Surrender is the door to bliss, to beauty

Third Question



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Question 3


First, there is no dichotomy between the aesthetic and the spiritual. The aesthetic is spiritual in the seed form; there is no dichotomy. The same sensitivity grows into spirituality. If you cannot see beauty, you will be absolutely incapable of seeing God. If you can see beauty, then you are approaching near God; the temple is coming closer. You may not be fully aware, but you are on the way. You have heard the first note of that music. Maybe you cannot yet recognize it; it is vague, but you have seen the first glimpse of the sun. Maybe it is too much clouded.

Beauty is the first glimpse of the divine. Wherever you see beauty, remember you are on holy ground. Wherever, I say: in a human face, in a child's eyes, in a lotus flower, or in the wings of a bird in flight, in the rainbow, or in a silent rock. Wherever you see beauty, remember, you are on holy ground  -- God is close. Beauty is the first glimpse of the divine; so there is no dichotomy between beauty and truth. The aesthetic and the spiritual are not two things, two points on the same path, two milestones on the same pilgrimage.

But the so-called religions have created a dichotomy. They have created a dichotomy and they have poisoned the whole mind of humanity. The so-called religions are afraid of beauty because somehow, in beauty they feel sex hidden. That becomes the trouble. Wherever they feel beauty they feel the erotic, and they have been thinking that the erotic is against the divine. It is not. The erotic is the first glimpse of the divine. It is not the last; that has to be remembered. But it is the first arising of the same energy. The energy is the same; it is the first flood; it is the first tremor, but the energy is the same. If the energy goes higher and higher and higher, then it becomes a great wave of bliss; then it reaches to the heavens.

Because religions became afraid of sex, because they became afraid of the body, they became afraid of beauty: because beauty is form. God is formless. Beauty is form, but the form is of the formless. Because religions became afraid of the world, they started thinking of God as against the world -- this is some absurdity that entered into all religions. They all say that God created the world, and at the same time they say that you cannot attain to God if you don't renounce the world. This is patent foolishness, because if the world is God's creation, then why should it be a basic requirement to renounce it? Rather, one would think that the basic requirement should be that one should rejoice in it. It is God's creation. If you love the painter, you love his paintings also. In fact, you come to know the painter only through his paintings; there is no other way. If you love the poet, you love his poetry also. How do you know that he is a poet? It is only through his poetry. No poet will say that you can love him only if you renounce his poetry.

If God is the creator, then the world has to be loved, loved totally, loved deeply. You have to get involved in it: rejoice in it, delight in it. Only through your delight will you by and by have glimpses of the creator in the creation. If you look at the painting of a great painter, you will have glimpses of the master. It cannot be otherwise, because the master has come into those colours; his touch is there, the master touch. If you love the poetry and you penetrate into it, you will find the heart of the poet beating there. And unless you have penetrated that depth, you have not understood, you cannot understand it. Unless the poetry becomes the heart of the poet, it is not understood.

The world has to be rejoiced. The body is beautiful -- delight in it. It is a gift of God. Don't try to renounce it, because renouncing it means you reject the master.

Gurdjieff used to say that all religions are against God, and he is perfectly right. The so-called religions are all against God. They talk about God, but they are against God. They show it through their actions. They say, "Renounce the world, renounce the body."

'Renounce' should be a dirty word. Rejoice! Replace 'renounce' by 'rejoice' and a totally different conception of religion arises. Then aesthetics, then beauty, then the sensitivity to beauty is not against spirituality. Then it becomes the beginning.

And one has to deepen it. Be committed to beauty, and through it you will come to know what religions call'God'; you will come to know divinity, divineness.

So this is the first thing, that there is no dichotomy between aesthetics and spirituality, between poetry and religion, between body and spirit, between the world and God. There is no dichotomy. The world is God become visible. Poetry is the poet expressed. Painting is the painter in form. The formless has descended into the form, but there is no dichotomy, there is no duality and there is no antagonism.

Second thing: AS AN ARTIST I TEND TO CLAIM MY PERCEPTIONS DESIRING RECOGNITION FOR SHARING MY VISIONS WITH OTHERS. Sharing is beautiful, but seeking recognition is not so beautiful. In fact, both cannot exist together -- they are antagonistic. If you want, if you are desiring recognition, then you don't want to share really. You share as a means to be recognized. Then your painting or your poetry or your dance is just a means to fulfil the ego. That will make you separate from the whole. The ego is the separation. Then your whole life will become ugly, and how, out of an ugly life, can beauty be born? Impossible.

If you are beautiful deep within you, only then can the beauty flow from you. Only out of a beautiful life, a beautiful painting is born. There is no other way. YOU are flowing into your painting, into your work of art, into your sculpture, into your music, into your poetry. It is coming from you. It brings you; it is your consciousness flowing. If it is only to gain recognition, then you are ugly. The ego is ugly because it is a separation from the whole, because it is false. You are not separate.

The untruth cannot be beautiful, remember. Truth is beauty. The untrue, the lie, cannot be beautiful. It is ugly -- they are synonymous. The ego is the moss untrue thing in the world. It only seems to exist, it doesn't exist, it is a false phenomenon. And if you are seeking recognition, then you are seeking the ego and you are trying to fulfil a false thing. Out of this ugliness, beauty cannot flow -- out of ugliness, only ugliness is possible.

And if you are trying to fulfil the ego you are not interested in sharing, because sharing is an act of love. Not that there will not be recognition if you share -- but that is not the point. In fact if you share, much recognition will happen, but you are not seeking it; you were not after it. If it happens it is okay; if it doesn't happen it is the same. You want to share. Your happiness is in sharing, not in the after-effects of it; not in the result, not in the end, but in the act itself.

For example, you love a man or a woman. While you love, you hold hands or you embrace each other. The very act in itself is the end, not that you are trying to prove that you are a man; not that the woman later on says to you that you are a great lover. If you love a woman just to hear from her that you are a great lover, you have not loved her at all. But if you love a woman, who bothers what she says? What she feels in the moment of sharing is the thing, is the real thing; it is enough unto itself.

If a woman loves a man and she loves only as a means, so that the man can say later on, "How beautiful you are," she is seeking recognition for her beauty. That is an ego effort, an ego trip, but there is no love in it. And she cannot be beautiful.

If she loves and shares her being, in that sharing she is beautiful. There is no need even to say, "You are beautiful." If someone says it, okay; if somebody doesn't say it, that doesn't mean that it has not been said, because there are deeper ways to say things. Sometimes to remain silent is the only way to speak.

I have heard, that in one museum in Europe, there is a piano on which Wagner used to play. A woman came there to see it, and she was just a learner, just knowing only the ABC of it. She immediately started playing on the piano. The guide was shocked, but he was a very polite man, so he remained silent. After a few strokes, the woman said that many great musicians must have come to the museum to see this piano of Wagner, and they all must have played on it.

The guide said, "Madam, you are the first. Great musicians come here. They stand absolutely silent. And I have heard them say,'We are not worthy even to touch it'. They remain in silence; they don't utter a single word. The moment they see this, the master's piano, it is as if they become dumb. They don't touch it. They say,'We are not worthy of it.' In their deep silence, they say something.

When you love a woman, in deep silence much is said. When somebody comes to see a painting, if he starts chattering about it, that simply shows he has been not in deep rapport with it; otherwise the chattering would stop. If he starts saying something about it, that shows that he is trying to show his knowledge about paintings. Otherwise, before a great painting one becomes silent; one has nothing to say. Language is lost; one becomes dumb. The mind stops.

When you love a person, you share; you don't ask for recognition. If you ask recognition, you don't share, you don't want to share. Your sharing is just an empty gesture, just a means to recognition. It is not love; it is prostitution. A great artist does not bother about recognition. He loves his art, his work. He loves to share it, but he's not asking for anything; it is unconditional sharing: and then it has tremendous beauty. That is the difference between great art and mediocre art, and that is the difference between Eastern art and Western art.

Go to the Eastern temples. Go to Khajuraho or to Ellora, Ajanta -- tremendously beautiful works, but you don't even know who has made them; they have not even signed them. What of recognition? Nobody knows; they are anonymous. Nobody knows who has written the Upanishads -- anonymous. But they shared; they are still sharing and they will go on sharing to the very end of time. Whenever you go to Khajurao, your mind will stop. Such tremendous beauty has never been revealed anywhere in the world. Stones have never been so expressive as in Khajurao, sermons in stones. Even real women have never been so beautiful as the Khajurao sculpture. And to bring it into stone... such subtle, euphoric feelings, like two lovers making love! -- what happens to their faces, what type of energy surrounds them, what ecstasy travels between them-in stone, the hardest medium! But they have depicted even the ecstasy. When two lovers make love, what type of energy they have brought to those stones; it surrounds them still.

Looking at those faces, you can see that they are not only erotic. The erotic is just the beginning, the first rung of the ladder. If you have insight you will see the ladder going higher and higher, and then it disappears into the clouds. Somewhere in the clouds the ecstasy is there. But nobody knows who made those beautiful images. Anonymous -- but they shared. And one still feels grateful and will always feel grateful.

Eastern art is anonymous and hence its beauty -- it is as if of the other world. Western art, particularly the modern, not the classical, is too much egoistic. Even a Picasso is too much egoistic. He may be a great painter, a great master, but neurotic all the same; a great genius, but gone astray, neurotic. He's mad. His madness may be a method, that's another thing, but he is mad. And the whole madness is because of the ego. Whatsoever he has painted, great works, but the neurosis is there

And if you look and meditate on Picasso's paintings long enough, you will feel restless, uneasy. Something of the neurosis will start happening in you also, something of the quality of nightmare. Don't keep Picasso's paintings in your bedrooms; otherwise you will have nightmares! Have a small Buddha, by some anonymous sculptor. That will surround your sleep; that will protect your sleep; that will give you a subtle awareness even while you are asleep.

So sharing is one thing, and asking for recognition is totally another. Share; don't ask for recognition. I'm not saying that recognition will not come -- it will come profusely. Ask for recognition and it won't come so profusely. Even if it comes, it will limp. Because when YOU ask for recognition, the other becomes reluctant to give it. Because when YOU are seeking your ego, the other also wants to seek his own ego. Then you provoke criticism rather than recognition. And the one who recognizes your art is deep down recognizing, through his recognition, his own recognition. So you say that you are great lover of art-then the ego game. Then the beauty is lost; two lies are trying to prove themselves to be true.

Share. Recognition will come; it always comes, like a shadow. Don't be bothered by it. Only small mediocre minds are bothered by it.

And the third thing: you say, "My ego is strong." If it is really strong then you can surrender. Only weaklings cannot surrender. To surrender, you need tremendous energy of will. Only a very mature ego can surrender;just as a ripe fruit falls, not an unripe. An unripe fruit cannot fall; you have to force it. A ripe fruit falls of its own accord, so easily that the tree does not even become aware that it has fallen. It falls so naturally.

If the ego is strong, then you can surrender. This is the only thing in favour of the Western mind -- that people are being taught to be egoistic. The whole Western psychology has been teaching them to have ripe, mature egos. That is a beautiful thing -- dangerous, if one remains clinging to the ego, but with tremendous possibilities. If one really becomes strong in the ego, then surrender is possible.

The Western mind is more egoistic. Surrender seems difficult. The Eastern mind is more humble. Surrender seems easy. But these are appearances. The Eastern mind can surrender very easily, but the surrender is impotent, because you don't have anything to surrender. The ego which has to be surrendered, is not there. It is just like an impotent man taking a vow of celibacy, or a poor man renouncing the kingdom -- it is meaningless.

For the Western mind surrender is difficult but meaningful.It will take a long time and a long struggle for the Western mind to surrender, but once the Western mind surrenders, then there is nothing like it. The Eastern mind has to be brought up; the ego has to be ripened and matured. Only at a certain point of maturity, where the ego feels too heavy, the surrender is possible.

The Eastern mind is so humble. It goes on surrendering everywhere and anywhere; it goes on touching everybody's and anybody's feet. The whole thing has become useless; it has become just a mannerism, an etiquette. But when a Western mind bows down and touches somebody's feet, it has significance; otherwise he would not have done it. It is not just a mannerism; it has happened. Something deep has been touched and stirred.

So if you say, "The ego is strong," then prove it! That is the only way. Surrender; that is the only way to prove it. Otherwise I will say it is still weak.


Next: Chapter 4, Surrender is the door to bliss, to beauty, Fourth Question


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