Whilst you were speaking on Kahlil Gibran and Zarathustra, your words seemed to penetrate without my interpretation directly to the center of my being. I experienced an attunement, a communion happening as nectar that was filling my being. Sometimes, without sobbing, tears simply poured from my eyes, and after almost every discourse I felt for a long while in touch with something far beyond what I know of as myself. With questions and answers this does not happen. I still feel that special whatever it is that comes when sitting with you, but not with the depth of intensity I have just described. What is the difference?
Prabodh Nityo, the question you have asked raises many other questions too. I would like to cover all the implications in short, because it is important not only to you but for everyone else here.
The first thing: as far as I am concerned, the question-answer sessions are more significant because they relate to you, they relate to your growth. Certainly, you are groping in darkness, trying to find a way. You cannot ask questions of the heights of Zarathustra, of Kahlil Gibran — and I have to answer your reality.
Listening to Zarathustra and Kahlil Gibran is a good and great entertainment: you may sob and you may have tears and you may feel great, but it is all hot air! You remain the same — nothing changes in you. I speak sometimes on Buddha, on Chuang Tzu, on Zarathustra, just to give you an insight into the heights people have reached, just to make you aware of those distant stars. They are not so distant as they look — people like us have reached there. It is within your grasp.
That is the reason why, on Zarathustra and Buddha and Bodhidharma and a thousand others, I have spoken: to create a longing in you. But just the longing is not enough. Then I have to give you the path; then I have to sort out the mess that you are, and put your fragments, which are spread all over the space . . . to find out where your legs are and where your head is and put them all together, and somehow push you on the path. The question-answer sessions are concerned with you, your growth, your progress — the place where you are. And the discourses on Zarathustra or Kahlil Gibran are concerned with the places where you should be — but you are not yet there.
So I disagree with you. I can understand that you enjoy the dream that is created when one is hearing about Buddha . . . You have nothing to do; you are just listening to great poetry, listening to a great song, listening to great music, seeing a great dance. But you are not singing, you are not becoming the poetry, you are not becoming the dance. And I want you to become the dance; I want you to reach to the greatest heights that anybody has ever reached.
So I have to keep a balance, talking about the dreamlands and then talking about the dark caves where you are hiding, very reluctant to come out in the light. You want to hear about light and you enjoy, but you remain hiding in your dark cave. You want to hear about strange lands, beautiful stories and parables, but it is mere entertainment.
You should be more concerned when I am answering the questions, because they can change your reality. I have to do both jobs: create the longing, give a glimpse of the goal, and then clean the path and grease your parts — because you have never moved in many many lives, you are sitting in a junkyard — to put you back on the wheels and rolling. The second job is difficult, and not very juicy either. But it is absolutely necessary.
Secondly, I have to remind you of one thing. When I was speaking on Zarathustra . . . it is a very complicated affair, because I was not speaking directly on Zarathustra; I was speaking on a Zarathustra who is an invention of Friedrich Nietzsche. All the great insights are given by Nietzsche to Zarathustra.
Zarathustra . . . many times his original books have been brought to me, and they are so ordinary that I have never spoken on them. Nietzsche has used Zarathustra only as a symbolic figure, just as Kahlil Gibran was using Almustafa, which was a completely fictitious name. Nietzsche has used a historical name, but in a very fictitious way. He is putting his insights into the mouth of Zarathustra.
So first you should remember it is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra; it has nothing much to do with the original Zarathustra. And secondly, when I am speaking on it, I don’t care what Nietzsche means, and I don’t even have any way to know what he means; the way he used Zarathustra, I am using him! So it is a very complicated story. It is my Nietzsche, and via Nietzsche it is my Zarathustra. So whatever heights you are flying in have nothing to do with Zarathustra.
I have been speaking on hundreds of mystics, but it is always that I am speaking. And I know perfectly well that if by chance, somewhere, I meet these people, they are going to be very angry. They are going to be really enraged and say, “I never meant that.” But my problem is, “How can I know what you had meant?” I can only mean what I mean. So whether it is Zarathustra or Buddha or Jesus or Chuang Tzu, once they pass through me they have my signature on them. You are always listening to me.
When I am answering your questions, I am more concerned with your growth, with your actual problems; they are more earthly. So don’t be deceived; many people have been deceived. I have been reminding you, but people’s memories are not great.
I was speaking on Gautam Buddha in Varanasi and one Buddhist, a very renowned scholar in Buddhism, said to me, “I have been reading the same scriptures. But you have revealed such great depths and heights that I was never aware of; you have confirmed my faith in Gautam Buddha.”
I said, “If you don’t get angry with me . . . you should confirm your faith in me.”
He said, “What?”
I said, “Yes, because whatever you were reading was perhaps exactly what Buddha meant, and the depths and heights I am talking about are my experiences.”
But what to do? There are idiots all over the world. If you want Buddhist idiots to listen to you, you just have to say the name “Buddha” and that’s enough; then you can say anything you want. If you want Hindus to listen to you, you have to talk about Krishna. I am always talking about myself; I cannot talk about anybody else — how can I? Five thousand years ago, what was Krishna thinking, what was in his mind? . . . but when they listen to me they think, “My God, we were not aware that Krishna had such depths, such heights.” Krishna had nothing. Those heights and those depths are my experiences that I am hanging on anybody; these people function like hooks, I simply hang my idea on them.
And even great scholars . . . this man was Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap; he was dean of the faculty of Buddhism in the University of Varanasi, a very learned man. But when I said this to him, he became a permanent enemy. I said, “What happened to the heights and to the depths?”
People are much more concerned with names. If I say to you that “Zarathustra said this,” you listen with great attention. The very name Zarathustra looks so ancient, so prophetic, that he must have said something . . . and trust me, I know him, he is a poor guy. But don’t tell this to anybody! This is just a private conversation with you.
Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was getting tired of lying on his back, so he rolled over and saw an old woman praying, down in the chapel. He leaned over the edge of the scaffold and shouted, “I’m Jesus Christ! I’m Jesus Christ! Listen to me and I will perform miracles!”
The Italian lady looked up and clasping her rosary answered back, “Shut up-a your mouth. I’m talking to your mother!”
Michelangelo must have been thinking that he was joking with the old woman, but he was at a loss when he heard this. Of course, a mother is a mother, and you should not interfere between two old women talking . . . just go on and play outside!
So don’t be disturbed. If you want I can go on talking about any historical, mythological, fictitious figure; I can create my own fictions. Do you think all the stories that I have told you have happened? They should have happened! — they are so significant. But if I tell you that I am just making up this story, you will not be very interested; you will not be flying high.
Once in a while I want you to fly high, but it is just an imaginary flight. Really, I want you to be one day actually on those heights but for that, practical work is needed, pragmatic work is needed.
Just for you to fly a little high . . .
Goldstein, a string merchant from New York, was trying desperately to sell some of his goods in Alabama, but wherever he went he kept encountering anti-Semitism. In one department store the manager taunted him, “Alright, Goldstein. I will buy some of your string — as much as reaches from the top of your nose to the tip of your Jewish prick.”
Two weeks later, the manager was startled to receive a shipment containing eight hundred cartons of grade-A string. Attached was a note: “Many thanks for your generous order. Invoice to follow. Signed: Jacob Goldstein, residing in New York, circumcised in Kiev.”
From The Golden Future, Discourse #9, Q2
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