December 28, 2010
THE GOLDEN MEAN -OSHO
Question-OSHO What are you doing and why? how is it different from what we are doing and why?
OSHO-I am not doing anything at all. I am not interested in any goal, in any plan, in any future. I am simply living moment to moment, spontaneously. Just as the flowers are there in the garden, doing nothing, just being there, or as the stars are in the sky, doing nothing, just being there, I am here. But there is no why and no what, simply because I don't even think of the coming moment. Whatever happens I allow it to happen.
You think I am speaking to you. As far as I am concerned, whatever comes to me I allow it to be spoken. I am just a mirror - a mirror does nothing. In language it seems as if a mirror also is doing something - it reflects. Linguistically, reflection is an action - but the mirror is not doing anything.
When you are in front of the mirror, it reflects you. When you have moved, the reflection disappears. The mirror is simply there, whatever comes in front of it is reflected in it. That's why it is alost impossible for me to speak to you unless you ask a question - because I don't have anything to say.
Your question becomes a provocation to my consciousness. It is reflected, echoed, and goes back to you, but it is not my doing. What you are doing and why you are doing - how can I manage to know? That is your business, your problem. I can say about myself, and perhaps this is the difference: I know about myself, and you don't know about yourself.
You are doing things and you don't know why you are doing them, what you are doing....
You are living in darkness, in ignorance, in blindness. I know exactly that I am not doing anything. On my own I am just an empty mirror. If you want something to be echoed, you come in front of me, you ask a question. If some answer arises it is a simple happening - not a doing.
Just as water flows downwards, the sun rises, the birds start singing and the flowers start opening. The sun is not doing anything. It is not knocking on each bird's nest - "Get up and start singing..." Just the presence of the sun - and something happens all over existence. Life starts awakening, responding. I am simply a presence. You can draw as much as you want.
It all depends on your questions, your quest, your inquiry. I have to drop a few of your questions just because I don't want anybody to look silly asking a question which is stupid.
For example, one woman has been asking for three days continuously, "I love my ego, what should I do?" What is there to be done? If you love your ego, love is good, at least you love something. It is better than nothing! And you love your ego - then why are you worried about doing something?
Is not love enough? Do you want to do something more? Certainly you are worried that loving your own ego is taking you into a dangerous stage - it is going to become your hell. You know it, otherwise the question of what to do would not have arisen.
Every day I have read the question, and every day it has reminded me of a story.... An old woman died. She was very much afraid - afraid because in her whole life she had done nothing that she could think of as ever getting her into paradise. But strangely enough, a carrot appeared. And the carrot said, "You have forgotten. I am your only act which was virtuous and good. You once gave me to a beggar. I was rotten, and you were going to throw me away, and by a coincidence the beggar came before you were going to throw me, and you gave me to him. But even that much giving is rewarded by existence. I have been sent by God - just hold onto me and I will take you upwards to paradise."
The woman was thrilled, and holding the carrot she started rising. People had gathered, because they heard that she had died. And when they saw this carrot and the woman rising with the carrot... somebody jumped and took hold of the legs of the woman. And then it became a long line, so long that you could not see from one end to the other end.... But the woman was very angry: "So many people are going into paradise" - and the carrot was hers!
Just at the gate of paradise she shouted downwards to the long line that stretched towards earth, "You all get lost. It was my carrot!" And in saying this, she forgot. Speaking to the people and gesturing that "this was my carrot" - the carrot was lost. The carrot entered into paradise and the whole line of people fell back. Falling from paradise to the earth, none of them remained alive....
But just the idea of my carrot is enough to take you back from the very gates of paradise.
You are not at the gates of paradise, you are in love with the ego. So love it as deeply as possible so that soon it creates a hell for you. Only that hell will open your eyes - not my answer. I was dropping that question every day, because I don't want anybody to look stupid before so many people. It is insulting, and I don't want to insult anybody.
Just today another person has asked, "Do enlightened people overeat?" I wonder sometimes what goes on in people's minds - how they can manage such questions. How many enlightened people have you seen? Yes, there are people who overeat, but they are not the people who are enlightened - they are addicted to food, they cannot stop eating.
I was in America... There are thirty million people dying of starvation, and exactly thirty million people are dying of overeating - and man thinks he is a conscious being, intelligent, alert... Now this is a simple thing.
Those thirty million people should not overeat because they are killing themselves. And whatever is saved from them will save the thirty million people who are dying because they have nothing to eat. Sixty million people can be saved without doing anything, just a little understanding.
The enlightened person never goes to the extreme in any way. Neither does he fast and torture his body, nor does he overeat and torture his body in another way. Both are ways of torturing your body. You can torture it by not eating; you can torture it by overeating.
The enlightened person follows the golden mean: he is always in the middle, never at the extreme. In Gautam Buddha's life there is a beautiful story.... He was passing through Shravasti - a very rich and famous city of those days - and the king of Shravasti was one of the most egoistic persons in every way. He was an extremist about everything.
He lived in extreme luxury. The whole day he was sleeping, and the whole night was a night of dining and wining and dancing and gambling - his whole life was upside down.
He had a beautiful palace. Even on the steps he had not made a railing. On each step there were naked young women standing to function as a railing so he could go on putting his hand from one naked young woman to another. This man heard of Buddha because so many people told him, "At least once you should listen to this man. There is some beauty, there is some truth, and there is some magnetic force in the man.
What he says is not theoretical, what he says seems to be coming from the very innermost being, his own experience. He does not quote authorities, he is not a scholar. He says what he has known, and he says it with such authority that it is impossible not to be touched by it."
So many said this to him, that finally he managed one day to get up early in the morning and go to listen to Gautam Buddha. Whatever the people had said was no exaggeration. In fact, the man was much more than the people had said about him. He had a certain gravitation that pulled you towards him. Shron stood up - that was the name of the king of Shravasti - touched Buddha's feet and said, "Please initiate me, I want to become a monk."
It was a surprise. Nobody had ever thought that this man would become a monk. Even Gautam Buddha told him, "You have heard me only once, you should take some time to think it over; there is no hurry." But that was not the type of Shron's personality. He said, "When I said, 'I want to be a monk,' I want to be a monk - and right now!"
He was an extremist. He became a monk. He renounced the kingdom.
Buddhist monks don't live naked, but Shron started living naked. People reported to Buddha that he seemed to be really a great ascetic. Buddha said, "You have not understood the man. He is simply an extremist." Buddhist monks eat one time a day. Shron would eat only once every two days. He defeated all the monks. He defeated even Gautam Buddha. When they were traveling, every monk would travel on the road, but Shron would always go by the side of the road. In the thorns, the rough stones, his feet would be bleeding. And people started respecting him immensely.
Even the other monks thought they were not so great in renunciation as Shron was. Even a few started thinking that they should be followers of Shron rather than Buddha.
After six months, Shron became black - he had been a beautiful man - because he was always standing naked in the hot sun. He destroyed his body by not eating, he destroyed his feet by walking over rough stones, thorns, bushes when there was a road available.
Within six months he was badly sick, and Gautam Buddha himself went to see him. It was a rare occasion because it was not reported that Gautam Buddha had ever gone to see any other sick monk before or after. The news went like wildfire amongst all the monks that certainly Shron was a great ascetic, otherwise Buddha would not have gone to see him just because he was sick.
But Buddha had gone for some other purpose. He did not ask Shron about his sickness. He said to him, "I have heard that when you were a king you used to play the sitar and you were a master artist. There was not anyone else in the whole country comparable to you - is that right?" Shron said, "Yes. I love to play the sitar, and I had devoted my whole life to the sitar. I had come to such a mastery that there was no competitor to me." Buddha said, "I have come to ask a few questions. One: when the wires of the sitar are too tight, will it give birth to great music?" Shron said, "To great music? It will not give birth to any music. Too tight wires will simply break." Buddha said, "And if the wires are too loose, will it give great music?" Shron said, "You are asking strange questions. When the wires are too loose they don't have tension enough to create music."
Then Buddha said, "What is the position in which the wires should be so that great music can be produced?" And Shron said, "They have to be in exactly the middle position where you can say they are not loose and they are not tight. And it is one of the secrets of the art to adjust the wires to the exact middle." Buddha said, "I don't have anything more to ask you. I have just come to remind you that life is also like playing on the sitar: if you are too loose you are lost, if you are too tight you are lost. Each extreme is a death, and to find the exact middle is the whole art. You were too loose living in utter luxury. Now you are too tight living in an unnecessarily ascetic way. Come into the middle, listen to me, for the wise have always followed the middle path, they are never at the extremes. Only fools are at the extremes."
So whatever the situation, the enlightened person will always be found exactly balanced in the middle. That's why it is difficult even to recognize the enlightened man. You can see the extremist very easily: he is fasting, he is standing naked in the hot sun, in the cold... you can recognize him. He is standing on his head, or he is standing on his feet for years and he does not sit down, does not lie down. And naturally you will recognize him because he is doing something which is unnatural.
The enlightened person will be absolutely natural - but this is to be understood that he will be very much unrecognizable. You will need immense insight and understanding. You will need some taste of meditation to experience the enlightened man, otherwise you will not understand him.
For example, Hindus denied Gautam Buddha while he was alive... they did not recognize that he was enlightened because their incarnations of God - Rama, Parasurama, Krishna, Shiva - none of them had renounced the world, none of them had renounced anything. They lived in immense luxury. They lived in marble palaces, moved in golden chariots... That seemed to be fitting for a god. But Gautam Buddha with a begging bowl, barefooted, moving on the street, not even using a vehicle - Hindus could not conceive what kind of a god he was, what kind of enlightenment he had attained. Krishna never did this, Rama never did this. They had no comparison in their own history. Naturally, they denied him.
Jainas also denied that Gautam Buddha was enlightened for the simple reason that Jainas are on the other extreme. Mahavira lived naked. He was a contemporary of Gautam Buddha; he lived naked. He did not carry even a begging bowl - that is also a possession.
Gautam Buddha had three pieces of clothing and one begging bowl - at least four things. For Mahavira that was too much possessiveness - he had nothing. He would beg with his hands.
He would make his hands the begging bowl. And the Jainas had a long history of twenty-four tirthankaras... the same ascetic ways, the same way of fasting for months at a time. In twelve years, Mahavira ate for only one year - not solidly for one year, but two months he would fast, two or three days he would eat, a few months he would fast, a week he would eat... In twelve years he ate only on three hundred and sixty-five days. He was fasting for eleven years.
Now Jainas cannot accept Gautam Buddha as enlightened, because he was eating every day. One meal every day - it was too much luxury.
I want you to understand that to understand the enlightened man is one of the most difficult things in the world, for the simple reason that he is in the middle. He is absolutely normal. The extremist is recognizable. The person who has asked the question may have seen Hindu monks with big bellies...
I have seen monks like Nityananda. It is difficult to say that Nityananda had a belly, it is better to say that the belly had Nityananda. The belly was bigger than Nityananda. The belly was all. The head and legs were joined to it, but they seemed to be secondary, not important. When he lay down the belly looked like Gourishankar - even Edmund Hillary would find it difficult to climb!
But this happens to Hindu monks for the simple reason that for centuries it had been thought a great virtue to serve the monks, to feed the monks, to bring as much delicious food as possible. So people would bring food, fruits, sweets - all kinds of things - and the monk...
This is to be understood - it is one of the secrets of human life that if you are repressing sex you will start eating more. If you have completely denied yourself love, then food will become your only love affair. And the reason is that the child, when he is born, comes in contact with the mother's breast. Simultaneously he feels the love of the mother and the mother's milk - the food. Food and love become associated from the first day.
That's why every businessman knows to give a good dinner to the party when you are doing business. Then the business can be done easily; negotiations can be made easily and will be more favorable. First feed the person, then he is in a loving mood, unconsciously. This is the psychology: with food, love is joined.
Take love away from the man and you will immediately see that he starts eating more, because he substitutes food for love. It happens that unmarried girls are never so fat, but when they become married, settled in life, a husband... Now there is no question of any competition, particularly in this part of the world, and they start becoming fat. They quarrel with the husband, they fight with the husband, they nag the husband. And you will be surprised that they nag the husband exactly when he is eating - unconsciously.
That is the most vulnerable time because that is the time he wants love and that is the time he is given hate. You can't torture in a better way. And the same man every day, and the same quarrel, the same fight... slowly, slowly you forget what love is. Then people start eating more and more. Women are more fat than men in the East, because women cannot move freely in the society and have love affairs, but men can have love affairs outside marriage.
In the West it is equal, but in the East women are more fat than men.
It shows that the men have a freedom which the woman has not. But with food she is free and the whole day she is in the kitchen. I am reminded of an anecdote....
One man's wife was getting so fat that it was becoming embarrassing for the husband to take her anywhere. Wherever he would go with the wife, she would immediately become the target of everybody's comment: "What kind of woman is this?" And particularly in the West, slim is thought to be beautiful. A fat woman may do in the East, but in the West - impossible!
In the East monks are fasting; in the West women are fasting. Everybody is on a diet. Why? - because the thinner you are, the younger you look, the better you look. The man asked the psychologist, "What to do? The wife does not listen." The psychologist said, "You do one thing." He gave him a naked picture of a very beautiful woman with a very proportionate body and told him, "Hang it inside the refrigerator so whenever your wife opens it, suddenly she will recognize what she is doing to herself. She should be like this woman.
Perhaps it will help - continuous remembrance again and again. Anything that she goes to the refrigerator for, she will see the naked woman, so beautiful..." After six months the psychologist met the man. He could not recognize him. What had happened?
The man had become so fat. The psychologist asked, "What happened? You were talking about your wife that she is so fat - that something has to done. And within six months you have managed a feat which people could not manage in six years." The husband said, "It is all your doing, because of this beautiful picture." The psychologist said, "I don't understand." And the man said, "It is so simple to understand: it did not work on my wife, it worked on me. I started to go to the fridge to see the picture. And when one is so close to ice cream and this and that, one naturally takes something. My wife is the same, now I am her equal. But this is your doing - that stupid picture! I thought you were a psychologist."
An enlightened man is so full of love, is so full of compassion, that it is impossible for him to overeat. And he is not only compassionate to you, he is compassionate to his own body too. He cannot torture it by fasting, he cannot torture it by overeating. He will always remain in the middle. And in the middle is all the wisdom, all the truth, all the beauty of existence.
OSHO~The Sword and the Lotus-The golden mean