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Chapter-5 Teenagers

Osho, why is the new generation such a problem to the parents?
Because the new generation is more intelligent. Intelligence brings problems. And it is natural that the new generation should be more intelligent. That’s how evolution happens. Each new generation is going to be more intelligent than the preceding one. Your children will be more intelligent than you, and your children’s children will be more intelligent than your children.
It is a momentum, a gathering momentum. You are standing on the shoulders of the Buddhas — the whole part is yours. For example, in my being Buddha is a part,Jesus is a part, Abraham is a part, Krishna is a part, Mohammed is a part… in that way Buddha was poorer than me, Jesus was poorer than me. And some future enlightened person will be richer than me, because I will be part of his being but he cannot be part of my being. Evolution goes on gathering momentum.
Each child should be more intelligent than the parents — but that brings trouble, because that is what offends the parents. Parents would like to pretend that they are all-knowing. In the past it was easy to pretend because there was no other way to impart knowledge to the children than by the oral communication from the parents.
For example, a carpenter’s son would learn all that he would ever learn through the father. The father would not only be the father but the teacher also. And the son would always be in awe and respect of him, because the father knew so much — he knew everything about all kinds of trees and wood and this and that, and the son knew nothing. He would have tremendous respect.
Age used to be respected: the older a man was in the ancient days, the more wise, of course, because of his experiences. But now we have invented better means of communication. The father is no more the teacher; now the teaching profession is a totally different profession. The child goes to the school. The father had gone to the school thirty or forty years before. In these thirty, forty years there has happened a knowledge explosion. The child will learn something which the father is not aware of, and when the child comes home, how can he feel any awe? — because he knows more than the father, he is more up to date than the father. The father seems to be out-moded.

This is the problem, and this is going to be so more and more, because our expectations are old and we still want the child to respect the parents as he used to respect them in the past — but the whole situation has changed. You will have to learn something new now: start respecting the child. Now, the new has to be respected more than the old. Start learning from the child because he knows better than you. When your son comes from the university, he certainly knows better than you.

That has been my experience at university. One of my philosophy professors used to talk such nonsense, and the reason was that he had been to university thirty years before. In those days, when he was a student, Hegel and Bradley, they were the most important figures in the world of philosophy. Now nobody cares about Hegel and Bradley. Now Wittgenstein and G. E. Moore have taken their place.

This professor had no idea of Wittgenstein, no idea of G.E. Moore. He was so outmoded that I had to tell him. “You are so old, so useless, that either you start reading what is happening now in philosophy or you stop teaching!”
Naturally, he was angry — I was expelled from the university. He wrote a letter to the vice chancellor and said, “Either I am going to teach or this student is to remain in the university. but we cannot both remain together — he is trouble.”
He was not ready to read Wittgenstein. In fact, I can understand his problem: even if he had read he would not have understood. Wittgenstein is a totally different world from Hegel. And he used to talk about Hume and Berkeley… which are rotten names, no more of any significance — part of history, part of footnotes.

This is the problem. You ask me, Narayana:
They are not really a problem: your expectation that they should respect you, that they should respect you as children have always respected their parents — it is impossible. You start respecting them. You start respecting the new. Age in itself cannot now be any reason for respect. Intelligence, consciousness, they should be respected. And if you respect your children, they will respect you. But only if you respect your children will they respect you. The old way was that you go on humiliating the children, you go on insulting them in every possible way, and they have to respect you — now this cannot be so any more.

The preacher’s wife, while shopping, noticed a sign in the butcher’s shop: “Dam Ham on Sale.” Slightly taken aback by such a name, she confronted the butcher about the use of profanity, but was reassured when he explained that this was a new breed of hogs being raised up by Hoover Dam, hence the name ‘Dam Ham’. She decided to take some home and fix it for her family that evening.
When her husband arrived home, she was cooking and he asked, “What’s for dinner? ‘
“Dam ham,” she replied.
The minister, who had never heard such language in his house, began to reproach her, but after she explained he felt a little embarrassed for doubting his wife.

That evening as they sat down to dinner with their six-year-old son, the minister said grace and then asked, “Pass the dam ham, please.”
The little kid looked up, his eyes got big, and he said, “Now you are talking, Dad. Pass the fucking potatoes too!”
“I never slept with a man before I slept with your father”, declares the stern mother to her wild daughter. “Will you be able to say the same thing to your daughter”?
“Yes” replies the girl, “but not with such a straight face!”
“Just look at me!” declares old man Rubenstein. “I don’t smoke, drink or chase women, and tomorrow I will celebrate my eightieth birthday.”
“You will?” asked his son curiously. “How?
(Excerpted from: The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty, Chapter #11, Q- 5)
How can teenagers create a bridge to their parents?

First, the teenagers should be honest and true, whatever the consequence. They should say to their parents whatever their feeling is — not arrogantly, but humbly. They should not hide anything from their parents. That is what is making the gap: parents are hiding many things from the children, children are hiding many things from the parents, and the gap becomes bigger and bigger.
One day I went to my father and I told him, “I want to start smoking cigarettes.”
He said, “What?”

I said, “You have to give me money for it because I don’t want to steal. If you don’t give me I will steal, but the responsibility will be yours. If you don’t allow me to smoke, I will smoke but I will smoke in hiding. And you will be making me a thief; you will be making me hide things and not be honest and open. I see so many people smoking cigarettes that I want to taste. I want the best cigarettes available, and I will smoke the first cigarette before you.”
He said, “This is strange, but your argument is right. If I prevent it, you will steal. If I prevent it you will still smoke, so my preventing you will create more criminal things in you. It hurts me. I don’t want you to start smoking.”
I said, “That is not the question. The desire has arisen in me seeing people smoking. I want to check whether it is worth it. If it is worth it, then you will have to constantly supply me with cigarettes. If it is not worth it, then I am finished with it. But I don’t want to do anything until you refuse; then the whole responsibility is yours, because I don’t want to feel guilty.”

He had to purchase the best cigarettes possible in the town — reluctantly. My uncles, my grandfather, were saying, “What are you doing? This is not done.” They insisted…
But he said, “I know this is not done, but you don’t know him as much as I know him. He will do exactly what he is saying, and I respect his truthfulness, his honesty. He has made his plan completely clear to me: `Don’t force me and don’t prevent me, because that will make me feel guilty.'”
I smoked the cigarette, coughed, tears came to my eyes; I could not even finish one cigarette, and I dropped it. I told my father, “This is finished. You need not worry now. But I want you to understand that about anything I feel I will tell you so that there is no need to hide anything from you. And if I hide even from my father then who am I going to relate with? No, I don’t want to create any gap between me and you.”

And seeing that I dropped the cigarettes, tears came to his eyes. He said, “Everybody was against it, but your sincerity forced me to bring the cigarettes.” Otherwise, in India perhaps no father has ever offered cigarettes to the son; it is unheard of. Fathers don’t even smoke in front of their sons so that the very idea of smoking does not arise.
The teenagers are in a very difficult situation. They are changing; they are leaving childhood behind and they are becoming youngsters. Every day new dimensions of life are opening for them. They are in a transformation. They need immense help from the parents.
But right now the situation is that they don’t meet the parents at all. They live in the same house but they don’t talk with each other because they cannot understand each other’s language, they cannot understand each other’s viewpoints. They meet only when the boy or the girl needs money; otherwise there is no meeting. The gap goes on becoming bigger; they become as much strangers as one can imagine. This is really a calamity.

Teenagers should be encouraged to say everything to their parents without any fear. This is not only going to help the children, it is going to help the parents too.
Truth has a beauty of its own; honesty has a beauty of its own. When teenagers approach their parents with honesty, truth, sincerity, and just open their hearts, it triggers something in the parents to open their hearts also, because they are also burdened with many things which they want to say but cannot. The society prohibits, the religion prohibits, the tradition prohibits.
But if they see the teenagers being completely open and clean it will help them also to be open and clean. And the so-called, much-discussed generation gap can simply be dropped; it can evaporate on its own accord.

The most troublesome problem is about sex. The children should be able to say exactly what is going on in their minds; there is no need to hide anything, because whatsoever is going on in their minds is natural. They should ask the advice of the parents — What can be done? — they are in a troubled state, and they need help. And to whom can they go except their parents? The gap is simply arbitrary, it is not natural.
I never felt any gap between myself and my father, or even with my grandfather. I would simply say whatsoever I felt, and I told them, “You can say whatsoever you feel, but I don’t want to hide anything and I don’t want you to hide anything.”
I was from my very childhood tremendously interested in books of all kinds on all subjects — nothing to do with the textbooks of the school and the college and the university. My family was not rich. It was a poor family, but I made it clear to them, “For books, even if you have to sell your ornaments please sell them. I need those books — and I hate to read secondhand books. I don’t want to read any book from the library. I want to purchase it.”

My father said, “This is a strange idea. Why can you not read from the public library?”
I said, “Every book is marked, underlined. That does not allow me freedom; that hinders me. For example, if I am reading a book and two lines are underlined with red ink, those two lines stand out dominantly, emphatically. Somebody else’s idea becomes important on that page. He does not allow me to find my own idea on that page; he is forcing me.

“I don’t want to read any book that is underlined. And there are notes also. A few idiots go on writing notes, their comments, on the pages of public library books. I don’t want their comments, I want fresh books. And if you cannot manage it, you simply say to me, `This much I can manage; more than that is difficult for us to manage.’ I will do any service, I will work, anything. I will produce money and I will purchase the book.”
But they said, “That looks bad to us, that while we are alive… and you are so young, and you should not be working just to get books. No, we will arrange it. Ornaments certainly are not so important.”

I said, “You have to think twice about it. You should not feel that you have obliged me. And remember perfectly well that after I am educated at the university perhaps I may not be of any use to you financially. I may not be able to give you a single cent. I may not work at all.”
They said, “That we understand from the very beginning.”
And they gave me money, as much as I wanted, although it was difficult for them. But that brought a deep intimacy.

My grandfather was old but he was working, not retired. He said, “You need money. I can work, you need not work.”
When I left the university, I had a library of one hundred and fifty thousand rare volumes from all over the world concerning all the philosophies, all the religions, all kinds of ideologies. I was obliged to my parents, but they never allowed me even to show my gratitude.
They said, “That’s nothing; it was our love for you. And you are part of us; we wanted you to be as happy as possible. We have seen you happy with books and that was enough.”

If any problem was there, I simply told it to themmy parents. And that’s my suggestion: the teenagers should not hide anything from the parents, from the teachers… they should be absolutely sincere, and the gap will evaporate. And we need the gap to evaporate, because what kind of society is this? There is a gap between parents and children, there is a gap between husband and wife, there is a gap between teachers and the taught. There are only gaps and gaps all around.
Everybody is surrounded with all kinds of gaps as if all communication has broken down. This is not a society, this is not a commune — because there is no communication. Nobody can say the right thing, everybody is repressed. Everybody is suppressing his desires, and everybody is angry, and everybody is feeling lonely, frustrated. We have created an angry generation; we have created philosophies of meaninglessness.

And the whole reason for all this is that children have lost contact with the parents. Children can do a tremendous job, and they have the courage to do it. Perhaps parents may not be able to do it; they are much too conditioned. The teenagers are young and fresh; just teach them to be sincere with their parents.
I made a contract with my father. I told him, “I want to make a contract.”
He said, “About what?”
I said, “The contract is that if I say the truth you have to reward me, not to punish me. Because if you punish me, then next time I will not say the truth.”
And that’s how it is happening all over world: truth is being punished, so then the person stops saying it. Then he starts lying because lying is rewarded.
So I said to him, “You can decide. If you want me to lie, I can lie… if that is what you are going to reward. But if you are ready to reward the truth, then I will say the truth — but you cannot punish me for it.”

He said, “I accept the contract.”

And the next day there was trouble because just next door there used to live a very old-fashioned brahmin scholar. He was a very fanatical worshiper of Rama, one of the incarnations of the Hindu God. He was such a fanatic that if you named Krishna, another incarnation of the Hindu God, to him — both are incarnations of the same God, but he was devoted to Rama — he became furious.

He was not ready even to listen to the name of Krishna, what to say of Christ or of Mohammed. It was impossible… Krishna is an incarnation of the same God. So it became a joy for the children whenever he was there, wherever he was, just to shout, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna” — and he would forget all his work, what he was doing, and he would run after you. He would go almost insane.

The next day I said to him, “Hare Krishna” — and he came after me. Of course he was old so he could not run so fast, and we went around the town two or three times. He was huffing and puffing and perspiring, but he followed. He was left far behind and I reached home early. I told my father what had happened: “I have told that man `Hare Krishna.’ I don’t think there is anything wrong in it. He will be coming.”

My father said, “This is difficult. That man is such a boring person; now for hours he will harass me. You just go and hide somewhere in the house.”

So I was on the terrace. The man said, “Your boy has almost killed me today. Perhaps he knows all the small streets of the town and I have been running after people my whole life, but I have never come across such small streets that he took me in. Round and round… and I am an old man.”

My father said, “What is the problem? What has he done?”

The man was so much against Krishna he could not pronounce the words “Hare Krishna,” or say that I have said “Hare Krishna.” He said, “He has said something that upsets me.”

My father said, “Unless I know what he has said, how can I enquire?”

He said, “That is impossible, I cannot repeat those words. Where is he? Just call him.”

I was called, and the old man said, “Remember one thing: you are not supposed to repeat the same mistake that you have made.”
But I said, “Hare Krishna is not a mistake. It is the name of the same God. You can worship Rama, nobody prevents you; but what makes you so angry about Krishna?”
He said, “I have not come here for a philosophical discussion.” He told my father in front of me, “You have to punish this boy.”
My father said, “That is difficult because he made a contract with me just yesterday that if he says the truth then I cannot punish him. If he says a lie, then I can punish him.”

And he never punished me after that. I told him the truth every time I was doing anything that was going to come to his notice sooner or later. It is a simple method. If you cannot expose yourself to your own father and mother… in this whole world everybody is more of a stranger than them. Your father and mother are also strangers, but they are the closest strangers, the most intimate strangers.
Expose yourself to them so no gap exists. This will help them also to be sincere with you. This is something to be remembered: that sincerity, honesty, truth, trigger in the other person also the same qualities.

(Excerpted from: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chap-23, Q-6)

At this young age there is a lot of shyness and insecurity about making decisions. Parents are not often helpful. How to develop the inner strength?
All shyness is basically concerned with sex. Once children are perfectly free to have sexual relationships, you will see a tremendous change. They are no longer shy; they become, for the first time, decisive without any training for decisiveness, because a great biological burden has been removed from them, a great psychological tension has relaxed.

I don’t see that there is any need to teach children how to be decisive. All that is needed is to give them freedom as far as love is concerned. And now that the pill is available, there is no fear of any girl getting pregnant; it is simple, a game, a playfulness. This will bring a certain strength in boys and girls which you cannot conceive was connected with their sexuality.

People are nervous about sex if they are repressed; if they have repressed sexuality they are hesitant about everything. They don’t know what is right and what is wrong, what to do and what not to do, because about a very basic thing they are not allowed to make a decision which is fundamental because it concerns life itself.

My understanding is that once children are given freedom about sex, and sex is accepted as a very normal thing — that’s what it is — they will come out with great decisiveness about other things, because for the first time they will not be repressed. It is repression which creates all kinds of troubles, shyness, indecisiveness… because deep inside they are continuously fighting with their own nature.

When there is no inner fight and no inner split — they are one solid individual — you will see a totally new kind of child in front of you, with a strength, decisiveness, with no shyness.

So this question can be solved if the first question is solved without any trouble.

(Excerpted from: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chap-23, Q-5)

Teenagers have a strong desire to belong to a group, to anything. What does this need reflect?

It is just because they don’t belong to the family any more, and they are too young and too afraid to be alone in the world.

If there was not this gap between them and their parents, there would have been no need of any such groups. You can see in the East, you don’t see this kind of thing happening — hippies or punks or skinheads. You don’t see such a thing happening at all for the simple reason that children belong to the family. They have roots in the family, they are not alone; there is not such a gap as exists in the West.

This gap in the West is creating the whole problem. Then they want to belong to any group because they feel afraid to be alone. They are too young, too vulnerable, so they start belonging to any group that is available in the vicinity. And anybody can exploit them. They can be forced to do crime — they are doing crime — they can be forced into drugs, selling drugs, and they are doing it. And some cunning people can manage those groups and exploit the young people, all for their need to belong. For that also, first, the gap should be dropped.

Secondly, you should create some other groups. In the whole of history there have been many. For example, there were people who belonged to Socrates’ school, young people in search of truth. Everybody in Athens who had some intelligence moved into Socrates’ influence. And he was not alone: all over the East there were many sophists whose whole work was to teach people how to argue. Thousands of young people belonged to those sophist schools just to learn argument, very refined argument.

In India we had many schools — different philosophers proposing different philosophies — and young people were interested. Old people had already settled down; the young people were the moving generations. Nobody was preventing them; they could go to any teacher. They could change their teachers, they could learn so much, and from original thinkers — not like the dull and dead universities of today where you find only professors who are just parrots, nothing of the original.

Each original thinker was a university in himself, and thousands of disciples around him were learning about everything in life from a certain angle — and not only learning it but living it, experiencing it before they settled into life. So rather than becoming skinheads they were with Nagarjuna, or with Basho, or with Chuang Tzu, or with Pythagoras, or with Heraclitus, or with Epicurus. And that was something beautiful.

Today we don’t give them any alternative. It is our fault. And if there are people like me then the whole society is against them; they are not against the skinheads. In Germany they just had a world conference of skinheads, punks, all kinds of terrorists, an international conference — and they allowed the conference. These people are violent; they have been killing people, they have been bombing houses, they have been hijacking planes — and Germany allows them a conference! And for me, they make a law that I cannot enter into Germany.

Young people have come to me, and a great family has arisen around the world. There is a certain belonging, very loose so nobody is in a slavery; everybody is free and yet he feels some kind of synchronicity with thousands of people.

I can change all those terrorists, all those skinheads into sannyasins without any difficulty. I have changed many hippies; now you cannot recognize them. Even they may have forgotten that the first time when they came to me… Just going from Kathmandu to Goa — Poona was just in between, by the way — they had stopped to see what was happening there, what was cooking there. And then they thought, “This guy seems to be far out” — and they stayed forever. They forgot about Goa, they forgot about their hippie ideology; and when they became sannyasins they became totally new persons with new values.

We need more wandering philosophers around the world, wandering teachers around the world so that young people can belong to them and learn something — and live something.

(Excerpted from: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chap-23, Q-8)

Teenagers often have fantasies and dreams regarding their future. How can they be more realistic?

They need not be. There is a time for fantasy, dreams, and it is good for teenagers to have fantasies and dreams rather than making them realistic. That means you are destroying their youthfulness and you are making them adult before their time.

No, those dreams and fantasies are part of growth; they will disappear by themselves. Life itself will make them realistic; before they enter life, let them enjoy their dreams — because in life there are only nightmares, only miseries and sufferings. They will become very realistic, but they will always remember those days of dreams and fantasies as the most beautiful. What can your reality provide in place of dreams and fantasies?

Unless you are ready for teenagers to move into meditations… that will not make them realistic, that will make them utopians. That will make them far more difficult to be adjusted in your rotten society than the dreams and the fantasies.

These dreams and fantasies can do no harm. They are part of life; that’s how youth has always dreamt, fantasized. Let them dream and fantasize, they are not harming you. And soon they will be burdened with duties, jobs, children, wives. Before that they have a little time; let them use it in fantasy, there is no harm.

As far as I am concerned, my feeling is that their experience of this dream time will help them to remember that life can be different; it need not be miserable, it need not be a suffering. It is not necessarily a misery. They have lived beautifully — and those were only dreams. There is a possibility to have a conscious transformation in which you can have far more beautiful experiences than any dreams can give you. But the taste of dreams is good; it will keep you alert that misery is not all. Something else is possible.

Youth is the time for dreams and hopes, and when you are lost into the so-called real world those moments will remind you, “Is there some way to really find a state of being, of peace, serenity, silence and joy?”

So I don’t think there is any need to change it.

(Excerpted from: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chap-23, Q-9)

Can you please talk about youth and sports, which today has a strong impact on young people’s lives.

It is a great relief that it is the last question, because these teenagers can go on asking!

Sports are perfectly right, and the teenagers should be encouraged not just to be observers of other people playing, but to be participants. What is happening is that thousands of people are just watching, and only a few people, professionals, are playing. This is not a good situation. Every teenager should be a participant, because it is going to give him physical health, it is going to give him a certain agility, it is going to give him a certain intelligence, and it is perfectly youthful.

But just to be an observer — and to be that before a television set — is not right. Five or six hours glued in your chair before a television set just seeing others playing football, or any other sport, is not right. It does not give you any growth. On the contrary, it makes you only an outsider in everything, never a participant, when it is deeply needed to be a participant, involved, committed.

It is good once in a while to see experts playing, to learn — but just to learn; otherwise, everybody should be on the playgrounds. I don’t see what the problem is. Young people should play; even elderly people, if they can find time, should play. Even people who have retired, who want to live a little more, should play. We should find games for every age group so that all people, their whole life, are players — according to their age, according to their strength.

But life should be a sport.

Sport has one very beautiful thing which I would like you to remember: it teaches you that it does not matter whether you are defeated or you are victorious. What matters it that you play well, that you play totally, that you play intensely, that you put your all in without holding back. That is sportsmanship. The others can be victorious, there is no jealousy; you can congratulate them and you can celebrate their victory. All that is needed is that you are not holding back, you are putting all your energies into it.

Your whole life should be a playfulness.

So there is nothing wrong in teenagers being interested in sports. The person who is asking seems to be interested that they should be all in the schools learning geography, history, and all kinds of nonsense which is of no use in life. Sports are far more significant, far healthier, far livelier.

(Excerpted from: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chap-23, Q-11)

Many young people in germany and switzerland and other european countries choose to look ugly. They dress up as punks or skinheads, shaving part of their hair and dyeing the rest in outrageous colors. They also prefer to wear ragged clothing. Can you please comment on this strange phenomenon?

It is not strange at all. It is a commentary on you. They are bored with your Western lifestyle. They are simply showing their resentment. They are showing that you have led society not towards truth, not towards tranquility, not towards godliness; you have led society towards death.

The punks and the skinheads are simply reminders that you have failed. The Western civilization has come to its end. Naturally it is always the youth who are most vulnerable to what is coming, are more perceptive. They can see that death is coming, that all Western scientists, Western politicians, Western churches are preparing a big graveyard for the whole of humanity. By their outrageous clothing, their ragged clothes, cutting half of their hair, they are simply indicating that there is still time to drop the line that you have been following up to now.

Nothing like this has ever happened in the East, for the simple reason that the East has been searching for something higher — higher than man. The Eastern genius is trying to reach to the stars, and the Western genius is simply preparing for death. These punks and these skinheads are just trying to say something to you; they are symbolic. They know you are deaf, and you will not listen.

Something drastic has to be done so that you start thinking, “What has gone wrong? Why are our children behaving in this way?” What do you want? — you are preparing for nuclear warfare; you are preparing for the death of all life on this earth.

Those people are not strange phenomena: you are a strange phenomenon. They are simply revolting against you, and it will be good to listen to them. And it will be good to change the way the West has followed up to now, the way of materialism. I am not against materialism, but materialism alone can lead only to death, because matter is dead.

I am absolutely in favor of materialism, if it serves spiritual needs. If materialism is a servant, and not the master, then it is perfectly good. It can do miracles to help humanity, to raise it in consciousness, in rejoicing, to raise humanity beyond humanity.

You are proving Charles Darwin wrong — because monkeys were more intelligent than you. At least they went beyond themselves and created humanity. What have you created? Go beyond yourself and create buddhas; only then will Charles Darwin be true, and the theory of evolution will be true.

Man is simply stuck, and the youth are simply showing you — and they have to be outrageous, because you are not going to listen to logic, to reason, to intelligence.

I am all sympathy for those people; I would like to meet them. I will have immediate rapport with them because I can understand their misery, their anguish. They may prove your saviors. Don’t laugh at them; laugh at yourself. They are your children; you have produced them — you must take the responsibility.

A father is known by his children, just as a tree is known by its fruits. If the fruits turn out to be poisonous, then are you going to condemn the fruits or condemn the tree? You are the tree — and those insane looking young people are the fruits. Somewhere YOU are responsible. They are a question mark on you. Think about them sympathetically.

My own understanding is that the West has come to an end. Unless a tremendous movement of spirituality spreads over the Western world, there is no way to save it — and that’s what I am trying to do.

My sannyasins are also young; if they were not sannyasins, perhaps they would have been punks, they would have been skinheads. But they have found a way to live on higher levels of being. They are also in revolt; but their revolt is not reaction, their revolt is revolution. They are trying to live a life of peace, love, silence, light.

But it is strange: my sannyasins are being beaten or thrown out of jobs; their communes are destroyed — and what have you been doing about punks and skinheads? You seem to be unconsciously supportive to them, because at least they are following the same line as you are on. The sannyasins have dropped out of your heritage and your way of life. They have chosen a new way of life.

Unless you understand that the West is in urgent need of a new way of life, more and more outrageous reactions will be there around you, and you will be responsible for it.

(Excerpted from: Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chap-8, Q-8)

I. 105. man mast hua tab kyon bole







The young generation is using all kinds of happifiers to make life worth living. Can you talk about out natural capacity to feel ecstasy.

Ecstasy is a language that man has completely forgotten. He has been forced to forget it; he has been compelled to forget it. The society is against it, the civilization is against it. The society has a tremendous investment in misery. It depends on misery, it feeds on misery, it survives on misery. The society is not for human beings. The society is using human beings as a means for itself. The society has become more important than humanity. The culture, the civilization, the church, they all have become more important. They were meant to be for man, but now they are not for man. They have almost reversed the whole process; now man exists for them.

Every child is born ecstatic. Ecstasy is natural. It is not something that happens only to great sages. It is something that everybody brings with him into the world; everybody comes with it. It is life’s innermost core. It is part of being alive. Life is ecstasy. Every child brings it into the world, but then the society jumps on the child, starts destroying the possibility of ecstasy, starts making the child miserable, starts conditioning the child.

The society is neurotic, and it cannot allow ecstatic people to be here. They are dangerous for it. Try to understand.the mechanism; then things will be easier.

You cannot control an ecstatic man; it is impossible. You can only control a miserable man. An ecstatic man is bound to be free. Ecstasy is freedom. He cannot be reduced to being a slave. You cannot destroy him so easily; you cannot persuade him to live in a prison. He would like to dance under the stars and he would like to walk with the wind and he would like to talk with the sun and the moon. He will need the vast, the infinite, the huge, the enormous. He cannot be seduced into living in a dark cell. You cannot make a slave out of him. He will live his own life and he will do his thing. This is very difficult for the society. If there are many ecstatic people, the society will feel it is falling apart, its structure will not hold anymore.

Those ecstatic people will be the rebels. Remember, I don’t call an ecstatic person “revolutionary”; I call him a “rebel.” A revolutionary is one who wants to change the society, but he wants to replace it with another society. A rebel is one who wants to live as an individual and would like there to exist no rigid social structure in the world. A rebel is one who does not want to replace this society with another society — because all the societies have proved the same The capitalist and the communist and the fascist and the socialist, they are all cousin-brothers; it doesn’t make much difference. The society is society. All the churches have proved the same — the Hindu, the Christian, the Mohammedan.

Once a structure becomes powerful, it does not want anybody to be ecstatic, because ecstasy is against structure. Listen to it and meditate over it: ecstasy is against structure Ecstasy is rebellious. It is not revolutionary.

A revolutionary is a political man; a rebel is a religious man. A revolutionary wants another structure, of his own desire, of his own utopia, but a structure all the same. He wants to be in power. He wants to be the oppressor and not the oppressed; he wants to be the exploiter and not the exploited

he wants to rule and not be ruled. A rebel is one who neither wants to be ruled nor wants to rule. A rebel is one who wants no rule in the world. A rebel is anarchic. A rebel is one who trusts nature, not man-made structures, who trusts that if nature is left alone, everything will be beautiful. It is!

Such a vast universe goes on without any government. Animals, birds, trees, everything goes on without any government. Why does man need government? Something must have gone wrong. Why is man so neurotic that he cannot live without rulers?

Now there is a vicious circle. Man can live without rulers, but he has never been given any opportunity — the rulers won’t give you any opportunity. Once you know you can live without the rulers, who would like them to be there? Who will support them? Right now you are supporting your own enemies. You go on voting for your own enemies. Two enemies stand in a presidential contest; and you choose. Both are the same. It is as if you are given freedom to choose the prison, which prison you want to go in. And you vote happily — that I would like to go to prison A or B, that I believe in the Republican prison, I believe in the Democratic prison. But both are prisons. And once you support a prison, the prison has its own investment. Then it will not allow you to have a taste of freedom.

So from the very childhood the child is not allowed to taste freedom, because once he knows what freedom is, then he will not concede, he will not compromise — then he will not be ready to live in any dark cell. He would like to die, but he will not allow anybody to reduce him to being a slave. He will be assertive. Of course he will not be interested in becoming powerful over other people. These are neurotic trends, when you are too interested in becoming powerful over people. That simply shows that deep down you are powerless and you are afraid that if you don’t become powerful others are going to overpower you.

Machiavelli says that the best way of defense is to attack. The best way to protect yourself is to attack first. These so-called politicians all over the world — in the East, in the West — are all deep down very weak people, suffering from inferiority, afraid that if they don’t become powerful politically then somebody is going to exploit them, so why not exploit rather than be exploited? The exploited and the exploiter, both are sailing in the same boat — and both are helping the boat, protecting the boat.

Once the child knows the taste of freedom, he will never become part of any society, any church, any club, any political party. He will remain an individual, he will remain free and he will create pulsations of freedom around him. His very being will become a door to freedom.

The child is not allowed to taste freedom. If the child asks the mother, “Mom, can I go outside? The sun is beautiful and the air is very crisp and I would like to run around the block,” immediately — obsessively, compulsively — the mother says, “No!” The child has not asked much. He just wanted to go out into the morning sun, into the brisk air, he wanted to enjoy the sunlight and the air and the company of the trees — he has not asked for anything! — but compulsively, out of some deep compulsion, the mother says no. It is very difficult to hear a mother saying yes, very difficult to hear a father saying yes. Even if they say yes, they say so very reluctantly. Even if they say yes, they make the child feel that he is guilty, that he is forcing them, that he is doing something wrong.

Whenever the child feels happy, doing whatsoever, somebody or other is bound to come and stop him — “Don’t do this!” By and by the child understands, “Whatsoever

feel happy in is wrong.” And of course he never feels happy doing whatsoever others tell him to do, because it is not a spontaneous urge in him. So he comes to know that to be miserable is right, to be happy is wrong. That becomes the deep association.

If he wants to open the clock and see inside, the whole family jumps on him — “Stop! You will destroy the clock. This is not good.” He was just looking into the clock; it was a scientific curiosity. He wanted to see what makes it tick. It was perfectly okay. And the clock is not so valuable as his curiosity, as his inquiring mind. The clock is worthless — even if it is destroyed nothing is destroyed — but once the inquiring mind is destroyed much is destroyed; then he will never inquire for truth.

Or it is a beautiful night and the sky is full of stars and the child wants to sit outside, but it is time to go to sleep. He is not feeling sleepy at all; he is wide awake, very, very much awake. The child is puzzled. In the morning when he feels sleepy, everybody is after him — “Get up!” When he was enjoying, when it was so beautiful to be in the bed, when he wanted to take another turn and have a little more sleep and dream a little more, then everybody was against him”Get up! It is time to get up.” Now he is wide awake and he wants to enjoy the stars. It is very poetic, this moment, very romantic. He feels thrilled. How can he go to sleep in such a thrill? He is so excited, he wants to sing and dance, and they are forcing him to go to sleep — “It is nine o’clock. It is time to go to sleep.”

Now, he was happy being awake but he is forced to go to sleep. When he is playing he is forced to come to the dining table. He is not hungry. When he is hungry, the mother says, “This is not the time.” This way we go on destroying all possibility of being ecstatic, all possibility of being happy, joyful, delighted. Whatsoever the child feels spontaneously happy with seems to be wrong, and whatsoever he does not feel at all seems to be right.

In the school a bird suddenly starts singing outside the classroom, and the child is all attention towards the bird, of course — not towards the mathematics teacher who is standing at the board with his ugly chalk. But the teacher is more powerful, politically more powerful than the bird. Certainly, the bird has no power, but it has beauty. The bird attracts the child without hammering on his head, “Be attentive! Concentrate towards me!” No, simply, spontaneously, naturally, the consciousness of the child starts flowing out of the window. It goes to the bird. His heart is there, but he has to look at the blackboard. There is nothing to look at, but he has to pretend.

Happiness is wrong. Wherever there is happiness the child starts becoming afraid something is going to be wrong.
If the child is playing with his own body, it is wrong. If the child is playing with his own sexual organs, it is wrong. And that is one of the most ecstatic moments in the life of a child. He enjoys his body; it is thrilling. But all thrill has to be cut, all joy has to be destroyed. It is neurotic, but the society is neurotic.

The same was done to the parents by their parents; the same they are doing to their children. This way one generation goes on destroying another. This way we transfer our neurosis from one generation to another. The whole earth has become a madhouse. Nobody seems to know what ecstasy is. It is lost. Barriers upon barriers have been created.
It is a daily observation here that when people start meditating and they start feeling the upsurge of energy and when they start feeling happy, they immediately come to me and say, “A very strange thing is happening. I am feeling happy, and I am also feeling guilty, for no reason at all.” Guilty? They are also puzzled. Why should one feel guilty? They know that there is nothing — they have not done anything wrong. From where does this guilt arise? It is coming from that deep-rooted conditioning: that joy is wrong. To be sad is okay, but to be happy is not allowed.

Once I used to live in a town. The police commissioner was my friend; we were friends from the university student days. He used to come to me, and he would say, “I am so miserable. Help me to come out of it.” I would say, “You talk about coming out of it, but I don’t see that you really want to come out of it. In the first place, why have you chosen to work in this police department? You must be miserable, and you want others also to be miserable.”

One day I asked three of my disciples to go around the town and dance in different parts of the town and be happy. They said, “For what?” I said, “You simply go.” Within one hour, of course, they were caught by the police. I called the police commissioner; I said, “Why have you caught these people of mine?” He said, “These people seem to be mad.” I asked him, “Have they done anything wrong? Have they harmed anybody?” He said, “No, nothing. Really, they have not done anything wrong.” “Then why have you caught them?” He said, “But they were dancing on the streets! And they were laughing.” “But if they have not done anything harmful to anybody, why should you interfere? Why should you come in? They have not attacked anybody, they have not entered anybody’s territory. They were just dancing. Innocent people, laughing.” He said, “You are right, but it is dangerous.” “Why is it dangerous? To be happy is dangerous? To be ecstatic is dangerous?” He got the point; he immediately released them. He came running to me; he said, “You may be right. I cannot allow myself to be happy — and I cannot allow anybody else to be happy.”

These are your politicians, these are your police commissioners, these are your magistrates. the juries, your leaders, your so-called saints, your priests, your popes — these are the people. They all have a great investment in your misery. They depend on your misery. If you are miserable they are happy.

Only a miserable person will go to the temple to pray. A happy person will go to a temple? For what? A happy person is so happy that he feels God everywhere! That’s what happiness is all about. He’s so ecstatically in love with existence that wherever he looks he finds God. Everywhere is his temple. And wherever he bows down, suddenly he finds God’s feet, nothing else. His awe, his reverence, need not be so narrow that he has to go to a Hindu temple or a Christian church. That is silly; that is meaningless. Only miserable people who cannot see God, who cannot see God in a blooming flower, who cannot see God in a singing bird, who cannot see God in a psychedelic rainbow, who cannot see God in the floating clouds, who cannot see God in the rivers and in the ocean, who cannot see God in the beautiful eyes of a child, they go to the church, they go to the mosque, they go to the temple, they go to the priest, and they ask, “Where is God? Please show us.”

Only miserable people become available to religions. Yes, Bertrand Russell was almost right when he said that if someday the world becomes happy, religion will disappear. I say ALMOST right, ninety-nine percent right. I cannot say a hundred percent right because I know of another type of religion which Bertrand Russell is not aware of. Yes, these religions will disappear — he is right about these religions: the Hindu, the Christian, the Mohammedan, the Jain, the Buddhist, these will disappear — certainly they will disappear. If the world becomes happy, they are bound to disappear, because who will bother? But he is only ninety-nine percent right; he is one percent wrong. And that one percent is more important than the ninety-nine percent because another type of religion, REAL religion, ecstatic religion, religion which has no name, religion which has no code, no Bible, no Koran, no Vedas, a religion which has no scripture, no adjective to it, just a religion of dance, a religion of love, a religion of reverence, a religion of benediction, PURE religion, will arise in the world when people are happy.

In fact these religions that exist, they are not religions. They are just sedatives, tranquilizers. Marx is also right of course, only ninety-nine percent — that religion is the opium of the masses. He is right. These religions help you to tolerate your misery. They help you, they console you, they give you hope that “Yes, today you are miserable; tomorrow you will be happy.” And that tomorrow never comes. They say, “In this life you are miserable, but in the next life…. Be good, be moral, follow the rules of the society — be a slave, be obedient — and in the next life you will be happy.” And nobody knows about the next life. Nobody ever comes and says anything about it. Or if they don’t believe in the next life, they say, “When you have gone to the other shore, to heaven, there is your reward.” But be obedient to the priest and the politician.

There is a conspiracy between the priest and the politician. They are two sides of the same coin. They help each other. And they all are interested in you remaining miserable — so the priest can have a congregation and the priest can exploit you; and the politician can force you to go to wars in the name of the nation, in the name of the state, in the name of this and that — and it is all nonsense, but he can send you to war. Only miserable people can be enlisted for war; only deeply miserable people can be ready to fight, can be ready to kill and to be killed. They are so miserable that even death seems to be better than their life.

I have heard Adolf Hitler was talking to a British diplomat. They were standing on the thirtieth floor of a skyscraper, and to impress him, he ordered one German soldier to jump off. And the soldier simply jumped without even hesitating, and of course died. The British diplomat could not believe it; it was unbelievable. He was very much shocked. This wastage? For no reason at all. And to impress him more, Hitler ordered another soldier, “Jump!” and the other jumped. And to impress him even more, he ordered a third soldier.

By this time, the diplomat had come to his senses. He rushed and stopped the soldier and said, “What are you doing, destroying your life for no reason at all?” He said, “Who wants to live, sir, in this country and under this madman? Who wants to live with this Adolf Hitler? It is better to die! It is freedom.”

When people are miserable, death seems to be freedom. And when people are miserable, they are so full of rage, anger, that they want to kill — even if the risk is that they may be killed. The politician exists because you are miserable. So Vietnam can continue, Bangladesh, the Arab countries. War continues. Somewhere or other, war continues.

This state of affairs has to be understood — why it exists and how you can drop out of it. Unless you drop out of it, unless you understand the whole mechanism, the conditioning — the hypnosis in which you are living — unless you take hold of it, watch it, and drop it, you will never become ecstatic, and you will never be able to sing the song that you have come to sing. Then you will die without singing your song. Then you will die without dancing your dance. Then you will die without having ever lived.

Your life is just a hope; it is not a reality. It can be a reality.

This neurosis that you call society, civilization, culture, education, this neurosis has a subtle structure. The structure is this: it gives you symbolic ideas so that reality by and by is clouded, becomes clouded, you can’t see the real, and you start becoming attached to the unreal. For example, the society tells you to be ambitious; it helps you to become ambitious. Ambition means living in hope, living in the tomorrow. Ambition means today has to be sacrificed for tomorrow.

Today is all that is there; now is the only time you are, you ever will be. If you want to live, it is now or never.

Society makes you ambitious. From the very childhood when you go to school and ambition is put into you, you are poisoned: grow rich, become powerful, become somebody. Nobody tells you that you already have the capacity to be happy. Everybody says that you can have the capacity to be happy only if you fulfill certain conditions — that you have enough money, a big house, a big car, and this and that — only then can you be happy.

Happiness has nothing to do with these things. Happiness is not an achievement. It is your nature. Animals are happy without any money. They are not Rockefellers. And no Rockefeller is as happy as a deer or a dog. Animals have no political power — they are not prime ministers and presidents — but they are happy. The trees are happy; otherwise they would have stopped blooming. They still bloom; the spring still comes. They still dance, they still sing, they still pour their being into the feet of the divine. Their prayer is continuous, their worship is always happening. And they don’t go to any church; there is no need. God comes to them. In the wind, in the rain, in the sun, God comes to them.

Only man is not happy, because man lives in ambition and not in reality. Ambition is a trick. It is a trick to distract your mind. Symbolic life has been substituted for real life.

Watch it in life. The mother cannot love the child as much as the child wants the mother to love him, because the mother is hung up in her head. Her life has not been one of fulfillment. Her love life has been a disaster. She has not been able to flower. She has lived in ambition. She has tried to control her man, possess him. She has been jealous. She has not been a loving woman. If she has not been a loving woman, how can she suddenly be loving to the child?

I was just reading a book of R.D. Laing. He sent me his new book just two, three days ago, THE FACTS OF LIFE. In the book he refers to an experiment in which a psychoanalyst asked many mothers, “When your child was going to be born, were you really in a welcome mood, were you ready to accept the child?” He had made a questionnaire. First question: “Was the child accidental, or did you desire the child?” Ninety percent of the women said, “It was accidental; we did not desire it.” Then, “When the pregnancy happened, were you hesitant? Did you want the child, or did you want an abortion? Were you clear about it?” Many of them said that they hesistated for months whether to have an abortion or have the child. Then the child was born — they could not decide. Maybe other considerations — maybe the religious consideration: it may create sin for them, it may create hell for them. They may have been Catholics or Hindus or Jainas, and the idea of violence, that abortion is violence, prevented them from getting an abortion. Or social considerations. Or the husband wanted it. Or they would like to have a child as a continuity of their ego. But the child was not liked. Rarely was there a mother who said, “Yes, the child was welcome. I was waiting for him and I was happy.” And even of those who said this, the psychiatrist writes, “We were not certain whether they were being honest. They may have been just saying so.”

Now a child is born who is unwelcome. From the very beginning the mother has been hesitating whether to have it or not to have it. There must be repercussions. The child must feel these tensions. When the mother would think to abort the child, the child must have felt hurt. The child is part of the mother’s body; every vibe will reach the child. Or when the mother thinks and hesitates and is just in a limbo of what to do or what not to do, the child will also feel a trembling, shaking — he is hanging between death and life. And then somehow the child is born and the mother thinks it is just accidental — they had tried birth control, they had tried this and that, and everything failed and the child is there — so one has to tolerate. That tolerance is not love.

The child misses love from the very beginning. And the mother also feels guilty because she is not giving as much love as there would have been naturally. So she starts substituting. She forces the child to eat too much. She cannot fill the child’s soul with love; she tries to stuff his body with food. It is a substitute. You can go and see. Mothers are so obsessive. The child says, “I am not hungry,” and the mothers go on forcing. They have nothing to do with the child, they don’t listen to the child. They are substituting: they cannot give love, so they give food. Then the child grows: they cannot love; they give money. Money becomes a substitute for love.

And the child also learns that money is more important than love. If you don’t have love, nothing to be worried about, but you must have money. In life he will become greedy. He will go after money like a maniac. He will not bother about love. He will say, “First things first. I should first have a big balance in the bank. I must have this much money; only then can I afford love.”

Now, love needs no money; you can love as you are. And if you think love needs money and you go after money, one day you may have money, and then suddenly you will feel empty because all the years were wasted in accumulating money. And they are not only wasted! All those years were years of no love, so you have practiced no love. Now the money is there, but you don’t know how to love. You have forgotten the very language of feeling, the language Or love, the language of ecstasy.

Yes, you can purchase a beautiful woman, but that is not love. You can purchase the most beautiful woman of the world, but that is not love. And she will be coming to you not because she loves you; she will be coming to you because of your bank balance.

Mulla Nasrudin was in love with a woman — very homely and ordinary, but she had much money and she was the only child of her father, and the father was old and dying. Mulla was deeply in love with the woman, and one day he went to her very excitedly because the father was approaching death very fast — and he said, “I am dying.” Mulla said to the woman, “I am dying; I cannot live without you a single moment.” She said, “That’s okay, but I have bad news for you. My father has made a will, and he has given all his money to a trust and I am not going to get any money. Mulla, do you love me still?” Mulla said, “I love you, and I will always love you — though I will never see you again. But I will always love you and I will always remember you!”

All love disappears. This is symbolic; money is a symbol. Power, political power, is a symbol. Respectability is a symbol. These are not realities; these are human projections. These are not objectives; they have no objectivity. They are not there. They are just dreams projected by a miserable mind. If you want to be ecstatic you will have to drop out of the symbolic. To be freed of the symbolic is to be freed of the society. To be freed of the symbolic is to become a sannyasin. To be freed of the symbolic you have taken courage to enter into the real. And only the real is real. The symbolic is not real.

The third thing before we enter into these beautiful sutras of Kabir: What is ecstasy? Something to be achieved? No. Something that you have to earn? No. Something that you have to become? No. Ecstasy is being; and becoming is misery. If you want to become something you will be miserable. Becoming is the very root cause of misery. If you want to be ecstatic — then it is just now, here-now, this very moment. Look at me. This very moment — nobody is barring the path — you can be happy. Happiness is so obvious and so easy. Its your nature. You are already carrying it. Just give it a chance to flower, to bloom.

Ecstasy is not of the head, remember. Ecstasy is of the heart. Ecstasy is not of thought; it is of feeling. And you have been deprived of feeling. You have been cut away from feeling. You don’t know what feeling is. Even when you say “I feel,” you only think you feel. When you say, “I am feeling happy,” watch, analyze, and you will find you THINK you are feeling happy. Even feeling has to pass through thinking. It has to pass through the censor of thinking; only when thinking approves of it is it allowed. If thinking does not approve of it, it is thrown into the unconscious, into the basement of your being, and forgotten.

Become more of the heart, less of the head. Head is just a part; heart is your whole being. Heart is your totality. So whenever you are total in anything, you function from feeling. Whenever you are partial in anything, you function from the head.

Watch a painter painting — and that is the difference between a real artist and a technician. If the painter is just a technician who knows the technique of how to paint, who knows the know-how, who knows all about colors and the brushes and the canvas and who has gone through the training, he will function through the head. He will be a technician. He will paint, but he will not be totally in it. Then watch a real artist who is not a technician. He will be absorbed in it, drunk. He will not only paint with his hand, and he will not only paint from his head. He will paint with his whole being; his guts will be involved in it — his feet as much, his blood and bones as much, his marrow. Everything will be involved in it. You can watch it, you can see, you can feel he is totally in it, lost. Nothing else exists. He is drunk. In that moment, he is no more. He is not a doer. The head is a doer. In that moment of total absorption, he is not a doer; he is just a passage, as if God is painting through him.

When you come across a dancer — a REAL dancer, not one who is a performer — then you will see that he is not dancing, no Something of the beyond is dancing in him. He is totally in It.

It is said about the great dancer Nijinsky that there were moments when he would take such a leap that it was physically impossible — gravitation does not allow that big a leap. He was asked again and again, “How do you do it?” and he would say, “I am surprised as much as you are surprised. And I cannot MANAGE to do it. When I try to do it it never happens, I fall very short, but when I am in the dance and I am completely lost — when I am not! — it happens, as if gravitation suddenly is no more. I become weightless, I don’t feel any weight — as if something starts pulling me upwards rather than downwards.”

This pull upwards is known in yoga as levitation. Yes, it happens in meditation too. Nijinsky was unknowingly moving into deep meditation. The dance was so total that he became a meditator and levitation happened.

Whenever you are totally into something, you are ecstatic. When you are partially into something, you will remain miserable, because a part will be moving separately from the whole. There will be a division — a split, a tension, anxiety.

If you love from the head, your love is not going to give any ecstatic experience. If you meditate from your head….

Just the other night, one woman from the West was saying to me that she has come here because she has seen many people coming here, becoming sannyasins, whose lives have been transformed and who have become so happy. That’s why she has also come here — to become happy. She is meditating, but nothing is happening. She is trying hard, but nothing is happening. I told her,”Nothing is going to happen. You start from a very wrong place. Your motivation is the barrier: you have come from the head. Those people who have become sannyasins, they had not come with a motive, with greed. You have come with a motive, with greed. Your mind is already poisoned; you have come with an idea, and you are watching for when it is going to happen. It will never happen, because you will never allow yourself to be totally in it. A watcher will stand by the side and will see, has it happened yet or not?”

I used to go to a river to swim, and I loved it. Whenever I would come back, one of my neighbors always used to watch me, and he would see that I was very ecstatic. One day he asked, “What is happening? I always see you going to the river, and for hours you swim in the river and you remain in the river. I am also coming, because you look so happy.” I said, “Please don’t come. You will miss, and the river will be very sad. No, don’t come, because your very motivation will be a barrier. You can swim, but you will be watching for when that happiness is going to happen. It will never happen — because it happens only when you are not.”

Swimming can become a meditation, running can become a meditation — anything can become a meditation — if you are not. Ecstasy is of the heart, is of the total.

(Excerpted from: Ecstasy: The Forgotten Language, Chap-9)

Why do people take drugs?

Why are we afraid, and sometimes even resent taking responsibility for ourselves, and we expect either you or the commune to take the responsibility?

It is because from your very childhood you have been taught not to be responsible. You have been taught to depend. You have been taught to be responsible to your father, to your mother, to your family, to your motherland, to all kinds of nonsense. But you have not been told that you have to be responsible for yourself, that there is nobody who is going to take your responsibility.

No, on the contrary, your parents were taking your responsibility. Your family was taking your responsibility. The priest was taking your responsibility for your spiritual growth. You were just to follow all these people and do whatsoever they said. When you are grown up and you are no more a child, a great fear arises because you have to take responsibility and you have not been trained to take responsibility for yourselffor it.

You go to confess your sin to the priest… what kind of stupidity are you doing? First, to think that you have committed sin; second, feeling guilty that you committed it; third, now you have to go to the priest to confess it, so that he can pray to God to forgive you. A simple thing has become so complex, so unnecessarily long and circuitous.

Whatever you have done, you wanted to do it, that’s why you have done it. And who is there to decide what is sin and what is not sin? There is no criterion anywhere, no weighing scale that you can go and weigh how much sin you have committed — one kilo, two kilos, three kilos. How long a sin have you committed? — one yard, two yards, three yards? And what was this sin, and who is this priest you are going to confess to?

And this is his strategy: if you go on confessing to the priest, you are certainly afraid of him, because he knows all the ins and outs about you. The priest knows every gossip going in the town; he knows how many husbands are flirting with other people’s wives, he knows who is doing what. They themselves go on confessing it. This is the priest’s strategy to keep control of his congregation. You cannot leave the congregation because the priest can expose you. And also you are afraid that if you leave the congregation the priest may not ask God for you to be forgiven, and you have committed so many sins…. Now it is too late. You have to remain in the same herd, in the same crowd, for your whole life.

I teach you not to be responsible to anybody; the father, the mother, the country, the religion, the party line — don’t be responsible to anybody. You are not. Just be responsible to yourself. Do whatsoever you feel like doing. If it is wrong, the punishment will immediately follow. If it is right, the reward will follow immediately, instantly. There is no other way.

This way you will start finding what is wrong, what is right, on your own. You will grow a new sensitivity — Indians call it the third eye. You will start seeing with a new vision, a new eye. Instantly you will know what is wrong, because in the past so many times you have done it and always suffered in consequence. You will know what is right, because whenever you did existence showered great blessings on you. Cause and effect are together, they are not separated by years and lives.

You are responsible then. If you want and enjoy a certain act, although it brings suffering, then do it. It is good, because you enjoy it. The suffering is not big enough to deter you from the enjoyment that your act brings. But it is up to you, wholly and solely up to you to decide. If the suffering is too much and the act brings nothing, no joy, and necessarily a long anguish follows it, then it is up to you if you are an absolute idiot, and what can anybody do about it?

This is what I mean by being responsible to yourself. There is no God on whom you can dump your responsibility, but you are always searching to dump on somebody, even on a poor man like me, who is continuously telling you that I am not responsible for anything, for anybody. Still, somehow, deep down you go on carrying the illusion that I must be joking.

I am not joking. He is our Master, you must be thinking, how can He say that He is not responsible? But you don’t understand. Dumping your responsibility on me, you will remain retarded, childish. You will never grow. The only way to grow is to accept all good, bad, the joyful, the sorrowful. Everything that happens to you, you are responsible for. That gives you great freedom.

If I am responsible for something, then the key to your actions is in my hands. Then you are a slave to me. Then you are a puppet and the strings are in my hand. I say dance, you dance; I say stop, you stop. Of course, the puppet cannot be responsible for anything. The puppeteer, who is behind the screen, is always responsible.

God is the great puppeteer. And all these popes and saints and mahatmas are great puppets, just mediators between the big puppeteer and you. They are also puppets, but they are great puppets because they follow every single instruction from on high, absolutely. You are a little smaller puppet. Once in a while you dance on your own, too. Once in a while the puppeteer goes on pulling your strings and you don’t dance.

The moment I say there is no puppeteer, no God, no saint, it is all rubbish, I am trying to give you total freedom. I am making you absolutely responsible for everything that happens to you or does not happen. Rejoice in this freedom. Rejoice in this great understanding that you are responsible for everything in your life. This will make you what I call the individual. And to become the individual is to know all that is worth knowing, is to experience all that is worth experiencing. To be an individual is to be liberated, is to be enlightened.

Okay, Pratima.

(Excerpted from: The Last Testament, Vol-1, Chap-6)



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