You have a song in your heart to be sung and you have a dance to be danced, but the dance is invisible, and the song—even you have not heard it yet. It is deep down hidden in the innermost core of your being; it has to be brought to the surface, it has to be expressed. That’s what is meant by "self-actualization."
l. MEMORY AND IMAGINATION
Q: You implore us constantly to give up memory, to live in the herenow. But in giving up memory I must also give up my creative imagina tion, for I am a writer and all that I write about has its roots in what I remember.
could a Buddha write War and Peace?
You have not understood me, but that’s natural. It is impossible to understand me, because to understand me you will have to drop your memory. Your memory interferes. You only listen to my words, and then you go on interpreting those words according to your memory, according to your past. You cannot understand me if you are not herenow. Only in that moment you are with me; otherwise, you are physically present here, psychologically absent.
I have not been telling you to drop your factual memory. That will be stupid! Your factual memory is a must. You must know your name, who your father is and who your mother is and who your wife is and who your child is, and your address; you will have to go back to the hotel, you will have to find your room again.
Factual memory is not a problem, it is pure remembrance. When you become psychologically affected by it, then the problem arises. Try to understand the difference.
Yesterday somebody insulted you. Again he comes across you today. The factual memory is that "this man insulted me yesterday". The psychological memory is that seeing that man you become angry;
And the man may be coming just to apologize; He may have realized his mistake;
You are angry, you start shouting. You don’t see his free herenow;
But yesterday is yesterday! How much water has flowed down the Ganges?
This man has changed. So it is as if that incident had happened between two persons with whom you have nothing to do anymore—-then you are psychologically free.
Memory is there, but there is no psychological affectation. You meet the man again as he is now, and you meet him as you are now.
A man came and spat on Buddha’s face. Buddha was saying things that the priests were very angry about.
Buddha wiped off his face and asked the man, “Have you anything more to say?”
His disciple, Ananda, became very angry. he asked Buddha, “Just give me permission to put this man right. This is too much! I cannot tolerate it.”
Buddha said "But he has not spat on your face. This is my face. Second, just look at the man! In what great trouble he is— just look at the man! Feel compassion for him. He wants to say something to me, but words are inadequate.
That is my problem also, my whole life’s long problem—and I see the man in the same
situation! I want to relate things to you that I have come to know, but I cannot relate them because words are inadequate. This man is in the same boat: he is so angry that no word can express his anger—just as I am in so much love that no word, no act, can express it. I see this man’s difficulty—-just see!"
The man could not believe his ears. He would not have been shocked if Buddha had hit him back. that would have been expected. That’s how human beings react.
he man went, could not sleep the whole night, pondered over it, meditated over it. Started feeling a great hurt, started feeling what he had done. A wound opened in his heart.
Early in the morning, he rushed to Buddha's feet, fell at Bud dha’s feet, kissed his feet. And Buddha said to Ananda, "Look, again the same problem! Now he is feeling so much for me, he cannot speak in words. He is touching my feeL Man is so helpless. Any thing that is too much cannot be expressed, cannot be conveyed, cannot be communicated. Some gesture has to be found to sym bolize it. Look!"
And the man started crying and said, "Excuse me, sir. 1 am immensely sorry. It was absolute stupidity on my part to spit on you, a man like you.”
Buddha said, "Forget about it! The man you spat upon is no more, and the man who spat is no more. You are new, I am new! Look—this sun that is rising is new. Everything is new. The yes terday is no more. Be finished with it! And how can I forgive? because you never spat on me. You spat on somebody who has departed.”
Somebody had said something to you ten years before and you are still carrying it.
These psychological memories go on burdening you.
They destroy your freedom, they destroy your aliveness, they encage you.
And one thing more to be understood: when there is no psy chological memory, the factual memory is very accurate—because the psychological memory is a disturbance.
That’s why computers are more reliable than men, because they have no psychological memory.
Whenever you find a fact, you immediately impose your fictions on it. You never see that which is, you go on distorting reality.
Past is part of the present; whatsoever you have been in the past, whatsoever you have done in the past, is part of your present, it is here. Your child is in you, your young man is in you … all that you have been doing is in you. The food that you have eaten—it is past, but it has become your blood; it is cir culating herenow, it has become your bone, it has become your marrow. The love that you went through may be past but it has transformed you. It has given you a new vision of life, it has opened your eyes. Yesterday you were with me—it is past, but is it really to tally past? How can it be totally past? You were changed by it; you were given a new spark, a new fire—that has become part of you.
Your present moment contains your whole past. And if you can understand me, your present moment also contains your whole future—because the past as it has happened has been changing you, it has been preparing you. And the future that is going to happen will happen from the way you live in the present. The way you live herenow will have a great impact upon your future.
In the present moment all past is contained, and in the present moment all future is potential.
the tree is not thinking about the water that it soaked up yesterday, but it is there!
the yesterday is contained in the leaves, in the flowers, in the branches, in the roots, in the sap. And the future is also coming; the new buds, which will become flowers tomorrow, are there.
The present moment contains all. Now is eternity.
So I am not saying to forget the factual past; I am simply saying don’t be disturbed by it anymore. It should not be a psychological investment. It is a physical fact—let it be so. And I am not saying become incapable of remembering it—it may be needed!
you will find a thousand and one problems unnecessarily being created by you. There is no need.
You say "But in giving up memory I must also give up mycreativeimagination". Whatdoesmemoryhavetodowith creative imagination? In fact, the more memory you have, the less creative you will be—because you will go on repeating the mem ory, and creativity means allowing the new to happen.
Let the new penetrate you. Let the new come and thrill your heart.
language is needed; language comes from the past. But language should come only when the experience has hap pened! Then use it as a tool. It should not hinder you.
When you see the rose opening in the early morning sun, see it. Let it have an impact, allow it to go deep in you.
Don’t say anything, wait. be open. Absorb. Let the rose reach you, and you reach the rose.
the deeper the rose goes in you, the deeper you can go into the rose; it is always in the same proportion.
A moment comes when you don’t know who is the rose and who is the spectator. A moment comes when you become the rose and the rose becomes you, when the observer is the observed, when all duality disappears.
Then catch hold of your language, catch hold of your art. If you are a painter, then take your brush and color and your canvas, and paint it. If you are a poet, then rush into your factual memory for the right words so that you can express this experience.
But while the experience is happening, don’t go on talking inside yourself. The inner talk will be an interference. You will never know the rose in its intensity and depth. You will know only the superficial, the shallow.
When you are listening to me, are you repeating inside yourself all the mathematics that you know? Are you counting figures inside? Are you repeating the geography that you know? Are you repeating history that you know? You have put them aside. Do the same with language too.
Do the same with language—do the same with your memory, put it aside! It will be needed—but when it is needed, only then use it. Put the whole mind aside!
You are not destroying the mind, you are simply giving it a rest.
“Rest for one hour and let me listen. And when 1 have listened, when I have absorbed, when 1 have eaten and drunk, then I will recall you, then your help will be needed—your lan guage, your knowledge, your information will be needed. Then I am going to paint a picture or write a poem or write a book, but right now you can rest.”
And the mind will be fresher after a rest. You don’t allow the mind rest; that’s why your mind remains mediocre.
difference between creation and composition: You go on arranging your old known thing? in different ways, but they are old; nothing is new there.
It is like arranging your drawing room—the furniture is the same, the pictures on the wall are die same, the curtains are the same, but you can arrange them again. You can put this chair there and that table here, and you can change this picture from this wall to the other. It may look new, but it is not new. It is a composition; you have not created anything.
That’s what ninety-nine percent of authors, poets, painters go on doing. They are mediocre; they are not creative.
The creative person is one who brings something from the unknown into the world of the known, who brings something from God into the world, who helps God to utter something—who becomes a hollpw bamboo and allows God to flow through him. How can you become a hollow bamboo? If you are too full of the mind, you cannot become a hollow bamboo. And creativity is from the creator, creativity is not of you or from you. You disappear, then creativity is—when the creator takes possession of you.
The real creativity is not out of remembrance but out of con sciousness. You will have to become more conscious. The more conscious you are, the bigger the net you have, and of course the more fish will be caught.
Rarely is there a work of art, very rarely. Others are just imitators, technicians— skillful people, clever people, but not artists. And that ninety-nine percent of art disappearing from the earth will be a blessing, because it is more like a vomit rather than anything creative.
MichelAngelo was pregnant, not ill.
Picasso is vomiting, Michelangelo is giving birth. Nietzsche is vomiting, Buddha is giving birth.
Beethoven is giving birth, something immensely valuable is descending through him.
Remember, to me, creativity means meditativeness, creativity means a state of no-mind—then God descends in you, then love flows out of you. Then something happens out of your well-being, overflowing well-being. It is a blessing. Otherwise it is a vomit.
Dostoyevsky was a religious man—not totally, but a part, a frag ment of him, was immensely religious. That’s why The Brothers Karamazov has such a beautiful quality in it. It is not just out of an ordinary man; something has come from the divine.
2. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Q: When I am writing a book, I am full of flowing energy and delight. But when I have finished, I am so empty and dead.
When a woman carries a child, she is full. Of course, when the child is bom, she will feel empty.
But she can love the child, and she can forget her emptiness in loving the child and helping the child to grow. For an artist, even that is not possible. Y ou paint, or you write a poem or a novel; once it is finished you feel deep emptiness. And what can you do with the book now? So the artist is in an even more difficult situation than a mother. Once a book is finished, it is finished—now it needs no help, no love. It is not going to grow.
But one has to look into this emptiness. Don’t say that you are exhausted; rather, say that you are spent. Don’t say that you are empty, because each emptiness also has a fullness in it.
This is not a room, it is a museum.
The room means the freedom that space gives you.
When you are working, creating, your mind is full of many things. The mind is occupied. W riting a novel the mind is occupied, writing a poem the mind is occupied. There is too much furniture in it.
Then the book is finished. You feel empty. if you look rightly you will feel freed of an obsession, of an occupation. Y ou will feel clean again, unburdened.
So sometimes in the fall when the leaves have fallen and the tree stands alone without leaves against the sky, enjoy it. Don’t call it emptiness, call it a new type of fullness—full with yourself. There is nobody to interfere, you are resting in yourself. That period of rest is needed for every artist; it is a natural process. Each mother’s body needs a little rest.
The storm is good, enjoy it; and the silence that follows it is also good. The day is beautiful, foil of activity; night is also very beautiful.
That emptiness is beautiful, more beau tiful than the days of creativity—because that creativity comes out of emptiness, those flowers come out of emptiness. Enjoy that emp tiness, feel blissful and blessed. Accept it, welcome it like a bene diction, and soon you will see that you are again full of activity and a greater book is going to be bom.
saying is not just saying; it has deep associations in your being. Once you call a thing emptiness, you become afraid—the very word.
In India, we have better words for emptiness. We call it shunya. The very word is positive; it has nothing of negativity in it. It is beautiful, it simply means space, with no boundaries—shunya. And we have called the ultimate goal shunya. Buddha says when you become shunya, when you become absolutely nothing, a nothing ness, then you have attained.
3 CREATIVITY AND CROSSBREEDING
Q: How can I feel the artist in me?
The paradox of art is that first you have to learn its discipline and then you have to forget it totally. If you don't know its ABC you will not be able to move very deep into it. But if you know only its technique and you go on practicing the technique your whole life, you may become very skillful technically, but you will remain a technician; you will never become an artist.
In Zen they say if you want to be a painter, for twelve years leam how to paint and then for twelve years forget all about painting.
twelve years training in learning the technique and twelve years training in forgetting the technique. And then you can paint.
Now you can be spontaneous.
All great creativity happens through people who move from one discipline to another. It is like crossbreeding.
The greater the distance between the wife and the husband, the better will be the by-product of the marriage.
Whenever you bring something new into the world you are bound to be rejected. The world never forgives a person who brings anything new to the world.
The world appreciates the uncreative but skillful person, the technically perfect person, be cause technical perfection simply means perfection of the past.
everybody has been educated to understand the past.
Humanity is slow and lethargic, it lags behind time. And the creative person is always ahead of his time, hence the gap.
If you can be in any art, music, painting, sculpture, dance, if any art can take a grip on your being, that’s the best way to pray, the best way to meditate.
That will lead you slowly slowly, step by step, into God. So this is my cri terion: if it leads you toward God, it is true art, it is authentic art.
4 THE ART OF MONEY
Q: you talk about money? What makes it so powerful that people sacrifice their lives for it?
All the religions have been against wealth because wealth can give you all that can be purchased in life. And almost everything can be purchased except those spiritual values like love, compassion, enlightenment, freedom.
Because all the religions have been against life, they were bound to be against money.
Life needs money because life needs comforts, life needs good food, life needs good clothes, good houses. Life needs beautiful literature, music, art, poetry. Life is vast!
To learn, you will need to be free from hunger, free from poverty, free from all kinds of prejudices.
You can see the logic. If you don’t have money, you can’t have anything else. Rather than cutting branches, they were cutting the very roots. A man without money is hungry, is a beggar, has no clothes. You cannot expect him to have time for Dostoyevsky
All the religions together have made man as poor as possible. They have condemned money so much, and praised poverty so much, that as far as I am concerned, they are the greatest criminals the world has known.
The poor are exhausted just in earning bread and butter. They don't have intelligence, they cannot understand The Brothers Karamazov, they can only listen to some stupid priest in a church.
Money is nothing but a scientific way of exchanging things.
because people became capable of purchasing, selling, nat urally they became more and more rich.
The more money moves, the more money you have.
You cannot eat the dollar, how can you enjoy it just by keeping it? You can enjoy it only by spending it. I enjoy, and the dollar reaches somebody else.
If everybody is moving the dollar as fast as possible—if there are three thou sand people, three thousand dollars have been used, enjoyed. That is one single round. Just give more rounds and there will be more dollars. Noth ing is coming in—there is, in feet, only one dollar—but by moving it goes on multiplying itself.
That’s why money is called cur rency—it should be a current.
One should not keep it.
The Ultimate Creativity, The Meaning of our 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.
Millions of people are living meaningless fives because of this utterly stupid idea that meaning has to be discovered. As if it is already there.
Buddha finds the meaning because he creates it.
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.
Buddha also discovered some thing, Zarathustra also discovered something, but it is not like Albert Einstein’s discovery. It is not there such that you have just to follow Zar athustra and his map and you will find it—you will never find it. You will have to become a Zarathustra.
To understand the theory of relativity, you need not become an Albert Einstein.
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.
If you can’t see any meaning in life, you must be waiting pas sively 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!
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.
Praise a man because through him, the world is becoming more graceful.
Forget all these stupid things like 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.
If you have already concluded that you are 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.
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 meaning. Then each thing will become meaningful.
You remember this—“Plato has said this.” And you remember that—“Lao Tzu has said that." And you re member 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.
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 abandon ment by watching. You will have to become a participant.
Participate as deeply, as totally, as possible. Risk all for par ticipation. If you want to know what dance is, don’t go and see a dancer— learn dancing, be a dancer.
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.
Let there be a few things that are mys terious, 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.