We must understand what our idea of wealth is. Is it just about more buildings, more machines, more cars, more of everything? More and more is death. In the most affluent societies in the world, for example in the United States of America, a significant percentage of the population is on anti-depressants on a regular basis. If you just withdraw one particular medication from the market, almost half the nation will go crazy. That is not wellbeing. Generally, an American citizen has everything that anyone would dream of.
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The essence of the spiritual process needs to be understood as a means to generate the necessary intensity to break the bubble, so that you are out of your individual nature. It is not about being good, it is not about being ethical, it is not about being moral. These things may all happen as a result, as a consequence. Once you have broken the bubble and known the freedom of experiencing everything as yourself, as a consequence you may function as a good person in society. But you have no particular intention of being good!
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The biggest problem is the moment you say "spirituality, " somebody starts talking about God, someone else about mukti, someone else about nirvana and someone else about the Ultimate. They are all already up there. You cannot do anything with people who are already up there. If somebody is down here, you can do something with them. You can only take a step if your feet are on the ground, isn't it? The moment you talk about God, you are not here anymore; you know it all. You can only start a journey from where you are. You cannot start a journey from where you are not. If you are willing to come down to where you are, then we can see what the next step is. If you are already on the third step to heaven, what can I do with you?
People have gotten used to living a botched-up life - to be anxious, insecure, hateful, jealous, and in various states of unpleasantness through the day - slowly humanity has begun to see it as normal. None of these things are normal. These are abnormalities. Once you accept them as part of life they become normal because the majority has joined the gang of unpleasantness. They are all saying, "Unpleasantness is normal. Being nasty to each other is normal. Being nasty to myself is normal." Someone trusted that you would be doing good things at least to yourself and said, "Do unto others what you do unto yourself." I am telling you, never do unto others what you are doing to yourself! By being with people, I know what they are doing to themselves is the worst thing. Fortunately, they are not doing such horrible things to others. Only once in a while they are giving a dose to others, but to themselves they are giving it throughout the day.
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How can you become old in spirit? Only by carrying the past, isn't it? If you carry sixty years of burden with you, you're sixty years old. If you don't carry anything, you're like a newborn. The physical body may develop limitations, but the way you are has no limitations. It simply has no limitations. You are this many years old or that many years old simply because you carry that many years of garbage with you.
People who want to acquired powers over somebody else, for them imagination is a powerful tool. If you are seeking liberation, if you want to become free, the first thing that you must become free from is your imagination, because that is the deepest trap. Your memory and your imagination are the two traps. Do you see? One of your legs is stuck in memory; another leg is stuck in imagination. If you release yourself from these, meditation is just natural. When you sit for meditation, what is your basic problem? You are either thinking about tomorrow or thinking about what happened yesterday, isn't it? If you are free from memory and imagination, you will always be meditative.
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You can convert this human system into absolute receptivity, where you can perceive life in ways that you have never believed possible. If you keep all your ideas, emotions and your nonsense aside, maybe you can take a step, move one inch. One little step existentially is worth more than all the scriptures that you can read on the planet. One little step is far more important than all the philosophies that you can spout.
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Generally, in English, one way in which we describe an insane person is like this: "He is out of his mind." See, if you were out of your mind, would you be insane? Insanity is of the mind always, isn't it? Only if you are in the mind you can be insane. If you are out of your mind, you will be perfectly sane; you will become like a Mansur, or a Jesus or someone who is beyond other people's understanding. Others may think they are insane, but they are the only few sane people that have happened on the planet.
In terms of the real quality of a human being, only when suffering comes, when pain comes, does a man stand up as a human being. You can see great human beings surface only when the society is really suffering. When India was under the oppression of British rulers, how many wonderful people stood up? Where are they now? They have just fallen back into their comforts, that's all. All those Ghandis, Patels, Tilaks are still there, but they're dormant. When pain came, they all became alive. They left everything behind and stood up as giants. Where are they now? This is the human misfortune that still there's not enough intelligence in the world that human beings will rise to their peaks when everything is well. They wait for calamities.
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If spirituality means seeking ['Self'-Realization], why do I need a Guru?' Let's say, all that you're seeking is to go to Kedarnath right now. Somebody is driving; the roads are laid out. If you came alone and there were no proper directions, definitely you would have wished, "I wish there was a map to tell me how to get there." On one level, a Guru is just a map. He's a live map. If you can read the map, you know the way, you can go. A Guru can also be your bus driver. You sit here and doze and he will take you to Kedarnath; but to sit in this bus and doze off, or to sit in this bus joyfully, you need to trust the bus driver. If every moment, with every curve in this road, you go on thinking, "Will this man kill me? Will this man go off the road? What intention does he have for my life?" then you will only go mad sitting here. We're talking about trust, not because a Guru needs your trust, it's just that if there's no trust you will drive yourself mad. This is not just for sitting on a bus or going on a spiritual journey. To live on this planet, you need trust. Right now, you trust unconsciously. You're sitting on this bus, which is just a bundle of nuts and bolts and pieces of metal. Look at the way you're going through the mountains. Unknowingly, you trust this vehicle so much. Isn't it so? You have placed your life in the hands of this mechanical mess, which is just nuts and bolts, rubbers and wires, this and that. You have placed your life in it, but you trust the bus consciously. The same trust, if it arises consciously, would do miracles to you. When we say trust, we're not talking about anything new to life. To be here, to take every breath in and out, you need trust, isn't it? Your trust is unconscious. I am only asking you to bring a little consciousness to your trust. It's not something new. Life is trust, otherwise nobody can exist here.
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When we say "transformation, " it means that nothing of the old has remained. Something totally new has flowered within you. Now you look at a rose plant that is full of thorns. Springtime came and rose flowers burst out - it is a transformation. The thorns are still there - there are more thorns than flowers - but we do not call it a thorn plant. We call it a rose plant because of that single rose. Everyone's attention goes more towards that single rose than a hundred thorns that are on the plant, isn't it? So all the thorns in you, maybe you cannot remove them right now, but if one rose flower blossoms, everyone is willing to overlook those things.
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Confusion is a good state to be in. It means you are looking, constantly looking. People ask me, "Why do you confuse us like this?" I want you to understand, if you can be confused by anybody, it means you do not know. If you are fanatical, you cannot be confused. Or if you are realized, you cannot be confused. Between ignorance and enlightenment is a very thin line. But they are worlds apart.
Asking for outside help, or even if it comes unasked, to allow outside help, needs a certain gracefulness and humility. Otherwise, you cannot allow outside help. Lots of people cannot receive something gracefully. Always, the social ethics have taught you that giving is important, taking is not important. Yes, taking is not important, taking is ugly, but receiving is very important.
I am not interested in sending people to heaven. I am interested in making people in such a way that, even if they go to hell, nobody can make them suffer. That's freedom, isn't it? "I want to go to heaven, I want to go to heaven, " is a huge bondage. Suppose you land in the wrong place. Suppose someone hijacked your airplane on the way to heaven. He didn't crash it; he just landed it in the wrong place. You're finished, aren't you? You're always living with something that can be taken away from you by somebody or something. True liberation is when nobody can take away anything from you.
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The longing for peace has essentially come from troubled minds, minds that are torturing themselves. For them, peace is a big commodity that they have to seek. If you are not using your mind for self-torture, why would you think of peace? Would you seek the exuberance of life or would you seek peace? Only if you have become an expert in self-torture, peace seems to be the greatest thing.
Even if I say something, do not believe this nonsense, but do not disbelieve it either. Just see, "Someone is willing to sit in front of so many people and talk absolute nonsense, something that is totally absurd. Let me see what this is about." If you keep that much openness, the possibility is alive in your life. If you believe it, you will kill it. If you disbelieve it, you will kill it.
See, when we begin to question the very existence of the Creator that means the creation is perfect. If every day it could not function without morning and evening prayers, then this would not be a perfect creation. This creation is so perfect that you can forget the Creator - you can just discard him, dump him - and still it goes on. So a true compliment to the Creator is when you forget about him. That is a real compliment to the wonderful piece of creation he has made; it is so perfect within itself that it does not need to draw from anything outside.
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See, when we say a "spiritual seeker, " unfortunately most people assume that he is God-oriented. A spiritual seeker is not God-oriented; if Devil is the chief of existence, he wants to know that. We want to know what is true; we are not interested in proving our belief systems, because we don't have any.
When we talk of "exploring the mystical, " we are not trying to dig into creation, because if you dig into creation, it will only get more complex. It will not bring clarity; it will only bring more complexity. That is why the yogis looked in a different direction. We looked inward. If you look inward, a different dimension opens up. Now instead of things getting more complex, you get to clarity. It is because of this that we say that those who look inward have a third eye. They see things that others cannot see. They have brought a new clarity to life.
When conquest became the mode, people burnt the feminine out of the planet. We made it like this that the masculine is the only way to be successful, and we have compelled even women to be very masculine today in their attitude, approach and emotion. We have made everybody believe that conquest is the only way to success. But to conquer is not the way; to embrace is the way. Trying to conquer the planet has led to all the disasters. If the feminine was the more dominant factor, or at least if the two were evenly balanced, I don't think you would have any ecological disasters, because the feminine and earth worship always went together. Those cultures which looked upon the earth as the mother, they never caused too much damage to the environment around them.
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All thoughts are just junk. Essentially, they are coming from the limited experience of past. These thoughts are useful for your survival process. You've picked up some amount of information; you want to survive in the world; this information is useful. If you're looking at life itself, these thoughts are meaningless.