PDF Print E-mail

Chapter 22

The greatest Joke there is
(This chapter has been entirely deleted in the new edition)


The first question:

Beloved Osho, What is innocence, What is beauty?

Ram Fakeer, to live in the moment is innocence, to live without the past is innocence, to live without conclusions is innocence, to function out of the state of not knowing is innocence. And the moment you function out of such tremendous silence which is not burdened by any past, out of such tremendous stillness which knows nothing, the experience that happens is beauty.

Whenever you feel beauty -- in the rising sun, in the stars, in the flowers, or in the face of a woman or a man -- wherever and whenever you feel beauty, watch. And one thing will always be found: you had functioned without mind, you had functioned without any conclusion, you had simply functioned spontaneously. The moment gripped you, and the moment gripped you so deeply that you were cut off from the past.

And when you are cut off from the past you are cut off from the future automatically, because past and future are two aspects of the same coin; they are not separate, and they are not separable either. You can toss a coin: sometimes it is heads, sometimes it is tails, but the other part is always there, hiding behind.

Past and future are two aspects of the same coin. The name of the coin is mind. When the whole coin is dropped, that dropping is innocence. Then you don't know who you are, then you don't know what is; there is no knowledge.

But you are, existence is, and the meeting of these two is-nesses -- the small is-ness of you, meeting with the infinite is-ness of existence -- that meeting, that merger, is the experience of beauty.
Innocence is the door; through innocence you enter into beauty. The more innocent you become, the more existence becomes beautiful. The more knowledgeable you are, the more and more existence is ugly, because you start functioning from conclusions, you start functioning from knowledge.

The moment you know, you destroy all poetry. The moment you know, and think that you know, you have created a barrier between yourself and that which is. Then everything is distorted. Then you don't hear with your ears, you translate. Then you don't see with your eyes, you interpret. Then you don't experience with your heart, you think that you experience. Then all possibility of meeting with existence in immediacy, in intimacy, is lost. You have fallen apart.

This is the original sin. And this is the whole story, the biblical story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Once they have eaten the fruit of knowledge they are driven out of paradise. Not that somebody drove them out, not that God ordered them to get out of paradise, they themselves fell. Knowing they were no more innocent, knowing they were separate from existence, knowing they were egos... knowing created such a barrier, an iron barrier.

You ask me, Ram Fakeer, "What is innocence?"

Vomit knowledge! The fruit of the tree of knowledge has to be vomited. That's what meditation is all about. Throw it out of your system: it is poison, pure poison. Live without knowledge, knowing that "I don't know." Function out of this state of not knowing and you will know what beauty is.

Socrates knows what beauty is, because he functions out of this state of not knowing. There is a knowledge that does not know, and there is an ignorance that knows. Become ignorant like Socrates and then a totally different quality enters your being: you become a child again, it is a rebirth. Your eyes are full of wonder again, each and everything that surrounds surprises. The bird on the wing, and you are thrilled! The sheer joy of seeing the bird on the wing -- and it is as if you are on the wing.

The dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf and the morning sun shining on it and creating a small rainbow around it, and the moment is so overwhelming... the dewdrop slipping off the leaf, just on the verge of meeting with the infinite, disappearing into the lake -- and it is as if you start slipping, as if your drop starts slipping into the ocean of God.

In the moment of innocence, not knowing, the difference between the observer and the observed evaporates. You are no more separate from that which you are seeing, you are no more separate from that which you are hearing.

Listening to me, right now, you can function in two ways. One is the way of knowledge: chattering inside yourself, judging, evaluating, constantly thinking whether what I am saying is right or wrong, whether it fits with your theories or not, whether it is logical or illogical, scientific or unscientific, Christian or Hindu, whether you can go with it or not, whether you can swallow it or not, a thousand and one thoughts clamoring inside your mind, the inner talk, the inner traffic -- this is one way of listening. But then you are listening from so far away that I will not be able to reach you.

I go on trying but I will not be able to reach you. You are really on some other planet: you are not here, you are not now. You are a Hindu, you are a Christian, you are a Mohammedan, you are a communist, but you are not here now. The Bible is there between me and you, or the Koran or the Gita. And I grope for you but I come across the barrier of the Koran, I grope for you but there is a queue of priests between me and you. This is the way of knowledge, this is the way of remaining deaf, of remaining blind, of remaining heart-less.

There is another way of listening too: just listening, nothing between me and you. Then there is immediacy, contact, meeting, communion. Then you don't interpret, because you are not worried whether it is right or wrong. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. In that moment of innocence one does not evaluate. There is nothing to evaluate with, no criterion, no a priori knowledge, no already-arrived conclusion, nothing to compare with. You can only listen, just as one listens to the running sound of water in the hills, or a solo flute player in the forest, or somebody playing on the guitar. You listen.
But the person who has come to listen as a critic will not listen. The person who has come simply to listen, not as a critic but to enjoy the moment, will be able to listen to the music. What is there to understand in music? There is nothing to understand. There is something to taste, certainly; there is something to drink and be drunk with, certainly, but what is there to understand?

But the critic, he is not there to taste, he is not there to drink -- he is there to understand. He is not listening to the music because he is so full of mathematics. He is continuously criticizing, thinking. He is not innocent; he knows too much, hence he will miss the beauty of it. He may arrive at some stupid conclusions, but he will miss the whole moment. And the moment is momentous!
If you can listen, just listen, if you can see, just see, then this very moment you will know what innocence is.

And I am not here only to explain to you what innocence is, I am here to give a taste of it. Have a cup of tea! I offer it to you, each moment it is being offered. Sip it -- feel the warmth of the moment and the music of it and the silence and the love that overflows. Be encompassed with it. Disappear for a moment with your mind -- watching, judging, criticizing, believing, disbelieving, for, against. For a moment be just an openness, and you will know what innocence is. And in that you will know what beauty is.
Beauty is an experience that happens in innocence, the flower that blooms in innocence. Jesus says, "Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God."

The second question:

Beloved Osho, Sometimes I believe You and sometimes I disbelieve You. How long am I to live in this duality? How am I to drop this duality and unite? Please explain.

Mohan Bharti, who has told you to believe in me? If you believe you will disbelieve too. Nobody can believe without disbelieving. Let it be settled once for all: nobody can believe without disbelieving. Every belief is a cover-up for disbelief.

Belief is only the circumference of the center called doubt; because the doubt is there you create belief. The doubt hurts, it is like a wound, it is painful. Because the doubt is a wound it hurts; it makes you feel your inner emptiness, your inner ignorance. You want to cover it up. But hiding your wound behind a roseflower -- do you think it is going to help? Do you think the roseflower will be able to help the wound disappear? Just the contrary! Sooner or later the roseflower will start stinking of the wound. The wound will not disappear because of the roseflower; in fact the roseflower will disappear because of the wound.
And you may be able to deceive somebody else who is looking from the outside -- your neighbors may think that there is no wound, but a roseflower -- but how can you deceive yourself? That is impossible. Nobody can deceive himself; deep down somewhere you will know, you are bound to know, that the wound exists and you are hiding it behind a roseflower. And you know the roseflower is arbitrary: it has not grown in you, you have plucked it from the outside, while the wound has grown inside you; you have not plucked it from the outside.

The child brings the doubt in him -- an inner doubt, that is natural. It is because of the doubt he inquires, it is because of the doubt he questions. Go with a child for a morning walk in the woods, and he brings so many questions that you feel bored, that you want to tell him to shut up. But he goes on asking.

From where are these questions coming? They are natural to the child. Doubt is an inner potential; it is the only way the child will be able to inquire and search and seek. Nothing is wrong about it. Your priests have been telling you a lie, that there is something wrong about doubt. There is nothing wrong about it. It is natural, and it has to be accepted and respected. When you respect your doubt, it is no longer a wound; when you reject it, it becomes a wound.

Let it be very clear: doubt itself is not a wound. It is a tremendous help, because it will make you an adventurer, explorer. It will take you to the farthest star in search of truth, it will make you a pilgrim. It is not unhealthy to have doubt. Doubt is beautiful, doubt is innocent, doubt is natural. But the priests have condemned it down the ages. Because of their condemnation, the doubt which could have become a flowering of trust has become just a stinking wound. Condemn anything and it becomes a wound, reject anything and it becomes a wound.

My teaching is: the first thing to be done, Mohan Bharti, is not to try to believe. Why? If doubt is there, doubt is there! There is no need to hide it. In fact, allow it, help it, let it become a great quest. Let it become a thousand and one questions -- and ultimately you will see it is not the questions that are relevant, it is the question mark! Doubt is not a search for belief; doubt simply is groping for the mystery, making every effort to understand the un-understandable, to comprehend the incomprehensible -- a groping effort.

And if you go on searching, seeking, without stuffing yourself with borrowed beliefs, two things will happen. One: you will never have any disbelief. Remember, doubt and disbelief are not synonymous. Disbelief happens only when you have already believed, when you have already deceived yourself and others. Disbelief comes only when belief has entered in; it is a shadow of belief.

All believers are disbelievers -- they may be Hindus, they may be Christians, they may be Jainas. I know all of them: all believers are disbelievers, because belief brings disbelief, it is the shadow of belief. Can you believe without disbelieving? It is impossible; it cannot be done in the nature of things. If you want to disbelieve, the first requirement is to believe. Can you believe without any disbelief entering from the back door? Or can you disbelieve without having any belief in the first place? Believe in God, and immediately the disbelief comes in. Believe in afterlife and disbelief arises. Disbelief is secondary, belief is primary.

And, Mohan Bharti, what you want to do is what millions of people in the world want to do: they don't want the disbelief, they want only the belief. I cannot help, nobody can help. If you only are interested in belief, you will have to suffer the disbelief also. You will remain divided, you will remain split, you will remain schizophrenic. You cannot have the feel of organic unity; you yourself have barred it from happening.

What's my suggestion? First, drop believing. Let beliefs be dropped, they are all rubbish! Trust in doubt, that's my suggestion; don't try to hide it. Trust in doubt. That is the first thing to bring in your being: trust in your doubt. And see the beauty of it, how beautifully trust has come in.
I am not saying believe, I am saying TRUST. The doubt is a natural gift; it must be from God -- from where else can it be? You bring doubt with you: trust in it, trust in your questioning. And don't be in a hurry to stuff and hide it with borrowed beliefs from the outside -- from the parents, from the priests, from the politicians, from the society, the church. Your doubt is something beautiful because it is yours; it is something beautiful because it is authentic. Out of this authentic doubt some day will grow the flower of authentic trust. It will be an inner growth, it will not be an imposition from the outside.

That is the difference between belief and trust: trust grows inside you, in your interiority, in your subjectivity. Just as doubt is inner, so is trust. And only the inner can transform the inner. Belief is from the outside; it can't help because it can't reach to the innermost core of your being, and it is there that the doubt is.

From where to start? Trust your doubt. That's my way of bringing trust in. Don't believe in God, don't believe in the soul, don't believe in the afterlife. Trust in your doubt, and immediately a conversion has started. Trust is such a powerful force that even if you trust in your doubt you have brought light in. And doubt is like darkness. That small trust in doubt will start changing your inner world, the inner scene.

And question! Why be afraid? Why be so cowardly? Question -- question all the buddhas, question me, because if there is truth, truth is not afraid of your questioning. If buddhas are true, they are true; you need not believe in them. Go on doubting them... and still one day you will see trust has arisen.
When you doubt, and you go on in doubting to the very end, to the very logical end, sooner or later you will stumble upon a truth. Doubt is groping in darkness, but the door exists. If Buddha could get to the door, if Jesus could get to it, if Atisha could get to it, if I can get to it, why can't you? Everybody is capable of getting to the door -- but you are afraid of groping, so you sit in your dark corner believing in somebody who has found the door. You have not seen that somebody, you have heard about him from others who have heard it from others, and so on, so forth.

How do you believe in Jesus? Why? You have not seen Jesus! And even if you had seen him you would have missed. The day he was crucified, thousands had gathered to see him, and do you know what they were doing? They were spitting on his face! You may have been in that crowd, because that crowd was not different at all. Man has not changed.

Darwin says man has evolved out of the monkey. Maybe, but since then evolution seems to have stopped. It must have been an accident, some monkey must have fallen from the tree and could not get back. Maybe he was fractured or became afraid of falling again, so he started living on the earth. When you live in the trees you can live with all your four hands or four legs, but when you live on the earth you have to stand on two legs.

Because the monkey was able to look all over the place from the trees... he had always lived that way, looking all over the place; there was no danger, he could see far away. Once he was on the ground, living on all fours was dangerous. He could not see all around, he could see only just two, three feet in front of himself, and he was afraid -- that was not his way of living. He had lived always in a kind of security in the trees, looking all over the place. Wherever the enemy was, he was aware; he could protect himself. Out of sheer fear he had to stand on two legs on the ground. Just think of that hilarious situation: a monkey trying to stand on two legs! All the monkeys must have laughed uproariously, "Look at that fool, what he is trying to do!"

Since then evolution seems to have stopped. Nothing has happened since then. Man has lived almost the same way, his mind has not changed. Yes, things have changed: we live in better houses with better plumbing... I am not talking about India!

Some sannyasin has just asked me, "Osho, You say life is beautiful. I could have believed you -- but two things, women and Indian plumbing, they don't allow me to believe in it."
Women can be changed -- but Indian plumbing? No!
We have better roads and better vehicles to carry you from one place to another, great technology -- man has landed on the moon -- but man has not changed. That's why I say many of you must have been in the crowd that was spitting on Jesus, and many of you must have been in the crowd that was witnessing Mansoor's murder, who were throwing stones at the murdered mystic. You have not changed.
How can you believe in Jesus? You were spitting on his face when he was alive, and now you believe in him, after two thousand years? It is just a desperate effort to hide your doubt. Why do you believe in Jesus?

If one thing can be dropped from the Jesus story, the whole of Christianity will disappear. If one thing, only one thing, the phenomenon of resurrection -- that after being crucified and remaining dead three days, Jesus came back again -- if this part can be dropped, the whole of Christianity will disappear. You believe in Jesus because you are afraid of death, and he seems to be the only man who has come back again, who has defeated death.

Christianity became the greatest religion in the world. Buddhism could not become that great, for the simple reason that the fear of death helps people to believe in Christ more than in Buddha. In fact to believe in Buddha needs guts, because Buddha says, "I teach you total death." This small death -- he is not satisfied with it. He says: This small death won't do, you will be coming back again. I teach you the total death, the ultimate death. Annihilation I teach, so that you will never come back again, so that you will disappear, you will be diffused in existence, you won't be any more, any longer; not even a trace will be left behind.

In India Buddhism disappeared, completely disappeared. Such a great, so-called religious country, and Buddhism completely disappeared. Why? People believe in religions which teach that you will live after death, that the soul is immortal. Buddha was saying that the only thing worth realizing is that you are not. Buddhism could not survive in India, because it didn't give you a cover-up for your fear.

Buddha did not say to people, "Believe in me." Hence his teaching disappeared from this country, because people want to believe. People don't want truth, they want belief. Belief is cheap. Truth is dangerous, arduous, difficult; one has to pay for it. One has to seek and search, and there is no guarantee that you will find it, there is no guarantee that there is any truth anywhere. It may not be at all; the goal may not exist.

People want belief, and Buddha said... his last message to the world was "appo dipo bhava; be a light unto yourself." He had said this because his disciples were crying. Ten thousand sannyasins surrounding him... of course they were sad, and tears were falling; their master was leaving. And Buddha said to them, "Don't cry. Why are you crying?"

One of the disciples, Ananda, said, "Because you are leaving us, because you were our only hope, because we had hoped and hoped long that it is through you we will attain to truth."
It was to answer Ananda that Buddha said, "Don't be worried about that. I cannot give you truth; nobody else can give it to you, it is not transferable. But you can attain it on your own. Be a light unto yourself."
Mohan Bharti, the same is my attitude. You need not believe in me. I don't want believers here, I want seekers, and the seeker is a totally different phenomenon. The believer is not a seeker. The believer does not want to seek, that's why he believes. The believer wants to avoid seeking, that's why he believes. The believer wants to be delivered, saved, he needs a savior. He is always in search of a messiah -- somebody who can eat for him, chew for him, digest for him. But if I eat, your hunger is not going to be satisfied. Nobody can save you except yourself.

I need seekers here, inquirers, not believers. Believers are the most mediocre people in the world, the least intelligent people in the world. So forget about belief, you are creating trouble for yourself. You start believing in me, then disbelief arises -- it is bound to arise, because I am not here to fit with your expectations.

Mohan Bharti comes from a Jaina family. It took great courage for him to become a sannyasin of mine. But the traditional mind is there; you cannot so easily get rid of it. So very deep down in the unconscious there are lurking expectations of how I should be. Then disbelief is bound to arise.
I live in my own way, I don't consider you. I don't consider anybody at all -- because if you start considering others you can't live your life authentically. Consider and you will become phony. I know if I can live in a grass hut, thousands and thousands of Indians will come to worship me. If I can live naked, millions will think of me as a saint, a great saint. If I can eat only once a day, and that too by begging, the whole country will be happy with me. But I can't do these things, they are not natural to me.
It may have been natural for Mahavira to be naked; hence he was naked. And remember, people were not happy, because the people who were surrounding Mahavira had believed in Krishna and Rama, and they were not naked. So they were expecting Mahavira to behave like Krishna; they were expecting a flute, and he had none. They must have searched -- in fact there was nowhere to search, he was standing naked! He was not fulfilling their expectations. Where is the crown of peacock feathers? They had known Krishna; he was a totally different individual, a totally different expression of existence. Very colorful he was, a rainbow, with peacock feathers as a crown, with beautiful flowers as garlands, the dress, the garments made of the best silk possible.

And he had ornaments on his body, diamonds, gold, ornaments like women. In those days, men used to have ornaments. That seems to be more natural, because in nature the male animal is more ornamental than the female. The male peacock has those beautiful feathers, the female peacock has no beautiful feathers at all. It is enough for her to be the female; that is enough. The male has to substitute something because he is not female: he has to look beautiful, he has to be ornamental. The male peacock dances, remember, not the female. That dance is a substitute. He wants to look as beautiful as possible -- he is afraid he may not be chosen!

It is the male cuckoo that gives the call; that beautiful sound, that song, comes from the male cuckoo. The female simply sits, waits; just to be female is enough. Look in nature and you will be surprised: female animals are not ornamental at all. In the ancient days it was so with men too. The female is beautiful as she is, nature has made her beautiful.

So in those days of Krishna, five thousand years back, the male used to have beautiful garments, flowers, ornaments, and Hindus were accustomed to that idea. And then came Mahavira, standing naked, with no ornaments, no garments, nothing to beautify his body, just utterly naked. Not only that, he used to pull out his own hair. He must have looked a little crazy. Only crazy people pull out their hair; when madness possesses you, you pull out your hair. He was pulling it for a certain different reason -- because hair gives a certain beauty.

And the people who don't have hair, the bald people like me, have to create beautiful theories! They say that bald people are the most sexual. The whole theory is that people go bald in three ways. A few people start from the front: they are the most sexual. A few people start from the back: they are not sexual, they only think they are sexual. And a few people start in the middle: it is better not to say anything about them! Hair gives beauty. Bald people must feel something has to be substituted, and they have created the rumor all over the world that bald people are very sexual.

Krishna and Rama were very aesthetic people, and Mahavira was totally different, very austere. But that was natural to him; he was beautiful in his nakedness, as beautiful as Krishna was with all his garments and ornaments. In fact, ancient scriptures say that Mahavira may have been the most beautiful man in the world. That may have been one of the reasons why he went naked. If you have a well-proportioned body, if your body is really beautiful, who cares about clothes?

Ugly people are very much worried about clothes, because that's how somehow they manage. Now, a woman who has an ugly body will not be ready to go naked on the beach. She will be very much against beaches; she will be very much against going naked, nude people and nudist camps. The only thing she is really against is that she knows that if she goes naked it will be a really horrible scene!

Whenever a country becomes beautiful, people start becoming nude. Whenever it has happened that a race has become beautiful, people start going nude. There is no need to hide. We hide only the ugly part. But clothes are helpful to people who don't have beautiful bodies. You may not have a beautiful chest, manly chest, but you can wear stuffed coats and they can give a feel -- at least to the outsiders.

A man was searching on a nude beach... he was searching for his wife. A policeman was looking at him. He became suspicious and asked him, "What are you searching for? And for hours you have been searching... searching for some hidden treasure?"
He said, "No, just a sunken chest."

You can have stuffed clothes which can give a shape to your body.

Mahavira must have been beautiful -- that's my feeling too -- must have been a rare, beautiful man. But it was not expected, hence people were against him. No village, no town, was hospitable to him. He was driven away from villages and towns, stones were thrown at him, wild dogs were released behind him so that they could chase him out of the town -- just because he was nude! He was not doing any harm to anybody; the most harmless person you can think of, he would not even do harm to the ants. In the night he used to sleep only on one side. He would not change from one side to the other, because who knows, an ant may have crawled behind him in the night and if he turns over the ant may be killed. He would not walk in the night, because some insect may be killed. He would not walk on grass, on lawns; he would not walk in the rainy season, because so many insects are born in the rainy season. Such a harmless man, but yet people misbehaved with him. And the only reason? -- he was not fulfilling their expectations.
No buddha has ever fulfilled anybody's expectations. In fact that's why he becomes a buddha: he never compromises. Mohan Bharti, if you have any expectations about me you will again and again be in trouble, because I don't consider your expectations.

George Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples one of the most fundamental things: "Don't consider others, otherwise you will never grow." And that's what is happening in the whole world, everybody is considering others: "What will my mother think? What will my father think? What will the society think? What will my wife, my husband...?" What to say of the parents -- even parents are afraid of children! They think, "What will our children think?"

One man came to me and he said, "Since I have become a sannyasin, my children think that I have gone crazy, they laugh at me. Nothing hurts me more than this, that my own children... they look at me from the window, they don't come inside the room! They whisper to each other -- I don't know what, but they talk about me. They think something has gone wrong."

People are considering each other -- and then there are millions of people to consider. If you go on considering each and everybody, you will never be an individual, you will be just a hodgepodge. So many compromises made, you would have committed suicide long ago.

It is said people die at the age of thirty and are buried at the age of seventy. Death happens very early -- I think thirty is also not right, death happens even earlier. Somewhere near twenty-one, when the law and the state recognize you as a citizen, that is the moment when a person dies. In fact, that's why they recognize you as a citizen: now you are no more dangerous, now you are no more wild, now you are no more raw. Now everything has been put right in you, fixed right in you; now you have been adjusted to the society. That's what it means when the nation gives you the right to vote: the nation can trust now that your intelligence has been destroyed -- you can vote. There is no fear about you; you are a citizen, you are a civilized man. You are no more a man then, you are a citizen.

My own observation is, people die nearabout twenty-one. Then whatsoever is, is a posthumous existence. On the graves we should start writing three dates: birth, death, and posthumous death.
Mohan Bharti, first you believe in me -- that's where you go wrong, don't believe in me -- and then you disbelieve. Then you get caught up in the conflict, and the problem arises, What to do? How to get out of this duality? You create the duality and then you want to get out of it. I will not tell you how to get out of it, I will tell you how not to get into it. Why in the first place should you get into it?

They define a witty person as one who knows how to get out of difficulties, and the wise one as one who knows how never to get into them. Be wise. Why not cut the very root? Don't believe in me, be a fellow traveler with me. That's what my sannyasins are: they are not believers, they are fellow travelers. They are walking with me into the unknown; they are walking with their own feet, on their own. I don't carry you on my shoulders, I don't want you to be cripples your whole life; I don't give you any crutches, you have to walk on your own.

Yes, I know the way, I have walked on it, I know all the pitfalls on the way. I will go on shouting loudly at you, "Beware, there is a pitfall!" But still it is up to you to decide whether to fall into it or not. If you fall into it I don't condemn you, I respect your freedom. If you don't fall into it I don't reward you, I take it for granted this is how an intelligent person behaves. So there is no reward with me and no punishment with me, there is no hell and no heaven, there is no sin, no virtue. This is my joy -- to share. If it is your joy to share it with me, good; we can go along as far as you decide to come along with me. The moment you want to have a separate way, it's perfectly good, we will depart with a goodbye.

There is no need to believe in me, there is no need to cling onto me. And then there is no question of disbelief, and the duality never arises, and you need not find a way to get out of it. Please don't get into it.

The third question:

Beloved Osho, What is exactly Your attitude about death?

Kamalesh, a mystic who was being led to the gallows saw a big crowd running on before him. "Don't be in such a hurry," he said to them. "I can assure you, nothing will happen without me."

That's my attitude towards death: it is the greatest joke there is. Death has never happened, cannot happen in the very nature of things, because life is eternal. Life cannot end; it is not a thing, it is a process. It is not something that begins and ends; it has no beginning and no end. You have always been here in different forms, and you will be here in different forms, or, ultimately, formless. That's how a buddha lives in existence: he becomes formlessness. He disappears from the gross forms totally.

Death is not there, it is a lie -- but it appears very real. It only appears very real, it is not. It appears so because you believe too much in your separate existence. It is in believing that you are separate from existence that you give reality to death. Drop this idea of being separate from existence, and death disappears.

If I am one with existence, how can I die? Existence was there before me and will be there after me. I am just a ripple in the ocean, and the ripple comes and goes, the ocean remains, abides. Yes, you will not be there -- as you are you will not be there. This form will disappear, but the one who is abiding in this form will go on abiding, either in other forms or ultimately in formlessness.

Start feeling one with existence, because that's how it is. That's why my insistence again and again to let the distinction between the observer and the observed disappear, as many times during the day as possible. Find a few moments -- whenever you can find, wherever you can find -- and just let this distinction and difference between the observer and the observed disappear. Become the tree you are seeing and become the cloud you are looking at, and slowly slowly you will start laughing at death.
This mystic who was being led to the gallows must have seen the utter lie of death, he could joke about his own death. He was being led to the gallows, he saw a big crowd running on before him; they were going to see the crucifixion....

People are very much interested in such things. If they hear that somebody is being murdered publicly, thousands of people will gather to see it. Why this attraction? Deep down you are all murderers, and this is a vicarious way to enjoy it. That's why films about murder and violence, detective novels, are so much in vogue, popular. Unless a film has murder in it and suicide in it and obscene sex in it, it never becomes a box office hit. It never succeeds, it fails. Why? -- because nobody is interested in anything else. These are deep desires in your being. Seeing them on the screen, there is a vicarious enjoyment as if you are doing it; you become identified with the characters in the film or in the novel.

Now this mystic was being led to the gallows. He saw a big crowd running on before him. "Don't be in such a hurry," he said to them. "I can assure you nothing will happen without me. You can walk easily, slowly, there is no hurry. I am the person they are going to kill, and nothing is going to happen without me."

This is my attitude about death. Laugh! Let laughter be your attitude about death. It is a cosmic lie created by man himself, created by the ego, by selfconsciousness.

That's why in nature no other animal, bird, tree is afraid of death. Only man, and he makes so much fuss
out of it... his whole life trembling. Death is coming closer, and because of death he cannot allow himself to live totally. How can you live if you are so afraid? Life is possible only without fear. Life is possible only with love, not with fear. And death creates fear.

And who is the culprit? God has not created death, it is man's own invention. Create the ego, and you have created the other side of it -- death.

The fourth question:

Beloved Osho, I cannot believe that I am. What is wrong with me?

Naresh, it is impossible. It is impossible to say that "I am not" -- because even to say that you have to be. One of the great philosophers of the West, the modern father of philosophy in the West, was Descartes. His whole life was an inquiry for something indubitable, which cannot be doubted. He wanted a foundation, and a foundation which cannot be doubted; only then the right edifice can be built upon it. He searched, very sincerely he searched.

God can be doubted, the other life can be doubted, even the existence of the other can be doubted. I am here, you can see me; but who knows, you may be dreaming, because in dream also you see the other, and in dream the other seems as real as in the so-called real life. You never doubt in your dream. In fact, in the real life you may doubt sometimes, but in the dream it is indubitable.

Chuang Tzu is reported to have said, "My greatest problem is one which I am unable to solve. The problem is that one night I dreamed that I am a butterfly. Since that night I am confused."
A friend asked, "What is your confusion? Everybody dreams, there is nothing special about it. Why be so worried about it, that you are a butterfly in a dream? So what?"
He said, "Since that day I am puzzled, I cannot decide who I am. If Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in the dream, who knows -- when the butterfly goes to sleep, she may dream that she is Chuang Tzu. Then am I really Chuang Tzu or just a butterfly dreaming? If this is possible, that Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly, then that too is possible. A butterfly resting in the afternoon sun underneath the shadow of a tree may be dreaming that she has become a Chuang Tzu. Now who am I? -- a butterfly dreaming, or Chuang Tzu dreaming?"

It is difficult. Even to decide the other is, is difficult, very difficult.

Descartes searched long. Then he stumbled upon only one fact, and that fact is "I am." That cannot be doubted, that's impossible, because even to say, "I am not," you are required.

Wife: "I think I hear burglars. Are you awake?"
Husband: "No!"

Now, if you are not awake, how can you say "No"? That "No" presupposes that you are awake.
You ask me: "I cannot believe that I am."

It is not a question of belief; you ARE. Who is this who cannot believe? Who is this who is full of doubt? Can doubt exist without a doubter? Can dream exist without a dreamer? If the dream is there, one thing is absolutely certain: the dreamer is there. If the doubt is there, then one thing is absolutely certain: the doubter is there.

This is the foundation of all religions: "I am." It need not be believed -- there is no question of belief, it is a simple fact. Close your eyes and try to deny it. You cannot deny it, because in the very denial you will be proving it.

But this age is the age of doubt. And remember, any age that is the age of doubt is a great age. When great doubts arise in the human heart, great things are bound to happen. When great doubts arise, great challenges arise.

Now this is the greatest challenge for you, Naresh -- to go deeper into this doubter who doubts even the existence of his own being. Go into this doubt, go into this doubter. Let this become your meditation, and reaching deeper into it you will see that this is the only indubitable fact in existence, the only truth which cannot be doubted.
And once you have felt it, trust arises.

The last question:

Beloved Osho, are all minds Jewish?

Abhiyana, there is some truth in it, it is so. To be a Jew has nothing to do with any race. Jewishness is really a quality -- the quality that calculates, the quality that thinks always in terms of business. That's why the other day I said to you that it is really unbelievable how the Italians could snatch the greatest business from the Jews. It is really unbelievable, it is a miracle, because the Vatican is the greatest business on the earth. All the Rockefellers and all the Morgans and all the Fords put together still fall short.

Jewishness is a quality; it can be found in a Hindu, it can be found in a Jaina, it can be found in a Christian, in a Buddhist. It is the quality of calculation. It can become great intelligence, it can also become great cunningness -- both alternatives are there.

Jews have given the greatest minds to the world; the people who have dominated this century were all Jews. Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, the three great minds who have dominated, who have left their immense impact on modern humanity, were all Jews. Jews snatch more Nobel prizes than anybody else. That is one part: the mind can become very intelligent. But the other part is, it can become very cunning, mean, calculative.

On his way home from the market, where he bought a beautiful horse at a very good price, Moses is surprised by a storm -- and the Siberian storms are really frightening!
"My God, if you grant me safety," he prays, "I promise to sell my horse and give the money to the poor."
As soon as he uttered these words, the snow stopped and the sky cleared up. So Moses arrived home safely.

The following week, with a heavy heart, he went to the market to sell his horse. But he took a goose with him.
"How much for the horse?" Old Isaac asked him.
"The horse is sold with the goose," answered Moses. "Two rubles for the horse, and a hundred rubles for the goose! "

That calculativeness, that cunningness -- now he is even deceiving God!

One small boy -- must have been Jewish -- was going to the synagogue. His mother had given him two small coins, one for himself and one to be offered to God in the synagogue. On the way he was playing with the coins, and one coin slipped from his hand, went into a hole. The boy stood there, looked at the sky and said, "So take your coin! Here goes your coin, God! You are omnipotent, so you can find it anywhere. It will be a little difficult for me."

Just a small boy -- but he finds a way out of the problem. This quality is Jewishness.

Ibrahim Silberstein, a rich merchant, invites all his friends to a party to celebrate his twenty-five years of marriage.
On his invitation card is written: "The presents of the guests who cannot visit us on this occasion will be returned."
One of his clients, Zacharia, after receiving the invitation, borrows a magnificent silver chandelier from the jewelry shop and tells his wife, Esther, "I have got a great idea, dear! We will send this chandelier as a present to the Silbersteins, but we won't visit them, so it won't cost us anything as they will return it to us!"

Zacharia sends the chandelier and patiently waits for the return of the present. One week goes by, then two, then three: no sign of the chandelier. Very nervous, Zacharia finally decides to go and see the Silbersteins. Silberstein warmly greets his generous friend: "Ah, finally, there you are! I knew you were coming. Just this morning I was saying to my dear wife, Rebecca, 'If my old friend Zacharia does not come today, ah well, too bad, tomorrow we will have to send the chandelier back to him!"'

This quality, wherever it is found, is Jewishness.
If you try to watch your own mind you will find a Jew hidden there. Whenever you calculate and whenever you start living mathematically, whenever your life becomes just a business, just a logic; whenever you lose love, whenever you lose the quality to share, to risk, to gamble; whenever you lose the quality of giving wholeheartedly for the sheer joy of giving, beware of the Jew within.
But the Jew is very difficult to destroy, because it pays you. It helps you to succeed in the world, it helps you to become famous in the world, it offers you the whole world. If you are really calculative, the whole world is yours. The temptation is great. If you are tempted by the world and all that it can offer, you cannot get rid of the inner Jew.

And unless you get rid of the inner Jew you will never be religious, you will never have innocence -- and without innocence there is no beauty, no benediction.

Enough for today.