Books I Have Loved Chapter 9


1984 in Lao Tzu House, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, USA

Now is my time. I don't think anybody has spoken in a dentist's chair. I feel privileged. I see buddhas envious of me. The P.S. continues.... The first book today: THE DESTINY OF THE MIND by Haas. I don't know how his name is pronounced: h-a-a-s ­ I pronounce it Haas. The book is not very well known for the simple reason that it is so profound. I think this fellow Haas must be a German; even so he has created a book of immense significance. He is not a poet, he writes like a mathematician. He is the man who gave me the word philosia. Philosophy means 'love of wisdom'; philo is love, and sophia is wisdom, but it cannot be applicable to darshan, the Eastern way of looking at the whole. Philosophy is harsh. In his book DESTINY OF THE MIND, Haas uses for darshan not the word philosophy but philosia. Philo still means love, but osia means truth, the real, the ultimately real ­ not love of knowledge or wisdom, but love for the truth, palatable or unpalatable, it does not matter. This is one of those books which has brought East and West closer ­ but just closer, books cannot do anything more. For the meeting to happen a man is needed, not a book, and Haas was not that man. His book is beautiful, but he himself is just ordinary. For the real meeting a Buddha, a Bodhidharma, a Jesus, a Mohammed or a Baal Shem is needed. In short, meditation is needed, and I don't think that this man Haas ever meditated. He may have concentrated ­ Germans know much about concentration, concentration camps... great! I have been holding meditation camps and they have been holding concentration camps! Concentration is German, meditation is not. Yes, once in

a while even in Germany a meditator has happened, but that is not the rule, only the exception, and the exception always proves the rule. I know Eckhart, and I know Boehme.... My second name today is Eckhart. I would have loved for him to have been born in the East. To be born among Germans and then to write or speak about the ultimate is a difficult job. But the poor man did it, and did it perfectly. Germans are Germans; whatsoever they do, they do it perfectly. Even today it seems one German sannyasin is still knocking. Perfection! Listen to his knocks, how beautiful they sound amidst all this silence. Eckhart was uneducated. It is strange that many of the mystics are uneducated. There must be something wrong with education. Why are there not so many educated mystics? Education must be destroying something, and that prevents people from becoming mystics. Yes, education destroys. Twenty-five years continuously, from the kindergarten to the postgraduate courses in university, it goes on destroying in you whatsoever is beautiful and aesthetic. The lotus is crushed under scholarship, the rose is murdered by the so-called professors, teachers, vice-chancellors, chancellors. What beautiful names they have chosen for themselves. The real education has not begun yet. It has to begin. It will be the education of the heart, not of the head; of the feminine in you, not the masculine. It is a wonder that Eckhart, among the Germans, the most male chauvinist race in the world, remained yet in his heart, and spoke from there. Uneducated, poor, of no political status, of no economic status, of no status at all ­ just a beggar, but so rich. Very few people have been so rich. Rich in his being ­ his BEING. Write BEING in capital letters. These two words, being and becoming, have to be understood. Becoming is a process with no beginning and no end, a continuum. But being is not a process at all, it simply is. Call it is-ness, and you will be very close to it. Being is neither of time nor of space, it is a transcendence. Transcendence ­ again, write TRANSCENDENCE in capital letters. Alas that you cannot write it in golden letters. It is a word that should be written in gold, pure gold ­ not eighteen carat but twenty-four carat, one hundred percent gold. Eckhart said only a few things, but even those were enough to irritate the ugly priesthood, the pope and the devils that surround him. They immediately stopped Eckhart. They told him what to say and what not to say. It needs a madman like me not to listen to these fools. But Eckhart was a simple man; he listened, listened to authority. A German is after all a German. When you say "Left turn" he turns left; when you say "Right turn" he turns right. I was expelled from army training at the university because when they said "Right turn" I would think it over. Everybody would immediately turn except me. The military officer was puzzled. He said, "What's the matter with you? Can't you hear? Is something wrong with your ears?" I said, "No, something is wrong with me. I don't see the point. Why should I turn left or right? There is no necessity, no reason. And these poor fools who have turned to the right and then to the left will come to the same position that I am in already."

Naturally I was expelled ­ and I was immensely happy. Everybody thought it was bad luck, and I thought it was good luck. They whispered that something must be wrong with me: "He was expelled and yet he is enjoying...." I threw a party with wine and all. Eckhart listened. A German cannot be really enlightened, it will be very difficult. Vimalkirti may be the first German who became enlightened. But Eckhart was very close; one step more and the world will end... and the opening, the opening of the doors, the opening to the beyond. But he said ­ even though he was a German, and even under pressure from the pope ­ he said beautiful things. Just a little bit of truth has entered into his sayings, hence I include him. Third, another German: Boehme. I don't know how to pronounce his name, but who cares! That is how it is written: B-o-e-h-m-e. Germans must pronounce it differently, that much I am certain. But I am not a German. I don't have to compromise with anyone in any way. I have always called him "Boomay." Even if he comes to me and says, "That's not exactly my name," I will say, "Get lost! To me this is your name, and this is going to be your name, Boomay." Strangely, whenever Arpita comes into my room I smell Boehme, I suddenly remember Boehme. Maybe it's just an association, because he was a shoemaker and Arpita is my shoemaker. But Arpita, you are blessed that you remind me of Boehme, one of the most beautiful Germans ever. Again, he was utterly poor. It seems one has to be poor to be wise; that has been the case up to now. But not after me. After me you have to be rich to be enlightened. Let me repeat it: you have to be rich to be enlightened. Jesus says the rich will not enter into his kingdom of God. He was talking in the old way. I say emphatically that only the richest will enter into the kingdom of God. And remember, what I am saying is the same as what Jesus was saying, it is not contradictory. The 'poor' in Jesus' terminology and the 'rich' in my terminology mean exactly the same. He calls a man poor who has lost himself, his ego, and that is the man I call rich. The more egoless you are the richer you are. But in the past, very rarely was a man like Boehme born into a rich family, particularly in the West. It is not so in the East. Buddha was a prince, Mahavira was a prince; the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas were all kings. Krishna was a king, Rama was a king. All were rich, immensely rich. It signifies something; it signifies the richness I am talking about. A man is rich when his ego is lost. When he is no more, he is. Boehme says a few things, just a few. He could not say many things, so don't be afraid. The one thing I would like to mention is: The heart is the temple of God. Yes, Boehme, it is the heart not the head. Fourth: A man, Idries Shah. I will not mention any of his books because all of them are beautiful. I recommend every one of this man's books. Don't be afraid, I am still insane. Nothing can make me sane. But one book by Idries Shah towers above all the others. All are beautiful, I would like to mention them all, but the book THE SUFIS is just a diamond. The value of what he has done in THE SUFIS is immeasurable. Don't interrupt, this is going beautifully.

Talking, for me, is so easy. I can even talk while asleep, and very rationally too. Good. Whenever I recognize something like this I always appreciate it. And this is beautiful ­ this is what you will understand if you can understand Idries Shah's book THE SUFIS. He is the man who introduced Mulla Nasruddin to the West, and he has done an incredible service. He cannot be repaid. The West has to remain obliged to him forever. Idries Shah has made just the small anecdotes of Nasruddin even more beautiful. This man not only has the capacity to exactly translate the parables, but even to beautify them, to make them more poignant, sharper. I include all of his books. Is my number right? "Yes, Osho." Fifth, I am going to include another man, Alan Watts, with all his books. I have loved this man immensely. I have loved Buddha for different reasons; I have loved Solomon for a different reason. They are enlightened, Alan Watts is not. He is an American... not a born American, that's his only hope; he just emigrated there. But he has written tremendously valuable books. THE WAY OF ZEN should be counted as one of the most important; THIS IS IT is a tremendous work of beauty and understanding ­ and from a man who is yet unenlightened; hence it is more appreciable. When you are enlightened, whatsoever you say is beautiful; it has to be. But when you are not enlightened and groping in the dark, and yet can find a small window of light, that's tremendous, fantastic. Alan Watts was a drunkard, but still he was very close. He was once an ordained Christian priest ­ what a misfortune! ­ but he renounced it. Very few people have the guts to renounce the priesthood, because it provides so many things of the world. He renounced all that and became almost a hobo. But what a hobo! ­ it reminds one of Bodhidharma, Basho, or Rinzai. Alan Watts cannot remain long without becoming a buddha. He died long ago; by this time he must be leaving school... must be ready to come to me! I am waiting for all these people. Alan Watts is one of them ­ I am waiting for him. Sixth.... Just now, by the way, I mentioned the name Rinzai. My sixth is his SAYINGS, the collection of his sayings. Is my number correct? "Yes, Osho." That's good. You whispered something to Ashu, so I wondered. Excuse me for interrupting you. You are concentrating so much on your notes. Rinzai... his Chinese name is Lin Chi; in Japanese it is Rinzai. I choose the Japanese, Rinzai. Rinzai looks more beautiful, more aesthetic. THE SAYINGS of Rinzai are just dynamite. For instance he says: You fools, you followers of Buddha, renounce him! Unless you renounce him you will not find him. Rinzai loved Buddha that's why he said this. He also said: Before you use the name Gautam Buddha, remember that that name is not the reality. The buddha outside in the pagoda is not the real buddha. It is within you... of whom you are completely unaware, of whom you have never heard. That is the real buddha. Get rid of the outer buddha so you can get the inner. Rinzai says: There is no doctrine, no teaching, no Buddha. And remember, he was not an enemy of Buddha but a follower, a disciple.

It was Rinzai who took the flower of Zen away from China to Japan. He transmitted the spirit of Zen to the Japanese language, and not only to the language but to the culture itself, to flower arrangement, to pottery, to gardening and whatnot. One man, one single man, transformed the whole life of a nation. Seventh: The seventh is not an enlightened man like Rinzai, but very close. Hazrat Inayat Khan, the man who introduced Sufism to the West. He did not write a book, but all his lectures have been collected into twelve volumes. Here and there they are beautiful. Forgive me, I cannot say they are all beautiful, but here and there, once in a while, particularly when he is talking about a Sufi story, he is beautiful. He was also a musician; in that way he was really a maestro. He was not a master in the spiritual world, but in the world of music he certainly was. But once in a while he flew to the spiritual, he rose beyond the clouds... to fall back with a thud, of course. He must have suffered from... Devaraj, what do you call it? Multi-fracture? Multiple fractures, perhaps that's the right word. Eighth: The son of Hazrat Inayat Khan. His name is well known to the seekers in the West: Hazrat Vilayat Ali Khan. He is a beautiful man. He is still living. The father is dead, Vilayat is alive, and when I say alive I really mean it ­ not only breathing... breathing of course, but not only breathing. All his books are also included hereby. Vilayat Ali Khan is also a musician, just like his father, only of a higher quality, of a greater depth. He is more profound... and ­ listen to this pause ­ more silent too. Ninth: Again I want to include another book by Kahlil Gibran, JESUS, THE SON OF MAN. It is one of the books which is almost ignored. Christians ignore it because it calls Jesus the son of man. They not only ignore it, they condemn it. And of course, who else cares about Jesus? If Christians themselves are condemning him, then nobody else cares about it. Kahlil Gibran is a Syrian from very close to Jerusalem. In fact in the hills of Syria, people ­ a few people at least ­ still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Amid those high- reaching cedars, anyone, even a fool, is bound to be amazed, mystified. Kahlil Gibran was born in Syria under the cedars reaching towards the stars. He comes very close in representing the real man Jesus ­ closer than the four so-called disciples who wrote the gospels. They are more gossips than gospels. Kahlil Gibran is closer, but Christians were angry because he calls Jesus the son of man. I loved the book. The book related different people's stories about Jesus: a laborer, a farmer, a fisherman, a taxcollector ­ yes, even a tax-collector ­ a man, a woman, all possibilities. It is as if Kahlil Gibran is asking many people about Jesus ­ the real Jesus, not the Christian Jesus; the real Jesus, made of flesh... and the stories are so beautiful. Each story needs to be meditated upon. JESUS, THE SON OF MAN is my ninth selection for today. Tenth: Another book by Kahlil Gibran, THE MADMAN. I cannot leave it out, although I confess I wanted to. I wanted to leave it out because I am that madman about whom he is talking. But I cannot leave it out. He talks so meaningfully, so authentically about the very innermost core of the madman. And this madman is no ordinary madman, but a Buddha, a Rinzai, a Kabir. I wonder ­ I have always wondered ­ how Kahlil Gibran could manage it. He himself was not the madman, he himself was not the enlightened one. He was born in Syria, but lived unfortunately in America.

But there are wonders and wonders, questions without answers. How did he manage? Perhaps he did not manage it himself... perhaps something, someone ­ what Sufis call Khidr, and Theosophists call K.H., Koothumi ­ must have taken possession of him. He was possessed, but not always. When he was not writing he was a very ordinary man, in fact more ordinary than the so-called ordinary man: full of jealousy, anger, passions of all kinds. But once in a while he became possessed, possessed from above, and then something started pouring through him... paintings, poetry, parables.

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