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* [heidelbergI love.gif] ([diff|phpwiki:?diff=heidelbergI%20love.gif]) ..... kishore
Questions to Ask Yourself, Regularly
# What am I resisting? The seeds of growth lie in your resistance to what is new, unfamiliar, or unpleasant. All too often, the very things we resist most are the things that force us to grow the most. So, be attentive to those subtle gut-tightening signals that hint of an opportunity for learning
# What is the lesson here? There's a second step that is needed to reinforce the insight gained by asking the first question. In order to really benefit, we have to actually seek out the lesson, demonstrate that we really want to hear, and be willing to follow the often-subtle guidance that comes.
# Have I been here before? Often our most pressing issues are thinly disguised versions of problems we've failed to solve in the past. Different names and faces maybe, but the same underneath, destined not to go away until we meet and resolve them once and for all. If your answer to this question is, yes, then maybe it's time to get to the bottom of the issue and solve it!
We pay a price for every negative thought we entertain, and it's measured in decreased energy, heightened depression, reduced immune function, and sometimes serious illness. Although you may believe otherwise, we have to reach the place where anger, frustration, worry, and criticism have no place in our experience. Until we do, we are losing energy, diluting our focus, and rendering ourselves vulnerable.
One of the most difficult tasks of this life consists in letting go-of our attachments, of ego, of our need to be right, and ultimately, of this life. You cannot fly unless you are willing to relinquish your firm footing on earth; flying requires that sort of faith, and commitment. The surprising thing is that, when we really let go, we begin to grow.
Every moment you spend regretting the past or worrying about the future is a moment of the present, lost. Yes, we need to complete the past, wind up our unfinished business, and be attentive to trends that portend of future events, but we can take action only in the present. So, that's where your full attention needs to be, and staying in the present is a full time job.
To act or not to act, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to take action against a sea of troubles and so by doing, prolong them, or to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous inaction and so gain clarity. (Shakespeare would sue for what I've done to Hamlet's timeless prose) Put the question differently: is there a NEED for action now? Often, we act because we're afraid that, if we don't, things will get worse. The truth is that deliberate inaction is action, and it is often a way to allow a cloudy situation to become clear.
True or false?: It's important to be in control of your life. Control can be a big issue for some people, especially if they feel they don't have it. So, granted, it's perfectly reasonable to want to feel in control. Letting go of the past, staying in the present, and taking action (including no action) are all ways to develop a sense that you are in control. But, let me suggest that there is a step beyond control. It is to recognize that, ultimately, you are NOT in control-that you are always subject to a higher authority. Paradoxically, this recognition and your acknowledgement of it can free you from the need to always be IN control.
Have you noticed how some people have a need to involve others in their problems? If it's your boss, your significant other, or your child, it's normal to conclude that your have to do something. But, that something doesn't mean becoming part of the problem! Your responsibility, in this case, is to maintain a level of detachment that will enable you to see the situation clearly, and this clarity pertains not only to the solution, but to the extent that you should be involved in the problem in the first place.
Science, Religion and the Big Bang Theory
You said the other day that no one is interested any more in questions like "Who created the universe?" But a recent edition of Time magazine devoted considerable space to an article entitled "In the Beginning: God and Science."
The basic them of the article was that science and religion have been brought close together by the "big bang" theory of creation in which the universe is supposed to have come into being through a vast fireball explosion, fifteen or twenty billion years ago.
Time says that this sounds very much like the story which the old testament has been telling all along, namely that the universe began in a single flashing act of creation.
What is wrong with the hypothesis that the universe was created, that it had a beginning? And why do you assert that it did not? Is it not a step in the right direction when science and religion agree?
Subhuti, the first thing to remember is, for three hundred years religion has been losing its territory continuously. First, religion tried to destroy science. It was unable to do it -- because you cannot destroy truth, and science was truer, as far as the objective world is concerned, than religion. In fact religion has no authority to say anything about the objective world.
When you are ill you go to the physician, you don't go to the poet. The poet has no authority; he may be a great poet but that is irrelevant when you are ill. He may be a great poet, but when something goes wrong in your bathroom you don't call him, you call a plumber. The plumber may not be a poet at all, but the plumber is relevant there. You don't call Albert Einstein -- he may be a great physicist, but what does he know about plumbing?
Religion was proving to be utterly wrong. It was wrong about the objective world. Once science started investigating the objective, organized religion was very much afraid. If there had been a Jesus he would not have been afraid, he would simply have said: "About the objective, listen to science." If a Buddha was there he would have said: "Listen to science."
But there was no Buddha in the West where science was growing. And people like Galileo and Copernicus and Kepler were tortured in every possible way because organized religion, the church, became very much afraid: what they were saying was going against their scriptures.
The scientists were saying that the sun does not go around the earth -- and The Bible says it does. The scientists were saying the earth goes around the sun...now, if The Bible can be wrong in one thing, then why not in others? That was the problem, that was the fear.
The person who said that the earth goes around the sun was called to the court by the Vatican. Galileo had to appear, in his old age -- he was more than seventy, ill, on his deathbed, but he was forced to come to the court to declare there that whatsoever he had said is wrong.
He must have been a man of great humor. He said: "Yes, if it offends you, I declare that whatsoever I have said is wrong -- that the earth does not go around the sun, but the sun goes around the earth."
Everybody looked happy, and then Galileo said: "But sir, nothing will change by my statement. The earth will still go round and round the sun -- my statement makes no difference! If you are offended by my statement I can take it back, I can refute it. If you want me to write another treatise, I can write that too. But nothing will change by that. Who cares about my statement? Neither the sun nor the earth."
Organized religion tried to kill science -- they could not, because truth cannot be killed.
Slowly slowly science has possessed the whole territory of the objective world. Then the natural tendency of mind...science started claiming that which could not be claimed by it. Science created the same fallacy as organized religion, which was saying: "About the objective world also, we are right." They were not. They are right about the subjective world; about the interiormost being of existence they are right. But they are not right about the circumference of it, that is not their dimension. But they were claiming that they are right about both.
The same started happening with physicists, chemists and other scientists. In the beginning of this century, science became very arrogant -- the same type of arrogance, just the authority shifted from the priests to the scientists. The scientists started saying: "There is no God and there is no soul and there is no consciousness, and all that is rubbish."
This type of arrogance has always remained with man. We have not yet learned anything. This is again the same game being played. When science became very arrogant, naturally religion became defensive. It was losing, it became defensive. So anything that is discovered by science religion tries to appropriate. It tries somehow to make it fit with itself, because the only possibility for it to survive now is if it proves itself to be scientific.
In the beginning it was just the opposite. If a scientist was to survive, the only way was to prove that whatsoever he has found is according to the scriptures, that it proves the scriptures, that it is not against.
Now the whole thing is just vice-versa. Now if religion wants to exist in the world, it has continuously to look up to science. Whatsoever science discovers, religion immediately jumps upon and tries to prove: "This is what we have been saying all along."
This "big bang" theory has nothing to do with the religious attitude and the religious theory of creation. In the big bang theory there is no God, it is all an accident; it is not creation, remember, because there is no creator in it.
But religion is very defensive, continuously searching for anything to cling to. The big bang theory says that in a sudden explosion, in a great flash of light, the world was created. Jump on it; you can always find some way, some logical way. You can say: "Yes, this is right, this is what we have been saying all along. God in the beginning said: 'Let there be light' -- and now the theory says there was a great explosion, the world was suddenly created."
But the basic thing is missing -- don't be deceived. Religion has been saying that God said: "Let there be light." The base is not the light, the base is God saying: "Let there be light." That God is missing in the big bang theory: there is no God, it was a sudden accident, not creation.
And one more thing: this big bang theory is not totally accepted, there are many other theories.
These are all guesses; they are not proved yet, nothing is proved. In fact I don't think that it can ever be proved how the world came into existence. It is impossible, because nobody was there to witness it, you cannot find an eyewitness, so all that they can do will be just guesswork.
And it happened fifteen or twenty billion years ago. You cannot even be certain whether Krishna ever existed or not, just five thousand years ago. You cannot be certain even about Jesus, whether he was really an historical person or is just a myth -- and he was only two thousand years ago. Do you think you can be certain about something that happened twenty billion years ago? All guesses.
And still I say the world was never created, there was no beginning.
Why do I say that there was no beginning? Subhuti, it is so simple. Even if you believe in the big bang theory, there must have been something that exploded. Do you think nothing exploded? If there was something, x, y, z, -- any name, I am not much interested in such nonsense things, x, y, z, whatsoever it was that exploded -- if something was there before the explosion then the explosion is not the beginning. It may be a beginning but it is not the beginning.
And when I say there has never been any beginning, I mean the beginning. Something was always there -- whether it exploded or whether it grew slowly, in one day or in six days or in one single moment, doesn't matter. There must have been something before it, because only something can come out of something. Even if you say there was nothing, and it came out of nothing, then your nothing is full of something, it is not really nothing.
Hence I say there has never been any beginning and there will never be any end. Maybe a beginning, maybe many beginnings and maybe many ends, but never the first and never the last. We are always in the middle. Existence is not a creation but a creativity. It is not that it begins one day and ends one day. It goes on and on; it is an ongoing process.
That's why, Subhuti, I say that all these guesses are useless and there is no need for them and they serve no purpose. This was Buddha's approach too. Whenever somebody would ask a question like: "Who created the world?" -- whether the world was ever created or is uncreated -- Buddha would answer by other questions. He would ask: "If who created the world is decided, is it going to help your enlightenment? Is it going to help you become more silent, more meditative, more aware?"
Certainly the person would answer: "It is not going to help. Who created the world doesn't matter. It will not help my enlightenment and it will not make me more meditative."
Then Buddha said: "Then why bother about all this? Think of things which can help you to become more meditative, think of things which can help you become free of all the ego-clinging, think of things which can ultimately lead you into the state of samadhi."
My approach is also the same: these are all irrelevant questions. And because of these irrelevant questions there has been so much controversy down the ages and thousands of people have wasted their lives discussing who created the world, when exactly, what was the date -- and so on, and so forth.
I think these people were neurotics. I don't think them healthy, normal, sane people. Who cares? For what? It does not matter at all, it is immaterial.
Why do I lose focus?
The ability to concentrate is not something to feel blessed about. It is a frozen state of mind, a very narrow state of mind. Useful, of course, useful -- for others. Useful in scientific inquiry, useful in business, useful in the market, useful in politics -- but absolutely useless for yourself. If you become too attuned with concentration you will become very, very tense. Concentration is a tense state of mind; you will never be relaxed. Concentration is like a torch, focused, and consciousness is like a lamp, unfocused.
My whole effort here is to teach you consciousness, not concentration. And this is the point to be remembered: if you become conscious, any moment you want to concentrate on a particular problem, you can. It is not a problem. But if you become too focused with concentration the vice versa is not true: you cannot relax. A relaxed mind can always concentrate. easily, there is no trouble about it. But a focused mind becomes obsessed. narrow. It is not easy for it to relax and leave the tension. It remains tense.
If you meditate. first concentration will disappear and you will be feeling a little at a loss. But if you go on, by and by you will attain to an unfocused state of light -- that's what meditation is. Once meditation is attained. concentration is child's play -- whenever you need to, you can concentrate. There will be no problem about it and it will be easy and without any tension.
Right now, you are being used by society. Society wants efficient people. It is not worried about your soul, it is worried about your productivity. I am not worried about your productivity: man has already too much, more than he can enjoy -- there is no need to go on producing more. Now there is more need to play around more and there is more need to be more conscious. Science has developed enough. Now, whatsoever science is doing is almost futile. Now, going to the moon is simply useless. But tremendous energy is wasted. Why? Because scientists are now obsessed -- they have to do something. They have learned a trick of concentration and they have to do something. They have to produce, they have to go on producing something -- they cannot relax. They will go to the moon, they will go to Mars, and they will persuade people that whatsoever they are doing is tremendously important. It is absolutely useless. But this happens.
Once you become trained in a certain thing, you go on in that line, blind, unless a cul de sac comes and you cannot go on anymore. But life is infinite. There comes no cul de sac. You can go on and on and on.
And now scientific activity has almost become ridiculous.
Religious activity is totally different. It is not worried about being more efficient; the whole point is how to be more joyful, how to be more celebrating. So if you 90 with me, by and by, concentration will relax. And in the beginning you will feel afraid because you will see your skill disappearing, your efficiency disappearing. You will feel you are losing something that you have gained with so much effort. In the beginning it will happen. The ice is melting and becoming water. The ice was solid, something concentrated; now it is water -- loose, relaxed, flowing in all directions. But anytime you need ice, the water can be turned into ice again. There is no problem -- just a little more cooling is needed.
This is my own experience. Whatsoever I say, I say from my own experience -- the same has happened to me. First, concentration disappeared; but now I can concentrate on anything. There is no problem. But I don't remain in concentration; I can concentrate and relax -- whenever the need arises. Just as whenever the need arises, you walk; you don't sit on the chair and go on moving your Legs. There are a few people who go on moving because they cannot sit relaxed -- you will call this man restless!
Legs in perfect order are needed so that whenever you need to, you can walk, you can run. But when there Is no need, you can relax, and the legs will no longer be functioning.
But your concentration has become almost as focused as if you are continuously preparing for an Olympic! Runners in an Olympic cannot relax. They have to run a particular amount every morning and evening; they are continuously on the go. If they relax for a few days they will lose their skill. But I call all Olympics political, ambitious, foolish. There is no need.
Feel blissful, blessed. What is the point of uttering logical sentences! Utter nonsense; make sounds, gibberish, like birds... Like trees! (At this moment a nearby tree decided, with the help of a passing breeze, to illustrate Osho's words by shaking its branches and causing hundreds of leaves to fall with loud rustling sounds to the ground.) Look! This way! Is this logical? The tree is enjoying. Delighting. Simply shedding away the past.
Delight. Sing. Utter sounds. Forget all logic! And by and by you will become more alive. Less logical of course that is the price one has to pay -- but you become dead if you become more logical and you become more alive if you become less logical.
Life is the goal, not logic. What are you going to do with logic? If you are hungry, logic is not going to feed you; if you need love, logic is not going to hug you; if you are thirsty, logic will tell you that water is H20! It is not going to give you water, real water. No. It simply functions in formulas, maxims.
Look at life, and by and by you will understand that life has its own very logical logic. Be attuned to it and that will become the door for your ecstasy, samadhi, nirvana.
Could you say something about forgiveness?
It is one of the most fundamental things to understand. People ordinarily think that forgiveness is for those who are worthy of it, who deserve it. But if somebody deserves, is worthy of forgiveness, it is not much of a forgiveness. You are not doing anything on your part; he deserves it. You are not really being love and compassion. Your forgiveness will be authentic only when even those who don't deserve it receive it.
It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.
I am reminded of one of the most significant woman mystics, Rabiya al-Adabiya, a Sufi woman who was known for her very eccentric behavior. But in all her eccentric behavior there was a great insight. Once, another Sufi mystic Hasan was staying with Rabiya. Because he was going to stay with Rabiya, he had not brought his own holy Koran, which he used to read every morning as part of his discipline. He thought he could borrow Rabiya's holy Koran, so he had not brought his own copy with him.
In the morning he asked Rabiya, and she gave him her copy. He could not believe his eyes. When he opened the Koran he saw something which no Mohammedan could believe: in many places Rabiya had corrected it. It is the greatest sin as far as Mohammedans are concerned; the Koran is the word of God according to them. How can you change it? How can you even think that you can make something better? Not only has she changed it, she has simply cut out a few words, a few lines -- removed them.
Hasan said to her, "Rabiya, somebody has destroyed your Koran!" Rabiya said, "Don't be stupid, nobody can touch my Koran. What you are looking at is my doing." Hasan said, "But how could you do such a thing?" She said, "I had to do it, there was no way out. For example, look here: the Koran says, "When you see the devil, hate him." Since I have become awakened I cannot find any hate within me. Even if the devil stands in front of me I can only shower him with my love, because I don't have anything else left. It does not matter whether God stands in front of me, or the devil; both will receive the same love. All that I have is love; hate has disappeared. The moment hate disappeared from me I had to make changes in my book of the holy Koran. If you have not changed it, that simply means you have not arrived to the space where only love remains."
I will say to you, the people who don't deserve, the people who are unworthy, don't make any difference to the man who has come to the space of forgiveness. He will forgive, irrespective of who receives it. He cannot be so miserly that only the worthy should receive it. And from where is he going to find unforgiveness? This is a totally different perspective. It does not concern itself with the other. Who are you to make the judgment whether the other is worthy or unworthy? The very judgment is ugly and mean.
I know Rudolph Hess is certainly one of the greatest criminals. And his crime becomes even a millionfold bigger, because in the Nuremburg trial with the remaining companions of Adolf Hitler -- who killed almost eight million people in the second world war -- he said in front of the court, "I don't repent anything!" Not only that, he also said, "And if I could start from the very beginning, I would do the same thing again." It is very natural to think this man is not worthy of forgiveness; that will be the common understanding. Everybody will agree with you.
But I cannot agree with you. It does not matter what Rudolf Hess has done, what he is saying. What matters is that you are capable of forgiving even him. That will raise your consciousness to the ultimate heights. If you cannot forgive Rudolf Hess you will remain just an ordinary human being, with all kinds of judgments of worthiness, of unworthiness. But basically you cannot forgive him because your forgiveness is not big enough.
I can forgive the whole world for the simple reason that my forgiveness is absolute; it is nonjudgmental. I will tell you a small Tibetan story which will make the point absolutely clear to you.
A great old master, worshiped by millions of people, refused to initiate anyone into disciplehood. His whole life, consistently, he was asked by kings, he was asked by very rich people, he was asked by great ascetics, saints, to be initiated as his disciples, and he went on refusing. He would always say, "Unless I find a man who deserves it, unless I find a man who is worthy of it... I am not going to initiate any Tom, Dick, Harry."
He had a small young boy who used to cook food for him, wash his clothes, fetch vegetables from the market. The boy himself had become slowly, slowly old and for his whole life he had been listening to the old man, who had lived almost one hundred years, and without exception the denial: nobody is worthy! "I will die," he said, "without initiating anyone, but I will not initiate anyone who is nondeserving."
People became tired, frustrated. They loved the man, the man had immense qualities, but they could not understand his very stubborn attitude -- no kindness, no compassion.
But one morning the old man woke up his companion, who himself had become old, and said to him, "Run immediately down the hills to the marketplace and tell everybody that whoever wants to be initiated must come soon, because this evening as the sun sets I am going to die."
His companion said, "But what about worthiness? I don't know who is worthy and who is not worthy. Who have I to bring?"
The old man said, "Don't worry at all. It was only a device, because I myself was not worthy to initiate anyone, but it was against my dignity to say so. So I chose the other way round. I was saying, `Unless I find somebody worthy enough, deserving enough, I am not going to initiate.' The truth is, I was not worthy to be a master. Now I am, but the time is very short. Only this morning as the sun was rising, my own consciousness has also risen to the ultimate peak. Now I am ready. Now it does not matter who is worthy and who is unworthy. What matters now is that I am worthy. Just go and fetch anybody! Just go and make the whole village aware that this is the last day of my life, and anybody who wants to be initiated should come immediately. Bring as many people as you can."
The companion of the old man was at a loss, but there was no time to argue. He ran down the hill, reached the marketplace and shouted all over the village, "Anybody who wants to become a disciple, the old man is ready now."
People could not believe it. But out of curiosity a few thought, "There is no harm at least to see what is going on." The man had refused his whole life, and on the last day of his life suddenly such a great change. Somebody's wife had died and he was feeling very lonely, so he thought, "It is good. If he is going to initiate everybody, no question of worthiness..." Somebody was released from jail just the night before; he thought, "Nobody is going to give me employment; this is a good chance to become a saint."
All kinds of strange people went to the cave of the old man, and his companion was feeling so embarrassed at the kind of people he had brought: one is a criminal, one's wife is dead, that's why he thinks, "It is better... now, what else to do?" Somebody has gone bankrupt and was thinking to commit suicide; now he thinks that this is better than suicide.
A few had come just out of curiosity. They had no other work; they were playing jazz and they thought, "We can play jazz tomorrow, but today there is no harm, let us see what this initiation is. Anyway, that man is going to die by the evening so we will be free to remain disciples or not. We can play jazz tomorrow -- there is no harm."
The companion of the old man was feeling very embarrassed, "How will I present this strange lot when that old man has refused kings, saints, sages, who have come with deep earnestness to be initiated? And now he is going to initiate this gang!" He was even feeling ashamed, but he entered and asked, "Should I call the people? -- eleven have come."
The old man said, "Call them quickly, because it is already afternoon. You took so much time and you could fetch just eleven people?"
His companion said, "What can I do? It is a working day; it is not a holiday. I could only get these. All are absolutely useless; even I could not initiate them. Not only that they are not worthy -- they are absolutely UNworthy. But you insisted to bring somebody; nobody else was available."
The old man said, "There is no problem. Just bring them in." And he initiated them all. Even they were shocked. And they said to the old man, "This is strange behavior. All your life you have insisted that one has to deserve to be a disciple. What happened to your principle?"
The old man laughed. He said, "That was not a principle, that was only to hide my own unworthiness. I was not yet in the position to be a master. And I cannot cheat anyone, I cannot deceive anyone; hence I have taken shelter behind a judgmental attitude, that unless you are worthy, you will not get initiation."
Everybody has his own flaws, weaknesses; everybody has done things that he never wanted to do. Everybody has gone astray. Nobody can say that he is absolutely pure; everybody is polluted. So when the old man insisted, "Unless you are worthy don't come back to me," nobody argued with him; he was right. First they have to be worthy!
On the last day, he said to those eleven disciples, "I bless you and initiate you. It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not, but for the first time I am worthy. And if I am really worthy, just my presence is going to purify you. My worthiness of being a master is going to make you a worthy disciple. Now I don't have to depend on your worthiness. My worthiness is enough.
"I am just like a rain cloud; I will shower all over the place -- on the mountains, on the streets, on the houses, in the farms, in the gardens. I will shower everywhere, because I am too burdened with my rainwater. It does not matter whether the garden deserves... I don't even make any distinction between the garden and the rocks. I will simply shower out of my abundance."
In fact I would like to make the statement that the man who is unworthy deserves more than the man who is worthy. The man who does not deserve, deserves more, because he is so poor; don't be hard upon him. Life has been hard upon him. He has gone astray; he has suffered because of his wrong doings. Now don't you be hard on him. He needs more love than those who are deserving; he needs more forgiveness than those who are worthy. This should be the only approach of a religious heart.
Your question was raised before Gautam Buddha, because he was going to initiate a murderer into sannyas -- and the murderer was no ordinary murderer. Rudolf Hess is nothing compared to him. His name was Angulimal. Angulimal means a man who wears a garland of human fingers.
He had taken a vow that he would kill one thousand people; from each single person he would take one finger so that he could remember how many he had killed and he will make a garland of all those fingers. In his garland of fingers he had nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers -- only one was missing. And that one was missing because his road was closed; nobody was coming that way. But Gautam Buddha entered that closed road. The king had put guards on the road to prevent people, particularly strangers who didn't know that a dangerous man lived behind the hills. The guards told Gautam Buddha, "That is not the road to be used. You will have to take a little longer route, but it is better to go a little longer than to go into the mouth of death itself. This is the place where Angulimal lives. Even the king has not the guts to go on this road. That man is simply mad.
"His mother used to go to him. She was the only person who used to go, once in a while, to see him, but even she stopped. The last time she went there he told her, `Now only one finger is missing, and just because you happen to be my mother... I want to warn you that if you come another time you will not go back. I need one finger desperately. Up to now I have not killed you because other people were available, but now nobody passes on this road except you. So I want to make you aware that next time if you come it will be your responsibility, not mine.' Since that time his mother has not come."
The guards said to Buddha, "Don't unnecessarily take the risk." And do you know what Buddha said to them? Buddha said, "If I don't go then who will go? Only two things are possible: either I will change him, and I cannot miss this challenge; or I will provide him with one finger so that his desire is fulfilled. Anyway I am going to die one day. Giving my head to Angulimal will be at least of some use; otherwise one day I will die and you will put me on the funeral pyre. I think that it is better to fulfill somebody's desire and give him peace of mind. Either he will kill me or I will kill him, but this encounter is going to happen; you just lead the way."
The people who used to follow Gautam Buddha, his close companions who were always in competition to be closer to him, started slowing down. Soon there were miles between Gautam Buddha and his disciples. They all wanted to see what happened, but they didn't want to be too close.
Angulimal was sitting on his rock watching. He could not believe his eyes. A very beautiful man of such immense charisma was coming towards him. Who could this man be? He had never heard of Gautam Buddha, but even this hard heart of Angulimal started feeling a certain softness towards the man. He was looking so beautiful, coming towards him. It was early morning... a cool breeze, and the sun was rising... and the birds were singing and the flowers had opened; and Buddha was coming closer and closer.
Finally Angulimal, with his naked sword in his hand, shouted, "Stop!" Gautam Buddha was just a few feet away, and Angulimal said, "Don't take another step because then the responsibility will not be mine. Perhaps you don't know who I am!"
Angulimal said, "This is not the point. Neither is it the place nor the time to discuss such things. Your life is in danger!"
That man said, "I used to think I was mad -- you are simply mad. And you go on moving closer. Then don't say that I killed an innocent man. You look so innocent and so beautiful that I want you to go back. I will find somebody else. I can wait; there is no hurry. If I can manage nine hundred and ninety-nine... it is only a question of one more, but don't force me to kill YOU."
Buddha said, "You are absolutely blind. You can't see a simple thing: I am not moving towards you, you are moving towards me."
Angulimal said, "This is sheer craziness! Anybody can see that you are moving and I am standing on my rock. I have not moved a single inch."
Buddha said, "Nonsense! The truth is, since the day I became enlightened I have not moved a single inch. I am centered, utterly centered, no movement. And your mind is continuously moving round and round in circles... and you have the guts to tell to me to stop. You stop! I have stopped long ago."
Angulimal said, "It seems you are impossible, you are incurable. You are bound to be killed. I will feel sorry, but what can I do? I have never seen such a mad man."
Buddha came very close, and Angulimal's hands were trembling. The man was so beautiful, so innocent, so childlike. He had already fallen in love. He had killed so many people... He had never felt this weakness; he had never known what love is. For the first time he was full of love. So there was a contradiction: the hand was holding the sword to kill the person, and his heart was saying, "Put the sword back in the sheath."
Buddha said, "I am ready, but why is your hand shaking? -- you are such a great warrior, even kings are afraid of you, and I am just a poor beggar. Except the begging bowl, I don't have anything. You can kill me, and I will feel immensely satisfied that at least my death fulfills somebody's desire; my life has been useful, my death has also been useful. But before you cut my head I have a small desire, and Ithink you will grant me a small desire before killing me."
Before death even the hardest enemy is willing to fulfill any desire.
Buddha said, "I want you just to cut from the tree a branch which is full of flowers. I will never see these flowers again; I want to see those flowers closely, feel their fragrance and their beauty in this morning sun, their glory."
So Angulimal cut with his sword a whole branch full of flowers. And before he could give it to Buddha, Buddha said, "This was only half the desire; the other half is, please put the branch back on the tree."
Angulimal said, "I was thinking from the very beginning that you are crazy. Now this is the craziest desire. How can I put this branch back?"
Buddha said, "If you cannot create, you have no right to destroy. If you cannot give life, you don't have the right to give death to any living thing."
By that time the followers of Gautam Buddha had come closer and closer. Seeing that now Gautam Buddha was standing in front of Angulimal, there was no problem, no fear, although he needed only one finger. They were all around and when he fell at Buddha's feet they immediately came close. Somebody raised the question, "Don't initiate this man, he is a murderer. And he is not an ordinary murderer; he has murdered nine hundred and ninety-nine people, all innocent, all strangers. They have not done any wrong to him. He had not even seen them before!"
Buddha said again, "If I don't initiate him, who will initiate him? And I love the man, I love his courage. And I can see tremendous possibility in him: a single man fighting against the whole world. I want this kind of people, who can stand against the whole world. Up to now he was standing against the world with a sword; now he will stand against the world with a consciousness which is far sharper than any sword. I told you that murder was going to happen, but it was not certain who was going to be murdered -- either I was going to be murdered, or Angulimal. Now you can see Angulimal is murdered. And who I am to judge?"
The question is not whether anybody is worthy or not. The question is whether you have the consciousness, the abundance of love -- then forgiveness will come out of it spontaneously. It is not a calculation, it is not arithmetic.
Why so much conflict between the different religions?
[Articles] > Why so much conflict between the different religions?
The world seems to be getting more and more crazy from day to day. nobody knows what is going on and everything is upside down and confused. this is what is told in the newspapers. is it real? and if so, is there any intrinsic balance in life which is keeping everything stable?
The world is the same; it has always been the same -- upside down, crazy, insane. In fact, only one thing new has happened in the world, and that is the awareness that we are crazy, that we are upside down, that something is basically wrong with us. And this is a great blessing -- this awareness. Of course it is only a beginning, just the abc of a long process, just a seed, but immensely pregnant. The world was never so aware of its insane ways as it is today. It has always been the same. In three thousand years man has fought five thousand wars.
Can you say this humanity is sane? One cannot remember a time in human history when people were not destroying each other either in the name of religion or in the name of God or even in the name of peace, humanity, universal brotherhood. Great words hiding ugly realities! Christians have been killing Mohammedans, Mohammedans have been killing Christians, Mohammedans have been killing Hindus, Hindus have been killing Mohammedans. Political ideologies, religious ideologies, philosophical ideologies are just facades for murder -- to murder in a justified way.
And all these religions were promising the people, "If you die in a religious war, your heaven is absolutely certain. Killing in war is not sin; being killed in war is a great virtue." This is sheer stupidity! But ten thousand years of conditioning has seeped deep into the blood, into the bones, in the very marrow of humanity. Each religion, each country, each race was claiming, "We are the chosen people of God. We are the highest; everyone is lower than us." This is insanity, and everybody has suffered because of it.
Jews have suffered immensely for one single folly that they committed: the idea that "We are the chosen people of God." Once you have the idea that you are the chosen people of God, then you cannot be forgiven by others because they are also the chosen people of God, and how to decide it? No argument can be conclusive, and nobody knows where God is hiding so you cannot ask him either; he cannot be brought in the court to be a witness. Then only the sword is going to decide. Whosoever is mighty is going to be right. Might has been right. Jews really suffered for centuries, but the suffering has not changed them. In fact it has strengthened the idea that they are the chosen people of God.
The same people who tell them, "You are the chosen people," also tell them that the chosen people have to go through many tests, many fires to prove their mettle. I have heard about an old rabbi -- he must have been a very sane man -- praying to God. He was praying for years and years and never asking for anything -- and you know, prayer is a kind of nagging: you go on nagging God every day, morning, afternoon, evening, night, five times every day. God must be getting tired, utterly bored....
And the rabbi was not asking for anything; otherwise there was a way out. If he had been asking for something it would have been given and the rabbi would have been told, "Get lost!" But he was not asking for anything, just praying. Finally God asked him, "Why do you go on torturing me? What do you want?" And the old rabbi said, "Just one thing. Is it not time for you to choose some other people? Please, make some other people your chosen people. We have suffered enough!"
But this is not only so with the Christians, Jews, Mohammedans and Hindus; it is exactly the same with all the people that have existed up to now. The racial ego, the religious ego, the spiritual ego is far more dangerous than the individual ego, because the individual ego is gross. You can see it -- everybody can see it, it is so visible on the surface. But when the ego becomes racial -- "Hinduism is great" -- you don't think you are claiming anything for yourself. Indirectly you are claiming, "I am great because I am a Hindu, and Hinduism is great." This is an indirect way, a subtle, cunning way: "I am great because I am a Japanese, because Japanese are the direct descendants of the sun God"; or, "I am a Chinese and the Chinese are the most civilized people, the most cultured."
When the Westerners reached China for the first time, looking at the Chinese, they laughed. They looked more like caricatures; cartoons rather than men -- just four or five hairs sticking out of your face and that's your whole beard! What kind of people are these? The first Europeans wrote in their diaries, "It seems we have discovered the missing link between the monkeys and man." And what were the Chinese writing in their journals?
Even the emperor of China was very much interested in seeing the Europeans because he had heard many stories about them. They were invited to his court, not because he respected the Europeans, but just to see what kind of people these were. Never before...! And he could not contain his laughter; he started laughing when he saw the Europeans. The Europeans were very much embarrassed: "Why is he laughing?" They were told, "That is his way of appreciating. He always laughs, enjoys; that is his way of welcoming the guests." But the reality was that he could not believe that these are human beings!
He asked his people, "Have you brought them from African jungles? They look like monkeys!" That's how the ego functions: the other is always reduced to the lowest possible; and compared to the other, one raises oneself higher. You say, "The world seems to be getting more and more crazy from day to day." That is not right; it has always been so.
Only one thing new is happening, and that is a blessing, not a curse at all. For the first time in the whole history of humanity, a few people are becoming aware that the way we have existed up to now is somehow wrong; something basically is missing in our very foundation.
There is something which does not allow us to grow into sane human beings. In our very conditioning are the seeds of insanity. Every child is born sane, and then, slowly slowly, we civilize him -- we call it the process of civilization. We prepare him to become part of the great culture, the great church, the great state to which we belong.
Our whole politics is stupid, and then he becomes stupid. Our whole education is ugly. Our politics means nothing but ambition, naked ambition -- ambition for power. And only the lowest kind of people become interested in power. Only the people who are suffering from a deep inferiority complex become politicians. They want to prove that they are not inferior; they want to prove it to others, they want to prove to themselves that they are not inferior, they are superior.
But what is the need to prove it if you are superior? The superior man does not try to prove anything, he is so at ease with his superiority. That's what Lao Tzu says: The superior man is not even conscious of his superiority; there is no need at all. It is only the ill person who starts thinking of health; the healthy person never thinks about health. The healthy person is not self-conscious about his health; only the sick, only the ill. The beautiful person, the really beautiful person is not self-conscious about his or her beauty. It is only the ugly person who is constantly worried and making every effort to prove that it is not so.
In fact, in proving to others that "I am not inferior, I am not ugly," he is trying to prove it to himself. The others function as a mirror. If the others can say, "Yes, you are great...." But they will say it only when you are powerful, when you are rich; otherwise they are not going to say anything. Who is interested in your ego? They are interested in their egos, but reluctantly, when you have power to destroy, they have to accept.
Adolf Hitler was mad, but nobody in Germany dared to say it. Many felt that he was mad, but the moment he was defeated and committed suicide, many people started writing that they had always felt it. Even his own physicians who had never dared to tell the person himself -- at least they were supposed to say the truth, they were the physicians -- they had not said that he was sick, badly sick, and not only physiologically but psychologically too.
He suffered from many nightmares, he was constantly afraid of being killed. He was obsessed with the idea that he was going to be killed, so much so that he never got married. He got married only when he had decided to commit suicide, just three hours before. To avoid having a woman in the same room, he never got married -- because who knows, the woman may be a spy, an enemy, and while he is asleep she may kill him, poison him.
He never trusted even the woman he pretended to love. He had no friends, because to be friendly with someone means to trust, and he was so doubtful. The politicians are insane, the priests are insane too....
Humanity has always been insane. It has always remained upside down and confused, because you have been brought up on lies. But one thing good is happening today: at least a few intelligent young people are becoming aware that our whole past has been wrong and it needs a radical change. "We need a discontinuity from our past. We want to start afresh, we need to start afresh. The whole past has been an experiment in utter futility!"
Once we accept the truth as it is, man can become sane. Man is born sane; we drive him crazy. Once we accept that there are no nations and no races, man will become very calm and quiet. All this continuous violence and aggression will disappear. If we accept man's body, its sexuality, naturally, then all kinds of stupidities preached in the name of religion will evaporate.
Ninety-nine percent of psychological diseases exist because of man's sexual repression. We have to make man free of his past. That's my whole work here: to help you to get rid of the past. Whatsoever the society has done to you has to be undone. Your consciousness has to be cleaned, emptied so that you can become like a pure mirror reflecting reality. To be able to reflect reality is to know God. God is just another name for reality: that which is. And a man is really sane when he knows the truth.
Truth brings liberation, truth brings sanity.
We have to change this whole earth into a tremendous festival, and it is possible because man brings all that is needed to transform this earth into a paradise.
What is the meaning of Life?
Life in itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create meaning. Meaning has not to be discovered: it has to be created. You will find meaning only if you create it. It is not lying there somewhere behind the bushes, so you can go and you search a little bit and find it. It is not there like a rock that you will find. It is a poetry to be composed, it is a song to be sung, it is a dance to be danced.
Meaning is a dance, not a rock. Meaning is music. You will find it only if you create it. Remember it.
Millions of people are living meaningless lives because of this utterly stupid idea that meaning has to be discovered. As if it is already there. All that you need is to just pull the curtain, and behold! meaning is here. It is not like that.
So remember: Buddha finds the meaning because he creates it. I found it because I created it. God is not a thing but a creation. And only those who create find. And it is good that meaning is not lying there somewhere, otherwise one person would have discovered it -- then what would be the need for everybody else to discover it?
Can't you see the difference between religious meaning and scientific meaning? Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity; now, do you have to discover it again and again? You will be foolish if you discover it again and again. What is the point? One man has done it; he has given you the map. It may have taken years for him, but for you to understand it will take hours. You can go to the university and learn.
Buddha also discovered something, Zarathustra also discovered something, but it is not like Albert Einstein's discovery. It is not there that you have just to follow Zarathustra and his map and you will find it. You will never find it. You will have to become a Zarathustra. See the difference!
To understand the theory of relativity, you need not become an Albert Einstein, no. You have to be just of average intelligence, that's all. If you are not too much retarded, you will understand it.
But to understand the meaning of Zarathustra, you will have to become a Zarathustra -- less than that won't do. You will have to create it again. And each individual has to give birth to God, to meaning, to truth; each man has to become pregnant with it and pass through the pains of birth. Each one has to carry it in one's womb, feed it by one's own blood, and only then does one discover.
You must be waiting passively for the meaning to come... it will never come. This has been the idea of the past religions, that the meaning is already there. It is not! Freedom is there to create it, energy is there to create it. The field is there to sow the seeds and reap the crop. All is there -- but the meaning has to be created. That's why to create it is such a joy, such an adventure, such an ecstasy.
So the first thing: religion has to be creative. Up to now, religion has remained very passive, almost impotent. You don't expect a religious person to be creative. You just expect him to fast, sit in a cave, get up early in the morning, chant mantras... and this kind of stupid thing. And you are perfectly satisfied! What is he doing? And you praise him because he goes on long fasts. Maybe he is a masochist; maybe he enjoys torturing himself. He sits there when it is icy cold, naked, and you appreciate him. But what is the point, what is the value in it? All the animals of the world are naked in the icy cold -- they are not saints. Or when it is hot, he sits in the hot sun, and you appreciate him. You say, "Look! here is a great ascetic." But what is he doing? What is his contribution to the world? What beauty has he added to the world? Has he changed the world a little bit? Has he made it a little more sweet, more fragrant? No, you don't ask that.
Now, I tell you, this has to be asked: Praise a man because he has created a song. Praise a man because he has created a beautiful sculpture. Praise a man because he plays such a beautiful flute. Let these be religious qualities from now onwards. Praise a man because he is such a lover -- love is religion. Praise a man: because of him the world is becoming more graceful.
Forget all these stupid things! -- fasting and just sitting in a cave, torturing oneself or lying down on a bed of nails. Praise a man because he has cultivated beautiful roses. The world is more colorful because of him. And then you will find meaning.
Meaning comes out of creativity. Religion has to become more poetic, more aesthetic.
And second thing: sometimes it happens that you search for the meaning because you have already concluded. Out of a conclusion you search for it. You have already decided what meaning should be there, or has to be there... and then you don't find it.
The inquiry has to be pure. What do I mean when I say the inquiry has to be pure? It should be without any conclusion. It should not have any a priori in it.
What meaning are you looking for? You must be looking for a certain meaning. You will not find it -- because from the very beginning your inquiry is polluted, your inquiry is impure. You have already decided.
For example, if a man comes into my garden and thinks if he can find a diamond there then this garden is beautiful, and he cannot find the diamond, so he says there is no meaning in the garden.... And there are so many beautiful flowers, and so many birds singing, and so many colors, and the wind blowing through the pines, and the moss on the rocks. But he cannot see any meaning because he has a certain idea: he has to find the diamond, a Kohinoor -- only then will there be meaning.
He is missing meaning because of his idea. Let your inquiry be pure. Don't move with any fixed idea. Go naked and nude. Go open and empty. And you will find not only one meaning -- you will find a thousand and one meanings. Then each thing will become meaningful. Just a colored stone shining in the rays of the sun... or a dewdrop creating a small rainbow around itself... or just a small flower dancing in the wind.... What meaning are you searching for?
Don't start with a conclusion, otherwise you have started wrongly from the very beginning. Go without a conclusion! That's what I mean when I say again and again: Go without knowledge if you want to find truth. The knowledgeable person never finds it. His knowledge is a barrier.
Goldstein had never been to a show in the legitimate theater. For his birthday, his children decided to give him a present of a ticket for the Jewish theater.
Now, if you have a fixed idea, then you are only looking for it, only looking for it.... And because of this narrowness of the mind, all that is available is missed.
Meaning has to be created. And meaning has to be searched for without any conclusions. If you can drop your knowledge, life will suddenly take on color, it will become psychedelic. But you are continuously carrying the load of your scriptures, books, theories, doctrines, philosophies... you are lost in all that. And everything has become mixed, hotchpotch. And you cannot even remember what is what.
Your mind is a mess. Clean it! Make it a blank. The empty mind is the best mind. And those who have been telling you that the empty mind is the Devil's workshop are the Devil's agents. The empty mind is closer to God than anything. The empty mind is not the Devil's workshop. The Devil cannot do without thoughts.
With emptiness the Devil cannot do anything at all. He has no way Into emptiness.
So many thoughts in the mind, mixed up; nothing seems to be clear; you have heard so many things from so many sources -- your mind is a monster. And you are trying to remember, and you have been told to remember: Don't forget! And, naturally, the burden is so much that you cannot remember. Many things you have forgotten. Many things you have imagined and added on your own.
Spent in the arms of another man's wife -- my mother."
"By Jove, that's ripping," the Englishman thought to himself. "I must remember to use it back home."
Spent in the arms of another man's wife..."
After a long pause the crowd began to grow restless, glaring at the speaker indignantly. The speaker's friend sitting next to him whispered, "You had better explain yourself quickly."
That is happening. You remember this -- Plato has said this. And you remember that -- Lao Tzu has said that. And you remember what Jesus has said, and what Mohammed has said... and you remember many things. And they have all got mixed up. And you have not said a single thing on your own. Unless you say something on your own, you will miss the meaning.
Drop the knowledge and become more creative. Remember, knowledge is gathered -- you need not be creative about it; you have only to be receptive. And that's what man has become: man is reduced to being a spectator. He reads the newspapers, he reads the Bible and the Koran and the Gita; he goes to the movie, sits there and sees the movie; he goes to the football match, or sits before his TV, listens to the radio... and so on and so forth. Twenty-four hours a day he is just in a kind of inactivity, a spectator. Others are doing things, and he is simply watching. You will not find meaning by watching.
You can see a thousand and one lovers making love and you will not know what love is -- you will not know that orgasmic abandonment by watching. You will have to become a participant. Meaning comes through participation. Participate in life! Participate as deeply, as totally, as possible. Risk all for participation. If you want to know what dance is, don't go and see a dancer -- learn dancing, be a dancer. If you want to know anything, participate! That is the true and the right way, the authentic way, to know a thing. And there will be great meaning in your life. And not only one-dimensional -- multi-dimensional meanings. You will be showered by meanings.
And life has to be multi-dimensional, then only is there meaning. Never make life one-dimensional. That too is a problem.
Somebody becomes an engineer, and then he thinks all is finished. He becomes identified with being an engineer. Then his whole life he is just an engineer. And there were millions of things available. But he moves only on one track, becomes bored. Is fed up. Is tired, wearied. Goes on dragging. Waits only for death. What meaning can there be?
Have more interests in life. Don't be always a businessman. Sometimes play too. Don't be just a doctor or an engineer, or a headmaster, or a professor -- be as many things as possible! Play cards, play the violin, sing a song, be an amateur photographer, a poet.... Find as many things as possible in life, and then you will have richness. And meaning is a by-product of richness.
In the face of death, philosophy and music briefly went hand in hand, and Socrates was as blissful as never before.
He had never played on the flute. Something inside him persisted, "Socrates, make music!" Just in the face of death! It looked so ridiculous. And he had never played, he had never made music. A part of his being had remained suffocated. Yes, even a man like Socrates, had remained one-dimensional. The denied part insisted, "Enough of logic -- a little music will be good, will bring balance. Enough of argumentation -- play on the flute." And the voice was so persistent that he had to yield to it.
His disciples must have been puzzled: "Has he gone mad? Socrates playing on the flute?" But to me it is very significant. The music could not have been very great, because he had never played. Absolutely amateurish, childish it must have been -- but still something was satisfied, something was bridged. He was no more one-sided. For the first time in his life, maybe, he was spontaneous. For the first time he had done something for which he could not supply any reason. Otherwise, he was a rational man.
The father said, "Absolutely no -- where is your whistle," because he was afraid. He may not even listen to his "no." He showed the whistle and the father kept his hand on his pocket, the boy's pocket. Then there was dancing, and the father forgot and he also started dancing. And Hassids are dancers, joyous people -- the cream of Judaism, the very essence of Judaism is with them, with those mad people.
When everybody was praying to God and dancing, suddenly the boy could not resist any more. He took out his whistle and blew on it. Everybody was shocked! But Baal Shem came, hugged the boy, and said, "Our prayers are heard. Without this whistle, all was futile -- because this was the only spontaneous thing here. All else was ritual."
Don't allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable. Let there be a few things which are mysterious, for which you cannot supply any reason. Let there be a few doings for which people will think you are a little crazy. A man who is a hundred percent sane is dead. A little bit of craziness by the side is always a great joy. Go on doing a few crazy things too. And then meaning will be posible.
Why is love so painful?
Love is painful because it creates the way for bliss. Love is painful because it transforms; love is mutation. Each transformation is going to be painful because the old has to be left for the new. The old is familiar, secure, safe, the new is absolutely unknown. You will be moving in an uncharted ocean. You cannot use your mind with the new; with the old, the mind is skillful. The mind can function only with the old; with the new, the mind is utterly useless.
Hence, fear arises, and leaving the old, comfortable, safe world, the world of convenience, pain arises. It is the same pain that the child feels when he comes out of the womb of the mother. It is the same pain that the bird feels when he comes out of the egg. It is the same pain that the bird will feel when he will try for the first time to be on the wing.
And because the transformation is going to be from the self towards a state of no-self, agony is very deep. But you Cannot have ecstasy without going through agony. If the gold wants to be purified, it has to pass through fire.
It is because of the pain of love, millions of people live a loveless life. They too suffer, and their suffering is futile. To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain. To suffer in love is creative; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness. To suffer without love is utterly a waste; it leads you nowhere, it keeps you moving in the same vicious circle.
The man who is without love is narcissistic, he is closed. He knows only himself. And how much can he know himself if he has not known the other, because only the other can function as a mirror? You will never know yourself without knowing the other. Love is very fundamental for self-knowledge too. The person who has not known the other in deep love, in intense passion, in utter ecstasy, will not be able to know who he is, because he will not have the mirror to see his own reflection.
Relationship is a mirror, and the purer the love is, the higher the love is, the better the mirror, the cleaner the mirror. But the higher love needs that you should be open. The higher love needs you to be vulnerable. You have to drop your armor; that is painful. You have not to be constantly on guard. You have to drop the calculating mind. You have to risk. You have to live dangerously. The other can hurt you; that is the fear in being vulnerable. The other can reject you; that is the fear in being in love.
The reflection that you will find in the other of your own self may be ugly; that is the anxiety. Avoid the mirror. But by avoiding the mirror you are not going to become beautiful. By avoiding the situation you are not going to grow either. The challenge has to be taken.
One has to go into love. That is the first step towards God, and it cannot be bypassed. Those who try to bypass the step of love will never reach God. That is absolutely necessary because you become aware of your totality only when you are provoked by the presence of the other, when your presence is enhanced by the presence of the other, when you are brought out of your narcissistic, closed world under the open sky.
Love is an open sky. To be in love is to be on the wing. But certainly, the unbounded sky creates fear.
And to drop the ego is very painful because we have been taught to cultivate the ego. We think the ego is our only treasure. We have been protecting it, we have been decorating it, we have been continuously polishing it, and when love knocks on the door, all that is needed to fall in love is to put aside the ego; certainly it is painful. It is your whole life's work, it is all that you have created -- this ugly ego, this idea that "I am separate from existence. "
This idea is ugly because it is untrue. This idea is illusory, but our society exists, is based on this idea that each person is a person, not a presence.
The truth is that there is no person at all in the world; there is only presence. You are not -- not as an ego, separate from the whole. You are part of the whole. The whole penetrates you, the whole breathes in you, pulsates in you, the whole is your life.
Love gives you the first experience of being in tune with something that is not your ego. Love gives you the first lesson that you can fall into harmony with someone who has never been part of your ego. If you can be in harmony with a woman, if you can be in harmony with a friend, with a man, if you can be in harmony with your child or with your mother, why can't you be in harmony with all human beings? And if to be in harmony with a single person gives such joy, what will be the outcome if you are in harmony with all human beings? And if you can be in harmony with all human beings, why can't you be in harmony with animals and birds and trees? Then one step leads to another.
Love is a ladder. It starts with one person, it ends with the totality. Love is the beginning, God is the end. To be afraid of love, to be afraid of the growing pains of love, is to remain enclosed in a dark cell.
And then there are problems, problems which are meaningless. There are problems which are creative because they lead you to higher awareness. There are problems which lead you nowhere; they simply keep you tethered, they simply keep you in your old mess.
Love creates problems. You can avoid those problems by avoiding love. But those are very essential problems! They have to be faced, encountered; they have to be lived and gone through and gone beyond. And to go beyond, the way is through. Love is the only real thing worth doing. All else is secondary. If it helps love, it is good. All else is just a means, love is the end. So whatsoever the pain, go into love.
If you don't go into love, as many people have decided, then you are stuck with yourself. Then your life is not a pilgrimage, then your life is not a river going to the ocean; your life is a stagnant pool, dirty, and soon there will be nothing but dirt and mud. To keep clean, one needs to keep flowing. A river remains clean because it goes on flowing. Flow is the process of remaining continuously virgin.
A lover remains a virgin. All lovers are virgin. The people who don't love cannot remain virgin; they become dormant, stagnant; they start stinking sooner or later -- and sooner than later -- because they have nowhere to go. Their life is dead.
That's where modern man finds himself, and because of this, all kinds of neuroses, all kinds of madnesses, have become rampant. Psychological illness has taken epidemic proportions. It is no more that a few individuals are psychologically ill; the reality is the whole earth has become a madhouse. The whole of humanity is suffering from a kind of neurosis.
You may not commit suicide by taking poison or jumping from a cliff or by shooting yourself, but you can commit a suicide which is a very slow process, and that's what happens. Very few people commit suicide suddenly. Others have decided for a slow suicide; gradually, slowly, slowly they die. But almost, the tendency to be suicidal has become universal.
Hence people are interested in sex, because sex is not risky. It is momentary, you don't get involved. Love is involvement; it is commitment. It is not momentary. Once it takes roots, it can be forever. It can be a lifelong involvement. Love needs intimacy, and only when you are intimate does the other become a mirror. When you meet sexually with a woman or a man, you have not met at all; in fact, you avoided the soul of the other person. You just used the body and escaped, and the other used your body and escaped. You never became intimate enough to reveal each other's original faces.
It is painful, but don't avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow. Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born. Yes, you will have to die as an ego, but if you can die as an ego, you will be born as God, as a Buddha. And love will give you the first tongue-tip-taste of Tao, of Sufism, of Zen. Love will give you the first proof that God is, that life is not meaningless.
The people who say life is meaningless are the people who have not known love. All that they are saying is that their life has missed love.
Let there be pain, let there be suffering. Go through the dark night, and you will reach to a beautiful sunrise. It is only in the womb of the dark night that the sun evolves. It is only through the dark night that the morning comes.
My whole approach here is that of love. I teach only love and only love and nothing else. You can forget about God; that is just an empty word. You can forget about prayers because they are only rituals imposed by others on you. Love is the natural prayer, not imposed by anybody. You are born with it. Love is the true God -- not the God of theologians, but the God of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the God of the Sufis. Love is a tariqa, a method, to kill you as a separate individual and to help you become the infinite. Disappear as a dewdrop and become the ocean, but you will have to pass through the door of love.
And certainly when one starts disappearing like a dewdrop, and one has lived long as a dewdrop, it hurts, because one has been thinking, "I am this, and now this is going. I am dying. " You are not dying, but only an illusion is dying. You have become identified with the illusion, true, but the illusion is still an illusion. And only when the illusion is gone will you be able to see who you are. And that revelation brings you to the ultimate peak of joy, bliss, celebration.
Weblog2001November
[weblog] > Weblog2001November
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[Buddha] : Monks and scholars must not accept my words out of respect,
(via [PaperQuote]) [Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting.
[Fink] wants to bring more Unix software to Mac OS X. Goal number one is porting software to Mac OS X. Goal number two is making the results available to casual users.
(via [PaperQuote]) [Oliver Wendell Holmes] : What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Always do what you are afraid to do !
We stayed at Pension [Bloberger Hof]
[Gerald M. Weinberg]'s book [The Psychology of Computer Programming]
[Mother Teresa] : The minute you begin to do what you want to do, it's really a different kind of life.
[Mira Art] : [Not being attached to anything....|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/22] : "...All in the world recognise the beautiful as beautiful. Herein lies ugliness..."
Today is [Buy Nothing Day]
The beasts in a man
(via [PaperQuote])[Albert Einstein] : The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
[Patrick David Harrigan] seems to be the lead maintainer of [Murugan Bhakti] - Great Work
A Question : IF it was only possible to browse 1 site in the future... What would it be ?
[Thomas Paine] in [The Age of Reason] : It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
After reading [Andre Durand]'s [Global Consciousness 1.0|http://discuss.andredurand.com/stories/storyReader$187], I have an idea about combining this thought with [Quaker]ism... Why not we implement a system where members can raise 1 issue per day and only 1 a day, Every other member can post their opinion after careful thought and it would be possible to edit the opinion only a few times within the next 1/2 hour ! and That's it ! - I will try to refine it !
([via|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/19#andBlogsNeedClay] [Doc Searls]) November 23rd is [Buy Nothing Day] , [Clay Shirky] needs a blog !
[Charles du Bois] : The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.
Vikas' [How to Pick a Saree|http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/attire/saree/guide.htm] will be useful to me !
A hypocrite is a person who professes beliefs and opinions that they do not hold
[Mother] : Always remember to love thy mother, because you only have one mother in your lifetime... I would replace mother with parents...
[Stephen Hawking] in [A Brief History of Time] : As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn't reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions. Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
[Lagaan] seems to be a must see movie...
[World AIDS Day] is on December 1st
[http://philip.greenspun.com/photo/pcd0075/dachau-arbeit-56.1.jpg]
The sign of the gate is [Arbeit Macht Frei] (Work Brings Freedom)
[Tim Pozar] : One of my main "themes" in life is to give tools to the world that help them express their ideas. I have this rather utopian idea that if everyone has the tools to exchange ideas then the world will be a better place.
Author Unknown : To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.
[Kalpana Mohan] : I live in a place where a million dollars is loose change for most people. I live in a place where people lease Mercs while they await their Porsches. It's a place where every minuscule movement of the NASDAQ rumbles into a seismological event. A place where deals are made - to be broken when options vest...
Susan Dempsey (responsible for providing users with continued quality service from [HotLinks]) : ...Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this version will be subscription only...
[HotLinks] is going to charge for their service from 3rd December 2001... If they allow me to maintain 1 URL with multiple categories, I will consider paying for their service... Anyway, they have very nicely allowed me to export the content as a [html file|http://www.carnatic.com/2001/hotlinks.kishorebalakrishnan.2001nov14.htm] - Thanks a lot !
I sent an email to [Jonathan Abrams] several months ago and he prompty responded by stating that 'the request will be forwarded to Development' - Let us see...
[Viktor Frankl] : Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
[Free Alina Lebedeva|http://www.geocities.com/elsvenjo/FreeAlina.html] : ...This site is in support of Alina Lebedeva from Latvia. Alina is the schoolgirl who gave Prince Charles a slap in the face with  a bunch of flowers in protest over Britain's involvement in the war against Afghanistan. She is provisionally charged with endangering the life of foreign dignitary. If found guilty she could face up to 15 years in prison...
[Ramayan Audio|http://www.ramayanaudio.com/] : ...The Ramayana was meant to be heard!...
Today is yet another [Deepavali] away from India...
[Sita Ram Goel] : [How I became a Hindu]
On Monday, November 12, 2001, at 11:54 pm
Our Beloved Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami ([Gurudeva])
[Shoba Narayan] : [Fashionably Devout|http://about.beliefnet.com/frameset.asp?pageLoc=/story/86/story_8692_1.html&boardID=23424]
[Richard Fritzson] [reacts|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00189.html] to article [Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote|http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200111/msg00183.html] by starting 'This is a pretty outrageous headline for this story.'
[Swami Sivananda] : From [ABANDON BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/11-sdr%20nov/1109.htm] : ...This body which is full of impurities, urine, pus and faecal matter etc., is perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by its enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when prana (life) leaves it. It is the cause of pain and suffering. It is your enemy. You should treat this body with contempt, as dung. Why should you cling to it and worship it with scents, powders and flowers? Do not be silly and foolish in adorning it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire ignorance only...
[Joel Snyder] ( commenting on an article about Bin Laden's family members leaving the USA : ...This whole article is offensive and the worst sort of journalistic sensationalism...
[Freeman Thomas], head of advanced product design for DaimlerChrysler : "A lot of people in the design business are full of BS. They want to create the facade of an extreme individual. I don't want to be someone who can't be approached."
[Deepavali] is on 14th November
[Lotus Ayurvedic Garden, Heidelberg, Germany]
I hurt myself yesterday while playing badminton... Nothing Serious... But I am thinking about [Relative and Absolute Happiness] and about people who are handicapped
In [You already know what to do] : ...In the early nineteenth century, when writer [Samuel Taylor Coleridge] awoke with the "distinct recollection of the whole" of "Kubla Khan", he demonstrated the effectiveness of intuition... When business man [Jagdish Parikh] speaks of creating a "synthesis...beyond selfishness and selflessness, beyond collectiveness and competitiveness, to a cooperativeness based on selfness," he is calling on intuition...
[2001October] : Previous < < < [Weblog2001November] > > > Next : [Weblog2001December]
Only a Ripe Fruit Falls
Question: Beloved Osho, I feel that through developing an attitude of endurance towards difficulties, I have become resigned to much of life. This resignation feels like a weight pushing against my effort to become more alive in meditation. Does this mean that I have suppressed my ego, and that I must find it again before I can really lose it?
Osho: One of the greatest problems...it will appear very paradoxical, but this is true: before you can lose your ego, you must attain it. Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground.
Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened in new subtle ways.
This is something basic to be understood: the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained an integrity -- only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved. And this becomes a problem.
In the East, all the religions preach egolessness. So in the East, everybody is against the ego from the very beginning. Because of this anti-attitude, ego never becomes strong, never comes to a point of integration from where it can be thrown. It is never ripe. So in the East it is very difficult to dissolve the ego, almost impossible.
In the West, the whole Western tradition of religion and psychology propounds, preaches, persuades people, to have strong egos -- because unless you have a strong ego, how can you survive? Life is a struggle; if you are egoless, you will be destroyed. Then who will resist? Who will fight? Who will compete? And life is a continuous competition. Western psychology says: Attain to the ego, be strong in it.
This is going to be a hard task for you, first to attain and then to lose -- because you can lose only something which you possess. If you don't possess it, how can you lose it?
You can be poor only if you are rich. If you are not rich your poverty cannot have that beauty which Jesus goes on preaching: Be poor in spirit. Your poverty cannot have that significance which Gautam Buddha has when he becomes a beggar.
Only a rich man can become poor, because you can lose only that which you have. If you have never been rich, how can you be poor? Your poverty will be just on the surface; it can never be in the spirit. On the surface you will be poor, and deep down you will be hankering after riches. Your spirit will hanker towards riches, it will be an ambition, it will be a constant desire to attain riches. Only on the surface will you be poor. And you may even console yourself by saying that poverty is good.
But you cannot be poor -- only a rich man, a really rich man, can be poor. Just to have riches is not enough to be really rich. You may still be poor. If the ambition is still there, you are poor.
What you have is not the point. If you have enough then the desire disappears. When you have enough riches, the desire disappears. Disappearance of the desire is the criterion of enoughness. Then you are rich -- you can drop it, you can become poor, you can become a beggar like Buddha. And then your poverty is rich; then your poverty has a kingdom of its own.
And the same happens with everything. Upanishads or Lao Tzu or Jesus or Buddha -- they all teach that knowledge is useless. Just getting more and more knowledgeable is not much help. Not only is it not much help, it can become a barrier.
Knowledge is not needed, but that doesn't mean you should remain ignorant. Your ignorance will not be real. When you have gathered enough knowledge and you throw it, then ignorance is attained. Then you really become ignorant -- like Socrates who can say: I know only one thing, that I don't know anything.
If you are simply ignorant because you never attained to any knowledge, your ignorance cannot be wise, it cannot be wisdom -- it is simply absence of knowledge. And the hankering will be inside: How to gain more knowledge? How to gain more information?
When you know too much -- you have known the scriptures, you have known the past, the tradition, you have known all that can be known -- then suddenly you become aware of the futility of it all, suddenly you become aware that this is not knowledge. This is borrowed! This is not your own existential experience, this is not what you have come to know. Others may have known it, you have simply gathered it. Your gathering is mechanical. It has not arisen out of you, it is not a growth. It is just rubbish gathered from other doors, borrowed, dead.
Remember, knowing is alive only when you know, when it is your immediate, direct experience. But when you know from others it is just memory, not knowledge. Memory is dead.
When you gather much -- the riches of knowledge, scriptures, all around you, libraries condensed in your mind, and suddenly you become aware that you are just carrying the burden of others, nothing belongs to you, you have not known -- then you can drop it, you can drop all this knowledge. In that dropping a new type of ignorance arises within you. This ignorance is not the ignorance of the ignorant, this is how a wise man is, how wisdom is.
Only a wise man can say: I don't know. But in saying: I don't know, he is not hankering after knowledge, he is simply stating a fact. And when you can say with your total heart: I don't know, in that very moment your eyes become open, the doors of knowing are open. In that very moment when you can say with your totality; I don't know, you have become capable of knowledge.
This ignorance is beautiful, but it is attained through knowledge. It is poverty attained through richness. And the same happens with ego -- you can lose it if you have it.
When Buddha comes down from his throne, becomes a beggar...what is the necessity for Buddha? He was a king, enthroned, at the peak of his ego -- why this extreme, moving down from his palace to the streets, becoming a beggar? But Buddha has a beauty in his begging. The earth has never known such a beautiful beggar, such a rich beggar, such a kingly beggar, such an emperor.
What happened when he stepped down from his throne? He stepped down from his ego. Thrones are nothing but symbols, symbols of the ego, of power, prestige, status. He stepped down and then egolessness happened.
This egolessness is not humbleness; this egolessness is not humility. You may find many humble people, but under their humility, subtle egos are functioning.
It is said that once Diogenes came to visit Socrates. He lived like a beggar; he always wore dirty clothes with many patches and holes. Even if you presented him with a new dress, he would not use it -- first he would make it dirty, old, torn, and then he would use it.
He came to visit Socrates, and he started talking about egolessness. But Socrates' penetrating eyes must have come to realize that this man was not an egoless man. The way he was talking about humility was very egoistic.
Socrates is reported to have said: Through your dirty clothes, through the holes in your clothes, I cannot see anything else but the ego. You talk of humility, but that talk comes from a deep centre of the ego.
This will happen, this is how hypocrisy happens. You have the ego, you hide it through the opposite; you become humble on the surface. This surface humbleness cannot deceive anyone. It may deceive you, but it cannot deceive anyone else. From the holes of the dirty dresses, your ego goes on peeping. It is always there. This is a self-deception and nothing more. Nobody else is deceived. This happens if you start throwing the unripe ego.
What I teach will look contradictory, but it is true to life. Contradiction is inherent in life. I teach you to be egoists so that you can become egoless. I teach you to be perfect egoists. Don't hide it, otherwise hypocrisy will be born. And don't struggle with the unripe phenomenon. Let it ripen -- and help it. Bring it to a peak!
Don't be afraid -- there is nothing to be afraid of. This is how you will come to realize the agony of the ego. When it comes to its peak, then you will not need a Buddha or me to tell you that the ego is hell. You will know it, because the peak of the ego will be the peak of your hellish experiences, it will be a nightmare. And then there is no need for anybody to tell you: Drop it! It will be difficult to carry it on.
One reaches to knowledge only through suffering. You cannot throw anything just by logical argument. You can throw something only when it has become so painful that it cannot be carried any further. Your ego has not become that painful yet -- hence you carry it. It is natural! I cannot persuade you to drop it. Even if you feel persuaded, you will hide it -- that's all.
Nothing unripe can be thrown. Unripe fruit clings to the tree and the tree clings to the unripe fruit. If you force it to separate, a wound is left behind. That scar will continue, the wound will always remain green and you will always feel hurt.
Remember, everything has a time to grow, to be ripe, to fall down into the earth and dissolve. Your ego also has a time. It needs maturity.
So don't be afraid of being egoists. You ARE, otherwise you would have disappeared long ago. This is the mechanism of life: you have to be egoists, you have to fight your way, you have to fight with so many millions of desires around you, you have to struggle, you have to survive.
Ego is a survival measure. If a child is born without the ego, he will die. He cannot survive, it is impossible, because if he feels hunger he will not feel: I am hungry. He will feel there is hunger, but not related to him. The moment hunger is felt, the child feels: I am hungry, he starts crying and making efforts to be fed. The child grows through the growth of his ego.
So to me, ego is part of natural growth. But that doesn't mean that you have to remain with it forever. It is a natural growth, and then there is a second step when it has to be dropped. That too is natural. But the second step can be taken only when the first has come to its crescendo, its climax, when the first has reached its peak. So I teach both -- I teach egoness and I teach egolessness.
First be egoists, perfect egoists, absolute egoists, as if the whole of existence exists for you and you are the center; all the stars revolve around you and the sun rises for you; everything exists for you, just to help you to be here. Be the center, and don't be afraid, because if you are afraid then you will never be ripe. Accept it! It is part of growth. Enjoy it and bring it to a peak.
When it comes to a peak, suddenly you will become aware that you are not the center. This has been a fallacy, this has been a childish attitude. But you were a child, so nothing is wrong in it. Now you have become mature, and now you see that you are not the center.
Really, when you see that you are not the center, you also see there is NO center in existence or everywhere is the center. Either there is no center and existence exists as a totality, a wholeness without any center as a control point or every single atom is a center.
These two are the possibilities. Both mean the same; only the wording is different and contradictory. But first become a center.
It is like this: you are in a dream; if the dream comes to a peak, it will be broken. Always it happens -- whenever a dream comes to a climax, it is broken. And what is the climax of a dream? The climax of a dream is the feeling that this is real. You feel this is real, not a dream, and you go on and on and on and on to a higher peak and the dream becomes ALMOST real. It can never become real; it becomes almost real. It comes so close to reality that now you cannot go further, because one step more and the dream will become real -- and it cannot become real because it is a dream! When it comes so close to reality, sleep is broken, the dream is shattered, you are fully awake.
The same happens with all types of fallacies. Ego is the greatest dream. It has its beauty, its agony. It has its ecstasy, its agony. It has its heavens and hells, both are there. Dreams sometimes are beautiful and sometimes nightmares, but both are dreams.
So I don't tell you to come out of your dream before the time has come. No, never do anything before the time. Allow things to grow, allow things to have their time, so that everything happens naturally.
Ego will drop. It can drop of its own accord also. If you simply allow it to grow and help it to grow, there will be NO need to drop it.
This is very deep. If YOU drop it, ego has remained inside. WHO will drop it? If you think YOU will drop it, YOU are the ego -- so whatsoever you drop will not be the real thing. The real thing will be preserved and you will have thrown something else.
You cannot make yourself egoless. Who will do it? It happens, it is not a doing. You grow into ego and a point comes when the whole thing becomes so hellish that the dream is broken. Suddenly you see the goose is out -- it has never been in the bottle.
You have never been an ego. It was just a dream around you. A necessary dream, I say, so I don't condemn it, a necessary part of growth.
In life everything is necessary. Nothing is unnecessary, nothing can be unnecessary. Whatsoever has happened had to happen. Whatsoever is happening is happening because of certain deep causes. You need it so you can remain in the fallacy. It is just a cocoon that helps you, protects you, helps you to survive. One need not be in the cocoon forever. When you are ready, break the cocoon, come out.
But wait. Hurry will not be of much help; haste will not help -- it may hinder. Allow time, and don't condemn it, because who will condemn it?
Go to the so-called saints -- they talk of humbleness, humility -- and look into their eyes: you will not find such refined egos anywhere else. Now their egos have taken the garb of religion, Yoga, sainthood, but the ego is there. They may not be collecting riches, they may be collecting followers; the coins have changed and they go on counting how many followers....
They may not be after the things of this world, they are after the things of that world, but this or that, both are worlds. And they may be even more greedy, because they say these temporary things, momentary things of this world, consist of momentary pleasures -- and they want eternal pleasures. Their greed is supreme. They cannot be satisfied by momentary pleasures. They want eternal pleasures. Unless something is eternal they are not gratified. Their greed is deep, their greed is absolute and greed belongs to the ego. Greed is the hunger of the ego.
So it happens sometimes that saints are more egoistic than sinners, and then they are far away from the divine. And sometimes sinners can attain to the god more easily than those so-called saints, because ego is the barrier.
This has been my experience that sinners can drop their egos more easily than saints, because sinners have never been against the ego. They have been feeding it, they have been enjoying it, they have lived with it totally. And saints have always been fighting the ego, so they never allowed it to become ripe.
So this is my attitude: ego HAS to be dropped, but it may take a long waiting; and you can drop it only if you cultivate it.
This is the arduousness of the whole phenomenon, because the mind says: If we have to drop it, then why cultivate it? The mind says: When we have to destroy it, then why create it? If you listen to the mind you will be in trouble. Mind is always logical and life is always illogical, so they never meet.
This is simple logic, ordinary mathematics, that if you are to destroy this house, then why build it? Why this whole trouble? Why this effort and waste of time and energy? The house is not there, so why build it and then destroy it?
The house is not the point really -- YOU are the point. Building the house, you will change, and then destroying the house you will change completely, you will not be the same -- because creating the house, the whole process of it, will prove a growth to you. Then, when the house is ready, you pull it down. That will be a mutation.
Mind is logical and life is dialectical. Mind moves in a simple line, and life moves always jumping from one pole to another, from one thing to the very opposite.
Life is dialectical. Create, and then life says: Destroy. Be born, and then life says: Die! Attain, and then life says: Lose! Be rich, and then life says: Become poor! Be a peak, an Everest of the ego, and then become an abyss of egolessness. Then you have known both -- the illusory and the real, the maya and the Brahma.
Almost every day it happens: somebody comes to be initiated into sannyas, and then his mind starts functioning and he says to me: Wearing orange will make me more egoistic, because then I will feel that I am somebody different, distinct -- I am a sannyasin, one who has renounced. So wearing orange will make me more egoistic he says, and I say to him: Become! Become egoistic, but consciously.
Ego is a disease if you are unconscious about it, if you hide it in the unconscious. Ego is a game if you are conscious about it. You can enjoy it. You can play it. Be conscious, mindful, and play the game! A game is not bad, but when you forget that it is a game and become too serious, then problems arise.
So I say sannyas is not serious; it is a game -- a religious game, of course. It has its own rules, because every game must have rules; without rules no game can be played. Life can be without rules, but games cannot be.
If somebody says: I am not going to follow this rule, then you cannot play the game. You play cards, then you follow rules. And you never say: These rules are just arbitrary, artificial, why can't we change them? You can change them, but then the game will be difficult. And if every individual follows his own rules, then the game is impossible. Life is possible! You can play as you like because life never believes in rules -- it is beyond rules. But games have rules.
Remember: wherever you see rules, know immediately this is a game. This is the criterion: wherever you see rules, immediately know this is a game, because games exist through rules.
So if I say: "Wear orange, have the mala" -- this is a game, obviously. Play it as well as you can and don't be serious about it -- otherwise you miss the point.
Be egoists -- perfect, cultivated, refined. Go on working on your ego and make it a beautiful statue, because before you give it back to the god, it must be something worth giving, it must be a present.
I have heard, a man in an orange robe entered the Vrindavan juice bar, barged up to the front of the line, and demanded tea and cake. He paid with a hundred-rupee note and complained about the cost and the long lineup. After choosing the biggest piece of cake and the biggest cup, he took over an old lady's seat and proceeded to gobble the food. A bystander, puzzled by his behavior, asked the meaning of it.
"Why," he explained, "Osho said that only a crystallized ego can be dropped."
Just the other day, Mulla Nasrudin came to me, and he said, "Enough is enough -- I cannot trust you anymore."
I said, "What happened, Nasrudin? You have been such a long-obedient disciple to me."
He said, "What can I do? I have to run -- and I come third in the race! Now this is too much! I cannot trust you anymore!"
There is every possibility to misunderstand me and there is every possibility to find rationalizations. This is how the mind goes on being foolish, the mind goes on playing around, fooling around. It always finds ways to protect itself. If I say drop the ego, you say okay, and you try to drop it; and then the ego becomes your humbleness and you start moving around with your nose up, looking at everybody as if everybody is condemned to hell. And you have that look of "holier than thou" and "I am the most humble man around here." If I say the ego has to become big, only then it bursts, then you say, "Okay. That's what we have been always trying. Now you are also supporting it -- so far so good."
When are you going to understand me? When you listen to me, always remember, your mind is there to corrupt it. Unless you are very, very watchful, your mind will pollute it. And mind is so cunning, it can always find a way out. And it is so clever, it can always make rationalizations look like reasons.
Hanuman Jayanti
He is the living embodiment of Ram-Nam. He was an ideal selfless worker, a true Karma Yogi who worked desirelessly and dynamically. He was a great devotee and an exceptional Brahmachari or celibate. He served Sri Rama with pure love and devotion, without expecting any fruit in return. He lived to serve Sri Rama. He was humble, brave and wise. He possessed all the divine virtues. He did what others could not do—crossing the ocean simply by uttering Ram-Nam, burning the city of Lanka, and bringing the sanjeevini herb and restoring Lakshmana to life again. He brought Sri Rama and Lakshmana from the nether world after killing Ahiravana.
He said to Ravana, “I am a humble messenger of Sri Rama. I have come here to serve Rama, to do His work. By the command of Lord Rama, I have come here. I am fearless by the Grace of Lord Rama. I am not afraid of death. I welcome it if it comes while serving Lord Rama.”
Lord Rama Himself said to Sri Hanuman, “I am greatly indebted to you, O mighty hero! You did marvellous, superhuman deeds. You do not want anything in return. Sugriva has his kingdom restored to him. Angada has been made the crown prince. Vibhishana has become king of Lanka. But you have not asked for anything at any time. You threw away the precious garland of pearls given to you by Sita. How can I repay My debt of gratitude to you? I will always remain deeply indebted to you. I give you the boon of everlasting life. All will honour and worship you like Myself. Your murti will be placed at the door of My temple and you will be worshipped and honoured first. Whenever My stories are recited or glories sung, your glory will be sung before Mine. You will be able to do anything, even that which I will not be able to!”
Thus did Lord Rama praise Hanuman when the latter returned to Him after finding Sita in Lanka. Hanuman was not a bit elated. He fell in prostration at the holy feet of Lord Rama.
There are many who want wealth in return for their services. Some do not want wealth, but they cannot resist name and fame. Others do not want any of these, but they want approbation. Still others want nothing, but they boast of their deeds. Hanuman was above all these. That is why he is recognised as an ideal Karma Yogi and an unsurpassed adept in Bhakti. His life is full of object lessons. Everyone should try his best to follow the noble example of Hanuman.
On this holy day worship Sri Hanuman. Fast on this day. Read the Hanuman Chalisa. Spend the whole day in the Japa of Ram-Nam. Sri Hanuman will be highly pleased and will bless you with success in all your undertakings.
Vision Creates Great Leaders
important occasion when you will be entering into professional
take untravelled roads rather than beaten path. This needs
In 1947, at the dawn of freedom, we had the best of leaders in
a great experience. An experience of best of education I can
one which has been embedded in my memory is about
Mahatma Gandhi has to be the first to unfurl the national flag
on August 15, 1947 in Red Fort. But he was not there at the
human beings. What an everlasting positive impact in the mind
still reverberating in my mind: "I would like to tell the young
men and women before me not to lose hope and courage.
indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from
great scientists visited a number of places. Thumba in Kerala
fishermen folk were living in that area. It also had a beautiful
research. It did not move further because the nature of the
time in 1962, His Excellency Rct Rev Dr Peter Bernard
whole church reverberated. Subsequently, the big event took
place in 1962. His Excellency Rct Rev Dr Peter Bernard
Sarabhai is not there, Rev Dr Peter Bernard Pereira is not
flower and blossom will themselves be different and set unique
path for the nation. What a beautiful message for all generation
1857 or even before. I see the relationship between the urge for
independence movement grew, it brought out the best of
it from each part of the country, will be very big. This National
movement had also brought simultaneously best of scientists
is a remarkable thing that in the modern era before 1910, there
standing. Between 1920 and 1925, we had suddenly five or six
which became a dominant motive among the young during the
rulers were not favorably disposed to the idea. Acharya PC
Bangalore started by JN Tata, Benares Hindu University by
have been to show the urge to build the Nation and
India should become a developed country. This is the second
challenge? To become a developed India, the essential needs
India has to be economically and commercially
powerful, at least to be one of the six top nations in
terms of size of the economy. Our target should be a
below poverty line to be reduced to 10%.
our country worked for two years, deliberated national status of
documents detailing the steps to be taken for creating wealth
for the nation and the well being of our people. "Technology" is
materials and processing. There is a tremendous link between
Kerala with education and better healthcare can bring down
experiences, we feel, should be taken and spread in big states
like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Beginning of agricultural
prosperity through better yields in these States will help this
competence. We believe, this area can be used to promote
the Government departments will be essential to accomplish
transformation of India into a developed nation embedded with
leaders are like magnets who will attract the best of persons to
they are not afraid of risks. I have seen and worked with
to be built and operationalised, are mission statements, which
few times failures have also become products. Technology and
capable people because the mission triggers capability.
will not see the high illiteracy, poverty and social
best wishes to you all for transforming industrial and
Love
Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within
One who studied it know it all... One who has not knows nothing ! what ever he does !
[Books] : [Be Not Afraid]
Shoshana Zuboff
"For most of us, there's a tension between dissatisfaction and fear. On the one hand, we're
not at peace, not happy with what we see in
afraid to make a move, to leave behind what we
have been."
Be Not Afraid
[Books] > Be Not Afraid
Love is a tangible reality. Sometimes it is born of passion or devotion; sometimes it is a hard-won fruit, requiring hard work and sacrifice. Its source is unimportant. But unless we live for love, we will not be able to meet death confidently when it comes. I say this because I am certain that when our last breath is drawn and our soul meets God, we will not be asked how much we have accomplished. We will be asked whether we have loved enough. To quote John of the Cross, "In the evening of life you shall be judged on love."
http://www.plough.com/pp/books/BeNotAfraid.htm
NR Narayana Murthy
or more. Some people do so because of a work emergency where the long
are in the office this long. Others put in long office hours because they
everyone's benefit. Being in the office long hours, over long periods of
Another problem is that people who are in the office
long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other
people (who aren't working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behavior poses problems, where work goes
much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another.
Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts. They are hard for some of us because that requires personal change. They are possible
people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how
sleep until the visitors left. It was as if he was afraid that he would miss
Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they don't want to miss
Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap. Things will happen while you're asleep, but you will have the energy to catch up when you wake.
The University of Hard Knocks
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"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son"--Revelation 21:7.
Knocks." It has been delivered to date more than twenty-five
institutes, club gatherings, conventions and before various other
lecturing, because his lectures deal with universal human
"What is written here is not the way I would write it, were I
lecture took this unconscious colloquial form before audiences. An
are not drawn together, they are pushed together."
Adversity"--Why children are not interested
requires effort--Prodigals must be bumped--The fly and the sticky
the "red mud" becomes razor-blades--The world our mirror--The
notices--You cannot uplift people with derrick--No laws can
equalize--Help people to help themselves--We cannot get things till
V. GOING UP--How we become great--We must get inside greatness--
first step at hand--All can be greatest--Where to find great
books only give better tools for service--"Hard knocks" graduates--
Menace of America not swollen fortunes but shrunken souls--
Children must have struggle to get strength--Not packhorse work--
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
orations--My maiden sermon--The books that live have been
my schoolmates--At the grave of the boy I had envied--Why Ben Hur
best day, tomorrow to be better--Birthdays are promotions--I am
just beginning--Bernhardt, Davis, Edison--Moses begins at
worst days, not best--Waiting for the second table--Better days on
principle, not praise--Doing duty for the joy of it--Becoming the
I do not want to be seen in this lecture. I want to be heard. I am
you are not much interested in how it looks; you are interested in
So in this lecture, please do not pay any attention to the delivery
not pay much attention to the wrappings and strings. Get inside to
Really, I believe the goods are good. I believe I am to recite to
you some of the multiplication table of life--not mine, not yours
lecture go differently before every audience. The kind of an
Some warm September day I would pull the plug from the barrel and
when it was colder, I would pull the plug but the sorghum would not
cold winter day I would pull the plug, but the sorghum would not
plug. I cannot make it run. That will depend upon the temperature
greatest stream. With no bucket you can get nothing at Niagara.
the next person says he got nothing out of it.
Have you noticed that no sentence, nor a million sentences, can
bound life? Have you noticed that every statement does not quite
would not prosper with the necessary elements in their condensed
form. So abstract truths in their lowest terms do not always
If you get the feeling that the first personal pronoun is being
lecture. You cannot confess without referring to the confesser.
I like you because I am like you.
I believe in you because I believe in myself. We are all one
family. I believe in your Inside, not in your Outside, whoever you
I believe in the Angel of Good inside every block of human marble.
I believe it must be carved out in The University of Hard Knocks.
I believe all this pride, vanity, selfishness, self-righteousness,
hypocrisy and human frailty are the Outside that must be chipped
I believe the Hard Knocks cannot injure the Angel, but can only
not get that bump again. We do not need it. We have traveled past
it. They do not waste the bumps. We get promoted to the next bump.
matter with us, so that we do not learn the lesson of the bump we
"naturally bright" and have to be pulverized.
The tuition in the University of Hard Knocks is not free.
We never graduate. When we stop learning we are due for another
happy that I have begun to learn the lessons from the bumps. I am
University of Adversity. I am happy that I am beginning to listen.
Children, I fear you will not be greatly interested in what is to follow.
I was not interested when father and mother told me these things.
young, and now two and two made seven, because we lived so much faster.
It is so hard to tell young people anything. They know better. So
But if you will remember some of these things, they will feel like
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
high-chair throne right up beside the dinner table. The coffee-pot
I became enamored with that coffee-pot. I decided I needed that
Then I discovered a woman beside me, my mother. She was the most
meddlesome woman I had ever known. I had not tried to do one thing
in three years that that woman had not meddled into.
The longer I thought about it the more angry I became. What right
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
the well after that and she would not look at me. I do not argue
cruel with that angel child. But the neighbors did not know what
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
I learned very quickly that if I did not hear mother, and heed, a
coffee-pot would spill upon me. I cannot remember when I disobeyed
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
got my blisters. Mother did not inflict them. Mother was not much of an
inflicter. Father attended to that in the laboratory behind the
"Child of humanity, do right, walk in the right path. You will be
But we are not compelled to walk in the right path. We are free
upward has to be pushed.
unlucky and it had to be.
How I had to be bumped to learn better! Now when I get bumped I try
that go upward have to be pushed. Going upward is overcoming.
Notice that churches, schools, lyceums, chautauquas, reform
be pushed all the time.
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
upward. Note the multitude making little or no effort, and even
Majorities do not rule. Majorities never have ruled. It is the
the tomorrow of communities that go upward. Majorities are not
drift and be amused and follow false gods that promise something
for nothing. They must be led--sometimes driven--by minorities.
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
fill up with disappointment, their vision becomes dulled. They
become anaemic feeding upon the husks.
How they must be bumped to think upon their ways. Every time we do
wrong we get a Needless Knock. Every time! We may not always get
"I can do wrong and not get bumped. I have no feelings upon the
so that they will not think upon their ways! How he keeps the music
and the dazzle going so they will not see they are bumping
"Remember, son, to stay away from the sticky flypaper. That is
where your poor dear father was lost." And Johnny Fly remembers for
flypaper shows me up better than anything at home. What a fine
place to skate. Just see how close I can fly over it and not get
It shows he is not a prisoner. He is a strong-minded fly. He can
another drink and sing, "We won't go home till morning."
guilty. It is the man who does not get discovered who is to be
BUT occasionally all of us get bumps that we do not bump into. They
You were bumped yesterday or years ago. Maybe the wound has not yet
healed. Maybe you think it never will heal. You wondered why you
You were doing right--doing just the best you knew how--and yet
was darkened, your plans were wrecked, you thought you had nothing
never known anyone who had not had more trouble than anyone else.
But I am discovering that life only gets good after we have been
We all must learn, if we have not already learned, that these blows
a higher path than we have been traveling.
have to have the Needful Knocks to become useful. And so does
have been tried in the crucibles of affliction. For I am learning
see you. You are so shiny, beautiful, valuable and full of music,
here. This is no reflection upon the janitor. You became a piano by
I can see you back in your callow beginnings, when you were just a
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
were the best young tree you could be.
That is why you were bumped--because you were good! There came a
man into the woods with an ax, and he looked for the best trees
They did not bump the little, crooked, dissipated, cigaret-stunted
trees. They were not worth bumping.
bumped here. All the beauty, harmony and value were bumped into you.
One day I was up the Missabe road about a hundred miles north of
"That hain't red mud. That's iron ore, an' it's the best iron ore
"It hain't worth nothin' here; that's why they're movin' it away."
There's red mud around every community that "hain't worth nothin'"
Not very long after this, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I saw some
of this same red mud. It had been moved over the Great Lakes and
of which being The College of Needful Knocks for Red Mud.
school began. They roasted it. It is a great thing to be roasted.
When it was done roasting they stopped. Have you noticed that they
roasted, perhaps we are not done!
not red mud now, because it had been roasted. It was a freshman--
pig iron, worth more than red mud, because it had been roasted.
Some of the pig iron went into another department, a big teakettle,
Some of the sophomore steel went up into another grade where it was
they pound me and break my heart? I have been good and faithful. O,
it had been roasted--they took it proudly all over the world,
labeled "Made in America." They hung it in show windows, they put
money for what had been roasted the most.
If a ton of that red mud had become watch-springs or razor-blades,
There is no human diamond that has not been crystallized in the
crucibles of affliction. There is no gold that has not been refined
said. "I have been in pain most of my life. But I have learned all
that I know sitting in this chair. I have learned to be patient and
best-loved person in the town.
why am I not happy? My daughter is always happy and she hasn't a
single thing to make her happy. I am not happy. I have not been
happy for years. Why am I not happy?"
"Madam, I don't want to be unkind, but I really think the reason
you are not happy is that you haven't been bumped enough."
right, I need another bump.
sympathize. They are to become a precious part of our population.
not want to think so of the bad things. Yet we grow more in lean
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
materially very prosperous, so many of us begin to say, "Is not
business might wreck. Your fortune might be swept away. Your good
name might be tarnished. Bereavement might take from you the one
You are down and out." Do not believe that you are down and out,
for it is not true. The old enemy of humanity wants you to believe
The truth is, another chapter of your real education has been
greatness. We go up in life. We become educated. Let me bring you
One day the train stopped at a station to take water. Beside the
way, I looked in the sack and discovered there was not a big, red,
big, red, fat apples on the top, and the groceryman, not desiring
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
until that day on the train that the groceryman does not put the
big ones on top and the little ones down underneath. He does not
You laugh? You don't believe that? Maybe your roads are so good
and smooth that things do not shake on the road to town. But back
hauled a wagon-bed full of apples to the cider-mill over a corduroy
I saw that for thirty years before I saw it. Did you ever notice
how long you have to see most things before you see them? I saw
You children try that tomorrow. Do not wait thirty years to learn
you cannot change the place of one of the objects.
before, the largest on top and the smallest at the bottom.
half-filled with small white beans and a few walnuts.
beans and some walnuts. You will pardon me for bringing such a
simple and crude apparatus before you in a lecture, but I ask your
forbearance. I am discovering that we can hear faster thru the eye
forget it, and I do not want these young people to live thirty
years before they see it.
If there are sermons in stones, there must be lectures in cans.
You note as I shake the jar the little beans quickly settle down
and the big walnuts shake up. Not one bean asks, "Which way do I
go?" Not one walnut asks, "Which way do I go?" Each one
Note that I mix them all up and then shake. Note that they arrange
themselves just as they were before.
Suppose those objects could talk. I think I hear that littlest bean
I say, "Yes, you little bean, I'll help you." So I lift him up to
See, the can shakes. Back to the bottom shakes the little bean. And
The can shakes. The little bean again shakes back to the bottom. He
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
Then I hear Little Bean say, "Well, if I cannot get to the top, you
So I say, "Yes, sir, Little Bean. Here, you big ones on top, get
Bean!" And you see I put them down.
the can. Lifting them up or putting them down will not do it. But
And do you not see that we are very foolish when we want to be
lifted up to some big place, or when we want some big person to be
ready for places before we can get them and keep them.
The very worst thing that can happen to anybody is to be
is something like a train and if we do not get to the depot in time
shall have a great destiny. We cannot dodge our destiny.
The objects in that jar cannot change their size. But thank God,
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
We shake down if we become small; we shake up if we become great.
as well as in liquids. If we are not growing any, we are rattling.
cannot keep you down. You do not ask for promotion, you compel
I believe if I were so fortunate or unfortunate as to have a number
raised. As you grow greater you won't need to ask to be promoted.
This jar tells me so much about luck. I have noted that the lucky
Notice as I bump this jar. Two things happened. The little ones
Luck does not depend upon the direction of the bump, but upon the
the Chicago house where a number of young ladies worked. Some of
them had been there for a long time. There came a raw, green Dutch
The other girls poked fun at her and played jokes upon her because
Do you remember that green things grow?
"Is not she the limit?" they oft spake one to another. She was. She
she had been put at, she would discover something else that ought
to be done, and she would go right on working, contrary to the
rules of the union! Without being told, mind you. She had that rare
had been put at, they would wait--O, so patiently they would
wait--to be told what to do next.
time they had been there. Nothing ever escaped her. She had become
was nothing fair about it. Jennie ought to have been made
superintendent. Jennie had been here four years."
The other day in a paper-mill I was standing beside a long machine
don't know nothing about it, boss, I don't work in there."
I asked him about another process, and he replied, "I don't know
nothing about it, I never worked in there." I asked him about the
pulpmill. He replied, "No, I don't know nothing about that,
neither. I don't work in there." And he did not betray the least
who didn't know. "Is he a human being?"
we've got to let him go. We're afraid he'll break the machine. He
isn't interested, does not learn, doesn't try to learn."
So he had begun to rattle. Nobody can stay where he rattles. It is
So books could be filled with just such stories of how people have
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
same chance, and presently notice that one is going up and the
Some of us begin life on the top branches, right in the sunshine of
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
do not even get invited. We often become discouraged as we look at
about. There the real people do not often ask us, "On what branch
But if we let life become routine, we are shaking down. The very
be learning new things and discovering new joys in our daily
routine or we become unhappy. If we go on doing just the same
and not growing any, pretty soon we become mere machines. We wear
The farmer must be learning new things about farming to hold his
place this progressive age as a farmer. The merchant must be
competitors. The minister must be getting larger visions of the
filling it. The teacher must be seeing new possibilities in the
same old schoolroom. The mother must be getting a larger horizon in
place year after year and fills it, he does not rattle.
journals labeled "Finishing Schools," and "A Place to Finish Your
students will get the idea they are being finished, which finishes
commencement, not an end-ment.
The greater and wiser the man, the more anxious he is to be told.
We young people come up into life wanting great places. I would not
give much for a young person (or any other person) who does not
want a great place. I would not give much for anybody who does not
look forward to greater and better things tomorrow.
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
We think if we could only get into a great place we would be great.
But unless we have grown as great as the place we would be a great
We do not become great by getting into a great place, any more than
a boy becomes a man by getting into his father's boots. He is in
great boots, but he rattles. He must grow greater feet before he
gets greater boots. But he must get the feet before he gets the
We must get ready for things before we get them.
We can be a pumpkin in one summer, with the accent on the "punk."
We can be a mushroom in a day, with the accent on the "mush." But
we cannot become an oak that way.
The world is not greatly impressed by testimonials. The man who has
rattling. A testimonial so often becomes a crutch.
The Menace of the Press-Notice
Now testimonials and press-notices very often serve useful ends. In
Then they become a mirror for his vanity instead of a monitor
Most testimonials and press-notices are frank flatteries. They
progress by reading my press-notices instead of listening to the
few press-notices. "There, I am all right, for this clipping says
I am the greatest ever, and should he return, no hall would be able
was filled before was entirely too big for the audience! The
a home enterprise--not for the sake of the imported attraction but
We must read people, not press-notices.
in the land. They spring up, fail, wail, disappear, only to be
succeeded by twice as many more. They fail because instead of
The victims of the artificial uplift cannot stay uplifted. They
You cannot uplift a beggar by giving him alms. You are using the
not helping them, that is propping them. The beggar who asks you to
help him does not want to be helped. He wants to be propped. He
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
cannot help many people, for there are not many people willing to
be helped on the inside. Not many willing to grow up.
beggar sitting at the gate Beautiful. Every day the beggar had been
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
"helped" him to be poorer in spirit, more helpless and a more
hopeless cripple. No doubt he belonged after a few days of the
"helping" to the Jerusalem Beggars' Union and carried his card.
Maybe he paid a commission for such a choice beggars' beat.
Fix the People, Not the Barrel
But if chances had been snakes, I would have been bitten a hundred
times a day. We need oculists, not opportunities.
a day. I rattled there. I did not earn my dollar fifteen. I tried
would not bring it down again for a soulless corporation.
the section-house, why I was not president of that bank. I wondered
why I was not sitting upon one of those mahogany seats instead of
rich wasn't getting richer and the poor poorer, I'd be president of a
I am so glad now that I did not get to be president of the bank.
minutes, down to the peanut row, for I was only a peanut. Remember,
not faithful over a few things, I would have rattled over many
the clodhopper is enchanted into readiness for kingship before he
to be the same size. Yes, I'll pass laws to turn the barrel upside
down, so the little ones will be on the top and the big ones will
be at the bottom."
But I had not seen that it wouldn't matter which end was the top,
cannot fix the barrel. You can only fix the people inside the
Have you ever noticed that the man who is not willing to fix
other people? He wants something for nothing.
O, I am so glad I did not get the things I wanted at the time I
wanted them! They would have been coffee-pots. Thank goodness, we
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
would not let us have them. Today we have them. They come to us as
naturally today, and we see it is because we have grown ready for
Today you and I want things beyond our reach. O, how we want them!
But a cruel fate will not let us have them.
Do you not see that "cruel fate" is our own smallness and
How We Become Great
Greatness is not measured in any material terms. It is not measured
We may become very great, very educated, rise very high, and yet
not leave our kitchen or blacksmith shop. We take the kitchen or
great blacksmith shop. It becomes our throne-room!
The higher we rise, the better we see that life on this planet is
being things on the inside, not in getting things on the outside.
top." Those two sons of Zebedee wanted to have the greatest places
They got very busy pursuing greatness, but I do not read that they
of greatness that can ever stand: "Whosoever will be great among
you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among
you, let him be your servant."
That is we cannot be "born great," nor "have greatness thrust upon"
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
thus it becomes great.
We cannot buy a great mind. Our mind must become a great servant,
and thus it becomes great.
We cannot buy a great character. It is earned in great moral
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
it is that the first step is always nearest at hand. We do not have
become great. It is a great stairway that leads from where our feet
are now upward for an infinite number of steps.
We find our kitchen or workshop or office becoming a new throne
begin to see them. They are around us all the time, but we must get
greater our vision, the more we see what is yet to be accomplished.
have been only a boy playing on the seashore * * * while the great
ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." That great ocean is
before us all.
treasury. That is not why we give. We give to become great. The
Becoming great is overcoming our selfishness and fear. He that
Our greatness therefore does not depend upon how much we give or
cannot get to do. Rejoice in doing the things you can get to do.
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
Every work is drudgery when done selfishly. Every work becomes
I do not know who fitted the boards into the floor I stand upon. I
do not know all the great people who may come and stand upon this
come and stand upon it, if each be doing his work with the same
the community heart in the precious handful who believe that the
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
tomorrow. They are the faithful few who get behind the churches,
sweetest pay comes from doing many things they are not paid for.
They rarely get thanked, for the community does not often think of
effort in the town--the greatest man there, because the most
under trees or letting the mind become a blank. But this Chicago
preacher went from one chautauqua town to another, and took his
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
were doing nothing. In every town he would discover somebody of
his vacation. He was busy about other people's business. He did not
glorious. This man's preaching did not make him great. His college
did not make him great. His books did not make him great. These are
it becomes the fuel to make the steam to accomplish the wonderful
If he had begun life by "taking care of himself" and "looking out
for number one," stipulating in advance every cent he was to get
insignificance before this. The history of nations shows that their
strength was not in the size of their armies and in the vastness
came from the struggle. When the people became materially prosperous
and surrendered to ease and indulgence, they became fat, stall-fed weaklings.
have become strong men and women thru their struggles, who are
saying, "Our children shall have better chances than we had. We are
living for our children. We are going to give them the best
Then, forgetful of how they became strong, they plan to take away
from their children their birthright--their opportunity to become
generally means getting out of his way. Many an orphan can be
"We are going to give our children the best education our money can buy."
maybe they will have a private pipeline of education laid to their
Toll the bell! There's going to be a "blow out." Those inflated
Father and mother cannot buy their children education. All they can
There was a factory town back East. Not a pretty town, but just a
nothing. He had become rich and honored. Every man in the mill
The little old man often said, "I'm going to give that boy the best
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
the minute the child could sit up in the cradle and notice things.
land. The fault was not with the university, not with Gussie, who
blindness of his love he robbed his boy of his birthright.
The birthright of every child is the opportunity of becoming
You remember, then, that after he matriculates--after he gets the
grand bump, said steer does not have to do another thing. His
done and the paint was dry. He was a thing of beauty.
the streets. The little old man had been translated.
would swell up. How fast he grew! He became the most useful man in
fool of Gussie. They said Bill succeeded so well because he never
say to the book and the college, "Give us an education." They cannot
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
You cannot get physical education by reading a book on gymnastics.
greatness, physically, mentally and morally. I believe I know some
people liberally educated who cannot write their own names. But
graduates"--people who have never been to college nor have studied
They realized how they have been handicapped by their poor mental tools.
That is why they say, "All my life I have been handicapped by lack of
Get the best tools you can. But remember diplomas, degrees are not
the books, remember, you are having a commencement, not an
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
his boy was not there to hear it. But that good, deluded father now
somebody does not take me aside and tell me a story just as sad
gibbeted in the pulpits as the shocking example of youthful
depravity. He seems never to have had a fighting chance to become
a man. He seems to have been robbed of his birthright from the
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
the training of their children. Poverty is a better trainer for the rest.
The menace of America lies not in the swollen fortunes, but in the
this nation produces. Steam heat is a fine thing, but do you notice
to rattle. Father and mother can be great and you can be a peanut.
and food in your stomach, but you cannot own it save as you digest
Not Packhorse Work
But remember there is little virtue in work unless it is getting us
lie down to sleep, then another day of the same grind, then a year
the sorghum mill. Round and round that horse went, seeing nothing,
hearing nothing, his head down, without ambition enough to prick up
even the packhorse job, because it is our "meal ticket" that
by day for them to hatch. And sure enough, one day the eggs began
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
know how fortunate you are. Ordinary turkeys do not have these
advantages. Ordinary turkeys do not get shelled by hand."
Did I help them? I killed them, or stunted them. Not one of the turkeys
We find happiness in our work, not outside of our work. If we
cannot find happiness in our work, we have the wrong job. Find the
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
found my job in my work, not away from it, and the work refreshed
been a great surprise to my friends and a great disappointment to
almost every day of the year--maybe two or three times some
If I did not like my work, of course, I would be carrying a
to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Thus this
old body behaves just beautifully and wags along like the tail
When we love our work, it is not work, it is life.
The world is trying to find happiness in being amused. The world is
We have to have amusement, but if we fill our lives with nothing
I am not saying that he should attend my lecture, but I am grieving
at what underlies his remark. He does not want to think. He wants
The man who will not make the effort to think is the great menace
white way they go chasing amusement to find happiness. They must be
amused every moment, even when they eat, or they will have to be
hope for the person who will not stop and think. And the devil
That is why the crowd is not furnishing the strong men and women.
muscle is relaxing another is contracting. So you must learn that
over to contracting another set of muscles.
The reply is almost a monotony. "I born in this city? No, I was
log-cabin ancestry has been over-confessed for campaign purposes.
The cities do not make their own steam. The little minority from
If it were not for Poseyville, Indiana, Chicago would disappear.
If it were not for Poseyville, New York would disintegrate
hell is because they have no other place to go."
What is the matter with the small town? Do not blame it all upon
sunshine, air and freedom that the crowded cities cannot have.
The keeper was not in the least alarmed at the question. He smiled.
could get together they wouldn't be in this asylum. They are
It would be almost unkind to carry this further, but I have been
get together. They cannot organize for the public good. They break
away to the cities where opportunity seems to beckon. Ninety-nine
opportunity right back in the home town, had the town been awake
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
America is to be great, not in the greatness of a few crowded
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
pride, "Our students come to school; they are not sent."
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
getting new members, going every term to unbelievable efforts to
not believe there is a school in America with a greater alumni roll
I believe the most useful schools today are schools of struggle
the old oak-slab bench with its splintered side up.
not be rows of lithographed cans on the shelves of life. I am
hoping they will not be shorn of their individuality, but will have
it stimulated and unfettered. I am anxious that they be not
veneered but inspired, not denatured but discovered.
All this school machinery is only machinery. Back of it must be
from life, not from laboratories, and we have life more abundantly
fatty degeneration. Some schools seem to have been visited by
Can we keep men before millions, and keep our ideals untainted by
learning one sentence, "You can't get something for nothing." I
have not yet learned it. Every few days I stumble over it
fiddles. Not violins--fiddles.
You do not know what you have memorized, you know what you have
over and over and we are not excited. Truth never excites--it is
truth becomes a new blessing. Then the oldest, driest platitude
There is such a difference between reading a thing and knowing a
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
I did not learn it. I wish I had learned by reading it that if I
This is not a lecture. It is a confession! It seems to me if you in
"You Can't Get Something for Nothing"
get something for nothing." That is, getting it in partial tune. It
took me so long because I was naturally bright. It takes that kind
longer than a human being. They are so smart you cannot teach them
with a few bumps. They have to be pulverized.
the farm. You might not think I had ever been a "hired man" on the
you might not believe that I had ever trained an orphan calf to
hand many a time. You might not think that I had ever driven a yoke
I remember the first county fair I ever attended. Fellow sufferers,
you may remember that at the county fair all the people sort out to
"suckers"! Did you ever notice where they go? That is where I
where it was. I didn't need to be told. I gravitated there. The
barrel always shakes all of one size to one place. You notice
know he was a gentleman because he said he was a gentleman. He had
became too sultry he would move to greener pastures. On that table
the middle shell. I saw it there, being naturally bright. I was the
under the end shell and bet me money it was under the end shell.
You see, this was not gambling, this was a sure thing. (It was!)
I had saved up my money for weeks to attend the fair. I bet it all
And he seemed like a real nice old gentleman, and maybe he had a
family to keep. But I would teach him a lesson not to "monkey" with
But I needn't have felt bad. I did not rob father. Father cleaned
Sadly I thought it all over, but I did not get the right answer.
to learn the lesson from the bump. I said, "Next time I shall be
another gentleman drove into town. He stopped on the public square
I grew older and people began to notice that I was naturally bright
and therefore good picking. They began to let me in on the ground
kept my investments in it. I mean, the investments I did not have
lots were going to double next week. But they did not double I
I had in that drawer my deed to my rubber plantation. Did you ever
hear of a rubber plantation in Central America? That was mine.
between an oil proposition and an oil well! The learning has been
I used to wonder how I ever could spend my income. I do not wonder now.
"Everglades"? I have an alligator ranch there. It is below the
frost-line, also below the water-line. I will sell it by the
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
much to live for--the dividends. I have been so near the dividends
Why go farther? I am not half done confessing. Each bump only
increased my faith that the next ship would be mine. Good, honest,
buy because I knew the minister was honest and believed in it. He
had no imagination! Nothing interested me that did not offer fifty
It would have been better for me if I had thrown about all my
"You have been selected."
was a friend of our family. "You have been selected because you are
"Because of your tremendous influence you have been selected to go
Did you get that? I hope you did. I did not! But I took a night
train for St. Louis. I was afraid somebody might beat me there if
money for Tom, the friend of our family. But I see now I need not
respect not my feelings. I am not going to tell you a thing that
O, I am so glad I went to St. Louis. Being naturally bright, I
could not learn it at home, back in Ohio. I had to go clear down to
him. I could not borrow any more. I joined what he called a "pool."
I think it must have been a pool, for I know I fell in and got
That bump set me to thinking. My fever began to reduce. I got the
had made up to that time, for I got the most out of it. I do not
cannot tell him anything, because he is naturally bright and knows
better. You simply have to trim him till he bleeds.
sentence, You cannot get something for nothing. Life just begins to
a big ad, "Grasp a Fortune Now!" I will not do it! I stop my
subscription to that paper. I simply will not take a paper with
I will not grasp a fortune now. Try me, I dare you! Bring a
floor. I will not grasp it. Come away, it is a coffee-pot!
been selected--" I never read farther than the word "selected."
You can't get something for nothing. If you do not learn it, you
will have to be "selected." There is no other way for you, because
you are naturally bright. When you get a letter, "You have been
have been selected to receive this bunch of blisters because you
as you described. The saddest part of it is that the money nearly
Even the young person who has large fortune given him does not own
have earned and stored in your life, not merely in your pocket,
I often think if it takes me thirty-four years to begin to learn
Bless them all! They will have put another string on their fiddle.
After they "finish" they have a commencement, not an end-ment, as
they think. This is not to sneer, but to cheer. Isn't it glorious
I love to attend commencements. The stage is so beautifully
like them better, because every year I am getting younger. Damsel
Number One comes forth and begins:
"Beyond the Alps (sweep arms forward to the left, left arm leading)
How embarrassing at a commencement for the fingers not to follow
Sweet Girl Graduate Number 2, generally comes second. S. G. G. No.
inclined). We are not drifting (hands slide downward)."
Children, we are not laughing at you. We are laughing at ourselves.
truths that you have memorized, but not vitalized.
You get the most beautiful and sublime truths from Emerson's
essays. (How did they ever have commencements before Emerson?) But
that is not knowing them. You cannot know them until you have lived
them. It is a grand thing to say, "Beyond the Alps lieth Italy,"
victory beyond. It is fine to say, "We are rowing and not
but you cannot really say that until you have pulled on the oar.
been "selected": Maybe this was a local call, not long distance.
the poet Shakespeare has so beautifully said," and then I took a
worked that sermon up into the most beautiful splurges and spasms.
I bedecked it with metaphors and semaphores. I filled it with
I got the most beautiful gestures nailed into almost every page.
the air as you speak. You can notice it on me yet.
I am not sneering at expression. Expression is a noble art. All
necktie, but failed to get any man to hang it upon. I got up before
and that sermon would not have hesitated.
Then came the grand day. The boy wonder stood forth and before his
Then I did another fine thing, I sat down. I wish now I had done
that earlier. I wish now I had sat down before I got up. I was the
last man out of the church--and I hurried. But they beat me
you don't know nothin' yet."
would not have hurt me so much. It has taken some years to learn
No sermon ever had greater truth, but I had not lived it. The old
man meant I did not know my own sermon.
about what you know best, what you have lived. If you know more
do not sell enough to pay the cost of printing them. As you study
the books that do live, you note that they are the books that have
been lived. Perhaps the books that fail have just as much of truth
in them and they may even be better written, yet they lack the
The best part of our schooling comes not from the books, but from
the men behind the books.
We study agriculture from books. That does not make us an
So many young people think because they have a good voice and they have
a singer--merely neckties. Singers look better with neckties.
heart, chaperoned by the diaphragm. You cannot sing a song you have
not lived.
beautiful voice, and she has been away to "Ber-leen" to have it
Summer." She sang it with every note so well placed, with the
notes. She might as well have sung, "Pop, Goes the Weasel."
the same tent "The Last Rose of Summer." She had never been to
Berlin, but she had lived that song. She didn't dress the notes
half so beautifully as Jessie did, but she sang it with the
"this is the best singing lesson you have ever had. Your study is
all right and you have a better voice than that woman, but you
cannot sing "The Last Rose of Summer" yet, for you do not know very
never know the ache and disappointment you must know before you can
Why do singers try to execute songs beyond the horizon of their
good fortune to be sitting at table with her I wanted to ask her,
found the answer to every question. "Isn't it good to be here?
know what it is to be left alone in the world upon my own
resources. I have had years of struggle. I have been sick and
only home I had, that I began to write songs. I wrote them for my
Anybody could write those songs--just a few simple words and notes.
write the words and where to place the notes. These are not the
the University of Hard Knocks. She here became the song philosopher
loneliness, she never would have been able to write the songs that
The popular song is the song that best voices what is in the
My friends, I am not arguing that you and I must drink the dregs of
become wrecks. But I am insisting upon what I see written all
have worthy visions but are not able to translate them into
looking upward, and half the time their feet are in the flower-beds
ideas must be forged into usefulness available for this day upon
Many of the most brilliant theorists have been the greatest
practical life. He seemed to be unable to think and reason for
Note the sweeping, positive statements of the young person.
Note the cautious, specific statements of the person who has lived
wholesale statements we have not proved, to the cautious, specific
the floor when you could not sleep. You have learned that "beyond
A good many of you were bumped today or yesterday, or maybe years
ago, and the wound has not healed. You think it never will heal.
And you young people here with lives like June mornings, are not
because this is a polite and attentive neighborhood. But down in
man talking about? I haven't had these things and I'm not going to
Maybe some of you are naturally bright!
You are going to be bumped. You are going to cry yourselves to
sleep. You are going to walk the floor when you cannot sleep. Some
trust most betray you. Maybe, betray you with a kiss. You will go
horizon. You will say, "God, let me die. I have nothing more
be about like other lives.
These bumps and hard knocks do not break the fiddle--they turn the pegs.
had been sending forth the noise and discord.
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, altho it is quite
father being a country preacher, we had tin spoons. We never had to
Do you remember the first money you ever earned? I do. I walked
head and said, "You are the best boy to work, I ever saw." Then the
means green sixteen. But remember again, only green things grow.
with the sheepshears. Mother had been busy with the wash-rag--clear
tow-headed patriot in "Give me liberty or give me death." I feel
now that if Patrick Henry had been present, he would have said,
to yell. Tomorrow I would get my money! I had a speech I had been
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
mouth, it was a great opening, but nothing came out. It came out of
wept. It was a teary time. I only said, "Weep not for me, dear
tho, why he didn't take a pillow to church. I took his note for $240,
season. I really thought a note was not necessary, such was my
For years I kept a faded, tear-spattered, yellow note for $240,
thirteen-mile-a-day dollars to learn one thing I could not learn
it may be safer to do business with a first-class sinner than with
Their schoolmates and playmates are apt to be down there in the
front rows with their families, and maybe all the old scores have
not yet been settled. The boy he fought with may be down there.
come to hear him. "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Perhaps this
is why some lecturers and authors are not so popular in the home
where twenty-one years before I had stood to deliver my graduating oration,
"Greece is gone and Rome is no more, but fe-e-e-e-ear not,
could live in that hotel was a superior order of being. But the
I held thanksgiving services that night. I could see better. I had
a picture of the school in that town that had been taken twenty-one
years before, just before commencement. I had not seen the picture
these twenty-one years, for I could not then afford to buy one. The
before? It is a memorable experience.
were going to be presidents and senators and authors and
There was one boy in the class who was not naturally bright. It was
not the one you may be thinking of! No, it was Jim Lambert. He had
they were not going to let him speak, because he couldn't make a
The girl who was to become the authoress became the helloess in the
home telephone exchange, and had become absolutely indispensable to
the community. The girl who was to become the poetess became the
going to Confess was raising the best corn in the county, and his
Most of them were doing very well even Jim Lambert. Jim had become
behind the schoolhouse to inform him he could not speak at
commencement, would now have to wait in line before a frosted door
marked, "Mr. Lambert, Private." They would have to send up their
it short, he's busy!" before they could break any news to him
They hung a picture of Mr. Lambert in the high school at the last
Dull boy or girl--you with your eyes tear-dimmed sometimes because
you do not seem to learn like some in your classes can you not get
young people in that picture. They had been shaken these years in
almost every note on the keyboard of human possibility had been
When that picture was taken the oldest was not more than eighteen,
The twenty-one years that followed had not changed their courses.
it, or where Mammon had entered to pull it down. And I saw better
that the foolish dreams of success faded before the natural
unfolding of talents, which is the real success. I saw better that
Jim Lambert had merely followed the call of talents unseen in him
twenty-one years before.
The lazy boy became a "tired" man. The industrious boy became an
industrious man. The sporty boy became a sporty man. The
domineering egotist boy became the domineering egotist man.
The boy who traded knives with me and beat me--how I used to envy
him! Why was it he could always get the better of me? Well, he went
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
to their own reprobate offspring, "Why can't you be like Harry?
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
jail." But Model Harry sat around all his life being a model. I
believe Mr. Webster defines a model as a small imitation of the
real thing. Harry certainly was a successful model. He became a
because he hadn't the energy to be anything else. It was the boys
beauty contest. Clarice went right on remaining in the social
popularity for success. The boys voted for her, but did not marry
her. Most of the girls who shone with less social luster became the
But as I looked into the face of Jim Lambert in the picture, my
heart warmed at the sight of another great success--a sweet-faced
irish lass who became an "old maid." She had worked day by day all
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
Why Ben Hur Won
It revived the memory of the story of Ben Hur.
Do you remember it? The Jewish boy is torn from his home in
committed. Ben Hur did not get a fair trial. Nobody can get a fair
said, judge not, for you have not the full evidence in the case. I
chain him to the bench and to the oar. There follow the days and
the lash. Years of the cruel injustice pass. Ben Hur is the
That seems to be your life and my life. In the kitchen or the
How blind we are! We can only see our own oar. We cannot see that
circus. See Messala, the haughty Roman, and see! Ben Hur from the
forearms of Ben Hur. They swing those flying Arabians into the
inner ring. Ben Hur wins the race! Where got the Jew those huge
Had Ben Hur never pulled on the oar, he never could have won the
I thanked God for parents who believed in the gospel of struggle,
I am not an example of success.
So even the Father of Waters has to begin as a creek. We are at the
get out of the county." That is a fact, but he is not trying to get
The Mississippi knows nothing about the Gulf of Mexico. He does not
to go south. He has not much water, but he does not wait for a
relative to die and bequeath him some water. That is a beautiful
He goes a foot south, then another foot south. He goes a mile
goes on south. He picks up another stream and grows some more. Day
My friends, here is one of the best pictures I can find in nature
of what it seems to me our lives should be. I hear a great many
We do not have to figure out how far we have to go, nor how many
Success is not tomorrow or next year. Success is now. Success is
not at the end of the journey, for there is no end. Success is
It is a divine call--the call of our unfolding talents to be used.
Remember, the Mississippi goes south. If he had gone any other
direction he would never have been heard of.
3. He blesses the valley, but the valley does not bless him.
river now--the most successful river in the state. But he does not
does not stop. He goes on south and grows greater.
Do you know why the Mississippi goes on south? To continue to be
the Mississippi. If he should stop and stagnate, he would not be
the Mississippi, river. he would become a stagnant, poisonous pond.
GROW GREATER! I hope I can make you remember that and say it over
their press notices. Their friends crowd around them to congratulate
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
have not gotten out of the woods of Minnesota. Go on south!
Success is so hard to endure. We can endure ten defeats better than
The one who keeps on going south defies custom and becomes unorthodox.
become good servants, workmen or artists. The young people get a
not recognized. They do not make it visible.
think that is being a stenographer, when it is merely a symptom of
Nine out of ten workmen cannot be trusted to do what they advertise
to do, because they have never gone south far enough to become
You must go on south to be safe.
I used to know a violinist who would say, "If I were not a genius,
I could not play so well with such little practice." The poor
fellow did not know how poor a fiddler he really was. Well did
This Is Our Best Day
Just because our hair gets frosty or begins to rub off in spots, we
front-paging his age. Age is not years; age is grunts.
We say, "I've seen my best days." And the undertaker goes and
greases his buggy. He believes in "preparedness."
Go on south! We have not seen our best days. This is the best day
so far, and tomorrow is going to be better on south.
A-B-C's. I do not utter that as a bit of sentiment, but as the
best. I hope he says, "I am just beginning. Just beginning to
understand. Just beginning to know about life."
We are not going on south to old age, we are going on south to
We have left nothing behind but the husks. I would not trade this
moment for all the years before it. I have their footings at
worry. Do you know why corporations sometimes say they do not want
person in the pulpit, in the schoolroom, in the office, behind the
ticket-window or on the bench--or under the hod--and you find the
I am happy today as I look back over my life. I have been trying to
you are. I am trying to do better now."
beginning to live. If anybody wants to be my best friend, let him
come to me and tell me how to improve--what to do and what not to
do. Tell me how to give a better lecture.
were good enough. I told him I wanted to get better lectures, for
never get any better. I had reached my limit. Those lectures were
go on south shivering about yesterday. These years I have noticed
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
what they were doing, did not stay long on the platform. I have
Birthdays are not annual affairs. Birthdays are the days when we
boots. He just hibernated and "chawed on."
Bernhardt, Davis and Edison
The spectacle of Sarah Bernhardt, past seventy, thrilling and
inspiring. No obstacle can daunt her. Losing a leg does not end her
years are nothing to me."
at ninety-two--just a short time before his passing--he went out to
these men and one by one they rose from the bench to return his
The last man on the bench did not rise. He helplessly looked up at
getting up. I'm too old. When you get as old as I am, you'll not
"My boy," laughed Senator Davis, "I was an Odd Fellow before
because he was going on south.
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
who did not believe that Mr. Edison had succeeded. His name was
before I hit upon that."
"I have not succeeded. I am succeeding. All I have done only shows
That is success supreme. Not "succeeded" but "succeeding."
What a difference between "ed" and "ing"! The difference between
Moses Begins at Eighty
Moses, the great Hebrew law-giver, was eighty years old before he
started south. It took him eighty years to get ready. Moses did not
fifty-four," he would have become the seventeenth mummy on the
time" when he becomes the leader of the Israelite host.
I think I would hear Moses say, "No, no, I am just beginning to see
"Well, he ought to be dead, for he is old enough."
They appoint a committee to bury Moses. You cannot do anything in
The committee begins to weep. "General Moses, you are a very old
is to be next Thursday. Kindly die."
Why, boys, every hour is taken next Thursday. I simply cannot
They cannot bury Moses. He cannot attend. You cannot bury anybody
who is too busy to attend his own funeral! You cannot bury anybody
is a hundred and twenty. Even then I read, "His eye was not dim,
nor his natural force abated." He had not time to stop and abate.
So God buried him. The committee was dead. O, friends, this is not
absorbed in our going that we'll fool the "committee."
They were afraid to go on south. Only two of them went on south--
So another crop of Americans came into the limelight. If we modern
Americans do not go on south we will join the Indians, the auk
not time to look back and see how anybody uses him.
tribulations, and I'll be in that bright and happy land." What will
they do with them when they get them there? They would be dill
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
Wake up! Your clock has run down. Anybody who wants to be a child
again is confessing he has lost his memory. Anybody who can remember
the horrors of childhood could not be hired to live it over again.
If there is anybody who does not have a good time, if there is
sorry for a child. Hurry up and go on south. It is better on south.
I wish I could forget many of my childhood memories. I remember the
I often wonder how I ever lived thru my childhood. I would not take
my chances living it thru again. I am not ungrateful to my parents.
nurture and admiration of the Lord. I am not just sure I quoted
about all there was to inherit. I cannot remember when I was not
that my heart does not go out to them. I remember when I did that.
I can only remember about four big meals in a year. That was
meeting day." Elder Berry would stay for dinner. His name was
Berry, but being "presiding elder," we called him Elder Berry.
Elder Berry always stayed for dinner. He was one of the easiest men
jelly. I don't just remember if they had blue jelly, but if they
jelly tremble? I used to think it ought to tremble, for Elder Berry
And then Elder Berry would sit down at the table, at the end
the next room that heaven would be a place where everybody would
the neck! And I would hear them say, "Elder Berry, may we help you
to another piece of the chicken?"
And Elder Berry would take the neck!
Many a time after that, Elder Berry would come into the room where
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
My head was not the place that needed the benediction.
you are seeing the best days of your life right now as a child."
good time, it's a child. Life has been getting better ever since,
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
It's Better on South
Seeing your best days as a child? No! You are seeing your worst
days. Of course, you can be happy as a child. A boy can be happy
with fuzz on his upper lip, but he'll be happier when his lip feels
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
must hold a barrel! Go on south. Of course, I do not mean
So we cannot grow old. Our life never stops. It goes on and on
forever. Anything that does not stop cannot grow old or have age.
will never grow old, for God cannot grow old. You and I will go on
I am not worried today over what I do not know. I used to be
worried. I used to say, "I have not time to answer you now!" But
"I do not know."
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
would not stay to hear me.
day brings the answer to something I could not answer yesterday.
river cannot go on south. Watch him. He rises higher than the
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
Thank God! You are blessed of Providence. They do not waste the
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
ring up the hearse, for you will be a "dead one."
The fact that we are not buried is no proof that we are alive. Go
For they are dead from the ears up. They have not thought a new
they just sit. They have not gone south an inch the past year.
They do not join in to promote the churches and schools and big
because they "take money outa town." They do not take any of their
I do not smile as I refer to the dead. I weep. I wish I could
But all this lecture has been discussing this, so I hurry on to the
is the supreme test of character. That is, Why go on south? Not for
blessing nor cursing, not for popularity nor for selfish ends, not
and overcomes. But the valley does not bless the river in return.
benefactor.
The Mississippi does not resign. He does not tell a tale of woe. He
does not say, "I am not appreciated. My genius is not understood.
I am not going a step farther south. I am going right back to Lake
Itasca." No, he does not even go to live with his father-in-law.
few miles below the Twin Cities and see how, by some mysterious
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
becomes, he goes a few miles on south and he is all pure again.
become poisoned by bitter memories and bitter regrets. We carry
to those around us. We say, "I can forgive, but I cannot forget."
sweet again. We forget what we ought to remember and remember what
As you go on south and bless your valley, do you notice the valley
does not bless you very much? Have you sadly noted that the people
Don't wait to be thanked. Hurry on to avoid the kick! Do good to
others because that is the way to be happy, but do not wait for a
There is nobody who does not have that to meet. The preacher, the
for a better community, gets discouraged at times.
Stop! You are not saying that. The evil one is whispering that into
You do not go south and overcome your obstacles and bless the
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
if we are not praised or thanked for it, if people do not present
be personal saviours. They say this is an ungrateful world.
But because the Mississippi does these things, one day the train I
science has not yet been able to put a bridge across it.
conquering gloriously. You bear upon your bosom the commerce of
The Mississippi knows nothing about the gulf. He goes on south
tho nothing had happened. So he pushes his physical banks on south
south into the gulf, and goes on south round and round the globe.
And when physical banks fail, we go on south beyond this mere husk,
into the great Gulf of the Beyond, to go on south unfolding thru eternity.
blessing that we have not the million. Perhaps it would make us
O, the problem is not how to get money, but how to get rid of
be doctored by specialists.
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
Do you note that the tropics, the countries with the balmiest
climates, produce the weakest peoples? Do you note that the
Do you note that people grow more in lean years than in fat years?
Crop failures and business stringencies are not calamities, but
they turn to God when hunger hits them. "Is not this Babylon that
I have builded?" says the Belshazzar of material prosperity as he
You have to shoot many men's eyes out before they can see. You have
to crack their heads before they can think, knock them down before
they can stand, break their hearts before they can sing, and
bankrupt them before they can be rich.
Do you remember that they had to lock John Bunyan in Bedford jail
before he would write his immortal "Pilgrim's Progress"? It may be
that some of us will have to go to jail to do our best work.
Do you remember that one musician became deaf before he wrote music
the world will always hear? Do you remember that one author became
blind before writing "Paradise Lost" the world will always read?
Do you remember that Saul of Tarsus would have never been
remembered had he lived the life of luxury planned for him? He had
to be blinded before he could see the way to real success. He had
to be scourged and fettered to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
He, too, had to be sent to prison to write his immortal messages to
Do you not see all around you that success is ever the phoenix
passing year. We learn that you are cruel only to be kind. We learn
be bumped to see this!
I know no better way to close this lecture than to tell you of a
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
why I was living. I thought I had nothing more to live for. When a
That is why I climbed Mount Lowe that day. I wanted to get alone.
Alpine Tavern. One cannot ride farther upward. This is not the summit,
cannot be described with this poor human vocabulary. It must be
feet, more than a mile, into the orange belt of Southern California.
It spreads out below in one great mosaic of turquoise and amber
Just below is Pasadena and Los Angeles. To the westward perhaps
the swimming distances. I did not know why I had struggled up into
that mountain sanctuary, for I was not searching for sublimity. I
I saw clouds down in the valley below me. I had never before looked
valley below, and dully watched the clouds spread wider and blacker.
must be falling down there. The people must be saying, "The sun
could see all this because I had gone above the valley. I could see
The years have been passing, the stormclouds have many times hidden
Today I look back to the bump that sent me up Mount Lowe. I did not
gate, but it opened another gate to a better pathway up the mountain.
Late that day I was clambering down the side of Mount Lowe. Down in
the valley below me I saw shadows. Then I looked over into the
people were saying, "The sun doesn't shine." But it was not night
up to the summit. The beams of the setting sun were yet gilding
But I shall be on the mountain top. I shall look down upon the
shall be in the new day of the mountain-top, forever above the night.
I shall find this mountain-top just another shelf on the side of
This will be another Commencement Day and Master's Degree. Infinite
the number on up. "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have
We are not growing old. We are going up to Eternal Life.
ANOTHER BEGINNING
happiness now in our work, and not tomorrow for our work.
Judge Ben B. Lindsey, the kids' Judge, says:
Dr. J. G. Crabbe, President of the State Teachers College,
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
The Augsberg Teacher, a Magazine for Teachers, says:
world into a playground. Who will not confess that many
joyless, cheerless thing? To be able to find happiness, and to
find it when we are bending to our duties is to possess the
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
within, and not among the things that lie at our feet. The
book before us is wholesome and vivacious. It provokes many
a smile, and beneath each one is a bit of wisdom it would do us
write us that they think it is even better than "The
mighty hard to beat.
The Best is Yet to Come
You Can't Get Something for Nothing
says. "Parlette's Beans and Nuts is just as good as the Message to
Garcia and will be handed around just us much. I have handed the book
own vice president, and they all want another copy to send to some
friend. I would rather be author of it than president of the bank."
End of Project Gutenberg etext of "The University of Hard Knocks"

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