There is nothing higher and nothing lower. In fact, there are not two values at all. These are the two paths from the valley leading to the peak. One path is of awareness, meditation: the path of Zen we have been talking about these days. And the other is the path of love, the path of the devotees, the BHAKTAS, the Sufis. These two paths are separate when you start the journey; you have to choose. Whichever you choose is going to lead to the same peak. And as you come closer to the peak you will be surprised: the travelers on the other path are coming closer to you. Slowly slowly, the paths start merging into each other. By the time you have reached the ultimate, they are one.
The person who follows the path of awareness finds love as a consequence of his awareness, as a by-product, as a shadow. And the person who follows the path of love finds awareness as a consequence, as a by-product, as a shadow of love. They are two sides of the same coin.
And remember: if your awareness lacks love then it is still impure; it has not yet known one hundred percent purity. It is not yet REALLY awareness; it must be mixed with unawareness. It is not pure light; there must be pockets of darkness inside you still working, functioning, influencing you, dominating you. If your love is without awareness, then it is not love yet. It must be something lower, something closer to lust than to prayer.
So let it be a criterion if you follow the path of awareness, let love be the criterion. When your awareness suddenly blooms into love, know perfectly well that awareness has happened, SAMADHI has been achieved. If you follow the path of love, then let awareness function as a criterion, as a touchstone. When suddenly, from nowhere, at the
very center of your love. a flame of awareness starts arising, know perfectly well...rejoice! You have come home.
Through delightfully zany anecdotes, Osho captures and conveys the spirit of Zen's enigmatic understanding of life. "Try to understand Zen through laughter, not through prayer," he suggests. "Zen is not a doctrine, not a dogma. It is growing into an insight. It is a vision -- very lighthearted, not serious at all." OSHO uses some of the best known Zen stories to illustrate the nature of enlightenment, meditation, love, knowledge and knowing, man's misplaced identification with his ego, and other issues very relevant today.
The first is of self-cultivation and the second is of enlightenment. The first is basically wrong. It only appears to be a path; it is not. One goes on and on in circles, but one never arrives. The second does not appear to be a path because there is no space for a path when something happens instantly, when something happens immediately. When something happens without taking any time, how can there be a path?
This paradox has to be understood as deeply as possible: the first appears to be the path but is not; the second appears not to be a path but is. The first appears to be a path because there is infinite time; it is a time phenomenon But anything happening in time cannot lead you beyond time; anything happening in time only strengthens time.
Time means mind. Time IS a projection of mind. It does not exist; it is only an illusion. Only the present exists -- and the present is not part of time. The present is part of eternity. Past is time, future is time; both are non-existential. The past is only memory and the future is only imagination; memory and imagination, both are non-existential. We create the past because we cling to memory; clinging to the memory is the source of the past. And we create the future because we have so many desires yet to be fulfilled, we have so many imaginations yet to be realized. And desires need a future like a screen onto which they can be projected.
Past and future are mind phenomena; and past and future make your whole idea of time. Ordinarily you think that time is divided into three divisions: past, present and future. That is totally wrong. That is not how the awakened ones have seen time. They say time consists only of two divisions: past and future. The present is not part of time at all; the present belongs to the beyond.
The first path -- the path of self-cultivation -- is a time path; it has nothing to do with eternity. And truth is eternity.
The second path -- the path of enlightenment, Zen Masters have always called the pathless path because it does not appear to be a path at all. It cannot appear as a path, but just for the purposes of communication we will call it "the second path," arbitrarily. The second path is not part of time, it is part of eternity. Hence it happens instantaneously; it happens in the present. You cannot desire it, you cannot be ambitious for it.
On the first path, the false path, all is allowed. You can imagine, you can desire, you can be ambitious. You can change all your worldly desires into other-worldly desires. That's what the so-called religious people go on doing. They don't desire money any more -- they are fed up with it, tired of it, frustrated with it, bored with it -- but they start desiring God. Desire persists; it changes its object. Money is no more the object of desire but God; pleasure is no more the object of desire but bliss. But what bliss can you imagine? Whatsoever you imagine in the name of bliss is nothing but your idea of pleasure -- maybe a little bit refined, cultivated, sophisticated, but it can't be more than that.
The people who stop desiring worldly things start desiring heaven and heavenly pleasures. But what are they? -- magnified forms of the same old desires, in fact more dangerous than the worldly desires, because with the worldly desires one thing is absolutely certain: you are bound to get frustrated sooner or later. You will get out of them; you Cannot remain in them forever. The very nature of them is such that they promise you, but they never fulfill their promises -- the goods are never delivered. How long can you remain deceived by them? Even the most stupid person has glimpses, once in a while, that he is chasing illusions which cannot be fulfilled by the very nature of existence. The intelligent one comes to the realization sooner.
DON'T MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL! Religious people are very skillful in doing that. Now, what are you really doing when you are smoking? Just taking some smoke inside your lungs and letting it out. It is a kind of PRANAYAMA -- filthy, dirty, but still a PRANAYAMA! You are doing yoga, in a stupid way. It is not sin. It may be foolish but it is not a sin, certainly.
There is only one sin and that is unawareness, and only one virtue and that is awareness. Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain a witness to it, and immediately the quality of your doing is transformed. I will not tell you not to smoke; that you have tried. You must have been told by many so-called saints not to smoke: "Because if you smoke you will fall into hell." God is not so stupid as your saints are. Throwing somebody into hell just because he was smoking cigarettes will be absolutely unnecessary.
Let me emphasize the fact. You can do your prayer every day unconsciously; then your prayer is a sin. You can become addicted to your prayer. If you miss the prayer one day, the whole day you will feel something is wrong, something is missing, some gap. It is the same with smoking or with drinking; there is no difference in it. Your prayer has become a mechanical habit; it has become a master over you. It bosses you; you are just a servant, a slave to it. If you don't do it, it forces you to do it.
So it is not a question of smoking. You may be doing your Transcendental Meditation every day regularly, and it may be just the same. If the quality of unconsciousness is there, if mechanicalness is there, if it has become a fixed routine, if it has become a habit and you are a victim of the habit and you cannot put it aside, you are no more a master of yourself, then it is a sin. But its being a sin comes out of your unconsciousness, not out of the act itself.
No act is virtuous, no act is a sin. What consciousness is behind the act -- everything depends on that.
I am less interested in your chain-smoking; I am more interested in your habit. Any habit that becomes a force, a dominating force over you, is a sin. One should live more in freedom. One should be able to do things not according to habits but according to the situations.
Life is continuously changing -- it is a flux -- and habits are stagnant. The more you are surrounded by habits, the more you are closed to life. You are not open, you don't have windows. You don't have any communication with life; you go on repeating your habits. They don't fit; they are not the right response to the situation, to the moment. They are always lagging behind, they are always falling short. That's the failure of your life.
So remember: I am against all kinds of habits. Good or bad is not the point; there is no good habit as such, there is no bad habit as such. Habits are all bad because habit means something unconscious has become a dominating factor in your life, has become decisive. You are no more the deciding factor. The response is not coming out of awareness but out of a pattern, structure, that you have learned in the past.
GOD HAS A TREMENDOUS SENSE OF HUMOR! Religion remains something dead without a sense of humor as a foundation to it. God would not have been able to create the world if he had no sense of humor. God is not serious at all. Seriousness is a state of disease; humor is health. Love, laughter, life, they are aspects of the same energy.
But for centuries people have been told that God is very serious. These people were pathological. They created a serious God, they projected a serious God, out of their own pathology. And we have worshiped these people as saints. They were not saints. They needed great awakening; they were fast asleep in their seriousness. They needed laughter-- that would have helped them more than all their prayers and fasting; that would have cleansed their souls in a far better way than all their ascetic practices. They did not need more scriptures, more theologies; they needed only the capacity to laugh at the beautiful absurdity of life. It is ecstatically absurd. It is not a rational phenomenon; it is utterly irrational.
Moses went up the mountain. After a long time God appeared. "Hello, Moses. Good to see you. Sorry you had to wait, but I think you will feel it was worth it because I have something very special for you today."
Moses thought for a second and then said, "Oh, no, Lord, really. Thank you, but I don't need anything right now. Some other time perhaps." "Moses, this is free," said the Lord.
"Then," said Moses, "give me ten!"
That's how the Jews got the Ten Commandments.
Knowledge is given to you by the society, by the people around you, by the family. Innocence is yours: knowledge is always of others. The more knowledgeable you are, the less you are yourself. Enlightenment has nothing to do with knowledge. It is freedom from knowledge, it is absolute transcendence of knowledge. It is going beyond knowing. That's why we started this series of talks with the great sutra: NOT KNOWING IS THE MOST INTIMATE. An enlightened person is one who has no barrier between him and existence. And knowledge is a barrier. Knowledge divides you from existence; it keeps you separate. Not knowing unites you. Love is a way of innocence. Innocence is a bridge: knowledge is a wall. Who has ever heard of knowledgeable people becoming enlightened? They are the farthest away from enlightenment. Enlightenment grows only in the soil of innocence. Innocence means childlike wonder, awe. The enlightened person is one who is continuously wondering -- because he knows nothing, so everything becomes again a mystery. When you know, things are demystified; when you don't know, they are RE-mystified. The more you know, the less wonder is in your heart. The more you know, the less you feel the great experience of awe. You cannot say "AH, THIS!" You cannot be ecstatic. The knowledgeable person is so burdened that he cannot dance, he cannot sing, he cannot love. For the knowledgeable there is no God, because God only means wonder, awe, mystery. That's why, as knowledge has grown in the world, God has become further and further away.
Hence, whenever there is an enlightened Master, his actions, his words, his behavior, all appear to the ordinary man absurd. Jesus is misunderstood for the simple reason that a man of eyes is talking to the men who are blind. Socrates is not understood for the same reason, because he is talking to people who are utterly deaf. And so has been the case with all the Buddhas of all the countries, of all the races. And, unfortunately, this is going to remain the case forever. It is something in the very nature of things.
Man is unconscious; he understands the language of unconsciousness And whenever somebody talks from the peaks of consciousness it becomes utterly ununderstandable, unintelligible. He is so far away! By the time his words reach the dark valleys of our unconscious we have distorted them to such an extent that they have no reference at all to the origin any more.
The Master looks sometimes mad, sometimes irrational, sometimes stubborn. But the only reason that he cannot behave like you, that he cannot be part of the crowd mind, is that he has become awakened and the crowd is fast asleep.
To understand a Master you have to learn great sympathy: only that will create a bridge. That's what the relationship of a disciple to the Master is. You can listen to a Master without being a disciple. You will hear the words but you will miss the meaning. You will hear the song but you will miss the music. You will hear the argument but you will miss the conclusion. You will know what he is saying but you will not be able to see where he is indicating.
"WHO AM I?" IS NOT REALLY A QUESTION because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside, "Who am I? Who am I?" you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say, "You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine," and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected: NETI NETI -- one has to go on saying, "Neither this nor that."