From Bondage to Freedom Chapter 3 Learn from thisexperience

CHAPTER 3

Learn from this experience

17 September 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir

Question 1 BELOVED MASTER, WHEN I LOOKED AROUND ME TODAY AT THE PEOPLE IN THIS COMMUNITY I SAW ONLY INNOCENCE AND LOVELINESS. BUT IF THE UGLINESS YOU SPOKE OF FLOURISHED IN THE HEART OF THIS COMMUNITY, THEN WHAT STRENGTH IS THERE IN INNOCENCE AND LOVINGNESS? It is one of the most significant questions about life. The roseflower is beautiful, full of fragrance. The rock is almost just the opposite, but the rock can kill the roseflower very easily. So one thing has to be understood: the higher you go into silence, love, beauty, the more delicate you become, more fragile. The lower you go ­ violent, murderous, criminal ­ the harder you become. Your heart has both the possibilities: to become the rock or to become a roseflower. The second thing to be understood is: the rock has a certain kind of strength, but that strength is of death. It is not in the service of life; it is in the service of destruction and death. The roseflower also has a certain strength, but it is in the service of life, love and beauty. These are different kinds of strength. Certainly, you cannot make bullets from roseflowers. That does not mean bullets become more important. You cannot kill somebody with a roseflower. That does not mean the arrow ­ a poisonous arrow ­ is more powerful than a rose. But it appears so.

The arrow is dead; hence you cannot kill it anymore. Do you think that is strength? Then all the people who are in the grave are stronger than you; they will never die again. You will be dying. Would you like to change places with the people in the graves? They are, in a way, stronger than you, because death cannot happen to them. But they are dead. What is the point of their strength? Life is fragile. The higher you go, the more fragile. The tree is not so fragile as the flower. The fragrance is even more fragile than the flower ­ just a small breeze can take it away. This is true, that you see innocence and lovingness all over the place in this commune. Naturally, the question has arisen in your mind that why did something like a fascist calamity happen to you? Innocence can be taken advantage of. Lovingness can be exploited. But no harm has been done to you! Fragrance may be fragile; it may exist only for a moment, but that moment is eternity. The rock may exist for eternity, but that eternity is not even equal to a single moment of fragrance. The people who tried to exploit your innocence and love, your trust, have not destroyed you; they have destroyed themselves. This is the beauty of the power of love, the power of trust, the power of innocence. What harm has been done to you? No harm can be done to you. Even if you are killed, your loving being and your trusting being and your inner innocence are eternal. And you have seen the whole drama, that the people who were powerful but in the service of destructiveness had to escape finally. Love is victorious. And wherever they will go, a deep feeling of guilt, of inhumanity, of having taken advantage of trusting people, will follow them. They will not have a single night of peaceful sleep. This is a fundamental law of life: your every action is followed by its result automatically. The flower releases fragrance. These people have released poison, but the poison has not affected you at all. It has poisoned their own beings, their own growth. They have missed a great opportunity, and perhaps they will have to wait for lives to find it again. I hope they come to understand what they have done. They have done such ugly things that you cannot believe. Just this morning, more information came from a sannyasin. When the Share-a-Home people had come here, a certain drug was purchased in a big quantity by this fascist gang of Sheela's. They were injecting that drug into the Share-a-Home people so they remained calm and quiet. Otherwise, they were street people; they have lived in a totally different way ­ rowdy, ever ready to fight and kill. But they overdosed one man and he died. I have been informed that they took the man and threw him out of Rancho Rajneesh.

To treat a man like that is disgusting. It simply proves only one thing: that this group of Sheela's had no heart at all. I would not have believed it, but seeing all the other information that is coming... and people are ready to witness for it in the courts. The pharmacist of the commune was puzzled. He was very much against bringing in that much poison. "What is the reason?" They managed to bring the poison in, in some other roundabout way. First to invite people here to share your home, and then you share death? If you cannot be loving to people, why have you called them here? I was in silence. I was told it was "because there is more money from the festival than we need, and this will be good, humanitarian work." I said, "If it is something humanitarian you must do it." But it was not humanitarian. Now people are reporting to me that they were certainly brought here for voting. For my whole life I have been teaching my sannyasins to be apolitical. Politics is for inferior minds. It is for those who are suffering from an inferiority complex. It is the inferiority complex that forces them to prove to themselves that they are not inferior ­ they are governors, they are prime ministers, they are presidents. But even if you are a president it does not change your inferiority, it does not make you superior. That's why people like Nixon, becoming president, behave like criminals. In fact, your whole history is full of people who came to power and behaved like great criminals. Your history is the history of criminology. It is worth burning completely, so your children never hear the names Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ivan the Terrible, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini. It will be better if your children never hear these names. These names are contaminated. Don't poison poor children. All these people were not violent before they came into power. Neither were Sheela and her group. They were simply as human as you are, as beautiful as you are, as loving as you are. Then what happens when people come into power? Power certainly makes a great change. Whatever these people have been carrying in their unconscious, now they have the opportunity to materialize it. So from this experience, you have to learn one thing: somewhere deep down you may be also carrying Sheela, Puja, Vidya, and the whole gang. Your lovingness, your friendliness, may be just superficial. The only way to know whether it is really there, is to give you power. And that's what I am going to do now. I have chosen Hasya. She is the beginning of my experiment. So be aware. Everybody has to go through the power-trip. We have to make power just like a rotary club. For a few months somebody is the president, then somebody else, then somebody else ­ give everybody a chance to look into his unconscious. Power is of immense importance. It is a revolution. Something hidden and dormant becomes active, and something that was active goes to sleep. And each of you has to remember that power is not going to corrupt you.

Lord Acton's famous quotation I have used many times: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But I don't agree with him. It is not the power that corrupts. Corruption is in you. Power simply gives you an opportunity to show your real face. So power is not your enemy; it is a mirror. You don't know. You may be carrying a Genghis Khan within you, a Tamerlane within you, a Nadirshah within you. Power gives you the insight to become aware of it all. I am not against power. All that is needed is that you should remain aware, more aware than before. Powerless you can afford to be unaware, but when you have power you cannot afford to be unaware. And then power can be of immense help ­ to help you to destroy the Nadirshah within you, the Adolf Hitler within you. And if you can come out of power unscratched, then you will have an abundance of love, compassion, beauty, truth. They have their own strength, but it is of a totally different dimension. So I am not disappointed. Whatever happened, we are going to turn it into a golden opportunity. That's what I teach to you ­ to turn everything into a golden opportunity. Sheela and her gang have done a great service to you. They have destroyed themselves, but they have given you an insight. Now keep awake. Don't fall asleep. Question 2 BELOVED MASTER, YOU HAVE OFTEN REFERRED TO THE QUOTE, "POWER CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY." HOW CAN THIS BE PREVENTED FROM HAPPENING AGAIN? IS THE HORIZONTAL HIERARCHY REALLY POSSIBLE? ALLELUIA FOR THIS NEW DAY! ALLELUIA! But I have answered your question before you have asked it. Question 3 BELOVED MASTER, I DON'T KNOW WHAT MAGIC HAPPENS DURING DARSHAN, BUT FALLING INTO THE DEEP, DEEP SILENCE THAT YOUR PRESENCE CREATES, I FIND IT HARD TO IMAGINE HOW IT IS POSSIBLE TO RECREATE THIS BEAUTIFUL SPACE IN YOUR ABSENCE. AND STRANGELY, A PART OF ME DOES NOT WANT TO BELIEVE IT IS POSSIBLE. WHY IS THIS? First, it is such a big event, such a great ecstasy, that you cannot believe it is really happening. You have been brought up by parents, teachers, society, schools, colleges, universities, religions. On one single point they all agree, that you are unworthy, and you have to deserve to be worthy. You have to prove that you are worthy.

And how do you have to prove it? By becoming someone else. A Christian is trying to become Christ. A Buddhist is trying to become a Buddha. Now there is a great problem: nature never repeats itself ­ that's its beauty and its creativity. Human beings are not produced on an assembly line like Ford cars, where every minute one car comes out just the same. The predecessor was the same, the successor is going to be the same. Machines can be the same; man cannot be. My opposition to communism is based on the fact that equality of human beings is a psychological impossibility. It is just like if somebody is tall and somebody is short, and you start creating people of equal size. So somebody's head is cut off, and somebody is put on a traction machine to pull his legs. What you will create will be a crippled world, not equal. I am against communism because it is psychologically absurd. Every man is unique, and there is no way for anybody to become Christ again. Two thousand years are enough proof. Hundreds of popes but not a single Christ. Thousands of monks but not a single Christ. Twenty-five centuries are proof enough: millions of Buddhist monks all over Asia and not a single Gautam Buddha is born. But a calamity happened instead. The person who tries to become Gautam Buddha or Jesus Christ, cannot become Jesus Christ and cannot become Gautam Buddha. The natural law does not allow any carbon copies. It believes in the original. So they could not become Buddhas and Christs, but by trying to become Buddha and Christ they also missed what they could have become. And this is the frustration of the whole humanity. You never ask, Who was Jesus trying to become? Who was Gautam Buddha trying to become? If you are really understanding, one thing is clear: Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus Christ, or Moses, or Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu ­ they were not trying to become anybody else. That is the basic reason why they could become what was their own potential. If you have to learn something from their lives, this is the most fundamental thing: never try to become somebody else. But from your very childhood you are being conditioned that you are unworthy as you are; prove yourself by becoming somebody else. In my childhood I was never an obedient child, and I have remained the same. Just now nobody is giving me orders, so my disobedience has no way to express itself. Once in a while my mother comes while I am taking my lunch, and she forgets, and she starts saying, "Mix this with that. With this vegetable, curd would have been good." And I say, "You have known me for my whole life. If you say so, I am not going to do it. Still you go on doing the same thing." She even tries to corrupt the minds of my kitchen people. I have told them, "Listen to her respectfully, but don't follow what she says."

I want to eat my food my way. Nobody is going to instruct me. Tastes differ, likes differ, individualities differ. In my childhood there was a boy living just by the side of my house, my neighbor's son, and my father used to say, "Look at that boy." He was not my class fellow, he was two years ahead of me. "He always comes first. Why don't you try?" I said, "Until you stop telling me, I am not going to try. In a way, I am also first ­ from backwards. If there are thirty boys, I am the thirtieth. It is only a question from where you start counting. I can be first also, but I am not going to follow that idiot." My father said, "He always comes first, and you call him an idiot." I said, "Yes, I call him an idiot. He comes first because all the people in his class are just third-rate. Once in a while I have talked with him. He is just stupid. He can't answer a single question; he can't argue. The moment he sees me he tries to escape, afraid that I will catch hold of him and put him in a confusion." Finally my father stopped saying these things. The year he stopped, I came first in the class. He said, "You are something! What have you been doing to come thirtieth in the class?" I said, "I have been giving wrong answers knowingly. If you had said to me, 'You have to pass,' I would have failed. It was good of you that you were only trying to bring me first. Remember, I am not going to be anybody's copy, and nobody is a model. I am just going to be myself; first or last does not matter." And since that time I went on being first every year, in every class, until my master's degree. I topped the whole university. My father could not believe it. "You are simply crazy. You yourself were writing wrong answers." I said, "I had to, to stop you trying to model me according to somebody else. This much is certain: I am going to be myself, so don't impose any ideas on me. Leave me alone, so that I can find my own self-nature." You feel doubt because here there are five thousand people sitting by my side, so silently, so peacefully, as if there is no one. You feel immense peace, silence, joy, but you cannot believe it because you are a miserable person. Suffering is your fate. You are a sinner, born in sin ­ a Christian. You have committed so many sins in millions of lives ­ a Hindu. How can this be possible for you? It may be possible for anybody else, but not for you. Your parents have never respected you, your teachers have never respected you. Everybody was advising, everybody was telling you to change. You were always wrong; they were always right. Naturally, you have accepted their ideas. You have been very obedient. And to be obedient is self-destructive.

I am not saying be disobedient to everything. Try to use your intelligence. If it is worth obeying, if it is according to your intelligence, your feelings, your heart, then you are not obeying anybody else; you are doing your thing. If it is against your reason, your intelligence, your being, then whatever the cost, disobey it. Obeying others, you have started thinking of yourself as just a miserable creature. You are not a Jesus Christ, you are not a Gautam Buddha, you are not a Chuang Tzu. What are you? Just nothing? When I entered the university, first I went to see the vice-chancellor. I knocked on the door, asked him, "May I come in?" He said, "Yes." I went in, I remained standing. He said, "Why don't you sit?" I said, "It is better to stand in a place where even the vice-chancellor does not know how to respect a human being. Unless you stand up and receive me, I am going to stand here. And remember, unless you respect me, don't expect any respect from me. It is a mutual thing." The man looked at me. He was simply shocked. He could not believe that a student would do that. I said, "You can take your time and you can think." A few moments passed in silence, and then he decided to stand up. I said, "Now, this looks more human. Now if you come into my room in the hostel, I will stand up and receive you with love and respect. And it is not only for me that I am saying so. Do it with everybody. Continuously in your speeches you are saying that students are not respectful to the teachers ­ and this is the reason why students are not respectful to the teachers. They should not be!" Teachers or students makes no difference. Both have a human soul, unique, and they should be respectful. If the teachers are respectful to the students, I don't think any student can be disrespectful to the teachers. But you go on receiving their humiliation, and slowly slowly you get accustomed to being humiliated. That's why you find it unbelievable even though it is happening; you experience it. What a tragedy! You experience it every day, and later on you start suspecting: perhaps you were imagining or dreaming, or perhaps it was some kind of hypnosis. "What happened? I was feeling so ecstatic and so silent and so peaceful and so loving." A window just opens, and the moment you leave me, the window closes. You close it, because it goes against your whole past, which is heavy. Secondly, I have nothing to do with what is happening here. You love me. It is your doing. You trust me. It is your doing.

Whenever you love, whenever you trust, you will feel doors opening into the unknown, new dimensions opening. You are afraid, perhaps in my absence it will not happen. Don't be afraid. I am already absent. I died the day I became enlightened. There is only silence and peace, there is no "I." I have to use that ugly word, for the simple reason that in language you have to follow the language and its grammar ­ howsoever absurd. One of the Hindus' masters, Swami Ramateertha, who had come to America, tried to change this language. He never used the word "I"; instead he used his name. He would say, "Rama is feeling thirsty," not, "I am feeling thirsty." It looked very odd, "Rama is feeling thirsty," "Rama wants to go for a walk." In India his followers used to understand it, but in America people started asking, "What kind of language are you using? Why use 'Rama' again and again when you can simply say 'I want to go for a walk'?" He said, "There is no 'I' in me, so I am using Rama just the way you use a name; it's arbitrary." But it will make language ugly, and there is no point because Ramateertha's own life proved it. He was highly respected in America and Europe, so coming back to India, naturally he thought that first he should go to Varanasi, the holy city of the Hindus ­ perhaps the most ancient city in the world. And if he has been honored so much around the world, certainly Varanasi and its council of Hindu scholars will receive him. He was invited by the council, but before the proceedings began, one Hindu priest stood up and said, "I want to ask a few things. First, do you know Sanskrit?" Ramateertha was born in Punjab, so he was educated in Persian and Urdu. He had read Hindu scriptures in Persian and Urdu, not in Sanskrit. Naturally, he had to say, "I don't know Sanskrit, but I have read Sanskrit scriptures in Persian and Urdu." The whole council of scholars laughed. They said, "If you don't know Sanskrit, you know nothing. First start to learn Sanskrit. Even your orange clothes do not suit you. A man who does not know Sanskrit, the holy language of the Hindus, has no right to pretend to be a Hindu saint." And you will be surprised: Ramateertha went to the Himalayas, changed his clothes and started learning Sanskrit. Now, who is being hurt? If I was in his place, I would have laughed. I would have said, "Who bothers to be a Hindu saint? To know oneself, one does not need to know Sanskrit or Urdu or Persian. Knowing oneself needs silence, meditation." And no language is holy, because Mohammedans say Arabic is holy, Jews say Hebrew is holy, Buddhists say Pali is holy, Jainas say Prakrit is holy ­ and there is no criterion to decide who is right. There are three hundred languages in the world, and to the people who speak them they are holy.

I would have simply told that conference of Hindu scholars, "You are idiots and nothing else. You don't know that to know oneself you need no language. In fact, you need to drop all language, all words, the whole mind itself." So that was only a gimmick, using Rama instead of "I." The "I" was there, very much there. His disciple, Sardar Purnasingh, has written in his autobiography that one day Ramateertha's wife came to see him, poor woman, because he left her, renounced, became a Hindu monk, and the poor woman was somehow managing, working, cleaning, just to get food, shelter, clothes. Knowing that Ramateertha has come back, she came just to see him, just to touch his feet ­ he was a holy saint. There was no idea in her mind that he is her husband. But when Ramateertha looked from the window and saw his wife coming, he told Purnasingh, "Close the doors and tell that woman that I don't want to see her." Purnasingh was a very sensitive man, a man of poetic and aesthetic abilities. He has produced tremendously beautiful literature. He could not believe it. He said, "You have been seeing women all over the world. Why particularly are you refusing this woman?" Ramateertha said, "You don't know. She is my wife." Purnasingh said, "Still? After renouncing that woman for twenty years, leaving her in utter poverty, you are still afraid of her? You still think of her as your wife? You have not renounced anything, and all your saintliness is just hocus-pocus. If you don't see her, I am going to leave you." Just by changing language, nothing changes. By changing clothes, nothing changes. Remember, that whatever is happening here to you, I am just a catalytic agent. You love me, you trust me, that's why you become silent. Just try it, sitting by the side of a tree with the same love for the tree, with the same trust for the tree, with the same joy with the tree. And you will be surprised: the same serenity, the same silence will come over you. Looking at a sunset, feel it. It is our existence; we are part of it. Watching a sunset or sunrise, or listening to the sound of a waterfall with the same attitude as you have towards me ­ you will find it anywhere. Just a bird on the wing, and the whole sky and the freedom ­ watch it. Feel the joy of the bird. Feel the freedom of its wings, and you will find the same ecstasy there. And once you start finding it in different situations, then there is no need for situations at all. Just close your eyes and be loving, be trusting to the whole existence. And you will find that there is only breathing, and everything else has stopped. The mind is no more functioning. This is what ecstasy is.

I don't want you to be dependent on me. That will be a crime. I don't want to commit any crime. All the religious prophets and messiahs have committed that crime. Jesus says to you, "I am your savior." I do not say so. You are your own savior. I can show you the way I saved myself. You need not follow it in detail, but just the idea that a human being just like you, with all the frailties, with all the weaknesses that human beings are prone to.... I am not a messiah, I am not a prophet, I am not an incarnation of God. All that nonsense is just to make you dependent. I feel really sick when Jesus says, "I am the shepherd and you are my sheep." I cannot believe that people did not object to it. This is humiliating. No, I am not anybody's shepherd, and nobody is a sheep. You have to learn to be utterly independent, and that will be my joy and my reward. If I can make you utterly free, independent ­ a savior unto yourself ­ then my blessings will know no bounds. You can make me immensely rejoicing and dancing. Any human being becoming independent from conditionings, from religions, scriptures, prophets, messiahs, has arrived home. He has found the treasure which was hidden in his own being. So this is just to give you a glimpse. Now you have to experiment on your own in different situations whether the glimpse happens or not. It happens! If it can happen to me, why not to you? I am not special. All these people were trying to prove they are special. Jesus is special; he is the only begotten son of God, and who are you? Everybody is a bastard. The only begotten son of God is Jesus Christ. And very strange... God did not do anything when the only begotten son of God was being crucified. It is said about Buddha that he was born when his mother was standing. Now, this is really unique. He was born standing ­ and not only that, he walked seven steps and declared that "I am the suprememost awakened person in the whole universe." And there have been idiots who have been believing it. Jesus' virgin birth ­ and there are idiots who are believing it. It was impossible, because the Pill was not invented yet. And what about poor Joseph? Nobody thinks about the father of Jesus, that this is such an insult to poor Joseph. Nobody bothers about the man. On the contrary, the Holy Ghost made Mary pregnant and he is still the Holy Ghost. This was a rape. At least now he should be called Unholy Ghost. But something special.... Jainas say that Mahavira never perspired. Impossible, unless instead of skin he was covered with plastic. And plastic was not discovered at that time. And perspiration is a very natural and useful process for the body. Every pore of your body breathes, and behind every pore there is a small gland which contains water, for a special reason: to keep

your body temperature constant. You may go under the hot sun and it will start perspiring. The perspiration is the strategy of the body to befool the sun. The sun and its heat become involved with the perspiration and evaporate it. The heat does not enter within you and raise your temperature. If you don't perspire, then.... Your life range is not very big ­ from ninety-eight degrees to only one hundred and ten degrees, a twelve degrees' span. If you don't perspire you will burst with heat. And Mahavira used to live naked. I think he must have perspired more than anybody else in the whole world. This much I can say, that I don't perspire because I never go under the sun. I don't like heat. From one air-conditioned place to another air-conditioned place, in an air-conditioned limousine. Just for seconds I am not in an air-conditioned space. That much does not make any difference. I don't perspire. But Mahavira? I cannot believe it. And you will be surprised: to make him special they say he does not urinate, because that looks bad. For a prophet to urinate ­ a pissing prophet, mm? ­ does not look right. He does not defecate. But where does the food and water that he takes disappear? Neither does he perspire, nor does he urinate, nor does he defecate. Then where do the food and the water that he drinks disappear to? And he was one of the healthiest men. If all the food goes on accumulating inside him, I don't see what will happen to him. He lived for eighty-two years. Just a little arithmetic and you will say that he will be almost as big as our commune's whole property ­ one hundred and twenty-six square miles! But they were trying to make these people special, so that you can be humiliated, made dependent, converted to Hinduism, to Jainism, to Buddhism, to Christianity. I am not converting you. Or perhaps, if you understand the basic meaning of the word "convert," I am really converting you ­ not to Christianity, not to Mohammedanism, not to Hinduism, but to yourself. And that is true conversion. These meetings with me are simply small glimpses, that a human being exactly like you, with no speciality, with no claim, is capable of reaching, so why can't you reach? My being here is a challenge to you. So whatsoever is happening to you in silent moments with me, allow it. It will happen when I am not there. First, move slowly. A beautiful tree... just sit touching the tree, feeling the tree. It is alive and full of juice ­ and it is not Christian, and it is not Hindu. It is just a beautiful tree with no denomination. Feel its beauty, its life, its greenery, its flowers. Just be there as if there is nothing else to do in the world, and suddenly you will see the same things happening. Use anything, and then stop using things. Just close your eyes and in your total aloneness experience the same things. That will be a day of great joy for you. It is your inheritance; something you had forgotten is remembered.

Question 4 BELOVED MASTER, IS MATURATION AN ONGOING PROCESS? HOW IS MATURATION RELATED TO AWARENESS? PLEASE EXPLAIN. Yes. Maturation is an ongoing process. There is no full stop, not even a semicolon anywhere... it goes on and on. The universe is infinite. So is the possibility of your maturing. You can become so huge.... Your consciousness is not confined to your body. It can spread all over existence and all the stars can be within you. And there is no place where you will find a plate that says, "Here ends the universe." It is just not possible. It never begins; it never ends. And you are part of it. You have been here always and you will be here always. Only forms change, and forms don't matter. What matters is the content. So remember that particularly in America, containers matter more than the content. Who cares about the content? The container has to be beautiful. Remember, the container is not you. You are the content. Forms change, your being remains the same. And it goes on growing, maturing, goes on becoming more enriched. And you ask, "What is the relationship between awareness and maturity?" Awareness is the method; maturation is the result. Become more aware and you will have more maturity; hence, I teach you awareness and don't talk about maturity. It is going to happen if you are aware. There are three steps of awareness. First, become aware of your body ­ walking, chopping wood or carrying water from the well. Be watchful, be alert, aware, conscious. Don't go on doing things like a zombie, like a somnambulist, a sleepwalker. When you have become aware of your body and its actions, then move deeper ­ to your mind and its activity, thoughts, imagination, projections. When you have become deeply aware of the mind, you will be surprised. When you become aware of your bodily processes, you will be surprised there too. I can move my hand mechanically, I can move it with full awareness. When I move it with full awareness, there is grace, there is beauty. I can speak without awareness. There are orators, speakers.... I don't know any oratory; I have never learned the art of speaking, because to me it looks foolish. If I have something to say, that is

enough. But I am speaking to you with full awareness, each word, each pause... I am not an orator, not a speaker. But when you are aware of speaking, it starts becoming art. It takes on the nuances of poetry and music. One man, a Western journalist, wrote a book, THE NEW MYSTICS. His name is Aubrey Menen. He introduced me to the West. He has covered other mystics, but I was on his front cover. And the things he said, I could not believe myself. He said that he has listened to Adolf Hitler, who was a tremendous orator. He has listened to Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, who could hold millions of people while he was speaking. He mentioned Kennedy ­ President Kennedy, who was a great speaker. But I was surprised: he said that listening to me, he felt a tremendous difference. "Certainly this man is not trained in oratory or speaking, but whatever he is saying is reaching directly to people's hearts. It was not the case with Adolf Hitler, Jawaharlal Nehru or President Kennedy; they were just repeating words like parrots." This is bound to happen if you speak with awareness. Then every gesture, every word has a beauty of its own. There is grace. When you become aware of the mind, you are in for a greater surprise. The more you become aware, the less thoughts move on the track. If you have one hundred percent thoughts, there is no awareness. If you have one percent awareness, there are only ninety-nine percent thoughts ­ in exact proportion. When you have ninety-nine percent awareness, there is only one percent thought, because it is the same energy. As you become more aware there is no energy available for thoughts; they die out. When you are one hundred percent aware, the mind becomes absolutely silent. That is the time to move still deeper. The third step: to become aware of feelings, moods, emotions. In other words, first the body ­ its action; second, the mind ­ its activity; third, the heart and its functions. When you move to the heart and bring your awareness there, again a new surprise. All that is good grows, and all that is bad starts disappearing. Love grows, hate disappears. Compassion grows, anger disappears. Sharing grows, greed disappears. When your awareness of the heart is complete, the last surprise, and the greatest surprise: you don't have to take any step. A quantum leap happens on its own accord. From the heart, you suddenly find yourself in your being, at the very center. There you are aware only of awareness, conscious only of consciousness. There is nothing else to be aware of, or to be conscious of. And this is the ultimate purity. This is what I call enlightenment. And this is your birthright! If you miss, only you are responsible. You cannot dump the responsibility on anybody else.

And it is so simple and natural, that you just have to begin. Only the first step is difficult. The whole journey is simple. There is a saying that the first step is almost the whole journey. Okay?

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