If there is absolute emptiness inside an enlightened one, then how is it that he seems to be making decisions, discriminating, liking this or disliking that, saying yes or no?
This will really look a paradox. If an enlightened one is simply emptiness, then for us it becomes a paradox. Then why does he say yes or no? Why does he choose? Why does he like some things and dislike other things? Why does he talk? Why does he walk? Why does he live at all?
For us this is a problem; but for the enlightened one it is not a problem. Everything is done out of emptiness. The enlightened one is not choosing. It looks like choice to us but the enlightened one simply moves in one direction – that direction comes from the emptiness itself.
It is just like this. You are walking. Suddenly a car comes in front of you and you feel that an accident will happen. You don’t decide what to do. Do you decide? How can you decide? There is no time. A decision will take time. You will have to ponder and think, weigh up the pros and cons, decide whether to jump this way or that. You don’t decide. You simply jump. From where does that jump com? Between the jump and you there is no thinking process. Suddenly you become aware that the car is in front of you and you jump. The jump happens first. Then later on you can think. In that moment you jump through hastiness; your whole being jumps without any decision.
Remember, decision is always of the part, it can never be of the whole. Decision means that there was a conflict. One part of your being was saying, “Do this,” another part was saying, “Don’t do this.” That’s why the decision was needed. You had to decide, argue, and one part had to be pushed aside. That’s what decision means. When your totality is there, there is no need to decide. There is no alternative. An enlightened one is total within himself, total emptiness. So whatsoever comes out, it comes out of his totality, not out of any decision. If he says “yes” it is not a choice: there was no “no” to be chosen, there was no alternative. “Yes” is the response of his total being. If he says “no”, then “no” is the response of his total being. That’s why an enlightened man can never repent.
You will repent always. Whatsoever you do, it makes no difference – whatsoever you do, you will repent. If you want to marry a woman, if you decide “yes”, you will repent, if you decide “no”, you will repent. Because whatsoever you decide is a partial decision, the other part is always against. If you decide, “Yes, I will marry this woman,” one part of your being is saying, “Don’t do this, you will repent.” You are not total.
When difficulties arise . . . They are bound to arise because when two different persons start living together, difficulties are bound to arise. There will be conflicts, there will be a struggle to dominate, there will be power politics. Then the other part will say, “Look! What did I say? I was insisting that you shouldn’t do this, and you have done it.” But that doesn’t mean that if you had followed the other part, there would have been no repentance. No! The repentance would have been there, because then you would have married some other woman, and the conflict and the struggle would have happened. Then the other part would go on saying, “I was saying marry the first woman. You have missed an opportunity. A heaven is lost, and you are married to a hell.”
You will repent, whatsoever the case, because your decision cannot be total. It is always against a part, and that part will take revenge. So whatsoever you decide, if you do good you will repent, if you do bad you will repent. If you do good, then your mind, the other part, will go on saying that you have missed an opportunity. If you do bad, then you will feel guilty. An enlightened being never repents. Really, he never looks backwards. There is nothing to look backwards at. Whatsoever is done is done with his totality.
So the first thing to be understood is that he never chooses. The choice happens to his emptiness; he never decides. That doesn’t mean that he is indecisive. He is absolutely decisive, but he never decides. Try to understand me. The decision happens in his emptiness. This is how his whole being acts: there is nothing more to it. If you are walking and a snake crosses your path, you jump suddenly – that’s all. You don’t decide. You don’t consult a master and a guide. You don’t go to look into books in the library about what to do when a snake crosses the path – how to do it, what the technique is. You simply jump. And remember, that jump is coming from your total being, it has not been a decision. Your total being has acted that way. That is all. There is nothing more to it.
To you it seems as if an enlightened one is choosing, deciding, discriminating, because you are doing that every moment. And you cannot understand something which you have not known at all. An enlightened one happens to be doing things without any decision, without any effort, without any choice – he is choiceless. But that doesn’t mean that if you give him food and stones, he will start eating stones. He will eat the food. To you it will look as if he has decided not to eat the stones, but he has not decided. That is simply foolish. It doesn’t occur to him. He eats the food. This is not a decision – only an idiot person would decide whether to eat stones or food. Stupid minds decide; enlightened minds simply act. And the more mediocre the mind, the more effort has to be made for a decision.
That’s what worry means. What is worry? There are two alternatives and no way to decide between them – and the mind goes on, one moment this side, another moment that side. This is what worry is. Worry means you have to decide and you are trying to decide, but you cannot decide. So you are worrying, puzzled, moving in vicious circles. An enlightened one is never worried. He is total. Try to understand this. He is not divided, he is not split, there are not two beings in him. But in you there is a crowd: not only two, there are many, many persons living in you, many voices, just a crowd. An enlightened one is a deep unity, he is a universe. You are a “multiverse”. This word “universe” is beautiful. It means one – “uni”. You are a “multiverse”, there are many worlds in you.
The second thing to be understood is that whatsoever you do, before doing it, there is thinking, thought. Whatsoever an enlightened person is doing, there is no thinking, no thought. He is doing it.
Remember, thinking is needed because you have no eyes to see. Thinking is a substitute. It is just like a blind man groping his way on a path with a stick. A blind man can ask people who have eyes how they grope, what type of sticks they use to grope their way on the path. And they will simply laugh; they will say that they don’t need sticks. They have eyes. They simply see where the door is, they need not grope for it. And they never think about where the door is. They see and they pass through it. But a blind man cannot believe that you can simply pass through a door. First you will have to think about where the door is. First you will have to inquire. If someone is there you will have to ask where the door is. And even if the direction is given, you will have to grope for it with your stick – and then too there may be many pitfalls. But when you have eyes, if you want to go out, you simply look . . . you don’t think about where the door is, you don’t decide. You simply look, the door is there, you pass through it. You never think that this is a door – you simply use it and you act.
The same is the situation with unenlightened minds and enlightened minds. An enlightened mind simply looks. Everything is clear. He has a clarity. His whole being is light. He looks around and he simply moves, acts – he never thinks. You have to think because you don’t have eyes. Only blind men think; they have to think because they don’t have eyes. They need substitute eyes, and thinking provides that.
I never say that Buddha or Mahavira or Jesus are great thinkers. That would be just nonsense. They are not thinkers at all. They are knowers, not thinkers. They have eyes, they can see, and through their seeing they act. Whatsoever comes out of a Buddha comes out of emptiness, not out of a mind filled with thoughts. It has come out of an empty sky. It is the response of emptiness.
But for us it is difficult because nothing comes to us in that way. We have to think about it. If someone asks a question, you have to think about it. And even then you can never be certain that whatsoever you are saying is the answer. A Buddha answers; he doesn’t think. You question him, and the emptiness simply responds. That response is not a thought-over thing. It is a total response. His being behaves that way. That’s why you cannot ask for consistency from a Buddha. You cannot. Thought can be consistent; a thinker is bound to be consistent – but an enlightened person cannot be consistent, because each moment the situation changes. And each moment things come out of his emptiness. He cannot force. He cannot think. He does not really remember what he said yesterday. Every question creates a new answer. And every question creates a new response. It depends on the questioner.
Buddha enters a village. One man asks, “Is there God?” Buddha says, “No.”
In the afternoon, another man asks, “Is there God?” Buddha says, “Yes.”
Then in the evening, a third one asks, “Is there God?” Buddha remains silent. In just one day: in the morning, no; in the afternoon, yes; in the evening, silence – neither yes nor no.
Buddha’s disciple, Anand, became puzzled. He had heard all three answers. In the night when everyone had retired, he asked Buddha, “Can I ask you a question? Just in one day you have answered one question in three ways, not only differently, contradictorily. My mind is puzzled. I cannot sleep if you don’t answer. What do you mean? In the morning you say yes, in the afternoon no, in the evening you remain silent. And the question was the same.”
Buddha said, “But the questioners were different. And how can different questioners ask the same question?” This is really beautiful, very deep. He said, “How can different questioners ask the same question? A question comes out of a being; it is a growth. If the being is different, how can the question be the same? In the morning when I said yes, the man who was asking was an atheist. He had come to get my confirmation that there is no God. And I could not confirm his atheism, because he was suffering because of it. And because I could not be a part in his suffering, and I wanted to help him, I said, “Yes, God exists.” That’s how I tried to destroy his so-called atheism. In the afternoon, when the other person was there, he was a theist and he was suffering through his theism. I couldn’t say yes to him because that would have been a confirmation – which he had come for. Then he would go and say, ‘Yes, whatsoever I was saying is right. Even Buddha says so.’ And the man was wrong. I could not help a wrong man in his wrongness so I had to say no to destroy whatsoever he is, to shatter his mind.
And the man who came in the evening was neither. He was a simple, innocent man and he was not asking for any confirmation. He had no ideology; he was really a religious person. So I had to be silent. I said to him, “Be silent about this question. Don’t think about it.” If I had said yes, it would have been wrong because he was not there to find a theology. If I had said no, it would have been wrong, because he was not to be confirmed in any atheism. He was not interested in thoughts, in ideas, in theories, doctrines, no; he was a real religious man. How can I utter any word before him? I had to be silent. He understood my silence. When he went away, his religiousness had deepened.”
Buddha said, “Three persons cannot ask the same question. They can formulate it in a similar way – that is another thing. The questions were all “Does God exist?” Their formulation was the same, but the being from where the question was coming was totally different. They meant different things by it; their values were different; their associations with words were different.”
I remember, once it happened that Mulla Nasruddin came back to his house one evening. The whole day he had been involved in a football match. He was a fan. In the evening when he entered the house, his wife was reading a newspaper, and she said, “Look, Nasruddin, there is something for you. It is reported here that a man has given his wife in return for a season ticket for the football matches. You are also a fan, a mad fan, but I cannot conceive that you would do the same. Or would you? Could you exchange me just to get a season ticket for the football matches?”
Nasruddin thought hard, and then he said, “Of course I would not – because it is ridiculous and criminal. The season is half over.”
Every mind has its own orientation. You may use the same words but because you are different, those same words cannot be the same.
Then Buddha said another thing, and that is even more significant. He said, “Anand, why are you disturbed? You were not a party. You should not listen, because not a single answer was given to you. You should remain indifferent, otherwise you will go mad. Don’t move with me because I will be involved with many, many types of persons. And if you listen to everything that is not said to you, you will get confused and crazy. You just leave me. Otherwise remember to listen only when I speak to you; at other times don’t listen. Whatsoever I say is not your business. It was not said to you and it was not your question at all. So why should you be worried? You were not related. Someone asked, someone else replied. Why are you unnecessarily worried about it? If you have the same question, ask, and then I will answer. But remember, my answers are not to the questions, but to the questioners. I respond. I look at the man, I see through the man, the man becomes transparent – and this is my response. The question is irrelevant; the questioner is relevant.”
You cannot ask for consistency from an enlightened person. Only unenlightened, ignorant persons can be consistent, because they don’t have to look. They just follow some ideas. They carry dead ideas, consistently. For their whole life they will carry something and they will remain consistent to it. They are stupid, that’s why they can remain consistent. They are not alive. They are dead.
Aliveness cannot be consistent. That doesn’t mean that it is wrong – aliveness is consistent, but very deeply, not on the surface. Buddha is consistent in all the three answers, but his consistency is not in the answers – his consistency is in his effort to help. He wanted to help the first man. He wanted to help the second man. He wanted to help the third man. For all three, compassion was there, love was there. He wanted to help them – that is his consistency. But it is a deep current. His words are different, his answers are different, but his compassion is the same.
So when an enlightened person speaks, answers, that answer is a total response of his emptiness, of his being. He echoes you, he reflected you, he is a mirror. He has no face of his own. Your face is mirrored in his heart. So if an idiot comes to meet a Buddha, he will meet an idiot – Buddha is just a mirror. And that man will go and spread the rumor that Buddha is an idiot. He has seen himself in Buddha. If someone sensitive, understanding, mature, grown up comes, he will see something else in Buddha; he will see his own face. There is no other way – you go on seeing mirrors in persons who are totally empty. Then whatsoever you carry is your interpretation.
It is said in old scriptures that when you reach an enlightened person, remain totally silent. Don’t think, otherwise you will miss the opportunity of meeting him. Just remain silent. Don’t think. Absorb him, but don’t try to understand him through your head. Absorb him, drink him, allow your total being to be open to him, let him move within you, but don’t think about him – because if you think, then your mind will be echoed. Let your total being be bathed in his presence. Only then will you have a glimpse of what type of being, of what type of phenomenon you have come in contact with.
Many came to Buddha. They came and went. They carried their own opinions, and they went out and they spread them. Very few, really very few, understood – and that is how it should be, because you can understand only according to you. If you are ready to melt and change and be transformed, only then can you understand what an enlightened person, what an enlightened being is.
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #80, Q2
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