The Courage of a Madman is Needed
16 May 1976 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
[A sannyasin said that he would like to return to the West for a short period as his father had died two days ago and he felt he would be needed at home.] Help them, because they will need you. Death is a great experience. If you don't know how to use it you can be destroyed by it. If you know how to use it, it can transform your whole being. It can become a mutation because it is tremendously important. There is nothing more important than death in life, except love. When death happens and some beloved one is gone, a great emptiness is left behind in the hearts of those who loved him. That space can be used... it can become a new direction of life. Or if you don't use it you will fill it with rubbish again. It is very difficult to find a gap in your continuity. When death comes the gap is available. When somebody dies, it is not only he that is dying; if you loved him, something in you also dies simultaneously. When he disappears, suddenly you feel an emptiness inside. That emptiness can become a very sad thing if not used creatively. One can feel that the whole life has lost meaning, purpose, direction. One can start living in a dead way, drifting and just waiting for death. Life can become a very very heavy affair. But that space can be used. It can become meditative... it can become an inward journey. You can find something opening within yourself. When death happens outside, you can close your eyes
and meditation will be very easy in those moments because thinking stops. Death is such that you cannot think about it. There is nothing to think about. It is shock, and such a great shock that all the old patterns of thinking simply disperse. For a few moments, for a few days it depends on how much you loved the person the shock continues to function within you. It shatters thinking. Those are the moments that you can go beyond thinking very easily. You can ride on the wave of no-thought that death has created within you. Ordinarily, in the West particularly, people try to distract you. If somebody is dead, friends and family and relatives will try to distract you. They will invite you to a movie, to a circus, to a party, a picnic, where the purpose is to distract you. Or they will come and console you in the name of religion. The two things that society provides for you are consolation and distraction but not understanding. And a person who is at a loss does not know what to do, so others give him a pattern to follow. Of course one feels very much pain and misery and one wants to get rid of the emptiness that has arisen, so anything will do. People will try to escape from the emptiness that has arisen, and that's wrong because you are again missing a beautiful experience that could have been a great transformatory force. So go and go with this idea that your family needs not only you but something that you have learned here about meditation. They will be ready to listen because these moments are fragile. Tell them to weep and cry; not to prevent it. Tell them to be as sad as they can be and not to escape from it but to face it. Death is a reality it has to be faced. No need to console them; let them pass through it. It is arduous, painful, very painful, but all growth is painful. Sit with them, do a few meditations together. If they are not in that state then just sit together silently in a room. Put off the light and hold hands, and you meditate. Your meditation will be transformed. Something of the quality will reach to them. It will be very very tranquillising, transforming. It will give them not consolation but real solace. It will give them insight. Be with them as long as they need you and don't be in a hurry to come back. It is good to be with them right now. Take back a few tapes (taped lectures), a few books. This gap can be filled with something which will help. Otherwise they will fill it with something or other, because nobody can live with emptiness for long. One has to fill it... one has to live in the world. Throw something into their being because now the door is open and that thinking is no more functioning. Their logical thinking, the aristotelean mind, is almost defunct. In these moments they are vulnerable, open. Just approach them with deep love, prayer and meditation. And I am coming with you. [A sannyasin says: I received sannyas two years ago in Scotland and at that time, many things opened up for me. I thought perhaps I didn't need to come to India and that I would be able to carry those things along with me. The time came when I had an urge to come here because I felt there were things that could only open here.
So I've come for your help.] You are right they will open. You are ready for many things, and much is going to happen. Remember three things. One is to be courageous, because everything that is going to happen will need courage almost the courage of a madman; nothing less than that. All that is worthwhile happens beyond reason, beyond intellect, because you are beyond your reason and beyond your intellect. And all that is going to happen, is going to happen there, in the innermost intimacy of your being where nobody can penetrate, not even you. Remember it, not even you because the very effort to penetrate creates a dichotomy, a duality. The penetrator is not the penetrated, so the innermost intimacy of pure being is always virgin. Nobody has ever entered there and nobody can enter; not even you. If you want to enter there you will have to leave yourself outside. That's the greatest courage to leave the mind that has experienced many things, to leave the mind that has become very skillful in many things, to leave the mind that has always been a help; to leave the mind that up to now has been the only security, the only certainty. But that will be needed. That is the only sacrifice that God demands: that whatsoever you have learned, you leave outside the temple. That is you you as you are known to yourself, not as I can see you, not as you really are. That is something far away from all that you know about yourself. These are the two possibilities. One is courage and another is of imagination. Experience happens in two ways. If you are courageous, real experiences happen. If you are not courageous, the mind imagines, fakes experiences. It is a great faker; it is very clever in faking everything. It goes on minting counterfeit coins. Many people go on just imagining. Those are just dreams, nothing else. They are beautiful dreams, but still dreams. One should never rely on dreams because they come and go and can never become a permanent treasure in you. So even beautiful spiritual experiences are nothing but pictures, visions, projected by your mind out of a certain greed, out of a certain desire to be gratified. The real spiritual seeker has to be aware not to fall a victim of imagination. Otherwise there are millions of experiences. They appear so luminous, and the mind fakes them so perfectly that one can become a victim. So remember, the real experience is not like an experience at all, because there is no experiencer. There is nothing to be experienced. It is a purity of consciousness. There is no object to it, no light, no lotuses flowering, no kundalini rising nothing. The real, the deepest experience, is not an experience at all, because to experience you have to be there and something else also has to be there; the experiencer and the experienced, the subject and the object. But in that innermost core there is no duality. One simply is. There is no object, just a tremendous vastness... an infinite sky with no boundaries. And you are lost in it, spread all over the infinity. So there is no point of reference, no centre really from where you can see, on which you can stand.
This has to be understood: whatsoever can be seen is not your nature. The seen is always something outside you. You are the seer and the seer can never be seen because the subject can never be reduced to the object. You are irreducibly the seer, the subject. The seer goes on eluding you; howsoever you chase it, it will never be grasped. Not that it is out of reach, but grasping is not the way to reach it. I cannot grasp my hand with the same hand. Not that it is out of reach, but that is not the way. I can hold your hand in my hand. I can hold one of my hands in the other. I can see you with my eyes, but I cannot see my eyes with my own eyes. I can look into a mirror, but then those eyes are not really my eyes, but just reflections, mirror images. That's how we go on collecting data about ourselves through mirror images. Somebody looks at you lovingly, and you have an image that you are a lovely person. That person was looking so lovingly at you; now he has given you a hint. He has functioned as a mirror and you think, 'I must be lovely, beautiful.' Somebody says you are so wise, so intelligent, so brilliant, so clever; you have collected data about yourself. But this is a mirror image, not really you. It may say something about the person, but it shows nothing about you. It shows something about the mirror, that it is of this quality or that, but it doesn't show anything about you. And the innermost, the ultimate experience, which is not an experience at all, happens only when all mirrors are broken. You don't trust any mirror; you go on dropping them all. You go on moving inwards, inwards, inwards, and a moment comes when only you are and nothing else. You cannot even assert 'I', because even that assertion needs 'thou'. Great courage is needed. I see you are ready for many things, so the first thing to be remembered continuously is courage. The second thing: make all the effort that is possible. People simply flicker; somehow they live, dragging. They don't do anything totally, so there is not much flame, but much smoke arising. Bring in your total effort. In a single moment of intensity, when the whole being is at stake, it can happen. It may not happen for years or lives together if you go on just lukewarm. So don't be lukewarm. If you want evaporation, a hundred-degree effort is needed. That's the second thing. The third thing, which is more difficult than these two, is to always remember that whatsoever happens, it never happens because of you. It is always a happening, not a doing. This is very difficult because in the second point I told you to put in all your effort. So make all effort but still go on remembering that it is a gift of God. One cannot earn it; one cannot cause it to happen. You can only prepare yourself. You can open the door and invite, that's all. When it comes, it comes. It cannot be forced to come because if you can force it to come it will not be greater than you. So you can say 'I will be ready and waiting for you, whenever you will "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." Or whenever you think the moment has come, you come. You will not find my doors closed. My doors will be open and I will he waiting, whether it is day or night, happiness or unhappiness, misery or bliss. Regardless of all conditions my door will be open and I will be ready to receive you.' This is very difficult because the ego wants a subtle gratification that you are doing the effort, that you are a great searcher, a great seeker and this and that. That becomes the last barrier.
It is a gift, a grace. It always happens whenever you are ready, but it is not caused by you. It is what Carl Gustav Jung calls synchronisity; that is exactly the right word. When you are ready, parallel to that, God is ready. It is not that you cause Him, but He comes with your readiness. In fact He was already ready, just waiting for your readiness. He was standing on your door just waiting for you to open it. He is just like the sun in the morning waiting on your door. The rays don't knock; they are not violent. They just wait and they go on waiting patiently. Whenever you open the door the sun enters. Remember these three things, mm? And take the plunge! [A sannyasin says: I've been doing the camp and have become much more aware about my mind. I saw what seemed to be the silent point, but then the mind would come back, and I would feel that I had just dreamt it. I don't even feel as if I'm meditating a lot of the time because the mind is always there.] Things are going well. The mind is a very very old investment. It is your tradition. We have been clinging to the mind for so long that even if for a single moment it goes, it is a tremendously valuable moment. So don't feel frustrated feel happy that even for a single moment it was not there. By and by that moment will become bigger and bigger and bigger. But frustration will be very destructive. Always remember on the path, whatsoever happens, always feel, find ways to feel grateful, blessed. For example, this is happening: for a moment you feel that the mind is not there and then it is there. If you look at the second thing you will feel frustrated. That is your choice. If you look at the first thing, you will feel very very grateful, very thankful, that even for a moment the clouds were not there and you had a glimpse of the sky. You cannot remember what the glimpse was because it was so small. The gap was so fleeting that by the time you became aware that the mind was not there, the mind had returned. But still, the gap was there. Even for a small fragment, a split second, the clouds were not there and you saw the sky. You cannot remember, but something has happened. Now don't pay much attention to the mind coming back. Pay more attention to the moment when the mind went away and was not there, and then you will feel blissful. Don't count the thorns in a rose bush. They may be thousands and the flower may only be one. Look at the flower and forget the thorns. Even if they come on your way, just see that they must somehow be protecting the flower; they are part of the same process. The coming back of the mind may just be a safety measure because if the gap opens suddenly and the mind doesn't come back you will not be able to bear it. It will be too much too much like death. Sometimes it has happened that a few people have gone mad because the gap opened too suddenly and they were not ready for it. It is a tremendous insight into the unknown. It will shatter all that you know. It will shatter all the society that you belong to. It will shatter all your relationships. It will uproot you completely. It is a cyclone. So it is better to take it in doses, and homeopathic doses are best, mm?
[The sannyasin answers: I don't feel I am coming in contact with any pain I don't know if I'm blocking it.] No, I can also see that you don't have any pain. You don't have any pain you don't have any pleasure. You have a certain numbness. Pain is not your problem; numbness is your problem.... When the doctor operates, he gives you an injection to numb your body, so that when he cuts, you cannot feel the pain. If you cannot feel the pain, the pain is not there, because pain is in the feeling. When the doctor cuts your body you may be thinking that you have pain but that you are not feeling it because of the injection. Wrong! because pain is in the feeling. If you are not feeling pain, then pain is not there. It cannot exist without your feeling; there is no way for it to exist. The doctor has made your body numb. The nervous system has gone insensitive so it can be cut. It is just as when a person is paralysed and a mosquito goes on biting his foot. He will not feel it because he is paralysed. That part of the body is no more alive. Whether a mosquito or a scorpion or a beautiful flower is there, it will make no difference to him. Numbness means that you have somehow learned not to feel pain and not to feel pleasure. Many people learn it because it is very protective. Pleasure is also a danger. It overtakes you, possesses you. It may lead vou astray. It is the same with pain, and it creates much anguish. Many people have by and by become insensitive; they stop feeling. Nothing can bother them they are neither worried about pleasure or pain. They may even look a little more independent than other people because they are completely cut from the flow of life. That's what I can see. You have learned a certain numbness and that has to be melted down.... You have to break it down completely so you start feeling pain and pleasure again. Life is pain and pleasure. Of course there is something beyond too, but not below. [Osho said that many people have tried in the East, in the name of Yoga, to numb their bodies by sitting for a long time in the hot or cold. By and by their bodies become insensitive and they think that this indicates that they have transcended pleasure and pain, but in fact they haven't; they have fallen below both.] When you go beyond it is not that you become numb. You go beyond because you are so alert and sensitive. Because you are alert you are not caught in the trap of pain and pleasure; you go beyond. You become a witness. Now bliss arises in your being. But you are very sensitive; more sensitive than other people. That's why I am in favour of all sensitivity groups. No yoga ashram will allow them because a yoga ashram exists just on the opposite polarity! They are trying somehow to numb your being, to dull your sensitivity; to make you dullards.... All Yoga ordinarily prevalent makes you a dullard. One does become strong in a way but the strength is just like the strength of an idiot.
My whole effort is just in the opposite direction. So you will have to be destroyed at least this structure will have to be. This strategy that you have used up to now has to be broken and then you will become more sensitive. Pain will come. It will come with a revenge because for many days you have been preventing it. Allow it it is beautiful. To feel pain is beautiful because then you feel alive. A corpse cannot feel pain, only an alive body. So become alive again; don't carry the corpse. And when you feel pain, you can feel pleasure. When you can feel both, you can feel the beyond that is beyond both. Unless your sadhana produces a luminous brilliance, it is not sadhana but suicide. But as I see, things are going well. One thing has to be taken away at a time. By the time you are ready to stand without the edifice, without the character you have created around you, when you can stand without it, I will shatter it completely. But the work has started... you are already on the operating table!