The first thing: if you are really totally confused, out of that
confusion will come clarity. But you are not totally confused. Once
confusion is total, it becomes the path. Then there is no need for
any other path. We seek paths out of confusion, because we are
confused... but not totally confused, and we think that we can
figure things out. Total confusion means now you are totally
helpless, now there is no way to go, now you don′t know anything
about the goal, about yourself, about the Way. You know nothing. You
are in a state of blank. If confusion is total, mind becomes blank.
But you are never totally confused - partially, certainly; totally,
Total confusion is one of the ways to reach God. It means all your knowledge has proved meaningless; and when I say all, I mean all. Not that you say, "I know a little bit. This much is right. This much is true." Total confusion means you are in a tremendous dark night of the soul. There is no light available, and there even seems to be no possibility. You are hopeless. There is no hope. The future has disappeared, the past has proved meaningless. The anguish has come to the utter peak. From that very peak, mind disappears - because mind can continue only if you are partially confused. Mind cannot exist in a total confusion. In fact, mind cannot exist in anything which is total.
Total love - mind disappears. Total will - mind disappears. Total surrender - mind disappears. Totality is against mind; they never exist together. Total confusion - mind disappears.
Try to understand this: that confusion can remain only if it is not total. Mind can remain only if you are not totally in anything. Be total in anything whatsoever, and mind cannot cling to you even for a single moment. But you have used the word ′totally′ just to emphasize; you don′t know the meaning of it.
A totally confused person cannot even ask this question. How will he ask? How will he articulate a question? A question arises out of knowledge. A totally confused person will come to me, will look at me with empty eyes, with mad eyes; he cannot formulate a question. The questioner means the mind; the questioner means you are still clinging to certain knowledge. You are still hoping that a path can be found, that somebody can show you the path. You still think yourself capable - that you will be able to find some way to get out of it. Your desperation is not utter. Your anguish is not perfect.
If you cannot think that will is your path, and you cannot think that surrender is your path, then I will say: confusion seems to be natural to you - let that be your path. But be confused totally. Don′t be half-heartedly in it. Be so totally confused that nothing of knowledge remains in you - no certainty, no security, no scripture, no religion, no belief. And I say it to you because I myself worked on the way of confusion.
Of course, when the total confusion comes closer to you, you will become more and more mad. You will not know what is what. Then courage will be needed: tremendous courage is needed. Sufis call it a technique: "the technique of confusion". Confusion uproots everything that you know, leads you into emptiness, a darkness. When all knowledge is dropped, how can confusion remain? Just listen to it.
You come to me, you believe in God, and I say there is no God; then there is confusion - not because I have said there is no God, but because you believe that there is God. Now there are two conflicting things in you: "There is God" a part of you says, another part has become convinced with me that there is no God. Hence, confusion. Confusion means conflict. Confusion means you have two sorts of knowledge which are going diametrically opposite, which are pulling you apart.
For the future the technique of confusion is going to become more and more important. It was never so important in the past, because a Hindu was born a Hindu and he never bothered about Christians and Mohammedans and Parsis and Jainas. From the very beginning he knew that he was right, and everybody else was wrong. A Mohammedan was a Mohammedan, and he knew the truth is in the Koran and everything else is just nonsense. The Christian was a Christian, and he knew the way went through Christ and there is no other way; all other ways go to hell.
It was absolute certainty, based in ignorance; and I am not in support of it. But there was no confusion. There was certainty and everybody was happy with his certainty. Certainty is very dangerous - nobody has achieved truth through certainty. But people were more comfortable, it was more convenient. Mediocre, stupid minds felt very good; they know. The very idea that we know, and that we are in the right, and everybody else is in the wrong, is a great protection. It leads you nowhere, because unless one moves through confusion, clarity never comes.
Clarity is not certainty. Certainty is not clarity. Certainty is a blind belief. The world has lived in certainty, but now that is no more possible. That comfort is no more available. The world has become smaller and smaller and smaller; it is a global village now. The Hindu has to know about the Christian; there is no way to avoid it. The Christian has to know about the Hindu. People can read, people can listen to the radio, can see the TV. People have become more capable of knowledge, and knowledge has exploded from everywhere. Now all this knowledge is creating confusion: "Who is right?"
Mohammedans, Christians, Jews, believe in only one life. There was no confusion before; that was the truth. Now it is very difficult. Even for an idiotic Christian, it is very difficult to continue to believe in one life - because millions of Hindus, millions of Buddhists, Jainas, Sikhs; half the world is not a small matter. Half the world says there is rebirth, reincarnation. Now it is impossible not to listen to this other half, and they also have their reasoning. Confusion arises.
Confusion means: now you have become available to all sorts of knowledge. And when you come to, certainly! - then you will be more and more confused! One day I speak on the Mohammedans, another day I speak on the Jews, another day on Buddhists, Hindus, Jainas, and I continue. I am making all secret sources of knowledge available to you. It is natural; you will become confused. But don′t be in a hurry.
Confusion is being used here as a technique, and confusion is going to become the most important technique in the coming world. Because now there is no way to move back into your tunnels and become a Hindu and blind to everything else, and become a Jew, blind to everything else; there is no way now. It is impossible for a Christian to deny Buddha, and when Buddha comes in, of course your belief in Jesus starts wavering. Even Buddhists have now to trust that Christ is also somewhere near - he may not be exactly at the centre, but somewhere near. He may not be a Buddha, but is at least a bodhisattva; a Buddha potentially, very close. But then there are troubles: then the whole of Jesus - his attitude, his approach, his philosophy, his way of life - is so contradictory to the Buddha′s. Buddha sits silently under his tree, unconcerned about the world. Jesus is very much concerned, very much involved with the world; it is not just an accident that the Jews had to kill him. And it is not just an accident that Buddha was not killed by Hindus. He was not doing anything, he was just sitting under his bodhi tree, meditating. But Jesus was meddling with the social affairs: the politics, organization, society, church, religion. He was going to destroy the whole structure; he was a revolutionary. He had to be killed.
Now there is Jesus, there is Buddha, there is Krishna. Krishna is another dimension: Buddha is sitting under his tree, Krishna is playing on his flute. You cannot imagine Buddha playing on a flute. Jesus is hanging on the cross, and Krishna is dancing with so many girlfriends. Such diverse dimensions have become available together; now you are confused.
But to me, confusion is more valuable than certainty. Certainty is mediocre, certainty is stupid. Certainty simply means that you don′t know. Only a person who is very ignorant can be certain.
Once it happened: Somebody was talking to Voltaire and he mentioned a name, the name of a very famous theologian, philosopher, and the man who was talking about this theologian said to Voltaire that he knew everything. Voltaire looked surprised and said, "Is he so stupid to know everything?"
A wise man hesitates. A wise man cannot be so certain. A wise man knows the multiplicity of life. A wise man knows the multidimensional existence. A wise man knows that all that we know is nothing in comparison to that which remains to be known. The unknown is always more than the known. The known is just like a grain of sand; Buddha has said so. "Whatsoever I know," he says, "Is just like a grain of sand, and whatsoever I don′t know is the whole sand of the earth, of all the Ganges," of all the rivers, of all the seas.
Certainty is not something valuable. It is comfortable, true; so is stupidity comfortable. An idiot seems to be the most blessed man. Why? - he has no confusion, he has really no mind to be confused. He has such a tiny flicker of intelligence that he cannot afford confusion. The greater the intelligence, the greater you can afford confusion. Hence I say this age is the age of confusion, because this age is the age of intelligence.
The old certainty is gone and the old foolishness too - and good! And I hope it is gone for good. Confusion has entered; this is the first step towards clarity. If you really are courageous, you will question everything that you know, and you will question absolutely. And you should not be very soft about it. You should question everything that you know, and through questioning, all that you know is eliminated. And don′t be in a hurry to be certain, otherwise you will not be able to question. Your questioning will become dishonest. If your questioning is honest, then it has to go to the very core of your being.
A seeker of truth becomes a fire, a thirst, a great hunger. He puts his whole life at stake. Of course, he has to take the risk of being confused; he will be confused. But if you persist, and you don′t cling to something just for clarity, just for certainty, just to be comfortable; if you don′t cling to something, if your search is authentic, one day you will see - all has disappeared.
First comes confusion; confusion cuts the roots of your knowledge. Once all knowledge has disappeared, confusion also disappears - because confusion cannot exist without knowledge. You believe in God and somebody says there is no God, and your belief was just a belief, and you drop the belief.... You say, "Okay, I will now believe only when I know, and I have not known yet. So good: this man who says there is no God has helped me to get rid of a belief that was only a belief and not my own experience, borrowed. I drop it."
If you drop the belief.... I am not saying to start believing that there is no God, because then again you will be confused some day. Then you can come to somebody else who is tremendously happy, prayerful: his very vibe says that there is more to life. And he says there is God, and God has happened to him - again you will be confused. Now you were clinging to the belief that there is no God, and here comes this man. No, don′t cling to any belief. Drop all belief. Remain in that vacuum of no belief, neither in God nor in no God. No belief - Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, theistic, atheistic; no belief - then who can confuse you? How can you be confused? Somebody brings some news; you will say, "Thank you. I will ponder over it, I will meditate over it. I don′t believe anything, so there is no question of getting confused."
If confusion is used totally, your beliefs will disappear, it will clear the whole ground. And in that state of no belief, confusion becomes impossible. When confusion becomes impossible there arises a clarity, and that clarity is not of belief, not of scripture, not of belonging to a church, not of comfort, not of convenience, not produced by anybody. It is your own transparency of awareness. And through that clarity is truth.
Sorry, I cannot agree with you. In
fact, you are asking me to give you something so that you can drop
your confusion and can become certain again. No, I am not your
enemy. I will not give you any belief. I am ready to give myself,
but I will not give you any belief. I am ready to partake with you
my own experience, I am ready to share my being, but I will not give
you any belief. I will not make you comfortable because this will be
death. Your home has not yet arrived, and somebody makes you
comfortable by the side of the road and gives you a tranquilizer,
and you are dreaming, sleeping, and thinking this is your home and
everything is beautiful - no, I am not going to do that to you.
That′s what your priests and popes have been doing up to now.
I am going to shake you and shock you out of your tranquillity, out of your certainty. I am to create a stir in you. I will come like a cyclone. I am to destroy your mind utterly. Only if you are ready for that destruction will creativity be born to you.
How do you know? How have you
become so certain that the path of will is not for you? Try first,
be experimental. One learns through trial and error - and there is
no other way. Don′t be a priori: don′t say from the very beginning,
"This is not for me, and I am certain," otherwise you will again be
confused. Some day you will find somebody who has attained through
the path of will, and you will see the flowering and the fragrance
of the person, and you will start feeling, "Maybe the path of will
is for me too... this man has achieved." Your greed will arise. You
will be again confused.
This is the way you create the possibility for confusion.
- because you have not tried yet. Try it. If you try the path of will nothing is going to be wrong. If you succeed, good. If you don′t succeed, that too is good. Then you have known at least one thing: that this is not for you. That too is a great achievement: to know, "This door is not for me." Otherwise sometimes one goes on knocking on a wrong door.
Try the path of will; maybe it is for you, maybe it is not for
you. I cannot say offhand that it is for you or that it is not for
you - because if I say and you believe me, you will be creating a
possibility of confusion some day. Don′t believe me. You try. What
is wrong in it? Be a little more playful, it is a beautiful sport:
try the path of will.
Why do you say, "Certainly it is not for me"? How can you be certain? This trick of becoming certain without knowing has to be dropped, completely dropped. Try. If you succeed, good. If you don′t succeed, then too you have succeeded, because then the remaining thing is the path of surrender. If you fail on the path of will, then more hopefully, with more energy, with more totality, you can move on the path of surrender. If you don′t try on the path of will, you may move on the path of surrender, but you will always remain suspicious as to whether this is your path or not.
So first thing: never decide without experimentation. Be scientific. Everything is a hypothesis; try it. It can be valid only by experience, it may prove invalid only by experience. There is no other way to decide. Let the decision come out of your existential experience.
And then you say:
But how can anything be perfect if you are not perfect?
The surrender is going to be your surrender, not mine. The surrender
is going to be yours, not Meera′s or Mahavira′s. The surrender is
going to be yours, not Krishna′s or Christ′s. The surrender, of
course, is bound to be of the same quality as you are.
The path of will or the path of surrender are not like superhighways where anybody can walk and the way remains the same. No, the way changes with the walker. You bring your quality. For example, if you see a Picasso painting... you can use the same brush, and the same colours, and the same canvas, but are you hoping that a Picasso will be born? The painting will be yours. The brush and the canvas may be Picasso′s. You can even ask permission to paint in his studio, but then too the painting will be yours; it will not be a Picasso.
Exactly like that, when you move on any path, the path is not a collective possession. Each individual has to create his own path while walking on it.
Your surrender is going to be your surrender. It will be as perfect as you are. Don′t expect more, otherwise, from the beginning, you are creating obstacles for your growth. And in fact, the path is perfect only when you have arrived, never before it. But then the path is not needed.
So everybody has to walk on an imperfect path, because everybody is imperfect. And why ask for perfection? Your demands are too much. You go to the chemist: you don′t ask for a perfect medicine. You ask for the latest and the best, not for the perfect - because the perfect never exists. Tomorrow a better medicine may come and this medicine will be discarded. Every month medicines are being discarded, new ones are being invented; but no medicine is perfect, and cannot be. Perfection means now there is no possibility to grow. Perfection means death. Perfection means now everything is finished, the full point has come.
Life is a process; it is not perfect. Nothing is perfect in life. Everything is imperfect. So the most you can ask is: "Which is the more perfect way" - that′s all; not THE perfect way, but the more perfect, comparatively. The path of will maybe is not so perfect for you as surrender, but if you are making an absolute demand that it be a hundred percent perfect, then from the very beginning you are too greedy. Move slowly. Your path is your path. The path will change you, and you will change the path - and this is going to be a dynamic process, a dialectical process. You will change the path by your change, and then the path will change you, and you are both going to enrich each other. When Meera walks on the path of surrender, of course it is going to be more perfect than when you walk. When Mahavira walks on the path of will, it is going to be more perfect than when you walk.
And one thing more: we come to know only when Meera has arrived. Then the fragrance spreads. When Mahavira has reached, then the rumour spreads around the world that somebody has become enlightened. Then people rush. When they come to see, it is a perfect thing: Picasso has done his work, the painting is perfect. But you don′t know: Mahavira had moved just like you - wavering, in uncertainty, confusion, going astray, coming back, doing a thousand and one mistakes. But you don′t know THAT Mahavira - that Mahavira who was struggling in darkness, alone. Now Mahavira has arrived and has become a light; now everybody comes to see and pay his respects. But Mahavira had also moved the same way - with the same limitations. When we know Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Zarathustra, they have become perfect souls, Siddhas. Then we know. We had not known their seeking stages.
Remember, you are not a siddha; otherwise what is the point in seeking? You have not yet arrived, you are arriving. Choose the best that is possible, don′t hanker for the perfect. Otherwise you may never move. If you are waiting for the perfect airplane to come and then you will go, you may never go - because they are being perfected every day. Don′t wait for the perfect train. Whatsoever is available, choose the best. Be choosy. Think, meditate about it, find out the pros and cons, but don′t wait for the perfect.
And start. In the beginning, great things are not going to happen. But... those great things can happen only if you being. To begin with, anything is okay. You start. Move. Your feet will be faltering, your body may not be adjusted. Just like when a small child starts walking; how many times does he fall? How many times does he again try, waver, then by and by become strong of foot? That′s how one moves into the eternal, too.
One thing: this movement is not towards some outer goal. This movement is towards some inner goal which is, in essence, already there.
So you ask me:
Only one thing do I say... and let me tell you one beautiful story. Listen to it very carefully. It is a story from Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most metaphysical writers of this age:
The whole life that you are acquainted with is nothing but a dream - a nightmare, true. The enemy and the friend, both are parts of a dream; the surrender and the will, both are parts of the dream; theories, philosophies, dogmas, churches, are parts of the dream, the human dream. The only thing that has to be done is: please wake up. And nobody can make you awake... unless you decide. It is your decision. There is no need to hanker anymore for outer beliefs to cling to, because all beliefs are false. There is no need to seek a philosophy of life; life is enough. All philosophies are false, including my philosophy. When I say all, I mean all.
Wake up! Please wake up! That′s all that can be said.(Osho - The Path of Love #10)