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Chapter 4

The Last Chance to Rebel
(This chapter has been deleted entirely in the New Edition)

The first question:

Beloved Osho, sometime ago, while asleep in the night, I dreamt that I was at a lecture. In the morning I could not remember anything You’d said except the phrase “Poetry is surrender”. Since then I have been wondering what poetry has to do with surrender, and vice versa, and how poetry can be a path like love, prayer and meditation.

Deva richa, poetry contains all: it contains love, it contains prayer, it contains meditation, and much more. All that is divine, all that is beautiful, all that can take you to the transcendental, is contained in poetry.

Poetry is not just poetry: poetry is essential religion. Poetry means a state of being where the mind is no longer interfering between you and existence; when there is communion between you and existence -- direct, immediate; when you are suddenly possessed by the whole, where you disappear as a separate entity and the whole starts speaking through you, starts dancing through you; where you become a hollow bamboo and the whole transforms you into a flute.
Poetry is the whole descending into the part, the ocean disappearing into the dewdrop. Poetry is a miracle.

And when I use the word poetry my fingers are not pointing to the Shakespeares, the Kalidases; they are only partial poets. Yes, they knew certain moments of poetry, but they are not poets. They had a few glimpses when the doors of the unknown were open to them, they had some access to the deepest sources of life, but those moments were sheer gifts from the unknown. They knew nothing of how to reach them, they knew nothing about how the whole reached them. It was almost a state of unconsciousness. It happened in a dream, just as it has happened to you in a dream. They were dreamers.

All the so-called great poets of the world, great painters, musicians, sculptors, they were all dreamers. Yes, they had a few glimpses in their dreams: something infiltrated, here and there a ray of light was able to pass through the dream barrier, and even that single ray was enough to create a Shakespeare or a Kalidas. But that's not what I am pointing to.

When I say poetry, I mean that which flowed through the buddhas. That is true poetry. Buddha is not a dreamer, Atisha is not a dreamer; if they are anything they are awakened people. Dreams have disappeared, evaporated. Now it is not only a glimpse of truth that comes to them unawares, possesses them, and then leaves them empty, spent, exhausted....

The ordinary poet simply hops; for a moment he is off the ground, but only for a moment, and then he is back on the ground again.

A buddha has wings -- he does not hop. He knows how to go to the farthest star. He knows the way to approach the unknown, he has the key to unlock the doors to the mysterious. He is a master. And then something starts flowing through him which is not his own. He is only a medium: he is possessed. Then whatsoever he says is poetry; or, even if he keeps silent, his silence is poetry. His silence has tremendous music in it; whether he speaks or not doesn't matter. Speaking, he speaks poetry; not speaking, he remains poetry. He is surrounded by poetry: he walks in poetry, he sleeps in poetry, poetry is his very soul, it is his essential being.

How does this poetry happen? It happens in surrender, it happens when the part gathers enough courage to surrender to the whole, when the dewdrop slips into the ocean and becomes the ocean.

Surrender is a very paradoxical state: on one hand you disappear, on the other hand you appear for the first time in your infinite glory, in your multidimensional splendor. Yes, the dewdrop is gone, and gone forever; there is no way to recapture it, to reclaim it. The dewdrop has died as a drop, but in fact the dewdrop has become the ocean, has become oceanic. It still exists, no more as a finite entity, but as something infinite, shoreless, boundless.

This is the meaning of the myth of the phoenix. He dies, he is utterly burned, reduced to ashes, and then suddenly he is reborn out of the ashes -- resurrection. The phoenix represents Christ: crucifixion and resurrection. The phoenix represents Buddha: death as an ego, and a new birth as utter egolessness. It represents all those who have known; to know means to be a phoenix. Die as you are, so that you can be that which you really are! Die in all your inauthenticity, phoniness, separation from existence.
We go on believing that we are separate. We are not, not even for a single moment. In spite of your belief, you are one with the whole. But your belief can create nightmares for you; it is bound to create them. To believe that "I am separate" means to create fear.

If you are separate from the whole, you can never get rid of fear, because the whole is so vast and you are so small, so tiny, so atomic, and you constantly have to fight the whole so that it does not absorb you. You have to be constantly alert, on guard, so the ocean does not simply take you in. You have to protect yourself behind walls and walls and walls. All this effort is nothing but fear. And then you are constantly aware that death is reaching you and death is going to destroy your separation. That's what death is all about: death is the whole claiming the part back. And you are afraid that death will come and you will die. How to live long? How to attain a kind of deathlessness? Man tries it in many ways. To have children is one of the ways, hence the continuous urge to have children. The root of this desire to have children has nothing to do with children at all, it has something to do with death.

You know you will not be able to be here forever; howsoever you try, you are going to fail, you know it, because millions have failed and nobody has ever succeeded. You are hoping against hope. Then find some other ways. One of the simplest ways, the most ancient way, is to have children: you will not be here, but something of you, a particle of you, a cell of you, will go on living. That is a vicarious way of becoming immortal.

Now science is finding far more sophisticated ways -- because your child may look a little bit like you, or may not look like you at all, and he will only be just a little bit like you; there is no intrinsic necessity for him to appear exactly like you. So now science has found ways to duplicate you. Some of your cells can be preserved, and when you die, a duplicate can be created out of those cells. And the duplicate will be exactly like you; not even twins are so alike. If you meet your duplicate you will be surprised: he will be exactly like you, absolutely like you.

Now they say that to be safer, a duplicate can be created while you are alive, and the duplicate can be kept in deep freeze, so if some accident happens, if you die in a car accident, you can be immediately replaced. Your wife will never be able to detect it, your children will never come to know that this daddy is just an imitation, because he will be exactly like you.

Men have tried in other ways also, far more sophisticated than this one. Write books, paint pictures, compose great symphonies: you will be gone but the music will remain; you will be gone, but your signature will be there on the book; you will be gone, but the sculpture that you created will be there. It will remind people of you, you will persist in their memories. You will not be able to walk on the earth, but you will be able to walk in people's memories. It is better than nothing. Become famous, leave some marks in the history books -- of course they will be only footnotes, but still, something is better than nothing.

Man has been trying, down the ages, somehow to have some kind of immortality. The fear of death is so much, it haunts you your whole life.

The moment you drop the idea of separation, the fear of death disappears. Hence I call this state of surrender the most paradoxical. You die of your own accord and then you cannot die at all, because the whole never dies, only its parts are being replaced. But if you become one with the whole, you will live forever: you will go beyond birth and death.

That's the search for nirvana, enlightenment, moksha, the kingdom of God -- the state of deathlessness. But the condition that has to be fulfilled is very frightening. The condition is: first you have to die as a separate entity. That's what surrender is all about: dying as a separate entity, dying as an ego. And in fact it is nothing to be worried about, because you are not separate, it is only a belief. So only the belief dies, not you. It is only a notion, an idea.

It is as if you have seen a rope in the darkness of the night, and you have got the notion that it is a snake, and you are escaping from the snake in tremendous fear, trembling, perspiring. And then somebody comes along and says, "Don't be worried. I have seen it in daylight, and I know perfectly well that it is only a rope. If you don't trust me, ihi passiko, come with me! I will show you that it is only a rope!"

And that's what the buddhas have been doing down the ages: "Ihi passiko, come with me! Come and see!" They take the rope in their hand and they show you that this is only a rope, the snake was never there in the first place. All fear disappears, you start laughing. You start laughing at yourself, at how foolish you have been. You have been escaping from something which never existed in the first place! But whether it existed or not, those drops of perspiration were real; the fear, the trembling, the heartbeat going faster, the blood pressure -- all those things were real.

Unreal things can trigger real things, remember it. If you think they are real, they function for you as reality -- only for you. It is a dream reality, but it can affect you, it can affect your whole life, your whole lifestyle.

The ego is not there. The moment you become a little alert, aware, conscious, you will not find the ego at all. It will be a rope that you had misconceived as a snake; you will not find the snake anywhere.
Death does not exist, death is unreal. But you create it: you create it by creating separation. Surrender means dropping the idea of separation: death disappears automatically, fear is found no more, and your whole flavor of life changes. Then each moment is such crystal purity, a purity of delight, joy, bliss. Then each moment is eternity. And to live that way is poetry, to live moment-to-moment without the ego is poetry. To live without the ego is grace, is music; to live without the ego is to live, to really live. That life I call poetry: the life of one who is surrendered to existence.

And remember, let me repeat it again: when you surrender to existence you are not surrendering anything real. You are simply surrendering a false notion, you are simply surrendering an illusion, you are surrendering maya. You are surrendering something that you never had with you in the first place. And by surrendering that which you don't have, you attain to that which you have.

And to know that "I am at home, I always have been and I always will be," is a great moment of relaxation. Knowing that "I am not an outsider, I am not alienated, I am not uprooted," that "I belong to existence and the existence belongs to me," all becomes calm and quiet and still. This stillness is surrender.

The word surrender gives you a very very wrong idea, as if you are surrendering something. You are not surrendering anything; you are simply dropping a dream, you are simply dropping something arbitrary that the society had created.

The ego is needed, it has certain functions to fulfill in the society. Even when one is surrendered to God, one goes on using the word 'I' -- but now it is only something utilitarian, nothing existential. He knows he is not; he uses the word because not using it will be unnecessarily creating trouble for others, it will make communication impossible. It is already impossible! It will be more difficult to communicate with people. So it is just an arbitrary device. If you know it is a device, arbitrary, utilitarian, useful, but nothing existential, then it never creates any problem for you.

Richa, your dream has given you a glimpse, your dream has allowed you to see something, something you may not be allowing while you are awake. It sometimes happens. The conscious mind is more egoistic, obviously; the ego never penetrates into the unconscious. The society can only teach the conscious; the society cannot teach the unconscious, at least not yet -- they are trying hard.

In Soviet Russia particularly, they are trying hard to teach the unconscious. And unfortunately they are succeeding. They are teaching people while they are asleep. When you are asleep your conscious is no longer functioning; your unconscious functions. Now, in Russia particularly, they are doing great experiments in teaching people while they are asleep. It can be done, it is being done.

This is one of the great dangers that the future generations will have to face. If the politicians have gadgets with them which can teach people while they are asleep, then there will never be any possibility of rebellion.

While he is asleep, you can make a person a communist, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Mohammedan, and because it will be in his unconscious he will be absolutely unable to go beyond it. He will not be able to get rid of it, because the unconscious is nine times more powerful than the conscious. The conscious is only the tip of the iceberg: one tenth of your mind in conscious, nine tenths is unconscious. If the politician can reach the unconscious, then humanity is doomed. Then children will be taught while they are asleep. Even sleep will not be your own and private; even sleep will not be a personal thing, it will be owned by the state. You will not even be allowed to dream private dreams; the state will decide what dreams you can dream -- because you may be dreaming some anti-state dreams, and the state cannot afford them. Your dreams can be manipulated, your unconscious can be manipulated, but fortunately it has not happened yet.

You may be the last generation which has the possibility to rebel. And if you don't rebel, there may be no more chances: humanity can be reduced to a robotlike existence. So rebel while there is still time! I don't think there is much time left, maybe just this last part of the century, these coming twenty or twenty-five years. If humanity can rebel in these next twenty-five years, this is the last opportunity; otherwise people will be utterly unable to, their unconscious will dominate them. Up to now, the society has only been able to pollute your conscious mind -- through education, through the church, through propaganda -- but only your conscious mind; your unconscious is still free.

It happens more often that you are closer to the truth, closer to reality, when you are deeply asleep. It is very strange, it should not be so; you should be closer to reality while you are awake. But your wakefulness is no longer yours; it is Hindu, it is Christian, it is Mohammedan, it is no longer yours; society has already impinged upon it, interfered with it, distorted it. But the unconscious is still yours.

Hence psychoanalysis became so interested in your dreams, because in your dreams you are truer. In your dreams you are less false, in your dreams all the censors of the society disappear. In your dreams you are saying things as they are, seeing things as they are, seeing yourself as you are. The moment you are awake, you start pretending. Your wakefulness is a long long pretension.

Hence sleep is so relaxing, because to be continuously on guard and say the things which are supposed to be said, and do the things which the society requires to be done, is tiring, very tiring. One needs to fall into deep sleep every day for eight hours to get rid of all this, to be natural again, to forget the society and the nightmare and the hell that it has created.

The more alert you become, the more watchful you are, the more free from the bondage of the society and its clutches, then only your body will need sleep, and even in your sleep there will continue an undercurrent of awareness. Your mind will not need any sleep; there is no intrinsic necessity for it to go to sleep, it is a created necessity.

When your mind is clear, untethered, free, you will have less and less need for the mind to go to sleep. And then a miracle happens: if you can remain alert even while the body is asleep, you will know for the first time that you are separate from the body. The body is asleep and you are awake: how can you both be identical, how can you both be one? You will see the difference; the difference is so vast.

The body belongs to the earth, you belong to the sky. The body belongs to matter, you belong to God. The body is gross, you are not. The body has limits, is born and will die; you are never born and you will never die. This becomes your own experience, not a belief.

Belief is fear-oriented. You would like to believe that you are immortal, but belief is just a belief, something pseudo, painted from the outside. Experience is totally different: it wells up within you, it is your own. And the moment you know, nothing can ever shake your knowing, nothing can destroy your knowing. The whole world may be against it, but you will still know that you are separate. The whole world may say there is no soul, but you will know there is. The whole world may say there is no God, but you will smile -- because the experience is self-validating, it is self-evident.

Richa, your dream may be very significant. What you have not allowed in your waking consciousness has sprung up in your dreaming consciousness. A ray of light has entered you.

In the West, before Freud, waking consciousness was thought to be the only consciousness; not so in the East -- even after Freud, although dreaming consciousness has been accepted as valuable, one thing has still not yet happened: dreamless sleep is still ignored. This is not so in the East. The East has always accepted waking consciousness as the most superficial, dreaming consciousness as far deeper and more significant, and sleeping consciousness as even deeper, even more significant than dreaming consciousness. The West needs yet another Freud to introduce sleep as the most significant part.
But the East knows something still more. There is a point, the fourth state of consciousness. It is called turiya, simply "the fourth"; it has no other name. Turiya means the fourth. When waking, dreaming and sleep all disappear, one is simply a witness. You cannot call it waking, because this witness never sleeps; you cannot call it dreaming, because for this witness no dream ever appears; you cannot call it sleep, because this witness never sleeps. It is eternal awareness. This is the bodhichitta of Atisha, this is Christ-consciousness, this is buddhahood, enlightenment.

So always be careful. Be more careful of your dreams than your waking, be more careful again of your dreamless sleep than of dreaming. And remember that you have to search for the fourth, because only the fourth is the ultimate. With the fourth you have arrived home. Now there is nowhere to go.
Richa, you say you have forgotten all about the dream, but only remembered one phrase, "Poetry is surrender." That is the very essence of my teaching. The most fundamental thing about my message to the world is, poetry is surrender -- and vice versa, surrender is poetry.

I would like my sannyasins, all of my sannyasins, to be creative -- poets, musicians, painters, sculptors, and so on and so forth. In the past, the sannyasins of all the religions have lived a very uncreative life. They were respected for their uncreativity, and because of this uncreativity they have not added any beauty to the world. They have been a burden; they have not brought something of paradise to the earth. In fact they have been destructive -- because you can either be creative, or you are bound to be destructive. You cannot remain neutral; either you have to affirm life with all its joys, or you start condemning life.

The past has been a long long drawn-out nightmare of destructive attitudes, life-negative approaches. I teach you life-affirmation! I teach you reverence for life. I teach you not renunciation but rejoicing. Become poets! And when I say become poets, I don't mean that you all have to become Shakespeares, Miltons and Tennysons. If I come across Shakespeare and Milton and Tennyson, then too I will say please become poets -- because they are only dreaming about poetry.

Real poetry happens in the fourth state of consciousness. All the great so-called poets have only been dreamers; they were confined to the second state of consciousness. Prose remains confined to the first -- waking consciousness, and your poetry is confined to the second.

The poetry I am talking about is possible only in the fourth. When you have become fully alert, clear, when there is no mind any more, then whatsoever you do will be poetry, whatsoever you do will be music. And even if you don't do a thing, poetry will surround you, it will be your fragrance, it will be your very presence.

Richa, you ask me: "Since then I have been wondering what poetry has to do with surrender, and vice versa, and how poetry can be a path like love, prayer and meditation."

Love is a path, prayer is a path, meditation is a path, because they are ways to poetry. Anything that leads you to God is bound to lead you to poetry. The man of God can be nothing but a poet. He will sing a song, not his own any more of course: he will sing God's song. He will give utterance to the silence of God, he will be a mouthpiece to the whole.

I teach you meditation, prayer, love, only because they all take you to the center. And the center is poetry. They are all ways to poetry. To dissolve yourself in poetry is to dissolve yourself in God -- and certainly without surrender it is not possible. If you remain too much, God cannot happen. You have to be absent for him to become a presence in you.
Die, so that you can be.

The second question:

Beloved Osho, Utter confusion is my part. Good and bad have ceased to exist. I am neither proud nor ashamed and yet I am both. Whatever I have achieved seems lost in a fog, resolved together with my failures. Like smoke I feel, but through the smoke a tremendous sadness arises like a sharp rock with a velvet covering. Osho, I cannot perceive the end of it _ or is there no end? Is it ecstasy carrying the weight of impurity. Please, Osho, give me sannyas.

Ronald Salomonson, confusion is a great opportunity. The problem with people who are not confused is great -- they think they know, and they know not. The people who believe that they have clarity are really in great trouble; their clarity is very superficial. In fact they know nothing of clarity; what they call clarity is just stupidity.

Idiots are very very clear -- clear in the sense that they do not have the intelligence to feel confusion. To feel confusion needs great intelligence. Only the intelligent ones feel confusion; otherwise the mediocres go on moving in life, smiling, laughing, accumulating money, struggling for more power and fame. If you see them you will feel a little jealous; they look so confident, they even look happy.

If they are succeeding, if their money is increasing and their power is increasing and their fame is
growing, you will feel a little jealous. You are so confused and they are so clear about their life; they have a direction, they have a goal, they know how to attain it, and they are managing, they are already achieving, they are climbing the ladder. And you are just standing there, confused about what to do, what not to do, what is right and what is wrong. But this has always been so; the mediocre remains certain. It is only for the more intelligent to feel confusion, chaos.

Confusion is a great opportunity. It simply says that through the mind there is no way. If you are really confused -- as you say, "I am utterly confused" -- if you are really confused, you are blessed. Now something is possible, something immensely valuable; you are on the verge. If you are utterly confused, that means the mind has failed; now the mind can no longer supply any certainty to you. You are coming closer and closer to the death of the mind.

And that is the greatest thing that can happen to any man in life, the greatest blessing -- because once you see that the mind is confusion and there is no way out through the mind, how long can you go on clinging to the mind? Sooner or later you will have to drop it; even if you don't drop it, it will drop of its own accord. Confusion will become so much, so heavy, that out of sheer heaviness it will drop. And when the mind drops, confusion disappears.

I cannot say that you attain to certainty, no, because that too is a word applicable only to the mind and the world of the mind. When there is confusion, there can be certainty; when confusion disappears, certainty also disappears. You simply are -- clear, neither confused nor certain, just a clarity, a transparency. And that transparency has beauty, that transparency is grace, it is exquisite.
It is the most beautiful moment in one's life when there is neither confusion nor certainty. One simply is, a mirror reflecting that which is, with no direction, going nowhere, with no idea of doing something, with no future, just utterly in the moment, tremendously in the moment.

When there is no mind there can be no future, there can be no program for the future. Then this moment is all, all in all; this moment is your whole existence. The whole existence starts converging on this moment, and the moment becomes tremendously significant. It has depth, it has height, it has mystery, it has intensity, it has fire, it has immediacy, it grips you, it possesses you, it transforms you.
But I cannot give you certainty; certainty is given by ideology. Certainty is nothing but patching up your confusion. You are confused. Somebody says, "Don't be worried," and says it very authoritatively, convinces you with arguments, with scriptures, and patches up your confusion, covers it with a beautiful blanket -- with The Bible, with the Koran, with the Gita. And you feel good; but it is temporary, because the confusion is boiling within. You have not got rid of it, it has only been repressed.

That's why people cling to beliefs, churches, scriptures, doctrines, systems of thought. Why do people invest so much in systems of thought? Why should somebody be a Christian or a Hindu? Why should somebody be a communist -- for what? There is a reason, a great reason too. Everybody is confused, and so somebody is needed to supply you with certainty. He can be the pope or he can be Mao Zedong, he can be Karl Marx or he can be Manu or Moses -- anybody will do. And whenever there are great times of crisis, any stupid person who has the stubbornness to shout, to argue, who can pretend certainty, will become your leader. That's how Adolf Hitlers, Josef Stalins and Mussolinis became important people.
People have always been wondering why Adolf Hitler was able to dominate a great intelligent race like the Germans. Why? It appears a paradox that a man like Martin Heidegger, one of the greatest thinkers of this age, was a supporter of Adolf Hitler. The great professors of the great German universities supported Adolf Hitler. Why? How was it possible?

And Adolf Hitler is just a stupid person, uneducated, unsophisticated. But he has something in him that the professors were lacking, that intelligent people were lacking, that the Martin Heideggers were lacking. He has something in him which no intelligent person can have: he has absolute certainty. He is idiotic -- but he can say things with no ifs and no buts; he can make statements as if he knows. He is a madman, but his madness had great impact. It changed the whole course of human history.

It is not a surprise that the Germans became so interested and impressed by him. They were intelligent people, some of the most intelligent people on the earth, and intelligence always brings confusion. That is the secret of Adolf Hitler's success. Intelligence brings confusion and confusion brings trembling, fear; one knows not where to go, what to do, and one starts looking for a leader. One starts searching for somebody who can say things with absoluteness, who can assert categorically.

The same has happened in India; it has happened just now. This is one of the most ancient countries of the world, with the longest tradition of thinking and contemplation, the longest tradition of philosophizing. No other country has philosophized so much. And then this country chooses a man like Morarji Desai as the prime minister -- a cabbage! But he has something in him -- the stubbornness of a mediocre mind, the absoluteness of stupidity. He has something important to supply.

Whenever people are in confusion they fall prey to third-rate minds. The first-rate minds fall prey to third-rate minds because the third-rate mind has no confusion. The third-rate mind knows that just by drinking your own urine all diseases can be cured -- even cancer is curable by drinking your own urine. It is only possible to assert this if you really are utterly unintelligent.

The intelligent person hesitates, ponders, wavers. The unintelligent never wavers, never hesitates. Where the wise will whisper, the fool simply declares from the housetops.

Lao Tzu says, "I may be the only muddle-headed man in the world. Everybody seems to be so certain, except me." He is right; he has such tremendous intelligence that he cannot be certain about anything.
I cannot promise you certainty if you drop the mind. I can promise you only one thing, that you will be clear. There will be clarity, transparency, you will be able to see things as they are. You will be neither confused nor certain. Certainty and confusion are two sides of the same coin.

But you are in a beautiful moment, and the world too is in a beautiful moment. Whenever there is a crisis of identity, whenever people don't know who they are, whenever the past loses its grip, whenever people are uprooted from the traditional, whenever the past no more seems relevant, this crisis arises, a great crisis of identity -- who are we? what are we supposed to do?

This opportunity can turn into a curse too, if you fall victim to some Adolf Hitler; but this curse can become a great opening into the unknown if you are fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of a buddha. If you are fortunate enough to be in love with a buddha, your life can be transformed.
People who are still rooted in tradition, and who think they know what is right and what is wrong, will never come to a buddha. They will continue to live their life -- the routine life, the dull, the dead life. They will go on fulfilling their duties as their forefathers used to do. For centuries they have been following a track and they will go on following that trodden track. Of course, when you follow a trodden track, you feel certain -- so many people have walked on it. But when you come to a buddha and you start moving into the unknown, there is no highway, no trodden path. You will have to make your own path by walking; the path will not be found readymade.

That's what I want each of my sannyasins to understand. You are not here to depend on me, you are not here to follow me, you are not here to simply accept me and believe in me. You are here to experiment; you have to move on your own. I can give you encouragement to move on your own, I can trigger a process of inquiry in you; but I will not give you a system of thought, I will not give you any certainty. I will only give you a pilgrimage -- a pilgrimage which is hazardous, a pilgrimage which has millions and millions of pitfalls, a pilgrimage in which you will have to face more and more dangers every day, a pilgrimage that will take you to the top of human consciousness, to the fourth state. But the higher you go, the more is the danger of falling.

I can only promise you a great adventure, risky, dangerous, with no promise that you will attain it -- because the unknown cannot be guaranteed.

So, Ronald, if you have come to me to find some remedy for your confusion, then you have come to the wrong person, I am not the right person to be with. But if you have come to drop confusion and certainty, and be free of the mind that can either give you confusion or certainty, if you have come to me to go on the ultimate adventure in search of God, if you have come to me to dare, to accept the challenge of the uncharted sea, the roaring waves, with no possibility of seeing the other shore, then you have come to the right person. Then much is possible. I only say "possible" -- I cannot say it is absolutely certain. It is always a possibility; you may be able to make it, you may not be able to make it, there is no guarantee. It is not a commodity which can be guaranteed; it is a gamble.

And if you are ready to gamble, enter into this buddhafield. No need to wait any longer -- you have already waited enough, for many many lives.

You ask me: "Please, Osho, give me sannyas." It is not a question of my giving you sannyas; it is a question of you taking it. Open your heart! I am always giving it. The question is of your receiving it, welcoming it.

You say: "Good and bad have ceased to exist." That is good, that's beautiful. Good and bad are all manmade, sinners and saints are all manmade. And they are not different at all; the difference is only superficial, very superficial, not even skin-deep. Scratch a little, and in your saint you will find the sinner.

This guy went to the pope and he said, "Hey pope, fuck you!"
The pope could not believe it. He said, "Me? The head of the Catholic Church? Me, the spiritual head of millions and millions? Me, the direct descendant of Jesus Christ? Me, the only representative of God on earth? Fuck me? Fuck YOU!"

There is not much difference. Just scratch a little, and you will find sinners in the saints and you will find saints in the sinners. All good, all bad, is just arbitrary, man-made.

It's a beautiful space you are entering. If good and bad have ceased to exist, so far, so GOOD! Now enter another dimension, not man-made, where distinctions are of no relevance, where nothing is good and nothing is bad, where whatsoever is is, and whatever ain't ain't. There is no question of good and bad; either something is or something is not. Good and bad are nothing but alternatives to be chosen -- either choose this, or choose that. They keep you in the division of either/or.

The moment you start seeing the hocus-pocusness of all good and bad, when you start seeing that they are socially manufactured things.... Of course they are utilitarian, and I am not saying to go into the marketplace and behave as if there is nothing good and nothing wrong. I am not saying to walk in the middle of the road, saying what does it matter whether one walks on the right or the left.

When you are with people, remember, for them good and bad still exist. Be respectful to them and their dreams. It is not for you to disturb anybody's dream. Who are you? It is not for you to interfere. Be polite to people and their stupidities, be polite to them and their games. But all the time remember, deep down nothing is good, nothing is bad.

Existence is simply there; there is nothing to choose between. And remember, when there is nothing to choose between, you will become undivided. When there is something to choose between, it divides you too. Division is a double-edged sword: it divides reality outside, it divides you inside. If you choose, you choose division, you choose to be split, you choose schizophrenia. If you don't choose, if you know there is nothing good, nothing bad, you choose sanity.

Not choosing anything is choosing sanity, not choosing is to be sane, because now there is no division outside, how can you be divided inside? The inside and the outside go together. You become indivisible, you become an individual. This is the process of individuation. Nothing is good, nothing is bad. When this dawns in your consciousness, suddenly you are together, all fragments have disappeared into one unity. You are crystallized, you are centered.

This is one of the greatest contributions of Eastern consciousness to the world. The Western religions still go on hanging around the idea of good and bad. That's why it is so difficult for the Christian to understand the Upanishads, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu; it is impossible for them to understand. They are always looking with the Christian mind, "Where are the commandments?" And there are none! The Upanishads never say what is good and what is wrong, they never say what to do and what not to do, they don't command. They are poetic assertions, they are poetry. They exult in existence, they are ecstatic, overflowing; they are just ecstatic ejaculations.

The Upanishads say, "God is, and you are that: tat tvam asi." The Upanishads say, "God is, and I am God." These are assertions arising out of ecstasy. They have no ethics, no morality, no reference even. The Christian mind, the Mohammedan mind, the Jewish mind, cannot understand why these books are thought to be religious. They may be good literature, but why are they thought to be religious?
And if you ask one who has reached the same ecstasy as the Upanishadic seers, he will say The Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, they are ethical, moral, but what do they have to do with religion? They are good, because they make a society move smoothly, but they have nothing religious in them -- or maybe only a few statements here and there. The major part is ethical; the religious part seems to be so small that it can be neglected, ignored. And it has been ignored.

To come to know that nothing is good, nothing is bad, is a turning point; it is a conversion. You start looking in; the outside reality loses meaning. The social reality is a fiction, a beautiful drama; you can participate in it, but then you don't take it seriously. It is just a role to be played; play it as beautifully, as efficiently, as possible. But don't take it seriously, it has nothing of the ultimate in it.
The ultimate is the inner; the indivisible soul knows it. And, to come to that soul, this is a good turning-point.

You say: "Good and bad have ceased to exist." This is the right moment to take sannyas, this is what sannyas is all about. Now there is no need to wait, now there is no need even to ask my permission. Sannyas is already happening. Enter into this buddhafield. Long you have waited -- too long, really.

I have heard: An old couple reached the divorce court. They were really ancient, ninety-five years old, and they had been married for seventy-five years. The judge could not believe his eyes. He said, "So you are thinking of divorce now, after seventy-five years of married life? Why NOW?"
They looked at each other, and then the old man said, "Well, we waited till all the children were dead."

People go on waiting and waiting and waiting.... Now, what a hope! There is no need to wait any more. You are welcome, you are ready. Even people who are not ready, I welcome them -- because those who are not ready today may be ready tomorrow. Those who are not ready when they take sannyas, may be ready after they have taken sannyas. And who am I to refuse you if God accepts you? I am nobody to refuse you.

That's why nobody is refused, no condition is made, nobody is thought to be unworthy. If God thinks you worthy of being alive, that's enough proof that you are also worthy of becoming a sannyasin.
You say: "I am neither proud nor ashamed and yet I am both." That's the state of confusion. You will find everything like that -- neither this nor that, yet both.

"Whatever I have achieved seems lost in a fog" -- you are really blessed -- "resolved together with my failures."

Many should feel jealous of you. To know that all has failed is the beginning of a new journey. To know that "All that I have achieved is lost" is the beginning of a new search for something that cannot be lost. When one is utterly disillusioned with the world and all its successes, only then does one become spiritual.

"Like smoke I feel, but through the smoke a tremendous sadness arises like a sharp rock with a velvet covering." It is bound to be so. When life has been lived through illusions and one day one suddenly feels all has been meaningless, useless -- "I was chasing shadows" -- a great sadness arises.
But I can see your perceptiveness. Sadness is there, but "with a velvet covering." Yes, sadness is there because of the past, and the velvet covering is what is possible; it only becomes possible now. Out of all this confusion is sadness; but because of this confusion and its utterness, deep down a new stirring is happening. You may not yet be aware of it, but something is stirring, a new joy is arising behind the curtain of sadness -- a joy of a new search, of a new adventure, of a new life, of a new way to be.
"Osho, I can't perceive the end of it -- or is there no end?" There is a beginning of the mind and there is an end of the mind, there is a beginning of the ego and there is an end of the ego, but there is no beginning to you and no end to you. And there is no beginning to the mystery of existence and no end to you. It is an ongoing process. Mysteries upon mysteries are waiting for you, hence the thrill and the ecstasy.

Feel ecstatic that there is no end to life, that when you have reached one peak, suddenly another peak starts giving you challenges -- a higher one, a more arduous climb, a more dangerous reach. And when you have reached the other peak, there will be another peak; peaks upon peaks. It is an eternal Himalayas of life.

Just think of a point where you arrive, and now there is nothing else left. You will be utterly bored then; boredom will be your only fate then! And life is not boredom, it is a dance. Life is not boredom, it is exultation, exuberance.

Many many things are going to happen, and many many things will always remain to happen. The mystery never ends, it cannot end. That's why it is called a mystery, it cannot even be known. It will never become knowledge, that's why it is called a mystery; something in it is eternally elusive. And that's the whole joy of life. The great splendor of life is that it keeps you eternally engaged, searching, exploring. Life is exploration, life is adventure.

You ask: "Osho, I can't perceive the end of it or is there no end?" There is an end to you, but there is no end to the real you.
"Is it ecstasy carrying the weight of impurity?" There is no impurity anywhere. All is pure. Impurity is just a shadow of the confusion that you are feeling right now. When the confusion and the confusing mind are dropped, the shadows will disappear of their own accord.

Your innermost core has always been pure; purity is intrinsic to you, it cannot be taken away. Your virginity is eternal; you cannot lose it, there is no way to lose it. You can only forget about it or remember it. If you forget about it, you live in confusion; if you remember it, all is clear. Again, I will not say "certain," but just "clear." All is transparent. That transparency is freedom, that transparency is wisdom. This transparency is your birthright; if you are not claiming it, nobody else is responsible except you. Claim it! It is yours. It is yours just for the asking.

Sannyas is an effort to reclaim that which is yours and to drop that which is not yours. Sannyas is an effort to drop that which you really don't have, and to claim that which you always had with you all along.
Ecstasy is our very nature; not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary. To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous. It needs no effort to be ecstatic, it needs great effort to be miserable. That's why you look so tired, because misery is really hard work; to maintain it is really difficult, because you are doing something against nature. You are going upstream -- that's what misery is.

And what is bliss? Going with the river -- so much so that the distinction between you and the river is simply lost. You are the river. How can it be difficult? To go with the river no swimming is needed; you simply float with the river and the river takes you to the ocean. The river is already going to the ocean.
Life is a river. Don't push it and you will not be miserable. The art of not pushing the river of life is sannyas.

Ronald, you are ready. This moment of confusion, this moment of chaos in your life, can open a new door, can turn a new leaf. Don't wait any more.

Enough for today.