If you go to the physician, he can help -- he can help you to get rid of your blindness. His medicines are not going to create the sunrise; his medicines are of no use as far as the sunrise is concerned. It happens on its own -- it is already happening, happening every day -- but it never happens to the blind person or to the person who is not blind yet keeps his eyes closed.
Samadhi, your efforts will only open your eyes. And this is part of the opening of your eyes -- to understand that enlightenment is acausal. But this is not yet your understanding, remember.
You say: I HAVE HEARD THAT ENLIGHTENMENT OR THE NATURAL STATE OF MAN IS SOMETHING ACAUSAL...
You have heard it. It is not going to help you -- unless you start feeling that it is acausal. And how are you going to feel that it is acausal? By making all possible efforts and failing again and again and again, one day suddenly the realization happens that efforts can't make it. In that realization you don't start thinking, "Why bother?" You don't start thinking of stopping efforts. Efforts simply STOP in that understanding. In that understanding efforts evaporate.
That's how it happened to Gautam the Buddha. For six years he made all possible human efforts to achieve it, but because it is not an achievement he could not achieve it. And the more efforts he made, the more frustrated he became -- obviously. If you don't make any efforts for it you will not be frustrated, and when you make efforts with your total heart, it hurts to fail each time. He staked his whole life for it, and yet it was not happening. He was not holding anything back. If he had been holding anything back, then this understanding that happened to him would not have been possible -- that all efforts are futile.
It happens only to those who are not holding anything back, when you have put all that you have at stake, when nothing is left behind, when you are utterly empty, you have emptied yourself totally, and it is not happening, then the understanding arises, "My efforts are futile. My efforts are ego efforts -- the ego is futile. My efforts are my own mind games. The mind itself is the barrier."
But this has to become your own experience, Samadhi. It is not going to help if you have heard it. You can hear great truths, but unless they arise in your own being they are not true. A heard truth is a lie: only an experienced truth is a truth. And only the experienced truth liberates. How will you experience it? You would like to have it without any efforts. You would like it to happen as it happened to Buddha -- minus those six years that preceded it.
Those six years of tremendous effort are a must. Then one day suddenly, one evening when the sun was setting, the revelation happened to him: "My efforts cannot take me beyond myself." This is so natural! It is like pulling yourself up by your own shoestrings -- it is utterly futile. But how is one going to know it?
Those six long years... and they must have looked like sixty years to him, because they were really painful. All kinds of ascetic practices, long fasts, torturing the body, doing all kinds of yoga exercises, many of which are just stupid: standing on your head, distorting your body, utterly ridiculous postures -- he did all! Whatsoever was said to him, he followed it literally, word for word. He went to all kinds of teachers; they must have all been pseudo. Not even a single one of them was a Buddha, was yet enlightened. They gave him many strategies to work out.
If he had not been doing them perfectly well, they would have been safe. They would have told him, "Because you are not doing totally, hence you are missing." But this was impossible: the man was so authentic, so sincere, so innocently total, that even those pseudo teachers had to tell him, "Excuse us, forgive us -- this is all we know. And you have done it all, and we cannot expect more from you. Now you have to go somewhere else. This is all we know, and now you know that this is not going to give you enlightenment -- it has not given enlightenment to us either. But it is very rare to find a person like you. People come and they do it very partially. With them we can always say, 'Because you are not total, hence you are missing,' but we cannot say this to you! Your innocence forbids it. Your totality... we are ashamed. In fact, we ourselves have not done these practices so totally. Forgive us, and find another teacher. And if you ever find enlightenment, don't forget us. If you ever find truth, please remember us -- we are also seeking and searching. We are also blind," those teachers confessed to Buddha.
After six years of wandering, one evening, sitting silently underneath a tree, by the side of the River Niranjana, this revelation welled up within his being: that human effort cannot help you to transcend humanity. It can only happen: it cannot be caused. But now these six years of austerity had purified him; this fire had made him gold. These six years had helped him to see the utter uselessness of the mind. Now he was ready to be silent, effortless, passive.
That night he slept with no search, not even for truth, because search creates desires, desires can be fulfilled only through effort -- the search disappeared! The desires disappeared. The efforts disappeared. For the first time he slept totally relaxed -- neither worldly desires tortured him nor other-worldly desires. He had no dreams that night, that was the first night without dreams, because dreams are a by-product of your desires. The worldly people dream of worldly things, the other-worldly people dream of other-worldly things. And the worldly people are not so much deceived, because if in the night you see a dream that you have come upon a great treasure of diamonds -- in the morning you know that it was only a dream. But the other-worldly people are very much deceived by their dreams.
Somebody sees Krishna playing on his flute; somebody sees Jesus Christ, somebody sees Rama, and so on and so forth. And they cannot say that these are dreams, they are so valuable to them. They start thinking that these are experiences. These are dreams! as much as other dreams.
And the other-worldly person starts hallucinating in the day too, even with open eyes -- because the worldly man is in the world, and in the world you cannot hallucinate because others will think you are mad. In the world you live with objects, and you have to prove to others that what you are seeing is a reality. The treasures of your dreams, nobody is going to believe in them. There are so many non-believers around you; they will ask for proofs and proofs you cannot supply. So you can dream only in the night. But the other-worldly, those who have escaped from the world, a person who lives in isolation in a Himalayan cave, has no need to prove; there is nobody to prove to and nobody asks him. He has dropped the objective world; now he lives in his subjectivity -- he can dream in the day, he can dream with open eyes.
It is now a well-known, well-established psychological fact that if people go on a long fast in isolation, after the first week they start hallucinating, and after the third week they lose ALL distinction between what is real and what is unreal. After the third week of fasting, the reality and the dream start getting mixed up.
It is like small children: small children don't know what is real and what is unreal. So sometimes a child who was dreaming about a beautiful toy wakes up and starts crying for it. And the mother goes on trying to convince him that it was only a dream, but he says, "It was here -- how can it be a dream? I had it! Where has my toy gone? Bring it back to me!"
The same thing happens in deep isolation. If it is a prolonged thing, a three weeks' fast in an isolated cave in the Himalayas, slowly slowly you will start hallucinating. Then you see Krishna playing on the flute -- not only that: he starts talking to you. Not only that -- he starts playing with you And because it is thought to be spiritual.... It is simple madness! But because it is thought to be spiritual you feel very very gratified, your ego feels very fulfilled. You brag about it, that Krishna has appeared, that you have talked with Krishna, that you have played with him, that he was playing on the flute and you danced around him.
And there are other fools also who will believe it. The whole world is full of superstitious people.
Buddha lived those six long years through all kinds of things like this. It is only by experiencing these things that one day one can conclude that this is all nonsense. And when it is your own realization that it is all nonsense, you need not drop it: it simply disappears.
That night he slept without dreams. And in the early morning when he opened his eyes and the last star was disappearing, something in him disappeared -- the ego. He became enlightened .
THIS enlightenment is not something that has come from the outside -- it is your intrinsic nature. It has come from within. But the within and the beyond are synonymous: the within is the beyond. It is through the within that the beyond penetrates.
Then Buddha said, "Enlightenment is not an achievement -- it is a gift from existence." But those six years had prepared him to receive it.
Samadhi, prepare yourself to receive it. It is acausal, but that does not mean that you have to stop all efforts. If you stop, you will miss. If they stop on their own, because your understanding has penetrated so deeply that it is impossible to make any effort any more, even if you want to you cannot, in that state of effortless passivity you become the host and God becomes the guest.
The second question
OSHO, I FEEL NEGATIVE ABOUT MYSELF: HOW DO YOU SEE ME?
Swami Prem Asutosh,
IT IS NOT ONLY YOUR PROBLEM -- it is the problem of almost everybody. All the cultures and all the religions have been conditioning you to feel negative about yourself. Nobody is loved, appreciated, for just being himself or herself. You are asked to prove whether you are of any worth: "Bring gold medals from the university! Achieve success, money, power, prestige, respectability! Prove!" Your worth is not intrinsic; that's what has been taught to you. Your worth has to be proved.
Hence a deep antagonism towards oneself arises, a deep feeling that I am worthless as I am -- unless proved otherwise." And very few people can succeed in this competitive world. Millions and millions of people are competing. How many people can succeed? How many people can become presidents and prime ministers? In a country of millions, only one person will become the president; and deep down everybody is hankering for it. Millions will feel that they are unworthy.
How many people can become great poets? A Shakespeare. a Milton, a Shelley, a Rabindranath -- how many people can become great poets? And everybody has something of the poetic in his being; everybody has some poetry to give to the world. But when it becomes an ambition... ambition in itself is anti-poetic. How many people can become great painters like Picasso or Dali? And everybody has something to create.
The idea of success is torturing you. It is the greatest calamity that has happened to humanity, the idea of success, that you have to succeed. And success means you have to compete, you have to fight, by fair or foul means -- it doesn't matter. Once you succeed everything is okay. The question is of success. even if by foul means you succeed, once you are successful whatsoever you have done is okay. Success changes the quality of all your acts. Success changes evil means into good means. So the only question is: How to succeed? How to reach to the top? And naturally, very few people can reach to the top. If everybody is trying to reach Everest. how many people can stand there? There is not much space there; only one person can stand there at ease. Then the millions who were also striving will feel failure, a great despair will settle in their souls. They will start feeling negative.
This is a wrong kind of education. It is utterly poisonous, this so-called education that has been given to you. Your schools, colleges, your universities, are poisoning you. They are creating misery for you; they are the factories where hells are manufactured -- but in such a beautiful way that you never become aware of what is going on. The whole world has become a hell because of a wrong education. Any education that is based on the idea of ambition is going to create hell on the earth -- it has succeeded.
Everybody is suffering and feeling inferior. This is really a strange situation. NOBODY IS inferior, and nobody is superior, because each individual is unique -- no comparison is possible. You are you, and you are SIMPLY YOU, and you cannot be anybody else, and there is no need either. And you need not become famous, you need not be a success in the eyes of the world. Those are all foolish ideas.
All that you need is to be creative, loving, aware, meditative... if you feel poetry arising in you, write it for yourself, for your woman, for your children, for your friends -- and forget all about it! Sing it, and if nobody listens, sing it alone and enjoy it! Go to the trees and they will applaud and appreciate it. Or talk to the birds and the animals, and they will understand far more than the stupid human beings who have been poisoned for centuries and centuries with wrong concepts of life.
The ambitious person is pathological.
You say: I FEEL NEGATIVE ABOUT MYSELF.
Everybody is feeling negative about himself, because that's how he has been made to feel. Your parents have done it to you -- this is a heritage, a great heritage. Your teachers have done it to you, your priests have done it to you, your political leaders have done it to you -- and so many people are doing it that, naturally, you have become impressed by the very idea that you are worthless, that you don't have any intrinsic meaning or value, that you don't have any significance of your own.
Each parent is saying to the child, to each child, "Prove that you have some worth!" Being, just being, is not enough -- some doing is needed.
My whole approach is that being is intrinsically valuable. Just that you are is such a gift from God, what more can you ask for? Just to breathe in this beautiful existence is certificate enough that God loves you, that existence needs you; otherwise you would not be here. YOU ARE! Existence has given birth to you. There must have been an immense need -- you have filled a gap. Without you existence would be less. And when I say this, I am saying it not only to you: I am saying it to the trees, to the birds, to the animals, to the pebbles on the shore. A single pebble less on the immense seashore and the seashore would not be the same. A single flower less and the universe would miss it.
You have to learn that you are valuable as you are. And I am not teaching you any ego -- just the contrary. In the feeling that you are valuable as you are you will also feel others are valuable as they are. Accept people as they are; drop shoulds, oughts -- those are the enemies.
And you are carrying so many shoulds: "Do this and don't do that!" You are carrying so many dos and don'ts that you cannot dance; the burden is too heavy. And you have been given so many ideals and goals -- ideals of perfection -- that you always feel you are falling short. And the ideals are utterly impossible. You cannot fulfill them; there is no possibility of fulfilling them. So you will ALWAYS fall short.
To be a perfectionist is to be ready for the psychiatrist's couch; to be a perfectionist is to be a neurotic. And you have all been told to be perfect.
Life is beautiful in all its imperfections. Nothing is perfect. Let me say to you: even God is not perfect -- because if God is perfect then Friedrich Nietzsche is right that God is dead. Perfection means death! Perfection means now there is no possibility of growth. Perfection means now everything is finished. Imperfection means there is a possibility to grow. Imperfection means the excitement of new pastures, ecstasy, adventure. Imperfection means that you are alive, that life is going to be there.
And life is eternal, hence I say life is eternally imperfect. And there is nothing wrong in being imperfect. Accept your imperfection. And then the idea of being negative towards yourself will disappear. Accept your present state and don't compare it with some future perfection, future ideal. Don't think in terms of how you should be! That is the root of all pathology -- drop that. You are as you are today, and tomorrow you may be different, but you cannot predict it today, and there is no need to plan for it either.
Live this day in all its beauty, in all its joy, in all its pain, agony, ecstasy. Live it in its totality -- in its darkness, in its light. Live the hate and live the love. Live the anger and live the compassion. Live whatsoever is available in this moment. My approach is not that of perfection but that of totality. Live the moment that is available to you totally, and the next moment will be born out of it. If this moment has been lived totally, the next is going to reach a higher pitch of totality. a higher peak of totality -- because from where is the next moment going to come? It is going to be born out of this moment. Forget all about the future -- the present is enough.
Jesus says: "Think not of the morrow, and look at the lilies in the field! how beautiful they are. Even Solomon was not so beautiful attired in all his grandeur."
And what is the secret of the beautiful lilies, the poor lilies? The secret is simple: they think not of the morrow, they don't know anything of the future. Tomorrow exists not. This day is enough unto itself, this moment is enough unto itself.
And, Asutosh, your feeling of negativity about yourself will disappear. Remember, if you feel negative about yourself, you will automatically feel negative about others. That is a necessary corollary. It has to be understood.
THE PERSON WHO IS NEGATIVE ABOUT HIMSELF cannot be positive about anybody else either, because the faults that he finds in himself he will find in others -- in fact he will magnify them in others. He will take revenge. Your parents have made you negative about yourself, you will take revenge on your children you will make them even more negative.
Hence, negativity goes on growing with each generation. Each generation becomes more and more pathological. If the modern man is suffering psychologically so much it has nothing to do with the modern man himself: it simply shows that the whole past has been wrong. It is all accumulation of the whole past. The modern man is suffering from the past; the modern man is not suffering from his own sins as the so-called religious preachers go on saying to you. You are suffering from the sins of centuries... but now things have come to a peak. Man is falling apart. Up to now somehow we have managed to keep ourselves together, but now things have come to such a point that either man has to change totally and has to change his vision of life, or man has to commit suicide.
If you follow the past, then you are on the verge of committing a global suicide. And that's what your political leaders are trying to do: preparing atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, super hydrogen bombs -- piling up bombs upon bombs. They already have too many! In fact, just ten years ago they were already capable of killing each person seven times. Ten years ago they were ready to destroy this earth seven times, although a person dies only once -- you need not kill him twice, that will be unnecessary. But in case somebody survives, politicians have to take care -- they plan perfectly. But that is how things were ten years ago.
Now, you will be surprised: they can destroy this earth seven hundred times -- each single person can be killed seven hundred times! Now this is too much, and absolutely unnecessary. Seven is okay -- there are a few cunning people who may not die. But seven hundred times!? And still the race continues. Even poor countries are joining the race hankering to join it -- starving, but they want atom bombs. Starving! but they want more power to kill and destroy.
Just a bird's eye view and you can see the earth is preparing for a global suicide, a total destruction, a total war. And remember again, this has nothing to do with the modern man as such. The modern man is only a victim of the whole past. And the priests go on saying that something is wrong with the modern man, and they go on praising the past.
The modern man is a by-product of the whole past! Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist -- all kinds of cultures have contributed to this situation. They are responsible. Unless they all disappear, unless we drop this whole pathological past and start anew, living in the present, with no idea of perfection, with no ideals, with no shoulds, with no commandments, man is doomed.
Everybody is feeling negative. One may say it, one may not say it. And when one feels negative about oneself, one feels negative about everything else. One's attitude becomes negative, that of a NO. And if the negative person is taken to the rosebush he will count the thorns, he will not look at the rose flower -- he cannot. He is not capable of that. He will simply ignore the roseflower, he will count the thorns.
A woman was very unhappy. Her husband was seriously ill in hospital, and her son had just been arrested on a drug charge. So she went to the park to sit in the sun and refresh herself. She sat on a bench. As she watched, a little bird flew from a tree on one side of the bench towards a tree on the other side. When it passed over the woman, it let loose a little birdshit which hit her on the forehead. The woman's eyes lifted towards heaven, her hands came up, and she said, "You see how it is, God -- for other people they sing!"
If you are feeling negative, then the whole life becomes a dark night. Then there are no more dawns, then the mornings are never there. Then the sun only sets and never rises. Then your dark nights are not even full of stars. What to say about stars? You don't even have a small candle.
The negative person lives in darkness, lives a kind of death. He slowly dies. That's what he thinks life is. He goes on poisoning himself in many ways; he is self-destructive. And, naturally, whosoever comes in contact with him, he destroys him too. A negative mother will destroy the child. The negative husband will destroy the wife; the negative wife will destroy the husband. The negative parents will destroy their children; the negative teacher will destroy his students. The negative priest... and all priests are negative. It is very rarely that you come across a man like Buddha or Christ or Mohammed, who is not negative -- but they are not priests: they are prophets. They bring new visions to life.
Priests exploit the prophets' vision; they distort it. They interpret it in such ways that it becomes a strategy to dominate people. Christ is not a Christian, remember; Christ was never a Christian. Christianity is created by the priests; Christianity is the creation of Saint Paul. He is the real founder of Christianity -- not Jesus Christ.
It is not Buddha who is the founder of Buddhism, but the priests who followed.... And it is so with every religion. Whenever a truth has entered into somebody's being, whenever somebody has received God, priests gather together around him. They never miss the opportunity -- they are the most cunning people. They start exploiting the situation. And once the enlightened person is gone, then the priests become the masters, the owners.
The past has been created by the priests. It is a negative past -- life-denying, anti-life, anti-love, anti-joy, anti-celebration. It has created only two kinds of people in the world those who are sincere -- just like you, Asutosh -- those who are sincere, they are suffering from negativity, anguish, despair; and those who are not sincere, they have become hypocrites. They go on talking about the anti-life religious teachings, and from the backdoor they live a totally different life. On the surface they are spiritualists, deep down they are materialists.