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Chapter 18

Dropping out of the Olympics
(Chapter 18 has been entirely deleted in the new edition)

The first question:

Beloved Osho, How to slow down?

Anand Somen, life is not going anywhere; there is no goal to it, no destination. Life is non-purposive, it simply is. Unless this understanding penetrates your heart, you cannot slow down.
Slowing down is not a question of any how; it is not a question of technique, method. We reduce everything into a how. There is a great how-to-ism all over the world, and every person, particularly the modern contemporary mind, has become a how-to-er: how to do this, how to do that, how to grow rich, how to be successful, how to influence people and win friends, how to meditate, even how to love. The day is not far off when some stupid guy is going to ask how to breathe.
It is not a question of how at all. Don't reduce life into technology. Life reduced into technology loses all flavor of joy.

I have come across a book; the name of the book is hilarious. The name is You Must Relax. Now the "must" is the problem, but it is there. It is because of the must that nobody is able to relax. Now another must on top of all other musts -- You Must Relax -- is going to create more tension in your life. Try to relax, and you will find out that you feel more tense than ever. Try harder and you will feel more tense and more tense.

Relaxation is not a consequence, is not a result of some activity; it is the glow of understanding.
This is the first thing I would like to relate to you: life is purposeless. It is very hard to accept it. And why is it so hard to accept that life is purposeless? It is hard because without purpose the ego cannot exist. It is hard to conceive that life has no goal because without any goal being there, there is no point in having a mind, in having an ego.

The ego can exist only in a goal-oriented vision; the mind can exist only in the future. The purpose brings future in; the goal creates the space for thoughts to move, desires to arise. And then naturally there is hurry, because life is short. Today we are here and tomorrow we are gone -- maybe the next moment.
Life is very short. If there is a goal to be achieved, there is bound to be hurry. And there is bound to be worry, a constant worry "whether I am going to make it or not" -- a trembling heart, a shaking of the foundations. You will remain almost always in an inner earthquake, you will be always on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Have a goal, and sooner or later you will end up on the psychoanalyst's couch.
My vision is that of a goalless life. That is the vision of all the buddhas. Everything simply is, for no reason at all. Everything simply is utterly absurd. If this is understood, then where is the hurry, and for what? Then you start living moment to moment. Then this moment is given to you, a gracious gift from God or the whole or whatsoever you want to call it -- Tao, dhamma, logos.

This moment is available to you: sing a song, live it in its totality. And don't try to sacrifice it for any other moment that is going to come in the future. Live it for its own sake.

They say art is for art's sake. It may be so, it may not be so -- I am not an artist. But I can say to you: Life is for life's sake. Each moment is utterly for its own sake. To sacrifice it for anything else is to be unintelligent. And once the habit of sacrificing settles, then this moment you will sacrifice for the next, and the next for the next, and so on, so forth -- this year for the next year, and this life for the next life! Then it is a simple logical process: once you have taken the first step, then the whole journey starts -- the journey that leads you into the wasteland, the journey that makes your life a desert, the journey that is self-destructive, suicidal.

Live in the moment for the sheer joy of living it. Then each moment has the quality of an orgasm. Yes, it is orgasmic. This is how my sannyasins have to live, with no should, with no ought, with no must, with no commandment. You are not here to be with me to become martyrs, you are here to be with me to enjoy life to its fullness. And the only way to live, love, enjoy, is to forget the future. It exists not.

And if you can forget the future, if you can see that it is not there, there is no point in constantly getting ready for it. The moment future is dropped, past becomes irrelevant on its own accord. We carry the past so that we can use it in the future. Otherwise who will carry the past? It is unnecessary. If there is no future, what is the point of carrying the knowledge that the past has given to you? It is a burden which will destroy the joy of the journey.

And let me remind you, it is a pure journey. Life is a pilgrimage to nowhere, from nowhere to nowhere. And between these two nowheres is the now-here. Nowhere consists of two words: now, here. Between these two nowheres is the now-here.

It is not a question of following a certain technique to slow down, because if your basic approach towards life remains the same -- goal-oriented -- you may try to slow down, and you may even succeed in slowing down, but now you have started another tension in your life. You have to be constantly on guard so that you remain slow; you have to hold yourself continuously so that you remain slow.

You cannot have a free flow of your energies. You will be constantly afraid, because if you forget the technique, immediately the old habit will take possession of you. And the habit is there, because in fact the habit is rooted in the philosophy of your life. You have been taught to become achievers: Achieve something!

From the very first moment a child is born, we start feeding him poisons: ambition, achievement, success, richness, name, fame. We start poisoning his sources of being; we give great attention... twenty-five years are wasted in giving a poisonous education to children. It is one-third of life; it seems to be a wastage. And it is the most important one-third, because by the time a person is twenty-five he has already started declining in many ways. The highest peak of his sexuality is no longer there, it was nearabout when he was seventeen and a half; nearabout eighteen he had the highest sexual peak. By the time he is twenty-five he is already getting old.

Twenty-five years wasted in creating an achiever's mind.... And then there is competition, conflict. On each level of life, everywhere there is politics. Even in private intimate relationship there is politics: the husband trying to control the wife, the wife trying to control the husband, the children trying to control the parents, the parents trying to control the children. There is no intimacy left, because for the achieving mind intimacy is not possible. He only knows how to use the other; he cannot be respectful to the other. He is exploitative. His relationship with life is what Martin Buber calls the "I-it" relationship: everything is reduced into a commodity.

You love a woman: immediately you start reducing her into a commodity, reducing her into being a wife, and she is trying to reduce you from a man into a husband. To be a man is something beautiful, to be a woman is something divine, but to be a wife or to be a husband is simply ugly. Love is no more there, it is law. Intimacy is gone; now it is bargain, business. Now the poetry is dead. And both are in politics now: who dominates whom?

From the most intimate relationship to the most impersonal relationship, it is the same story. The story is that of I-it. That's why we have created an ugly world. And naturally, when there is so much competition and so many competitors, Somen, how can you slow down? If you slow down you will be a failure, if you slow down you will never be able to succeed, if you slow down you are lost! If you slow down you will be anonymous, you will not be able to leave your signature in the world. Who will you be if you slow down? Everybody else is not slowing down.

It is almost as if you are in an Olympic race and you ask me, "How to slow down?" If you slow down, you are a drop-out! Then you are no more in the Olympic race. And this whole life has been turned into an Olympic race. Everybody is racing, and everybody has to race to the optimum, because it is a question of life and death. Millions of enemies... we are living in a world where everybody is your enemy, because with whomsoever you are in competition, they are your enemies. They are destroying your possibilities of success, you are destroying their possibilities of success.

In this ambitious world, friendship cannot bloom, love is almost impossible, compassion cannot exist. We have created such an ugly mess, and the root is that we think that there is something to achieve.
There is no difference between a capitalist country or a communist country, it is the same philosophy. Communism is a by-product of capitalism, just as Christianity is a by-product of Judaism. There is not much difference; only words change. The game remains the same -- translated into another language, certainly, but the game is the same.

Power politics is as great in a communist country -- in fact there is more than there is in a capitalist country -- because we never change the foundation, we only go on whitewashing the walls. You can whitewash them, you can change the color; that is not going to make any real difference. And that's what we go on doing in our individual lives too.

One politician came to me and he wanted to learn how to meditate. I asked why. He said "Why? Meditation gives peace, silence, and I want to be silent, I want to be peaceful."
I asked him, "Do you really want to be silent and peaceful?"
He said, "Yes, that's why I have come from so long a distance."
"Then," I said, "the first thing you will have to understand is that the political mind can never be silent and can never be peaceful. You will have to choose. If you want really to enter into the world of meditation, you will have to get out of the world of politics. You cannot ride on two horses, and two horses which are going in diametrically opposite directions."

He said, "That is too much! In fact I had come to you because of my political work. There is so much tension in the mind, I cannot sleep in the night, I cannot rest, I toss and turn, and the whole day and the night too, the same political anxiety continues. I had come to you so that you can teach me a technique of meditation that can help me to relax and compete more efficiently in the world. I am not ready to pay that much for meditation. I want meditation to serve me in my political competition. Twenty years I have been in politics, and yet I have not become the chief minister of my state."

Now, this man cannot meditate. Meditation is not something that can grow in any soil. It needs a basic understanding; the change has to be very fundamental. It needs a new soil to grow in; it needs a new gestalt.

A meditator naturally slows down with no effort. He does not practice it. A practiced thing is never true; it is artificial, arbitrary. Avoid practiced things -- at the most they can be actings, they are not true. And only truth liberates.

A meditator is naturally slow -- not because he is trying to be slow but just because there is nowhere to go. There is nothing to achieve, there is nothing to become, the becoming has ceased. When becoming ceases, being is. And being is slow, non-aggressive, unhurried.

Then you can savor the taste of each moment with total presence, you can be present to the present; otherwise you are in such a hurry that it is impossible to have any look at that which is. Your eyes are focused on a faraway distant goal, a faraway distant star; you are looking there.

I have heard an ancient story, it happened in Greece. A great astrologer, the most famous of those days, fell into a well. Because in the night he was studying the stars, walking on the road he forgot that there was a well by the side and fell into it.
The sound of his falling and his crying.... An old woman who lived in a hut by the side came out, helped him to get out of the well. He was very happy. He said, "You have saved my life! Do you know who I am? I am the royal astrologer. My fee is very great -- even kings have to wait for months to consult me -- but for you I will predict your future. You come tomorrow morning to my house, and I will not take any fee."
The old woman laughed and she said, "Forget all about it! You cannot see even two feet ahead -- how can you see my future?"

This is the situation of millions of people on this earth. They cannot see that which is, they are obsessed with that which should be. The greatest obsession that humanity suffers is of "that which should be." It is a kind of madness.
The really healthy person has no concern with that which should be. His whole concern is the immediate, that which is. And you will be surprised: if you enter into the immediate, you will find the ultimate in it. If you move into that which is close by, you will find all the distant stars in it. If you move in the present moment, the whole eternity is in your hands. If you know your being, there is no question of becoming. All that you could have ever imagined to become you already are.

You are gods who have forgotten who they are. You are emperors who have fallen asleep and are dreaming that they have become beggars. Now beggars are trying to become emperors -- in dreams they are making great efforts to become emperors, and all that is needed is to wake up! And when I say wake up, where can you wake up? In the future? In the past? The past is no more, the future not yet -- where you can wake up? You can wake up only now, and you can wake up only here. This is the only moment there is, and this is the only reality there is, and this is the only reality that has always been and will always be.

Change your basic philosophy of that of an achiever. Relax into your being. Don't have any ideals, don't try to make something out of yourself, don't try to improve upon God. You are perfect as you are. With all your imperfections you are perfect. If you are imperfect, you are perfectly imperfect -- but perfection is there.

Once this is understood, where is the hurry? Where is the worry? You have already slowed down. And then it is a morning walk with no destination, going nowhere. You can enjoy each tree and each sunray and each bird and each person that passes by.

The second question:

Beloved Osho,

Is there any real difference between different races, nationalities, etcetera, etcetera?

Ramananda, there are no real differences, there cannot be. All differences are superficial. The Jew is not different from the Hindu, the Mohammedan is not different from the Christian, the Chinese is not different from the American, the Negro is not different from the English.

Man is one, differences are superficial. Yes, they are there, obviously. A Negro is a Negro: he has black skin, he looks different from the white man. But the difference is not a difference that makes a difference. The difference is so small: just a little more black pigment in his skin, four ANNAS' worth more -- just that is the difference, four annas. And remember, he is four annas more than the white man, not less -- richer by four annas.

But the difference of the color of the skin or the difference of the length of your nose is not an important difference. Just because you have a long nose, a Jewish nose, you don't become the chosen people of God. Or just because you are born in India you don't become religious either.
These are all stupid ideas. But these stupid ideas have persisted in the world; and not only persisted, have proved great calamities to humanity. They were very ego-gratifying. The Hindu thinks he is the most religious in the world, his country the most sacred -- what nonsense they go on talking!
Countries are separate only on the political maps; otherwise it is just one earth. Just thirty years ago, Karachi and Lahore used to be holy land -- just thirty years ago. But now they are in Pakistan and very unholy. Now Indians cannot think of a place which is more unholy than Lahore or Karachi. Now they are the unholiest of the unholy, and they used to be part of the holy land. Just a little change of politics, a line drawn on the map -- not on the earth; the earth is still undivided.

I have heard a story: When India and Pakistan were going to be divided, there was a madhouse just on the border, and nobody was particularly interested in having that madhouse, neither India nor Pakistan. But it had to go somewhere -- and because politicians were utterly uninterested, it was decided to ask the madmen themselves where they want to go.

A great gathering -- one thousand madmen were gathered and they were asked, "Where do you want to go?"
And they said, "We don't want to go anywhere, we simply want to remain here."
Again and again, in many ways it was explained to them, "You will not be going anywhere, you will remain here. But still we want to ask where do you want to go -- to India or to Pakistan?"
The madmen could not believe their ears. They said, "Now you are creating great suspicion in us, whether we are mad or you are mad! If we are not going to go anywhere, then why should we decide where we should go?"

There was no communication possible. And you see, the mad people were far more right. They are always far more right than your so-called politicians.
Then the leaders decided, just divide it in the middle. And a wall was raised in the middle of the madhouse. I have heard that still the madmen sometimes climb up on the wall and they laugh. The whole thing seems to be so ridiculous. They are exactly in the same place, but some have become Pakistanis and some have become Indians -- and just a wall in between. And they still talk about it: "What happened? -- because we are the same, you are the same, we don't see any difference! But now we are enemies -- we really should not talk."

Differences are not there. Or, if they are there, very small differences like....

Do you know how many Indians it takes to screw in a lightbulb? Four. One to hold the bulb, and three to screw him round.
Or, do you know many Californians it takes to change a lightbulb? Four. One to change the bulb, and three to share in the experience.

The third question:

Beloved Osho,

Today I saw clearly that I really am causing my own suffering and that I don’t have to, and something heavy lifted from my chest when I saw that I was not just going around in circles!
Thank You, Thak You, beloved master.

But oh, I am so afraid of becoming light and permeable. It is all so embarrassing!

Deva Ashoka, the first experience of freedom is always embarrassing. The first ray of light to the blind is bound to be embarrassing. One who has always lived in chains, a sudden message from the king that he is freed... it is always embarrassing. He had become accustomed to live a certain kind of life, he had evolved a certain style of life. There was security in the prison; he had settled. Now everything unsettles. It is not only the question that the chains are being taken away; now he will have to face the great wide world again. He will have to learn all that he has forgotten, he will have to relearn. It is going to be difficult, and he will look a little amateur compared to others. Even walking on the street without the chains to which he has become accustomed will be a little odd; he will not feel at ease.
When the French revolutionaries freed the prisoners from the great French prison of Bastille, they were surprised: the prisoners were not ready to go out. That was the biggest prison of France, where only people who had been sentenced for their whole life were kept. There were people who had been in the prison for thirty years, forty years, even fifty years.

Now, just think of a person who had come to the prison when he was only twenty, and had lived in the prison for fifty years. He has completely forgotten about the world, how it looks. Fifty years living in a dark cell with heavy chains.... Those chains had no lock because there was no need ever to unlock them. They were chained for his whole life; they were permanent, heavy. For fifty years he has slept with those chains on hands and feet; he has become utterly accustomed to that life. And the food comes at the right time, he has not to worry about it. It is not much of a food, but still, something is better than nothing. He has no responsibility, he need not care about anything, everything is being done for him.
Maybe, slowly slowly, he had started thinking that he is not a prisoner but a king whose every need is fulfilled. Others take every care. Maybe, slowly slowly, he had convinced himself that the people who stand on guard are not there to prevent him from going out, but they are his bodyguards. And this is natural. When you live fifty years in a prison you have to create such rationalizations, such hallucinations, such beautiful theories. We all have done things like this.

Then one day suddenly the revolutionaries came and forced the prisoners to get out. The prisoners fought back -- they were not ready. This is something to be understood. Even when they were freed against their will, fifty percent of them came back in the night to sleep at least in their cells. Where else should they sleep?

One more important thing -- a very important thing -- happened. They demanded their chains, because they could not sleep without them. Fifty years sleeping with that heavy load of chains, it may have started sounding like music. Turning in the night, and the chains and the sound... now without chains they must be feeling so light that sleep was impossible.

This is the situation of all human beings. We are brought up in such a way that we only believe that we are free, but we are not. While nations exist, no man is really free. While politicians go on dominating humanity, the world will remain in slavery. They go on persuading you that you are free. You are not. There are a thousand and one walls around you -- maybe very transparent so that you can look through the walls, and that gives you a feeling that you are free, but you are not. While there are religions in your head -- Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Jainism, Buddhism -- you are not free. A mind cannot be free.

Freedom means freedom from the mind.
Only a no-mind knows the taste of freedom.
But to be a no-mind is so risky; you will have to lose all that you have become accustomed to, all that you have become so attached to. All your possessions are contained in your mind: your philosophies, your religions, your concepts, your theories, all are contained in your mind. If you drop the mind -- and that's what meditation is all about, dropping the mind -- you will feel as if you have been robbed, as if you have suddenly been forced to be naked, as if suddenly inside you have become empty. You will miss that old fullness, although it was only junk. But people's idea is that it is always better to have something than nothing, whatsoever that something is.

Even to be miserable is better than to be nothing, even to be in pain is better than to be nothing. People are so much afraid of being nothing. And nothing is freedom; nothing means no thing, no body, no mind.
And when the first glimpse arrives -- just a whiff of no-mind, a small breeze from the beyond -- Ashoka, it is embarrassing. Enchanting and embarrassing, both -- calling you forth to come out of your grave, and yet scary.

But now, when the call has been heard, it has to be respected. When you have seen a little glimpse that you are the creator of your own misery, it will be very difficult for you now to go on creating it. It is easy to live in misery when you know others are creating it -- what can you do? You are helpless. That's why we go on throwing responsibilities on others.

There are people who think they are in misery because of past karma, past life karma. The whole idea is so foolish: put your hand in the fire now and you will be burned next life. Life is immediate. That's what life is -- immediacy. Life never postpones. You do something beautiful, and in that very doing you are rewarded; not that you will have to wait many lives for the reward. You do something ugly, and in that very act is the punishment; the punishment is not separate from the act.
This is one of my fundamental things -- you have to understand I am against the whole idea of karma. It is a strategy of the mind to throw responsibility on the past. And once the responsibility is thrown on something -- whatsoever it is, x, y, z, it doesn't matter what it is -- you can relax in your misery and you can remain miserable. What can you do? You start feeling like a victim. Now the past cannot be changed; what has been done has been done, you cannot undo it now, you have to accept it.

It is because of this foolish idea of karma that the East has suffered so much. People are poor, and they say what they can do? They are hungry, starving, dying, and they go on thinking what can they do? They have done something wrong in the past, they have to suffer for it. A great invention of the priests to keep people in misery and yet contented, in great suffering yet creating no trouble for the status quo.

The greatest idea against revolution that has ever been invented is the idea of karma. That's why in the ten-thousand-year history of India there has never been a revolution. Unless the Indian mind changes totally, there is not going to be any revolution. Revolution seems to be absolutely un-Indian. The Indian consciousness is so much burdened with the idea of karma, with the past, that you cannot create any revolt in this country.

This is strange. One of the most ancient lands of the world, and yet a revolution has never happened. People like Buddha, Atisha, Kabir, have walked on this earth, and yet not a single revolution. Yes, revolutionaries have happened -- Buddha is a revolutionary -- but the country remained unaffected.
In fact, Buddhism disappeared from this country for the simple reason that it was too revolutionary. It didn't fit with the conformist mind of the country, it didn't fit with the idea of accepting that whatsoever is, is; nothing can be done, no hope.

People go on throwing the responsibility on the past, or on fate, kismet, or on God. And if these things have become out of date, then the social structure or the economic system of the society, capitalism or communism or fascism -- but they need something as an excuse so that they can remain free, free from the arousal of the vision that "I am responsible for my suffering and nobody else."
Even if people drop God, society, karma, etcetera, then they start finding new ways. Freudians will say you are suffering because of the unconscious. Freud says there is no hope for man, man will always remain miserable. All that we can manage is to keep him normally miserable; that is all that can be done. The best that can be done according to Freud is that people can be kept within limits of misery, that's all. Miserable they are going to be, there is no hope of a blissful humanity. Why? -- because of the unconscious.

The unconscious instincts are in conflict with society. And Freud says if you allow the unconscious instincts full play, then the society, the culture, the civilization disappears and you will be back in the world of the jungle, and you will suffer. Or, if you allow the society to have control over you, to inhibit your unconscious instincts, then there is a consistent conflict between your unconscious and the social code. And because of that conflict you remain miserable.
There seems to be no way out.

The really religious person is one who stops finding excuses for his misery. It needs guts to accept that "I am responsible," that "This is my choice, I have chosen my life this way," that "My freedom is there, has always been there, to choose whatsoever I want. I can choose misery, I can choose bliss."
Man's soul consists of freedom.
I teach you freedom.
But freedom means taking the responsibility, total responsibility for your life, on your own shoulders, not throwing it onto somebody else.

Ashoka, something beautiful has happened to you, something tremendously significant. Embrace it. Don't feel embarrassed -- embrace it. Love it, cherish it, nourish it, welcome it. Some truth has knocked on your door.
You say: "Today I saw clearly that I really am causing my own suffering and that I don't have to, and something heavy lifted from my chest when I saw that I was not just going around in circles. Thank you, thank you, Beloved Master. But oh, I am so afraid of becoming light and permeable!"
I can understand it. It is difficult to drop chains, prisons, bondages, slaveries. We have invested so much in them, and for so long. I can understand.
You say: "It is all so embarrassing!"
It is. But still, now there is no going back. Even if you want to go back, there is no going back. That glimpse will haunt you, that glimpse will follow you like a shadow, that glimpse will remind you again and again: "Ashoka, you are responsible, and you are doing it again. Watch. You are again choosing misery, while the other alternative is available."

One Sufi mystic who had remained happy his whole life -- no one had ever seen him unhappy -- who was always laughing, who was laughter, whose whole being was a perfume of celebration.... In his old age, when he was dying, on his deathbed and still enjoying death, laughing hilariously, a disciple asked, "You puzzle us. Now you are dying, why are you laughing? What is there funny about it? We are feeling so sad. We wanted to ask you many times in your life why you are never sad. But now, confronting death at least, one should be sad. You are still laughing -- how are you managing it?"
The old man said, "It is simple. I had asked my master -- I had gone to my master as a young man; I was only seventeen and already miserable, and my master was old, seventy, and he was sitting under a tree, laughing for no reason at all. There was nobody else there, nothing had happened, nobody had cracked a joke or anything, and he was simply laughing, holding his belly. I asked him, 'What is the matter with you? Are you mad or something?'

"He said, 'One day I was also as sad as you are. Then it dawned on me that it is my choice, it is my life.'
"Since that day, every morning when I get up, the first thing I decide is... before I open my eyes I say to myself, 'Abdullah'" -- that was his name -- "'what do you want? Misery? Blissfulness? What you are going to choose today?' And it happens that I always choose blissfulness."

It is a choice. Try it. When you become aware the first moment in the morning that sleep has left, ask yourself, "Abdullah, another day! What is your idea? Do you choose misery or blissfulness?"
And who would choose misery? And WHY? It is so unnatural -- unless one feels blissful in misery, but then too you are choosing bliss, not misery.

It has been good, Ashoka. Now let this insight gather more roots in you, help it. Slowly slowly you will become more and more attuned to this new feel of life and existence -- it is an attunement. And once you have learned how to be in harmony with this inner blissfulness, you will become aware of higher and higher peaks of bliss. There are climaxes and climaxes, peaks beyond peaks. One peak leads to another peak, one small harmony soon opens a door for a bigger harmony, and so on, so forth, ad infinitum.

The fourth question:

Beloved Osho,

I enjoyed very much your coining the word etceteranandas. I wonder how You did it!

It's simple. You can go and see many saints in India, and you will find that they have no individuality, no uniqueness, no originality, no flavor of their own. They are gramophone records -- His Master's Voice -- just quoting scriptures like parrots. They are imitators, pseudo, plastic; nothing has happened to them.
I am not saying that they are not saints -- they are saints, but nothing has happened to them. Their saintliness is just a cultivated gesture, it is not a happening. They have character -- certainly they have character, I am not denying that -- but their character is like a garment; it is just a cover up. Deep down they are just the opposite of it. They are saints on the surface in the conscious mind, and they are sinners in the unconscious. And ultimately it is the deeper unconscious that is more decisive than the superficial conscious.

You cannot be a saint if you don't repress the sinner. And when you repress the sinner, the sinner goes deeper into your being. So these saints are in constant conflict, a kind of civil war, fighting with themselves. You can see they don't have any zest for life: they don't have any energy for it, they don't have any cheerfulness. How can they be cheerful? Their whole life is a miserable conflict with themselves. They cannot be at ease, they cannot relax, because they are afraid -- if they relax, the sinner is there and if they relax the sinner will raise its head. They have to constantly repress it.
Remember, if you repress something you have to repress it constantly -- day in, day out, year in, year out. And the problem is not solved by repressing. In fact it becomes more and more acute, chronic, because whatsoever is repressed becomes more and more powerful. It gathers energy, it becomes a tumor inside you.

You will see more and more fear in your so-called saints' eyes. Character they have: they are good people, they don't do anything bad, they follow the dictates of the society, they fulfill the expectations of the worshippers.

I call them Etceteranandas because no buddha ever follows the dictates of the society, no buddha has any character. Let me repeat it: no buddha has any character. He need not have any character, he has consciousness. He has the real thing -- why should he have a plastic flower? When you can grow real roses, why bother about plastic roses? Character is a plastic flower, consciousness is a real rose. No buddha has any character, he has consciousness. He does not live out of readymade programs, he lives moment to moment out of his consciousness; he responds, he does not react.

Etceteranandas are predictable. You know what they are, and you can be perfectly secure that they are going to remain the same tomorrow too. They are dead people; you can depend on them. No buddha is predictable. You cannot say what he is going to be tomorrow or the next moment, because as life changes, his responses change. And life is constantly changing.

Old Heraclitus is right -- he is a buddha -- he is right when he says you cannot step twice in the same river. No buddha is ever the same again; not even for two consecutive moments is he the same. He moves with life, he is a river, he is not stagnant. He has uniqueness, originality. He speaks, not authoritatively, but on his own authority. Remember the difference. The person who speaks authoritatively derives his authority from somewhere else -- from the Vedas, from The Bible, from the Koran, from the tradition, from the state, from the church. The man who speaks on his own authority derives his authority from nowhere. It is his own experience -- and experience is self-evident, self-validating.

You ask me how do I manage such coinage of words. I cannot help it. Look at any so-called saint and you will find written on his forehead, Etceterananda.

When Noah had built the ark and the time came to have all the pairs of animals go aboard, Noah named each one as it went by up the gangplank. As a strange looking animal passed by, Noah said, "The name of this animal is hippopotamus."
Noah's wife looked at him and said, "Noah, why in the world did you call that animal, that strange-looking creature, a hippopotamus?"
Noah responded, "Well, it is the only one of the animals that has gone through that really looked like a hippopotamus."

There are people who look like a hippopotamus. I call them respectfully Etceteranandas. It is just out of respect that I have coined the word.

The fifth question:

Beloved Osho,

How can we know the difference between surrender and dependency, not just with You but with all that comes up in our lives?

Veereshwar, the difference is so absolutely clear that once you have experienced surrender you will never miss understanding what is surrender and what is dependency.
Surrender is out of love, dependency is out of fear. Dependency is a relationship in which you are hankering for something, desiring something; there is a motive. You are ready to become dependent -- that's what you are willing to pay for something. Surrender has no desire in it. It is sheer joy, it is trust, it is unmotivated.

It is like falling in love. In fact it is exactly falling in love -- a love that knows no bounds, a love that is totally different from what you ordinarily call love. Your love is again a kind of dependency. You become dependent on the person you love, because in fact you don't love, you are simply finding somebody to cling to; otherwise you feel very lonely. You want to avoid your loneliness, you want somebody to fill your inner black hole, your emptiness.

But real love is not an escape from loneliness, real love is an overflowing aloneness. One is so happy in being alone that one would like to share -- happiness always wants to share. It is too much, it cannot be contained; like the flower cannot contain its fragrance, it has to be released.
Surrender is the highest form of love, the purest form of love. You will not feel dependent, because there will be no clinging in it. You will not feel dependent, because it is not out of loneliness that you have surrendered. If you have surrendered out of loneliness then it is not surrender at all, then it is something else.

Another thing: surrender always happens, it is not a doing. You cannot do it -- how can you do surrender? If you do it, it is not surrender. You are the doer -- and if the doer is there then it can be taken back any moment.
Surrender happens; the doer is not found. You simply find yourself melting into somebody, into something. You may find yourself melting into a sunset, and it is surrender. You may find yourself melting into the starry night, and it is surrender. You may find yourself melting into a woman or man, and it is surrender. You may find yourself melting into music, and it is surrender. Surrender has many dimensions, but the taste is the same: you simply find yourself melting. You simply find yourself no more; a kind of egolessness is felt.

You are... in fact you are very much, and yet you are not. Presence and absence both together -- surrender is paradoxical. Presence, because the ego is not there, so you are just awareness; and absence because the ego is not there, so you cannot say "I am."

Veereshwar, dependency is ugly, surrender is beautiful. Dependency will make you feel reduced, surrender will make you feel enhanced, expanded. Dependency will create reaction in you to revolt. Surrender will bring more and more trust.

But the distinction is delicate. Once known it is not difficult, but if you have not experienced it yet then surrender will look like dependency, because dependency is what you know.
I cannot explain it to you, I can only indicate a few directions. In the morning when the sun is rising, just sit silently on the riverbank. Watch it. Doing nothing, just sitting silently, watch it. And some time in some blissful moment it will happen: there will be no observer, and nothing observed. The observer becomes the observed. It is not that you are separate from the rising sun -- you are it.

Sitting by the tree, just close your eyes, feel the tree. Hug the tree, just be one with it, as if you are with your beloved. And sometimes... and it is not predictable; I cannot say that it will happen each time. Only once in a while it will happen -- because it has to happen in spite of you, that's why only once in a while.
Or, loving your woman, melt into her warmth. For a moment forget sexuality, for a moment forget all that goes on in your head, in your fantasy. For a moment just melt into the real woman. Don't carry any pornography in your head, don't make sexuality something cerebral. Let your sexuality be a deep sensuousness, sensitivity, a gut feeling. Melt into the woman, as if you are again a child in the mother's womb. Unless you have known this with your beloved, you have not known your beloved. A child again in the mother's womb, absolutely together, all distances gone -- and in that moment you will know what surrender is.

But the male ego creates trouble everywhere. Even being with your woman, you are trying to control the situation. Even in our language, ugly expressions have entered: we call it lovemaking. How can you make love? Nobody can make love. But it has come into language not without any reason. People are trying to make love; even in love they are doers. So the greatest opportunity of knowing surrender is missed.

And now you have manuals: How To Make Love, How To Attain Total Orgasm. And people are reading these manuals and following the instructions. I know of some foolish people who make love to their woman, and by the bedside is the manual and they go on looking into it: how to make total orgasm.

Some moments in life when you are not a doer, not a knower, when you simply are, you will have the taste. It can come through beauty, it can come through poetry, it can come through music, it can come through so many doors. God has many doors to his temple.

But, Veereshwar, my feeling is that you know only dependency, hence the question has arisen. One who has known surrender cannot ask the question. Be in relaxation a few moments. It can be any kind of situations -- swimming in the river, relax with the river, or sunning on the beach, relax with the sun -- anything. Life is full of opportunities. Remember Atisha. He says life is full of opportunities, life is the opportunity. Don't wait for the opportunity, the opportunity is already here.

But you will have to learn a totally different kind of consciousness -- not that of a doer, but that kind of consciousness which is simply existing... that simple consciousness, innocent.
And that happens so many times to you here while listening to me. In the pauses, when sometimes I stop... it is there.
Drink it.

The last question:

Beloved Osho,

I want to get married. Please give me Your blessings.

Prabhat, have you gone crazy or something? Love is enough; marriage is not going to add anything to it. In fact, why are you in such a hurry to finish some beautiful experience? Wait. When you see that now love is finished, you can get married.

A minister received this thankyou letter from a bridegroom he had married: "Dear Reverend, I want to thank you for the beautiful way you brought my happiness to a conclusion."

Prabhat, you are very young, only twenty-two. One should marry only when one is wise enough. Marriage is not for young people. For young people is to fool around. Marriage is for those who have experienced life in many ways, who have seen all the colors, the whole spectrum of it, and are now ready to settle.
My own suggestion is that nobody should marry before forty-two. When you have already had your first heart attack, then marry. Before that it is too early, and foolish. But maybe because you are only twenty-two and foolish the question has arisen.

Five-year-old Steven: "Are you a virgin?"
Four-year-old Susan: "No, not yet."

It takes time. You are too young; wait a little. When you are tired -- when you are tired of adventures, when you are tired of your freedom, when you are tired of your openness to life and its millions of opportunities -- then you can go to a court and get married. But why now?

Student in the Highlands looking for summer work: "Got any odd jobs?"
Farmer: "Well, you could try milking the bull."

That will be far better, Prabhat. You are in search for some odd jobs... otherwise why?
Love, and love as deeply as possible. And if love itself becomes the marriage, that is another thing, altogether different. If love itself becomes such an intimacy that it is unbreakable, that is another thing, that is not a legal sanction.

Legal sanctions are needed only because you are afraid. You know that your love is not enough; you need the legal support for it. You know perfectly well that you can escape or the woman can escape, hence you need the policeman to keep you together. But this is ugly, to need a policeman to keep you together. That's what marriage is!

I can bless your love, but I cannot bless your marriage. If love itself is your marriage, then all of my blessings are there for you; otherwise wait. There is no hurry. It is better to wait than to repent later on.

Enough for today.