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Fear of the Unknown
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OSHO : Zen The Special Transmission, Chapter 10

The first question:

I will be taking sannyas in a few days. I would like so much that you say something to me. I am afraid -- there are doubts -- and I feel happiness arise.

Evi Huber, it is natural to feel afraid when you are entering into something unknown. Every adventure brings its own fears. If one wants to live without fears one can live only in the grave. That's how many people live: they only appear to be alive. They are breathing, they are doing their jobs, but it is not life.

Life can mean only one thing and that is constant adventure -- always moving from the known into the unknown -- and finally, ultimately, a quantum leap from the unknown into the unknowable.

Sannyas has two steps: First is from the known into the unknown, and the second is from the unknown into the unknowable. It is natural to feel afraid and there is no contradiction that you are also feeling happiness arise; that too is as natural as fear. The person who lives without any adventure lives without fear but also without happiness. He lives a convenient life, comfortable, cozy, but dull, stupid, meaningless, with no joy, no song, no dance; nothing ever happens into his being, he simply vegetates. From birth to death he simply goes on dying every day, each moment, slowly. Of course his death is so slow that he cannot feel it. It is a kind of slow suicide.

People have chosen this kind of slow suicide just because they want to avoid all fear. This is avoiding life itself, and if you avoid life you are avoiding God.

Somebody asked Mark Twain once, "What do you think are the three best things in life?"

Humorously, sarcastically, he said, "The first best thing is never to be born. The second best thing is to die immediately after birth. And the third best thing is to die as soon as possible." But his humor has a tremendous truth in it. That's your logic too, that's the logic of the average mind, that's the logic of mind as such.

Mind is very much afraid of the unknown because mind feels capable when you are functioning within the boundaries of the known. Mind means knowledge. You are acquainted with it. You know all pros and cons; you know what to do, what not to do. You have passed through the same route so many times that now you can pass with closed eyes without any fear of stumbling into anything or falling or going astray. You can function like a robot. Mind consists only of the known. The moment you start inviting the unknown in, the mind freaks. The mind says, "No, this dangerous. I am not willing."

Don't listen to the mind because mind means past; dead it is, already dead and gone.

It is non-existential. It is only the footprints of the events that are no more. Mind knows nothing of the present, it cannot know of the present. It has not any capacity to commune with the present because the present is always unknown. You cannot reduce-it to the past. And the fear of the mind is that the moment you encounter the present you have to be spontaneous, and the mind becomes useless. The mind has to be put aside.

That is the moment where meditation starts happening. To remain confined into the known is to be in the mind; to allow the unknown to enter into your being is the beginning of meditation, beginning of Zen. The present can be approached only through the no-mind. If you have any conclusions you are still carrying the past; conclusions come from the past prejudices come from the past. You have to put aside everything that you have known. You have to look into the present in a state of not knowing. The mind will tremble -- let it tremble. Let it die out of trembling. Don't listen to it.

The mind will create many doubts. That's why, Evi Huber, you say: There are doubts.... It is natural the mind will create many doubts. The mind will say "You are perfectly happy, you are perfectly comfortable. Why are you risking? For what? You may lose even that which you have; you may not gain anything. Don't risk!" Mind teaches you to be calculating, to be cautious.

And sannyas is for the gamblers; it is not for the businesslike, it is not for the calculators, it is not for the computers. It is for men, real men, authentic men who are always ready to listen to the challenge of the unknown, who are ready to go into the uncharted sea. There is no guarantee of the other shore; there cannot be any guarantee in sannyas.

Religion cannot provide any guarantee. And the moment any religion starts providing guarantees it is no more religion; it becomes part of certain vested interests. It becomes part of establishment; it loses all rebellion. Jesus cannot give you any guarantee; the Christian church can give you all kinds of guarantees. Buddha could not have given you any guarantee; the Buddhist church provides you all kinds of guarantees, here and hereafter, even in the other world.

The people who follow are always looking for guarantees, consciously, unconsciously; they are waiting for certain indications that truth should be ensured. "Then we can go into any adventure" -- but it is no more adventure if it is guaranteed.

Bliss cannot be guaranteed, truth cannot be guaranteed, ecstasy cannot be guaranteed. Yes, it can be said it happens. The man who has tasted it can say, "I have tasted it, and there is a possibility that you may also taste it. If I have tasted it, why not you?" But there is no guarantee: you may, you may not.

And the mind lives on these doubts. The mind says, "Who knows? This man may be deceiving. Maybe he is not deceiving, but he himself may be deceived. He may be hallucinating about ecstasy, samadhi -- dreaming, believing. Maybe he has auto-hypnotized himself or maybe he is just a fraud deceiving others, exploiting their gullibility." The mind will create all these questions, thousand of questions. In mind questions arise like leaves grow on trees; the mind goes on growing many and many questions every moment. No answer is of any help; out of every answer the mind will create many more questions.

It is natural to feel doubt. If there is no doubt, then there is no growth either.

The more you feel full of doubts and still you go on the journey, that makes the difference. The stupid person, the imbecile, the idiot may not feel any doubts, he may simply believe, but he is not going on any adventure; he cannot understand what adventure is. He is just accidental, he is at the mercy of the winds. But the intelligent person is bound to feel doubts. In spite of the doubts one has to go; that's how life is. Ais dhammo sanantano -- this is the law of life. In spite of all the doubts one has to go.

Do you think the people who were trying to reach to the Everest were not full of doubts? For a hundred years, how many people tried and how many people have lost their lives? Do you know how many people never came back? Not even their dead bodies came back; they got lost, lost forever. But, still, a few courageous people went on and on.

This fact has to be noted down: that no Indian ever tried. This country has lost the spirit of accepting challenges. That's why this country has lived in slavery for two thousand years, and still it is not much of a freedom because freedom cannot be only political; basically it has to be spiritual. And this country is not spiritually free.

But people went on coming from all over the world, risking, knowing that they may not come back ever, they may be lost. But it is worth it -- because in the very risk something is born inside you: the center. It is born only in the risk. That's the beauty of risk, the gift of risk.

The people who were going to the moon, do you think they were certain they would reach? Do you think they were certain they would be ever back again with their families, with their children, with their wives, with their parents? Nothing was certain. In fact, more possibility was that something would go wrong.

One of the most famous sayings of Murphy is: "If anything can go wrong, then it is going to go wrong."

And there were millions of things which could have gone wrong because it was the first effort to reach to the moon. Just few seconds' difference and they will miss the moon; they may be lost forever in the space. We may not even know whether they are alive or dead.

Now there are efforts to reach farther and farther; sooner or later man will try to reach to the stars. It will be a long journey, but worth taking, worth risking. It is going to be a very strange journey, because according to Albert Einstein when you move with that speed you don't grow old, you remain exactly of the same age -- time stops. When you move with the speed of light...and it is tremendous. One hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second -- only then we can reach the stars. The nearest star will take four years to reach with this speed and four years to come back from; that is the nearest star. The next star will take sixty years to go and sixty years to come back; and then the universe is infinite -- then there are millions of stars which will take millions of years to come and go. But people are going to try one day; preparations are on the way, plans are being made.

The person who will go on a journey for such a long time, when he will come back his wife will look like his mother -- and he will remain the same. If he had left the earth at the age of forty he will remain forty. This is one of the miracles of speed, that you don't age. His parents would have died, his children would have become exactly like him as he was -- forty years of age. His wife may be eighty years of age, very old, unrecognizable. It is some risk! But this is how man's spirit grows.

And these are outer adventures, nothing compared to the inner adventure of sannyas, meditation, Zen, because when you go inwards you go alone, absolutely alone; nobody can accompany you. You lose all contact with the outside world: the deeper you go in, the outside world starts disappearing. At the very center of your being the world disappears like a dream.

It is not a philosophy only that the mystics have called the world illusory, maya, a dream, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. It is not only a philosophical concept; it is rooted in deep spiritual realization. It is an experience, existential experience. They had experienced. The moment you reach at the very center of your being, the whole world disappears: the people, the mountains, the stars, they start receding back and a moment comes they are no more there. There is infinite vastness, nothingness.

And when the world disappears, remember, you as an ego also disappear...

...because you can exist only in relationship to others. I/thou is a pair: the "I" cannot exist without the "thou." Psychologists say that the "thou" comes first into existence and then comes the "I" -- that the "I" is added later on. First the child becomes aware of others -- the mother, the father, the other children. First he becomes aware of the "thou," and slowly slowly he starts feeling that "I am separate."

Small children, in the beginning, address themselves in third person. For example, a child will say, "Johnny is hungry." He is hungry -- his name is Johnny -- and he says, "Johnny is hungry." He has not yet become aware enough to say, "I am hungry." Even about himself he thinks in terms as if he is somebody else. Looking into a mirror, a small child does not recognize that it is his face; he thinks there is some other child. He tries to catch hold of the child. If he cannot catch hold he tries to go behind the mirror: "Maybe he is hiding behind the mirror." Very slowly, as the "thou" becomes clearly defined, he becomes aware of the "I."

The same happens in a reverse way when you move into meditation. First the "thou" disappears and then slowly slowly "I" loses all meaning. Naturally one feels afraid, doubtful. It is a dangerous journey, the most dangerous journey there is, but with tremendous ecstasy. Each moment of it is full of ecstasy, excitement, surprises and surprises, mysteries upon mysteries.

The courageous person is not one who has no fear -- only idiots don't have fear -- the courageous person is one who has fear but in spite of the fear he goes on the journey, in spite of the fear he goes on into the inquiry of the unknown. And the unknown is only a learning process because finally you have to take the quantum leap from the unknown to the unknowable. The unknown is not that risky, remember it.

Evi Huber, the unknown is that which can become known, hence it is not opposite to the known; it is reducible to the known, it can be transformed into the known. Mind feels doubtful, afraid, but not so much afraid, not so much doubtful as when the moment comes to take the jump into the unknowable, because the unknowable cannot be reduced to the known. "Unknowable" means it is going to remain unknowable -- its very nature is unknowability.

God is unknowable, not unknown.

Science believes only in two categories: the known and the unknown.

Religion believes in three categories: known, unknown, unknowable. If science is right, then sooner or later we would have reduced all unknown into the known -- and the science will commit suicide there will be no need for science any longer. Because every day more and more territory of the unknown is being taken by the known -- things which were unknown yesterday have become known today, things which are unknown today will be known tomorrow -- sooner or later, whatsoever time it takes, but all unknown will be reduced into known. That's why science thinks that there is no need of religion -- science is enough.

But if you ask the greatest scientists in their rare moments of revelations, then their statements are totally different. Just before Albert Einstein died, just two days before, he said that "The universe has become more of a mystery to me than it ever was before I started inquiring about it. I know less today than I used to think before."

Eddington, another great scientist, wrote in his autobiography that "When I started my scientific career I was a total materialist. I was brought up in a materialistic atmosphere. I was told that only matter exists and I believed that only matter exists. But now, before I die, I want it to be on record that now the existence seems to be more like a thought than like a thing. The more I have tried to understand, the more I have felt the mysteriousness of it all."

There is something in existence which is irreducible to the known, which is not unknown but unknowable. Sannyas is a journey from the known to the unknown and from the unknown to the unknowable.

You say: I will be taking sannyas in a few days. I would like so much that you say something to me. I am afraid -- there are doubts -- and I feel happiness arise.

Listen to your happiness, follow your happiness. It always gives you the right indication. If a man listens to one's happiness he can never go wrong. Happiness is simply an indication that you are coming closer to truth, that you are coming closer to the harmony of existence. Even the longing to come closer to it releases hidden sources of joy in you. And the moment you become harmonious with it your life becomes a sheer ecstasy.

Don't be hindered by your doubts and by your uncertainties and by your fears. Everybody has to face them and the more intelligent a person is, the more one has to face them. But real intelligence is to be capable of taking the jump in spite of them all.

The second question:

What is greed?

Sahajo, man feels meaningless, empty, hollow within, and wants to fill it, stuff it. The effort to fill it somehow is greed. That effort is bound to fail for the simple reason because whatsoever you accumulate remains on the outside; it cannot reach within you. And the problem is within and the solution you are seeking is without.

For example, you are feeling meaningless inside you and you are trying to fill it by money. It is a stupid effort, unconscious effort, not seeing a simple point: that money can be gathered, accumulated, but it will pile up around you. You can have mountains of money around you...there have been people with mountains of money.

One of the greatest rich men in the world was Andrew Carnegie. He left inestimable treasures, but when he was dying his biographer asked him, "Are you dying contented?"

He opened his eyes and said, "No, I am a very discontented man. My whole life has been a failure. I am dying unfulfilled."

The biographer was surprised. He said, "But you have so much money! Perhaps nobody else has that much money as you have got. Why should you not be contented and fulfilled?"

Andrew Carnegie laughed and he said, "Yes, the same logic destroyed my whole life. I was also thinking that if I can have that much money then all will be well. Money is there, and I have lost my life in accumulating all this junk, but inside I am as empty as ever, in fact far more empty than ever, because when I was poor...." He was born a poor man. He has not inherited money, he earned his money himself. He worked hard, eighteen hours per day; not even beggars work that hard. He was greed incarnate. His whole life is the story of greed.

And his experience is significant because he says, "When I was poor at least there was hope that some day I am going to be rich and then all will be well. Now I have even lost that hope, because I am rich and still my poverty remains the same."

Greed is the unintelligent man's effort to make his life meaningful. But remember my emphasis: unintelligent man's effort. No quantitative change can really transform your life. You can have millions of dollars or trillions of dollars; it is not going to change. It is only looking in the direction of quantity.

What you really need is a qualitative transformation of your being. You need your life to become full of light. You need some inner richness; outer richness is not going to help. In fact, it will make you more aware of your inner poverty by contrast. And if you have one million dollars and nothing has happened, how can you hope that by having two million dollars it is going to happen? If one million dollars have not given you anything, two million dollars are not going to give you anything. If one million dollars have given you something of inner joy, of inner splendor, then of course two million dollars will make it twice; it will become more. But people never think about it. They go on rushing almost unconsciously, asking the same again and again, more and more.

Greed means a desire for more without seeing the total futility of it. If less is not giving you anything, then it is not going to happen by having more of the same.

On her morning flight through the forest an angel meets a Polack dwarf. The angel says, "Dwarf, I grant you two wishes. Whatever you desire, tell me, and it will be fulfilled."
The Polack dwarf scratches his head, which helps him to think, and with a big smile says, "Well, if that is so, I would not mind a nice cold draught of beer."
An enormous tankard of beer immediately appears in front of him. The angel says, "This is an enchanted tankard. You can never empty it. Beer will always be flowing from it. Drunk you get, but never sick of it. Just a taste and you will never forget it. It will quench all your thirst and you will always be drinking from it."
The Polack dwarf is pleased. He takes a sip, licks his lips, and feels very satisfied with himself.
The angel looks at the dwarf and says, "You still have one more wish."
"Do I?" he exclaims. "Well, I wouldn't mind another beer, just like this one."

Greed is stupidity, Sahajo, utter stupidity. The greedy man is not functioning intelligently. The intelligent person can see it, but what actually is his need? His need basically is to know in the first place "Who am I? -- because unless I know who I am, whatsoever I do is going to be wrong; it is not going to fulfill me. Once I know exactly who I am, then whatsoever I do is going to enhance my richness, my treasures, my bliss, my benediction, because then I will be moving according to my nature."

To be rooted in one's nature is to know bliss. Without knowing your nature, without knowing your inner being, you are bound to go astray. All that you are doing is guesswork, all that you are doing is just imitating others. People are after money, so you are after money. People are after big houses, so you are after big houses. People are after this, so you are after this. You are simply being imitative, and only a stupid person is imitative.

The intelligent person is never imitative. He tries to find first, "What is my nature." He never imitates, he never follows others. He listens to his inner voice.

The first thing to be done is to be so silent, so meditative that you can listen to your own inner voice. It is a very still small voice, but once you listen it, it directs you, and then you never go astray.

There was once a very poor Portuguese whose only possessions were a cart and a donkey. Things were going very badly so he decided to ask for advice from a richer friend.
"Manuel," said his friend, "the solution is to sell the donkey. In this way you will save the money you spend on feeding the donkey and you can pull the cart yourself. You will see, you can do whatever the donkey does."
Manuel followed his advice and sold his donkey. A few weeks later, while pulling the cart, he met his rich friend.
"So you see, Manuel," said his friend, "I told you you could do whatever the donkey did!"
"I can do almost everything, Antonio," replied Manuel, "except one thing -- I still can't shit while I walk!"

And people are doing that all the time -- just imitating others. And then they are always in trouble because they cannot do this and they cannot do that. Somebody is doing that and they are incapable and they feel inferior. The whole world suffers from inferiority complexes in some way or other, for the simple reason that we go on comparing.

In fact, everybody is so unique that all comparison is wrong, utterly wrong. But you don't know your uniqueness. You have never entered your own being, you have never encountered yourself. You have never looked in that direction at all. You are bound to feel inferior. Even the greatest people of your history, the people you call very great, all feel inferior in some way or other, maybe different ways of feeling inferior, but nobody can really feel superior -- he will be missing something. He may not be so beautiful as somebody else, he may not be so healthy as somebody else, he may not be such a great musician as somebody else. He may be a president of a country, but when it comes to singing, a beggar can make him feel inferior. He may be the president of a country, but may not be so rich. There are thousands of other people who are far richer.

Life consists of millions of things and if you are constantly comparing...and that's what you have been told to do. You have been brought up in such a way, educated in such a stupid way that you are constantly comparing. Somebody is taller than you, somebody is more beautiful than you, somebody seems to be more intelligent than you, somebody seems more virtuous, more religious, more meditative. And you are always in a state of inferiority, suffering.

Look within yourself and you will experience great uniqueness. And all inferiority disappears, evaporates; it was created by you and by a wrong education, it was created by a subtle strategy -- the strategy of comparison. Once you know your uniqueness you are joyous, and then there is no need to follow anybody. Learn from everybody. An intelligent person even learns from idiots, because there are few things you can learn only from idiots because they are experts in idiocy. At least watching them, observing them, you can avoid a few things in your life.

You can learn from everybody, not only from man but also from animals, from trees, from clouds, from rivers. But there is no question of imitating. You can't become a river, but you can learn some quality which is river-likeness: the flow, the let-go. You can learn something from a rose flower. You cannot become a rose flower, you need not, but you can learn something from the rose flower. You see the rose flower so delicate yet so strong in the wind, in the rain, in the sun. By the evening it will be gone but has no care about it, is joyous in the moment. You can learn from the rose flower how to live in the moment. Right now the rose flower is dancing in the wind, in the rain, unafraid, unconcerned for the future. By the evening the petals will wither away, but who bothers about the evening? This moment is all and this dance is all there is.

Learn something from the rose. Learn something from the bird on the wing: the courage -- the courage to go into the unbounded. Learn from all sources but don't imitate. But that is possible only if you have found the right space to begin with, and that is acquaintance with yourself.

Then, Sahajo, greed disappears. Greed is unacquaintance with oneself. Greed is because you have never looked within yourself, and you feel empty and you go on making all kinds of efforts to fill that emptiness. It cannot be filled. Experience it and you will be surprised: that emptiness looks only empty from the outside; when you go inside it, it is a fullness of its own kind. It is not empty at all; it is vast, it is infinite. It has a tremendous beauty of silence, purity. And then you will not look at it as emptiness in a negative sense; you will start feeling a positive well-being in it. It is spaciousness, not emptiness. It is roominess, not emptiness.

And that's the message of Zen: to experience your emptiness so totally that the emptiness itself becomes fullness. Then all greed disappears, and that is the only way it disappears; there is no other way.

The third question

Are not different races of man really and basically different?

Prageeto, man essentially is the same -- but essentially, intrinsically, centrally. On the circumference he is not the same, and there are millions of varieties. In fact, it is not a question of different races -- no two individuals are alike, how can the whole humanity be alike? People have lived in different climates in different situations, facing different challenges; of course they have grown different circumferences, different minds. As far as minds are concerned people are different, and each race has a certain kind of mind.

But the difference is only in the mind and mind is not very substantial; it is a shadow. Your shadow is different than my shadow, but the difference is only of the shadow. In fact, my own shadow is not the same the whole day: in the morning it is different, in the evening it is different, in the afternoon it is different.

I have heard about a fox:

The fox came out of his hole early in the morning. The sun was just rising, and the fox saw his shadow, a very long shadow. And, of course, how do you know yourself? -- by your shadows. Foxes don't use mirrors, but it is the same. You do it in a more technological way: you use the mirror or you use other people's eyes as mirrors, their opinions. That's how you create your identity. Foxes are poor people, simple people, primitive people, not very sophisticated and cultured and educated.

The fox saw his shadow, very long shadow, in the early morning sun. And of course he thought, "My God, so I am this big! It seems I will need if not an elephant, at least a camel for the breakfast!" And looking at the shadow it was perfectly right. And he went in search to see if he can find a camel or an elephant for the breakfast, but the poor fox could not find any elephant or any camel.

It was twelve o'clock and he was feeling very hungry -- no breakfast. And it is getting closer to lunchtime and not even breakfast! He looked again at his shadow; he was very much surprised: "What has happened?" But then he argued, "Of course, without breakfast this is going to happen!" The shadow was so small, just underneath him, that he thought, "My God, I am very close to death it seems. If I don't find something immediately I am going to die! And now there is no need for any elephant or camel -- even if I can find a big ant, that will do -- at least for the breakfast!"

Your shadow changes; even your own shadow is never the same. Every race has its own shadow. In other words, every race has its own history. In still other words, every race has its own mind -- the past. Of course, the past of the Jews is not the past of the Hindus. How they can have the same kind of mind? They cannot. The past of the Christians is not the past of the Jains. How they can have the same kind of mind? That is impossible.

But these differences are only on the circumference, remember. At the center, the consciousness is the same. Whether your skin is black or white or yellow or red, it does not matter. It is only a question of a few color pigments; it is not much worth either. In fact, between a black Negro and a very very white man the difference is only of such a little pigment of color, worth four cents only, not more than that. And remember, the Negro has four cents' more pigment than the white men; he is far richer, he is not poorer in that way. The white man is poorer in that way. But the difference of skin and the color is not the difference of consciousness.

The whole of humanity needs only one kind of meditation, because meditation belongs to the state of no-mind; it is not a question of mind. There are many moralities in the world, there are bound to be, because different minds have different moralities. And you can argue forever and forever and there is not going to be anything conclusive about moralities.

There are Jains in India who believe in absolute vegetarianism. I was born in a Jain family. In my childhood, even tomatoes were not brought in the house because of their color -- they look like meat. In fact, I don't know whether they look exactly like meat or not because I have never seen meat; not even now, I have not seen meat yet. Just the idea that meat must be red and the poor tomatoes also look red.... My grand mother was very much against the poor tomatoes. I had not eaten tomatoes up to I was eighteen, and when for the first time I ate tomatoes I vomited immediately. I could not take it in, I had to throw it out; it was so repellent.

Now I know there is no problem. I can eat Michael Tomato very easily -- there is no problem! But it was a certain mind.

Once a Quaker Christian stayed with me...and Jains think that they are the most vegetarian people in the whole world -- they should forget all about it. I also used to think before that the Jains are the most vegetarian people. I asked the Quaker -- he was a Quaker missionary -- what he would like: milk, coffee, tea?

He said, "Milk? A man like you drinks milk!"

He looked so puzzled. I could not believe my eyes -- what is wrong with milk? I asked him, "What is the matter with you? Is there something wrong with milk?"

He said, "Of course! It is an animal product. We Quakers don't use any animal product. It is just like non-vegetarian food. Whether you drink blood or you drink milk, it is the same -- both come from the body."

And there is some reason in it, some logic in it. Now, in India, all the vegetarians think that milk is the purest, the most sattvic food -- the purest, the most spiritual food There are people, saints, only famous for the simple reason that they drink only milk and nothing else; they don't eat anything. And they are worshipped -- for that reason, because their sacrifice is great. Now, according to the Quakers they are sinners and they will go to hell.

Moralities are bound to be different because they arise out of the mind.

Only one thing can unite the whole humanity, and that is meditation.

Only one thing can make the whole earth a family and that is meditation. All other religions have been quarreling and they will go on quarreling; they have divided humanity. There are three hundred religions in the world, and these are the big ones; there are small sects and sub-sects. If you count them all then it will come to near about thirty thousand -- but three hundred divisions in humanity And they all look at each other as sinners.

No Christian believes that anybody else than the Christians can ever enter paradise. On the last Day of Judgment you will be sorted out, who are the Christians and who are not the Christians. And the same is the idea of the Jains and the Hindus and the Mohammedans. Everybody will be sorted out. Mohammedans will go to heaven and the non-Mohammedans, the kafirs, they will go to hell. And Hindus have a birthright of course, they are the most religious people, the most sacred people on the earth. And so are the Jews, the chosen people of God; nobody has been chosen by God except the Jews. These are all egoistic ideas.

But on the circumference people differ. In their philosophies, in their ideologies, in their moralities in their minds, they are bound to be different. But as far as the essential core is concerned they are one.

And my emphasis here is for the essential core. So here nobody is a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian. My sannyasins are not a new religion, my sannyasins are only religious. It is a religionless religion. It is a kind of religiousness, not an ideology, not a morality but meditativeness. It is pure Zen: the special transmission beyond scriptures, beyond words, beyond minds.

And I am not against the variety of people. I am not saying that all should become exactly alike; that will be a very boring earth, a very boring situation. People should remain different. If they recognize the essential unity, then there is no problem. Then the variety is beautiful.

The English lord walks out of the door of his castle and says to James, his butler, "James, please slam the door for me -- I have had an argument with Milady!"

An American tourist was visiting West Germany. Before returning home he decided to pay a visit to the red-light district of Munich.
After enjoying the delights of one of the red-light's buxom blondes he left immediately, without paying any money.
"What about the marks?" cried the prostitute.
"Oh yes. Ten out of ten!" he replied.

An Irishman bought his girlfriend a magnificent bunch of roses. On receiving her present she took him by the hand, led him to her bedroom, then she took off her clothes and lay naked on the bed.
"This is for the roses," she said sexily.
"Don't be silly," he replied, "they will last longer in a vase!"

A Negro enters a restaurant that has just been obliged by law to serve colored people. He is the only Negro in the room. All the other customers are staring at him indignantly.
So the waiter comes up to him with the wine list. "What do you want?" he asks.
The Negro, looking around the room before answering, says loudly, "Give me a white one, dry!

A prisoner is being led in India to the gallows when a storm breaks loose.
Says the prisoner to his escort, "Terrible weather!"
The hangman looks at him silently for a moment, then says, "You are lucky, mate -- I have got to walk back in it!"

A German, boarding a train, goes over to the conductor, hands over his ticket, and asks to be shown to his seat. The conductor complies.
A short while later the German passenger comes again to the conductor and asks for a seat by the window. He is told, "No problem. If you want to sit by the window, all you have to do is to ask the person sitting by the window to switch seats with you."
"Ya, ya," says the German. "That's very gut, but you zee, there is no one sitting by ze window!"

A gynecologist was puzzled. In the last few days he had attended to five clients who had had the letter "W" tattooed on their stomachs. With the arrival of the sixth case, the doctor could no longer restrain his curiosity so he asked the lady about it.
"Well, doc," she replied, "there is an American ship in port at the moment. On board is this marvelous sailor called William who has his initial tattooed on his stomach. He has used a modern process of tattooing which leaves a mark if it touches something else -- like blotting paper."
The doctor was very impressed, both at the original form of tattooing and the obviously brilliant performance of William.
So when the next lady came in with the mark he said, "Ah, I see by this mark that you have had a meeting with an American sailor called William!"
"No, doc," was the surprised reply. "I have had an affair with a sailor whose tattoo leaves a mark, but he is French and his name is Maurice!"

A Brazilian, sitting in the restaurant compartment of the train, was slowly eating his meal, when an English lady and her two sons sat at his table. While they ordered, the Brazilian finished his meal, picked his teeth, stretched his legs and gave a big belch.
The lady was shocked and exclaimed, "Are you in the habit of doing these things in front of your sons?"
The Brazilian replied, "Oi, Donna, in my house we have no rules. Sometimes they belch, sometimes I belch."

The Polack asks his girlfriend to fight, but she says she does not want to because she is not feeling well.
"Whatta ya mean, not feeling well?" he says.
"You know," she says, "I have got my time of the month."
"Whatta ya mean, time of the month?" he says.
"You know," she says, "I have got my period."
"Whatta ya mean, period?" he says.
"You know," she says, "I am bleeding down here." And she open her pants to show him.
"Jesus!" he says, "No wonder you are bleeding! They have gone and cut your cock off!"

The newly wed Greek couple is in a deep embrace. While kissing and caressing her he whispers, "My love, now I will put it where nobody else ever has!"
In a frightened voice she cries, "Oh no! In my ears...never!"

And the last:

A lady health inspector, after checking the sanitary conditions in Boccala's Bakery, summoned the proprietor.
"Listen," she complained, "one of the bakers back there is throwing the dough against his bare chest to flatten it out for pizzas!"
"That's-a not-a so bad-a," said Boccala, "you should-a be here yesterday when he make-a the doughnuts!"

The fourth question.

I am happy as I am. I am a very ambitious man and I do not want to be enlightened. Please bless me to fulfill my dreams. Everything is possible through your grace.


It is not the right place for you to be. You have fallen in a wrong company. First you say: I am happy as I am.

A happy man is never ambitious. There is no need for him to be happy if he is ambitious, or if he is happy there is no need for him to be ambitious. Both things cannot exist together. If you are happy, ambition disappears; if you are ambitious you are miserable. Only in misery ambition grows. Ambition simply means you are not happy the way you are.

What dreams do you want to fulfill? That means the reality that you are living in is not giving you contentment, it is not enough; you want something more. Only a miserable mind wants something more. The very idea of the "more" is out of misery. But you seem to be very unconscious of your misery, or maybe very cunning. You don't want to recognize it, you don't want to confess it.

You say: I am happy as I am.

That is possible only if you are enlightened. And the enlightened person has no more any dreams to fulfill; he is finished with dreams. Not that all his dreams are fulfilled but he has come to know that dreams are dreams and they cannot be fulfilled. He has come to see the utter futility of all dreams, of all dreaming. He is awake; dreams can exist only in sleep.

But if you are happy in your misery, then I will not disturb you at all. It is your life; you have to decide about it. If you want it the way it is, remain as you are. Why you have come here?

Once, in a far off wintry country, lived a rebellious young sparrow. When the end of autumn was approaching and other sparrows were getting ready to fly south to the sun, the young sparrow decided not to go with them.
Soon winter came and the little sparrow got colder and colder. Finally he decided to fly south, knowing he would freeze to death staying where he was.
It was so cold that ice formed on his wings as he flew, and he fell stricken to the earth and landed in a farmyard.
A cow passing through the yard did a big shit all over the little sparrow. The sparrow thought he would suffocate, but instead he was warmed back to life. Thus, warm, happy and able to breathe, the young bird began to sing.
A passing cat, hearing the joyful singing, cleared away the cow shit, saw the happy bird, and ate him.
There are three morals to this story:
First: Anyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
Second: Anyone who gets you out of the shit is not necessarily your friend.
And third: If you are happy and warm in a pile of shit, keep your big mouth shut.

So why this question? Shut up! Otherwise there is danger...there are many enlightened cats around here!

You say: I am happy as I am.

Really? Never heard of such a thing! Buddha can say it, Mahavira can say it, Zarathustra can say it, but then they will not ask other things that you are asking. They will not say that they are ambitious, very ambitious. You are afraid of enlightenment because you have become clear about this: that if you want to be enlightened then this ambitiousness has to be dropped. This is a barrier. Ambition means ego. Ambition means continuous effort to magnify your ego, to go on puffing it, to go on making it bigger and bigger. Hence you are afraid of enlightenment.

But you have come here to be blessed. That's how Indian genius has deteriorated. You come to a religious person in India to be blessed, to fulfill your dreams. And there are so-called spiritual people in India who will bless your stupid dreams and who will give you hope that they will be fulfilled. You have become accustomed of all this nonsense. Neither you are religious nor they are religious. If they are religious they will destroy all your dreams, because a religious person has only work to do and that is to destroy your dreams. That's the only way he can be helpful to you, that's the only way he can be a blessing to you.

I cannot bless your dreams. I can bless you, but not your dreams. And I can bless you so that you can be awake, so that you can come out of your dreams.

This ambitiousness, Sunderlal, is sheer stupidity. It is monkeyishness. In monkeys they have discovered that there exists a hierarchy. There is always the chief monkey -- the president you can call him, or the prime minister -- the most cunning, the most dangerous fellow, the most destructive, violent, bloody; he becomes the chief, he dominates everybody. If you go to a tree where many monkeys are sitting you can see their hierarchy. The topmost monkey will be on the highest branch, then below him will be the people who are hoping when he dies, who are hoping when he becomes too old so they can grab the power, and so on and so forth. At the lowest you will find young monkeys who are learning ways of how to achieve higher and higher status.

The topmost monkey will have many more females, obviously; the most beautiful females will belong to him. He will have the first right to make love to any female, and then others can be allowed, but there too a hierarchy follows.

If Darwin has not discovered that man has come from the monkeys, then politics would have been enough to show that man must have come from monkeys.

You have a political mind. Ambitious mind means a political mind -- grabbing, grasping, clinging for more and more, always trying to reach at the top. And there is nothing beyond the top; you simply look silly sitting there. But finding nowhere to go you have to stop. Only Polacks have one thing which is very beautiful: on Polack ladders, on the last rung, there is a small notice -- "Stop" -- because the Polacks can go on and on.

A man had to have his testicles surgically removed, and all that was available for replacement was a pair of monkey balls.
Some time later, when his wife gave birth to their first child, he asked the nurse whether it was a boy or a girl.
"Don't know," she replied. "We can't get the hairy bastard off the ceiling!"

What will you do even if you reach to the ceiling? You will just look foolish!

Try to understand that all your dreams are basically an escape from yourself. You say that you are happy -- you are not. You are trying to escape from yourself in your dreams, in your ambitions.

The man who is happy is relaxed, he is in a let-go, he is at rest. He enjoys himself. He is not interested in becoming somebody else, he is not interested in being somewhere else -- he is not interested in future at all. His present is such a joy, his each moment is such an ecstasy, that why he should bother about the future? The tomorrow exists only for the miserable, because the miserable lives in hope. His life is so full of misery that the only way to tolerate is to go on keeping some hope, hoping that tomorrow things will be different.

Please, when you are here be at least honest and sincere. I am not interested that you should become enlightened -- nobody can force it on you -- but don't go on deceiving yourself that you are happy. You are not.

And soon all your dreams will simply exhaust you, tire you, bore you. And remember one thing: it is very difficult to fulfill them. Even with all the blessings of all your so-called saints they cannot be fulfilled; they are intrinsically unfulfillable. So only frustration will be in your hands in the end. And if by chance, just by sheer accident, coincidence, some dream is fulfilled, you will be even more frustrated and exhausted than if it was not fulfilled, because once it is fulfilled you will see the futility of it all.

His majesty, the lion, king of the jungle, is going for a morning walk. On his way he meets Charlie, the monkey, in deep despair, tears rolling down his face.
"What is the matter, Charlie my friend?" the lion asks lovingly.
"Oh, my king," Charlie weeps. "I have fallen in love with Alexandra, the beautiful giraffe, but the authorities do not allow us to marry, for reasons of racial discrimination. Oh please, king, grant us this marriage. I cannot live without her."
Feeling the truth of his love, the king allows this exceptional marriage.
A few weeks later the king meets Charlie on his morning walk. Charlie has lost so much weight that he can hardly stand on his trembling legs. The king is surprised. "Charlie, my friend, what is happening?"
"Well, you see, my king," Charlie answers, swaying his monkey arms, "love is still flowing between Alexandra and me, but it is very difficult, you know, running up for kissing, running down for fucking, running up for kissing, running down for fucking...!"

Even if your dreams are fulfilled you will be very much exhausted, very much tired. And I am not a magician either.

You say:

Everything is possible through your grace.

Don't try to bribe me in any way -- I cannot be bribed. Don't hope that by praising me you can get my blessings. I can bless you only for enlightenment, and nothing else can have my support in any possible way, because I know only if you become full of light your life will have some meaning, some truth, some joy, some celebration, some dance.

And remember, I am not a magician. You should go to Satya Sai Baba or people like him, people who pretend to do miracles. But remember always, sometimes these miracles can go to the other extreme. And mind always moves from one extreme to the other extreme; it never stops in the middle. If it stops in the middle it becomes enlightened. It moves from one extreme to the other extreme.

The poor man wants to be rich, the rich man wants to be poor. Continuously people are asking for the opposite. The opposite seems to be attractive because it is unknown to you. What are your dreams? Must be opposites, things that you have not experienced; and you are hankering for them and deep down thinking that others are enjoying all those things. Nobody is enjoying anything in the world -- I have not come across a single person who is enjoying anything. There are only very rare people -- can be counted on the fingers -- who are enjoying, but they are not enjoying anything. They are enjoying their being, their consciousness. And that's what enlightenment is all about.

A man had just got married to a beautiful young girl. He wanted to make love to her, but he had a very short prick so he went to see a magician. The magician gave him a pill and he said, "Any time someone says 'Pardon me,' it will grow an inch."
So he tried it. He went through crowds of people, "Pardon me, pardon me, pardon me," and the magician was right -- the miracle was happening. He was overjoyed.
Soon he got home and was just about to make love to his beautiful young girl when someone came into the room. "Pardon me! Pardon me!" exclaimed the intruder. "A thousand times pardon me!"
Now think of that man...now the man has disappeared. Now he is searching for another magician who can help him.

Forget about these magicians; they are good as far as stories are concerned. In real life there is only one magic, and that is the magic of awakening. There is only one miracle: the miracle of coming home. And that is possible, and I am ready to bless you and help you. I can hold your hand and lead you towards that ultimate blissfulness. But don't ask for any other stupid thing.

But this is a constant problem. Indians go on writing to me, that "If we take sannyas, will it help us to become prosperous? Will it help us to have more success in life?" These are not the people who can belong to me, and I am not the person who can have any communion with this kind of frustrated, ambitious people. And these are the people who think themselves that they are religious.

But there are so-called saints -- Muktanandas and Akandanandas -- who go on blessing them for any kind of stupidity. You ask and they are ready to bless you.

I can bless you only for one thing, absolutely only for one thing, and that is enlightenment. And you say you are not interested in becoming enlightened; then I am not interested in you either. I am interested in people who are interested in enlightenment. This place belongs to them, my whole energy belongs to them. They are my people. Others should not bother, should not take any trouble to come here.

Please, Sunderlal, forgive me. This is a Buddha-energy-field. Don't ask for anything less than that. Buddhahood is available here! If you are ready to drink the river is flowing. It is a special transmission, but only the very fortunate ones will be able to receive it. You can also be the fortunate one; just a little more understanding is needed. I hope that that understanding will happen to you.

OSHO : Zen The Special Transmission, Chapter 10

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