Only be serious about jokes


Atulyo asked: Osho, I would like to know if there is anything that I should be serious about.

Osho with hat

Atulyo, Except my jokes, don’t be serious about anything else. But about jokes I am not joking!

Having come from a small village, Giovanni had never seen a train in his life. So one day he decided to go and see one. Standing on the rail he heard the train whistle, “Tooo-tooo!” Before he knew what hit him, the train was upon him and knocked him off the rail. The last thing he could remember was flying through the air.

When he gained consciousness, Giovanni found himself laid up in the hospital for several months. During this time his wife used their accident insurance money to buy a well-equipped, modern flat in the city.

Once fully recovered, Giovanni went to his new home. His wife made a cake to celebrate his recovery and put the new kettle on the stove to make some coffee to go with the cake. As the water boiled, the kettle whispered, “Tooo-tooo!” Startled, Giovanni jumped up, rushed to the kitchen, grabbed the new kettle and smashed it on the floor, kicking it several times.

“What the hell are you doing?” cried out his wife.

“These things!” shouted Giovanni, “You’ve got to kill them while they’re young!”

Atulyo, it is good that in the very beginning you have asked this question that I would like to know if there is anything that I should be serious about.”

Only be serious about jokes; about everything else, from the very beginning, beware, don’t get serious. Whatsoever I say, all the sutras have to be forgotten. And you have to forgive me for all the sutras. Just remember me for my jokes, but take them very seriously. They will help you immensely.

A drunk sat alone at one end of the bar watching the well-dressed playboy smoothly talking to one woman after another. Finally he slithered over to the man, “Hey, mister, how come you get to talk to all these women?”

“Well,” said the man, “I have a special technique I figured out. It works every time. Look!”

They waited for a buxom redhead to walk by.

“Tickle your ass with a feather?” whispered the playboy.

The woman wheeled around, “What! What did you say to me?” she stormed.

“Particularly nice weather,” said the man coolly. “Won’t you join us for a drink?” The woman sat down and before she left, the man had her phone number and a date.

Then a pretty brunette came along. Again the man said, “Tickle your ass with a feather?”

“I beg your pardon!” exclaimed the lady.

“Particularly nice weather!” cooed the man.

Charmed, the lady joined them for a while. When she left, Mr. Suave-and-Debonair said, “So you see how it works now?”

“Yeah, I get it,” slobbered the drunk.

“Now you try it on the next broad,” said the playboy.

So when a gorgeous blonde walked in, the drunk gathered up his courage and yelled, “Hey, lady, stick a feather up your ass?”

“What!” she raged. “What did you say?”

“Pretty fuckin’ nice out, ain’t it?” replied the drunk.

I know you are absolutely in a drunken state. Everything is upside down in you, everything is in a mess. You don’t know what you are doing, why you are doing it. You don’t know why you are here in the first place! But I know perfectly well why I am here and what I am doing. I am trying to wake you up — you are fast asleep.

Just take one thing seriously and that is to become more and more alert of your sleepiness. And all my efforts here, sutras or jokes, are nothing but means to wake you. Sometimes a joke can wake you up more easily than a serious sutra because listening to a serious sutra you tend to fall deeper into sleep; it is so serious that you can’t be awakened by it. But a joke is so light that you don’t want to miss it; you listen attentively .

And between the jokes I go on dropping a few dangerous things into your head – just small bombs, between the jokes! Just remember to take the jokes seriously and the remainder you leave to me; the remainder I will do. If you are just awake between two jokes, between the two jokes I am there to drop a bomb inside you which will explode sooner or later. And the moment it explodes you are finished!

Osho, Tao: the Golden Gate, Vol 1, Ch 7, Q 4 – 17 June 1980 am in Buddha Hall

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