The three rung ladder of Love
(The new edition does not have this Chapter title. The content from this Chapter has been included in "Responses to Questions" at the end of Chapter 5 titled 'Don’t Seek Sorrows for Spurious Comforts')
The first question:
Many times I have thought of questions felt to be meaningful. Each time the question resolved itself or seemed absurd after letting it gestate for a while. The paradox is that the words dissolve but the question mark remains.
Anand Shantam, the question mark is bound to remain forever, because the question mark has nothing to do with the question at all. It has something to do with the mystery of life itself. Life never becomes known, it always remains a mystery, a question mark -- and a question mark which cannot be dissolved. It is in the very nature of existence, it is the very center of existence; there is no way to find any answer or explanation for it.
That's why philosophy fails and poetry succeeds. That's why mathematics fails and music succeeds. That's why logic always lags behind and love reaches, arrives.
The question mark is immensely significant. All questions are absurd. And all questions are sooner or later resolved, are bound to be resolved, because all questions have answers. If you can formulate a question you can find an answer for it, but the question mark is not your formulation. It is there; it is on each leaf of the trees, on each sound of the birds. On each cloud, on each star, on each atom, the question mark is there.
Life is not a problem but a mystery. A problem is that which can be solved -- at least theoretically is soluble. A mystery is that which can be lived but can never be solved.
An ancient Hassid story:
An old Hassid master asked one of his disciples, "What do we mean when we use the word god?"
The disciple wouldn't answer, the disciple wouldn't look in the eyes of the master. With bent head, ashamed of himself, he remained silent.
The question was asked again and again. Thrice the master asked. The more the master asked, the more silent the disciple became. And the silence was very embarrassing. The disciple has to respect the question of the master -- and it was as if he has not even heard; no response from the disciple. The master was irritated and he asked, "Why don't you answer me? What do we mean by the word god when we use it?"
And the disciple said, "Because I don't know, how can I answer? I don't know God!"
And the master laughed, a laughter which can happen only to those who have arrived. He said, "And do you think I know?"
Who knows? Who has ever known? But still God is, and still God has to be addressed.
Whoever told you that God is an object of knowledge? God is not an object of knowledge, God is not an object at all. God is the silence that pervades you when words dissolve. God is the question mark that remains, Shantam, when questions are gone, evaporated. God is the mystery -- unresolvable.
I am not here to give answers, I am here to provoke in you the question mark, the ultimate question mark. It is not a question, remember; the ultimate question mark is not a question. There is no question at all. Simply you are encountering something ineffable, indefinable, infinite, eternal, with no beginning and no end, with no possibility to comprehend it, with no possibility to encompass it. On the contrary, God is the one who encompasses you, God is the one who
comprehends you. God is the one for whom you are not a question nor a question mark.
Slowly slowly, learn the ways of living in mystery. Mind continuously hankers to demystify everything; there is a deep urge in the mind to demystify. Why? -- because it can control only when something is demystified. Mystery starts controlling it, hence mind escapes from mysteries. Mind wants explanations, because once something is explained it can be manipulated; once something is no more a secret, then the mind is the master. In the presence of a secret the mind feels simply impotent. The greater the secret, the more the impotence of the mind.
But that is where prayer arises, meditation arises, and all that is beautiful. That is where truth is felt. Mind is not the door to truth, it is a door to power.
Francis Bacon is right when he says, "Knowledge is power." Mind is a power seeker; mind is always after power, more and more power. Hence mind slowly slowly became too much attached to science; mind became science. Science is the search for power. And then automatically science becomes reduced to technology. What is technology? How to manipulate nature. That "how" is technology; know-how is technology. Science prepares the blueprint, science gives the idea how to demystify existence, and then technology implements it.
Religion is not of the mind, religion is of the heart. Mind raises questions, the heart knows only the ultimate question mark.
It is beautiful, Shantam, it is tremendously important that you became aware of this phenomenon, that questions arise; in the beginning they look meaningful, but soon they are resolved. If one can wait, all questions resolve; there is no need to go anywhere to ask. The mind that is capable of creating a certain question is capable of finding the answer too -- in fact if you dissect the question deeply you will find the answer hidden there. The answer is always in the question. The question is only a form of the answer, the question is only the beginning of the answer. The question is the seed and the answer will be the sprout -- and the seed contains the sprout.
If you wait a little, if you are a little patient, if you allow the question to move within you, you are capable of solving it. Either it will be solved or you will come to know that it is absurd. There are absurd questions which cannot be solved -- and they are not mysteries either, remember, they are simply absurd questions.
For example, linguistically it may look perfectly right, grammatically it may look perfectly right, and existentially it may be absurd. For example, you can ask, "What is the smell of the color red?" Linguistically, grammatically, there is no flaw in it. "What is the smell of the color red?" -- the question can be raised, but if you look deep into it, it is not a question, it is simply absurd. Colors have nothing to do with smells; there is no relationship at all. Colors are colors, smells are smells; neither smells have colors, nor colors have smells.
It is just like asking how to see music with the eyes. The question looks perfectly right: How to see music? But music is not an object to be seen, it is not an object for the eyes; it can only be heard, not seen. Beauty can be seen but cannot be heard.
We can make a thousand and one absurd questions. People have asked down the ages... the so-called wise too. In the Middle Ages, the whole Christian world was so concerned, and there was such great argument and controversy on such absurd questions as: How many angels can stand on the point of a needle? Great theologians wrote great treatises on these questions.
In fact, the so-called learned people are always deep down very stupid people. Their learnedness is nothing but a cover up for this inner stupidity. They raise great fuss for nothing, great ado for nothing. They are clever, that is true -- clever to create such absurd questions. At least they are able to give to those absurd questions an appearance of rationality.
How many hells are there? In the times of Buddha the question became so important in India.... Hindus believe in three hells, Jainas started believing in seven hells, and then there was really a man of insight, Sanjaya Vilethiputta, who must have been able to laugh at absurdities. He said, "Who says seven? I have exactly counted: there are seven hundred!"
He must have been a wise man, he was simply joking about this absurd controversy. How many hells? How many heavens? How many angels? When did God create the world? Why did God create the world? All are absurd questions: you cannot solve them, because they are not questions in the first place. Neither are they mysteries, because a mystery cannot be formulated in words. It is only a question mark, a question mark in the silent heart -- just a great surprise, a wonder, awe. And then each and every thing creates awe.
Allow this question mark to settle in you. The meaningful questions will be solved, the meaningless will be known as absurd; then finally remains only the question mark.
I am happy, Shantam. You say: "The paradox is that the words dissolve but the question mark remains."
Rejoice! Celebrate! This is a great moment, this is the door to the divine.
The second question:
Beloved Osho, Is there really something like an inferiority complex?
Psychobabble! the psychologists have taken the place of the theologist. The theologian is out of date, the psychologist is in. And psychology has created great psychobabble, great words, strange words, and when you can use great and strange words which are really nothing but gibberish, you can impress people.
Do you know from where the word gibberish comes? It comes from the name of a Sufi mystic, Jabbar. He used to talk nonsense, because he came to understand that whatsoever you say is nonsense. Then why even pretend that it is sense?
Jabbar started really talking nonsense. He would use sounds, words... nobody could follow what he was saying. Everybody was free to have his own interpretation. The followers of Jabbar were many -- because when the master cannot be understood, it is very easy for the disciples to follow him, because then they can interpret.
For example, if you had asked Jabbar, "Do you believe in God?" he would have said, "Hoo hoo!" Now, it is up to you to find out what "Hoo hoo!" means. The very clever one will think it is the last part of Allah-hoo, that the master has given only a hint, and so on, so forth.
Or he will do something absurd. You ask, "What is God?" and he may stand on his head immediately. Now it is up to you to figure it out -- and everybody is clever in figuring out things. Somebody will think he had given the indication that everything is topsy-turvy, so whatsoever you have been thinking up to now has to be put upside down. Some disciples even started reading the scriptures backwards!
But one thing was good about it: Jabbar must have enjoyed the whole show! He must have really enjoyed how many interpretations people can find. The English word gibberish comes from Jabbar.
Now the greatest gibberish that is "in" is psychological. Freud really created a new language: psychoanalysis is nothing but a new language. For small things, for things which everybody understands, he will find such difficult words: "Oedipus complex" -- for a small thing, that every boy loves his mother. Now if you say every boy loves his mother, nobody can think that you are very learned, but if you say, "This boy suffers from an Oedipus complex," it sounds....
One Jewish lady was talking to the neighbor, and she said, "The psychoanalyst who is treating my son has said that my son suffers from an Oedipus complex."
And the neighbor lady said, "Oedipus schmoedipus! Doesn't matter as long as he is a good boy and loves his mother!"
Now, this word inferiority complex.... There is nothing like inferiority complex, all that is there is the phenomenon of the ego. And because of the phenomenon of the ego, two things are possible. If you are egoistic you are bound to compare yourself with others. The ego cannot exist without comparison, hence if you really want to drop the ego, drop comparing. You will be surprised: where has the ego gone? Compare, and it is there; and it is there only in comparison. It is not an actuality, it is a fiction created out of comparison.
For example, you are passing through a garden and you come across a very big tree. Compare: the tree is so big, suddenly you are so small. If you don't compare, you enjoy the tree, there is no problem at all. The tree is big -- so what! So let it be big, you are not a tree. And there are other trees also which are not so big, but they are not suffering from any inferiority complex. I have never come across a tree which suffers from inferiority complex or from superiority complex. Even the highest tree, a Lebanon cedar, even that tree does not suffer from superiority complex, because comparison does not exist.
Man creates comparison because ego is possible only if nourished by comparison continuously. But then you will have two outcomes: sometimes you will feel superior, and sometimes you will feel inferior. And the possibility of feeling inferior is greater than the possibility of feeling superior, because there are millions of people: somebody is more beautiful than you, somebody is taller than you, somebody is stronger than you, somebody seems to be more intelligent than you, somebody is more learned than you, somebody is more successful, somebody is more famous, somebody is this, somebody is that. If you just go on comparing, millions of people... you will gather a great inferiority complex. But it doesn't exist, it is your creation.
Those who are more mad, they suffer from a superiority complex. They are so mad that when they compare they cannot see that there are millions of people who are different in many ways and superior in many ways. They are so obsessed with the ego that they remain closed to anything that is superior; they always look at the inferior. It is said that people like to meet people who are in some way inferior to them; it gives them great nourishment. People like people who support their ego.
The more mad person will suffer from a superiority complex, because he will always choose those things which make him feel superior. But he knows that he is playing a trick. How can he deceive himself? He knows that he has chosen only those points which make him feel superior; he knows what he has not chosen -- that is there on the margin, he is perfectly aware of it. So his superiority complex is always shaking: it is made on sand, the house can collapse any moment. He suffers from anxiety because he has made a house on the sand.
Jesus says: Don't make your house on the sand; find a rock.
The more sane person will suffer from an inferiority complex, because he will look all around, will be available to all that is happening all around, and will start collecting ideas that he is inferior. But both are shadows of the ego, two sides of the ego. The superior person deep down carries the inferiority complex, and the person who suffers from inferiority complex deep down carries a superiority complex; he wants to be superior.
I have heard -- I don't know how far it is correct -- that Morarji Desai asked a psychoanalyst -- of course in privacy -- "Why do I suffer from an inferiority complex?"
The psychoanalyst went into deep analysis: days and days with Morarji Desai lying on his couch free associating. And then one day, bouncing with joy, the psychoanalyst declared, "Sir, I certify that you don't suffer from inferiority complex, you need not be worried about it."
And Morarji Desai ( the politician) was also happy. He said, "But I had always thought that I suffer, and now you say I don't suffer. You must be right, but can you give me the explanation as to how you say so so confidently?"
And the psychoanalyst said, "Sir, you don't suffer from inferiority complex -- you are simply inferior!"
Except politicians, I don't think anybody is inferior. I make an exception for politicians. In fact, if somebody does not suffer from an inferiority complex he will not go into politics at all. Politics is the arena for those who suffer from an inferiority complex, because they want to prove to themselves and to the world that they are not inferior: Look, I have become the prime minister, or the president! Now who can say I am inferior? I have proved that I am not inferior. Politics attracts the people who are very egoistic and suffer from inferiority complex.
Artists are just on the other polarity: they suffer from superiority complex. They know they are creators, they know that they have come with a special quality to create something in the world. Politicians suffer from an inferiority complex, and try to reach to higher and higher power posts to prove to themselves and to others that it is not so. Artists suffer from superiority complex; that's why artists constantly quarrel amongst themselves. No artist ever agrees that another artist has contributed anything to the world. They are continuously criticizing each other; they cannot be friends, they are all superior people!
The mystic is the one who has come to see the whole stupidity of it, the whole game of the ego. And these are the three worlds available: the world of the politician -- the world of power politics -- the world of the artist, or the world of the mystic.
The mystic is one who has seen that all comparison is false, meaningless: he has dropped comparing. The moment you drop comparing, you are simply yourself -- neither superior nor inferior. How can you be superior or inferior if you are just yourself?
Just think: the Third World War has happened and everybody else has disappeared from the world, and only Anand Bashir, who has asked this question, is left. The whole world is suddenly gone, only Bashir is (you are) left, sitting in Koregaon Park, Poona. Will you be superior or inferior? You will be simply yourself, because there will be nobody to compare with.
A mystic is the one who simply knows that he is himself. He lives his life according to his own light, he creates his own space, he has his own being. He is utterly contented with himself, because without comparison you cannot be discontented either. And he is not an egoist, he cannot be -- ego needs comparison, ego feeds on comparison. He is simply doing his thing. The rose is a rose and the lotus is a lotus, and some tree is very high and some other tree is very small -- but everything is as it is.
Just try to see for a single moment without comparing, and then where is superiority and where is inferiority? And where is the ego, the source of it all?
The third question:
I am addicted to telling lies. Why do I do it?
Vimal, it may be just to feel superior! People start telling lies because that gives them a speciality: they can pretend that they know things which nobody else knows. Truth is universal, the lie is private. It is your own creation, nobody else knows about it; you become very special, the knower. If you say the truth you will not be special.
I have heard that in a village there was a wise man. Once it happened that from the palace of the king some very precious diamonds were stolen and the king's people were searching for the stolen treasure. The king had loved those stones so much that at any cost they had to be brought back, but no clue was available.
Then somebody suggested, "We have an old wise man in the town; maybe he can be of some support, some help, some insight he can give. Whenever we are in trouble -- we are poor people, we cannot go to very learned scholars, we cannot go to the experts -- we always go to our old wise man. It has never been a disappointment; he always finds some beautiful advice for us."
So the authorities went to the wise man. The wise man closed his eyes, meditated a little, and then he said, "Yes, I know who has done it. But before I can tell you, a few promises from you. First, nobody should ever know that I have told you who has stolen the diamonds."
The promise was of course given. Then the wise man said, "You come with me. We will have to go very far away from people, deep in the forest, so nobody can hear something or even guess. And just the chief of you has to come with me." He took the chief, and the chief was very excited: he was just on the verge of discovering the treasure and he was hoping to be rewarded by the king immensely. It was a long walk into the forest. Again and again he said, "Now there is nobody," but the old man said, "Just a little more."
Finally the chief was tired and he said, "Why do you go on making me walk more and more? I am tired, utterly tired. If you know, please say. If you don't know, say it!"
The wise man said, "I know it. Come close to me. I will whisper in your ears, so nobody hears."
The chief said, "You seem to be almost mad. There is nobody here, we have left people miles away."
But the wise man said, "Just in case." And he whispered in the ears of the chief, "It is absolutely certain some thief has done it."
Now, if you say such universal truths you will not be very special. People love gossiping, people love telling lies, inventing lies. By inventing lies they have some special knowledge that nobody else in the world has; it is their own invention, so nobody knows about it. They can decorate it in such a way, they can rationalize, they can create many many strategies to protect it. And it always brings joy to people when they can befool others; then they know they are wiser than others.
This is an ego trip. The ego is the greatest lie in the world, and the ego always feels good whenever it can feel special. And it is not a question whether you are telling a lie or not; the whole question is whether the other is believing it or not. If the other is believing, at least for the moment it looks like the truth. And when you create many believers in you, it gives you power.
Truth needs no believers. Let me remind you: truth needs no believers. The sun rises in the morning -- you don't believe in it, do you? Nobody asks anybody, "Do you believe in the sun, sir? Do you believe in the moon?" If somebody comes and asks, "Do you believe in the sun, do you believe in the moon, do you believe in the trees?" you will think him mad. What is he asking these things for? They are, so there is no question of believing in them.
People believe in lies; truth needs no believers. And when you invent lies you become a great leader. That's how on the earth three hundred religions exist. Truth is one -- and three hundred religions! People have shown great inventiveness. When lies are such that nobody can detect them and there is no way to prove for or against, you are protected. So many people go on talking spiritual lies; that is safer.
Vimal, if you really want to enjoy telling lies, tell spiritual lies -- that the earth is hollow, that inside the earth there is the real civilization, that ufo's come from the hollow earth. Tell lies, supernatural, spiritual -- that God has not three faces but four. Nobody can prove or disprove how many faces God has; all that will be decisive is with what confidence you can lie. Your confidence will be catching people, it will become contagious. You can look, down the ages it has been happening.
Adolf Hitler has written in his autobiography, Mein Kampf, that a lie repeated again and again becomes a truth. And he knows -- in fact nobody else knows it so well as he knows; it is his own experience. His whole life he lived on lies, lies so blatant that on the surface of it nobody would have thought that anybody would believe in them.
For example, "The whole world is deteriorating, the whole world is going down to hell because of the Jews." How do the Jews come in? When for the first time he started talking about the Jews, even his friends laughed, even his friends told him, "This is stupid." He said "You simply wait. Go on repeating it, and not only non-Jews are going to believe it, even Jews will believe it. You just go on repeating it."
Beliefs are created by constant repetition. And he made the whole German race believe -- one of the most intelligent races on the earth, and it became victim to this stupid man. But he had a few qualities. For example, he was capable of repeating something continuously for years with confidence, from the housetops, with absolute certainty, with no hesitation. It was contagious.
People don't believe in what you say, people believe in the way you say it. And once you have learned the art of telling lies it becomes an addiction, because people start believing in you, you start becoming powerful. And then, if you can manage a few more things, your power will be immense.
For example, if you can manage a certain character, that gives you credibility. If your character is such that people can believe in you more easily, that will help you. The people who live on lies always create a character around themselves; if not a character, then at least an appearance of it.
Hitler was a MAHATMA. He was not a drinker, he would not touch any intoxicant. How can you not believe in such a person? He would eat only vegetarian food, he would not touch nonvegetarian food. How can you not believe in such a person? He would not drink even tea or coffee, he would not smoke. How can you not believe in such a person? He was a greater mahatma than Morarji Desai, because he would not even drink his own urine. How can you not believe in such a person? You have to believe! He has all the credibility.
He would get up early in the morning, as has been taught down the ages; he would go early to bed. He remained a bachelor almost to the end -- I say almost, because only three hours before he died, committed suicide, he got married. I think that is the only thing that he ever did which can be called wise -- just three hours before! He must have thought, "Now what can marriage do to me? I am going to die anyway."
Just three hours before... in the middle of the night, when he decided to commit suicide, he called the priest. The priest was awakened, was brought to his underground cell. Just three, four friends were present, the marriage ceremony was done quick and fast, and the only thing that they did after the marriage ceremony was commit suicide -- that was their honeymoon. He had remained a bachelor his whole life.
These things give credibility. If you really want to be a liar, if you really want to go on lying, then you have to create proofs that you are a man of character, how can you lie? People will believe you. That's why your saints, who live on so-called spiritual lies, depend on character.
A man who lives on truth need not depend on anything else; truth is enough. But truth does not create belief in people -- in fact, truth offends people. People love lies and are always offended by the truth. Vimal, that is the cause, not only of your addiction -- millions are addicted to lies, for the simple reason that people are never offended by lies. In fact they want to hear more and more. They say, "What is new?
Truth is never new. If you are thinking about truth, then there is nothing new under the sun. When you say, "What is new? What is the news?" you are inquiring, "Give me a few more lies, a few more gossips, a few more rumors." And you are ready to believe. In fact the greater the lie is, the greater is the possibility of its belief, because if there is only a small lie it can be detected by people; they have that much intelligence. But if the lie is very big, bigger than their intelligence, they will never be able to detect it. That's why great lies live for centuries.
Now, hell is a lie; there is no hell. And heaven is a lie; there is no heaven. But they have lived for centuries and centuries, and I don't think they are going to disappear. They will live. God as a person is a lie. There is godliness, but there is no God. Whenever I use the word god I simply mean godliness, remember it. Translate it always as godliness. There is a quality of godliness in existence, but there is no God. But people want a God, not godliness; they are not interested in godliness.
That's why people like Buddha could not influence much. Buddha and his whole religion disappeared from this country. One of the most fundamental reasons was this: that he emphasized godliness and not God. If godliness is there, then it is a difficult task. You have to grow into godliness; it is not something readymade there that you can possess. It is not something that you can pray to, it is not something that you can desire anything from. It is not already there, it has to be created in the innermost core of your being. It is like love -- it has to bloom in you, you have to release the fragrance of it. You have to become godly, only then there is God; otherwise there is no God.
But this is too much. Nobody wants to pay so great a price. Why not believe in a simple lie, that there is a God -- a very very old ancient man with a white beard, sitting on a golden throne, ready to fulfill any of your demands if you truly ask? And that is the trick. If your prayer is fulfilled, the priest can say, "You really asked"; if it is not fulfilled, "There was no trust in your prayer."
In fact there is never trust in your prayer, because when there is trust there is no need to pray. All prayers arise out of doubt. But sometimes -- it is just a coincidence -- some prayers happen to be fulfilled. It is just a happening, it is just a chance; there is nobody to fulfill them. But when they are fulfilled, the priest can exploit the situation. He can say, "Look -- you prayed deeply, trustfully, your prayer is fulfilled."
But this happens only once in a while. Ninety-nine times in a hundred your prayer is not fulfilled. But you know yourself that there was not trust; doubt was there. Even when you were praying, there was doubt whether there is a God, whether he will hear, whether he will listen, whether he will oblige -- all kinds of doubts. In spite of all these doubts you say, "Why not try? What you are going to lose? Give it a try. Maybe, perhaps...." You know it. So when it is not fulfilled, the priest can always say to you, "Your trust was not total."
God is a lie as a person. God is a quality, not a personality. You cannot pray to God. You can be in prayer, but when the prayer is really there it is only a quality of love, nothing else. No words to express it, nobody to address it, it is simply a song, a wordless song in the heart, just a stirring of the deepest in you.
People love lies. Truth is arduous. And people also love lies because they make them feel good. You must lie about somebody else: you meet a and you lie about b and you make a feel good; then you meet b and you lie about a and you make b feel good. When you lie about others to people you give them the idea that they are better than others. You can play this game, and if you play it cleverly, cunningly, you can exploit very much.
Mulla Nasruddin and his friend Rahimtullah are standing on a street corner insulting one another. The one calls the other stupid, a cheat, a thief. The other says, "You are a coward, a miser, a hypocrite." Finally they begin insulting each other's families.
Mulla Nasruddin looks Rahimtullah straight in the eye and says, "Your sister is a stinking old whore; for twenty-five paisa she will let a one-eyed leper crawl over her."
Rahimtullah stands there, speechless. A bystander is amazed. He goes over to him and says, "For God's sake, man, how can you just stand there and let the Mulla insult your sister like that?"
Rahimtullah says, "I don't have a sister, I never had a sister, and now that my parents are both dead I never will have a sister."
So the bystander turns to Mulla Nasruddin and says, "Mulla, there is no point your insulting him like that, he does not have a sister."
"Sure," says the Mulla. "Of course not. I know it and he knows it, and now even you know it. But I ask you, how many of the people who had their windows open and were listening to our every word -- how many of them also know it?"
People are living in enormous ignorance; they have not lit the candle of light that is there in their hearts. Their interiority is full of darkness. They don't know even themselves -- what else can they know? Hence you can lie easily and they will believe it, and you can exploit their belief. The politicians have been doing it, the priests have been doing it, and it has been done down the ages. Exploit people. This is one of the most cunning businesses ever invented by man.
In the name of religion, only lies and lies are being propagated. Hence whenever a man of truth arrives, there is great confusion. Jesus creates confusion because he starts telling the truth as it is, and people have been accustomed to lies. They think their lies are the truth, and now here comes this man and he starts saying something else, something totally different. Either they have to believe in this man... then they have to drop their whole tradition, which is a long long investment, and only a very few courageous ones can do it. The easier way is to destroy this man, to make this man silent, so they can go on dreaming and believing in their lies.
You ask me, "I am addicted to telling lies. Why do I do it?"
You must have known the ancient art of the politicians and the priests; maybe you unconsciously have stumbled upon it. And now those lies are paying off for you.
I know one man, a very good man in a way. He has never worked, he has never done anything, but he is very good at a few things; at playing cards, at playing chess, at gossiping and things like that he is perfect. Very cultured, very educated -- he is a Ph.D.; we had studied together. He has lived his whole life on lies and cheating people.
When I was a professor in the university, sometimes he would come and stay with me for a few days. Once I asked him, "When are you going to stop all this business of telling lies?"
He said, "Never!"
I said, "But sooner or later you will be caught."
He said, "Never... because there are so many millions and millions of people in this world, and I cheat a person only one time; then I forget about him, then I find another victim." And he said, "I have only a small life, maybe seventy, at the most eighty years, and the world is big and victims are so many -- I can go on cheating."
He was very clever in making friends, he was very clever at creating a feeling in you that he is a man who can be trusted. Once the trust has arisen, he would immediately deceive you. But that much is certain: he never deceived a person twice. There is no need either, there are so many people.
You must have found some nourishment in telling lies to people. Maybe they pay you more attention, maybe they make you feel that you know more than they know. There are people who go on reading each other's hands. Nobody knows anything. There are people -- tarot card readers, experts in I Ching reading.... These are all basically games. You can invent your own game. And if you start playing these games you will become more and more efficient. And these things pay -- although what you are gaining is mundane, spurious, and what you are losing is very essential. You are losing your very soul, you are committing suicide, but it feels as if it is paying.
Stop enjoying it, unlearn the whole art! Of course you will feel many difficulties arising, because you must have become dependent on the art of telling lies. Take the risk, let it be hard. For a few days, it will be hard. Stop immediately!
Listen to Atisha's advice: three difficulties.
First: if you become aware when you are lying to somebody, immediately, in the middle of it, ask to be forgiven. Say immediately, "This was a lie, and I was again getting into my old trick. Forgive me, please." It will be hard, but there is no other way. When a habit has become very deep-rooted, it has to be hammered.
Second: become aware when you are just preparing to tell a lie. Just as it is on the lips, just on the tongue... stop it then and there, abort it then and there.
And third: become aware when a lie starts arising in your feelings, in the heart.
If you can do these three awarenesses, lying will disappear. And the moment lying disappears, truth arrives. And truth is the only thing worth seeking and searching, because truth liberates.
The fourth question:
Beloved Osho, You speak about love and compassion. I know of and feel different forms of love and compassion. Can You explain the different forms of love, and what You mean by compassion?
Dorothy Kaplan, love is a ladder, a ladder of three rungs. The lowest rung is sex, the middle is love, and the highest is prayer. Because of these three rungs there are a thousand and one combinations possible.
Real compassion appears only at the third rung when sex energy becomes prayer -- the compassion of a buddha, the compassion Atisha is talking about. When passion has been transformed so totally, so utterly that it is no more passion at all, then compassion appears. Real compassion appears only when your sex energy has become prayer.
But compassion can appear on the second rung too, and compassion can appear on the first rung also. Hence there are so many different compassions. For example, if compassion appears on the first rung, when you are living at the lowest level of love-energy, sex, then compassion will be just an ego trip. Then compassion will be very egotistic: you will enjoy the idea of being compassionate. You will really enjoy the other's suffering, because it is the other's suffering that is giving you the opportunity to be compassionate.
Somebody has fallen in the river and is drowning. The sexual person can jump in and save him, but his joy is that he was so good, that he did something beautiful, something great. He will talk about it with pride, he will brag about it. Compassion on the lowest rung, that of sex, will appear only as an ego trip.
That's what millions of missionaries all over the world are doing -- serving the poor, serving the ill, serving the uneducated aboriginals, primitives. But the whole joy is that, "I am doing something great." The 'I' is strengthened. That is an ugly form of compassion. It is called duty. Duty is a four-letter dirty word.
The second kind of compassion appears when love has arrived. Then compassion is sympathy: you feel, you really feel for the other. You fall into a harmony with the other, the other's suffering stirs you. It is not something to brag about. On the second rung, you will never talk about your compassion, never; it is not something to be talked about. In fact you will never feel that you have done anything special, you will simply feel you have done whatsoever was to be done. You will see that it was human to do it. There is nothing special in it, nothing extraordinary; you have not attained some spiritual merit in doing it. There is nothing like merit in it: it was natural, spontaneous. Then compassion is becoming more soft, more beautiful.
At the third rung, where sex energy becomes prayer, compassion appears as empathy -- not even sympathy, but empathy. Sympathy means feeling the other's suffering, but you are still at a distance; empathy means becoming one with the other's suffering -- not only feeling it but suffering it, actually going into it. If somebody is crying, sympathy means you feel for the one who is crying, empathy means you start crying. You are not only in a feeling space, you become attuned, you become really one: at-one-ment happens.
A man came to Buddha and asked, "I am very rich and I have no children, and my wife has also died. Now I have all the money in the world. I would like to do some meritorious work. I would like to do something for the poor and the downtrodden. Just tell me, what should I do?"
And it is said Buddha became very sad and a tear rolled down from his eye.
The man was very much puzzled. He said, "Tears in your eyes? And you look so sad -- why?"
Buddha said, "You cannot help anybody, because you have not even helped yourself yet. And you cannot do anything compassionate, because your energies are still at the lowest. Your base metal has not yet become gold. In fact," Buddha said, "I am feeling so sorry for you. You want to be of some help to people, but you are not. You don't exist yet, because awareness has not happened, and without awareness how can you be? You don't have a real center from where compassion can flow."
Compassion can have these three categories, and love also has three categories. First, sex. Sex simply means: "Give me -- give me more and more!" It is exploitation, it is what Martin Buber calls the I-it relationship: "You are a thing and I want to use you." The man uses the woman, the woman uses the man, the parents use the children and the children use parents, friends use friends. They say, "A friend is a friend only; a friend in need is a friend indeed." Use, reduce the other into a commodity.
To live in the I-it world is to miss the whole wonder of existence. Then you are surrounded by things -- not by persons, not by people, not by life, but just material things. The poorest man in the world is one who lives in the I-it relationship. Sex is exploitation.
Love is totally different. Love is not exploitation. Love is not an I-it relationship, it is an I-thou relationship. The other is respected as a person in his own right; the other is not a thing to be used, to be possessed, to be manipulated. The other is an independent person, a freedom. The other has to be communicated with, not exploited. Love is a communication of energies.
Sex is only "Give me, give me, give me more!" Hence the sexual relationship is continuously that of war, conflict, because the other also says "Give me!" Both want more and more, and nobody is ready to give. Hence the conflict, the tug-of-war. And of course whosoever proves more strong will exploit the other. Because man has been muscularly stronger than woman, he has exploited, he has reduced women to utter nonentities; he has destroyed the soul of women. And it was easier for him if the soul was completely destroyed.
For centuries women were not allowed to read; in many religions women were not allowed to go to the temple, women were not allowed to become priests. Women were not allowed any public life, any social life. They were imprisoned in the houses; they were cheap labor, the whole day working, working, working. And they were reduced to sex objects. There has not been much difference between prostitutes and wives in the past. The wife was reduced into a permanent prostitute, that's all. The relationship was not a relationship, it was an ownership.
Love respects the other. It is a give-and-take relationship. Love enjoys giving, and love enjoys taking. It is a sharing, it is a communication. Both are equal in love; in a sexual relationship both are not equal. Love has a totally different beauty to it.
The world is slowly slowly moving towards love relationships; hence there is great turmoil. All the old institutions are disappearing -- they have to disappear, because they were based on the I-it relationship. New ways of communication, new ways of sharing are bound to be discovered. They will have a different flavor, the flavor of love, of sharing. Nonpossessive they will be; there will be no owner.
Then the highest state of love is prayer. In prayer there is communion. In sex there is the I-it relationship, in love the I-thou relationship. Martin Buber stops there; his Judaic tradition won't allow him to go further. But one step more has to be taken: that is "neither I nor thou" -- a relationship where I and thou disappear, a relationship where two persons no more function as two but function as one. A tremendous unity, a harmony, a deep accord, two bodies but one soul. That is the highest quality of love: I call it prayer.
Love has these three stages, and compassion accordingly has three stages, and both can exist in different combinations.
Hence, Dorothy Kaplan, there are so many kinds of love and so many kinds of compassion. But the basic, the most fundamental, is to understand this three-rung ladder of love. That will help you, that will give you an insight into where you are, what kind of love you are living in and what kind of compassion is happening to you. Watch. Beware not to remain caught in it. There are higher realms, heights to be climbed, peaks to be attained.
And the last question:
I don’t understand You. Please don’t confuse me. I have come here to attain some clarity.
Suraj, you have come to the wrong place. Confusion is my technique to bring clarity. You are feeling confused because you must have come with certain prejudices and I am shattering them. Hence the confusion, hence you are feeling chaos. You had come here to be made more certain about your prejudices. I am not here to help your prejudices, I am not here to help your traditions, your conditionings. My work consists in demolishing you completely, because only when you are utterly demolished the new is born. When the old ceases to exist, the new appears -- and that new has clarity.
Clarity is not certainty, certainty is not clarity. Clarity comes not out of mind and its projections and ideas and philosophies, clarity comes out of the mirrorlike quality of no-mind. Clarity simply means that you have no idea of what is, that you have no philosophy to cling to, that you have no ideology -- Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, communist -- that you are simply without any ideology, without any philosophy, without any scripture: empty, utterly empty.
That virginity is clarity. Then all dust is gone and the mirror reflects that which is.
You say: "Beloved Osho, I don't understand you."
It is not a question of understanding at all. I am not trying in any way to make myself understood by you. It is not a question of understanding, knowing; it is a question of feeling, seeing, being. But that's what happens to many people: they come with a certain idea, with a certain language that they understand. I use different methods that they have never even heard about. They come with their expectations, their ideologies, their language. I speak a totally different language, and I have no ideology to teach you. I have nothing to teach you; I am not a teacher at all. I have nothing to convey to you, I have no message. You will have to learn my language; otherwise there is going to be more and more misunderstanding and more and more confusion.
Did you hear about the P.E. lecturer who went to the doctor and said, "When I was twenty it was like steel -- so solid I could not bend it at all. When I was thirty I could bend it, but only a wee bit, mind you. Now I'm sixty-four, I can tie a knot in it."
After listening to this, the doctor asked what it was that he wanted to know. And the lecturer replied, "Am I getting stronger, doctor?"
Meditate over it. Different languages....
An inexperienced young man visits a house of prostitution. He is surprised at the politeness of the girl. In the morning he gets dressed and is about to depart.
"How about some money?" says the girl.
"Oh, no," he replies, "you have been kind enough already."
The traveling saleswoman goes to bed with the farmer's son. Trying to get something going, she says to him, "Would you trade sides with me? Roll over me and I will roll over you, and we will be more comfortable."
"Oh, that's all right, ma'am. I'll just walk to your side of the bed."
He does so. This happens several more times. Finally she says, "I don't think you know what I really want."
"Yes I do," he replies. "You want the whole darn bed, but you ain't gonna get it!"
The draft board examiners eyed the swishy young man with suspicion. They had orders to watch out for potential draft evaders feigning homosexuality. After subjecting the chap to an extensive physical and psychological examination, one of the examiners declared, "Well, fellah, it looks like you are going to make a good little soldier."
"Fabulous!" replied the young man. "When do I meet him?"
Enough for today.