OSHOMEDITATION - Chapter 5. Three in the Morning

OSHOMEDITATION - Chapter 5. Three in the Morning


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Osho - The Empty Boat
Chapter 5. Three in the Morning

What is this three in the morning?
It is about a monkey trainer
Who went to his monkeys and told them:
"As regards your chestnuts,
You are going to have three measures in the morning,
And four in the afternoon."
On hearing this all the monkeys became angry.
So the keeper said:
"All right then,
I will change it
To four measures in the morning,
And three in the afternoon."
The animals were satisfied with this arrangement.
The two arrangements were the same -
The number of chestnuts did not change,
But in one case the monkeys were displeased,
And in the other case they were satisfied.
The keeper was willing
To change his personal arrangement
In order to meet objective conditions.
He lost nothing by it.
The truly wise man,
Considering both sides of the question
Without partiality,
Sees them both in the light of tao.
This is called following two courses at once.
The law of the three in the morning. Chuang Tzu loved this story very much. He often repeated it.
It is beautiful, with many layers of meaning. Obviously very simple but still very deeply indicative of the human mind.
The first thing to be understood is that the human mind is monkeyish. It was not Darwin who discovered that man comes from monkeys. It has been a long-standing observation that the human mind behaves in the same patterns as the mind of the monkey. Only rarely does it happen that you transcend your monkeyishness. When mind becomes still, when mind becomes silent, when there is really no mind at all, you transcend the monkeyish pattern.
What is the monkeyish pattern? For one thing, the mind is never still. And unless you are still, you cannot see the truth. You are wavering, trembling so much that nothing can be seen. Clear perception is impossible. While meditating what are you doing? You are putting the monkey in a position of stillness, hence all the difficulties of meditation. The more you try to make the mind still, the more it revolts, the more it starts getting into turmoil, the more restless it becomes.
Have you ever seen a monkey sitting silently and still? Impossible! The monkey is always eating something, doing something, swinging, chattering. This is what you are doing. Man has invented many things. If there is nothing to do he will chew gum; if there is nothing to do he will smoke! These are just foolish occupations, monkeyish occupations. Something has to be done continuously so that you remain occupied.
You are so restless that your restlessness needs to be busy somehow or other. That is why, whatsoever is said against smoking, it cannot be stopped. Only in a meditative world can smoking stop - otherwise not. Even if there is danger of death, of cancer, of tuberculosis, it cannot be stopped, because it is not a question of just smoking, it is a question of how to release the restlessness.
People who chant mantras can stop smoking because they have found a substitute. You can keep chanting Ram, Ram, Ram, and this becomes a sort of smoking. Your lips are working, your mouth is moving, your restlessness is being released. So JAPA can become a sort of smoking, a better sort, with less harm to the health.
But basically it is the same thing - your mind cannot be left at rest. Your mind has to do something, not only while you are awake but even when you are asleep. One day watch your wife or your husband sleeping, just sit for two or three hours silently and watch the face. You will see the monkey not the man. Even in sleep much goes on. The person is occupied. This sleep cannot be deep, it cannot be really relaxing, because work is going on. The day is continued, there is no discontinuity; the mind keeps functioning in the same way. There is constant inner chatter, an inner monologue, and it is no wonder you get bored. You are boring yourself. Everybody looks bored.
Mulla Nasruddin was telling a story to his disciples, and suddenly the rain started - it must have been a day like this. So a passer-by, just to protect himself, came under the shelter of the shed where Nasruddin was talking to his disciples. He was just waiting for the rain to stop but he couldn't help listening.
Nasruddin was telling tall stories. Many times the man found it almost impossible to resist interrupting, because he was saying such absurd things. But he thought again and again and said to himself, "It is none of my business. I am only here because of the rain, as soon as it stops I will go. I need not interfere." But at a point the man couldn't help it, he couldn't contain himself any longer. He interrupted saying, "Enough is enough. Excuse me, this is none of my business, but now you have overdone it!"
I must first tell you the story and the point where the man could not contain himself...
Nasruddin was saying, "Once in my young days I was traveling in the forests of Africa, the dark continent. Suddenly one day a lion jumped out just fifteen feet away from me. I was without any arms or protection, alone in the forest. The lion stared at me and started walking towards me."
The disciples became very excited. Nasruddin stopped for a moment and looked at their faces. One disciple said, "Don't keep us waiting, what happened?"
Nasruddin said, "The lion came nearer and nearer until it was just five feet away."
Another disciple said, "No more waiting. Tell us what happened."
Nasruddin said, "It is so simple, so logical, work it out for yourself. The lion jumped, killed me and ate me!"
At this point it was too much for the stranger! He said, "Are you saying that the lion killed and ate you, and you are sitting here alive?"
Nasruddin looked straight at the man and said, "Ha ha, do you call this being alive?"
Look at people's faces and you will understand what he meant. Do you call this being alive? So bored to death, dragging?
Once a man said to Nasruddin,"I am very poor. Survival is impossible now, should we commit suicide? I have six children and a wife, my widowed sister and old father and mother. And it is getting more and more difficult. Can you suggest something?"
Nasruddin said, "You can do two things and both will be helpful. One, start baking bread, because people have to live and they have to eat, you will always have business."
The man asked, "And the other?"
Nasruddin said, "Start making shrouds for the dead, because when people are alive, they will die.
And this is also a good business. These two businesses are good - bread, and shrouds for the dead."
After a month the man came back. He looked even more desperate, very sad, and he said, "Nothing seems to work. I have put everything I have got into the business, as you suggested, but everything seems to be against me."
Nasruddin said, "How can that happen? People have to eat bread while they are alive, and when they die their relatives have to buy shrouds."
The man said, "But you don't understand. In this village no one is alive and no one ever dies. They are simply dragging along."
People are just dragging. You don't need to look at others' faces, just look in the mirror and you will find out what dragging means - neither alive nor dead. Life is so beautiful, death is also beautiful - dragging is ugly.
But why do you look so burdened? The constant chattering of the mind dissipates energy. Constant chattering of the mind is a constant leakage in your being. Energy is dissipated. You never have enough energy to make you feel alive, young, fresh, and if you are not young and fresh and alive your death is also going to be a very dull affair.
One who lives intensely, dies intensely, and when death is intense, it has a beauty of its own. One who lives totally, dies totally, and wherever totality is there is beauty. Death is ugly, not because of death but because you have never lived rightly. If you have never been alive, you have not earned a beautiful death. It has to be earned. One has to live in such a way, so total and so whole, that he can die totally, not in fragments. You live in fragments, so you die in fragments. One part dies, then another, then another, and you take many years to die. Then the whole thing becomes ugly. Death would be beautiful if people were alive. This inner monkey doesn't allow you to be alive, and this inner monkey will not allow you to die beautifully either. This constant chattering has to be stopped.
And what is the chattering, what is the subject matter? The subject matter is the three in the morning that goes on in the mind. What are you doing inside the mind? Continuously making arrangements:
to do this, not to do that, to build this house, to destroy that house; to move from this business to another because there will be more profit; to change this wife, this husband. What are you doing?
Just changing arrangements.
Chuang Tzu says that finally, ultimately, if you can look at the total, the total is always the same. It is seven. Whether you are given three measures of chestnuts in the morning and four measures in the evening, or the other way around - four measures in the morning and three measures in the evening - the total is seven. This is one of the most secret laws - the total is always the same.
You may not be able to comprehend it, but when a beggar or an emperor dies, their total is the same.
The beggar lived on the streets, the emperor lived in the palaces, but the total is the same. A rich man, a poor man, a successful man and a failure, the total is the same. If you can look at the total of life, then you will come to know what Chuang Tzu means by the three in the morning.
What happens? Life is not impartial, life is not partial, life is absolutely indifferent to your arrangements - it doesn't bother about the arrangements you make. Life is a gift. If you change the arrangement, the total is not changed.
A rich man has found better food, but the hunger is lost; he cannot really feel the intensity of being hungry. The proportion is always the same. He has found a beautiful bed, but with the bed comes insomnia. He has made better arrangements for sleeping. He should be falling asleep into SUSHUPTI - what Hindus call unconscious samadhi - but that is not happening. He cannot fall asleep. He has just changed the arrangement.
A beggar is asleep just outside there in the street. Traffic is passing and the beggar is asleep. He has no bed. The place where he is sleeping is uneven, hard and uncomfortable, but he is asleep.
The beggar cannot get good food, it is impossible, because he has to beg. But he has a good appetite. The total result is the same. The total result is seven.
A successful man is not only successful, for with success comes all sorts of calamities. A failure is not just a failure, for with failure comes many sorts of blessings. The total is always the same, but the total has to be penetrated and looked at, a clear perspective is needed. Eyes are needed to look at the total because mind can look only at the fragment. If the mind looks at the morning, it cannot look at the evening; if it looks at the evening, the morning is forgotten. Mind cannot look at the total day, mind is fragmentary.
Only a meditative consciousness can look at the whole, from birth to death - and then the total is always seven. That is why wise men never try to change the arrangement. That is why in the East no revolution has ever happened - because revolution means changing the arrangement.
Look what happened in Soviet Russia. In 1917 the greatest revolution happened on earth. The arrangement was changed. I don't think Lenin, Stalin or Trotsky ever heard the story of three in the morning. They could have learned much from Chuang Tzu. But then there would have been no revolution. What happened? The capitalists disappeared, now nobody was rich, nobody was poor.
The old classes were no more. But only names changed. New classes came into being. Before, it was the rich man and the poor man, the capitalist and the proletariat - now it was the manager and the managed. But the distinction, the gap, remains the same. Nothing has changed. Only now you call the capitalist the manager!
Those who have studied the Russian revolution say that this is not a socialist revolution, it is a managerial revolution. The same gap, the same distance, remains between the two classes, and a classless society has not come into being.
Chuang Tzu would have laughed. He would have told this story. What have you done? The manager has become powerful, the managed have remained powerless.
Hindus say that some people will always be managers and some people will always be managed.
There are SUDRAS and KSHATRIYAS; and these are not just labels, these are types of people.
Hindus have divided society into four classes and they say that society can never be classless. It is not a question of social arrangement - four types of people exist. Unless you change the type, no revolution is of much help.
They say there is a type which is a laborer, sudra, who will always be managed. If nobody manages him, he will be at a loss, he will not be happy. He needs somebody to order him, he needs somebody whom he can obey, he needs somebody who can take all the responsibility. He is not ready to take the responsibility on his own. That is a type. If the manager is around only then will that type of person work. If the manager is not there, he will simply sit.
The manager can be a subtle phenomenon, even invisible. For example, in a capitalist society the profit motive manages. A sudra works not because he loves working, not because work is his hobby, not because he is creative, but because he has to feed himself and his family. If he does not work, who will feed him? It is the profit motive, hunger, body, the stomach, that manages.
In a communist country this motive is not the manager. There they have to put visible managers.
It is said that in Stalin's Russia there was one policeman for each citizen; otherwise it is difficult to manage because the profit motive is not there any longer. One has to force, one has to order, one has to nag constantly, only then will the sudra work.
There is always a businessman type who enjoys money, wealth, accumulation. He will do that - it makes no difference how he does it. If money is available, he will collect money; if money is not available, then he will collect postage stamps. But he will do it, he will collect. If postage stamps are not available he will collect followers - but he will collect! He has to do something with numbers. He will have ten thousand, twenty thousand followers, one million followers. That is just the same as saying that he has got one million rupees!
Go to your sadhus - the greater the number of followers, the greater they are. So followers are just nothing but bank balances. If nobody follows you, you are nobody - then you are a poor guru. If many people follow you then you are a rich guru. Whatsoever happens, the businessman will collect.
He will count. The material is immaterial.
There is a warrior who will fight - any excuse will do. He will fight, fighting is in his blood, in his bones. Because of his type the world cannot live in peace. It is impossible. Once every ten years there is bound to be a big war. And if you want to avoid big wars, then have many small wars, but the total will remain the same. Because of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, now a great war has become almost impossible. That is why there are so many small wars all over the world: in Vietnam, Kashmir, Bangladesh, Israel, many small wars, but the total will be the same. In five thousand years man has fought fifteen thousand wars, three wars per year.
A type exists who has to fight. You can change this type, but the change will be superficial. If this warrior is not allowed to fight in war, he will fight in other ways. He will fight an election, or he may be-come a sportsman - he may fight in cricket or football. But he will fight, he will compete, he needs somebody to challenge. Somewhere or other fighting has to be done to satisfy him. That is why, as civilization develops, people have to be supplied with more and more games. If games are not given to the warrior type, what will he do?
Go and watch when a cricket, football, or hockey match is on - people go mad, as if something very serious is going on, as if a real war is happening! The players are serious, and the fans around them go mad. Fights break out, riots happen. The playing field is always dangerous, because the type that gathers there is the warrior type. Any moment anything can go wrong.
There is a brahmin type, who always lives in words, in scriptures. In the West there is no such type as the brahmin; the name is not important, but the brahmin exists everywhere. Your scientists, your professors, the universities are filled with them. They keep on working with words, symbols, creating theories, defending, arguing. They keep on doing it sometimes in the name of science, sometimes in the name of religion, sometimes in the name of literature. The names change, but the brahmin goes on.
There are these four types. You cannot create a classless society. These four will persist and the total arrangement will be the same. Fragments can change. In the morning you can do one thing, in the evening something different, but the total day will remain the same.
I have heard about a young scientist whose father was against his scientific research. The father always thought it useless. He told his son, "Don't waste your time. It is better to become a doctor, that will be more practical and helpful to people. Just theories, abstract theories of physics, are of no help." Finally he persuaded his son and he became a doctor.
The first man who came to him was suffering from severe pneumonia. The doctor consulted his books - because he was an abstract thinker, a brahmin. He tried and tried. The patient became more impatient, he said, "How long do I have to wait?"
The scientist who was now a doctor said, "I don't think that there is any hope. You will have to die.
There is no treatment for this illness, it has gone beyond cure." The patient was a tailor, he went home.
Two weeks later the doctor was passing and he saw the tailor working, healthy and full of energy.
So he said, "What, are you still alive? You should have been dead long ago. I have consulted the books and this is impossible. How do you manage to be alive?"
The tailor said, "You told me that within a week I would have to die, so I thought: Then why not live?
Just a week left... And potato pancakes are my weakness, so I left your surgery, went straight to the cafe, ate thirty-two potato pancakes and immediately I felt a great surge of energy. And now I am absolutely okay!"
Right away the doctor noted down in his diary that thirty-two potato pancakes is a sure cure for severe cases of pneumonia.
The next patient by chance also had pneumonia. He was a shoemaker. The doctor said, "Don't worry. Now the cure has been discovered. Immediately go and eat thirty-two potato pancakes, not less than thirty-two, and you will be okay; otherwise, you will die within a week."
After a week, the doctor knocked at the shoemaker's door. It was locked. The neighbor said, "He is dead. Your potato pancakes killed him." Immediately he noted in his diary: Thirty-two potato pancakes help tailors, kill shoemakers.
This is the abstract mind. He cannot be practical, the brahmin.
You can change surfaces, you can paint faces, but the inner type remains the same. Hence the East has not troubled itself with revolutions. The East is waiting; and those in the East who are wise, they look at the West, and they know that you are playing with toys. All your revolutions are toys. Sooner or later you will come to realize the law of three in the morning.
What is this three in the morning? A disciple must have asked Chuang Tzu, because whenever somebody mentioned revolution or change, Chuang Tzu would laugh and say, "The law of the three in the morning." So a disciple must have asked, "What is this three in the morning you are always talking about?"
Said Chuang Tzu:
It is about a monkey trainer
Who went to his monkeys and told them:
"As regards your chestnuts,
You are going to have three measures in the morning,
And four in the afternoon."
On hearing this all the monkeys became angry..."
Because in the past they had been getting four measures in the morning and three in the evening.
Obviously they got angry! "What do you mean? We always used to get four measures of chestnuts in the morning and now you say three. We cannot tolerate this."
"All right then,
I will change it
To four measures in the morning,
And three in the afternoon."
The animals were satisfied with this arrangement.
The total remained the same... but monkeys cannot look at the total. It was morning, so they could only see the morning. Every morning it was routine to get four measures and they expected four measures, and now this man says, "Three measures in the morning." He is cutting down by one measure. It cannot be tolerated. They became angry, they revolted.
But this monkey trainer must have been a wise man. If you are not, it is difficult to become a monkey trainer. I know it from my own experience. I am a monkey trainer.
The monkey trainer said, "Okay, then don't get disturbed. I will follow the old pattern. You will get four measures in the morning and three in the evening." The monkeys were happy. Poor monkeys! - they can be happy or unhappy without any reason for either. But this man had a bigger perspective.
He could see, he could add four plus three. It was still the same - seven measures were to be given to them. How they had it and in what arrangement didn't matter. The two arrangements were the same, the number of chestnuts didn't change, but in one case the monkeys were displeased and in the other case they were satisfied.
This is how your mind works: you just keep changing the arrangement. With one arrangement you feel satisfied, with another you feel dissatisfied - and the total remains the same. But you never look at the total. The mind cannot see the total. Only meditation can see the total. Mind looks at the fragment, it is near-sighted, very near-sighted. That is why whenever you feel pleasure, you immediately jump into it, you never look at the evening. Whenever there is pleasure there is pain hidden in it. This has been your experience but you have not become aware of it. The pain will come in the evening but the pleasure is here in the morning.
You never look into that which is hidden, into that which is invisible, into that which is latent. You just look at the surface and you go mad. You do this all your life. A fragment catches you. Many people come to me and say, "In the beginning when I married this woman, everything was very beautiful.
But within days everything was lost. Now it has all become ugly, now it is misery."
Once there was a car accident. The car overturned in a ditch by the side of the road. The man was lying on the ground completely crippled, almost unconscious. A policeman came along and started to fill in his notebook. He asked the man, "Are you married?"
The man said, "I am not married. This is the biggest mess I have ever been in."
It is said that those who know will never marry. But how can you know what happens in marriage without getting married? You look at a person, at the fragment, and sometimes the fragment will look very foolish when you think about it in the end.
The color of the eyes - what foolishness! How can your life depend on the color of your or somebody else's eyes? How can your life be beautiful just because of the color of the eyes? - a small pigment, three or four pennies' worth. But you get romantic: Oh, the eyes, the color of the eyes. Then you go mad and you think, "If I am not married to this woman life is lost, I will commit suicide."
But you don't see what you are doing. One cannot live by the color of the eyes forever. Within two days you will become acquainted with those eyes and you will forget them. Then there is the whole of life in front of you, the totality of it. Then starts misery. Before the honeymoon is finished, misery begins; the total person was never taken into account - the mind cannot see the total. It just looks at the surface, at the figure, the face, the hair, the color of the eyes, the way the woman walks, the way she talks, the sound of her voice. These are the parts, but where is the total person?
The mind cannot see the total. The mind looks at fragments, and with fragments it gets hooked.
Once it is hooked, the total comes in - the total is not far away. Eyes don't exist as separate phenomena, they are part of a whole person. If you are hooked by the eyes, you are hooked with the whole person. And when this whole emerges, everything becomes ugly.
So who is responsible? You should have taken account of the whole. But when it is morning the mind looks at the morning and forgets the evening completely. Remember well - in every morning the evening is hidden. The morning is constantly turning into evening and nothing can be done about it, you cannot stop it.
Says Chuang Tzu:
The two arrangements were the same -
The number of chestnuts did not change,
But in one case the monkeys were displeased,
And in the other case they were satisfied.
Monkeys are your minds; they cannot penetrate the whole. This is the misery. You always miss, you always miss because of the fragment. If you can see the whole and then act, your life will never be a hell. And then you will not be bothered about superficial arrangements, about morning and evening, because then you can count - and it is always seven. Whether you get four or three in the morning makes no difference - the total is seven.
I have heard that a small boy came home from school very puzzled. His mother asked, "Why do you look so puzzled?"
The boy said, "I am in a muddle. I think my teacher has gone crazy. Yesterday she said that four plus one make five and today she told me three plus two make five. She must have gone mad, because when four plus one is already five, how can three plus two be five?"
The child cannot see that five can come out of many arrangements - there is not only one arrangement which will total five. There can be millions of arrangements in which the total will be five.
Howsoever you arrange your life the religious man will always look to the total and the worldly man will always look to the fragment. That is the difference. The worldly will look to whatever is near, and not see the far hidden there. The distant is not really very far away, it will become the near, it will happen soon. The evening is coming.
Can you have a perspective in which the total life is seen? It is believed, and I think it is true also, that if a man is drowning, suddenly his whole life, the total, is remembered. You are dying, drowning in a river, with no time left, and suddenly in your mind's eye your whole life is revealed from beginning to end. It is as if the whole film passes across the screen of the mind. But what use is it now that you are dying?
A religious man looks at the total every moment. The whole of life is there, and then he acts out of that perspective of the whole. He will never regret as you always do. It is inevitable that whatsoever you do, you will regret it.
One day the king went to visit a madhouse. The superintendent of the madhouse escorted him to every cell. The king was very interested in the phenomenon of madness, he was studying it.
Everybody should be interested because it is everybody's problem. And you need not go to a madhouse: go anywhere and study people's faces. You are studying in a madhouse!
One man was weeping and crying, hitting his head against the bars. His anguish was so deep, his suffering so penetrating, that the king asked to be told the whole story of how this man went mad.
The superintendent said, "This man loved a woman and couldn't get her, so he went mad."
Then they passed to another cell. In it there was a man spitting on a picture of a woman. The king asked, "And what is the story of this man? He also seems to be involved with a woman."
The superintendent said, "It is the same woman. This man fell in love with her too, and he got her.
That is why he went mad."
If you get what you want you go mad; if you don't get what you want you go mad. The total remains the same. Whatsoever you do, you will regret it. A fragment can never be fulfilling. The whole is so big and the fragment is so small that you cannot deduce the whole from the fragment. And if you depend on the fragment and decide your life accordingly, you will always miss. Your whole life will be wasted.
So what should we do? What does Chuang Tzu want us to do? He wants us not to be fragmentary - he wants us to be total. But remember, you can look at the total only when YOU are total, because only the similar can know the similar. If you are fragmentary, you cannot know the total. How can you know the total if you are fragmentary? If you are divided in parts the total cannot be reflected in you. When I speak of meditation I mean a mind which is no longer divided, in which all fragments have disappeared. The mind is undivided, whole, one.
This one mind looks deeply to the very end. It looks from death to birth, it looks from birth to death.
Both the polarities are before it. And out of this look, out of this penetrating vision, the action is born.
If you ask me what sin is, I will say: Action out of the fragmentary mind is sin. If you ask me what virtue is, I will tell you: Action out of the total mind is virtue. That is why a sinner always has to repent.
Remember your own life, observe it. Whatsoever you do, whatsoever you choose, this or that, everything goes wrong. Whether you get the woman or lose her, in either case you go mad. Whatsoever you choose, you choose misery. Hence Krishnamurti constantly insists on choicelessness.
Try to understand this. You are here listening to me. This is a choice, because you must have left some job undone, some work incomplete. You have to go to the office, to the shop, to the family, to the market and you are here listening to me. This morning you must have decided what to do.
Whether to go and listen to this man or go to your work, to the office, to the market. Then you made the choice to come here.
You made the choice to come here. You will regret your choice... because even while here, you cannot be totally here: half of the mind is there, and you are simply waiting until I finish so you can go. But do you think that if you had chosen otherwise, gone to the shop or to the office, would you have been totally there? No, because that again was a choice. So you will be there and your mind will be here. And you will regret: What am I missing? Who knows what is being done there, what is being talked about? Who knows what secret key is to be transferred this morning?
So whatsoever you choose, whether you come or whether you decide not to come, if it is a choice it means half of the heart, or a little more, has chosen. It is a democratic decision, parliamentary. With the majority of the mind you have decided, but the minority is still there. And no minority is a fixed thing, no majority is a fixed thing. Nobody knows its size, party members keep changing sides.
When you came here you decided. Fifty-one percent of your mind wanted to come and forty-nine wanted to go to the office. But by the time you arrive here the arrangement has changed. The very decision to come and listen creates a disturbance.
The minority may have become the majority by the time you arrive here. If it has not yet become a majority, by the time you leave it will have, and you will think, "Two hours wasted? Now, how will I make them up? It would have been better not to come - spiritual things can be postponed, but this world cannot be postponed. Life is long enough, we can meditate later on."
In India people say that meditation is only for the old. Once they are on the verge of death then they can meditate, it is not for young people. Meditation is the last thing on the list; do it when you have done everything else. But remember that the time never comes when you have done everything, when you are too old to do anything else, when all your energy has been wasted, when it is time to meditate.
When you are incapable of doing anything how can you meditate? Meditation needs energy, the purest, most vital - meditation needs energy overflowing. A child can meditate but how can an old man meditate? A child is easily meditative, an old man - no, he is wasted. There is no movement of energy in him, his river cannot flow, he is frozen. Many parts of his life are already dead.
If you choose to come to the temple, you suffer, you regret. If you go to the office or the market, you suffer and regret.
It happened once that a monk died. He was a very famous monk, known all over the country. Many people worshipped him and thought he was enlightened. And on the same day a prostitute died.
She lived just in front of the monk's temple. She was also a very famous prostitute, as famous as the monk. They were two polarities living next to each other and they died on the same day.
The angel of death came and took the monk to heaven; other angels of death came and took the prostitute to hell. When the angels reached heaven the doors were closed and the man in charge said, "You have confused them. This monk has to go to hell and the prostitute has to come to heaven."
The angels said, "What do you mean? This man was a very famous ascetic, continuously meditating and praying. That is why we never inquired, we simply went and fetched him. And the prostitute must already be in hell because the other group of angels took her there. We never thought of asking, it seemed so obvious."
Said the man who was in charge at the gate: "You are confused because you have looked only at the surface. This monk used to meditate for the benefit of others, but for himself he was always thinking, 'I am missing life. What a beautiful woman that prostitute is, and available. Any moment I cross the street, she is available. What I am doing is a lot of nonsense - praying, sitting in a buddha posture and attaining nothing.' But because of his reputation he didn't dare do it."
Many people are virtuous because they are cowards like him. He was virtuous because he was a coward - he could not cross the street. So many people knew him, how could he go to the prostitute?
What would people say?
Cowards are always afraid of the opinion of others. So he remained an ascetic, fasting, but his mind was always with the prostitute. When there was singing and dancing, he would listen. He sat before the statue of Buddha, but Buddha was not there. He was not worshipping; he would dream he was listening to the sounds of festivities, and in his fantasy he would make love to the prostitute.
And what about the prostitute? She was always repenting, repenting and repenting, She knew she had wasted her life, she had wasted a golden opportunity. And for what? Just for money, selling her body and soul. She always used to look towards the monk's temple, so jealous of the silent life there. What meditative phenomenon was happening there?
She longed for God to give her one chance to go inside the temple. But she thought, "I am a prostitute, unholy, and I should not enter the temple." So she used to walk around the temple from the outside, just to look at it from the street. What beauty, what silence, what blessing inside! And when there was KIRTAN and BHAJAN, singing and dancing, she used to wail and cry and scream, imagining what she was missing.
So the man in charge of the gates said, "Bring the prostitute to heaven and take this monk to hell.
Their outer life was different and their inner life was different, but like everybody else they both had regrets."
We in India have invented a word which does not exist in any other language in the world. Heaven and hell are found everywhere; all languages everywhere have words for heaven and hell. We have a different word: it is MOKSHA or nirvana or KAIVALYA - the absolute freedom which is neither hell nor heaven.
If your outer life is hell and you repent of it, you will reach heaven, like the prostitute who constantly desired the world of meditation and prayer. And if your outer life is heaven and your inner life is hell, like the monk who desired the prostitute, you will go to hell. But if you make no choice, have no regrets, if you are choiceless, then you will reach moksha.
Choiceless awareness is moksha, absolute freedom. Hell is a bondage, heaven is also a bondage.
Heaven may be a beautiful prison, hell may be an ugly prison - but both are prisons. Neither Christians nor Mohammedans can follow this point, because to them heaven is the ultimate. If you ask them where Jesus is, their answer is wrong. They say: In heaven with God. This is absolutely wrong. If Jesus is in heaven, then he is not enlightened. Heaven may be golden, but it is still a prison. It may be good, it may be pleasant, but it is still a choice, the choice against hell. The virtue which has been chosen against sin is a decision of the majority, but the minority is just behind waiting for its chance to decide.
Jesus is in moksha, that is what I say. He is not in heaven, he is not in hell. He is totally free of all imprisonments: good/bad, sin/virtue, morality/immorality. He did not choose. He lived a choiceless life. And that is what I keep on telling you: Live a choiceless life.
But how is a choiceless life possible? It is possible only if you can see the total, the seven; otherwise, you will choose. You will say this should happen in the morning, that in the evening, and you think that just by changing the arrangement you are changing the total. The total cannot be changed. The total remains the same - everybody's total remains the same.
Hence I say there is no difference between a beggar and an emperor. In the morning you are an emperor, in the evening you will be a beggar; in the morning you are a beggar, in the evening you will be an emperor. And the total remains the same. Look at the total, BE total, and then all choice drops.
That monkey trainer simply looked at the total and said, "Okay, you foolish monkeys, if you are happy with it, let this arrangement be as it is." But if he had also been a monkey, like the others, then there would have been a fight. Then he would have insisted, "This is going to be the arrangement. Who gives the orders, who makes the decisions? Who do you think is the master? You or me?"
Ego always chooses, decides and forces. The monkeys were rebelling, and if this man had also been a monkey they would have driven him mad. He would have had to put them in their place, back where they belonged. He would have insisted, "No more four in the morning. I decide."
It was the sixtieth birthday of a man. He came home that night after a long married life of almost forty years, full of quarrels and conflict. But he was surprised when he came home to find his wife waiting for him with two beautiful ties as a present. He never expected it from his wife. It was almost impossible that she would wait for him with two ties as a present. He felt so happy, he said, "Don't cook the dinner, I will get ready in a couple of minutes and we will go to the best restaurant in town."
He had a bath, got ready, and put on one of the ties she had given him. His wife stared and said, "What? Do you mean you don't like the other tie? So isn't the other tie good enough?" A man can only wear one tie at one time but whichever tie he had chosen, the same would have happened: "So what do you mean? The other one isn't good enough?"
It is the old habit of quarreling, fighting. It was said about the same woman that every day she would find something to fight about. And she would always succeed, because when you search, you will find. Remember this: whatsoever you are looking for you will find. The world is so vast, and existence is so rich, that if you are really keen to find something, you will find it.
Sometimes she found hair on her husband's coat, and then she would fight about him going with some other woman. But once it happened that for seven days she could not find anything wrong.
She tried and tried and there was no excuse to pick a fight. So on the seventh day, when her husband came home, she started screaming and beating her chest. He said, "Now what are you doing? What is the matter, what happened?"
So she said, "You rascal, you have finished with other women and now you are going around with bald women!"
The mind is always looking for trouble. And don't laugh, because this is about YOUR mind. By laughing you may be simply deceiving yourself. You may think it is about somebody else - it is about you. And whatsoever I say, it is always about you.
Mind chooses and always chooses trouble, because with choice comes trouble. You cannot choose God. If you choose, there will be trouble. You cannot choose sannyas. If you choose, there will be trouble. You cannot choose freedom. If you choose, it will not be freedom.
Then how does it happen? How does God happen, sannyas happen, freedom happen, moksha happen? It happens when you understand the foolishness of choice. It is not a new choice, it is simply the dropping of all choosing. Just looking at the whole thing you start laughing. There is nothing to choose. The total remains the same. In the end, by the evening, the total will be the same. Then you won't be bothered whether in the morning you are an emperor or a beggar. You are happy, because by evening everything has come to the same, everything has been leveled.
Death equalizes. In death nobody is an emperor and nobody is a beggar. Death reveals the total; it is always seven.
The two arrangements were the same. Remember, the amount of chestnuts didn't change. But in one case the monkeys were displeased and in the other case they were satisfied.
The keeper was willing
To change his personal arrangement
In order to meet objective conditions.
He lost nothing by it.
A man of understanding always looks at objective conditions, never at his subjective feelings. When the monkeys said no, if you had been the monkey trainer you would have felt offended. These monkeys were trying to rebel, they were being disobedient, this could not be toler-ated. It would have hurt you inside.
You get angry even at dead things. If you are trying to open the door and it resists, you get mad. If you are trying to write a letter and the pen is not functioning well, smoothly, you get angry. You feel hurt, as if the pen is doing it knowingly, as if there is someone in the boat. You even feel somebody is there in the pen trying to disturb you.
And this is not only the logic of small children, this is your logic also. If a child bumps into a table, he will hit it just to right the wrong, and he will always be an enemy of that table. But you are the same - with dead things, with objects, you also get angry, you get mad!
This is subjective, and a wise man is never subjective. A wise man always looks at the objective conditions. He will look at the door, and if it is not open, then he will try to open it. But he cannot get angry with it because the boat is empty. There is nobody there trying to shut the door, resisting your efforts.
In order to meet objective conditions the trainer changed his personal arrangement. He looked at the monkeys and their minds, he didn't feel offended - he was a monkey trainer, not a monkey. He looked and he must have laughed within, because he knew the total. And he yielded. Only a wise man yields. A foolish man always resists. Foolish people say it is better to die than to bend, better to break than to bend.
Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu always say: When there is a strong wind the foolish egoistic trees resist and die, and the wise grass bends. The storm goes by and again the grass stands straight, laughing and enjoying. The grass is objective, the big tree is subjective. The big tree thinks so much of himself: "I am somebody, who can bend me? Who can force me to yield?" The big tree will fight with a storm. It is foolish to fight with the storm, because the storm has not come for you. It is nothing special, the storm is simply passing and you are there, it is coincidental.
Monkeys are animals and think themselves very superior animals! They are not offending the monkey trainer. Monkeys are just monkeys. That is the way they are. They cannot look at the total, they cannot add up. They can look only at the near, not at the far - the far is too far for them.
It is impossible for them to conceive of the evening, they only know about the morning.
So monkeys are monkeys, storms are storms. Why get offended? They are not fighting you. They are only following their own ways, their own habits. So the monkey trainer was not offended. He was a wise man, he yielded, he was just like the grass. Remember this when-ever you start feeling subjective. If somebody says something, immediately you feel hurt, as if it has been said to you.
You are in the boat too much. It may not have been said to you at all. The other may be expressing his or her subjectivity.
When somebody says, "You have insulted me," what is really meant is something else. If he had been a little more intelligent he would have said it the other way around. He would be saying, "I feel insulted. You may not have insulted me, but whatsoever you have said, I feel insul-ted." This is a subjective feeling.
But nobody realizes their subjectivity and everyone goes on projecting subjectivity onto objective conditions. The other always says, "You have insulted me." And when you hear it you are also subjective. Both boats are filled, much too crowded. There is bound to be a clash, enmity, violence.
If you are wise, when the other says, "You have insulted me," you will look at the matter objectively and you will think, "Why is the other feeling insulted?" You will try to understand the other's feelings, and if you can put things right you will yield. Monkeys are monkeys. Why get angry, why feel offended?
It is said of Mulla Nasruddin that when he was old he was made an honorary magistrate. The first case to come before him was a man who had been robbed. Nasruddin heard his story and said, "Yes, you are in the right." But he hadn't yet heard the other story!
The clerk of the court whispered in his ear, "You are new, Nasruddin. You don't know what you are doing. You have to listen to the other side before you give judgment."
So Nasruddin said, "Okay."
The other man, the robber, told his story. Nasruddin listened and said, "You are right."
The clerk of the court felt confused: "This new magistrate is not only inexperienced, he is crazy."
Again he whispered in his ear, "What are you doing? Both cannot be right."
Nasruddin said, "Yes, you are right."
This is the wise man who looks at the objective conditions. He will yield. He is always yielding, he is always saying yes - because if you say no, then your boat is not empty. No always comes from the ego. So if a wise man has to say no, he will still use the terminology of yes. He will not say no outright, he will use the terminology of yes. If a foolish man wants to say yes, he will feel the difficulty of not saying no. He will use the terminology of no, and if he has to yield, he will yield grudgingly.
He will yield offended, resisting. The monkey trainer yielded.
The keeper was willing
To change his personal arrangements
In order to meet objective conditions.
He lost nothing by it.
No wise man has ever lost anything by saying yes to foolish people. No wise man can ever lose anything by yielding. He gains everything. There is no ego, so there cannot be any loss. The loss is always felt by the ego: I am losing. Why do you feel you are losing? - because you never wanted to lose. Why do you feel you are a failure? - because you always wanted to be a success. Why do you feel you are a beggar? - because you always desired to be an emperor.
A wise man simply takes whatever is. He accepts the total. He knows - beggar in the morning, emperor in the evening; and emperor in the morning, beggar in the evening. Which is the better arrangement?
If a wise man is forced to arrange he would like to be beggar in the morning and emperor in the evening. A wise man never chooses, but if you insist, he will say that it is better to be beggar in the morning and emperor in the evening. Why? - because to be emperor first, in the morning, then to be beggar in the evening, will be very difficult. But this is the choice.
A wise man will choose pain in the beginning and pleasure in the end, because pain in the beginning will give you the background, and against it the pleasure will be more pleasing than ever. Pleasure in the beginning will give you a soft background and then the pain will be too much, unbearable.
East and West have made different arrangements. In the East, for the first twenty-five years of life every child had to go through hardship. That was the principle followed for thousands of years until the West came and began dominating the East.
A child had to go to the master's house in the jungle, he had to live through every possible hardship.
Like a beggar he would sleep on a mat on the floor - there were no comforts. He would eat like a beggar; he would have to go to town and beg for the master, chop wood, take the animals to the river to drink, to the forest to feed.
For twenty-five years he led the most simple, austere life whether he was born a king or a beggar - there was no difference. Even the emperor's son had to follow the same routine, there was no distinction. And then when he came to know life in the world, life was so blissful.
If the East was so content, this was the trick, the arrangement, because whatsoever life gives it is always more than you started with. The child comes to live in a hut. To him it is a palace compared with lying on the ground without any shelter, crowded. He has an ordinary bed, and it is heavenly.
Ordinary food, bread, butter and salt is paradise enough, because there was no butter at the master's house. He is happy with whatsoever life gives.
Now, the Western pattern is the opposite. When you are a student every comfort is given to you.
Hostels, beautiful universities, beautiful rooms, classrooms, teachers - every arrangement is made for your medical facilities, food, hygiene, everything is taken care of. And after twenty-five years of this you are thrown into the struggle of life. You have become a hot-house plant! - you don't know what struggle is. Then you become a clerk in an office, a master in a primary school: life is hell.
Then all your life you will be grunting, your whole life will be a long grump, complaining, complaining, everything is wrong. It is going to be so.
The monkey trainer said, "Three helpings in the morning and four in the evening."
But the monkeys insisted: "Four in the morning and three in the evening."
Four in the morning and three in the evening... then the evening is going to be cloudy. You will compare it with the past, with the morning. Emperor in the morning and a beggar in the evening... then the evening is going to be miserable. The evening should be the climax, not miserable.
The monkeys are not choosing a wise arrangement. In the first place a wise man never chooses, he lives choicelessly because he knows that whatever happens the total is going to be the same. In the second place, if he has to choose because of objective conditions, he will choose three courses in the morning and four in the evening. But the monkeys said, "No. We will choose. We will have four in the morning." That trainer, the keeper, was willing to comply in order to meet objective conditions.
He lost nothing by it. But what happened to the monkeys? They lost something.
So whenever you are near a wise man let him make the arrangements, don't insist on your own. To choose in the first place is wrong, and in the second place, whatsoever choice you monkeys make, it will be wrong. The monkey mind only looks for immediate, instant happiness. The monkey is not worried about what happens later on. He doesn't know, he has no perspective of the whole. So let the wise man choose.
But the whole arrangement has changed. In the East the wise men decided. In the West there is democracy: the monkeys vote and choose. And now they have converted the whole East to democracy - democracy means that the monkeys vote and choose.
Aristocracy means that the wise men will choose the arrangement and the monkeys will yield and follow. Nothing can work like aristocracy if aristocracy is run properly. Democracy is bound to be a chaos. The monkeys feel very happy because they are choosing the arrangement, but the world was happier when the choice was with wise men.
Remember, kings always used to go to ask the wise men to make the final decision on important matters. The wise men were not kings because they couldn't be bothered with it, they were beggars, living in their huts in the forest. Whenever there was a problem the king did not run to the constituency to ask the people, "What is to be done?" He ran to the forest to ask those who had renounced all - because they have a perspective of the whole, no attachment, no obsessions, nothing, by their own choice. They are choiceless; they see the whole and decide.
The truly wise man,
Considering both sides of the question
Without partiality,
Sees them both in the light of tao.
This is called following two courses at once.
To look at the total means to follow two courses at once. Then it is not a question of four in the morning, three in the evening. It is a question of seven in the whole life.
Arrangement is immaterial. Arrangements can be made according to objective conditions, but there will be seven in all, two courses together. The wise man looks at the whole of everything. Sex gives you pleasure, but he looks also at the pain that comes out of it. Wealth gives you pleasure, but he looks at the nightmare that comes with it. Success makes you happy, but he knows the abyss that follows the peak, the failure that will become intense, unbearable pain.
The wise man looks at the whole. And when you look at the whole you have no choice. Then you are having two courses at the same time. Morning and evening are together now - four plus three are together now. Now nothing is in fragments, everything has become a whole. And to follow this whole is Tao. To follow this whole is to be religious. To follow this whole is Yoga.
Enough for today.

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