Talks on Fragments from Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching



We talk about the sufi meditation tradition  but we also have a few other web pages, the Sufi Meditation master and Sufis People are Sleeping or Are You Angry, Mr Sufi? OR generously, Sufi is a Feeling of the Heart explained by Osho. Or perhaps you like ZEN Zen Meditation Stories or Zen and the Stars or TAOISM KO HSUAN Stories of the Tao by Ko Hsuan and other Taoist Meditations. Or PATANJALI The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali One or The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Two or TANTRA Tantra and Tantric Meditations or even the Meditations of the Peace of the Guida Spiritual and now DON JUAN AND CARLOS CASTENADA The Teachings of Don Juan, and Don Juan, Castaneda and A Separate Reality AND  JESUS - WHEN JESUS WENT UNTO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES. AND Meditation Wisdom Jesus and the Selfish Competitive Ego AND JESUS - JESUS The Flute on Gods Lips and Meditation Jesus and The Conditioned   Mind  OR THE UPANISHADS This Direct Knowing Natchiketa with the Lord of Death, Yama From the Katha Upanishad AND The Kundalini Energy of Prana and Apana - None Can Transcend It and Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching one, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching two, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching three, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching four, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching five, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching six, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching seven, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching eight, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching nine, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching ten

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 The first question:

 Question 1



 NO Sir, NOT AT ALL. Because you are not. You are an emptiness -- anatta. No sir. On the surface you may be somebody, but I am not concerned with your surface. In the deepest core you are simply a nobodiness, not even a nobody -- nobodiness. How can I know you?

 And that's the beauty, because if I can know you I have defined you, I have made you limited by my knowledge. If you can be known, immediately you become an object, you are no more a consciousness. If you can be known you cannot be infinite, and you are -- infinite in your emptiness. How can I know you? Even you yourself cannot know. There exists nothing like self-knowledge. When you come to realize it, it is a NO-SELF-knowledge. When you come to settle with it, suddenly you become aware that the knower and the known have disappeared -- there is only emptiness, a vast space, with no beginning, no end -- an infinity. That's what you are -- how can it be known?

 There is no possibility of knowledge. And it is good that you cannot be known, otherwise science will know you, and once known you are an object, a thing. Then the mystery is lost. That's why I say again and again that science will never be able to know the innermost core of being, because the innermost core is a non-being. You are just like an onion -- go on peeling the layers. Go on peeling the layers; a new layer comes, another new layer, another new layer, and then suddenly the whole onion is gone: emptiness in the hands. That is you.

 But this emptiness is not negative, so don't misunderstand me. The very word "emptiness" looks like an absence of something. No, it is not. It is a presence of something infinite. It is not absence, it is not negative, it is not like darkness; it is a positive phenomenon. You are a no-self. This positivity has to be remembered because the word "emptiness" may give you a wrong notion about it, you may think it is simply empty. I am not saying there is an emptiness of something, I am not saying that there is absence of something -- no. It is emptiness, it is the very emptiness, it is emptiness itself. Emptiness is being used as a positive term; when it is positive it is totally different.

 You have known emptiness only in a negative way. You go into the room, there is no furniture and you say the room is empty, there is nothing. You come out and if I ask you what you saw in the room you will say it is empty -- no furniture, no pictures on the walls, nothing -- just empty. You went into the room but you saw only the negative part. The room is filled with roominess that you didn't encounter. A room is emptiness, a room means space. Something can be brought in because there is room, there is emptiness. The furniture can be brought in -- there is space. You have not seen it that way. Otherwise you would have come and told me that the room is complete; there is nothing, only emptiness exists, the room is ready to receive anything -- it has space. Then you have looked at the positive emptiness.

 Look at the sky. The sky is a positive emptiness when there are no clouds. If you look at the sky as an absence of clouds then you are looking at it from a negative standpoint. If you look at it as the presence of a space, a blue emptiness, and out of that blue emptiness everything has arisen, then it cannot be negative. It is the most positive thing in the world, the very ground of being. Non-being is the very ground of being. Everything has come out of it and everything by and by moves back into it. You are born out of it and you will die into it.

 How can I know you? Knowledge will become a definition and you are indefinable. No, I don't know you. I don't know myself.

 I would like to tell you one anecdote. It happened, and I love it, and I have told it so many times, millions of times, but whenever I remember it again it is so new and so fresh.


 Bodhidharma went to China -- the man who carried Buddha's emptiness in his hands. Bodhidharma carried the essential Buddhism to China, for the greatest phenomenon to happen there. Because of Bodhidharma, Lao Tzu's whole standpoint -- the Lao Tzuan way of life -- and Buddha's realization met, and one of the most beautiful things was born. Nothing like it exists anywhere in the world -- that is Zen. Zen is a meeting, a crossing between Buddha and Lao Tzu. Bodhidharma was the midwife who carried the seed to the womb of Lao Tzu.

 When he reached China he was a very famous mystic, his name was known all over the East. When he reached China the emperor himself came to receive him on the border. The Emperor asked a few questions. He asked, "I have made many Buddhist temples -- thousands. What punya, what virtue have I gained? "

 If he had said the same thing to any other ordinary Buddhist monk, he would have replied, "Emperor, Lord, you have gained infinite virtue -- your heaven is absolutely certain, guaranteed." But he asked the wrong person. Bodhidharma said, "Virtue? Nothing! On the contrary, you have accumulated much sin."

 The Emperor was shocked, he couldn't believe it He said, "Why? What are you saying? I have made many temples of Buddha. I have published and distributed Buddha's sayings to millions of people. Every day I feed thousands of Buddhist monks and you say I have accumulated sin? What do you mean?"

 Bodhidharma said, "The very idea that you have accumulated virtue is a sin, it is very egoistic. Your hell is certain, Emperor. You will fall to the seventh hell -- the first won't do."

 The Emperor could not believe it. He felt a little anger also. And he said, "I have a question to ask. What is inside me? What is it that I am?" -- the same question you have asked: "Do you know who I am?"

 Bodhidharma said, "A vast emptiness, a nothingness. "

 Now the Emperor was really angry. In anger he asked Bodhidharma, "Then who are you? Who is standing before me?"

 Bodhidharma said, "I don't know sir."

 I don't know. How can you know emptiness? You can be it, but you cannot know it. Knowing means you are separate from it, knowing needs distance. How can you know yourself? If you know then you are divided in two, the knower and the known. And of course the known can never be you, only the knower, so whatsoever you know can never be yourself, the knower. And the knower is irreducible, it cannot be made known. How can you put yourself in front of yourself? You cannot, that is impossible. And if you can then it is something else which is in front of you, not you. You are always behind -- the knower. Always the knower. Always the knower, never the known.

 I don't know myself... and this is self-knowledge. It looks contradictory, paradoxical, but this is how it is. Nothing can be done about it, this is the nature of things. That's why a man of self-knowledge will never claim that he knows. Because who will claim? He becomes like an ignorant man. He says, "I know only that I don't know."

 Move inwards. One day you will come to this emptiness, the hub of the wheel. The hub is empty but it holds the whole wheel in it; the hub is empty but without the hub the wheel will disappear, it will fall into pieces. You have known only the wheel -- that is your personality up to now, your NAMA-RUPA, your name and form; your wheel you have known. The deeper you move within you, you will come one day to the hub: that is anatta, no-self, emptiness. But remember again: it is not negative, it is not emptiness in the sense of being empty of something. It is emptiness itself. It is the most positive thing in existence. It is existence itself. Hindus have called it satchitanand: SAT -- it is; CHIT -- it is aware; ANAND -- it is bliss. Remember, it is not blissful; otherwise it would not be empty. It is bliss, not blissful. You will not be filled with bliss, you will suddenly find you are bliss.

 Emptiness has the nature of bliss, has the nature of existence, has the nature of consciousness. Not that consciousness fills it: it is not like a lamp burning in a room so the light is filling the room. You can put the lamp off and the light goes; you cannot put off consciousness. It is the very nature of that inner emptiness -- it is not that it is filling it. You cannot destroy it. How can you destroy emptiness? You can destroy everything in the world; you cannot destroy emptiness. That's why you cannot be murdered, you cannot be killed. There is no possibility, because you are not. The sword can kill the wheel, but the hub? -- the hub will remain intact. It cannot be destroyed; it was not there in the first place.

 Is-ness is the nature of the inner emptiness; consciousness is the nature of the inner emptiness; bliss is the nature of the inner emptiness. That's the fear people feel when they move into meditation. When they move into meditation they become afraid, they start trembling. A deep inner trembling arises. A deep anxiety and anguish arises. Why should it be so? You are coming nearer to a blissful state, nearer to an alert, aware consciousness, nearer to existence. Why are you scared of death? You are scared because you don't know how to be empty. You know only how to be filled, you don't know how to be empty. You don't know how to die, how to die to the personality, how to remain in the inner emptiness. You don't know. When you come inwards and thoughts start moving away from you, suddenly fear takes possession. Where are you going? You feel like you are disappearing, you feel like you are dying. A sort of non-existence grips you -- as if you are standing at an abyss and you are looking down and it is bottomless. And you start trembling and perspiration pours from every pore of your body. Death is encountered.

 If you escape from this point you will never be able to meditate. Hence a Master is needed. When you start getting afraid he can persuade you not to be afraid, he can help you: "Look at me. I have passed through this and yet I am. I have become empty and yet I am. And I am more than you, more than the whole existence put together." Somebody is needed to whom you can look, into whose eyes you can glimpse the same emptiness that you are coming to within yourself. And yet you can see that he is, and he is totally and absolutely. So don't be afraid. His being gives you courage, his presence gives you courage. A Master does nothing in fact. He is a catalytic agent, just his presence is enough. Once you fall into that emptiness you will start laughing and you will say, "There is no death. I was unnecessarily afraid, baselessly afraid." Passing through death you become deathless.

 This much I can say to you: you are a no-self. Become a no-self. And no-self is not empty in any negative sense, it is the greatest positivity.


 The second question:

 Question 2



 WHEN YOU ARE BOTH, the devil is absorbed by the divine -- because it is a part of it. In fact this is the inner arithmetic. If you live a part life you will be the devil, because the devil is nothing but a part claiming to be the whole. A part claiming that it is the whole -- this is what devilishness is. When you accept it, it is absorbed by the whole. If you fight with it, then you will be fighting with yourself and you will always remain divided. In division the devil can exist -- it exists in division. It cannot exist when you are whole and total. When you are divided then in the cracks it exists; it gets rooted in the cracks, in between two parts. When you accept everything, the whole of life as it is, without denying, without renouncing, without calling it names -- this is bad and that is good -- when you accept life as it is, whatsoever it is, whatsoever the case, when you accept it in its totality, the devi? disappears. It is absorbed by God, it is absorbed by the divine.

 The devil is divine -- in the very word also. Devil comes from the same root as divine -- they both come from the Sanskrit root dev. Devil is divine -- that is the root meaning of the term. Things have gone a little astray, but the devil is divine. He has to be called back, and by fighting you cannot call him back. By fighting he goes away and away, and you will always miss a part. That missing part will not allow you peace. It has to be called home, it has to be absorbed into the whole.

 If you accept everything suddenly love flowers, hate disappears. So when I say accept hate, I am not saying be hateful; in fact, I am cutting the very root of being hateful. When I say accept, in that acceptance I am cutting the very root. You will never be hateful again if you accept; if you don't accept you will remain hateful, and your love will lack something. This has to be understood deeply because it is not a metaphysical problem, it is existential. It is a problem that everybody has in him.

 You hate somebody. When you hate, what happens inside? What is hate? What do you want to do to the other person? You want to kill him, destroy him. You want to throw him away, as far away as possible. You don't want to see him, you don't want him to be near you. You would like him to disappear, to exist no more -- that's why you want to kill and destroy. When you love a person what do you want to do to him? You want him to be always and always alive, never to die, to be near and close, to be available. You would like to protect him, care about him, and you cannot believe that your love is going to be destroyed by anything. You would like your lover or beloved to be immortal.

 Look at both the phenomena. They are opposite. But can't you feel? -- they are two aspects of the same coin. Love is creative, hate is destructive. But have you observed? -- no creation is possible without destruction; no destruction is meaningful unless it is for creation. So now: you can destroy if you are going to create, then there is no problem. You can demolish a house if you are going to create a better house -- nobody will say that you are destructive. You can destroy a society if a better society is possible, you can destroy a morality for a better morality -- nobody will say that you are destructive because you are destroying to create, and no creation is possible without destruction. Destruction is absorbed by the creation; then it is beautiful, then it is part of the creative process. But you destroy. You destroy a society with no idea what you are going to do next, with no creative idea in mind. You simply enjoy destruction.

 You demolish a house, you destroy a thing, and if somebody asks, "Why are you doing that?" then you say simply, "I like to destroy" -- then you are mad, something has gone wrong in you. Destruction has become whole in itself, it is trying to claim that it is the whole. When destruction claims that it is the whole then it is the devil; when destruction is part of a greater whole, creation, then it is divine.

 When you love a person, many many times you will have to hate him also, but then it is part of love. A father loves his child. Many times he will be angry also and he will hit and beat the child. And a child is never offended by anger, never. A child is offended when you are simply angry without any cause, when you are destructive without any cause. When a child cannot understand why, then he cannot forgive you. If he can understand why -- he has broken a clock, now he understands that the father is going to hit him, and he accepts it. In fact, if the father does not hit him he will carry the guilt and that is very destructive. He will continuously be afraid that some day or other it is going to be known that he has broken a precious watch or a clock or something, and guilt will be there and a wound will be there. He wants it to be cleared up, he wants it to be finished, and the only way it can be finished is that the father becomes angry -- now everything is in balance. He committed something wrong, father became angry, he is punished: things are finished. He is clean. Now he can move unburdened.

 In the West, because of the psychologists in this century, much absurdity has happened in the relationship between the parents and the children. And one of the absurd things that they have taught is: never be angry with your child, never hit him, never hate him. Because of this teaching parents have become afraid. This is something new. Children have always been afraid of parents, but now in America parents are afraid of children. Something may go wrong psychologically and then their child may be crazy or go mad or become schizophrenic or split -- neurosis, psychosis, something may happen in the future and they will be responsible. So what is happening? A father, if he loves the child, feels the anger -- so what will he do? He will suppress the anger. And that a child can never forgive, because when a father suppresses anger the anger becomes cold.

 Try to understand this. Whenever anger is cold it is of the devil; whenever anger is hot it is of God. A hot anger is beautiful, alive; a cold anger is deadly, poisonous.

 When a father really is hot, perspiring, red in the face, and hits the child, the child knows that the father loves him, otherwise why bother so much? But when the father is cold, sarcastic, not angry, but in subtle ways showing his anger -- in a cold way, the way he moves, the way he enters the house, the way he looks at the child or doesn't look at the child.... This coldness shows that the father doesn't love him, doesn't love him enough to be hotly angry.

 And that has created the generation gap in the West, nothing else. Children have moved on their own; parents have remained in a cold, dead emotion, imprisoned. Vast distances have appeared. There is no communication. A father cannot talk to the child because he is afraid that if he talks -- really communicates, becomes hot -- anger will come. So it is better not to talk: avoid the situation, don't communicate.

 The same has happened between wives and husbands in the West, and now it is happening in the East -- because in fact the East is disappearing. By the end of this century, the whole world will be West. There will be no East, it will exist only in the books of history, in museums; it will be a nostalgia. The East is disappearing -- it will be there in geography, but in the human consciousness it will have no place.

 What has happened in the West? The same -- if you love your wife how can you hate her? If you love your wife how can you hit her? If she loves you she loves you twenty-four hours a day, constantly. You are demanding impossible things.

 In life everything is a rhythm. Only in death are things absolute and there is no rhythm. In life there is a rhythm -- the day comes and then the night. Says Heraclitus: God is summer and winter, day and night, hunger and satiety, life and death. Life is a rhythm, a constantly vibrating phenomenon between two polarities. You cannot love a person twenty-four hours a day; if you try the love will become dead. You can love a person intensely for a few moments, then you have to move because you have to relax. Otherwise love will become such a fever -- and such a feverish state, how can you remain in it twenty-four hours? Day has to be followed by night, a rest, a relaxation. Love is excitement. You cannot remain excited forever. You have to love and you have to hate the same person, and nothing is wrong if you love. Remember, that is the point to be remembered: if you love then nothing is wrong. Love sanctifies everything, even hate. Love purifies everything, even hate. Love makes everything holy, even hate. You love your wife and then you hate her, she loves you and she hates you. This makes life a rhythm. It is not a dead monotony. There are changes of moods, changes of seasons. And the change is good, because change is an alive phenomenon; otherwise, if somebody loves you and loves you and loves you, even love will become a boredom. And nobody can love like that, a twenty-four-hour-a-day love can only be pretended.

 Try to understand this: if you pretend love then you can pretend twenty-four hours a day, but then it is false. Only a plastic flower will not fade, only a plastic flower will not die. If you are really alive you will die also; that is part of life. If you really love a person you will be angry also, that is part of it. And nothing is wrong in it. It becomes a sin only when it becomes the whole. If it is surrounded by love... the island of hate surrounded by an ocean of love is beautiful. It is beautiful: it gives tension to love, relaxation to love. It gives a rhythm to love, it makes life a harmonious whole. Just think of a world where the sun never sets and you have to be awake twenty-four hours a day -- within three weeks you all will go mad. And that is what has happened in love -- you all have gone mad, pretending, pretending, false faces, masks, hypocrisy, showing that which is not there....

 The real trouble is that when you are angry and you don't show it, by and by this mechanism of suppression becomes so deep-rooted that everything becomes false. You will not feel love and you will show it, you will not feel compassion and you will show it -- then your life is not authentic, not honest. An honest life is riverlike: it changes, it moves. Sometimes it is summer and the river has completely disappeared, only a dry bed is left. And sometimes it is the rainy season and the river is in flood and breaks all the banks, and flows all over, becomes oceanic.

 Just try to see: in life there is a rhythm between polarities, and humanity is caught in a trap because we have decided to remain on one pole. You cannot remain there; you will move inside, only on the surface you will try to pose. Then the whole life becomes poisonous. Then everything enters into everything else. In your love hate is hidden, because when there was hate you tried to smile and pose; now it is in your blood and when you love it is mixed in it. Man now is an adulterated phenomenon, impure. And this has happened because of the wrong teachings of your so-called religions and moralists. They have all tried to make you live on one pole. That pole they call God, compassion, love -- all that is good, all goodie-goodie. The other pole they call the devil, all that is bad.

 Lao Tzu or I -- we are not in favor of this division, this dichotomy, this schizophrenia. We are for both. And then a sudden transformation happens: destruction becomes part of creation -- it is! -- and hate becomes part of love. Love is bigger than hate, creation is bigger than destruction. Life is bigger than death, and death should be a part of it. And if death is part of it, it is beautiful. Remember this, and then by and by you will see that even your hate has taken the color of love; your destruction has taken the shape of construction, creation, creativity; your anger has a compassion in it.

 Jesus was angry. Christians have not been able to solve the puzzle up to now because they think, "How can Jesus be angry? " He has to be always smiling like a politician. How can he be angry? He was angry; he was deadly angry. He entered the temple of Jerusalem and he was so angry he attacked, physically attacked, the money-changers. He must have been really tremendously angry because he was alone and he disturbed many money-changers. And he threw them out, tables and all, he chased them out of the temple, alone. When a man is really angry he has the strength of hundreds.

 You may also have felt it. When you are angry you can throw a big rock easily, when you are not angry you cannot even move it. Anger is energy, concentrated energy. Anger is a deep concentration of being: one-pointed, the whole existence forgotten, all energies narrowed down to one point.

 Jesus must have been beautiful in that moment. Christians hide the fact, they try to avoid the story. Jesus, and angry? -- the man who says that if somebody hits you on one side of your face show him the other side, angry? This man angry? It looks contradictory. The man who says that if somebody snatches your coat give him your shirt also -- this man angry? It doesn't fit.

 But I say to you that only this man can be angry because his anger will be part of compassion; only this man can be really angry because he knows what compassion is. He has known one pole, he knows the other pole also and he can move, he is alive, he is not dead. He is not a fixed thing, he is not a thing; he is an alive movement -- alive, throbbing -- he can move to the other pole. And he threw those money-changers out of the temple because of compassion. He was angry because of compassion. He was so compassionate, and sometimes I feel that his compassion is deeper than Mahavir's and Buddha's because it is so true and so lively. Mahavir and Buddha look more like wax figures -- fixed. Maybe it is because of the descriptions of their disciples, maybe true stories have not been recorded, because in India the concept that a man of enlightenment cannot be angry is very old. It was not so in Jerusalem. The Jewish God can also be angry so there is no fear about an enlightened man being angry. No fear. Even the Jewish God can be angry. He behaves in a very human way. The Jewish God behaves in a human way, but Jain and Buddhist human beings are always expected to behave like a dead God. Maybe that's why disciples edited the lives of Buddha and Mahavir. They have chosen parts and dropped other parts out. That seems to be so; there are grounds for one to say so.

 There are two sects of Jains, two sects of Mahavir's followers: Swetambaras and Digambaras. Digambaras in their life story of Mahavir say that he was never married, that he remained an absolute brahmachari, a celibate, from his very childhood. Swetambaras say that he was married; not only married, he had a daughter. Now what is the matter? Why do Digambaras say that he was not married? They are afraid that marriage is too human a phenomenon. Mahavir falling in love with a woman? No! That doesn't suit their concept of a TEERTHANKARA -- Mahavir not only falling in love with a woman and getting married, but making love to the woman, because a daughter was born. They cannot conceive of Mahavir in a posture of intercourse. Impossible! They have simply dropped the whole thing because it is dangerous. Mahavir was never married.

 The Swetambaras' story seems to be truer. Why do I say so? Because if it were not the case even Swetambaras wouldn't add it. If it was not already the case that he was married and a daughter was born to him, Swetambaras wouldn't invent it; it is so against the rules, they would not invent it. So the only possibility is that Digambaras dropped the idea. And later on Digambaras dropped the whole idea of Mahavir's life -- a life is a life, it is bound to have both the polarities in it. So Digambaras say that the real life story has disappeared, because man in this age is not capable of understanding it. So the original scriptures have disappeared, they are lost -- there is no life story of Mahavir. They completely deny his life in this way. So you can make an ideal out of him -- he is a wax figure, not a real man then, with no human biography, with no human biology.

 Digambaras say that he never perspired. How can Mahavir perspire? It is ordinary human weaklings who perspire. How can Mahavir perspire? He never perspired.

 It looks foolish, looks blind, but this is how we fix things and then we try to make our ideals out of them -- false ideals -- then false personalities are created around them.

 Christians could not do it. They were not so clever. They didn't know that later on it was going to be difficult. Jesus' life seems to be more real, more historical, but then there are troubles. For me there is no trouble. For me this is how things should be. Only a Jesus can be really angry, but his anger is because of compassion. You think: How can he be angry if he has compassion? And I say: He can be angry only because he has compassion. Then compassion covers anger -- then it changes the very quality of anger, because it becomes a vital part of the compassion. Once you absorb both, you have a different quality of being. Hate becomes also part of love, anger part of compassion.

 Don't try to choose. Rather remain choiceless and create a harmony, become a harmony. Don't create any conflict within you -- whatsoever you are, you are beautiful. You have all the ingredients to create a harmony. If you discard something, later on you will repent because that discarded part will some day be needed. Some day you will miss it and you will see then that it was necessary. It was to be there, and you discarded it. Don't discard anything. Use everything that God has given to you, make a harmony out of it. Harmony should be the goal.


 The third question:

 Question 3



 IT IS A NATURAL STAGE if you allow it to pass. If you cling to it, then something goes wrong.

 There are three steps in the spiritual growth -- steps or stages. They can differ with each individual but there are always three. One is independence. That is an egoistic state: you want to be independent of all which is false, which is not possible because you are not independent, you cannot be. You are a part of this vast whole, of this cosmos. How can you be independent? You have to depend on millions for millions of things. You have to depend for light on the sun, for life on the sun, you have to depend for life on the air, on the oxygen, you have to depend on the trees for food. How can you be independent? You cannot. That is an egoistic effort and is bound to fail.

 When independence fails, suddenly dependence arises; you move to the other pole. Because you don't know how to be in the middle and how to create a harmony, you move to the other pole. Then you become dependent. Then you become afraid that if the object of your dependence is lost, what will happen to you? Then there is panic. But this is a second state: independence is false, dependence is also false.

 Then there is the third point which has to be achieved, which I call the harmony. That is interdependence -- a feeling of interdependence -- you depend on the whole, and not only that, the whole depends on you. I am reminded of a Jewish mystic, a Hassid mystic, Zusya, who used to say to God in every prayer: "I know my Lord, that I depend on you, but you must also know that you depend on me. I know that without you I cannot be, but let me remind you that without me you also cannot be."

 How can a God be there without YOU? -- impossible.

 Scientists say that the plants, the trees, the whole vegetation on the earth, depend on the sun, without the sun they cannot be. But now they have started suspecting that this idea of one-way traffic must be wrong somewhere, because in life it is always two-way traffic, never one-way traffic. If the plants depend on the sun, somehow the sun must depend on the plants, because it is a mutual give and take. They have started suspecting, and sooner or later they will discover how the sun depends on the plants. Everything depends on everything else. You feel happy when you look at a flower, a rose -- your happiness is created by the rose. Now scientists have proved that when you are happy the rose also feels happy. He depends on you, he waits for you to come and if you don't come he is just like a lover, feels very sad. No, it is a scientific fact, not poetry. Now it has been absolutely proved that when a lover comes to a rosebush the whole bush thrills, celebrates; it depends on you. Now they say that if you love the rosebush it will grow faster, it will produce bigger flowers because somebody is there to care and love and see. And somebody waits. How can the bush betray you? It has to produce bigger flowers. If nobody loves, and the garden is neglected, and nobody bothers, only servants come and water the plants without any care, then for what, for whom should the bush try to bring big flowers? Then small flowers will do; even without flowers there will be no harm. For whom to flower? For whom to bloom? The rosebush depends on you.

 Never pass a tree without saying hello in your heart; never pass a tree without looking at it with deep care and concern. It costs nothing. And remember: if you can make a tree happy, the tree will make you happy. You can try the experiment, it is simple -- big scientific instruments are not needed for it. It is a simple experiment. You choose a plant, a tree in the garden of your house or in a public garden. Go every day to the tree, talk to it, become friendly.

 It is difficult to persuade the tree because human beings have treated trees so badly that they have become afraid of all human beings. The moment you enter all the trees say: Human being is coming -- the most dangerous animal on earth. It can harm without any cause. No animal does that. If a cow is hungry she will eat the grass, but man can simply sit and go on pulling, for no reason at all. He is not hungry, he is not going to eat it. Why are you pulling it? Why are you destroying it? The inner destructiveness of the mind, the inner destructive mind, goes on being destructive. You pass by the tree, you pull a branch off -- and then you throw it away. Are you absolutely asleep? If it is needed for food... then too... The whole tradition in all the primitive societies, the old traditional lore in Mexico, in primitive aboriginal tribes in India, in Thailand, in many countries, says: Go to a tree. If you need something, ask her. If you need a few leaves, five leaves for your worship, ask the tree, take permission, and pull the leaves off as carefully as possible. Don't hurt the tree. Then the tree is always ready to give and there will be no hurt feeling left behind. And thank the tree: You gave me five leaves when I needed them. Whenever you need something, don't be shy, just tell me.

 Go to a tree, talk to the tree, touch the tree, embrace the tree, feel the tree. Just sit by the side of the tree, let the tree feel you, that you are a good man and you are not in a mood to harm. By and by friendship arises and you will start feeling that when you come the quality of the tree immediately changes. You will feel it. On the bark of the tree you will feel tremendous energy moving when you come; when you touch the tree she is as happy as a child, as a beloved; when you sit by the tree you will feel many things. Soon you will be able if you are sad to come to the tree, and just in the presence of the tree your sadness will disappear. Then only will you be able to understand that you are interdependent -- you can make the tree happy and the tree can make you happy. And the whole of life is interdependent. This interdependence I call God, Lao Tzu calls Tao -- this whole interdependence.

 God is not a person somewhere, this whole interdependence is God, Tao, dharma. The Vedas call it rit, the law. Whatsoever you like to call it, call it, but this interdependence is the whole thing. And if near me you can learn interdependence, you have learned all.

 First your independence will drop -- that is not very difficult, because independent you feel so burdened, you are always ready to drop the burden. That is not very difficult. Then you become dependent. That can be more difficult, because when the burden is thrown on somebody else you feel good, unburdened, weightless. Then the fear comes: If this man leaves the world, is no more in the body, then what will happen? Then you are afraid, then -- panic.

 Don't cling to it. This is a phase -- just as the first was a phase this is also a phase, this is the reverse aspect of the first phase. Try to feel more and more interdependence.

 I am talking to you here. If you were not here and somebody else was here, if even a single person different was here I would not have talked the same. It would be impossible, because I have no mind to talk. I am simply responding to you. You create the situation, you are here -- and I talk. If somebody not present here today had been present I would not have talked the same. It would have been impossible, because his presence would have created a different situation. I am not talking in a vacuum, I am talking to you. And I am not talking from the mind, because when you talk from the mind you don't bother who is there, you have certain things to say and you say them.


 I had a teacher, he was really a philosopher. And he was such a crazy man -- as philosophers are -- that for years nobody would join his subject. He was eccentric and it was impossible to pass in his subject because he would either give a hundred per cent or he would give zero. There was no midway with him -- either yes or no. He was absolutely Aristotelian. "Either you are right or you are wrong," he used to say, "nothing in between." So students were afraid. But I liked the man. He was really worth watching, and there was only one way to watch him: to join his subject. So I was the only student.

 And this was his way -- the first day he told me, "Remember, I can start by the bell of the university but I cannot stop. Unless I finish whatsoever I am saying I cannot stop. So the periods will start with the bell, but they will never stop with the bell. Sometimes I will talk only twenty minutes and be finished, sometimes I will talk for two or three hours. So if you feel very fed up or bored, or if you want to go to the bathroom or something you can go, but don't disturb me." And I was the only student! "You can go and you can come, but go and come in such a way that I am not disturbed; I will continue."

 I tried the first day. I was curious to see if he was really going to do it. Did he mean it? He meant it. When I left the room, he continued, when I came back he was still going on.

 For two years I was with him. Sometimes I would go for hours, because I have a habit of sleeping. After eleven-thirty it is difficult for me not to sleep, so at eleven-thirty I would go to my hostel room and I would have a sleep of one hour, then I would come back and he was still talking. He was completely mad. He was really a philosopher.


 But I am not talking to you that way. I am not a philosopher at all. I am talking to you: it is an inter-dependence. Whatsoever I say you are responsible for it as much as I am responsible, because you provoke it. You and I, these are just two polarities. Something between us is created, that's what is happening. When I am talking to you it is not that I am talking to you, not that you are listening to me; we are talking to us. We are talking to us -- this is interdependence.

 You are talking through me, I am listening through you -- this is interdependence.

 Independence you have dropped, now drop dependence also -- become interdependent. And this is just a learning here, let your interdependence spread to the whole existence -- feel interdependent everywhere. And you are! -- that is the reality. Dependence is false; independence is false; only interdependence is true, only God is true. God is interdependence.


 The fifth question:

 Question 4



 NOT SO FEW. Exactly the same number of women attain to enlightenment as men, but they don't fuss about it as much as men -- that's all. They don't advertise it as much as men. They enjoy it. That is how woman, the feminine being, is.

 Man enjoys talking about his enlightenment more than enlightenment itself. He is interested in how many people have come to know that he has become enlightened. Women are not worried. They are not worried at all. If it has happened they enjoy it, they nourish it deep inside. It becomes a pregnancy. They live with it; they don't talk about it. That's why you don't know many names. Only a few names are known and those are of women who had some quality of man in them, that's why you know. Otherwise you would not have known them.

 In Kashmir there was a woman of the name Lalla. In Kashmir they-have a proverb: We know only two names -- Allah and Lalla. Lalla was a rare woman, a Buddha, but she must have been not very feminine; she must have had a little more of a male mind than a female mind. She lived her whole life naked. She is the only woman in the whole world who did that. Many men have lived naked: Mahavir, Diogenes, all the Jain teerthankaras, and thousands of others, but only one woman. It looks very unfeminine, because the very essence of the feminine mind is to hide, not to show -- to hide in the inner cave. Lalla is known to be an enlightened woman; few other women are known to be enlightened.

 One woman, Maitreyi, is known in the days of the Upanishads, but she must have been a very male type.


 It is said that the king Janak had called a great debate among all the learned people of his kingdom to decide the ultimate question: What is reality? It was going to be a great discussion and all the learned people, all the pundits of the country gathered together. And there was going to be a great prize for the winner -- one thousand cows, the best of the country, with gold-covered horns, with jewelry around their necks. They were standing there outside the palace -- one thousand cows. Whosoever won the debate would take the cows.

 Yagnawalkya came -- one of the great learned men of those days -- and at that time he must not have been enlightened, later on he became an enlightened sage. He came with his disciples -- he was a great teacher -- and he was so arrogant, as scholars are, that he told his disciples, "You take these cows. I will decide the matter later on, but you first take these cows because it is too hot and the cows are suffering from the heat." He must have been very arrogant -- so certain.


 Only ignorance is so certain. Wisdom is always hesitating because it is so vast -- and how to decide the ultimate nature of reality? Who can decide it?


 All the other scholars were offended but they couldn't say anything because they knew that they could not defeat this man in argument. In argument he was superb. And he argued, and he defeated all.

 But a woman was sitting there; she was the only woman, and she had not said anything. She was Maitreyi. And then she stood at the end, when the debate was almost finished and he was going to be declared the winner. She said, "Wait. I have to ask a few questions." And she asked simple questions; but in fact simple questions cannot be answered.

 She asked, "On what is this earth supported? Who is supporting this earth?"

 The old Indian tradition says the earth is being supported by eight elephants, big white elephants. So Yagnawalkya repeated the old tradition, that the earth is supported by eight elephants: "Are you absolutely illiterate, don't you know this much?"

 The woman asked, "Then on whom are those elephants supported?"

 Now Yagnawalkya suspected trouble. So he said, "On Brahma, on the God." And he was thinking that now she would stop.

 But she said, "I would like to ask on whom is your God supported, on what?"

 Yagnawalkya became angry, and he said, "Woman! Stop! Otherwise your head will fall off. You will be killed!"


 This woman later on became enlightened. But she must have been a very male type. She argued and even got Yagnawalkya into trouble and in fact she remained silent but she was not defeated -- anyone can see that. In fact Yagnawalkya was defeated. If I had been the judge, she would have won and the cows would have had to be given to her. Because this is no argument, to say that your head will fall off. This is no argument. Anger is no argument, violence is no argument; this way you can keep somebody silent but you have not won the debate.

 This woman became enlightened but she must have been a male type. Otherwise no woman bothers to argue about such things.


 Once I asked Mulla Nasruddin, "How are things going between you and your wife? I never see any arguments. "

 He said, "On the first day we decided one thing and we have been following it, so everything is going very very well."

 I said, "You tell me, because many people come to me for my advice about problems, so I can suggest it to them."

 He said, "It is a simple law. We have decided that on ultimate questions, final questions, great problems, my advice will be final. And on small things, petty things, her advice will be final."

 So I said, "This is a very good decision. Then what problems do you call petty and what problems do you call great?"

 He said, "For example, which movie we should go to see, what type of food we should eat, what type of restaurant we should visit, where we should send our children, to which college or to which university, what type of education should be given to them, what type of clothes should be purchased, what type of house and car -- these are all petty things. She decides."

 So I asked, "Then what are the great problems?"

 He said, "Whether God exists or not. Great problems I decide!"


 Women really are never interested in great problems because they know deep down they are foolish. You can decide whether God exists or not, or how many angels can dance on one point of a pin -- you can decide.


 And Nasruddin told me, "This arrangement has been so good that not a single argument has arisen -- I always decide great problems, she always decides small problems. And things are going well."


 By and by every husband comes to know that he is free only to decide metaphysical problems -- otherwordly. No woman is interested in writing scriptures. They have never written any. But that doesn't mean that women have not become enlightened -- the same number have. Life follows a proportion. It should be so, otherwise the balance will be lost. Life completely follows a proportion.

 I would like to tell you one thing; maybe that will suggest something to you. To every one hundred girls, one hundred fifteen boys are born. And this has been a problem for biologists. Why does it happen? Always -- to a hundred girls a hundred fifteen boys are born, and by the time of the age of marriage fifteen boys have died. So the proportion remains the same, because boys are weaker than girls and more girls survive. So nature has a balance: from the very beginning fifteen boys are extra, spare, because they will die. By the time the marriage season comes, one hundred girls will be there, and if only one hundred boys had been born then only eighty-five or eighty boys would be left, and twenty girls would be left without husbands. That's not a good arrangement.

 One hundred fifteen boys are born so that by the time the marriage age comes the number is the same. This cannot be solved -- how nature arranges this, by what method, how this proportion.

 And then, in the two world wars another problem arose, because in wars the proportion becomes very disproportionate. After the first World War and after every war more children are born than ever. That too is something. In war many people die; immediately nature has to make arrangements. Some unknown force, some unconscious force goes on working. After the war many children are born, but that too is not difficult to understand because it can be explained in other ways -- maybe soldiers come back home very starved for sex and they make love more. That may be the cause of it. If that was the only thing, it could have been explained -- but more boys are born than ever, and less girls are born, because in wars men die, women remain. More men die in wars than women, because all the soldiers are men, so the ordinary proportion of a hundred to a hundred fifteen changes. To a hundred girls almost three hundred boys are born.

 There is a subtle balance somewhere. In fact, for each man a woman exists; for each woman a man exists -- they are part of one whole. Whenever one man becomes enlightened, one woman has to become also. Because one man is freed out of existence, now he will not be coming back; he will no more enter into a womb, into the world. Somewhere one woman has to be relieved of the bondage. So this is my reading: as many men as women, the same number, have become enlightened, but women are not known because they don't make a fuss about it. They enjoy it.


 The last question:

 Question 5



 YOU NEED NOT WORRY about that. You simply wait and seeing will come to you. No need to worry about it. Waiting gives you insight. When I say "Wait and see," I don't mean that you have to do both. I simply mean wait and you will see. In fact, wait and seeing will come to you.

 Waiting creates seeing. Patience creates the possibility. Absolute patience creates the absolute possibility to see. In tense, impatient minds eyes are clouded, filled with smoke -- they cannot see. When you silently wait, by and by clouds disappear from the eyes, because they are created by impatience. When you patiently wait they disappear. Vision becomes clear, a clarity is attained. You can see. Wait and see -- when I say this I don't mean that you have to do both, I mean wait, and you will see. Seeing will come by itself, on its own accord. You simply wait. You understand me?

 If you can wait it means you have dropped the reaching mind, the achieving mind; you have dropped the desiring mind. Only then can you wait. Waiting means now you are here and now, this moment is enough, this moment is all -- and suddenly the eyes are clear. No clouds roam in the eyes then -- no smoke. The flame burns without smoke. And you see.



Osho Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 1 Chapter 4

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