When I listen to your discourses, you take me on an indescribable journey. If afterwards someone asks me about what you have said, I hardly remember. But when people ask me personal questions, answers are coming out of my mouth which astonish me the most. Osho, am I becoming a parrot of your words?
Listening to me is less like listening and more like drinking. Although it is a verbal communication, that is only the superficial part of it. Hidden beneath it is the real communion where meanings are absorbed and words are forgotten.
You cannot become my parrot – at least while I am alive.
It is impossible to become my parrot. You will go crazy! My words are so full of contradictions that the poor parrot will be crushed under those contradictions. And it is a sure signal that you are not becoming a parrot because you don’t remember my words. The parrot only remembers words, but whatever is being communicated to you is absorbed.
It has to become part of your blood, your bones, your marrow – not part of your memory. Unless it becomes your blood, your bones and your marrow, it cannot transform you.
And the transformation is happening. You are aware of it, that in answering a personal question or responding to a situation, something comes out of you that is not yours. You are surprised even by your own words – because listening silently, not paying attention to the words but to the wordless message contained in them, you are slowly, slowly moving your very consciousness.
You will not become more knowledgeable here. You will become a new man, a man who knows the meaning of life, a man who has experienced the great benediction of silence and serenity. His actions are bound to reflect his consciousness.
And if you cannot remember my words, don’t be worried about it. You are nourished by the meaning, and it is the meaning that will change you, your actions, your responses. It is not the power of the words that transforms anybody. There is no need to be afraid, you are on the right track.
One thing has to be understood: you remember only things which you have not understood. Things that you have understood need not be remembered – they will act, they will be in your eyes. They will be in your gestures, they will be in your life, they will be in your love, they will be in everything that you do; but they will not be part of your memory system. They are far higher than the memory because they don’t belong to the mind.
Mind is the lowest part of your consciousness. It is good enough as far as the world is concerned, but it is not of any use if you are thinking to go on an inner pilgrimage. You will have to leave that mind behind. Its whole training is for the outside world. It will create all kinds of hindrances if you start moving inwards.
It is a trained outsider.
So it is good that words are not being caught by your memory system. Your listening is so total that the words go directly to your very being, to your consciousness – they don’t need the mechanism of the mind.
The mechanism of the mind is good as far as the objective world is concerned but in the inner, in the interior of your being, mind has no entry. Mind has never entered into the innermost core of any human being in the whole of history; the very nature of its functioning prohibits it. It is by nature, extrovert. The moment you start moving inwards, you are separating from your mind system, you are leaving it behind. Now you are moving on the wings of consciousness.
If what I am saying to you is becoming a reality in your life, who cares whether you remember my words or not? It is perfectly right not to remember them; any remembrance of the words will be an obstruction. Let only pure meaning spread to the deepest core of your being where words have no access, where only wordless meaning is able to enter.
A bishop, thinking to convert a Zen master – because he saw thousands of disciples, he thought it better if this old man were converted; then naturally all these disciples would be converted too. With great respect he approached the master. He had brought with him THE HOLY BIBLE. He opened the chapter containing the Sermon on the Mount. He wanted to show the Zen master the best of Jesus and if he agrees… and it is very difficult to disagree with the Sermon on the Mount. The argument inside his mind was that it is very difficult, almost impossible, to disagree with the Sermon on the Mount unless you have a superb, logical mind, something parallel to the genius of Friedrich Nietzsche – then perhaps you may be able to disagree.
Nietzsche is the only man in the whole of history who has disagreed with Jesus, and not on weak points but on the strongest. The ordinary way is to find loopholes, weaknesses, and hammer on them. If you cannot find them, create them – nobody is so much interested in going to the original sources to look.
The world lives on newspapers.
Jesus says “Man cannot live by bread alone.” I say to you, a man can live without bread but not without the newspaper. The newspaper is his whole wisdom. These are people who cannot argue against Jesus, Zarathustra or Lao Tzu.
For example, Jesus says, that God is love, God is just, always fair, always compassionate. The Old Testament’s God is a very angry God – never forgiving, never forgetting; nobody is going to avoid the punishment for his evil acts. The concept of Jesus’ God seems to be far more refined.
Loving, just, fair, compassionate… it seems to be closer to the human heart. But Friedrich Nietzsche criticizes it and his criticism is foundational and crucial. He says, “You cannot say God is love because wherever love is, hate is and if your God knows no hate, he cannot know love. How will he find it out that this is love? To define love, a certain experience of hate is needed. To define silence, noise is needed. To define beauty, ugliness is needed. You are alive because every day many people are dying and you can see the distinction. If nobody was dying, you would not even be able to imagine what life is.”
His criticism is very psychological. He is saying that you are taking one part, one side of a coin, and leaving the other side. This is impossible. You cannot have a coin with only one side. You can go on making it thinner but the other side will remain – either both or none.
Nietzsche says Jesus’ God is nothing but the completion of the Jewish concept of God. He was anger, he was hate, he was rage. Jesus has taken the other side of the coin, but both are halves and God is whole. If there is any God, he can only be whole. Jesus says, ”If somebody slaps you don’t be angry, but with humbleness give him the other cheek also.” It is such a beautiful idea, but a man like Friedrich Nietzsche has an insight and maturity which the common masses cannot have. His criticism is one of the examples of the highest reaches of logic.
Nietzsche says, “If somebody hits me on one of my cheeks, I am not so inhumane as to give him my other cheek. That is egoistic. It is trying to prove that ‘you are just an ordinary human being
– I am a messiah, a messenger of God. I forgive you and if you enjoy hitting me, you can hit me more.’ Nietzsche’s point is that you are reducing the other person to utter humiliation. Nobody in two thousand years’ history has raised this question.
Nietzsche says, “If somebody hits me, I will hit him as hard as I can because I am just as human as you are. I don’t want to prove myself holier than you, higher than you, superior to you. I respect your humanity and I accept your challenge. You have slapped my face. You have given the challenge to me.”
He is saying that Jesus’ idea is disrespectful. And certainly if you look deep into its psychology, you will find it is insulting. You are not accepting the other man as a man equal to you. He is an ignorant man, unenlightened. You are awakened. You are creating a distance between yourself and the person who has slapped you.
Nietzsche says, “I cannot create that distance. That distance is nothing but fulfillment of a very subtle kind – and fulfillment not of your being but only of your ego.”
But this bishop thought that by reading from the Sermon on the Mount, the old man was bound to be convinced that Jesus was as enlightened as Gautam Buddha. He read two lines and the old man said, “That’s enough. Whoever has written these will become enlightened in some future life but as far as this life is concerned, forget all about it.”
The bishop said, “But the lines are so beautiful – each word a diamond unto itself.”
The Zen master said, “It is not a question of words. While you were reading, I was also listening to the gaps. The man was articulate as far as words are concerned but the gaps expose him completely. What he is saying is only mind stuff, it is not his experience. But the man is good. Don’t be worried; in some future life he will become an enlightened person.”
Look – life is not a difficult matter. It becomes a problem when your life wants to go one way and your mind drags you in another and you are in a conflict, torn apart. You can go to neither side… because half of you is trying to go in another direction.
Life becomes absolutely simple once you start functioning from something that is higher than your mind. In the beginning for any seeker the whole search is to find a space above the mind.
Once you have found a small space above the mind, all dualism disappears, all tensions, all anxieties disappear. And strangely enough, the mind which was never in your control, suddenly surrenders itself to you.
Mind as a master is a disaster.
Mind as a servant is a beautiful gift of nature. You just have to find the master – and it is not far away.
It is just above the mind.
Only one step.
From Sermons in Stones, Discourse #9