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Chapter 27

The Soul is a Question
(This Chapter has entirely been deleted in the new edition)


The first question:

Beloved Osho, Why is it so difficult to relate?

Deva Shanta, because you are not yet. There is an inner emptiness and the fear that if you relate with somebody, sooner or later you will be exposed as empty. Hence it seems safer to keep a distance with people; at least you can pretend you are.
You are not. You are not yet born, you are only an opportunity. You are not yet a fulfillment -- and only two fulfilled persons can relate. To relate is one of the greatest things of life: to relate means to love, to relate means to share. But before you can share, you must have. And before you can love you must be full of love, overflowing with love.

Two seeds cannot relate, they are closed. Two flowers can relate; they are open, they can send their fragrances to each other, they can dance in the same sun and in the same wind, they can have a dialogue, they can whisper. But that is not possible for two seeds. Seeds are utterly closed, windowless -- how to relate?

And that is the situation. Man is born as a seed; he can become a flower, he may not. It all depends on you, what you do with yourself; it all depends on you whether you grow or you don't. It is your choice -- and each moment the choice has to be faced; each moment you are on the crossroads.

Millions of people decide not to grow. They remain seeds; they remain potentialities, they never become actualities. They don't know what self-realization is, they don't know what self-actualization is, they don't know anything of being. Utterly empty they live, utterly empty they die. How can they relate?
It will be exposing yourself -- your nudity, your ugliness, your emptiness -- safer, it seems, to keep a distance. Even lovers keep distance; they come only so far, and they remain alert to when to turn back. They have boundaries; they never cross the boundaries, they remain confined to their boundaries.

Yes, there is a kind of relationship, but it is not that of relating, it is that of possession: the husband possesses the wife, the wife possesses the husband, the parents possess the children, and so on and so forth. But to possess is not to relate. In fact to possess is to destroy all possibilities of relating. If you relate, you respect; you cannot possess. If you relate, there is great reverence. If you relate, you come very close, very very close, in deep intimacy, overlapping. Still the other's freedom is not interfered with, still the other remains an independent individual. The relationship is that of I-thou, not that of I-it -- overlapping, interpenetrating, yet in a sense independent.

Khalil Gibran says: "Be like two pillars that support the same roof, but don't start possessing the other, leave the other independent. Support the same roof -- that roof is love."
Two lovers support something invisible and something immensely valuable: some poetry of being, some music heard in the deepest recesses of their existence. They support both, they support some harmony, but still they remain independent. They can expose themselves to the other, because there is no fear. They know they ARE. They know their inner beauty, they know their inner perfume; there is no fear.

But ordinarily the fear exists, because you don't have any perfume. If you expose yourself you will simply stink. You will stink of jealousies, hatreds, angers, lust. You will not have the perfume of love, prayer, compassion.

Millions of people have decided to remain seeds. Why? When they can become flowers and they can also have a dance in the wind and the sun and the moon, why have they decided to remain seeds? There is something in their decision: the seed is more secure than the flower. The flower is fragile; the seed is not fragile, the seed looks stronger. The flower can be destroyed very easily; just a strong wind and the petals will blow away. The seed cannot be destroyed so easily by the wind, the seed is very protected, secure. The flower is exposed -- such a delicate thing, and exposed to so many hazards: a strong wind may come, it may rain cats and dogs, the sun may be too hot, some foolish man may pluck the flower. Anything can happen to the flower, everything can happen to the flower, the flower is constantly in danger. But the seed is safe; hence millions of people decide to remain seeds. But to remain a seed is to remain dead, to remain a seed is not to live at all. It is secure, certainly, but it has no life. Death is secure, life is insecurity. One who really wants to live has to live in danger, in constant danger. One who wants to reach to the peaks has to take the risk of getting lost. One who wants to climb the highest peaks has to take the risk of falling from somewhere, slipping down.

The greater is the longing to grow, the more and more danger has to be accepted. The real man accepts danger as his very style of life, as his very climate of growth.
You ask me, Shanta: "Why is it so difficult to relate?"

It is difficult because you are not yet. First be. Everything else is possible only afterwards: first be.
Jesus says it in his own way: "First seek ye the kingdom of God, then all else shall be added unto you." This is just an old expression for the same thing that I am saying: First be, then all else shall be added unto you.

But being is the basic requirement. If you are, courage comes as a consequence. If you are, great desire for adventure, to explore, arises -- and when you are ready to explore, you can relate. Relating is exploring -- exploring the other's consciousness, exploring the other's territory. But when you explore the other's territory, you have to allow and welcome the other to explore you; it cannot be one-way traffic. And you can allow the other to explore you only when you have something, some treasure within you. Then there is no fear. In fact you invite the guest, you embrace the guest, you call him in, you want him in. You want him to see what you have discovered in yourself, you want to share it.

First be, then you can relate -- and remember, to relate is beautiful. Relationship is a totally different phenomenon; relationship is something dead, fixed, a full point has arrived. You get married to a woman; a full point has arrived. Now things will only decline. You have reached the limit, nothing is growing any more. The river has stopped and it is becoming a reservoir.

Relationship is already a thing, complete; relating is a process. Avoid relationships, and go deeper and deeper into relating.
My emphasis is on verbs, not on nouns; avoid nouns as much as possible. In language you cannot avoid, that I know; but in life, avoid -- because life is a verb. Life is not a noun, it is really "living" not "life." It is not love, it is loving. It is not relationship, it is relating. It is not a song, it is singing. It is not a dance, it is dancing.

See the difference, savor the difference. A dance is something complete; the last touches have been made, now there is nothing else to do. Something complete is something dead. Life knows no full point; commas are okay, but no full points. Resting places are okay, but no destination.

Shanta, instead of thinking how to relate, fulfill the first requirement: meditate, be, and then relating will arise out of it on its own accord. One who becomes silent, blissful, one who starts having overflowing energies, becomes a flower, has to relate. It is not something that he has to learn how to do, it starts happening. He relates with people, he relates with animals, he relates with trees, he relates even with rocks.

In fact, twenty-four hours a day he relates. If he is walking on the earth, he is relating with the earth... his feet touching the earth, he is relating. If he is swimming in the river he is relating with the river, and if he is looking at the stars he is relating with the stars.

It is not a question of a relationship with somebody in particular. The basic fact is, if you are, your whole life becomes a relating. It is a constant song, a constant dance, it is a continuum, a riverlike flow.

Meditate, find out your own center first. Before you can relate with somebody else, relate with yourself: that is the basic requirement to be fulfilled. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.

The second question:

Beloved Osho, As You drove away today I felt I am afraid of forgetting….Is there anything I need to remember?

Ananda Vandana, yes, there is a great need to remember yourself. Your question is really significant. I call a question significant when it is existential, when it is not intellectual, when it is not bookish, when it does not come out of your knowledge but comes out of your existential experience. It has a totally different quality to it.

Yes, there is something to be remembered. But that something is not outside you, that's why you cannot figure it out. You simply felt a fear, as if you are forgetting something, a very vague kind of fear -- something felt, but not yet clearly felt. Something is there, lurking in the unconscious, in the darkness of your soul: you felt afraid of forgetting.

And really then it becomes a great question: What am I afraid of forgetting? Is there anything I need to remember?
A Zen master was dying. At the last moment, when all his disciples had gathered, he opened his eyes and said, "What is the answer?"
The disciples were dumbfounded, they could not figure it out: "What is the answer?"
So the master started laughing, and he said, "So okay, what is the question?"

He was posing a very very existential thing: What is the answer? Even before the question is asked, he is asking what is the answer. The question is not asked, because it cannot be asked. But the question is there, it is there in everybody's soul. One may be alert about it, one may not be alert about it, one may be completely oblivious of it; but the question is there in everybody's soul.

The soul is a question, it is a quest. Hence the master is asking, "What is the answer?"
The disciples could not figure it out, because this is not the way; people ask first about the question, then they ask about the answer.

And something exactly like that has happened to you, Vandana. Afraid of forgetting -- forgetting what, that is not clear. Just a feeling, a cloud passed by... and the feeling must have been intense.
"Is there anything I need to remember?" you ask.

It is you yourself. Self-remembering is needed. Buddha used to call it right-mindfulness, sammasati; Mahavira used to call it vivek, awareness; George Gurdjieff used to call it self-remembering, Kabir used to call it SURATI. But they all mean the same thing.

You don't know who you are. You are -- that much is certain. In fact only that is certain, and nothing else. The existence of others is not certain.

The English philosopher, Berkeley, had gone for a morning walk with Dr.Johnson. Dr.Johnson was very critical of Berkeley's ideas, because Berkeley used to say that the whole world is an idea; it is not a reality, but just an idea, an idea in the mind of God. We are ideas in the mind of God -- just ideas, pure ideas, not real entities.

Again and again he was hammering Dr.Johnson's head with the same philosophy -- that morning it was too much. He was saying, "All these trees and this sun and this sky, all these are ideas." Enough is enough! Dr.Johnson was a realist, a down-to-earth man. He took a rock from the road and hit hard on the feet of Berkeley. Berkeley screamed in deep pain, blood started oozing out of his feet, and he said, "What are you doing? Have you suddenly gone mad?"

And Dr.Johnson said, "But it is just an idea, this rock. Why are you screaming? Why do you look so angry?"

It is not reported what Berkeley said, but there is a parallel story in Indian history, which takes a beautiful turn.

A Buddhist came to the court of a king. He was a great mystic, and belonged to a certain school of Buddhists who preceded Berkeley by at least two thousand years. His was the same idea: it is called vigyanvad -- the whole existence is nothing but ideas.
The king must have been a man like Dr. Johnson -- very earthbound, very realistic, pragmatic. The philosopher was very argumentative; he defeated the king's court, all the learned men that the king had gathered around himself. The king was feeling humiliated, so he said, "Now the last argument, the real argument."

They had a mad elephant which was brought into the courtyard of the palace. The poor mystic, the philosopher, was left alone in the courtyard, and he was trembling... and then the mad elephant was left. The mad elephant rushed towards the philosopher -- and you can imagine, what happened to Berkeley was nothing compared to it: he jumped and shouted and cried and begged for his life.

The king was standing on the balcony with the whole court, and they were laughing. So now it was proved that the elephant is not just an idea, it is not just a dream.

The philosopher was crying with folded hands and asking, "Save me, please!" At the last moment he was saved -- just at the last moment. Even after he was saved he was trembling for hours, the elephant was so ferocious.

The king said to him, "So now what do you think? Is the elephant real or not?"
He said, "No, sir. It is just an idea."
The king said, "Then why were you screaming and why were you begging for your life?"

The philosopher said, "That was an idea too. My crying, my effort to be saved, your kindness to save me -- all are ideas; they don't really exist, just figments of the mind." This is going to the very logical conclusion of it! He said, "Don't be so happy -- because I myself am an idea and nothing else."

The king said, "Then we will put you back, and we will bring the mad elephant!"
And the philosopher said, "I will beg for my life again! But that doesn't matter; that doesn't change my argument and my position. The philosophy remains intact."

In fact there is no way to prove that others exist, because you have never touched anybody and you have never seen anybody. When you see somebody, you don't see him really; all that happens is that a picture is seen inside your brain. It may correspond to some reality, it may not correspond. There is no way to know, because we cannot know reality directly.

Always it is through the senses that we know reality. Senses may be deceiving -- and you know perfectly well that under the impact of alcohol they deceive, under the impact of psychedelics they deceive very much. One can act in a stupid way, in a suicidal way, under the impact of some psychedelic.

One woman in New York took lsd and thought that she could fly. And when you are under the impact of lsd you simply believe it, it is so. It is not a question of a dream or a desire or a fantasy; it is so real, it is more real than the world outside, than the objective world. She simply flew out of the window from the ninth floor, dashed on the ground, died. This type of accident has been happening all over the world.

The existence of others, the existence of the outside world, is not absolutely certain. Berkeley still remains unrefuted, there is no way to refute him. The only thing that is absolutely certain is your own existence. The dream may be false, but the dreamer cannot be. Even for the false dream to exist there is a need of a real dreamer; to be deceived, at least somebody is needed to be deceived.

The world may be illusion, but who is an illusion? At least some consciousness is needed, absolutely needed, categorically needed; without some consciousness the illusion cannot exist. The rope may not be the snake, the snake may be the illusion. But the person who has the illusion is not an illusion himself.
This has to be remembered, that "I am real." This has to be remembered, that "I am the only certain reality -- everything else may be, or may not be."

We never look inwards for this absolute reality; and we go on living a life without basing it on this rock of certainty. Hence our lives are just castles in the air, or at the most, sandcastles; signatures made on water -- you have not even completed it, and the signature is gone. Our lives are like that -- one moment we are here, another moment we are gone, and that moment could have been used for self-remembering.

Only people who use their life for self-remembering are using this great opportunity.

A man runs into an old friend who has become a drunkard. "But why do you drink so much?" he asks him.
"To forget," the drunkard replies.
"To forget what?" asks his friend.
"Oh," says the drunkard, scratching his head, "I forgot."
A man goes to the psychoanalyst. "Doctor," he says, "you have to help me. I have a terrible problem: I forget everything, absolutely everything."
"So tell me about this problem," replies the therapist, preparing his notepad.
"What problem?" asks the man, puzzled.

We are in this forgetfulness, we are this forgetfulness.
I loved your question, Vandana. You say: "As you drove away today I felt I am afraid of forgetting. Is there anything I need to remember?"

You need to remember yourself. You need to become a flame of inner awareness -- an awareness so deep that even in dreams it will be present; an awareness so crystallized that even in deep sleep, dreamless sleep, it will be there burning like a light.
Even in deep sleep the man of awareness knows that he is fast asleep; that is part of his awareness. You don't know, even while you are awake, that you are. The man of awareness knows, even while asleep, that he is.

Buddha's chief disciple, Ananda, asked him once, "Bhante, a few things puzzle me very much, and one of the most puzzling things is this, that in the night I have watched you many times -- it is so beautiful to watch you while you are asleep -- but you always sleep in the same posture and you maintain the same posture from the beginning to the end. When you go to sleep you are in this posture; in the night, many times I wake up and look at you, and you are in the same posture: the hand is resting in the same place, and the feet and the head. And in the morning also when I see you, you are in the same posture. How is this possible?"

Buddha said, "Because I remain awake. The body sleeps, but my own sleep is gone for ever. The body rests, but I am alert."
This alertness is needed, Vandana. This alertness will make available to you all the mysteries of existence. First become acquainted with the mystery that you are, then you have the master key: it can open all the locks of existence.

The third question:

Beloved Osho, I have fallen in love and suffered much. After listening to You I felt unwilling to let go of the dream that the deep rich experience my love affair brings will not ultimately lead to satisfaction. How can I go beyond this attachment that is so rich, yet so painful?

Donna, love is both. It is rich and it is painful, it is agony and it is ecstasy -- because love is the meeting of the earth and the sky, of the known and the unknown, of the visible and the invisible.
Love is the boundary that divides matter and consciousness, the boundary of the lower and the higher. Love has roots in the earth; that is its pain, its agony. And love has its branches in the sky; that is its ecstasy.

Love is not a single phenomenon, it is dual. It is a rope stretched between two polarities. You will have to understand these two polarities: one is sex, another is prayer. Love is the rope stretched between sex and prayer; part of it is sex, part of it is prayer.

The sexual part is bound to bring many miseries, the part that belongs to prayer will bring many joys. Hence it is difficult to renounce love, because in renouncing one is afraid the joys that come will also be renounced. One is not able either to be totally in it, because all those pains again and again remind you to renounce it. This is the misery of the lover: the lover lives in a tension, pulled apart.

Donna, I can understand your problem. This is the basic problem of all lovers, because love brings both, many thorns and many flowers, and they both come together. Love is a rosebush. One does not want those thorns, one would like the rosebush to be all flowers and no thorns; but they come together, they are aspects of one energy.

But I am not saying to you to renounce love, I am not saying to you to become detached. What I am saying to you is: make it more and more prayerful. My whole approach is that of transformation, not of renunciation. You must have misunderstood me. I am not against sex, but I am all for making sex a prayer. The lowest can be possessed by the highest, then the pain of it disappears.

What pain is there in sexuality? Because it reminds you of your animality -- that is the pain. It reminds you of the past, it reminds you of your biological bondage, it reminds you that you are not free, you are under the slavery of the instincts given by nature; that you are not independent from nature, that your strings are pulled by nature, that you are just a puppet in the hands of unknown unconscious forces.

Sex is felt like a humiliation. In sex you start feeling you are losing your dignity, hence the pain. And then the fulfillment is so momentary; sooner or later any intelligent person will become aware that the satisfaction is momentary and followed by long nights of pain.

The ecstasy is just like a breeze, it comes and goes and leaves you in a desertlike state, utterly frustrated, disappointed. You had hoped much; many things were promised by the instinctual part of you, and nothing has been delivered.

In fact sex is a strategy of nature to perpetuate itself. It is a mechanism that keeps you reproducing, otherwise people will disappear. Just think of a humanity where sex is no longer an instinct and you are free, at your own will, to go into sex or not. Then the whole thing will look so absurd, the whole thing will look ridiculous. Just think -- if there is no instinctive force pulling you, I don't think anybody will be ready to go into sex. Nobody goes by consent; reluctantly, resisting, one goes into it.

If you read about and study the sexual patterns of different species of animals and insects you will be very much puzzled: how could this be done if it was left to the species themselves? For example, there are spiders which, while the male makes love to her, the female starts eating him. By the time the love is finished, the male is finished! Now think of these spiders if they are free to choose: the moment they see the female they will escape as far as they can. Why should they commit suicide, knowing it perfectly well? They have seen other males disappearing the same way -- every day it is happening -- but when the instinct possesses them they are just a slave to it. Trembling, afraid, still they make love, knowing perfectly well this is the end. When the male is having the orgasm, the female starts eating him.

The female bedbug has no opening, so it is very difficult to make love to her. The male bug first has to make a hole in her. You can easily see whether the female bedbug is a virgin or not, because each time love is made, a scar is left -- it is really screwing! -- but willingly she allows it. It is painful, and there is danger to her life, because if the male makes the hole in some wrong place she will be dead -- and there are stupid males too! But still the risk has to be taken; there is some such unconscious force that it has to be accepted.

If sex were left to your decision I don't think people would go into it. There are reasons why people make love hiding from the public, from people -- because it looks so ridiculous. Just making love in public, you know that others will see the ridiculousness of it; you yourself know it is ridiculous. One feels one is falling below humanity; the great pain is there, that you are dragged backwards.

But it brings a few moments of utter purity and joy and innocence too. It brings a few moments of timelessness, when suddenly there is no time left. It brings a few moments of egolessness too, when in deep orgasmic spasm the ego is forgotten. It gives you a few glimpses of God, hence it cannot be renounced either.
People have tried to renounce it. Down the ages monks have been renouncing it, for the simple reason that it is so humiliating, so against the dignity of human beings. To be under the impact of some unconscious instinct is dehumanizing, demoralizing. The monks have renounced it, they have left the world, but with it all the joy in their life has also disappeared. They become very serious and sad, they turn suicidal. Now they don't see any meaning in life, all life becomes meaningless. Then they simply wait for death to come and deliver them.

It is a delicate problem; how to solve it? Monks have not been able to solve it. On the contrary, they created many perversions in the world. All the perversions that are condemned by your so-called saints are created by those same people. The first idea of homosexuality arose in the monasteries, because men were kept together, away and aloof from women, and women were kept together, aloof and away from men.

There are Catholic monasteries where no woman has entered for one thousand years. Not even a small baby of six months old is allowed. Just the very idea seems to be very horrible; these monks seem to be really dangerous -- even a six-month-old girl is not allowed in the monastery. What does it show? What fear! What paranoia!

Naturally the monks huddle together, then their instincts start creating new ways, start inventing perversions; they turn homosexual. Homosexuality is really very religious, it is a by-product of religion. Religion has given many things to the world; homosexuality is one of them.

All kinds of perversions.... Now you don't hear of any woman making love to the devil; the devil seems to have lost all interest in women suddenly! There is no devil. But if you keep women away from all possibilities of falling in love, of being in love, then the mind will start creating its own projections, and of course those projections will be very, very colorful. And those projections are bound to happen, you cannot avoid them.
So monks and nuns have not been able to solve the problem, they have even messed up the whole thing more. And the worldly person, the sensuous, the indulgent person, has not been able to solve it either. He suffers miserably; his whole life is a suffering. He goes on hoping, from one hope to another hope, and goes on failing in every hope, and slowly slowly a great hopelessness settles in his being.

My approach is neither worldly nor otherworldly.
My approach is not of rejecting something but using it.
My understanding is that whatsoever is given to you is precious. You may know its value, you may not know its value, but it is precious; if it was not so, existence would not have given it to you. So you have to find ways to transform it. You have to make your love more prayerful, you have to make your sex more loving. Slowly slowly, sex has to be transformed into a sacred activity, it has to be raised. Rather than sex pulling you down into the mire of animality, you can pull sex upwards.

The same energy that pulls you down can pull you upwards, and the same energy can give you wings. It has tremendous power; certainly it is the most powerful thing in the world, because all life arises out of it. If it can give birth to a child, to a new life, if it can bring a new life into existence, you can imagine its potential: it can bring a new life to you too. Just as it can bring a new child into the world, it can give a new birth to you.
And that's what Jesus means when he says to Nicodemus, "Unless you are born again, you will not be able to enter into my kingdom of God" -- unless you are born again, unless you are capable of giving birth to yourself -- a new vision, a new quality to your energies, a new tuning to your instrument. Your instrument contains great music, but you have to learn how to play on it.

Sex has to become a great meditative art. That's the contribution of Tantra to the world. Tantra's contribution is the greatest, because it give you keys to transform the lowest into the highest. It gives you keys to transform mud into lotuses. It is one of the greatest sciences that have happened -- but because of the moralists and the puritans and the so-called religious people, Tantra has not been allowed to help people. Its scriptures have been burned, thousands of Tantra masters have been killed, burned alive. The whole tradition has been almost destroyed, people have been forced to go underground.

Just the other day I received a letter from my sannyasins from America saying that Gurdjieff's people are so persecuted by the government that they have decided to go underground. They have written, "We are afraid that sooner or later this is going to happen to us. Should we start preparing, so that if this happens to us we can also start working in a hidden way?"

It is possible, because it has been always so. Gurdjieff's work also consists in transforming the sexual energy into an inner integration -- the organized church is always against any effort of this kind.

My work is hindered in every way, my people are harassed in every way. Just a few days ago, the Indian parliament discussed for one hour what should be done with me -- as if this country has no other problem to discuss. So much fear! And I am not doing any harm to anybody; I don't even go outside the gate. And at least this much freedom is everybody's birthright -- if someone wants to come to me and wants to be transformed, it is nobody's business to interfere. I don't go to anybody. If people come to me and they want to be transformed... then what kind of democracy is this?

But the stupid politicians and the priests have always been in a conspiracy. They don't want people to be transformed, because transformed people are no longer under their domination. Transformed people become independent, free; transformed people become so aware and so intelligent that they can see through all the games of the politicians and the priests. Then they are nobody's followers; then they start living a totally new kind of life -- not the life of the crowd, but the life of the individual. They become lions, they are no more sheep.
And the politicians and the priests are interested that every human being should remain a sheep. Only then can they be the shepherds, leaders, great leaders. Mediocre and stupid people pretending to be great leaders -- but that is possible only if the whole humanity remains very low in intelligence, is kept repressed.

Up to now, only two experiments have been done. One was of indulgence, which has failed -- which is being tried again by the West and is going to fail, utterly fail. And the other was that of renunciation -- which has been tried by the East, and also in the West by Christianity. That too has failed, utterly failed.
A new experiment is needed, urgently needed. Man is in a great turmoil, in a great confusion. Where to go? What to do with oneself?

Donna, I am not saying renounce sex, I am saying transform it. It need not remain just biological: bring some spirituality to it. While making love, meditate too. While making love, be prayerful. Love should not be just a physical act; pour your soul into it.
Then slowly slowly the pain starts disappearing and the energy contained in the pain is released and becomes more and more a benediction. Then agony is transformed into ecstasy.
You say, "I have fallen in love and suffered much."
You are blessed. The really poor people are those who have never fallen in love and never suffered. They have not lived at all. To fall in love and to suffer in love is good. It is passing through fire; it purifies, it gives you insight, it makes you more alert. This is the challenge to be accepted. Those who don't accept this challenge remain spineless.

You say, "I have fallen in love and suffered much. After listening to you I felt unwilling to let go of the dream that the deep rich experience my love affair brings will not ultimately lead to satisfaction."

I am not telling you to drop your love, I am simply telling you a fact -- that it will not bring you to ultimate contentment. It is not in my hands to change the nature of things. I am simply stating a fact. If it was in my hands I would have liked you to have ultimate contentment in love. But it doesn't happen. What can we do? Two plus two are four.

It is a fundamental law of life that love brings you to deeper and deeper dissatisfactions. Ultimately love brings you to such a discontent that you start longing for the ultimate beloved, God, you start searching for the ultimate love affair.

Sannyas is an ultimate love affair: the search for God, the search for truth. It is possible only when you have failed many times, loved and suffered, and each suffering has brought you more and more consciousness, more and more understanding. One day the recognition arrives that love can give you a few glimpses -- and those glimpses are good, and those glimpses are glimpses of God -- but it can only give you glimpses; more than that is not possible. But that too is too much; but without those glimpses you will never seek and search God.

Those who have not loved and suffered never become seekers of God -- they cannot; they have not earned that worth, they have not become worthy. It is the sole right of the lover one day to start searching for the ultimate beloved.

Love, and love more deeply. Suffer, and suffer more deeply. Love totally and suffer totally, because this is how the impure gold passes through fire and becomes pure gold.
I am not saying to you, escape from your love affairs: go deeper into them. I help my sannyasins to go into love, because I know love ultimately fails. And unless they know by their own experience that love ultimately fails, their search for God will remain phony.

The fourth question:

Beloved Osho, What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?

Prem Garbha, jealousy is comparison. And we have been taught to compare, we have been conditioned to compare, always compare. Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality. Compare, go on comparing yourself with everybody else you pass by, and great jealousy will be the outcome; it is the by-product of the conditioning for comparison.

Otherwise, if you drop comparing, jealousy disappears. Then you simply know you are you, and you are nobody else, and there is no need. It is good that you don't compare yourself with trees, otherwise you will start feeling very jealous: why are you not green? And why has God been so hard on you -- and no flowers? It is better that you don't compare with birds, with rivers, with mountains; otherwise you will suffer. You only compare with human beings, because you have been conditioned to compare only with human beings; you don't compare with peacocks and with parrots. Otherwise, your jealousy would be more and more: you would be so burdened by jealousy that you would not be able to live at all.

Comparison is a very foolish attitude, because each person is unique and incomparable. Once this understanding settles in you, jealousy disappears. Each is unique and incomparable. You are just yourself: nobody has ever been like you, and nobody will ever be like you. And you need not be like anybody else, either.
God creates only originals; he does not believe in carbon copies.

A bunch of chickens were in the yard when a football flew over the fence and landed in their midst. A rooster waddled over, studied it, then said, "I'm not complaining, girls, but look at the work they are turning out next door."

Next door great things are happening: the grass is greener, the roses are rosier. Everybody seems to be so happy -- except yourself. You are continuously comparing. And the same is the case with the others, they are comparing too. Maybe they think the grass in your lawn is greener -- it always looks greener from the distance -- that you have a more beautiful wife.... You are tired, you cannot believe why you allowed yourself to be trapped by this woman, you don't know how to get rid of her -- and the neighbor may be jealous of you, that you have such a beautiful wife! And you may be jealous of him....

Everybody is jealous of everybody else. And out of jealousy we create such hell, and out of jealousy we become very mean.

An elderly farmer was moodily regarding the ravages of the flood. "Hiram!" yelled a neighbor, "your pigs were all washed down the creek."
"How about Thompson's pigs?" asked the farmer.
"They're gone too."
"And Larsen's?"
"Yes."
"Humphf!" ejaculated the farmer, cheering up. "It ain't as bad as I thought."

If everybody is in misery, it feels good; if everybody is losing, it feels good. If everybody is happy and succeeding, it tastes very bitter.

But why does the idea of the other enter in your head in the first place? Again let me remind you: because you have not allowed your own juices to flow; you have not allowed your own blissfulness to grow, you have not allowed your own being to bloom. Hence you feel empty inside, and you look at each and everybody's outside because only the outside can be seen.
You know your inside, and you know the others' outside: that creates jealousy. They know your outside, and they know their inside: that creates jealousy. Nobody else knows your inside. There you know you are nothing, worthless. And the others on the outside look so smiling. Their smiles may be phony, but how can you know that they are phony? Maybe their hearts are also smiling. You know your smile is phony, because your heart is not smiling at all, it may be crying and weeping.

You know your interiority, and only you know it, nobody else. And you know everybody's exterior, and their exterior people have made beautiful. Exteriors are showpieces and they are very deceptive.

There is an ancient Sufi story:

A man was very much burdened by his suffering. He used to pray every day to God, "Why me? Everybody seems to be so happy, why am only I in such suffering?" One day, out of great desperation, he prayed to God, "You can give me anybody else's suffering and I am ready to accept it. But take mine, I cannot bear it any more."

That night he had a beautiful dream -- beautiful and very revealing. He had a dream that night that God appeared in the sky and he said to everybody, "Bring all your sufferings into the temple." Everybody was tired of his suffering -- in fact everybody has prayed some time or other, "I am ready to accept anybody else's suffering, but take mine away; this is too much, it is unbearable."

So everybody gathered his own sufferings into bags, and they reached the temple, and they were looking very happy; the day has come, their prayer has been heard. And this man also rushed to the temple.

And then God said, "Put your bags by the walls." All the bags were put by the walls, and then God declared: "Now you can choose. Anybody can take any bag."

And the most surprising thing was this: that this man who had been praying always, rushed towards his bag before anybody else could choose it! But he was in for a surprise, because everybody rushed to his own bag, and everybody was happy to choose it again. What was the matter? For the first time, everybody had seen others' miseries, others' sufferings -- their bags were as big, or even bigger!

And the second problem was, one had become accustomed to one's own sufferings. Now to choose somebody else's -- who knows what kind of sufferings will be inside the bag? Why bother? At least you are familiar with your own sufferings, and you have become accustomed to them, and they are tolerable. For so many years you have tolerated them -- why choose the unknown?

And everybody went home happy. Nothing had changed, they were bringing the same suffering back, but everybody was happy and smiling and joyous that he could get his own bag back.
In the morning he prayed to God and he said, "Thank you for the dream; I will never ask again. Whatsoever you have given me is good for me, must be good for me; that's why you have given it to me."

Because of jealousy you are in constant suffering; you become mean to others. And because of jealousy you start becoming phony, because you start pretending. You start pretending things that you don't have, you start pretending things which you CAN'T have, which are not natural to you. You become more and more artificial. Imitating others, competing with others, what else can you do? If somebody has something and you don't have it, and you don't have a natural possibility of having it, the only way is to have some cheap substitute for it.

I hear that Jim and Nancy Smith had a great time in Europe this summer. It's so great when a couple finally gets a chance to really live it up. They went everywhere and did everything. Paris, Rome... you name it, they saw it and they did it.
But it was so embarrassing coming back home and going through customs. You know how custom officers pry into all your personal belongings. They opened up a bag and took out three wigs, silk underwear, perfume, hair coloring... really embarrassing. And that was just Jim's bag!

Just look inside your bag and you will find so many artificial, phony, pseudo things -- for what? Why can't you be natural and spontaneous? -- because of jealousy.

The jealous man lives in hell. Drop comparing and jealousy disappears, meanness disappears, phoniness disappears. But you can drop it only if you start growing your inner treasures; there is no other way.

Grow up, become a more and more authentic individual. Love yourself and respect yourself the way God has made you, and then immediately the doors of heaven open for you. They were always open, you had simply not looked at them.

The last question:

Beloved Osho, Don’t You know how to count? One day after the fourth question You said, “Now the seventh question”

It is really difficult for me. You should be happy that I don't say after the seventh, "The first question."

Little Johnny is in the classroom, learning how to add. "How much is two plus two, Johnny?" asks the teacher.
Johnny hesitates, looks at his hand, and starts counting with his fingers: "One, two, three, four!" he exclaims.
"No, no. Johnny," says the teacher. "You can't use your hands. You have to count in your head. So, how much is four plus four, Johnny?" she asks again.
Johnny hides his hands behind his back and whispering to himself, counts, "One, two, three, four... eight!" he shouts triumphantly.
"No, no, no, Johnny!" replies the teacher angrily. "Now put your hands in your pockets and tell me how much is five plus five?"
Johnny puts his hands in his pockets, concentrates, takes a few minutes and then cries out, "Eleven, ma'am!"

It is really difficult for me to count. I cannot count on my fingers. To keep my fingers at the back will be very difficult, and I don't have pockets!

Enough for today.