renounce all that is untrue. Misery is an indication of untruth.

Whenever some bliss happens, trust it, and go in that direction...and you will be moving towards God. Bliss is his fragrance. If you can follow bliss, you will never go astray. If you follow bliss, you will be following nature. And if you are natural, blissful, relaxed, wisdom arises.

Wisdom is a very relaxed state of being. Wisdom is not knowledge, not information; wisdom is your inner being awake, alert, watchful, witnessing, full of light. Be full of light -- it is your birthright. If you miss, you are a fool. And you have missed many lives already -- this time, please, be a little more compassionate towards yourself.

Enough for today.

 

Next: Chapter 8: God loves laughter, Question 1

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