A Bold Experiment

Third Question



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The third question

Question 3


Doctor Malik,

Science HAS ITS OWN LIMITATIONS. I am ready, I can invite scientists to come here to watch what is happening. They are welcome. But they will not be able to know the real thing that is happening here. They will only be able to know the body of it, they will miss the soul -- their very methodology prevents it.

Just like if you ask the scientist, "Please watch this roseflower, it is so beautiful" -- he can analyse the roseflower, he can reduce it to its constituents. He can tell you how much water is in it, and how much colour and how much perfume, and how much earth and how much air. He can tell you everything that comes within HIS vision, that which he can catch hold of by his methodology. But his methodology is limited. He will not be able to catch hold of the beauty of the flower -- that is certain. He will not be able to find any beauty in the flower scientifically. As a man, as a man of heart, he MAY say that the rose is beautiful -- but not as a scientist.

If he really goes scientifically into the existence of the rose, he will find everything except beauty. About beauty there are only two possibilities that he will tell. One: that there is no beauty, that it is your projection; that it is in your eyes, not in the flower; that it is your dream, your idea, that you have imposed upon it. Or the other, which will be far more scientific: he will simply say beauty is non-existential.

Beauty cannot be found by the scientist. If you give him anything he will reduce it to matter. And all that is great in it, all that is invisible in it, all that belongs to the beyond, will automatically disappear.

I am absolutely ready. Scientists can come, they can watch whatsoever is happening here through meditations, through music, through therapeutic situations -- they can watch. But they will know only the periphery of it. If they really want to know the very soul of it then they will have to become participants, not watchers, not spectators. They will have to fall en rapport with me.

They will not be able to know what is happening only by watching OTHER meditators: they will have to become meditators themselves. And that is the problem -- the scientific methodology is against it. The scientific methodology is based on this idea that the scientist has to remain only a spectator, uninvolved. He is not to become a participant; he has to be there, aloof, detached, just as an observer.

But there are things which can be known only by participation. For example, love cannot be known only by observation. If you see two lovers kissing each other, what are you going to know about it scientifically? Just a transfer of a few germs from the lips of one to the other -- what else? The kiss will be reduced to a transfer of germs. The beauty, the soul of the kiss, has disappeared. It has become really ugly; it is no more beautiful.

Love becomes chemistry in the hands of the scientist. It becomes a hormonal attraction. It has something to do with sexual glands and nothing to do with the individual as a whole. It is only a question of male hormones or female hormones; it is a biological attraction. But then love loses all poetry, love simply becomes a very ordinary phenomenon. It becomes very mundane, it loses all sacredness.

So, Doctor Malik, you are welcome, your friends are welcome.

Malik is a psychiatrist in the Delhi University. You can come here -- he IS here -- you can bring your friends, and you can do what you call scientific work, scientific scrutiny. But I will have to tell you beforehand that whatsoever you come to know will be only the circumference of it. If you really want to know it, you will have to come here not as scientists but as poets, lovers, meditators, participants. Only then the core of it will be revealed to you.

That has become one of the most fundamental problems humanity is facing today, that wherever science moves, it reduces everything to the LOWEST denominator. It uglifies things. If you ask about the lotus, the scientist only finds mud and nothing else. The lotus comes out of the mud, that's true -- but it is not just mud and nothing else.

If you ask a Buddha, then you will have a totally different perspective. If you ask the Buddha, then even mud is nothing but a hidden lotus.

That is what true religion is, the true vision of religion is: it beautifies things. It takes everything to its highest peak. In religion, the religious approach believes in the highest and the lowest is only a container. The scientific approach believes in the lowest, and the highest is just a by-product.

Karl Marx has said that man's consciousness is nothing but a by-product -- a by-product of his physiology. Just a by-product, an epi-phenomenon, a shadow. It can be ignored, it need not be taken into account.

It is because of people like Karl Marx that Joseph Stalin could kill millions of people in Russia. If consciousness is just a shadow then there is no problem, you can kill as many shadows as you want. You are not killing anything at all! If they are only shadows, epi-phenomena, by-products, then why be worried? Man is nothing but the body.

You have reduced all divinity into dust.

Science has to learn something from religion, only then can there be a future for science. Otherwise science is doomed, and with science, man's future is doomed. Adolf Hitler's approach is very scientific, just as Joseph Stalin's is. Man disappears in the scientific approach -- there is no soul in him, just a mechanism. And you can destroy machines, there is no problem in it. And you will not feel any guilt, any prick in your conscience.

Meditation is an inner phenomenon. It is serenity at the deepest core of your being. It is bliss. And ultimately it is a transcendence of all situations. It is utter silence. You will not be able to detect it by scientific scrutiny.

If you go and watch a Buddha, what are you going to find? You will not be able to penetrate into his deepest core -- that will remain unavailable. Yes, you can watch his behaviour, but the behaviour is not the man. And modern psychiatry is basically behaviouristic -- it believes only in the behaviour, because behaviour is observable. It does not believe in the soul, because the soul is not observable.

In fact, psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy: these words should not be used -- because the word 'psyche' means soul, and the soul is completely denied. Not that psychologists have come to know that there is no soul; it is denied because the methods that they use are very gross.

For example, if you want to hear music through the eyes you will not be able to hear the music. And then you can say, "There is no music, because I cannot see it." If you make it a point that music can be accepted only when seen, then your very approach has made it absolutely certain that there is no music.

Music can be heard but not seen. Beauty can be seen but not heard. Each method has its own limitation. The scientific method is very gross. That's why it has become very very penetrating in the world of matter, but it has become absolutely oblivious of the world of the spirit. The spiritual world is non-existential for the scientist AS a scientist. Love, poetry, music, beauty, bliss -- all are non-existential. This is a very lopsided vision.

Pythagoras wanted a science which was able to be mathematical and musical both -- he wanted it to be a synthesis. And that's my longing too: a real science will have two aspects to it. One will be the objective aspect, the objective science, and the other will be the subjective aspect, the subjective science. And that will be the point of meeting of religion and science.

Science is objective science, and religion is subjective science. And man is both: the meeting of the inner and the


I am perfectly happy -- you can come. But you will know only about the body and you will miss the soul -- UNLESS you are also courageous enough to become participants here, crazy enough to dance with my people and sing with mv people and celebrate with my people, not keeping aloof, but dissolving yourself into the commune. Then you will know both the sides, the outer and the inner. But the inner you will know as an individual, not as a scientist. The outer you can know as a scientist.


ONE VERY FUNDAMENTAL THING has to be understood. Modern psychiatry is rooted and based in illness -- it knows nothing about wellness. Modern psychology and all its branches are basically following the medical model. And that is utterly wrong, because just to look into man's pathology is not right.

That's where Sigmund Freud missed. He contributed something immensely valuable, but still he missed the whole point. He was too much interested in the abnormal, in the ill. And slowly slowly, because all that he studied was nothing but illness, he started feeling that there is no hope for man.

To study illness is needed, because ill people have to be helped. But they cannot be really helped unless you know what wellness is. At the most, you can make them adjusted to the society, but the society ITSELF IS ill.

That's what modern psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychotherapies, go on doing. Whenever somebody becomes a little unadjusted, the work of the psychiatrist is to pull him back to adjustment. Adjustment is thought to be normal. But that is not necessarily the case -- because if the society itself is abnormal then to get adjusted to it will be abnormality, not normality.

In fact, great suspicion has arisen in modern days. R. D. Laing and other people have become suspicious of the whole project. The society is abnormal, and you help people to be adjusted to it! You serve the society, you don't serve those people. You are agents of the society, of the status quo, of the establishment. And the person whom you are forcing -- through drugs, through electro-shocks, through psychoanalysis and a thousand and one other methods -- may be really a normal person. And because he is normal he cannot adjust to the abnormal society.

Just think of a Buddha. The Buddha cannot adjust to the society. The Buddhas have always been rebellious. They cannot bow down to the society, they cannot surrender to the society -- the society is ill! The society has been living under a great curse, the curse that has been created by the priests and the politicians. It has been living under a great conspiracy.

People have not been allowed to be healthy, because healthy people are dangerous. People are not allowed to be intelligent, because intelligent people are dangerous. Your educational system exists not to help people to become intelligent, but to hinder people from becoming intelligent. It exists there so that everybody can be reduced to a mediocre being, so that everybody is reduced to a stupid scholar.

And twenty-five years of conditioning from kindergarten to the university can reduce anybody to a stupid scholar, can make anybody mediocre -- because your education requires that people should be able to reproduce whatsoever has been taught to them. That is the criterion of their intelligence.

That may be the criterion of their parrotlike memory, but it is not the criterion of their intelligence. Intelligence is a totally different phenomenon. Intelligence has nothing to do with repetition; in fact intelligence will abhor repetition. Intelligence will always try to live life in its own way. Intelligence will like to do its own thing. Intelligence will like to enter into life's mysteries, not according to set formulas, prescribed strategies. Intelligence is always original.

And the universities don't allow original people to exist. They weed out original people; their whole effort is to destroy originality -- because original people will always create trouble in the society. They will not be so easily manipulatable, and they cannot be so easily reduced to clerks and deputy collectors and station masters and school teachers -- they cannot be so easily reduced to efficient machines. They will assert themselves. They will try to live life not according to a pattern but according to their own insight.

If a person loves music he would rather remain a beggar but still he will persist in living the life of a musician. Even if he has the choice of becoming the prime minister he would rather live like a beggar and insist on going on playing his music. That will be intelligence, because only when you live your life according to your own lights, according to your own insights, according to your own inner voice, do you attain to bliss, to fulfillment.

And to become a prime minister you don't need intelligence. In fact if you have intelligence you cannot become a prime minister, because who would like to go into politics if he has intelligence? Who would like to go into that ugly game? One would like to become a poet or a painter or a dancer -- but WHO would like to become a politician? Not the intelligent person but only those who are still barbarians, only those who still enjoy violence, domination over other people.

Universities destroy intelligence. Your education is very destructive to intelligence -- it serves the society, and the society is abnormal, very abnormal. In three thousand years, five thousand wars have been fought: can you say this society is healthy? this society is sane?

Man is always ready to kill, murder, or commit suicide. What kind of society is this? And psychiatry and psychoanalysis try to adjust people. They call unadjusted people 'abnormal'. That's why psychologists go on saying that Jesus was abnormal. In fact, they say he was neurotic. Jesus neurotic! And the rabbis who managed to murder this man, they were healthy. Jesus is neurotic: Pontius Pilate is healthy, normal.

If Jesus is neurotic, then Buddha is neurotic, Mahavira is neurotic, Pythagoras, Patanjali, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, all are neurotics. Socrates is neurotic -- and the judges, those stupid judges who decided that he should be poisoned and killed, they are normal.

The whole earth is a madhouse, Doctor Malik. And Doctor Malik lives in Delhi -- he should know well that Delhi attracts all kinds of neurotic people.

Who is ill? And how can you decide and define illness unless you know what wellness is?

Sigmund Freud missed, because he only studied the ill people. But ill people can be studied, because illness always happens on the periphery. And the well people cannot be studied, because wellness happens at the center. It wells up in your being. Illness is superficial, wellness is intrinsic. Sigmund Freud cannot study a Buddha, because he will not be able to find any symptoms.

You can go to a doctor and you can ask, "What is the definition of health?" and you will be surprised that no doctor can answer it. At the most he can say, "When a person is not ill, he is healthy." But what kind of definition is this? -- "When a person has no illnesses he is healthy." Health is a positive phenomenon and you are defining it negatively. Illness they can define. They can define what is cancer and what is tuberculosis and they can define all kinds of illnesses -- millions of illnesses they can define. But a single phenomenon, health, remains indefinable -- it has not been studied at all.

Unless psychology becomes rooted in the people who are whole and holy -- who are enlightened, alert, aware, who have transcended all kinds of identifications, who have become pure consciousness -- unless psychology studies these people.... But then psychology will have to change its methods. Then it cannot go on imitating physiology, physics, chemistry and the natural sciences. Then it will have to learn much from literature, from poetry, from music. Then it will have to move more and more close to the arts rather than going and following science.

That has been the misfortune, that Sigmund Freud was basically a physician, a medical doctor. And his idea of making a science of psychology was the idea of medical science. He started studying ill people, and he based his whole understanding in the illnesses. And because when you treat ill people only ill people come to you, slowly slowly, all that you know about man is that which you have known through ill people. Then that becomes your understanding about man.

That's why whatsoever Freud says about man is basically wrong. It is about the ILL man -- it is not about the human man, it is not about humanity. It is not about a real man, it is something about the ill person.

For example, if you study only blind people, and you decide that no man has eyes, what kind of understanding will that be? It will not be true about man, it will be only true about blind people.

Psychiatrists only come across ill people, and then they start deciding about man, they start defining man. That is going beyond their limits. First you will have to understand the whole -- the ill man and the well man, both. And in fact the man who is perfectly well should be the criterion; he should be the decisive factor. Psychology has to become the psychology of the Buddhas. Only then will it be true, authentic.

My effort here is not that of a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist. I am not treating ill people here. My effort here is to release the sources of well-being in you. I am not interested in treating you, I am interested in freeing you.


NO. THAT DOES NOT MEAN that meditation cannot help -- it helps, but that is coincidental. It helps, but that is only a by-product.

My basic effort here is to create Buddhas -- people who are whole. I am not treating ill people here -- although a few ill people come, and they ARE helped, but that is not my purpose here. It is not a therapeutic community: it is a spiritual commune. Therapies are happening here, but they are not basically meant for ill people -- because in my vision the whole of humanity is ill, it is abnormal.

The therapies that happen here are not particularly interested in any particular kind of disease. We are simply helping so-called normal people to become REALLY normal.

As I see it, every human being is brought up by ill people, abnormal people -- the parents, the teachers -- and naturally they go on giving their illnesses to the child. Unless one becomes alert about what has been done to oneself, unless one dares, is courageous, has guts, to drop all conditioning, one never becomes normal.

Sixty therapeutic groups are run here, just to help common people, the so-called normal people, to be aware that they are not normal -- that is the first step towards becoming normal. And once you have understood that you are not normal, things start changing. A great awareness starts arising in you: something has to be done, something becomes urgent.

And we help people to drop their conditionings -- Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, communist. We help people to drop all their conditionings, because only an unconditioned being is really normal and natural. Conditionings are perversions. So we are not really interested in helping so-called ill people. Our work is to help the so-called normal people. But sometimes ill people come and they ARE benefitted. That is just a fringe phenomenon, on the margin.

So I cannot say which meditation is going to help which particular disease. In fact, EACH meditation will help in some way or other, because all meditation techniques are basically moving to the same point of inner silence. The method may be active or the method may be passive, it doesn't matter, the goal is the same. It may be a Sufi method, it may be a Zen method -- the goal is the same. The goal is: how to make you so silent that all thinking disappears and you are just a mirror, reflecting that which is.

My definition of God is: that which is. And once you start seeing that which is, and you start falling in tune with it, well-being arises. You become part of this tremendously beautiful universe.

But, Doctor Malik, if you come here and your friends come here, they can look into this matter -- which meditation will help which kind of disease. And that will be immensely beneficial.

Psychoanalysis and psychiatry help ill people. Religion helps people who are already well but would like to know the peaks of wellness -- would like to go to the Everest of wellness, what Abraham Maslow calls 'peak experiences'. Those peak experiences are everybody's birthright. And if you don't have peak experiences you are missing something immensely valuable.

But religion goes even one step further ahead than Abraham Maslow and humanistic psychologies. It is not only a question of attaining peak experiences -- because peak experiences will come and go. You cannot remain on the peak for ever. You can have a deep sexual orgasmic experience, you can attain to a peak -- but the moment you have attained, already you have started going downhill. You cannot stay on the peak; there is no space to stay.

All peaks are the repetition of the ancient myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus carries the rock to the peak of the hill, but the peak is small and the rock is big. Sisyphus has been punished by the gods, because he rebelled against the gods, to take the rock to the peak. But the moment the rock reaches the peak it starts falling back, slipping back, downhill.

That is the story of every man. You cannot stay on the peak. You will make the journey, the long journey, to reach the peak -- and once you have attained, it is finished. The moment you become aware of the peak, it is no more; you have started going downhill. There is no space to abide.

Religion helps you not only for peak experiences -- that is only for the beginners -- religion does not help you only to have beautiful experiences, but to have a total orgasmic consciousness. Not the peak experience, not the orgasmic experience, but an orgasmic consciousness -- so that you are twenty-four hours in an orgasmic ecstasy. So that your whole life, moment-to-moment, is a celebration.

My effort here is that of religion. I help people first to know peak experiences so that a great longing can arise in them to abide on those peaks. But one cannot abide on those peaks. Then another effort starts in your life: how to create orgasmic CONSCIOUSNESS. Peaks are experiences, they come and go. Orgasmic consciousness is a transformation of your being. It is a new birth, a resurrection. But attaining to peak experiences helps many ill people. I am not concerned with it, but it helps.

So it is perfectly good, Doctor Malik, you, your friends, are welcome. Come, study, study scientifically, AND study as participants. Find out what meditations can be helpful to what kind of diseases.

But that is not my work. It is happening here. My goal is totally different -- but many other things happen always on the fringe, on the margin. And if you are interested in those marginal things, it is perfectly good. If somebody can be helped in any way by this experiment that is going on here, I will be happy.


Next: Chapter 7, A Bold Experiment, Fourth Question


Energy Enhancement          Enlightened Texts         Pythagoras           Philosofia Perennis



Chapter 7





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