Chapter 6: The Virtuous Circle

Question 1



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The first question

Question 1



Existence is nameless. We are all nameless, but the name has a certain utility; without it life will be impossible. When the child is born he comes as a nobody, as pure nothingness -- that's the beauty of a child -- but it is a necessity that he should be given a name. Once the name is given, slowly slowly the child becomes autohypnotized by his own name; it becomes almost a reality to him. In fact, he can even sacrifice himself for the name. That's what millions of people are doing all over the world: sacrificing themselves for name, for me -- sacrificing the essential for the non-essential.

A name is not an essential, but it has certain purposes; without it life will be very difficult. Hence we have even to invent names for God. God cannot have any name, but God has to be addressed. There are moments when you would like to shout to God out of sheer joy -- some name is needed.

That's why I give you new names. Why new names? The new is as non-essential as the old, but the new will give you some insight. First it will make you aware that you are not the name, because the name can be easily changed and you remain the same. When the first name was given you were a small child, absolutely unconscious, unaware of what was happening to you. Now you are no more a child. A new name is given to you, it has significance, and that significance is essential. The name is non-essential, but the change of the name is of the essential.

Once you change the name you know that the name is just utilitarian; to know it is very essential. And now it will be more difficult for you to get identified with it.

Secondly: the name that your parents give to you is almost meaningless. Any name that comes to their minds is given to you, any name they feel they like. But the name I give to you is given for certain reasons -- those reasons belong to the world of the essential.

For example, I have called you Premananda. It consists of two words: prem and ananda. Prem means love, ananda means bliss. For thousands of years man has tried to live either in the world of love or in the world of bliss; it has been an either/or, a choice. But to be total it has not to be either/or, it has not to be a choice, it has to be both together.

My sannyas is a synthesis, and that synthesis belongs to the essential. So keep on remembering, something non-essential may become an indicator of the essential; something non-essential can be used in a very essential way. The fool can use the essential in a non-essential way; the wise man can use the non-essential in an essential way. It all depends on you.

So don't be so much concerned about what is essential and what is non-essential. It is not a quality of things that we can put into two different categories -- this is essential and this is non-essential rather, it is the use that you make of a certain thing which decides to what category it should belong.

When I give you a name it indicates towards the essential.

Man has lived only a partial life up to now. The worldly man lived a partial life: the worldly man lived the life of love. He was trying to figure out: "What is this phenomenon, love, all about? -- with the wife, with the children, with the parents, with the friends, with the society, in every possible way he was trying to know what love is.

Consciously or unconsciously, his whole effort was devoted to one thing: to know the joy that can happen between two persons in deep harmony.

Love is a harmony between two persons, two universes beating in the same rhythm, dancing hand in hand, melting, merging, become almost an organic unity. It is the way of the drunkard. You become drunk with the wine of the other; the other also becomes drunk with the wine of you. But it is only half the truth of your life. You start knowing more about the other and you completely forget yourself; love requires you to forget yourself and remember the other. The other becomes the focus; you fade away into deep darkness, you become secondary.

The people who live in this partial way sooner or later are bound to be frustrated, because no partial life can ever be a fulfillment. When they become frustrated... and the more intelligent someone is, the sooner he becomes frustrated because he can see that something is missing, something very essential is missing. You are missing. You are groping for the other not knowing at all who you are. And how can you find the other when you have not even found yourself! Hence you go on only stumbling with the other. You may call it love, but it is just groping. There is no insight, no clarity, no light; it is all dark.

And you are afraid of being alone so you seek the company of the other. It is out of fear that your so-called love arises -- and love can never arise out of fear. It is pseudo. The partial is always pseudo; only the whole is true. Only the whole has meaning, never the part. The part has meaning only in the context of the whole, but never separately.

So many intelligent people became frustrated; then they decided to move to the opposite extreme. That is the way of the mind. If you fail in one thing, the mind immediately suggests the polar opposite to you. And it appeals, it looks logical. If love has failed, if you have not been able to rejoice and dance and celebrate with the other, then the logical conclusion is that it is better to move into solitude, to become a monk.

The word "monk" literally means to be lone. It comes from the same root which words like "monotony," "monogamy," "monopoly," "monastery" come from.

A monastery is a place where many people are trying to live a life of aloneness. This was the way of the monk, the other-worldly. And he has also failed in the same way; he was bound to fail. He chose the other half, but now he will miss something. He will learn how to be alone -- he will learn the way of bliss, he will be blissful, but his bliss will miss something: it will miss sharing. And a bliss that cannot be shared starts dying, becomes our, goes bitter. Even nectar can turn into poison if it stops its flow.

The monk is really far more blissful than the worldly people, but his bliss is not a river. It is not moving, not reaching to the other. He becomes just a pool, not a river but a pond -- in a certain bondage, afraid of the other.

Just see the point: the world is afraid of his aloneness, hence he tries to reach the other; in the darkness he shouts for the other. And the monk is afraid of the other because the other may disturb his solitude; he may start interfering with his space, he may start encroaching upon his space, his territory, which he has found with such difficulty. He lives in fear; he lives in a dark, walled, self-imposed imprisonment. He makes walls between himself and others. He avoids all possibilities where love can grow. Then his bliss slowly slowly becomes a dead pool with no flow, and he also starts missing; he starts getting fed up with himself. Rather than being alone he starts feeling lonely.

And if a monk is intelligent, now a higher kind of intelligence is needed. The ordinary intelligence will again take him to the other pole. Now Catholic monks are revolting against the church and getting married. For what?

For hundreds of years they have tried to live alone -- nuns have lived separately, monks have lived separately. There are Christian monasteries like those where for one thousand years no woman has ever entered. For one thousand years continuously the doors of the monastery have remained closed to women. Not even nuns, not even a small, six-year-old girl or six-months-old-child is allowed in. Such fear! One wonders whether monks are living inside or monsters! If you are even afraid of a six-month-old baby girl, what kind of people are living there? There is fear, great fear, trembling. The monks don't come out of the monastery. Once you enter Athos you enter forever; the world is finished.

There have been thousands of Hindu monks living in the Himalayan caves, never coming back to the world. But these people lose something, something very essential: sharing. Life is sharing, and only in sharing do you become fulfilled.

Just think of a sun which keeps itself enclosed, with no rays going out. Or think of a lotus which keeps its petals closed so no fragrance can reach anybody. Think of a bird which is afraid of singing -- somebody may hear it -- then this whole existence will be dead.

That's what these monks have become: dead people, living in their graves, whatsoever they call those graves -- caves, monasteries. Whatsoever they call them it does not matter, they are graves, and they are living on almost dead life.

Premananda, I have given you this name, prem and ANANDA -- love and bliss both. That is the message for all my sannyasins: that you have to learn both. You have to be fluid, you have to be flowing. You have to know how to be alone and you have to know how to be together. You have to be meditative and loving both, simultaneously; then only will you be whole.

And to me, to be whole is to be holy. Man has not been holy up to now because he has not been whole -- how can he be holy? Yes, once in a while a person may have attained -- a Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra. Once in a while a person may have attained to wholeness, but the more I look I feel even Buddha's wholeness can be enriched a little more, even Lao Tzu's wholeness can become a little more than it is; something can be added to it. Even Jesus' wholeness can have a few more dimensions to it.

My effort here is to give you a multi-dimensional existence; all the dimensions that are possible for human beings should be available to you. You should be capable of love and you should be capable of bliss. And my own experience is and my observation is that the man who is blissful is the only man who is capable of love, and the man who is capable of love is the only man who is capable of bliss. They enhance each other.

You have heard about the vicious circle: that one thing leads to another, then the other thing leads to the first, and there is a vicious circle. But you have not heard about the virtuous circle. I call this the virtuous circle -- it is not vicious, it is virtuous -- because one thing leads to another and you go higher, moving on higher altitudes. More and more plenitudes are yours. The highest that I can conceive of is love and bliss in deep harmony, not interfering with each other but enriching each other

But the Desiderata is going to create such questions. I was aware that you would become very much puzzled about what is essential and what is non-essential. And your mind Is very cunning; it can find ways, it can start thinking, "Then why not drop the new name, why not drop sannyas? -- why not do this, because these are non-essential things? The essential thing is inner, and these are outer things." And this will be sheer cunningness and nothing else. You have not understood the message: the non-essential can also be used as essential.

But Premananda is an American, and for an American to be sane is difficult! And he is not only an American, he comes from Californialand!

Benson returned to Naples where, as a youngster during the war, he had befriended a native named Capitini. When the Italian saw Benson, he simply could not do enough for him and insisted that he meet his sister.

"Is she pretty?" asked Benson.

"Ah, bella, bella!" cried the friend.

"Is she young?" continued Benson.

"Si! Si!"

"And is she pure?" asked Benson.

The Italian shrugged and exclaimed, "You Americans are all crazy!"

In Chicago a couple came before a justice of the peace to be married. The young man handed him the marriage license.

"Join hands," said his Honor.

Then he looked at the document, which authorized him to unite in the bonds of matrimony Wlodzimierz Lineandowski and Nehrebecka Zozislawsieka.

"Ahem," he said, clearing his throat. "Wlod-hm-h-m-ski, do you take this woman...?" and so forth.

"Yes, sir," responded the young man.

"Nehre-hm-hm-hm-sieka, do you take this man to be...?" and so forth.

"Yessir! "

"Then I pronounce you husband and wife," said the Justice, "and I congratulate you both on having reduced two names to one!"

A few days after the new Pope had been elected, Cardinal Sicola had dinner with an old friend, Rabbi Finkalari. They chatted about many things and the Rabbi noticed that Cardinal Sicola seemed rather dejected.

"Dear friend," said the Rabbi, "you seem disturbed. Is it anything you care to discuss with me?"

"You know, I did not labor under any illusion that I might be elected. I just never dreamt I was so unpopular as not to have received even one vote!"

"My dear Cardinal!" consoled the Rabbi. "Dismiss such thoughts from your mind. You are held in very high esteem by your colleagues. I know what must have been on their minds. Each one undoubtedly figured that if you were elected, it would sound demeaning to call you Pope Sicola!"


Next: Chapter 6: The Virtuous Circle, Question 2


Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Desiderata                 Guida Spirituale



Chapter 6






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