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Chapter 20 – Diogenes and the Dog

Chapter 20

Diogenes and the Dog
(This chapter title does not exist in the new edition. Questions and Answers from this Chapter have been moved to ‘Responses to Questions’ in Chapter 5 of the new edition)

The first question:

Beloved Osho,

What is this attachment to misery? And why is it so difficult to be happy?

Prem Darshan, misery has many things to give to you which happiness cannot give. In fact, happiness takes away many things from you. Happiness takes all that you have ever had, all that you have ever been; happiness destroys you. Misery nourishes your ego, and happiness is basically a state of egolessness. That is the problem, the very crux of the problem. That’s why people find it very difficult to be happy. That’s why millions of people in the world have to live in misery… have decided to live in misery. It gives you a very very crystallized ego. Miserable, you are. Happy, you are not. In misery, crystallization; in happiness you become diffused.

If this is understood then things become very clear. Misery makes you special. Happiness is a universal phenomenon, there is nothing special about it. Trees are happy and animals are happy and birds are happy. The whole existence is happy, except man. Being miserable, man becomes very special, extraordinary.

Misery makes you capable of attracting people’s attention. Whenever you are miserable you are attended to, sympathized with, loved. Everybody starts taking care of you. Who wants to hurt a miserable person? Who is jealous of a miserable person? Who wants to be antagonistic to a miserable person? That would be too mean.

The miserable person is cared for, loved, attended to. There is great investment in misery. If the wife is not miserable the husband simply tends to forget her. If she is miserable the husband cannot afford to neglect her. If the husband is miserable the whole family, the wife, the children, are around him, worried about him; it gives great comfort. One feels one is not alone, one has a family, friends.

When you are ill, depressed, in misery, friends come to visit you, to solace you, to console you. When you are happy, the same friends become jealous of you. When you are really happy, you will find the whole world has turned against you.
Nobody likes a happy person, because the happy person hurts the egos of the others. The others start feeling, “So you have become happy and we are still crawling in darkness, misery and hell. How dare you be happy when we all are in such misery!”
And of course the world consists of miserable people, and nobody is courageous enough to let the whole world go against him; it is too dangerous, too risky. It is better to cling to misery, it keeps you a part of the crowd. Happy, and you are an individual; miserable, you are part of a crowd — Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Indian, Arabian, Japanese. Happy? Do you know what happiness is? Is it Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan? Happiness is simply happiness. One is transported into another world. One is no more part of the world the human mind has created, one is no more part of the past, of the ugly history. One is no more part of time at all. When you are really happy, blissful, time disappears, space disappears.

Albert Einstein has said that in the past scientists used to think that there were two realities — space and time. But he said that these two realities are not two — they are two faces of the same single reality. Hence he coined the word spaciotime, a single word. Time is nothing else but the fourth dimension of space. Einstein was not a mystic, otherwise he would have introduced the third reality also — the transcendental, neither space nor time. That too is there, I call it the witness. And once these three are there, you have the whole trinity. You have the whole concept of trimurti, three faces of God. Then you have all the four dimensions. The reality is four-dimensional: three dimensions of space, and the fourth dimension of time.

But there is something else, which cannot be called the fifth dimension, because it is not the fifth really, it is the whole, the transcendental. When you are blissful you start moving into the transcendental. It is not social, it is not traditional, it has nothing to do with human mind at all.

Your question is significant, Darshan: “What is this attachment to misery?”

There are reasons. Just look into your misery, watch, and you will be able to find what the reasons are. And then look into those moments when once in a while you allow yourself the joy of being in joy, and then see what differences are there. These will be the few things: when you are miserable you are a conformist. Society loves it, people respect you, you have great respectability, you can even become a saint; hence your saints are all miserable. The misery is written large on their faces, in their eyes.
Because they are miserable they are against all joy. They condemn all joy as hedonism; they condemn every possibility of joy as sin. They are miserable, and they would like to see the whole world miserable. In fact only in a miserable world can they be thought to be saints. In a happy world they would have to be hospitalized, mentally treated. They are pathological.

I have seen many saints, and I have been looking into the lives of your past saints. Ninety-nine out of a hundred of them are simply abnormal — neurotic or even psychotic. But they were respected — and they were respected for their misery, remember. The more misery they lived through, the more they were respected. There have been saints who would beat their body with a whip every day in the morning, and people would gather to see this great austerity, asceticism, penance. And the greatest was one who would have wounds all over his body — and these people were thought to be saints!

There have been saints who have destroyed their eyes, because it is because of the eyes that one becomes aware of beauty, and lust arises. And they were respected because they had destroyed their eyes. God had given them eyes to see the beauty of existence; they became blind by their own decision.

There have been saints who cut their genital organs. And they were respected very much, tremendously, for the simple reason that they had been self-destructive, violent with themselves. These people were psychologically ill.
There have been saints who have been worshipped because they were capable of fasting for long periods, were experts in fasting. It is a certain expertise, you need a little training. Not much intelligence is needed; the training is very ordinary and any stupid person can go through it and learn it. You just have to be able to enjoy suffering — and only the ill person enjoys suffering. If you can remain for ten, twelve days on a fast, only the first four, five days are difficult. Then the body metabolism becomes attuned to not eating. In fact, it starts eating itself.

The body has a dual mechanism in it; for emergency purposes the body has a dual mechanism. You eat, you get energy from the outside, because every day you need a certain quantity of energy to live by. If you don’t do that, then the body has some stored energy for emergency times; that’s what fat is. Fat is emergency food, stored food. If a person is normal, healthy, he can live for three months without food; that much fat the body contains.

In the ancient days when the body was developing and man was coming down from the trees and was becoming a hunter, it was not possible every day to find food. Some days you would find it, some days you would not find. Man started gathering some storage inside; the body has learned this.

The more afraid you are of tomorrow, the more fat you will gather. That’s why women gather more fat. Down the ages they have been more afraid — they have been made more afraid by men. They gather more fat. And women are more capable of going on a fast than men. Women need more fat also because they will have to go through pregnancy, and eating becomes difficult in pregnancy. They will have to eat their own stored food. In fact to be on a fast is nothing but eating yourself, it is cannibalism. Reduced to the truth, a man who fasts is a cannibal; he eats himself. That’s why when you fast, every day one or two pounds of weight start to disappear. Where is it going? You are eating it; it is your need, everyday need. That much energy is used by your machine, by your body.

Great saints were doing long fasts, just torturing themselves. But it is not much of an intelligent thing. Just for a few days, the first week, it is difficult; the second week it is very easy; the third week it becomes difficult to eat. The fourth week you have completely forgotten. The body enjoys eating itself and feels less heavy, obviously, with no problems to digest. And the whole energy that is continuously being used in digestion becomes available to the head. You can think more, you can concentrate more, you can forget the body and its needs.

But these things simply created miserable people and a miserable society. Look into your misery and you will find certain fundamental things are there. One: it gives you respect. People feel more friendly towards you, more sympathetic. You will have more friends if you are miserable. This is a very strange world, something is fundamentally wrong with it. It should not be so, the happy person should have more friends. But become happy and people become jealous of you, they are no more friendly. They feel cheated; you have something that is not available to them. Why are you happy? So we have learned down the ages a subtle mechanism: to repress happiness and to express misery. It has become our second nature.

My sannyasins have to drop this whole mechanism. You have to learn how to be happy, and you have to learn to respect happy people and you have to learn to pay more attention to happy people, remember. This is a great service to humanity. Don’t sympathize too much with people who are miserable. If somebody is miserable, help, but don’t sympathize. Don’t give him the idea that misery is something worthwhile. Let him know perfectly well that you are helping him, but “This is not out of respect, this is simply because you are miserable.” And you are not doing anything but trying to bring the man out of his misery, because misery is ugly. Let the person feel that the misery is ugly, that to be miserable is not something virtuous, that “You are not doing a great service to humanity.”

Be happy, respect happiness, and help people to understand that happiness is the goal of life — SATCHITANAND. The Eastern mystics have said God has three qualities. He is sat: he is truth, being. He is chit: consciousness, awareness. And, ultimately, the highest peak is anand: bliss. Wherever bliss is, God is. Whenever you see a blissful person, respect him, he is holy. And wherever you feel a gathering which is blissful, festive, think of it as a sacred place.

We have to learn a totally new language, only then this old rotten humanity can be changed. We have to learn the language of health, wholeness, happiness. It is going to be difficult because our investments are great.
Darshan, that is why it is so difficult to be happy and so easy to be miserable. One thing more: misery needs no talents, anybody can afford it. Happiness needs talents, genius, creativity. Only creative people are happy.

Let this sink deep in your heart: only creative people are happy. Happiness is a by-product of creativity. Create something, and you will be happy. Create a garden, let the garden bloom, and something will bloom in you. Create a painting, and something starts growing in you with the growing painting. As the painting comes to the finish, as you are giving the last touches to the painting, you will see you are no more the same person. You are giving the last touches to something that is very new in you.
Write a poem, sing a song, dance a dance, and see: you start becoming happy. That’s why in my commune creativity is going to be our prayer to God. This commune is not going to be of those sad, long faces who are not doing anything, just sitting under trees or in their huts, vegetating. This commune is going to be a commune of artists, painters, poets, sculptors, dancers, musicians — and so many things are there to be done!

God has only given you an opportunity to be creative: life is an opportunity to be creative. If you are creative you will be happy. Have you seen the joy in the eyes of a mother when the child starts growing in her womb? Have you seen the change that happens to the woman when she becomes pregnant? What is happening? Something is flowering in her, she is being creative, she is going to give birth to a new life. She is utterly happy, tremendously joyous, a song is in her heart.

When the child is born and the woman sees the child for the first time, see the depth of her eyes, the joy of her being. She has gone through much pain for this joy, but she has not gone into this pain for the pain’s sake. She has suffered, but her suffering is tremendously valuable; it is not ascetic, it is creative. She has suffered to create more joy.

When you want to climb to the highest peak of the mountains, it is arduous. And when you have reached the peak and you lie down, whispering with the clouds, looking at the sky, the joy that fills your heart — that joy always comes whenever you reach any peak of creativity.

It needs intelligence to be happy, and people are taught to remain unintelligent. The society does not want intelligence to flower. The society does not need intelligence; in fact it is very much afraid of intelligence. The society needs stupid people. Why? — because stupid people are manageable. Intelligent people are not necessarily obedient — they may obey, they may not obey. But the stupid person cannot disobey; he is always ready to be commanded. The stupid person needs somebody to command him, because he has no intelligence to live on his own. He wants somebody to direct him; he seeks and searches his own tyrants.

Politicians don’t want intelligence to happen in the world, priests don’t want intelligence to happen in the world, generals don’t want intelligence to happen in the world. Nobody really wants it. People want everybody to remain stupid, then everybody is obedient, conformist, never goes outside the fold, remains always part of the mob, is controllable, manipulatable, manageable.
The intelligent person is rebellious. Intelligence is rebellion. The intelligent person decides on his own whether to say no or yes. The intelligent person cannot be traditional, he cannot go on worshipping the past; there is nothing to worship in the past. The intelligent person wants to create a future, wants to live in the present. His living in the present is his way of creating the future.
The intelligent person does not cling to the dead past, does not carry corpses. Howsoever beautiful they have been, howsoever precious, he does not carry the corpses. He is finished with the past; it is gone, and it is gone forever.

But the foolish person is traditional. He is ready to follow the priest, ready to follow any stupid politician, ready to follow any order — anybody with authority and he is ready to fall at his feet. Without intelligence there can be no happiness. Man can only be happy if he is intelligent, utterly intelligent.
Meditation is a device to release your intelligence. The more meditative you become, the more intelligent you become. But remember, by intelligence I don’t mean intellectuality. Intellectuality is part of stupidity.

Intelligence is a totally different phenomenon, it has nothing to do with the head. Intelligence is something that comes from your very center. It wells up in you, and with it many things start growing in you. You become happy, you become creative, you become rebellious, you become adventurous, you start loving insecurity, you start moving into the unknown. You start living dangerously, because that is the only way to live.

To be a sannyasin means to decide that “I will live my life intelligently,” that “I will not be just an imitator,” that “I will live within my own being, I will not be directed and commanded from without,” that “I will risk all to be myself, but I will not be part of a mob psychology,” that “I will walk alone,” that “I will find my own path,” that “I will make my own path in the world of truth.” Just by walking into the unknown you create the path. The path is not already there; just by walking, you create it.

For stupid people there are superhighways where crowds move. And for centuries and centuries they have been moving — and going nowhere, going in circles. Then you have the comfort that you are with many people, you are not alone.
Intelligence gives you the courage to be alone, and intelligence gives you the vision to be creative. A great urge, a great hunger arises to be creative. And only then, as a consequence, you can be happy, you can be blissful.

The second question:

Beloved Osho, Why can I remember the useless things for years, but not the essential ones? I forget the essential almost immediately.

Veerendra, you are fortunate — fortunate in the sense that at least you hear the essential. People don’t hear at all, so there is no question of forgetting. People only hear the nonessential. Mind feeds on the nonessential, the useless, trivia.
The essential is a beautiful word, it comes from essence. The essential feeds your essence, hence it is called essential. The nonessential only decorates your surface; the nonessential remains on the circumference, it never reaches to the center of your being. Only the essential reaches to the center.

But your circumference is thick, it does not allow the essential to reach to the center; it hinders. It is a strategy of the mind, because if your being becomes more powerful, the mind loses its grip on you. There is a great conflict between the circumference and the center: who is going to dominate whom? The circumference is dominating. The circumference only allows that which nourishes it, and does not allow that which nourishes the essence — and everything has to pass through the circumference.

Scientists say that only two percent is allowed to reach to the core; ninety-eight percent is prevented from reaching. That’s why you have poor souls — rich minds and poor souls, knowledgeable minds but foolish souls. You don’t have wisdom. Unless you start doing something deliberately about it, this is going to remain so.
Mind loves the nonessential; it is always hungry for gossip. Something utterly useless, and it listens so attentively.

I have heard about a priest. He was giving a discourse to his congregation, and almost everybody was fast asleep — that’s what people do in churches, temples. In fact, people who suffer from sleeplessness, they go to the churches, to the temples. If everything fails, tranquilizers don’t work any more, just go to a religious discourse — it never fails, it immediately succeeds.
So almost everybody was asleep. And that was not the problem, because the priest knew, it was his whole life’s experience. But a few people were there who were snoring too, and that was a great disturbance. So out from nowhere, unconnected with the discourse, he started telling a story.

He said, “Once it happened I was passing through a desert. There was nobody, just I was there with my donkey, and suddenly the donkey started speaking to me!”
Everybody was fully awake. Everybody! Not a single person was asleep. And then he dropped the story then and there, started his discourse again. One man stood up and said, “But what happened? What did the donkey say?”
The priest said, “You are so much interested in what the donkey said, you all became fully awake. But you are not interested in what I am saying.”

Muza Dai Boo, an Arab merchant, was in the marketplace one day when he felt terrible cramps. He just couldn’t control himself, and let out a long loud fart.
People stared at him from all sides. Mortally embarrassed, he ran back to his house, packed his few belongings and journeyed far away. For years he traveled from town to town, but always avoided his home town.
At last, an old and weary man, he decided to return. He had grown a long beard and his face had aged enough so that he was sure he would not be recognized. His heart longed for the old familiar streets.
Once in town, he went directly to the marketplace. There, to his surprise, he saw the street had been paved. He turned to the man nearest him and said, “My friend, how smooth this street is! When, by the grace of Allah, was it so neatly paved?”
“Oh, that,” said the man. “That was done three years, four months and two days after Muza Dai Boo farted in the marketplace.”

People never forget the stupid things of life. Muza Dai Boo they have forgotten, nobody recognizes him — but that has become something historical.
Veerendra, it is so with everybody’s mind, it is nothing special to you.
You say: “Why can I remember only the useless things and for years, but not the essential ones?”

The essential ones are against your mind. The mind is continuously afraid of allowing any truth to enter you. It finds a thousand and one ways to avoid the truth, because the truth is going to shatter it. It allows only that which is supportive. And because mind itself is rubbish, it collects rubbish, and very joyously.
What Buddha has said will be forgotten. Buddha used to repeat each statement three times. Once somebody asked, “Why do you repeat three times?”

He said, “Because I know, the first time you don’t hear at all. The second time you hear, but you hear something else that I have not said. The third time I hope that you hear that which is said, exactly that which is said.”
It is very difficult to read Buddhist scriptures, because each statement repeated three times becomes very tiring. So now they have invented a device: they write the statement and they make three stars, so you know three times… no need to read three times.

If somebody came to Buddha to surrender, he had to surrender three times. He had to say, “buddham sharanam gachchhami, sangham sharanam gachchhami, dhammam sharanam gachchhami” — three times. Why? Buddha is reported to have said, “The first time you may have said it but may not have meant it. The second time you may have meant it, but may not have meant that which I mean by it. The third time I hope that you are exactly doing what is expected.”
It is not a formal thing to say, “buddham sharanam gachchhami, I go to the feet of the Buddha.” If it is formal it is meaningless. If you are simply repeating it because others are repeating it, it is useless. And people are imitators.

Once it happened, I was staying in a house and I told the friend with whom I was staying that people are imitators.
He said, “All?”
I said, “All.”
He said, “Then give me a demonstration.”
I said, “You wait.”
I told him, “When the next person comes to see me, the moment he enters, you touch my feet, put a hundred-rupee note at my feet.”

And it happened: when the next people came to see me — three people came to see me together — he immediately touched my feet and left a hundred-rupee note there, and all three touched my feet and left hundred-rupee notes immediately!
I said, “What do you say now? And these are the people who have been coming to see me for years, and not even a single paisa — and suddenly hundred-rupee notes!”
I asked them, “Why did you do this?”
They said, “Why? — because we thought maybe this is what we have to do. If it is being done, then it must be done.”

People are imitators. In temples and mosques, in churches, you will find them bowing down. Somebody is bowing down to a cross — why? Can you really answer why you go on bowing down to the cross? — because your parents have been doing it. And ask the parents, Why? — because their parents have been doing it, and so on and so forth. People simply imitate. Imitation is easy, it remains on the surface. It is not a commitment, commitment goes to the heart.
You will have to be very conscious, you will have to learn two things. One: the moment you see something nonessential is there, don’t pay any attention to it, bypass it. There is no need even to look at it, there is no need to read it.

If you start reading only the essential, our cities will become far more beautiful because boards and advertisements on the walls will disappear. They are there because you go on reading them. And the same thing: “Livva little hot, sippa Gold Spot.” Whenever you pass, again you read it: “Livva little hot….” It is unconscious! And if you read it too many times — “Livva little hot, sippa Gold Spot” — one day you will sippa Gold Spot! How long can you avoid it?

The whole advertising depends on your foolishness. Just constant repetition. That’s why the latest thing is not to have fixed lights for advertisements; they go on, off. “Livva little hot…” you have read once, the light goes off. It comes again: “Livva little hot…” again you have to read it! If it remains constant you will read it only once and you will go home. But if it changes while you are passing, it changes four or five times, then four or five times you have to read it.

The whole science of advertising depends on your foolishness. Just go on repeating, and people start purchasing. Anything can be sold. In the old days the economists used to say that this is a fundamental law; it is no more. What they used to think a fundamental law was: wherever there is demand, there is supply. Now it is just vice versa: wherever there is supply, there is demand. First supply anything — just create a hypnotic atmosphere about it, and anything repeated too many times becomes a hypnosis.

Beware of the nonessential. Nobody can force you, if you are aware, to cling to the nonessential. And if you don’t cling to the nonessential, if you don’t gather the nonessential, passages will be available from the circumference to the center, and the essential can go in.

That’s why it happens to many sannyasins…. Just now Haridas has said that he used to go outside the ashram; now it is becoming more and more difficult to go outside. Why is it becoming more and more difficult to go outside? Nobody is prevented from going outside, but it becomes difficult on its own, because you see so much nonsense — and you have to see it, because it is there; you have to listen to it.

Once you have started living in the essential, slowly slowly many things that you used to do before — going to the movies, reading the novels, seeing the tv, listening to the radio, gossiping with people — start disappearing. And the energy that is involved in them becomes available for the essential.

Buddha has said that the sannyasin should not look more than four feet ahead while he is walking on the road — just four feet ahead. Why? So that you need not see all that is going on around. It is beautiful, it is significant.
Listen to that which will help your soul to grow. Read that which will provoke aspirations for God. See that which will give you a new vision, new eyes, clarity. Life is short, energy is limited. Don’t be foolish, don’t go on wasting it on the nonessential. But you have to be conscious, only then the nonessential can be dropped. And the first thing is to drop the nonessential; only then the second thing is possible — to get attuned with the essential.
Seeing the false as the false is the beginning of seeing the true as the true.

The third question:

Beloved Osho, Is it ever possible to paint a totally satisfying painting?

Prem Murti, while painting, each moment can be totally satisfying. But once the painting is complete it can never be totally satisfying, because if it is totally satisfying the painter will have to commit suicide. There will be no need to live any more.
That’s why I say life is longing, pure longing — longing to attain higher and higher peaks, longing to go deeper and deeper into existence. But each moment can be utterly satisfying; that difference has to be remembered. When you are painting, each brush, each color that you throw on the canvas, each moment of it, is totally satisfying. There is nothing more to it. You are utterly lost, possessed, if you are a creator.

If you are only a technician then it is not so. The technician is not lost while he is painting, he is separate from his painting. He is just using his knowledge. He knows how to paint, that’s all. There is nothing in his heart to paint — no vision, no poetry, no song. He has nothing to create, but just the technology. He is a technician, not an artist. He can paint — but while painting it is not meditation for him, it is not a love affair for him. He is doing it; he is a doer, separate. But the creator is not separate while he is creating, he is one with it. He is utterly lost, he has forgotten himself.

That’s why when painters are painting they forget about food, forget about thirst, forget about sleep. They forget about the body so much that they can go on painting for eighteen hours without feeling at all tired. Each moment is absolutely satisfying.
But once the painting is complete, a great sadness descends on the real painter. These differences have to be remembered. When the painting is complete, the technician feels very happy: a good job done, finished. He is feeling tired; it was a long tiring process, no contentment on the way. He was just waiting for the result, he was result-oriented. He wanted to finish it somehow, and now it is finished. He takes a deep sigh of relief. He is happy, not while he is painting but only when the painting is complete.

Just the opposite happens to the creator. He is happy while he is painting; once the painting is complete, a great sadness descends on him. “So it is over? That peak, that climax, that orgasmic experience is over? That thrill, that adventure, that going into the unknown is over?” … just as lovers feel sad after a deep orgasm: a subtle sadness, beautiful in itself, of tremendous value — far more valuable than the happiness of the technician, because out of this sadness another painting will arise, out of this sadness another longing to soar high, another aspiration to reach beyond, another search, another inquiry, another pregnancy. The painter will be pregnant soon, will feel full, so full that he will have to share it again.

It is said that when Gibbon, the great historian, finished his great work about world history…. Thirty-three years it took to finish it, and he was so tremendously happy for those thirty-three years that it is said that he didn’t age. He remained exactly the same, as if time never passed, as if time has stopped.
But the day it was finished he started crying. His wife could not believe it. She said, “You are crying? You should be happy, you should dance! The work is complete.”
Gibbon said, “The work is complete. Now what is left for me? My life is complete.” And within five years he aged so much, and by the seventh year he was gone.

It is said that Vincent van Gogh, the great Dutch painter, committed suicide when he felt that he had done the perfect painting. It is possible. If the painter feels the perfect has happened, then there is no point in living. The creator lives to create. The singer lives to sing, the dancer lives to dance, the lover lives to love, the tree lives to bloom — if it has bloomed and the perfect flowers have come, then what is the point of prolonging a futile, meaningless existence?

Prem Murti,
your question is significant. You ask: “Is it possible to paint a totally satisfying painting?”
Yes and no. Yes, while you are painting it will be totally satisfying. And no, once it is over you will feel great sadness. But that sadness is also creative, because it is only out of that sadness you will again start moving towards the sunlit peaks.
And in this life nothing really is ever perfect or can ever be perfect.

You will be surprised that I believe in an imperfect God. You will be shocked, because at least all the religions are agreed on one thing, that God is perfect. I don’t agree, because if God is perfect then Friedrich Nietzsche is right that God is dead. God is perfectly imperfect — that much I can say. Hence there is growth, evolution; hence there is movement. It is always, always coming closer and closer to perfection, but it is never perfect and it will never be perfect.

Nothing ever is perfect. In fact imperfection has a beauty of its own, because imperfection has a life. Whenever something is perfect — just think, contemplate — whenever something is really perfect, life will disappear from it.
Life can exist only if something is still imperfect and has to be perfected. Life is the effort to perfect the imperfect. Life is the ambition to make the ugly beautiful. Something of imperfection is a must for life to exist, for life to go on growing and flowing.
Nothing ever is perfect. Or if something any time happens to be perfect, in the East we have a right vision of it. We say whenever a person becomes perfect, that is his last life. The scriptures give different reasons for it; my reason is totally different. I say yes, when Buddha is perfect he will not come back, because perfection means life is no more possible. He will disappear into the cosmos.

Rabindranath, a great Indian poet and mystic, prayed his last prayer to God: “Send me back. Remember, I am not perfect. Send me back. Your world was too beautiful and you gave me such a precious life. And I don’t want to disappear yet: I have yet to sing many songs, I have yet to paint many paintings, there is yet much in my heart which needs to bloom. Send me back, I am not perfect! Send me back.”

That was his last prayer; he died praying this way. It is one of the most beautiful prayers and one of the most beautiful ways to die. How can one thank God more than this? “Your world was beautiful, I loved your world; I was not worthy of it but you made me. I am not worthy to be sent back, but still, your compassion is great. At least one time more, send me back.”
Life remains growing. Nothing ever is perfect — or whenever something is perfect it disappears, it goes into annihilation. The Buddhist word is nirvana. Nirvana means annihilation, nirvana means cessation. Literally, nirvana means “blowing out the candle.” Just as you blow out a candle and suddenly the light is gone, gone forever, has disappeared into nothingness — that is nirvana. All the buddhas say whosoever becomes perfect moves into nirvana, goes into annihilation.
Don’t hanker for a perfect painting, Murti, otherwise the painter will die. And you have yet to sing many songs.
And the painting cannot be perfect, the song and the dance cannot be perfect, for a few more reasons. One: when you visualize it in the deepest core of your heart, it is a totally different thing. When you start painting it, you are translating it from the subtle to the gross. In that very transforming, in that very translation, much is lost.

Hence no painter ever feels satisfied when he finishes his painting. It is not the same as that which he wanted to paint — similar, but not the same. He has some vision to compare, it has fallen very short. Hence he starts another painting.
Rabindranath again has to be remembered. He wrote six thousand songs — seems to be the greatest poet the world has ever known — and each song is a beauty. But when he was dying he was crying, he was saying to God, “The song that I wanted to sing, I have not sung yet.”

An old friend was by the side of the bed, and the old friend said, “What are you saying? Have you gone mad? You have sung six thousand songs. In Europe, Shelley is thought to be one of the greatest poets. He has sung only two thousand songs. You have defeated him three times. You should be happy and contented!”

Rabindranath opened his tear-filled eyes and he said, “I am not. Yes, six thousand songs I have sung, but you don’t know the inner story. The inner story is, I wanted to sing only one song! But because it never was possible…. I tried once, failed; I tried again, I failed. Six thousand times I have failed. Those are all efforts, and I am not satisfied with any of them. That which I wanted to sing is still unsung.”

In fact nobody can sing it.
Buddha used to declare in every town, wherever he would go, “Please don’t ask these eleven questions.” In those eleven questions, all important questions were included: God, soul, death, life, truth, everything important was included. Why? “Because,” he would say, “they cannot be answered. Not that I don’t know, but to bring them to words is impossible.”

There was an ancient mysterious wall which stood at the edge of a village and whenever anyone climbed the wall to look onto the other side, instead of coming back he smiled and jumped to the other side, never to return. The inhabitants of the village became curious as to what could draw these beings to the other side of the wall. After all, their village had all the necessities of living a comfortable life.

They made an arrangement where they tied a person’s feet, so when he looked over and wished to jump, they could pull him back.

The next time someone tried to climb the wall to see what was on the other side, they chained his feet so he could not go over. He looked on the other side and was delighted at what he saw, and smiled. Those standing below grew curious to question him and pulled him back. To their great disappointment he had lost the power of speech.

Those who have seen cannot say. That which has been seen cannot be painted, cannot be reduced to words. But still each one has to give a try. The world goes on becoming more and more beautiful because of these efforts. The world is beautiful because of the six thousand songs that Rabindranath tried, although he failed to sing the song that he wanted. Those six thousand failures have made the world far more beautiful than it ever was. It will not be the same world again, those six thousand songs will go on resonating.

So go on painting, go on creating. Yet I tell you again and again, you will never be satisfied. I bless you that you should never be satisfied, but let each moment of your creativity be a great contentment. But when something is finished, move ahead. You have infinite capacities to create; you are unlimited, you don’t have any limits to your potential. You are not aware what you can do, and you will never be aware unless you do it!

Hence the greatest creators are aware how poor has been their creation, because they become aware, more and more aware, how much more is possible. The ordinary person who has never created anything is not aware what he can do. There is no other way to know what you can do unless you do it. And while doing it you can see that what you wanted to do, what was very clear in your inner world, has become very dim and ordinary when it has been brought to the outer.
You will try again. Each effort will become better and better and better, more and more perfect, but never perfect.

The fourth question:

Beloved Osho, I am very much afraid of sex, because I am afraid of death. I have been told since my childhood by my society and religion that it is sex that brings death. What is the truth about it?

Suresh, can’t you see a simple fact, that even your great saints die? Buddha and Christ and Zarathustra and Lao Tzu — where are they?If it is through sex that death comes, then your celibates must be alive, they will never die. Then all the Catholic monks will live forever and will make the world so ugly. Then all the nuns will live forever — the world will become a monastery, monks and nuns, monks and nuns.

Everybody dies, death has nothing to do with sex. Death has something to do with birth, and birth has already happened, so death cannot be avoided now. One part has already happened and the second part cannot be divided and separated from it.
In fact, the people who are very sexual live longest. That’s what scientific researchers have found: the sexual people live longest. Not only that, the great creators — painters, poets, musicians, singers, actors — they are all very sexual. Nothing has yet been said about the mystics, but I say to you, the mystics are the most sexual people in the world. Of course their sex is without any object; they are simply sexual. It is pure energy, pure longing, pure desire. They desire nothing, their sex has no object, it is unaddressed; it is simply a tremendous pool of energy. But they are sexual.

Sex is life, and wherever you see life you will find sex somewhere, in some way. The day sex disappears you will start dying, because it is sex energy that keeps you alive. Drop the foolish ideas that you have been taught. This has been done to many people in different ways. A thousand and one inhibitions and taboos have been created, and the best way to make you afraid of sex is to associate it with death. This is the simple, simple logic priests have discovered. And priests have been the most cunning people in the world. They must have discovered in the very beginning that if you join sex with death, then you can make people afraid of sex. Once they are afraid of sex, they are afraid of intelligence, creativity, they are afraid of being, they are afraid of freedom, they are ready to become slaves.

Death has nothing to do with sex. Sex or no sex, death is going to happen. In fact, if you can move deep into sex and transform its energy into love, and can move deep into love and transform its energy into prayer, you will come to know that there is no death. That is the only way to know something of immortality.

Two men were talking and it came out that one of them was a Mormon. “How many wives do you have?”
“Only one.”
“How many wives does your father have?”
“Only one,” he replied. “But my grandfather had sixty-five wives.”
Mormons have many wives.
“How did he ever arrange his sex life?”
“That was easy. My grandfather lived in one house, and a mile down the road his sixty-five wives lived in another house. He had a runner, and each night, for example, he would tell his runner to run down the mile and tell wife number ten to get ready for the night. The next night he would have his runner run down the mile and have wife number thirty-five get ready — and so on, etcetera.”
“Your grandfather must have been a remarkable man. But forgive my curiosity, I want to know how long he lived.”
“Hell, the old man lived till he was ninety-eight years of age. And the funny part was that the runner died at the age of fifty, which proves a great moral: It is not the sex that kills you, but rather the running after it.”

The fifth question:

Beloved Osho, You are always talking about no-mind, dropping the mind, becoming mindless. My understanding of this is that You are referring not to the whole mind (that is, not “mindless” in the ordinary sense of the word) but only to that analytical quality of mind which causes separation and prevents or hinders experiencing anything totally at any one time. But perhaps I have misinterpreted Your words to fit my own ideas?

Carol Tibbs, this is what the analytical mind is. Yes, that is exactly what I mean: dropping the analytical mind. But when you drop the analytical mind nothing is left, because mind is pure analysis and nothing else. Once the analytical mind is dropped, logic is dropped, reason is dropped, because those are methods for analysis. Once the analytical mind is dropped, what is left of thought? Thought is basically analytical; it is the process of categorization, labeling, analyzing. Then what is left? Mind is gone — only heart is left, intuition is left.

But if you love words you can say “the synthetical mind” is left. But that makes no difference at all; that will simply show that you are very much clinging to your analytical mind. Now you will call it “synthetical mind.”
Sigmund Freud created analysis, psychoanalysis, and then Assagioli created synthesis, psychosynthesis. And both are not basically different, both are aspects of the same coin. Sigmund Freud tries to analyze, and Assagioli tries to synthesize — but whether you analyze or synthesize, you use the same mind.

There is a state called no-mind: I am talking about that. It knows nothing of analysis, nothing of synthesis. It simply knows not; it is innocent of knowledge. It is pure being, presence, a mirror that reflects that which is.
Carol Tibbs, analyze a little more. And then you will find, if analysis is dropped, then nothing is left behind.

There was once a man who got into a nearly fatal automobile accident. He spent a week in the hospital in a coma before regaining consciousness. When he came to, the doctor was at his bedside and he asked the doctor what had happened.
The doctor replied, “Well, I have a little bad news and a little good news. I will tell you the bad news first. You have been in a very serious automobile accident which crushed both of your legs. While you were in a coma we had to amputate both legs in order to save your life.”

“Oh, my God!” cried the man. “You mean both my legs have been cut off? I will never be able to walk again? I will have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair? Oh, this is the worst thing that could happen,” said the man in deep anguish. Gathering himself together a bit, he queried, “Well, what is the good news?”
Replied the doctor, “The man down the hallway has offered to buy your shoes for eleven dollars.

Once the analytical mind is gone, what is left? Just the shoes — you can sell them. But even for eleven dollars, it is not such good news.

And the last question:

Beloved Osho, Who is a lazy man?

Prem Nirvan, it depends. To a workaholic, the answer will be totally different. To a workaholic almost everybody is lazy. But to the laziest, almost everybody is a workaholic.

It happened: There was an emperor in Japan who was himself very lazy and loved lazy people. Lazy people are good people, they have never been mischievous — they cannot be, because mischief needs activity. You have to be very active, only then you can be mischievous. Just think, if Alexander the Great had been a little lazy, Adolf Hitler a little lazy, Morarji Desai a little lazy, the world would have been so beautiful. All the mischief comes from the active people. Lazy people have never done any harm, that much can be absolutely said.

The king loved lazy people. He said to his prime minister, “Nobody has done anything for these beautiful people called lazy. I want to do something. It is not their fault that they are lazy, God has made them that way. And in a way they are very good because they don’t harm anybody. They need state protection. So you declare that whosoever is lazy can come and be part of the palace. He has to be served as a government guest and he can live his lazy life without any worry and without any torture from the so-called active people.”

The prime minister said, “It will be very difficult, because many who are not lazy will also come, and there will be great difficulty how to decide who is who.”
And that’s exactly what happened. Thousands of people started coming. The king was puzzled, he had never thought that so many people are lazy. Then a device was made: they were all placed in straw huts and in the middle of the night fire was put to the straw huts. Almost everybody ran out, except four — they simply went inside their blankets, they refused to move out. They said, “If God wants to kill us, it’s okay. If he wants to save us, he will find some way.”
So those four were accepted as royal guests. They were!

It is difficult — how to decide? Alexander thought that Diogenes was lazy, and Diogenes thought that Alexander was mad. Alexander tried to conquer the whole world — this is sheer madness — and Diogenes was so lazy that he remained naked, because it was such a botheration to put the clothes on and off. And then sometimes you have to wash them, and you have to look for Bahadur, and the soap, and this and that — it is a long sequence of things.
Diogenes had only one begging bowl. That too one day he threw in the river, because it was such a botheration to clean it.

And the day he threw it, he saw a dog that gave him the inspiration. He was going towards the river, thirsty, with his begging bowl, and the dog was also thirsty and he was also going to the river.
The dog ran fast, jumped into the river, drank to his heart’s content. And Diogenes thought, “So the dog is far more intelligent.
Without any begging bowl, and he is doing well. Why do I go on carrying this weight?” He threw the begging bowl, he thanked the dog; they became friends. They became so friendly that they started sharing the place — where the dog used to live Diogenes also started living. It was just a big pipe, the dog used to live there; that became the house of Diogenes too.

When Alexander went to see Diogenes — naturally, polar opposites are always attracted — he was lying down on the sand by the side of the river in the early morning sun, warm, naked, he was enjoying, singing a song. The dog was sitting by his side, also enjoying the morning. Alexander came with all his paraphernalia, the generals and the prime ministers, and they declared, as was part of the court mannerism, that “Alexander the Great is here!”

Diogenes looked at the dog and laughed. Alexander could not understand why he looked at the dog; he asked why. Diogenes said, “I looked at the dog because only he will understand. These fools that you have brought with you, they will not understand at all. This dog is very wise. In the first place he never speaks — so wise, never utters a word, just keeps everything secret. And he is the only one who can understand that one who declares that he is great, can’t be. Greatness need not be declared; it is there, or it is not there.”

Shocked, Alexander could not believe that this would be the way he would be received, but still he was impressed by the man — he was so joyous. He said, “I feel a little jealous of you. Next time, if God asks me, ‘Alexander, what do you want to become?’ I will ask to become Diogenes.”
Diogenes again looked at the dog. And it is said that the dog smiled. Alexander could not believe what was happening, what was transpiring. He said, “What is the meaning of it?”

Diogenes said, “It is so foolish to wait for the next life. We live moment to moment, me and my friend, and you are hoping for the next life. If you are so jealous of Diogenes, who is preventing you? Is God preventing you? Throw off the clothes — and tell these foolish people to go! And the bank is so big, we can share. That is our house. First only the dog used to live here, then I became a part of it; you can also become a part of it. We have nothing else, so there is no quarrel, no competition, nothing.”
It must have been one of the greatest moments in history. Just to think of it…. Alexander said, “I am happy that I came. I have seen a man worth seeing. Can I do something for you?”

Diogenes said, “You just move a little to the left, because you are hindering the sun. Nothing else is needed, because we don’t need anything.”

You ask me: “Who is a lazy man?”
It is very relative. My own suggestion is: act only when it is essential. And even while doing things, don’t become a doer, become a non-doer. Let God do things through you, then action and inaction are one.
That’s what Lao Tzu says: Wu-wei — action through inaction. Then action and laziness are no more opposite but complementaries. A real man will have both the capacities: he can act; he can be lazy, he can rest.

What ordinarily happens is that people become addicted, either to work or to laziness — and that is wrong. Don’t become addicted. Do, but don’t become a doer. And then even while doing things you will remain at rest, perfectly at rest.
Alexander on the circumference and Diogenes at the center: that is my definition of a total man.

Mulla Nasruddin once told me, “My uncle has the laziest rooster in the world.”
“How can you tell?” I asked him.
“At sunrise, he just waits until some other rooster crows, then he nods his head.”

Enough for today.



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