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Seven Kinds of Ego
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OSHO : The Heart Sutra, Chapter 6


OSHO,
What is the difference between the emptiness of the child before the formation of the ego and the awakened childlikeness of a Buddha?

There is a similarity and there is a difference. Essentially the child is a Buddha, but his buddhahood, his innocence, is natural, not earned. His innocence is a kind of ignorance, not a realization. His innocence is unconscious -- he is not aware of it, he is not mindful of it, he has not taken any note of it. It is there but he is oblivious. He is going to lose it. He has to lose it. Paradise will be lost sooner or later; he is on the way towards it. Every child has to go through all kinds of corruption, impurity -- the world.

The child's innocence is the innocence of Adam before he was expelled from the garden of Eden, before he had tasted the fruit of knowledge, before he became conscious. It is animal-like. Look into the eyes of any animal -- a cow, a dog -- and there is purity, the same purity that exists in the eyes of a Buddha, but with one difference.

And the difference is vast too: a Buddha has come back home; the animal has not yet left home. The child is still in the garden of Eden, is still in paradise. He will have to lose it -- because to gain one has to lose. Buddha has come back home...the whole circle. He went away, he was lost, he went astray, he went deep into darkness and sin and misery and hell. Those experiences are part of maturity and growth. Without them you don't have any backbone, you are spineless. Without them your innocence is very fragile; it cannot stand against the winds, it cannot bear storms. It is very weak, it cannot survive. It has to go through the fire of life -- a thousand and one mistakes committed, a thousand and one times you fall, and you get back on your feet again. All those experiences slowly, slowly ripen you, make you mature; you become a grown-up.

Buddha's innocence is that of a mature person, utterly mature.

Childhood is nature unconscious; buddhahood is nature conscious. The childhood is a circumference with no idea of the center. The Buddha is also a circumference, but rooted in the center, centered. Childhood is unconscious anonymity; buddhahood is conscious anonymity. Both are nameless, both are formless...but the child has not known the form yet and the misery of it.

It is like you have never been in a prison, so you don't know what freedom is. Then you have been in the prison for many years, or many lives, and then one day you are released...you come out of the prison doors dancing, ecstatic! And you will be surprised that people who are already outside, walking on the street, going to their work, to the office, to the factory, are not enjoying their freedom at all -- they are oblivious, they don't know that they are free. How can they know? Because they have never been in prison they don't know the contrast; the background is missing.

It is as if you write with a white chalk on a white wall -- nobody will ever be able to read it. What to say about anybody else -- even you will not be able to read what you have written.

I have heard a famous anecdote about Mulla Nasruddin. In his village he was the only man who could write, so people used to come if they wanted to write a letter or some document, or anything. He was the only man who could write. One day a man came. Nasruddin wrote the letter, whatsoever the man dictated -- and it was a long letter -- and the man said: "Please, now read it, because I want to be sure that everything has been written and I have not forgotten anything, and you have not messed up anything."

Mulla said: "Now, this is difficult. I know how to write but I don't know how to read. And moreover, the letter is not addressed to me so it will be illegal to read it too."

And the villager was convinced, the idea was perfectly right, and the villager said: "Right you are -- it is not addressed to you."

If you write on a white wall even you yourself will not be able to read it, but if you write on a blackboard it comes loud and clear -- you can read it. The contrast is needed. The child has no contrast; he is a silver lining without the black cloud.

Buddha is a silver lining in the black cloud.

In the day there are stars in the sky; they don't go anywhere -- they can't go so fast, they can't disappear. They are already there, the whole day they are there, but in the night you can see them because of darkness. They start appearing; as the sun sets they start appearing. As the sun goes deeper and deeper below the horizon, more and more stars are bubbling up. They have been there the whole day, but because the darkness was missing it was difficult to see them.

A child has innocence but no background. You cannot see it, you cannot read it; it is not very loud. A Buddha has lived his life, has done all that is needed -- good and bad -- has touched this polarity and that, has been a sinner and a saint. Remember, a Buddha is not just a saint; he has been a sinner and he has been a saint. And buddhahood is beyond both. Now he has come back home.

That's why Buddha said in yesterday's sutra: "Na jhanam, na praptir na-apraptih" -- "There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path. There is no cognition, no knowledge, no attainment, and no non-attainment." When Buddha became awakened he was asked: "What have you attained?" And he laughed, and he said: "I have not attained anything -- I have only discovered what has always been the case. I have simply come back home. I have claimed that which was always mine and was with me. So there is no attainment as such, I have simply recognized it. It is not a discovery, it is a re-discovery. And when you become a Buddha you will see the point -- nothing is gained by becoming a Buddha. Suddenly you see that this is your nature. But to recognize this nature you have to go astray, you have to go deep into the turmoil of the world. You have to enter into all kinds of muddy places and spaces just to see your utter cleanliness, your utter purity.

The other day I told you about the seven doors -- of how the ego is formed, how the illusion of the ego is strengthened. It will be helpful to go deep into a few things about it.

These seven doors of the ego are not very clear-cut and separate from each other; they overlap. And it is very rare to find a person who has attained to his ego from all the seven doors. If a person has attained the ego from all the seven doors he has become a perfect ego. And only a perfect ego has the capacity to disappear, not an imperfect ego. When the fruit is ripe it falls; when the fruit is unripe it clings. If you are still clinging to the ego, remember, the fruit is not ripe; hence the clinging. If the fruit is ripe, it falls to the ground and disappears. So is the case with the ego.

Now a paradox: that only a really evolved ego can surrender.

Ordinarily you think that an egoist cannot surrender. That is not my observation, and not the observation of Buddhas down the ages. Only a perfect egoist can surrender. Because only he knows the misery of the ego, only he has the strength to surrender. He has known all the possibilities of the ego and has gone into immense frustration. He has suffered a lot, and he knows enough is enough, and he wants any excuse to surrender it. The excuse may be God, the excuse may be a master, or any excuse, but he wants to surrender it. The burden is too much and he has been carrying it for long.

People who have not developed their egos can surrender, but their surrender will not be perfect, it will not be total. Something deep inside will go on clinging, something deep inside will still go on hoping: "Maybe there is something in the ego. Why are you surrendering?"

In the East, the ego has not been developed well. Because of the teaching of egolessness, a misunderstanding arose that if the ego has to be surrendered, then why develop it, for what? A simple logic: if it has to be renounced one day, then why bother? Then why make so much effort to create it? It has to be dropped! So the East has not bothered much in developing the ego. And the Eastern mind finds it very easy to bow down to anybody. It finds it very easy, it is always ready to surrender. But the surrender is basically impossible, because you don't yet have the ego to surrender it.

You will be surprised: all the great Buddhas in the East have been kshatriyas, from the warrior race -- Buddha, Mahavira, Parshwanath, Neminath. All the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas belong to the warrior race, and all the avataras of the Hindus belonged to the kshatriya race -- Ram, Krishna -- except one, Parashuram, who was, accidentally it seems, born to a brahmin family, because you cannot find a greater warrior than him. It must have been some accident -- his whole life was a continuous war.

It is a surprise when you come to know that not a single brahmin has ever been declared a Buddha, an avatara, a tirthankara. Why? The brahmin is humble; from the very beginning he has been brought up in humbleness, for humbleness. Egolessness has been taught to him from the very beginning, so the ego is not ripe, and unripe egos cling.

In the East people have very, very fragmentary egos, and they think it is easy to surrender.

They are always ready to surrender to anybody. A drop of a hat and they are ready to surrender -- but their surrender never goes very deep, it remains superficial.

Just the opposite is the case in the West: people who come from the West have very, very strong and developed egos. Because the whole Western education is to create an evolved, well-defined, well-cultured, sophisticated ego, they think it is very difficult to surrender. They have not even heard the word surrender. The very idea looks ugly, humiliating. But the paradox is that when a Western man or woman surrenders, the surrender goes really deep. It goes to the very core of his or her being, because the ego is very evolved. The ego is evolved; that's why you think it is very difficult to surrender. But if surrender happens it goes to the very core, it is absolute. In the East people think surrender is very easy, but the ego is not so evolved so it never goes very deep.

A Buddha is one who has gone into the experiences of life, the fire of life, the hell of life, and has ripened his ego to its ultimate possibility, to the very maximum. And in that moment the ego falls and disappears. Again you are a child; it is a rebirth, it is a resurrection. First you have to be on the cross of the ego, you have to suffer the cross of the ego, and you have to carry the cross on your own shoulders -- and to the very end. Ego has to be learned; only then can you unlearn it. And then there is great joy. When you are free from the prison you have a dance, a celebration in your being. You cannot believe why people who are out of prison are going so dead and dull and dragging themselves. Why are they not dancing? Why are they not celebrating? They cannot: they have not known the misery of the prison.

These seven doors have to be used before you can become a Buddha. You have to go to the darkest realm of life, to the dark night of the soul, to come back to the dawn when the morning rises again, the sun rises again, and all is light.

But it rarely happens that you have a fully developed ego.

If you understand me, then the whole structure of education should be paradoxical: first they should teach you the ego -- that should be the first part of education, the half of it; and they should then teach you egolessness, how to drop it -- that will be the latter half. People enter from one door or two doors or three doors, and get caught up in a certain fragmentary ego.

The first, I said, is the bodily self. The child starts learning slowly, slowly: it takes nearabout fifteen months for the child to learn that he is separate, that there is something inside him and something outside. He learns that he has a body separate from other bodies. But a few people remain clinging to that very, very fragmentary ego for their whole lives. These are the people who are known as materialists, communists, Marxists.

The people who believe that the body is all -- that there is nothing more than the body inside you, that the body is your whole existence, that there is no consciousness separate from the body, above the body, that consciousness is just a chemical phenomenon happening in the body, that you are not separate from the body and when the body dies you die, and all disappears...dust unto dust...there is no divinity in you -- they reduce man to matter.

These are the people who remain clinging to the first door; their mental age seems to be only fifteen months. The very, very rudimentary and primitive ego remains materialist. These people remain hung up with two things: sex and food. But remember, when I say materialist, communist, Marxist, I do not mean that this completes the list. Somebody may be a spiritualist and may still be clinging to the first....

For example, Mahatma Gandhi: if you read his autobiography, he calls his autobiography My Experiments With Truth.. But if you go on reading his autobiography you will find the name is not right; he should have given it the name My Experiments With Food And Sex. Truth is nowhere to be found. He is continuously worried about food: what to eat, what not to eat. His whole worry seems to be about food, and then about sex: how to become a celibate -- this runs as a theme, this is the undercurrent. Continuously, day and night, he is thinking about food and sex -- one has to get free. Now he is not a materialist -- he believes in soul, he believes in God. In fact, because he believes in God he is thinking so much about food -- because if he eats something wrong and commits a sin, then he will be far away from God.

He talks about God but thinks about food.

And that is not only so with him, it is so with all the Jaina monks. He was under much impact from Jaina monks. He was born in Gujarat. Gujarat is basically Jaina, Jainism has the greatest impact on Gujarat. Even Hindus are more like Jainas in Gujarat than like Hindus. Gandhi is ninety percent a Jaina -- born in a Hindu family, but his mind is conditioned by Jaina monks. They are continuously thinking about food.

And then the second idea arises, of sex -- how to get rid of sex. For his whole life, to the very end, he was concerned about it -- how to get rid of sex. In the last year of his life he was experimenting with nude girls and sleeping with them, just to test himself, because he was feeling that death was coming close, and he had to test himself to see whether there was still some lust in him.

The country was burning, people were being killed: Mohammedans were killing Hindus, Hindus were killing Mohammedans -- the whole country was on fire. And he was in the very middle of it, in Novakali -- but his concern was sex. He was sleeping with girls, nude girls; he was testing himself, testing whether brahmacharya, his celibacy, was perfect yet or not.

But why this suspicion? -- Because of long repression. The whole life he had been repressing. Now, in the very end, he had become afraid -- because at that age he was still dreaming about sex. So he was very suspicious: would he be able to face his God? Now he is a spiritualist, but I will call him a materialist, and a very primitive materialist. His concern is food and sex.

Whether you are for it or against it doesn't matter -- your concern shows where your ego is hanging. And I will include the capitalist in it also: his whole concern is how to gather money, hoard money -- because money has power over matter. You can purchase any material thing through money. You cannot purchase anything spiritual, you cannot purchase anything that has any intrinsic value; you can purchase only things. If you want to purchase love, you cannot purchase; but you can purchase sex.

Sex is the material part of love.

Through money, matter can be purchased, possessed.

Now you will be surprised: I include the communist and the capitalist both in the same category, and they are enemies, just as I include Charvaka and Mahatma Gandhi in the same category, and they are enemies. They are enemies, but their concern is the same. The capitalist is trying to hoard money, the communist is against it. He wants that nobody should be allowed to hoard money except the state. But his concern is also money, he is also continuously thinking about money. It is not an accident that Marx had given the name Das Kapital to his great book on communism, Capital. That is the communist Bible, but the name is Capital. That is their concern: how not to allow anybody to hoard money so the state can hoard, and how to possess the state -- so, in fact, basically, ultimately, you hoard the money.

Once I heard that Mulla Nasruddin had become a communist. I know him...I was a little puzzled. This was a miracle! I know his possessiveness.

So I asked him: "Mulla, do you know what communism means?"
He said: "I know."
I said: "Do you know that if you have two cars and somebody hasn't a car, you will have to give one car?"
He said: "I am perfectly willing to give."
I said: "If you have two houses and somebody is without a house you will have to give one house?"
He said: "I am perfectly ready, right now."
And I said: "If you have two donkeys you will have to give one donkey to somebody else who has not?"
He said: "There I disagree. I cannot give, I cannot do that!"
But I said: "Why? -- Because it is the same logic, the same corollary."
He said: "No, it is not the same -- I have two donkeys, I don't have two cars."

The communist mind is basically a capitalist mind, the capitalist mind is basically a communist mind. They are partners in the same game -- the game's name is capital, Das Kapital.

Many people, millions of people, only evolve this primitive ego, very rudimentary. If you have this ego it is very difficult to surrender; it is very unripe.

The second door I call self-identity.

The child starts growing an idea of who he is. Looking in the mirror, he finds the same face. Every morning, getting up from the bed, he runs to the bathroom, looks, and he says: "Yes, it is I. The sleep has not disturbed anything." He starts having an idea of a continuous self.

Those people who become too involved with this door, get hooked with this door, are the so-called spiritualists who think that they are going into paradise, heaven, moksha, but that they will be there. When you think about heaven, you certainly think of yourself that as you are here, you will be there too. Maybe the body will not be there, but your inner continuity will remain. That is absurd! That liberation, that ultimate liberation happens only when the self is dissolved and all identity is dissolved. You become an emptiness....

Therefore, oh Sariputra, in nothingness there is no form, or: form is emptiness and emptiness is form.

There is no knowledge because there is no knower; there is not even vigyan, no consciousness, because there is nothing to be conscious about and nobody to be conscious about it. All disappears.

That idea that the child has of self-continuity is carried by the spiritualists. They go on searching: from where does the soul enter into the body, from where does the soul go out of the body, what form does the soul have, planchettes and mediums, things like that -- all rubbish and nonsense. The self has no form. It is pure nothingness, it is vast sky without any clouds in it. It is a thoughtless silence, unconfined, uncontained by anything.

That idea of a permanent soul, the idea of a self, continues to play games in your minds.

Even if the body dies, you want to be certain that: "I will live."

Many people used to come to Buddha...because this country has been dominated by this second kind of ego: people believe in the permanent soul, eternal soul, atman -- they would come to Buddha again and again and say: "When I die, will something remain or not?" And Buddha would laugh and he would say: "There is nothing right now, so why bother about death? There has never been anything from the very beginning." And this was inconceivable to the Indian mind.

The Indian mind is predominantly hooked with the second type of ego. That's why Buddhism could not survive in India. Within five hundred years, Buddhism disappeared. It found better roots in China, because of Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu had created really a beautiful field for Buddhism there. The climate was ready -- as if somebody had prepared the ground; only the seed was needed. And when the seed reached China it grew into a great tree. But from India it disappeared. Lao Tzu had no idea of any permanent self, and in China people have not bothered much.

There are these three cultures in the world: one culture, called the materialist -- very predominant in the West; another culture, called the spiritualist -- very predominant in India; and China has a third kind of culture, neither materialist nor spiritualist. It is Taoist: live the moment and don't bother for the future, because to bother about heaven and hell and paradise and moksha is basically to be continuously concerned about yourself. It is very selfish, it is very self-centered. According to Lao Tzu, according to Buddha too, and according to me also, a person who is trying to reach heaven is a very, very self-centered person, very selfish. And he does not know a thing about his own inner being -- there is no self.

The third door was self-esteem: the child learns to do things and enjoys doing them.

A few people get hooked there -- they become technicians, they become performers, actors, they become politicians, they become the showmen. The basic theme is the doer; they want to show the world that they can do something. If the world allows them some creativity, good. If it does not allow them creativity, they become destructive.

Did you know that Adolf Hitler wanted to enter an art school? He wanted to become a painter, that was his idea. Because he was refused, because he was not a painter, because he could not pass the entrance examination in art school -- that rejection was very hard for him to accept -- his creativity turned sour. He became destructive. But basically he wanted to become a painter, he wanted to do something. Because he was not found capable of doing it, as revenge, he started being destructive.

The criminal and the politician are not very far away, they are cousin-brothers. If the criminal is given the right opportunity he will become a politician, and if the politician is not given the right opportunity to have his say, he will become a criminal. They are border cases. Any moment, the politician can become a criminal and the criminal can become a politician. And this has been happening down the ages, but we don't yet have that insight to see into things.

The fourth door was self-extension. The word "mine" is the key word there. One has to extend oneself by accumulating money, by accumulating power, by becoming bigger and bigger and bigger: the patriot who says: "This is my country, and this is the greatest country in the world." You can ask the Indian patriot: he goes on shouting from every nook and corner that this is punya bhumi -- this is the land of virtue, the purest land in the world.

Once a so-called saint came to me, a Hindu monk, and he said: "Don't you believe that this is the only country where so many Buddhas were born, so many avataras, so many tirthankaras -- Rama, Krishna and others. Why? -- Because this is the most virtuous land."

I told him: "The fact is just the opposite: if in the neighborhood you see that in somebody's house a doctor comes every day -- sometimes a vaidya, a physician, a hakim, an acupuncturist, and the naturopath, and this and that -- what do you understand by it?"

He said: "Simple! That that family is ill."

That is the case with India: so many Buddhas needed -- the country seems to be utterly ill and pathological.

So many healers, so many physicians. Buddha has said: "I am a physician." And you know that Krishna has said: "Whenever there is darkness in the world, and whenever there is sin in the world, and whenever the law of the cosmos is disturbed, I will come back." So why had he come that time? It must have been for the same reason. And why so many times in India?

But the patriot is arrogant, aggressive, egoistic. He goes on declaring: "My country is special, my religion is special, my church is special, my book is special, my guru is special" -- and everything is nothing. This is just ego claiming.

A few people get hooked with this "mine" -- the dogmatist, the patriot, the Hindu, the Christian, the Mohammedan.

The fifth door is self-image. The child starts looking into things, experiences. When the parents feel good with the child, he thinks: "I am good." When they pat him he feels: "I am good." When they look with anger, they shout at him and they say: "Don't do that!" he feels: "Something is wrong in me." He recoils.

A small child was asked in school on the first day he entered: "What is your name?"
He said: "Johnny Don't."
The teacher was puzzled. He said: "Johnny Don't? Never heard such a name!"
He said: "Whenever, whatsoever I am doing, this is my name -- my mother shouts: 'Johnny don't!' My father shouts: 'Johnny don't!' So I think this is my name. 'Don't' is always there. What I am doing is irrelevant."

The fifth is the door from where morals enter: you become a moralist; you start feeling very good, "holier than thou." Or, in frustration, in resistance, in struggle, you become an immoralist and you start fighting with the whole world, to show the whole world.

Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, has written about one of his experiences that proved very fundamental to his life's effort. He was a psychoanalyst practicing in Africa. The practice was very good because he was the only psychoanalyst there. He had a big car, a big bungalow with a garden, a swimming pool -- and everything that a mediocre mind wants to have, the middle-class luxuries.

And then he went to Vienna to attend a world psychoanalyst's conference. Of course, he was a successful man in Africa, so he was thinking that Freud would receive him, there would be great welcome. And Freud was the father-figure for the psychoanalysts, so he wanted to be patted by Freud. He had written a paper and had worked for months on it, because he wanted Freud to know who he was. He read the paper; there was no response. Freud was very cold, other psychoanalysts were very cold. His paper was almost unnoticed, uncommented upon. He felt very shocked, depressed, but still he was hoping that he would go to see Freud, and then something might happen.

And he went to see Freud. He was just on the steps, had not even entered the door, and Freud was standing there. And he said to Freud, just to impress him: "I have come from thousands of miles." And rather than welcoming him, Freud said: "And when are you going back?" That hurt him very much: "This is the welcome? 'When are you going back?'" And that was the whole interview -- finished! He turned away, continuously repeating, like a mantra in his head: "I will show you, I will show you, I will show you!" And he tried to show him: he created the greatest movement against psychoanalysis -- gestalt.

This is a childish reaction.

Either the child is accepted -- then he feels good, then he is ready to do anything the parents want; or, if again and again he is frustrated, then he starts thinking in terms of: "There is no possibility that I can receive their love, but still I need their attention. If I cannot get their attention through the right way, I will get their attention through the wrong way. Now I will smoke, I will masturbate, I will do harm to myself and to others, and I will do all kinds of things that they say 'Don't do,' but I will keep them occupied with me. I will show them."

This is the fifth door, the self-image. Sinner and saint are hooked there. Heaven and hell are the ideas of people who are hooked there. Millions of people are hooked. They are continuously afraid of hell and continuously greedy for heaven. They want to be patted by God, and they want God to say to them: "You are good, my son. I am happy with you." They go on sacrificing their lives just to be patted by some fantasy somewhere beyond life and death. They go on doing a thousand and one tortures to themselves just in order that God can say: "Yes, you sacrificed yourself for me."

It seems as if God is a masochist or a sadist, or something like that.

People torture themselves with the idea that they will be making God happy. What do you mean by this? You fast and you think God will be very happy with you? You starve yourself and you think God will be very happy with you? Is he a sadist? Does he enjoy torturing people? And that is what saints, so-called saints, have been doing: torturing themselves and looking at the sky. Sooner or later God will say: "Good boy, you have done well. Now come and enjoy the heavenly pleasures. Come here! Wine flows here in rivers, and roads are of gold, and palaces are made of diamonds. And the women here never age, they remain stuck at sixteen. Come here! You have done enough, you have earned, now you can enjoy!" The whole idea behind sacrifice is this. It is a foolish idea, because all ego ideas are foolish.

The sixth is the self as reason. It comes through education, experience, reading, learning, listening: you start accumulating ideas, then you start creating systems out of ideas, consistent wholes, philosophies. This is where the philosophers, the scientists, the thinkers, the intellectuals, the rationalists are hooked. But this is becoming more and more sophisticated: from the first, the sixth is very sophisticated.

The seventh is propriate striving: the artist, the mystic, the utopian, the dreamer -- they are hooked there. They are always trying to create an utopia in the world. The word "utopia" is very beautiful: it means "that which never comes." It is always coming but it never comes; it is always there but never here. But there are moon-gazers who go on looking for the faraway, the distant, and they are always moving in imagination. Great poets, imaginative people -- their whole ego is involved in becoming. There is somebody who wants to become God; he is a mystic.

Remember, "becoming" is the key word on the seventh, and the seventh is the last of the ego. The most mature ego comes there. That's why you will feel, you will see a poet -- he may not have anything, he may be a beggar, but in his eyes, on his nose, you will see the great ego. The mystic may have renounced the whole world and may be sitting in a Himalayan cage, in a Himalayan cave. You go there and look at him: he may be sitting there naked -- but such a subtle ego, such a refined ego. He may even touch your feet, but he is showing: "Look how humble I am!"

There are seven doors. When the ego is perfect, all these seven doors have been crossed; then that mature ego drops on its own accord. The child is before these seven egos, and the Buddha is after these seven egos. It is a complete circle.

You ask me: "What is the difference between the emptiness of the child before the formation of the ego and the awakened childlikeness of a Buddha?"

This is the difference. Buddha has moved into all these seven egos -- seen them, looked into them, found that they are illusory, and has come back home, has become a child again. That's what Jesus means when he says: "Unless you become like small children, you will not enter into my kingdom of God."


OSHO,
I am just curious. Have you read the book,
Zorba the Greek, by Kazantzakis? I love it so much. Is not Zorba exactly the way you want us to be? At least that is how I understand your teaching.

I have been Zorba the Greek for many lives. I need not read the book; that is my autobiography. And that's what I would like you to be.

Take life joyfully, take life easily, take life relaxedly, don't create unnecessary problems. Ninety-nine percent of your problems are created by you because you take life seriously. Seriousness is the root cause of problems. Be playful, and you will not miss anything -- because life is God.

Forget about God; just be alive, be abundantly alive. Live each moment as if this is the last moment. Live it intensely; let your torch burn from both sides together. Even if it is only for one moment, that is enough. One moment of intense totality is enough to give you the taste of God. You can live in a lukewarm way, the bourgeois way, the middle-class way. You can go on living, dragging yourself for millions of years -- you will only collect dust from the roads and nothing else. One moment of clarity, totality, spontaneity, and you burn like a flame. Just one moment is enough! One moment will make you eternal; you will enter from that moment into eternity. That's my whole message for my Sannyasins: live it in such way that you need not repent, ever.

A friend has sent me a clipping from a paper.

An old woman, eighty-five years old, was asked by a journalist that if she had to live again, how would she live?

The old woman said -- there is a great insight in it, remember it -- "If I had my life to live over, I would dare to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I would have fewer imaginary ones.

"You see, I am one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments, and if I had it to do over again I would have more of them. In fact, I would try to have nothing else -- just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I have been one of those persons who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again I would travel lighter than I have.

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and stay that way later into the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies."

And that's my vision of a Sannyasin, too.

Live this moment as totally as possible.

Don't be too sane, because too much sanity leads to insanity. Let a little craziness exist in you. That gives zest to life, that makes life juicy. Let a little irrationality always be there. That makes you capable of playing, being playful; that helps you to relax. A sane person is utterly hung up in the head, he cannot get down from there. He lives upstairs. Live all over the place, this is your house! Upstairs, good, the ground floor, perfectly good -- and the basement is beautiful too. Live all over the place, this is your house. And don't wait for next time, I would like to tell this old woman, because the next time never comes.

Not that you will not be born again; you will be born again, but then you will forget. Then you will start again from ABC. This old woman has been here before. She must have been here millions of times before. And I can say to you that each time, nearabout the age of eighty-five, she would have decided the same way: "Next time I'm going to do it differently." But next time you don't remember -- that's the problem. You lose all memory of the past life. Then again you start from ABC and the same thing happens.

So I would not say to you to wait for the next time. Take hold of this moment! This is the only time there is, there is no other time. Even if you are eighty-five you can start living. And what is there to lose when you are eighty-five? If you go barefoot on the beach in the spring, if you collect daisies -- even if you die in that, nothing is wrong. To die barefoot on the beach is the right way to die. To die collecting daisies is the right way to die. Whether you are eighty-five or fifteen doesn't matter. Take hold of this moment. Be a Zorba.

You ask: "I am just curious. Have you read the book Zorba the Greek? I love it so much."

Only loving it won't help. Be it!

Sometimes it happens that you love the opposite of what you are.

You enjoy the opposite of what you are -- because it releases fantasies in you. It gives you a vision of how you would like to be: that's the appeal of a Zorba.

But loving the book will not help. That's what people have been doing down the ages. People love the Bible, and don't become Jesus, and they love the Heart Sutra -- they repeat it, they chant it every day. Millions of people in the East repeat the Heart Sutra five times a day -- in China, in Japan, in Korea, in Vietnam -- they go on repeating it. It is a small sutra; it can be repeated within minutes. They love it, but they don't become it!

Be a Zorba. Remember it: loving books is not going to help, only being helps.

"I love it so much. Is not Zorba exactly the way you want us to be?"

Not exactly, because I would not like many Zorbas in the world. Not exactly, because that would be ugly and monotonous and boring. You be a Zorba in your own way -- not exactly.

Never try to imitate anybody, never be an imitator; that is suicide. Then you will never be able to enjoy. You will always remain a carbon copy, you will never be the original. And all that happens in life -- truth, beauty, good, liberation, meditation, love -- happens to the original, never to the carbon copy. Beware -- not exactly; that is dangerous. If you simply start following Zorba and start doing things as he is doing them you will get into trouble. That's how people have done it.

Look at the Christians, look at the Hindus: they have been trying to do it exactly. Nobody can be a Buddha again! God does not permit any repetition! God does not allow secondhand people, he loves firsthand people. He loved Buddha. He loved so much that it is finished. Now there is no need for Buddha. It would not be a love affair anymore. It would be like going to the same movie that you have seen before, it would be like reading the same book that you have read many times before. God is not dull and stupid, he never allows anybody to repeat anybody else: Christ only once, Buddha only once -- and so are you only once! And you are alone, there is nobody else like you. Only you are you. This I call reverence for life. This is really self-respect.

Learn from Zorba, learn the secret, but never try to imitate. Learn the climate, appreciate, go into it, sympathize with it, participate with Zorba, and then go on your own. Then be yourself.

OSHO,
Will you please speak about what is common between prayer and meditation, and also the difference between them?

The question is from Mark Nevejan....
P.S.: You don't know me because I have not yet met you personally. Arup knows me a little bit.

Arup does not know herself, how can she know you? -- Not even a little bit! You have not met me, that is true. But I know you, because I know myself. The day I came to know myself I have come to know everybody -- because it is the same nothingness flowering in different ways.

I know you, Mark. You may not know me. How can you know me? -- You don't know yourself. But I know you. I may not know your form, but I know you...and you are not the form.

Therefore, oh Sariputra...
Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.

I know the truth in you; I may not know the personality around you. That's why I can help you -- because I know you. That's why I can take you to the beyond -- because I know you. If I don't know you I cannot take you beyond.

And you ask: "Will you please speak about what is common between prayer and meditation, and also the difference between them?" I was just going to speak about it yesterday, but there were so many questions and I could not answer you.

Mark has written another question today:

Dear Summertime of consciousness and freedom,
The other day I asked you a question about what is common and different in prayer and meditation. In the meantime, I have been reading in your book I Am the Gate
and found the answer. Thank you for the response.
Dutch cloudy sky called Mark Nevejan

You will not be called Mark Nevejan for long! I think it is going to be today, because I don't wait for tomorrow. I will find you a beautiful name. It will not be cloudy; it will not be a cloudy Dutch sky. It will be an Indian summer sky with no clouds.

It will happen many times that you ask a question, and if you look for it, you will find it. Patience is needed, because when I'm answering others' questions, they are yours too. Just patience is needed. When I answer one question, I answer many -- the asked ones and the unasked ones, and the ones that will be asked in the future, and the ones that will never be asked.

Good, Mark, that you waited one day and didn't get angry. A few people get very angry. They write me angry letters: "I have been asking questions and you don't answer me." They are not listening to me, they are only searching for their question. That is their ego, the question is not important -- "My question has to be answered." And whenever I see that somebody has asked a question in which "my" is more important, I never answer.

Mukta is sitting there. She goes on writing questions and questions again and again: "Osho, why do you never answer my questions?" The day she drops her "my," she will start finding answers.

I am answering, continuously! But when you are too attached with your question, and you are simply waiting for when your question is being answered, you will miss all the answers that have been showering on you. It happens many times that when I answer a question, the questioner himself cannot receive it but others receive it more easily, because they are not worried, it is not their question, so they are sitting silently. They are not excited about it, they are not tense about it, it is nothing personal. They can relax and enjoy the answer. When it is your question you are tense and you are afraid. And I never miss a chance -- if I can hit you, I hit!

OSHO,

I have heard you say repeatedly that we should remain in the world, in the marketplace. Yet most of the people I meet here are planning to live with you in Gujarat, only returning to the West to gather enough money to do so. A large community is being planned. Please comment.

You emphasize the importance of being with a living master, but that after a connection is made you are always with us. Why does everyone want to live in your community instead of staying in the world? It certainly would be wonderful, but what about the marketplace?

It is going to be the greatest marketplace that you have ever seen. Don't be worried about that! It is going to be the very world -- more intense, of course, than you can find it anywhere; more chaotic of course. And nobody is planning it, remember, it is coming up of out nothing. Therefore, oh Sariputra...!

OSHO,
What chance is there for your ideal society in the face of the politicians and the priests and the vested interests of capital?

First, I am not interested in any ideal society. For that matter, I am not even interested in any ideal individual. The word "ideal" is a dirty word to me. I have no ideals. Ideals have driven you mad. It is ideals that have made this whole earth a big madhouse.

The ideal means you are not that which you should be. It creates tension, anxiety, anguish. It divides you, it makes you schizophrenic. And the ideal is in the future and you are here. And how can you live unless you are the ideal? First be the ideal, then start living -- and that never happens. That cannot happen in the very nature of things. Ideals are impossible; that's why they are ideals. They drive you crazy and make you insane. And condemnation arises, because you always fall short of the ideal. Guilt is created. In fact, that is what the priests and the politicians have been doing -- they want to create guilt in you. To create guilt they use ideals; that is the simple mechanism. First give an ideal, then guilt comes automatically.

If I say to you that two eyes are not enough, you need three eyes; open your third eye! Read Lobsang Rampa -- open your third eye! And now you try hard, this way and that, and you stand on your head, and you do a mantra -- and the third eye does not open. Now you start feeling guilty -- something is missing...you are not the right person. You become depressed. You rub the third eye hard, and it doesn't open.

Beware of all this nonsense. These two eyes are beautiful. And if you have only one eye, that is perfect...Because Jesus says: "When two eyes become one, then the whole body is full of light." But I'm not saying that you should try to make one eye out of two. You just accept yourself as you are. God has made you perfect, he has not left anything incomplete in you. And if you feel incompletion is there, then that is part of perfection. You are perfectly imperfect. God knows better: that only in imperfection is there growth, only in imperfection is there flow, only in imperfection is something possible.

If you were just perfect you would be dead like a rock. Then there would be nothing happening, then nothing could happen. If you understand me, I would like to tell you: God is also perfectly imperfect; otherwise he would have been dead long ago. He would not have waited for Friedrich Nietzsche to declare that God is dead.

What would this God be doing if he were perfect? Then he could not do anything, then he could not have any freedom to do. He could not grow; there is nowhere to go. He would be simply stuck there. He could not even commit suicide, because when you are perfect you don't do things like that.

Accept yourself as you are.

I am not interested in any ideal society, not at all. I am not interested even in ideal individuals. I am not interested in idealism at all!

And to me the society does not exist, there are only individuals. The society is just a functioning structure, utilitarian. You cannot come across society. Have you ever come across society? Have you ever come across humanity? Have you ever come across Hinduism, Islam? No, you always come across the individual, the concrete, the solid individual.

But people have been thinking how to improve society, how to make an ideal society. And these people have proved calamities. They have been a great mischief. Because of their ideal society they have destroyed people's respect for themselves, and they have created guilt in everybody. Everybody is guilty, nobody seems to be happy the way he is.

And you can create guilt for anything -- and once guilt is created, you become powerful. The person who creates guilt in you becomes powerful over you -- remember this strategy -- because then only he can redeem you of guilt. Then you have to go to him. The priest first creates guilt, then you have to go to the church. Then you have to go and confess: "I have committed this sin," and he forgives you in the name of God. First in the name of God he created guilt, then he forgives you in the name of God. Listen to this story:

Calvin was caught committing a grave sin by his mother, and immediately was sent to confession.
"Father," said Calvin, "I played with myself."
"Why did you do that?" The priest was really angry and shouted.
"I had nothing better to do," said Calvin.
"For penance, do five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys."
A week later Calvin's mother caught him again, and once more he was sent to confession.
"Father, I played with myself."
"Why did you do that?"
"I had nothing better to do," said Calvin.
"For penance, do ten Our Fathers and five Hail Marys."
The following week, Calvin was guilty again. "Back you go," said his mother. "And take this chocolate cake for the good Father."
While waiting on a long line Calvin finished the cake. In the confessional he said: "Father, Mom sent you a chocolate cake, but I ate it all up while I was waiting."
"Why did you do that?" asked the priest.
"I had nothing better to do."
"Why didn't you play with yourself then?"

The priest is not interested in what you are doing; he has his vested interest -- his chocolate cake. And then you can go to hell! Then you do whatsoever you want, but where is the chocolate cake?

They create guilt, then they forgive you in the name of God. They make you sinners and then they say: "Now come to Christ, he is the savior."

Nobody is there who can save you, because in the first place you have not committed any sin. You need not be saved.

This is the message of Buddha: You are already there! You are already saved! The savior need not come, you are not guilty. There is no suffering, Sariputra, no origination of suffering, no stopping of it, and there is no path to it. It is not attained, it is not non-attained. It is already the case, it is your very nature.

I am not interested in any ideal society. Please drop that dream; it has created great nightmares in the world. Remember, nothing can happen now politically. Politics is dead. Whatever you vote, right or left, do it without illusions. It is necessary to renounce the idea that any system can be a savior. No system can be a savior -- communism, fascism, Gandhism. No society can save you, and no society can be an ideal society. And there is no savior -- Christ, Krishna or Rama. You have just to drop that nonsense that you are carrying about guilt and your being a sinner.

Put your whole energy into dancing, celebrating. And then you are ideal, here and now -- not that you have to become ideal.

Ideology, as such, has lost its truth. In fact it was never there in the first place. And the power to persuade also is gone. Few serious minds believe any longer that one can set down blueprints, and through social engineering bring about a new utopia of social harmony. We are living in the age of utter freedom. We have come of age. Humanity is no longer childish, it is more mature. We are living in a very Socratic period, because people are asking all the important questions of life. Don't start hankering and longing for some future ideal, idea, perfection. Drop all ideals and live here-now.

My commune is not going to be an ideal society. My commune is going to be a here-now commune.

Enough for today.

OSHO : The Heart Sutra, Chapter 6
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