What have you learned from being with us?
Let’s reverse the question for once: what have you learned from being with us?
It is the last supper. Jesus has gathered all his disciples together and there is a great feeling of gloom in the air. A single candle lights the room. Everybody can sense that something momentous is going to happen and that this may be their last meal together.
Jesus pours out the wine and passes the glasses around and then divides up the food and personally serves his disciples. The candle burns low and at last, all the food is gone except for one hard-boiled egg.
Jesus says to Peter, sitting on his right, “Peter, my blessed disciple, would you like to eat this last egg?”
“Ah, no master,” says Peter. You must have it.”
Jesus then turns to his left and says, “John, my blessed disciple, would you like to eat this last egg?”
“Ah, no master,” says John. “You must have it.” Jesus asked all his twelve disciples in turn, and they all refused the last egg, saying that he, their master, must have it. Just then a gust of wind comes through the window and blows out the candle. The room is plunged into darkness and it is filled with an awesome silence.
Suddenly, there is a hideous scream. Someone lights a new candle, and everyone gasps as they see Jesus with his hand stretched out for the remaining egg – and embedded in the back of his hand, are twelve forks! But it was too late to learn…
I have learned much. One of the most significant things that I have learned is not to feel sad when you betray, not to feel sorry when you go astray – in fact, not even to expect that you have to trust.
The relationship between me and you has to be one-sided, only from your side, not from my side at all. You are here of your own free choice; you can move away just as freely as you had come. You love me — that is your decision. You can start hating me — that will also be your decision. I am absolutely unconcerned; only then is it possible not to feel hurt, not to feel wounded.
Jesus was betrayed only once, by one disciple. I have been betrayed continually for almost as much time as Jesus lived on the earth – thirty-three years. So many people I have trusted so totally have betrayed me so easily. There was a moment they were ready to die for me and just some small thing… if I was not fulfilling their expectation, which I have never agreed to fulfill, their love changes into great hate. The same person who was ready to die for me is ready to kill me.
So I have learned it the hard way that if you love, it is your decision. If you hate, it is your decision. I am almost non-existent as far as my side is concerned: neither am I a partner in your love, nor am I going to be a partner in your hate. This is a sad lesson but it is good that I have learned it long before.
If somebody assassinates me, at least I will not have any complaint, any grudge – because to love was his freedom, to hate is also his freedom. I am absolutely out of the relationship.
I will go on doing whatever I feel is needed for the growth of your consciousness. But people have been going on, changing… such stupid expectations and if they are not fulfilled… it seems as if they have come to me to change me, to transform me. They want me to be according to their idea of how a master should be.
I give you total freedom to be yourself. I never expect anything, any ideal to be imposed on you. I don’t give you any commandments. And yet you go on carrying within your mind certain expectations that I have to fulfill, and if they are not fulfilled… and they cannot be fulfilled. Thousands of people are related to me. They have different ideals, different moral concepts. It is almost impossible – and even if it were possible, I am not a man to fit with those who are unconscious, who are themselves living in darkness.
You are here to go through a transformation. It is none of your business how I live, what I say, what I do – the moment you start thinking to change something in me, the bridge between me and you is broken.
And it is a one-sided bridge; I am not a partner in it. I know it is hard for you but your very question implies, Sarjano – perhaps you have not read it very consciously while you were writing it. You say, “Let us reverse the question for once.” You cannot reverse it even for once. You are asking now, “What have you learned being with us?”
I have nothing to learn.
You are here only because of the fact that you have found a person who has nothing to learn – and particularly from you, who are groping in darkness, in unconsciousness, who are almost on the boundary line of insanity – any moment, just one step more and you are in a madhouse.
Neither from you, nor from anyone else.
And my whole approach is – and I have been insisting millions of times – that as far as truth or the ultimate reality is concerned, you cannot learn it from anybody else. And once you have known it, there is nothing that remains to be learned.
So I say to you: not even once can the question be reversed. I have not learned anything from you. You need not feel responsible for anything. Just being with you for all these three decades, it has not been a learning but simply a discovery: that there is nobody in the world who is so awakened that you can even call him a friend, so awakened that you can even call him a beloved. This has not been a learning – this is simply a discovery, slowly slowly, as I have come to know human beings.
And as I went around the world, my discovery has become absolutely clear: this humanity has come to a dead end. To hope for anything from this humanity is sheer nonsense. Perhaps a few people may be saved – and for them I go on creating the Noah’s Ark, knowing perfectly well that perhaps when the Noah’s Ark is ready, there may not be anybody left to be saved. They may have all gone their own ways.
It rarely happens: never have so many people come in contact with anybody – either Jesus or Mahavira or Buddha — and never have so many people left Buddha, Mahavira or Jesus. It is significant to have some insight into it. Even Gautam Buddha, a man of immense insight, was ready to compromise on minor points with his disciples. And the disciple feels immensely happy if the master agrees with him – although the master agreeing with the disciple is like light agreeing with darkness, truth agreeing with that which is not true, life agreeing with death. But because Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus and other teachers of the past have compromised on minor points, very few people have left them.
I am an absolutely non-compromising person. Either you have to be with me absolutely… without expecting anything from my side, because I cannot agree on any smallest, most minute point if it is not true.
And truth is indivisible. You cannot say, “I may not have the whole truth… but a little bit, a piece of it, a fragment of truth.” Truth is not divisible. Truth is almost like a circle. Have you ever seen a half circle? Perhaps you may have misunderstood: if you have seen a half circle, it is no longer a circle at all; the circle can only be full. The half is only an arc, it is not a circle. Just as the circle is indivisible, so is truth, so is life, so is existence, so is love, so is ecstasy.
Either you have it or you don’t have it.
If you have it, there is no question of your being here. If you don’t have it, then be absolutely clear that you don’t have it, because living in the illusion that perhaps you have a little bit of it, is dangerous.
What can I learn from you? – being unconscious? Being greedy? Being jealous? Being violent? What can I learn from you?
As I have gone on discovering more and more people, my hope for humanity has disappeared. If you want to call it a learning, you can.
I don’t see any future possible. And the time is so short before the curtain falls, that you should not waste it in unnecessary things. Your life has now to be absolutely devoted to the most essential thing, the most fundamental thing: to be enlightened has to be your single-pointed concentration.
Everything else has to be sacrificed for it, because you cannot even postpone it for tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come.
Osho, The Hidden Splendor, Ch 13, Q 1