Osho answers a question by Vivek.
For days now I have been on fire inside. I feel the unknown in part of me, and I am afraid to jump. Everything is cuckoo, and it’s beautiful and scary at the same time.
Push me, Osho!
Crazy, Baby, Crazy! That’s what I am here for, to put you on fire. And once it starts happening, nothing else is needed to be done. Then it goes on growing by itself, in spite of all your fears; they cannot prevent the fire. They are natural – they come from your past, but the past is impotent when it confronts the present. The fire is present, the fire is now, and the fears come from the past; they are already dead. They belong to the non-existential, and the non-existential cannot do anything to the existential.
They are like darkness. The darkness can be very old, ancient, millions of years old, but just a small candle is enough to dispel it. It cannot say that, “I am very ancient, so how you can dare? You are just a small candle and you have come into existence this very moment, and I am so old, so ancient.” But there is no time for darkness to say all that. The moment the candle is lit, the darkness starts disappearing. The problem is how to light the candle; once it is there, then there is no problem at all. If the candle is not there then darkness is very real, too real – although it exists not. It is only an absence.
Vivek, once the fire is inside, even just a small part of you is on fire, that will do – it will spread. It is not a fire that dies. Once it is there it is going to consume you totally; that is inevitable.
My work ends the moment the fire is on. Then the fire will do…
You say: For days now I have been on fire inside. I feel the unknown in part of me, and I am afraid to jump.
It is natural to be afraid to jump. And to jump in fire is like killing yourself. In a sense it is suicide: the ego is going to die. Hence the fear, because we have existed as an ego; that is our identity. To drop it means death. The mind cannot conceive what else will be left once the ego is gone. The mind knows only the ego; it knows nothing behind, beyond. It knows nothing of the transcendental. The mind is part of ego, and when the ego starts dying the mind starts dying, and it creates all kinds of fears, anxieties. It is just a self-defense.
But once the fire is on, the mind is finished. It may take a little while for the fire to spread to the whole jungle of your being, but the mind cannot do anything to prevent it.
The moment the mind becomes impotent, the work of the Master is finished. Then he simply watches. Then he enjoys the disappearance of your ego, your mind, your whole so-called personality.
You say, Vivek: Everything is cuckoo.
In the beginning it will look like that, because mind is our logic and the fire is going to destroy our logic – because life is more than logic. In fact, life is illogical; it has to be because it contains contradictions. Logic is a choice; you go on choosing that which is consistent with your idea. Life is far more than that.
If you believe that life consists only of days, then you will ignore the nights. You will not take any note of the nights because they will create confusion. Then what will happen to your idea, your prejudice, that life consists only of days? You have to cling to your idea; the nights seem so be confusing. You have to deny, you have to keep closed to the nights. You have to say they are illusory, they are dream-stuff, they are unreal; the real is the day. This is how mind tries to be consistent and logical. If it accepts the night, then the logic starts disappearing. then the contradiction has happened, then the consistency is lost.
If you accept only the flowers or only the thorns you will avoid the opposite, and life consists of polar opposites. Life cannot be consistent, remember it; only death is consistent. Hence logic is more in tune with death than in tune with life. Life is vast, it is so vast it can easily take in the contradictory; in fact, it rejoices in contradictions. On the same rose bush it grows flowers and thorns. How can it be logical? Logic will say, “Either grow thorns or grow flowers.”
Logic means either/or, and life means both/and. Hence the moment the mind starts slipping, dying, one feels as if one is going mad.
In the East we have continuously observed the phenomenon; we call it a kind of spiritual madness. In Bengal the mystics have been called Bauls; baul means the mad one. In the Sufi tradition the mystic is called a mast; mast means a mad one. And Jesus, Bahauddin, Francis, Eckhart, Kabir, Chuang Tzu, these are all mad people – for the simple reason because they have not chosen; they have accepted life as it is in its totality.
Science up to the time of Albert Einstein remained very consistent, very logical. Albert Einstein is the first mystic in the world of science; a scientific mysticism he introduced, and he disturbed the whole edifice of the old science. After Albert Einstein, science, particularly physics which was his field of work, is no more the same – because he accepted contradictions. In fact he said that, “When I had started my work I had thought that life and logic are synonymous – my work was to solve problems logically – but as I went deeper I became aware that life is not synonymous with logic: it contains contradictions. And in fact because of those contradictions it is beautiful, because of those contradictions it has a certain tension; that tension gives it aliveness, it gives it possibilities to be dynamic, moving.”
And at the end of his life he said, “Now I cannot say that life is a problem. To call life a problem is a logical statement, because a problem means something that can be solved through logic, if not today then tomorrow. Sooner or later logic will find a way and the problem will be dissolved.”
Einstein said, just two days before he died that, “Life is no more a problem for me, it is a mystery.”
And the difference between mystery and problem is immense, qualitative. A problem can be solved logically; a mystery cannot be solved logically or in any other way. A mystery has to be lived, accepted as it is; there is no way to solve it. Life is a mystery; it is a mystery because it is contradictory. And thousands of contradictions are there, but those contradictions give it variety, vastness.
So in the beginning when mind starts losing its grip upon you, it feels as if one is going cuckoo. But to be a cuckoo is really far more beautiful than to be a pundit, a professor, a theologian, a priest, a politician. Have you not heard the distant call of the cuckoo, how beautiful it is? And cuckoo is crazy! The beauty of the cuckoo’s song is transcendental. It should not be so – looking at the mundane life, looking at the ordinary life. The cuckoo goes on singing as if it lives in another world.
My sannyasins all have to be cuckoos! They have to learn the song: the Song of Solomon, the song of love, life, laughter.
The only thing beautiful in the Old Testament is the Song of Solomon; everything else is ordinary. Of course Jews and Christians are very much embarrassed by the Song of Solomon; they would like it not to be in the Old Testament. It does not look religious: it praises life, it is very fleshy, it is very alive. It praises love – it is sheer poetry. But they cannot deny it – it is there. All that they can do is either ignore it or give it some esoteric meanings, which are all nonsense.
It is a very simple song; it is not a parable and it is not metaphorical. It is very direct, immediate. It says exactly what it says; it is like two plus two are four.
Vivek, read the Song of Solomon – it will help your inner fire. It is one of the greatest documents in the world, one of the most beautiful. Even the Bhagavad Gita, compared to the Song of Solomon, has not that beauty. It sings the song of the earth; it is rejoicing in the ordinary. And the moment you rejoice in the ordinary you transform the ordinary.
There are two things in the Old Testament: one is the Song of Solomon and the other are the Ten Commandments. About the Ten Commandments, Vivek, remember this:
Two men were wrangling vehemently about something when one of them said, “The trouble with you, Bill, is that you don’t agree with anybody on anything. I’ll bet you don’t even accept the Ten Commandments.”
“That’s not true,” disagreed the other. “If you make only one small change in them I’ll agree with all of them.”
“That’s certainly surprising,” said the first man. “What’s the small change you want made?”
“Just strike out the word ‘not’ all the way through.”
And that’s what the Song of Solomon is: the small word “not” has been striked out all the way through.
And you ask me, Vivek: Push me, Osho! On fire…
That I am doing without ever taking anybody’s permission! I never come from the front door because nobody would allow me from the front door. I never knock, I never ask, “May I come in, sir or madam?” I enter as a thief, I enter from the back door. And certainly I have to enter as a thief because you are asleep; knocking on the door won’t help. You will rationalize in your sleep, “It must be the wind, or an airplane passing by, or something else.” You will rationalize, turn over, go under the blanket and start dreaming again. Maybe knocking on the door can trigger a few dreams in you; that’s all it will do. You are so fast asleep, I have to come from the back door.
In India we have one thousand names of God; one whole scripture is devoted just only to the names. Nothing else is written in that scripture: Vishnu Sahasranam – One Thousand Names of God. Just names are counted from one to one thousand. The most beautiful name that I love is Hari; hari means the ultimate thief.
Just two days ago I was giving sannyas to a beautiful sannyasin. I have given her the name Haridasi – surrendered to the ultimate thief. And when I told her that, “Your heart is stolen,” for a moment she was transported into another world. Her hand suddenly went on her heart and I said, “It is not there!” And she understood the point immediately. She lost few heartbeats; tears of joy came to her eyes. She could not speak a single word; her voice was choked. It is bound to happen when your heart is gone!
I go on doing things in my own way. And with you, Vivek, I am not worried. You are on fire, your heart is stolen long before. And I am pushing you, and I am absolutely certain that the thing that you are all here for is going to happen to you. Fortunately you are not a Polack, otherwise there was a danger…
Have you heard about the new Polish parachutes?
They open on impact… but they are having great difficulty with them because most Polacks miss the ground!
Osho, I Am That, Ch 12, Q 1