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Chapter 7

Learning the Knack
(This chapter Title does not exist in the new Edition. The questions and answers of this chapter are covered in the end of Chapter 2 under "Responses to questions", in the new edition)

The first question:

Beloved Osho,

My mind has difficulty understanding the existence (concept) of beginninglessness. Would You please talk about it?

Prem Viraj, reality is indefinable. Reality simply is; there is no way to say what it is. It is not a "what," it is not even a "that," it is this. It is this-ness: you can experience it, but it cannot be explained.
And reality is beginningless and endless. The mind has a beginning and an end, hence the mind and reality cannot meet. The mind cannot comprehend the eternal. The mind exists in time, in fact the mind is time; it exists in the past and the future. And remember, time consists of only two tenses, the past and the future. The present is not part of time, the present is part of eternity.

Hence the mind is never found in the present. It is always wavering, either towards the past or towards the future. It moves into that which is not, or into that which is not yet. Its whole skill consists in dreaming. It is rooted in the nonexistential, hence it cannot understand existence itself. It is like darkness. How can darkness comprehend light? How can death comprehend life? If death can comprehend life then death will have to be life. If darkness has to comprehend light then darkness will have to be light.

And so is the case with the mind. If the mind wants to comprehend reality, it will have to come out of the past and the future. But coming out of the past and the future, it is no longer the mind at all. Hence the insistence of all the great masters of the world that the door to reality is no-mind.

Slip out of the mind, and you will know what it is: the beginningless, the endless. Remain confined to the mind, and you will be puzzled; reality remains inconceivable.

I cannot explain it to you, because in explaining I will have to use the mind. Trying to understand it, you will have to use the mind. I can be silent with you, and if you can also be silent with me then there is understanding. Understanding is not of the mind. Then there is great intelligence, great insight. Suddenly you know, and you know from a totally different center of your being; you know from the heart. Your knowing has the quality of love, not of knowledge. Your knowing has the quality of transcendence. It is no longer scientific knowledge, reducible to concepts. It is poetic vision, it is mystic experience.

if you really want to understand, you will have to lose the mind. You will have to pay the price of losing the mind. But if you insist, "I have to understand through the mind," then only one thing is possible. The mind will convince you, slowly slowly, that there is nothing which is beginningless, nothing which is endless, nothing which is indefinable, nothing which is unknowable.
The mind will reduce your experience to the measurable, the fathomable, the knowable -- and the knowable is ordinary, mundane. The unknowable is sacred. And only with the unknowable does life become a benediction, only with the unknowable are you thrilled with the wonder of life and existence. Suddenly a song is born in your heart -- a song that cannot be contained, a song that starts overflowing, a song that starts reaching others. A dance is born in you -- a dance that has to be shared, a dance about which you cannot be miserly, a dance that makes you generous. A love is born in you -- a love that is so infinite that it can fill the whole infinite existence. That is real understanding. But it happens only when the mind is dropped.
Don't try to do the impossible. Trying to understand reality through the mind is like pulling yourself up by your own shoestrings. Maybe you can hop a little bit, but that hopping is not going to help; you will be back on the ground again and again, and it will be very tiring. Just by pulling your own shoestrings you cannot fly into the sky; that is not going to give you wings.
Slowly slowly, learn the art of contacting reality without the mind interfering. Sometimes when the sun is setting, just sit there looking at the sun, not thinking about it -- watching, not evaluating, not even saying, "How beautiful it is!" The moment you say something, the mind has come in.

The mind consists of language. Don't use language. Can't you just see the sunset and its beauty? Can't you be overwhelmed by its beauty? Can't you be possessed by its grandeur? What is the point of bringing language in? Nobody is asking you to say anything. The sun does not understand your language, the clouds that have become so beautiful and luminous in the setting sun are unable to understand your language. Why bring it in? Put it aside; be in direct contact, be thrilled. If tears come to your eyes, good. If you start dancing, good. Or if you simply remain unmoving, stoned on the beauty of the sun, intoxicated, you will have gained a little experience -- a little experience that goes very far, a little glimpse of no-mind.

And there are a thousand and one situations every day. Holding the hand of your woman or your man, there is no need to talk. People are continuously talking -- yakkety-yakkety-yakkety. And the reason why they are talking is that they are afraid to be silent, they are afraid to see the truth, they are afraid to see their utter emptiness, they are afraid to expose themselves, they are afraid to look deep into the other. Continuous talking keeps them on the surface, occupied, engaged.

Holding the hand of your woman or man, why not sit silently? Why not close your eyes and feel? Feel the presence of the other, enter into the presence of the other, let the other's presence enter into you; vibrate together, sway together; if suddenly a great energy possesses you, dance together -- and you will reach to such orgasmic peaks of joy as you have never known before. Those orgasmic peaks have nothing to do with sex, in fact they have much to do with silence.

And if you can also manage to become meditative in your sex life, if you can be silent while making love, in a kind of dance, you will be surprised. You have a built-in process to take you to the farthest shore.
People make love in such an ugly way that if children sometimes see their parents making love, they think they are wrestling, fighting -- that Daddy is going to kill Mum! Groaning, breathing in an ugly way, violent, their movements have no elegance. It is not a dance; certainly it is not a dance.

And unless it becomes a dance it will remain very very physiological; it won't have any spirituality in it. But it is impossible. Unless your whole life is saturated with those moments that come when the mind ceases, your love life cannot move into silence.
The night is full of stars. Lie down on the earth, disappear into the earth. We come from the earth, one day we will be going back to the earth to rest forever. At night sometimes, lying on the lawn, disappear into the earth. Look at the stars -- just look, a pure look. Don't start thinking about the names of the stars, the names of the constellations. Forget all that you know about stars, put aside all your knowledge, just see the stars. And suddenly there will be a communion; the stars will start pouring their light into you, and you will feel an expanding of consciousness. No drug can do it.

Drugs are very artificial, arbitrary and harmful methods to know something which is naturally available, which is easily available, beneficially available. Just watching the stars, you will start feeling high, you will start soaring high.
Make as much as you can of all the opportunities that life and existence allow you. Never miss a single opportunity when you can drop the mind, and slowly slowly you will know the knack of it. It is a knack -- it is certainly not a science, because it has no fixed methods.

Somebody may be thrilled by the stars, somebody may not be. Somebody may be thrilled by the flowers, somebody else may not be affected at all. People are so different that there is no way of determining it in a scientific way; it is not a science. It is not even an art, because an art can be taught.

So I insist on the word knack. It is a knack. You have to learn it by doing a few experiments with yourself. And once you have the knack... and everybody can have it, because every child is born with it. Every child brings wondering eyes into existence. Soon we force dust into his eyes; we cover his pure mirror with dust. Sooner or later, he becomes knowledgeable -- and the sooner he does, the more happy we are. Our happiness is really in poisoning the child.

If the child sees that the parents are very happy because he has become knowledgeable, he starts gathering more and more knowledge. He starts forgetting the knack that he had brought with him into this life, that was inborn. By the time he comes out of the university he has completely forgotten one of the most beautiful things that was given to him by God: the capacity to wonder, the capacity to see without thinking, the capacity to contact reality without the mind continuously interfering, distorting.
You will have to regain it.

The sage is the person who regains his childhood; hence he is called "the twice born." Jesus says, "Unless ye are born again, you will not be able to enter into my kingdom of God." And the kingdom of God is here, but you have to be reborn -- reborn as a no-mind.

And I am not saying that when you are reborn as a no-mind you cannot use the mind. The mind has its limited uses. Use it. When you are working in your office, I am not telling you to be a no-mind. When you are working in your shop or in the factory, I am not saying to be a no-mind. I am saying be perfectly a mind. Use the mind but don't carry it continuously, twenty-four hours, day in and day out, with yourself. Don't go on dragging it. Use it as you use a chair. You don't go on carrying your chair everywhere, wherever you go, just because you may need it.
The mind is a beautiful instrument if you know how to be a no-mind too.

the mind is impotent, incapable of knowing the beginningless and the endless. The mind exists between birth and death; it knows nothing beyond birth and beyond death.
You were here before you were born, and you will be here after you are dead. The mind has a very limited existence, very momentary -- one day it comes, another day it is gone. You are forever. Have some experience of your forever-ness.
But that is possible only through no-mind. No-mind is another name for meditation.

The second question:


Sarjano, this simple word "yes" contains all the religions of the world. It contains trust, it contains love, it contains surrender. It contains all the prayers that have ever been done, are being done, and will ever be done. If you can say yes with the totality of your heart, you have said all that can be said. To say yes to existence is to be religious, to say no is to be irreligious.

That's my definition of the atheist and the theist. The atheist is not one who denies God, and the theist is not one who believes in God -- not necessarily so, because we have seen great theists who never believed in any God. We have known Buddha, Mahavira, Adinatha: we have known tremendously enlightened people who never talked about God. But they also talked about yes; they had to talk about yes.

God can be dropped as an unnecessary hypothesis, but yes cannot be dropped. Yes is the very spirit of God. And yes can exist without God, but God cannot exist without yes. God is only the body, yes is the soul.

There are people who believe in God and yet I will call them atheists, because their belief has no yes behind it. Their belief is bogus, their belief is formal; their belief is given by others, it is borrowed. Their parents, priests and teachers have taught them that God is; they have made them so much afraid that they cannot even question the existence of God. And they have given them promises of great things if they believe in God. There will be great rewards in heaven if you believe, and great punishments in hell if you don't believe.

Fear and greed have been exploited. The priest has behaved with you almost like the psychologist behaves with the rats upon which he goes on experimenting. The rats in psychological experiments are controlled by punishment and reward. Reward them, and they start learning the thing for which they are rewarded; punish them, and they start unlearning the thing for which they are punished.

The priests have behaved with men as if men are rats. Psychologists are not the first to dehumanize humanity; priests were the pioneers. First the priests behaved with men as if they were rats, now the psychologists are behaving with rats as if they are men. But the process is the same, the technique exactly the same.

There are people who are theists -- believers in God, churchgoers, worshippers -- and yet in their hearts there is no yes; in their hearts there is doubt. On the surface they behave religiously, deep down they are suspicious. And it is the depth that determines you. It is not what you do that is decisive, it is what you feel at the deepest core of your being that determines you, that creates you. And there are atheists who go on saying there is no God, but they are not in any way different from the believers. Their disbelief has as much doubt in it as the belief of the believers.

In Soviet Russia, in China, and in other red countries, disbelief is the belief; not to believe is to be a conformist, to believe is to be a revolutionary. The state goes on teaching that there is no God. If people are taught continuously, conditioned continuously, they become whatsoever they are conditioned for. It is a kind of mass hypnosis.
Theists, atheists, both are victims. The really religious person has nothing to do with The Bible or the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita. The really religious person has a deep communion with existence. He can say yes to a roseflower, he can say yes to the stars, he can say yes to people, he can say yes to his own being, to his own desires. He can say yes to whatsoever life brings to him; he is a yea-sayer.
And in this yea-saying is contained the essential prayer.

The last words of Jesus on earth were: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Amen."
Do you know this word amen, what it means? It simply means "Yes, Lord, yes. Let thy will be done. Don't listen to what I say, I am ignorant. Don't listen to what I desire; my desires are stupid -- bound to be so. Go on doing whatsoever you feel right -- go on doing it in spite of me." That is the meaning of the word amen.
Mohammedans also end their prayer with amin -- it is the same word.

Sarjano, your (the) question is tremendously significant. First, it is not a question, hence it is significant. It is a declaration, it is a dedication, it is surrender, it is trust.
You say: "Beloved Osho, YES!"

This is the beginning of real sannyas.
If you can say yes with totality, with no strings attached to it, with no conditions, with no desire for any reward, if you can simply enjoy saying yes, if it is your dance, your song, then it is prayer. And all prayers reach God -- whether God is mentioned or not, whether you believe in God or not. All prayers reach God. To reach him, a prayer has only to be an authentic prayer.

But I would like to tell you that your yes should not only be a prayer. It should become your very lifestyle, it should become your flavor, your fragrance. Down the ages, religions have been teaching people life-negation, life-condemnation. Down the ages, religions have been telling you that you are sinners, that your bodies are the houses of sin, that you have to destroy your life in order to praise the Lord, that you have to renounce the world to be able to be accepted by the Lord. This is all holy cow dung, utter nonsense.

Life-affirmation, not life-negation, is religion -- because God is life, and there is no other God. God is the green of the trees and the red of the trees and the gold of the trees. God is all over the place. Only God is. To deny life means to deny God, to condemn life means to condemn God, to renounce life means you are thinking yourself wiser than God.

God has given you this life, this tremendously valuable gift, and you cannot even appreciate it. You cannot welcome it, you cannot feel any gratitude for it. On the contrary, you are complaining and complaining and complaining. Your heart is full of grudges, not gratitude.

But this is what you have been taught by the priests down the ages. Priests have lived on it; this has been their basic strategy to exploit people.

If life is lived in its totality, the priest is not needed at all. If you are already okay as you are, if life is beautiful as it is, what is the need for a priest? What is the need of a mediator between you and God? You are directly in contact with God: you are living in God, breathing in God, God is pulsating in you. The priest will be utterly useless, and so will be all his mumbo jumbo, his religion and scriptures. He can be significant only if he can create a rift between you and God. First the rift has to be created, then he can come and can tell you, "Now I am here, I can bridge the rift." But first the rift has to be there, only then can it be bridged.
And of course, you have to pay for it. When the priest does such great work bridging the rift, you have to pay for it. And in fact deep down, he is not interested in bridging it. He will only pretend that he is bridging it; the rift will remain. In fact he will make it more and more unbridgeable; the more unbridgeable it is, the more important he is. His importance consists in denying life, destroying life, making you renounce it.

I teach you a tremendous total yes to life. I teach you not renunciation but rejoicing. Rejoice! Rejoice! Again and again, I say rejoice! -- because in your rejoicing you will come closest to God.

When the dancer disappears in his dance, he is divine. When the singer disappears in his song, he is divine. Rejoice so deeply, so totally, that you disappear in your rejoicing: there is rejoicing, but there is nobody who is rejoicing. When it comes to such an optimum, there is a transformation, a revolution. You are no more the old dark ugly self. You are showered with blessings. For the first time you come to know your grandeur, the splendor of your being. Say yes to life, say a total yes to life. That's what sannyas is all about. I don't give you concepts, dogmas, creeds. I only give you a certain life-affirmative lifestyle, a philosophy of life reverence.

The third question:

Beloved Osho,

You told us that truth can’t be transmitted or transferred, it can be attained only by experience. Many years ago when I was converted to Catholicism and when I took the "Holy Communion," I had genuine, pure feelings of love for Jesus and felt I had attained the "Truth".

As I see it today, I simply fell victim to a vicious fallacy induced by the priests through a kind of self-hypnosis, and had adored and worshipped nothing more than a piece of bread. I had to face the fact that I had attained, by experience, the wrong truth.
How to distinguish between these cases of unconscious self-delusion and the “real thing?” How to avoid deception?

Farid, truth cannot be transferred, truth cannot be handed over to you by somebody else, because it is not a commodity. It is not a thing, it is an experience. In fact, the word experience is not exactly the right word. It will be truer to say that it is an experiencing; this is the first thing to be understood.

I have to use language which is already there, created by the centuries, with all kinds of fallacies in it -- obviously. Language is created for day-to-day use, language is created for the mundane world; as far as it goes, it is good. It is perfectly adequate for the marketplace, but as you start moving into deeper waters it becomes more and more inadequate -- not only inadequate, it starts becoming utterly wrong.

For example, think of these two words, experience and experiencing. When you use the word experience it gives you a sense of completion, as if something has come to a completion, as if the full stop has arrived. In life there are no full stops. Life knows nothing of full stops; it is an ongoing process, an eternal river. The goal never arrives; it is always arriving, but it never arrives. Hence the word experience is not right. It gives a false notion of completion, perfection; it makes you feel as if now you have arrived. ExperiencING is far more true.

In reference to true life all nouns are wrong, only verbs are true. When you say, "This is a tree," you are making a wrong statement existentially. Not linguistically, not grammatically, but existentially you are making a wrong statement, because the tree is not a static thing, it is growing. It is never in a state of is-ness, it is always becoming. In fact to call it a tree is not right: it is tree-ing. A river is rivering.

If you look deeply into life, nouns start disappearing, and there are only verbs. But that will create trouble in the marketplace. You cannot say to people, "I went to the rivering," or, "This morning I saw a beautiful treeing." They will think you have gone mad. Nothing is static in life, nothing is at rest.

A great scientist, Eddington, is reported to have said that the word rest has no corresponding reality to it, because nothing is ever at rest, everything is moving. It is all movement.
So let me say that truth is an experience in the sense of experiencing. You can never declare, you can never claim "I have it." You can only be humble about it -- "It is happening" -- and then you will not be deceived. The deception comes because you start claiming "I have it." Then the ego arises saying, "I have the truth. Only I have the truth, nobody else does. I have arrived." And the ego raises its head.

Truth is an experiencing. You cannot claim it, it is very mercurial. If you want to grab it, it will disappear from your fist. You can have it only with an open hand, not with a fist. When you make a noun out of it, you are trying to grab it in a fist; it will disappear. Let it remain a verb. Don't say, "I have arrived." Simply say, "The pilgrimage has started. I am a pilgrim, I am moving."

If the ego does not arise, nobody can deceive you. That is the second thing to be remembered. It is always the ego that deceives and is deceived. If you don't have any ego, there is no possibility of you ever being deceived. But if you have the ego, then others will deceive you. What to say of others? -- you will deceive yourself.

The ego is the fundamental deception; don't help it to grow in you, don't nourish it. And the greatest thing that nourishes it is experiences, particularly spiritual experiences. You have seen Christ, you have seen Buddha; you have seen kundalini rising in your spine, the serpent uncoiling; you have seen great light, you have seen a lotus flowering inside your head, you have seen the heart chakra opening, and all that crap -- beautiful sounding words, but only fools are deceived by them.

If fools disappear from the world, all esotericism will disappear. There will be great poetry, but no esotericism in it. There will be immense mystery, but no esotericism in it.

The third thing is that whenever you have some experience -- spiritual or otherwise, wise or otherwise -- whenever you have some experience, remember, you are not it. It is a content in consciousness -- and all contents have to be dropped. Only then does the mind disappear. The mind is nothing but all the contents together; the accumulation of contents is the mind.
Just look, watch. What is your mind? What is meant by the word mind? What exactly does it consist of? All your experiences, knowledge, the past, accumulated -- that is your mind. You may have a materialist's mind, you may have a spiritualist's mind, it doesn't matter a bit; the mind is the mind. The spiritual mind is as much a mind as the materialist mind. And we have to go beyond the mind.

Don't trust in the content -- watch it, and let it pass. And yes, sometimes the content is so tremendously enchanting, so hypnotizing, that one would like to cling to it. When spiritual, so-called spiritual, experiences start happening, it is really very tempting -- more tempting than anything in the world. When you see great light inside, it is so tempting to cling to it, to claim, "I have arrived" -- or at least to believe deep inside yourself, "I have arrived. While everybody else is groping in darkness, light has happened to me."

This is just a new kind of darkness, because you are again being caught, trapped, by the content. These two things have to be remembered: the content and the consciousness. The consciousness never becomes content, and the content never becomes consciousness. The consciousness is a pure mirror, it only reflects.

Now, what does it matter to the mirror whether a beautiful woman is standing before it, or an ugly woman? Do you think it matters? Do you think the mirror starts thinking of clinging to the reflection of a beautiful woman -- Sophia Loren? "Don't let her go, cling." Or do you think the mirror feels very repulsed if some ugly woman is there? It doesn't matter. What does it have to do with the mirror?

The mirror remains unaffected; it simply goes on reflecting whatsoever is the case. If it is darkness it reflects darkness, if it is morning it reflects morning. If somebody is dead it reflects death. If a child starts giggling, laughing, jumping, it reflects that. A roseflower is reflected with the same quality as it reflects a thorn; no distinction is made.
This state is really spiritual.

, you ask me: "How to distinguish between these cases of unconscious self-delusion and the real thing?"
The real thing never appears as a thing. The real thing is not a thing, the real thing is the mirrorlike consciousness.
Always remember, always and always: "I am the witness." Don't get identified with any content, otherwise you will be falling into error. If you become identified with any content, howsoever beautiful and spiritual it appears, you have gone wrong, you have gone astray.

And the temptation is certainly great. What to say when inside you see a great melody arising -- anahat, the soundless sound, the sound of one hand clapping? It is such a beautiful experience, one would like to be drowned in it for ever and ever. Or when suddenly inside, fragrances are released....

And remember, whatsoever can happen outside can happen inside too, because each sense has two doors to it, and each sense has two potential possibilities. One is for the outside, the other is for the inside. Your eyes can see light and colors and rainbows in the clouds, and the stars outside; and your eyes have another aspect, the other side of your eyes.

If you close your eyes and learn how to see within, you will be surprised. A far more beautiful sky opens its doors for you. A far more unbelievably beautiful world welcomes you; it has great splendor. You could never have imagined that things could ever be so beautiful. Stones turn into diamonds. Naturally, one would like to cling. Great treasures are there; one would like to hoard them. And there is nobody to compete with you; you are alone, and the whole kingdom is yours.

And just as your nose has the capacity to smell beautiful flowers, it has an inner capacity too. Once you turn in, you will come to smell fragrances which are not of this world -- and it is very natural to be caught by them.
But all these experiences are hindrances, obstacles. The real seeker when he moves inwards has to be more alert than he had ever been on the outside. He has to be really alert not to be caught by anything.
And I am not saying don't enjoy. Enjoy -- but remember that you are not it. Enjoy, it is your right to enjoy -- but remember: "I am the witness of it all." If that witnessing is remembered, you will never be "goofed," you will never be deceived. Otherwise you can be deceived again and again.

To summarize: the spiritual experience is not an experience, but experiencing. Second, experiencing is a content; and you are not the content, you are just a mirror. If this much is remembered, then there is no pitfall for you. Then your path is straight.

The fourth question:

Beloved Osho,

What is the secret of your finding the right name for each of your thousands of sannyasins?

To tell you the truth, there is no secret at all. Meditate on this story:

There were three wise men following a star, bearing gifts to take to their lord. They traveled much and came to rest at a stable, as the star they were following was directly above it. They got down from their donkeys and the first went into the stable and laid his gift at the foot of the manger. The second followed, laying his gift at the foot of the manger also.

It happened that the third was much taller than the first two, and as he entered the stable he hit his head on the beam. In great pain he shouted, "Jesus Christ!"

At which, Mary looked up at him, smiling, and said, "Oh, what a beautiful name! I was going to call him Fred."

The fifth question:


I simply cannot understand Your generalizations about male and female type. Sometimes You acknowledge male and female principles regardless of gender. But most of the time You talk of woman being the “primitive” one, finding the “wolf” in the man. What of the woman who finds herself naturally the initiator or sees the cat, not the wolf, in her man? Some men are really longing to be passive. Some women may need to assert themselves to grow. How can it be simply a matter of women’s lib making women “sophisticated” and over-rational?

Jacky Angus
, my statement that women are more primitive than men is not to condemn them, it is to condemn men. By "primitive" I mean more natural, more in tune with existence. Civilization is a falsification, civilization is going astray from nature. The more man becomes civilized, the more he is hung up in the head. He loses contact with his heart.

The heart is still primitive. And it is good that the universities have not yet found a way to teach the heart and make it civilized. That is the only hope for humanity to survive. The woman is the only hope for humanity to survive. Up to now, man has been dominant, and man has been dominant for a very strange reason. The reason is that deep down man feels inferior. Out of inferiority, just to compensate for it, he started dominating the woman.

Only in one sense is he stronger than the woman, and that is in muscular strength. In every other way the woman is far stronger than the man. The woman lives longer than the man, five to seven years longer. The woman suffers less through diseases, illnesses, than the man.

One hundred and ten boys are born to every hundred girls. But by the time they reach sexual maturity the number is equalled -- ten boys have disappeared down the drain.

The woman has more resistance to illnesses and diseases of all kinds. More men go mad, the number is almost double. And more men commit suicide; again the number is double.

In every possible way except the muscular, the woman is far superior. But to have muscular strength is not really something very superior; it is animalistic. In that sense a wolf is far superior, a tiger even more, a lion still more.

Man must have become aware of his inferiority millions of years ago. And this is one of the psychological mechanisms: whenever you become aware of a certain inferiority, you have to compensate for it. The ugly person tries to look beautiful, pretends to be beautiful in every possible way. He will try with clothes, with cosmetics, he will go to beauticians, to plastic surgeons. It is over-compensation; somehow he knows that he is not beautiful and he has to be beautiful. The inferior person tries to be superior. And because of muscular strength, the man could prove to be the master, and he has dominated the woman down the ages.

But the time has come now for a great change. The future belongs to women, not to men, because what man has done, down through these ages, has been so ugly. Wars and wars and wars -- that is his whole history. All the great that man has created is... Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Nadirshah, Alexander, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong -- people like these.

Yes, there have been a few men like Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Krishna -- but have you noted one point? They all look feminine. In fact that was one of Friedrich Nietzsche's criticisms of Buddha and Jesus Christ, that they look feminine, that they are womanish.

Buddha certainly looks feminine. Whenever a man moves into the heart, something in him goes feminine. He becomes more round, more soft, more vulnerable.

Friedrich Nietzsche cannot understand Gautam Buddha... because Nietzsche says the most beautiful thing that ever happened to him, the most beautiful thing he ever saw, was not the stars, not the sunset or the sunrise, not beautiful women, not roses and lotuses -- no, nothing like that.... You cannot imagine what was the most beautiful thing that he had come across. He says that soldiers parading with naked swords, and the swords shining in the sunlight -- that was the most beautiful experience. The sound of their boots was the most musical thing that he had ever come across -- not Mozart, not Wagner, no, but the sound of boots. And the regiment moving with naked swords shining in the sun was the most beautiful thing he had seen.
Of course he cannot understand Buddha. It is Friedrich Nietzsche who has been the father of this century, and this century is one of the ugliest. He is the father of two world wars, and he may be waiting for the third, waiting to give birth to the third. He says war is the most beautiful thing in the world, because it brings that which is greatest in man to the surface.
He himself went mad, which seems very logical; such a man must go mad. And when he became mad he started signing his letters as "Anti-Christ Friedrich Nietzsche." Even in his madness he could not forget one thing, that he was anti-Christ. Everything else was forgotten: he could not recognize his friends, he could not even recognize his own sister who had looked after him his whole life, but he could not forget one thing, that he was anti-Christ.

Yes, there have been a few buddhas. But if you look closely at them you will find they are more feminine than masculine. All the great artists of the world slowly slowly start growing a quality of feminineness, grace, elegance, exquisiteness. A certain flavor of softness, relaxedness, calmness and quietness surrounds them. They are no longer feverish.
What I am teaching here is really to turn the whole world feminine.

But Jacky Angus (you) must be coming from that ugly movement called Women's Lib. Not only is woman to be liberated, man also has to be liberated. The woman has to be liberated from her past, and the man has to be liberated from his past. We need liberation, we need a liberated human being. And remember, when I use the word man the woman is included. But women have become very touchy about it.

Once I was talking in a very sophisticated club of women in Calcutta. In some reference I made the statement "All men are brothers." And some woman who must have been
like Jacky Angus (you) stood up, very angry, furious. And she said, "Why do you go on making statements only about men? All men are brothers -- and what about women? Why don't you say all women are sisters and sisterhood is strong?"
I said to the woman, "Lady, I am sorry. I will make a compromise: I will say all men are sisters. What else can I do? If I say all women are sisters, some man may get angry at me."

Don't be foolish. When I am talking, try to be a little more sympathetic. You will not find any more sympathetic person than me, I make no distinctions between men and women; both have suffered. In fact suffering always comes like that, it is a double-edged sword. If you make somebody suffer, you have to suffer. If you make somebody a slave, you have to become a slave too; it is mutual.

The day women are liberated will be a great day of liberation for men too. But don't make the whole thing ugly. Otherwise there is every possibility -- I fear that the possibility is there, and it is a great possibility that in fighting with men, women may lose something which is valuable. Something which has not yet been crushed and destroyed by men may be destroyed by women themselves in fighting with men. If you fight ferociously you will lose the beauty of femininity; you yourself will become as ugly as men.

It has not to be decided by fighting, it has to be decided by understanding. Spread more and more understanding. Drop these ideas of being men and women! We are all human beings. To be a man or a woman is just a very superficial thing. Don't make much fuss about it, it is not anything very important; don't make it a big deal.

And what I say sometimes may look like generalizations, because each time I cannot put in all the conditions; otherwise my talking to you would become very much burdened with footnotes. And I hate books with footnotes! I simply don't read them. The moment I see footnotes I throw the book away -- it has been written by some pundit, some scholar, some foolish person.
You say: "I simply cannot understand your generalizations about male and female type...."

I am always talking about types; the gender is not included. Whenever I say "man" I mean the man-type, and whenever I say "woman" I mean the woman-type. But I cannot each time say "man-type," "woman-type." And you are right that there are women who are not women, who are wolves; and there are men who are not wolves, who are cats. But then whatsoever I say about the man-type will be applicable to women who are wolves, and whatsoever I say about women will be applicable to men who are cats.

I am not talking about the biological distinction between man and woman, I am talking about the psychological one. Yes, there are men who are far more feminine than any woman, and there are women who are far more masculine than any man. But this is not a beautiful state; this is ugly, because this is creating a duality in you. If you have the body of a man and the mind of a woman, there will be a conflict, a social struggle in you, a civil war in you. You will be continuously in a tug of war, fighting, tense.

If you are a woman physiologically, and you have the mind of a man, your life will dissipate much energy in unnecessary conflict. It is far better to be in tune. If a man in the body, then a man in the mind; if a woman in the body, then a woman in the mind.
And the Women's Lib movement is creating unnecessary trouble. It is turning women into wolves, it is teaching them how to fight. Man is the enemy; how can you love the enemy? How can you be in an intimate relationship with the enemy?
The man is not the enemy. The woman, to be really a woman, has to be more and more feminine, has to touch the heights of softness and vulnerability. And the man, to be really a man, has to move into his masculinity as deeply as possible. When a real man comes in contact with a real woman, they are polar opposites, extremes. But only extremes can fall in love, and only extremes can enjoy intimacy. Only extremes attract each other.

What is happening now is a kind of uni-sex: men becoming more and more feminine, women becoming more and more masculine. Sooner or later, all distinctions will be lost. It will be a very colorless society, it will be boring.

I would like the woman to become as feminine as possible, only then can she flower. And the man needs to be as masculine as possible, only then can he flower. When they are polar opposites, a great attraction, a great magnetism, arises between them. And when they come close, when they meet in intimacy, they bring two different worlds, two different dimensions, two different richnesses, and the meeting is a tremendous blessing, a benediction.

Enough for today.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:35