Q: I am another ‘development worker’ whose questions you answered most beautifully yesterday.
For me, though, one question remains: working to help brothers out of the molasses seems also to keep me from flying. Should we fly and leave them be, and stay here in this magic place, for example? Or should we stay on land to help? How is a synthesis possible?
Oscar Mann, I don’t believe in any kind of synthesis. Synthesis is always hotchpotch; synthesis is basically confusion. Synthesis means you are schizophrenic and somehow managing to keep yourself together. I don’t trust synthesis, because then we have accepted the division and are somehow trying to bridge the division.
I believe in a single vision, not in synthesis. The single vision is liberating; it takes you beyond confusion and chaos, it creates integrity, it gives you a centring, a grounding.
Moreover, a synthesis remains intellectual, it never becomes existential. It is like trying to synthesize darkness and light: intellectually you can do it, but existentially it is impossible. If there is light there cannot be any darkness; if you want darkness then the idea of light has to be dropped.
This is the first thing to understand clearly: I am not trying to create any synthesis here; I am simply communicating, communing my single vision. It is comprehensive and multidimensional. It includes all, but it is not a synthesis.
For me the question is not whether to go on helping people or whether to make an effort to be blissful, to be meditative, to make your life a celebration. The question does not arise because you are starting from a wrong assumption. The assumption is that a man who is not blissful himself can be of some service to others – that is impossible. You can give to others only that which you have already got; you cannot give that which you have not got yourself. Of what help can you be to others?
A miserable person is bound to infect people with his misery; he cannot do otherwise. He can intend to do otherwise but he cannot really do it. That is not in the very nature of things; it is impossible. It is against the law of existence.
If you are stinking, how can you give fragrance to others? Whenever you are giving something to others you are giving yourself in some way or other; you are imparting your being, your existence, you are sharing. You are sharing your innermost space.
You have been conditioned
by Christianity for service…
The so-called public servants have been the most mischievous people on the earth; they have created more misery than anybody else. If we can get rid of all public servants, humanity will be in a far better situation – but these do-gooders won’t leave humanity alone. And what are they gaining out of it? They are gaining only one thing: they are miserable and they want to forget all about it, and the best way is to start thinking of others’ miseries that is an escape from your own miserable space. When you become too much concerned about others’ problems, naturally your own problems recede into darkness.
It is a well-known fact that the people who become interested in psychoanalysis, the people who become psychotherapists, are basically trying to avoid their own psychological problems. They are afraid to face them, and the easiest course is to become focused on others’ problems. And when you are surrounded by others’ problems – and they are so many and bigger than yours – naturally you start forgetting about your own problems. There is no time to think about yourself.
These so-called public servants, social reformers, are simply escapists. They are full of misery, tension, anguish, anxiety. I know these people – I know their innermost lives. They are carrying a thousand and one wounds, and still they are trying to help others. They can only contaminate others, they can only infect others.
A candle that is unlit
other unlit candles…
The first thing is to create a blissful state in your own interiority. Your subjectivity should be full of fragrance. You should be a dance, a song, a festival of lights. Then out of that joy, compassion arises. I don’t call it ‘service’, I don’t call it ‘duty’ – I call it love. And then you are not obliging anybody, you are simply overflowing with joy. Then you are just like a cloud full of rain-water: it has to shower. Then you are just like a lotus full of fragrance: it has to give its fragrance to the winds. It is not obliging the winds; neither is the cloud obliging the earth. In fact, the cloud feels obliged to the earth, because it allowed it to unburden. The lotus feels obliged to the wind, grateful, thankful, because the wind allowed it to release its splendour. It is infinitely grateful. There is no question of service and there is no question of helping others; it is a natural consequence of blissfulness.
Oscar Mann, you have to consider only one thing deeply: Are you blissful? Are you in a state of celebration? Are you a cloud full of rain-water? If you are not, then forget this great idea of helping others, of ‘helping brothers out of the molasses’. You will drag them more into the molasses! You will become a burden. You will sit on their heads – they will have to carry you. And, of course, being a public servant, being a great social worker, it is your birthright to sit on people’s heads! They have to worship you: you are great, your work is great. They have to feel your greatness, your superiority, your compassion. And all that is bullshit! Unless you are blissful it is not possible for you to help others.
go on changing,
but basically the mind
remains the same.
A candle that is unlit cannot help other unlit candles; only a lit candle can help other candles to become lit. And the miracle is: when the flame goes from the lit candle to the unlit candle, the lit candle loses nothing, and from one lit candle millions of candles can be lit – still it loses nothing. Others gain, but you are not losing anything. In fact, just the opposite happens: the more you give, the more you have. And when you are ready to give all, you have all the joys of the world available to you. When you are ready to give totally, you become open to all God’s grace, you become a vehicle. But then there is no idea of service, duty; the question does not arise.
Hence there is no need to think about a synthesis. One is blissful – and out of bliss, just as the shadow follows you, compassion follows you. You are not even aware of your shadow following you; it does not make any noise, not even the footsteps can be heard. It simply comes following you, without any noise, not even a whisper. In the same way compassion comes: it follows the meditator.
If you are blissful
Gautam the Buddha defines meditation as the source of compassion. He says unless you are a meditator you cannot have compassion. ‘Compassion’ is a beautiful word: it is passion transformed, it is passion gone through the alchemy of meditation. It is the same energy that was involved in your passions now passing through the alchemical process of meditation, silence, awareness. It is freed from all pollution, from all that is foreign to it; it becomes purer and purer. When your meditation reaches its ultimate height, your whole energy becomes overflowing love – it is compassion.
So the question of synthesis does not arise – either you are blissful or you are not. If you are blissful, compassion follows; if you are not blissful, whatsoever you are doing is just an escape from your own misery.
You say: I am another ‘development worker’ whose questions you answered most beautifully yesterday. For me, though, one question remains…
The mind goes on creating questions. When I have answered this question, Oscar Mann, you will find that a few more questions have arisen. The mind is very fertile about questions; about answers it is impotent. The mind has no answers, it has only questions. Meditation has only answers and no questions, and meditation is a state of no-mind.
I can answer your question, but don’t think that you will get the answer – you will simply get a few more questions.
In New York a bus was standing at the bus-stop. The driver informed the passengers that he would leave the stop only if the blacks moved to the back of the bus and the whites came to the front.
“Hey, man!” said one of the blacks. “Stop this discrimination. We’re under the Carter administration, you know!”
Exactly at this moment, the President drove past the side of the bus in his car. One of the blacks called out to him and told him the story.
“I’ll have none of this!” replied Carter with vehemence. “In my government there are neither blacks nor whites. In the USA we are all greens!” (the colour he used in his election campaign).
Everybody applauded the President, and he drove away.
“Okay,” said the bus driver after he had gone, “let’s get this organized. All the light greens come to the front and all the dark greens go to the back!”
Only questions go on changing, but basically the mind remains the same. So if you are trying to get answers through the mind you are not going to get them at all! Listen to me in silence, listen to me without the mind. Put the mind aside.
You have been conditioned by Christianity for service, and the conditioning of Christianity has gone so deep that not only has it conditioned the Christians, it has conditioned even the Buddhists, the Jainas, the Hindus, the Mohammedans. It has a logical appeal in it.
For example, in India we always respected the man of meditation. We never asked Buddha to go and serve the poor.
I receive every day hundreds of letters saying “If you are really a Bhagwan then you should open hospitals, schools, houses for the poor, for orphans, for widows.” But nobody asked Buddha, nobody asked Krishna, nobody asked Mahavira, how many hospitals they had opened and how many schools they had opened. All that we asked them was whether they have achieved blissfulness. If they have achieved that, then all is achieved. Then their very presence is a healing force, then their very presence is educative, then their very presence is nectar. Then their very presence gives eyes to the blind and ears to the deaf and tongues to the dumb and hearts to the dead – their very presence!
But Christianity has contaminated the whole world. Now even Hindus think that Mother Teresa is a real saint. Jainas think, Buddhists think, that unless you serve the poor, unless you serve the old, you are not a really religious person.
The East has defined the religious person in a totally different way and I insist that the East is right, Christianity is wrong. First one has to become blissful oneself, then only can one share.
Con had returned to his native town after many years abroad. “I hope,” said his parish priest, “that you have been loyal to your faith while you have been away.”
“Indeed, Father, I have. I lied, I fought, I cursed, I robbed and I had women, but not for one moment did I forget the religion I was brought up in!”
People are only paying lip service, but nothing else can be done because Christianity has put everything upside-down.
It was a typical shop selling Roman Catholic religious goods and there were many statues of the saints. With savage energy a Protestant Orangeman shattered them with his stick. In court he explained why.
“Milord, I couldn’t pass the place by and not do something. If there’s one thing I hate it’s bigotry!”
Oscar Mann, you are asking me: … Working to help brothers out of the molasses seems also to keep me from flying.
If you cannot fly, you cannot be rooted in the earth either. The question of synthesis does not arise. A tree is rooted in the earth: the deeper its roots go, the higher its branches rise. The tree can whisper with the clouds only if its roots go very deep into the earth; the proportion is the same: the higher the tree, the deeper the roots. There is a balance. The tree can touch the stars, but then the roots have to go to the very rock-bottom.
I don’t see that there is any question of synthesis between flying and remaining on the earth. In fact, a tree which is only roots is not a tree. Roots are ugly, that’s why nature keeps them hidden underneath the earth. And a tree which has no roots cannot survive, not even for a single moment; it cannot grow, it will be dead immediately. It is possible to flower, but it is possible only because of the roots.
You are asking me as if there is a question of choosing whether to fly or whether to remain on the earth, and I say to you: both are possible only in togetherness; you cannot do one alone.
If you feel the magic of this place then be immersed in that magic, be drunk with it! Then one day perhaps you may be of some help to humanity.
The sales manager had a busy week in the country, and on Saturday evening he was exhausted when he dropped into the local bar to have a quick one before going home.
“Give me something to pick me up,” he asked.
“Brandy? Vodka? Tullamore Dew? Bushmills?”
“No, no. I need something different.”
“Well,” said the barman with hesitation, “the only thing that might do it would be our Bhagwan’s special.”
“I’ll try it!” said the sales manager – and he had to admit that the first made him feel a new man, while the second and the third sent him home floating on air.
He was telling a friend about it. “It was terrific!” he said. “And the next morning I jumped out of bed and gave all the family their breakfast, packed them into the car and took them to Shree Rajneesh Ashram’s Buddha Hall. There we listened to a strange sermon against Jesus and saw thousands of strange people in orange robes. I could not believe my own eyes! Everything was so strange, it looked as if I was dreaming. And then it was when we came out that the trouble started.”
“In what way?” asked his friend.
“Sure, we’re not Rajneeshees, we’re Christians!”
Try to get it – don’t be Germans!
Osho, Philosophia Ultima, Ch 8, Q 1