Q: Human relationships have become a kind of commercial exchange - in the sense of "If you give me something, I will give you something". Could we go into that a bit?
UG: Yes. That's a fact. We do not want to accept it because it destroys the myth that human relationships are something marvelous or extraordinary. We are not honest, decorous and decent enough to admit that all relationships are built on the foundation of "What do I get out of this relationship?". It is nothing but mutual gratification. If that is absent, no relationship is possible. You keep the relationship going for social reasons, or for reasons of children, property, and security. All this is part and parcel of the relationship business. But when it fails and does not give us what we really want, we superimpose on it what we call "love". So, it is just not possible to have any relationship on any basis except on the level of mutual gratification.
The whole culture has created, for its own reasons, this situation for us through its value system. The value system demands that relationships be based on love. But the most important element is security and then possessiveness. You want to possess the other individual. When your hold on the other becomes weaker for various reasons, your relationship wears out. You cannot maintain this "lovey-dovey" relationship all the time.
The relationship between a man and a woman is based on the images that the two create for themselves of each other. So, the actual relationship between the two individuals is a relationship between the two images. But your image keeps changing, and so does the other person's. To keep the image constant is just not possible. So, when everything else fails, we use this final, last card in the pack, "love", with all the marvelous and romantic ideations around it.
To me, love implies two [persons]. Wherever there is a division, whether it is within you or without you, there is conflict. That relationship cannot last long. As far as I am concerned, relationships are formed and then they are dissolved immediately. Both these things happen in the same frame, if I may use that word. That is really the problem. You may think that I am a very crude man, but if anybody talks to me about love, to me it is a `four-letter word'. That is the only basic relationship between man and woman. But it is a social problem for us as to what kind of a relationship you should have. Even in the days of my youth it was not possible amongst the Brahmins to marry unless the couple belonged to the same sub-caste. It was worse than the racial stuff in other countries. They had a strange idea of maintaining family traditions. What is tradition after all? It is the unwillingness to change with the changing times. We change a little when we are forced to by conditions. But the fact is that change is not in the interests of the mechanism of our thinking.
Unfortunately, we have blown this business of sex out of proportion. It is just a simple biological need of the living organism. The body is interested in only two things - to survive, and to reproduce one like itself. It is not interested in anything else. But sex has become a tremendous problem for us, because we have turned the basic biological functioning of the body into a pleasure movement. You see, if there is no thought, there is no sex at all.
The second problem is that it is not just the sex act that is important [to us], but the build-up that is there, the romantic structure that we have built around the love play. If you look at a beautiful woman, for example, the moment you say that it is a woman, you have already created a problem - "A beautiful woman!" Then it is more pleasurable to hold her hands than just to look at her. It is more pleasurable to embrace her, even more pleasurable to kiss her, and so on. It is the build-up that is really the problem. The moment you say that she is a beautiful woman, culture comes into the picture.
Here [pointing to himself] the build-up is totally absent because there is no way that these [pointing to his eyes] can be focused on any particular object continuously. For all you know, when that beautiful woman opens her mouth, she might have the ugliest teeth that a woman could have. So, you see, that [the eyes] has moved from there to here and again from here to something else, as perhaps, to her movements. It is [the eyes are] constantly changing its focus and there is no way that you can maintain this build-up. What is there is only the physical attraction. That you can never be free from, never. All those people - these saints - are tortured with the idea controlling that natural attraction. But that natural attraction is something which should not be condemned. You don't tell yourself that you are a god man, a realized man, an enlightened man or a saint, and that you should not think these thoughts. That [telling yourself] is really the problem. They are not honest enough to admit that. So whenever a saint comes to me, or one who practices celibacy, I am very ruthless with him. I ask him, "Do you really mean to say that you never have wet dreams?" I tell him, "To practice celibacy in the name of your spiritual pursuit is a crime against nature." If the man is impotent or if for some reason the woman happens to be barren, then it is a different story. Why the religious thinking of man has emphasized denial of sex as a means to his spiritual attainment is something that I cannot understand. Maybe because that is the way you can control people. Sex is the most powerful drive.
Q: So sex is a natural thing and it is not dirty.
UG: Right. Sex is a very natural thing. You see, if you don't have sex, the semen probably goes out through your urine or in some other way. After all, the sex glands have to function. If they don't function normally, you are an abnormal individual. But we are not ready to accept this fact, because it undermines the very foundation of human culture. We cannot accept the fact that we are just biological beings and nothing more. It is something like saying that in the field of economics you are not controlled by the laws of supply and demand. But actually, in the field of economics you are. Likewise, in the political field the laws of politics control us. But we are not ready to accept the basic, fundamental fact that we are just biological beings, and all that is happening within the body is a result of hormonal activity. It is pure and simple chemistry. If there is any problem there [in the body], it is too presumptuous on my part to tell you, as you are a sex therapist. Problems in that area cannot be solved in any other way than by trying to change the chemistry of the whole body. I think our whole thinking has to be put on a different track. I don't know; I am just suggesting. I may be wrong. I am not competent enough.
Q: What track would that be?
UG: It is all chemical. If, as they say, desires are hormones, then the whole ethical code and culture that we have created through centuries to control the behavior of human beings are false. So, desire cannot be false. Anything that is happening within the [human] organism cannot be false.
Q: Are you saying that there will always be sexual desire even without thought?
UG: There is no sex at all without thought. Thought is memory. These experts make fun of me when I say that the most important of all glands is the thymus gland. When I discussed this subject with some physiologists and doctors they made fun of me. Naturally so, because according to them, the gland is inactive. If it is activated through any external means, it would be an abnormal situation. But, you know, the thymus is the most important gland, and feelings operate there without the element of thought.
Q: From the thymus...?
UG: Yes, from the thymus. You see, medical technology has ignored that for a very long time. They considered any unusual condition of the gland to be an abnormality and tried to treat it. It is true that when you reach the adolescent age, it becomes inactive, and then your feelings are controlled by your ideas.
Q: By culture rather than by natural biology....
UG: ...than by natural biology. Feeling, to me, is like this: if you trip, I don't actually trip along with you; but the whole of my being is involved in that `tripping over'. That is the kind of feeling that I am talking about; all other feelings are emotions and thoughts. The distinction between feeling (not in the sense that I mentioned just now) and thought is not really something ....
Q: It is just artificial.
UG: It is very artificial. It is cultural. "The heart is more important than the head" and all such nonsense are absolute poppycock. When once this [U.G.'s] kind of disturbance takes place in the hormonal balance of the human body through this catastrophe, through this calamity, through whatever you want to call it, not only is the thymus activated but also all other glands such as the pineal and the pituitary are activated. People ask me, "Why don't you submit yourself to medical testing to validate all these claims?" I tell them that I am not selling these claims.
What I have against medical technology is that you want to understand the functioning of these things with a motive. When once you have some idea of how these glands function, how the activation of these things will help mankind, you are not going to use it for the benefit of mankind.
Q: And that is the reason why you are not interested in....
UG: ...not interested in studying all that. If you don't accept what I am saying, it is just fine with me. If some top physician wants to reject what I say, that fellow will say that I am talking rubbish. But now volumes have been written in America on the subject of the thymus gland. I am not claiming any special knowledge of these things. What I am trying to say is that the feelings felt at the thymus are quite different from the feelings induced by thoughts.
Sex has to be put in its proper place as one of the natural functionings of the body. It is solely, mainly and wholly for the purpose of reproducing or procreating something like this [the body]. It has no other place in the functioning of the body.
Q: If one is only interested in procreating, then one wouldn't find any other function for sexuality?
UG: There is no way you can go back now, because thought always interferes with sex. It has become a pleasure movement. I am not saying anything against it. I go to the extent of telling people that if it is possible for you to have sex with your mother without any problem, psychological or spiritual, then that will put an end to your sex. You see, the whole thing is built on your ideas. I am not advocating incest as a way of life. For this [the body] there is no such thing as incest at all. It is the guilt problem, the psychological problem, the religious problem, which says that it has to be this way and not that way. If it is possible for a human being to have sex without a second thought, without any regret, with his sister, daughter, or mother, then this [sex] is finished once and for all. It falls into its proper place. I am not suggesting it as a therapy. Please don't get me wrong.
Q: No, no....
UG: I am not suggesting that it is possible to have sex at all without the build-up. What I am trying to say is that it is just not possible to have sex with your wife or with your mother or with anybody without the build-up.
Q: So sex goes after that....
UG: Sex goes after that. Thereafter, what you are left with is the natural functioning of the sex glands. If they are not used, the semen will go out through urine. All these claims of the spiritual teachers that it will move from the muladhara to the sahasrara are rubbish. Don't believe all that nonsense. If the semen is not used, it goes out through your urine whether you are a saint or a god man or a sinner. You may or may not have wet dreams, but still it goes out.
Q: The body still goes on functioning?
UG: Yes. There seems to be an abnormal functioning here [with U.G.]. What you call estrogen in the case of, what is that, I am not familiar with all these terms....
Q: Well, the female hormones.
UG: The female hormones. You see, as they say, for the first few days or weeks, the sex of an embryo is not differentiated, but somewhere along the line, it is decided by....
Q: One becomes male....
UG: One becomes male. Here [in U.G.] the body goes back into that stage where it is neither male nor female. It is not the androgynous thing that they talk about.
Q: More psychological....
UG: It is more psychological. So, we have to revise all our ideas about this whole business of sex. We give a tremendous importance to sex, and so the denial of it becomes such an obsession with people. In India they even moved away from that denial and created what is called Tantric sex. It was the highest pleasure that human beings could have. Sex through Tantra was considered the highest. That was the reason why they created in Brazil, and probably in some other countries too, the coupling of the male and the female organs. We have in India all that nonsense - the temples, and then a temple for the bull, a symbol of virility. All these were admired and worshiped. This is the other extreme [to denial of sex]: indulgence in sex became a spiritual pursuit. They talked of achieving spiritual goals, enlightenment, or what have you, through sex, and called it Tantric sex. Whether it is ordinary sex or Tantric sex, or you go and have sex with a prostitute, it's all the same.
Q: But I can understand why people would be interested in sex as a means to attain the so-called spirituality. Because at the moment of intense sexual involvement, or orgasm, people have the feeling that they are not there any more....
UG: That feeling is temporary; very temporary.
Q: It is just for a flash of a second.
UG: Not even a flash of a second. Even there, the division cannot be absent. Even in extreme grief you get the feeling that you are not there. What happens if the body goes through unbearable pain? You become unconscious. It is then that the body has a chance of taking care of that pain. If it cannot, then you go.
Q: You mean to say that at the moment of orgasm, which is just a flash of a second, the person is there?
UG: The fact is that the person is very much there even at the moment when there is peak sex experience. The experience has already been captured by your memory. Otherwise you have no way of experiencing that as a peak moment. If that peak moment remained as a peak moment, that would be just the end of sex; that would be the end of everything.
Q: You remember there was a peak moment, but you cannot remember the actual feeling ?
UG: That is not important. The fact that you remember it as a peak moment and want to repeat it over and over again implies that it has already become part of your experiencing structure. You want it always and then want to extend it for longer and longer periods of time. This is one of the most idiotic things to do. I read somewhere that a long time ago they tortured a woman to have a continuous orgasm for half-an-hour or one hour, I don't know. But why put her through that torture? What for? What do you prove by that? It is also a fad for people here in the West. They want to make it last longer. It is just for a fraction of a second, whether it is in the female or in the male. You are a therapist. You probably know a lot more than I do. But I think that there is really no justification for extending the orgasm longer than its natural duration. It has become an obsession with some people, and if they don't have it, their sex act seems very futile.
Q: It becomes an addiction as well?
UG: Like any other addiction. All these things I observed myself. I did not learn about them from anyone. I saw them happen in my own life. I told my wife about them. Every time my wife talked of love I asked her what all that nonsense was about. The only basis of our relationship was sex.
I denied myself sex for twenty-five years pursuing spiritual goals. Then I suddenly realized, "Look, this is ridiculous. Celibacy has nothing to do with it. I have wet dreams. Sex is burning inside of me. Why the hell am I denying myself sex? Why the hell am I torturing myself?" I asked my teacher, "Are you sure you don't have wet dreams any time?" He blushed. He did not have the courage to give me an answer.
Q: Could you tell me whether you had them?
UG: Oh, yes. That did not mean that I moved to the other extreme and practiced promiscuity as my way of life. I was surrounded by the most beautiful girls from Holland, America, and everywhere. I didn't even have to ask for it. But then, I felt that this was not the way to understand the problem of sex. The relationship with my wife was the only relationship I had then. She understood my attitude toward sex, but she still had some [of her own] ideas of love. She always asked me, "You are surrounded by the most beautiful women here. You are a very handsome man by any definition. Why don't you have sex with them? Do you have a problem of guilt or loyalty?" I told her, "Actually, if there is an act of infidelity on my part, the whole thing will change." I warned her, "Don't talk of all this nonsense. As a conversation piece, it's fine." It is not that there was a moral or ethical problem. I wanted to find out about sex, and I realized that I was actually using her for my pleasure.
Q: And you could be frank about that?
UG: Yes, we always discussed it.
Q: There was no love involved?
UG: No. Yet she was the finest woman I could have been married to.
Q: So you said, "I am just interested in sex?"
UG: She also realized that that was all. But the only problem that we had was concerning children. She wanted more children because of her genes. Both on my father's side and on my mother's side they had a lot of children. My wife was the twenty-first pregnancy of her mother.
UG: Yes, my wife. And so, wanting more children was a genetic problem. That was the real problem between us. We even went to see Mary Stops in London. You may have heard of her.
Q: To sort it out...?
UG: To find out. My wife was also against birth control and such other measures. She tried to sort these things out. She was telling me that by nursing a child for a longer time, pregnancy could be delayed. All kinds of strange ideas! She was not ready to go to a doctor and finish it with an abortion. But somewhere along the line she did have to have an abortion, as we did not want to have more children.
Apart from all this, I did have a one-night stand. It was not with a cheap call girl or a prostitute. It was with one of the richest women around. And that finished the whole thing. There was no more sex after that. You will be surprised at that.
Q: That was when you were still having a relationship with your wife?
Q: The affair finished it all!
UG: It just happened to me. I happened to be in this woman's place. I don't want to go into all the sordid details. That was thirty-three years ago. It was finished! That was the end of sex for me. I felt that I was using that woman for my own pleasure. It was not an ethical problem. The fact that I used that woman hit me very hard. I said to myself, "She may be a willing victim, a willing partner in this whole game, but I cannot do this any more." That was the end of it, and it created a problem for my wife also, not in the sense that she revolted against me but in the sense that I denied sex to her too.
Q: She felt rejected?
UG: Yes. She felt guilty for pushing me to that extent. It is not that she actually did that. She did not push me into that situation. Anyway, the incident finished sex for me. But that did not finish the sex urge per se, because just as in women there is a natural rhythm in men. I could notice that there was a peak sometimes, and for months and months you didn't even know about it.
Q: It is so with a woman as well.
UG: Yes, just like there is period for women. It is impossible for a woman and a man to attain orgasm at the same time. We are programmed differently.
Q: It cannot be synchronized.
UG: If that could be synchronized, it would be a marvelous thing. But there is no way you can do that at all. So, until this [the natural state that U.G. stumbled into] happened to me, the powerful drive [sex] was still there. But I knew that the semen would go through the urine or some other way. That didn't bother me because I was determined to figure out and solve this problem [of sex] for myself and by myself. I did not go to a therapist. I never believed in any therapy. So it resolved on its own and by itself. Sex has a place in the organism in that it is a very simple functioning of the body. Its interest is only to create. I discovered these things by myself.
I will give you another example. We were about to make love, and my two-year-old girl cried. We had to break up, and you can't imagine what violent feelings I had at that time. I just wanted to strangle that child! Of course, I did not act on those feelings. I could have. That was the frame of my mind. I said to myself, "That is the blood of my own blood, to use an idiotic phrase, bone of my bone - my own child. How can I have such thoughts? There is something wrong here" [Pointing to himself]. I told myself, "You are not a spiritual man, you are not what you think you are and what people think you are." I was lecturing on the Theosophical platforms everywhere. I said to myself, "You are `this', and `this' is you. This is what you are - all this violence."
Q: Is sex violence?
UG: Sex is violence. But it is a necessary violence for this body. It's a pain.
Q: As far as procreation is concerned....
UG: All creative things are painful. The birth of a child is a very natural thing. But to call it a traumatic experience and build up a tremendous structure of theories around it is something I am not concerned with. It cannot be a traumatic experience.
To continue with what I was saying - that is why, after all this violence, you go to sleep. You feel tired. That is how nature functions. All creations in nature are like that. I don't call it pain or violence. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, storms, and overflowing rivers are all part of nature. You cannot say that there is only chaos or that there is only order. Chaos and order happen almost at the same time. Birth and death are simultaneous processes.
I am not against promiscuity, nor am I against celibacy. But I want to emphasize one basic thing, that is, in the pursuit of your spiritual matters it doesn't really make any difference whether you practice celibacy or indulge in sex and call it Tantric sex. It is comforting to believe that you are having Tantric sex and not sex with a call girl or a prostitute. To say that there is more `feeling' or more closeness when you have sex for spiritual reasons is absolute gibberish.
Q: So there is nothing to Tantric sex?
UG: Call it a fucking club or a Tantric center - it doesn't really matter. You run a brothel because there is a demand for that. There are so many people who are doing this kind of thing in the name of enlightenment. That is detestable to me. They are not honest enough to admit that they are using that [the lure of enlightenment] for fulfilling their lust. That is why they are running these brothels. This kind of gurus are pimps.
Q: Mr. Rajneesh became famous for that....
UG: Yes, someone asked me, "What do you have to say about him after his death?" I said that the world has never seen such a pimp nor will it ever see one in the future. [Laughs]
Q: He was very good. I mean very professional.
UG: Yes, professional. He combined Western therapies, the Tantric system, and everything that you could find in the books. He made a big business out of it. He took money from the boys, he took money from the girls, and kept it for himself. He is dead and so we don't say anything. Nil nisi bonum. [Laughter]
Q: But if we can go back to ....
UG: What I want to say is that unfortunately, society, culture, or whatever you want to call it, has separated the sex activity and put it on a different level, instead of treating it as a simple functioning of the living organism. It is a basic thing in nature. Survival and reproduction are basic things in the living organisms.
Q: And the rest is an artificial build-up....
UG: You can change the areas, you can change the ideas, you can write books. It really doesn't matter. As far as I am concerned, I don't tell anybody what they should or should not do. My interest is to point out that this is the situation and say, "Take it or leave it."
Q: Without the build up, without the culture, without thought, there would still be a sexual functioning of the body, but there wouldn't be anyone to make a problem out of it?
UG: No, look. Anything we touch we turn into a problem; and sex even more so, because this is the most powerful drive there is. If you translate it [into pleasure] and push it into an area where it does not really belong, namely, the pleasure movement, we will, then, create problems. When once you create a problem, the demand to deal with that problem within that framework is bound to arise. So, that is where you come in [with sex therapy etc.]. I have nothing against sex therapists, but that problem [sex as pleasure] has to be solved by people. Otherwise they become neurotic. They don't know what to do with themselves. Not only that, but everything, God, truth, reality, liberation, moksha, is ultimate pleasure. We are not ready to accept that.
Q: But sex is very concrete?
UG: Very concrete. It is tangible. That is why it has become a very powerful factor in our lives. That is why there is also a demand to put limitations on it by culture, first in the name of religion, and then in the name of the family, law, war, and a hundred other things. This [the demand to limit sex] is nothing but the warty outgrowth of the religious thinking of man. What's the difference?
Q: In spite of all these laws they just cannot do anything. It just goes on and on....
UG: It goes on. You talk of the sacredness of life and condemn abortion. This is the same old idiotic Christian idea persisting, which turned every woman into a criminal. And then you go and kill hundreds and thousands of people in the name of your flag, in the name of patriotism. That is the way things are. Not that it is in your interest to change it, but change is something which this structure [i.e., thought] is not interested in. It only talks of change. But you know things are changing constantly.
Q: This artificial build-up of sexual excitement is actually damaging the body, but there are a lot of people who think that, because tension is released and you feel more relaxed, it is good for health.
UG: You first create a tension. All this fantasy, all this romantic nonsense, is building up tension. When once the tension is built, it has to dissolve itself. That is why rest becomes essential, and you go to sleep. You fall asleep because you are tired and exhausted. .... The aftereffects are bound to follow. That's fine, but it's wearing you out in the long run.
Q: Could you comment on the difference in sexual behavior between men and women that is sweeping the West nowadays?
UG: [Laughs] You mean the feminist movement? It's a joke.
Q: In my work I am also concerned with sexual violence such as men having sex with women or children against their will, and all the damage that they do to children. You hardly see that sort of physical sexual violence in women and children. Why is it that a lot of men use children and women as the object of sexual violence?
UG: That, you see, is a sociological problem. I think you probably know much on this subject. I don't know. I can't say much about that problem. But it's really unfortunate that man got away with everything for centuries while society ignored women. Half the population of this planet was neglected, humiliated and treated as doormats. Even the Bible story tells you that the woman is made out of the rib of man. What preposterous nonsense! You see, women's intelligence is lost for this culture. Not only here, it's the same everywhere.
Q: So, where does this [violence] arise from? From time immemorial?
UG: The other party is also responsible for that. You are praising the woman as a darling and she accepts that minor role. The woman is also to be blamed for it. I am not overly enthusiastic about all these feminist movements today. It is a revolt that really has no basis. It's more of a reaction.
Q: You mean both parties are responsible for this situation?
UG: Both are responsible for this. I say this very often. One of the leaders of the feminist movement visited me and asked, "What do you have to say of our movement?" I said, "I am on your side, but you have to realize one very fundamental thing. As long as you depend on man for your sexual needs, so long you are not a free person. If you use a vibrator for your sexual satisfaction, that is a different matter." "You are very crude," she said. I am not crude. What I am saying is a fact. As long as you depend upon something or somebody there is scope for exploitation. I am not against the feminist movement. They ought to have every right. Even today, in the same job a woman is paid less in the United States than a man. Why?
Q: That is culture, of course.
UG: There was a time when I believed that if women were to rule this world, it would be a different story. We had a woman prime minister in India and a woman prime minister in Sri Lanka. There was a lady prime minister in England. I don't know whether that will happen in America and whether a woman will be the president of the United States. But I tell you they [women] are as ruthless as any others. In fact, more ruthless. So this dream of mine was shattered [Laughs] when I saw that woman there in Jerusalem, what was her name....
Q: Golda Meir....
UG: So, it is not a question of a man running the show or a woman running the show, but it is the system that corrupts.
Q: There wouldn't be any inherent difference between men and women in this tendency of men to dominate anywhere and at any time.
UG: Power games are part of culture.
Q: There is no biology involved?
UG: Now they are talking of hormones. I really don't know. They say that it is the hormones that are responsible for the violence. If that is so, what do we do?
Q: We need a woman still....
UG: Assuming for a moment that the advantage that we [men] have had for centuries is not a culturally instigated thing, but a hormonal phenomenon, you have to deal with it in a different way and not put that person on the couch, analyze him, and say that his mother or his great-grandmother was responsible for his aggression. That is too absurd and silly. So, we have to find some way. The basic question which we have to ask for ourselves is: what kind of a human being do you want? But unfortunately we have placed before ourselves the model of a perfect being. The perfect being is a god man or a spiritual man or an avatar, or some such being. But forcing everyone to fit into that mold is the cause of our tragedy. It is just not possible for us all to be like that.
Q: But it is so tempting to be like that.
UG: Once upon a time, the scepter and the crown, the church, and the pontiffs, were all worshiped. Later the kings revolted against that, and then the royal family came to be admired and worshiped. Where are they now? Others have eliminated royalty and have created the office of the president. We are told that you should not insult the head of the state. Until yesterday, he was your neighbor, and now he becomes the president of your republic. Why do you have to worship a king or a president? The whole hierarchical structure, whether of the past or of the present, is exactly the same.
Q: But there seems to be a need in a person to seek for something which he thinks is higher than himself.
UG: That something is what we would like to be. That is why we admire and worship someone. The whole hierarchical structure is built on that foundation. It is all right with the politicians, let alone the monarchy and the church. Even the top tennis player is a hero. Or a movie star. They are models for us. And the culture is responsible for this situation. It is not only the physiological differences, the hormonal differences, if there are any, (I don't know and wouldn't know), but the whole commercialism has that effect. You walk into any store or watch any commercial on the television; they [the ad men] are always telling you how you should dress, and how you should beautify yourself. The beauty of a woman depends upon the ideas of Helena Rubenstein or Elizabeth Arder, or someone else. Now half the stores here contain cosmetics for men. I am not condemning it, but pointing out that is the way of our life. So the ad man is telling you what kind of clothes you should wear, and what colors should match what other colors. He is telling you this all the time. So, you are influenced by what he is telling you. And you want what he wants you to want. How are we going to deal with this problem? I don't know. It is not for me to answer. It is for those people who want to deal with these problems.
Q: You are in a different state, and maybe normal human beings....
UG: Who is normal? The normal person is a statistical concept. But how can this [whatever U.G. is] be a model? This [whatever has happened to U.G.] has no value in the sense that whatever I am cannot be fitted into any value system. It is of no use for the world. It has no value for me and it has no value for the world. You may very well ask me the question, "Why the hell are we talking about all this?" Because you had some questions to throw at me, and what I am doing is to put them in a proper perspective. I only say, "Look at it this way."
I am not interested in winning you over to my point of view, because I have no point of view. And there is no way you can win me over to your point of view. It is not that I am dogmatic or any such thing. It is impossible for you to win me over to your point of view. During a conversation like this, somebody throws at me words at me like, "Oh, you are very this and very that." All right," I say, "This is my point of view. What the hell is yours?" It is also a point of view. So how do you think these two points of view can be reconciled, and for what purpose do you want to reconcile them? You feel good because you have won him to your point of view. You use your logic and your rationality because you are more intelligent than I am. All this is nothing but a power play.
You feel good, like the people who claim to render service to mankind. That is the "do-gooder's" high. You help an old woman across the street and you feel it is good. But it is a self-centered activity. You are interested only in some brownie points, but you shamelessly tell others that you are doing a social turn. I am not cynical. I am just pointing out that it [this feeling] is a do-gooder's high. It is just like any other high. If I admit this, living becomes very simple. If you admit this, then it also shows what a detestable creature you are. You are doing it for yourself, and you tell others and yourself that you are doing it for the benefit of others. I am not cynical. You may say that I am a cynic, but cynicism is realism. The cynic's feet are firmly fixed on the ground.
Q: But I don't find this cynical at all. It makes perfect sense to me. I would like to come back to this moral seeking that we are doing constantly and in every field, including the so-called spiritual field....
UG: Politics, economics, you name it....
Q: Is it not different in the spiritual field?
UG: Why is it different? It is exactly the same. We found ourselves in a situation where only spirituality mattered. And now there are movie stars instead of Jesus. So many people have movie stars, tennis players, or wrestlers as their models, depending upon what their particular fancy is.
Q: And they like it. But to you it is a different story.
UG: I visited a friend of mine. He was condemning his daughters for having the pictures of movie stars in the bathrooms. But when we walked into his living room, he had my photo on his table. I asked him, "What's the difference between the two?"
Q: It's the same thing.
UG: One day many Rajneesh disciples visited me in Bombay. My host happened to be one of the top movie directors. He was very close to Rajneesh. He spent years and years practicing all the techniques taught by Rajneesh. But after he met me he walked out on him. And in his living room, there used to be a massive picture of Rajneesh. After his encounter with me he removed it and put it in the almirah and then put my picture there. Look what he has done!
Q: Exchange one for the other.
UG: Yes. Just like divorce in America. You divorce one woman and then the new wife comes. You put the old wife's picture and your children's pictures all in the attic and replace them with the pictures of the new wife's parents, grandparents and children. [Laughter]
Q: Do you care about that ?
UG: No, no. I just pointed out the absurdity of it. That is all that they can do - replace one illusion with another illusion, one belief with another belief. But if the belief comes to an end, that's the end of everything.
Q: But you explained that there is nothing that one can do to change this.
UG: Not a thing. If you are lucky enough (I don't know, `lucky enough' may not be the appropriate phrase), to find yourself where there is no attempt on your part to get out of the trap, then it may be a different story. But the fact of the matter is that the more you try to get out of the trap, the more deeply you are entrenched in it. This is very difficult to understand.
Q: That's the trap - wanting to get out of it.
UG: Yes. I tell all those who want to discuss with me the question of how to decondition yourself, how to live with an unconditioned mind, that the very thing that they are doing is conditioning them, conditioning them in a different way. You are just picking up a new lingo instead of using the usual one. You begin to use the new lingo and feel good. That's all. But this is conditioning you in exactly the same way; that's all it can do. The physical body [U.G. is now referring to himself] is conditioned in such a way that it acts as intelligence. Conditioning is intelligence here. There is no need for you to think.
Q: But there is no conditioning of the body.
UG: The conditioning of the body is its intelligence. That is the native intelligence of the body. I am not talking about the instinct. The intelligence of the body is necessary for its survival. That intelligence is quite different from the intellect which we have developed. Our intellect is no match for that intelligence. If you don't think, the body can take care of itself in a situation where it finds itself in danger. Whenever the body is faced with danger, it relies upon itself and not your thinking or your intellect. If, on the other hand, you just think, then you are frightened. The fear makes it difficult for you to act. People ask me, "How come you take walks with the cobras?" I have never done it with a tiger or any other wild animal. But I don't think I would be frightened of them either. If there is no fear in you, then you can take walks with them. The fear emits certain odors which the cobra senses. The cobra senses that you are a dangerous thing. Naturally, the cobra has to take the first step. Otherwise, it is one of the most beautiful creatures that nature has created. They are the most lovable creatures. You can take a walk with them and you can talk to them.
Q: Do they talk back...?
UG: It is like a one-way seminar. [Laughter] I don't know. Once a friend of mine, a movie star, visited me in an ashram that I was staying in. She asked me whether it was all an exaggeration that cobras visited me and that I took walks with them. I said, "You wait till the evening or night, and you will be surprised." Later, when we went for a walk at dusk, not just one cobra, but its wife, children, and grandchildren - about fifteen of them, appeared out of nowhere.
Q: The whole family?
UG: The whole family. My guest ran away. If you try to play with it [with the idea of taking walks with cobras], you are in trouble. It is your fear that is responsible for the situation you find yourself in. It is your fear that creates a problem for the cobra; then it has to take the first step.
If the cobra kills you, you are only one person. Whereas we kill hundreds and thousands of cobras for no reason. If you destroy these cobras, then the field mice will have a field day, and you will find that they destroy the crops. There is a tremendous balance in nature. Our indiscretions are responsible for the imbalance in nature.
If I find a cobra trying to harm a child or somebody, I would tell him (I may not kill the cobra, you see) or tell the cobra to go away. [Laughter] You know, the cobra will go away. But you, on the other hand, have to kill. Why do you have to kill hundreds and thousands for no reason? The fear that they will harm us in the future is what is responsible for such acts. But we are creating an imbalance in nature; and then you will have to kill the field mice also. You feed the cats with vitamins or a special kind of a food, and if the cat tries to kill a field mouse, sometimes you want to save the mouse. What for? Even cats do not eat mice any more, because they are used to the food from supermarkets. But the cats still play with the mice and kill them for no reason. They leave them uneaten in the fields. It's amazing. I noticed it several times.
Q: They are corrupted cats?
UG: Corrupted cats. By associating themselves with us, even cats and rats have become like human beings. You also give identity to the cats and names to the dogs. Human culture has spoiled those animals. Unfortunately, we spoil the animals by making them our pets.
Q: Are you tired? Would you like to stop?
UG: No. It's up to you. This is your property, not mine. I have nothing to do with what I have said. It is you who have brought this out from me. What you do with it is your affair. You have the copyright over whatever has come out. I am not saying this for the sake of saying it. It is yours. I don't sit here and think about these things at all. At no time do I do that.
Q: It doesn't concern you at all?
UG: No. It doesn't concern me at all. You come here and throw all these things at me. I am not actually giving you any answers. I am only trying to focus or spotlight the whole thing and say, "This is the way you look at these things; but look at them this [other] way. Then you will be able to find out the solutions for yourself without anyone's help." That is all. My interest is to point out to you that you can walk, and please throw away all those crutches. If you are really handicapped, I wouldn't advise you to do any such thing. But you are made to feel by other people that you are handicapped so that they could sell you those crutches. Throw them away and you can walk. That's all that I can say. "If I fall...." - that is your fear. Put the crutches away, and you are not going to fall.
Q: Is the handicap just a belief?
UG: When we are made to believe that we are handicapped, you become dependent on the crutches. The modern gurus supply you with mechanized crutches.
Q: Why do you feel that we are handicapped, why this conflict, this turmoil?
UG: The whole thing is put in there by culture.
Q: But it is there!
UG: Where? Where is it?
Q: Somewhere I can sense it and feel it, and I feel bothered by it.
UG: But you are giving life to it through constantly thinking about these things. You have a tremendous investment in all these things. But these are all memories, ideas.
Q: What is memory?
UG: I don't really know what memory is. We were told that "To recall a specific thing at a specific time" is memory. We repeated this definition as students of psychology. But it is much more than that. They say that memory is in the neurons. If it is all in the neurons, where is it located in them? The brain does not seem to be the center of memory. Cells seem to have their own memory. So, where is that memory? Is it transmitted through genes? I really don't know. Some of these questions have no answers so far. Probably one of these days they will find out.
I believe that the problems of this planet can be solved through the help of the tremendous high-tech and technology at our disposal. But the benefits that we have accrued through these advancements have not yet percolated to the level of all the people living on this planet. Technology has benefited only a microscopic number of people. It seems that even without the help of high-tech and technology it is possible for us to feed twelve billion people. When nature has provided us with such bounty, why is it that three-fourths of the people are underfed? Why are they all starving? They are starving because we are responsible for their problems. That is the problem that is facing us all today.
Even in Iraq it's the same. The game that is going on there is only to dominate and control the resources of the world. That is the naked truth and the rest of it is absolute rubbish. Whether you kill an Iraqi or an American it really doesn't matter. The President of the United States says, "I am ready to sacrifice Americans." For what? When the coffins start arriving in America, they will sing a different song. But that is not the point. I am not on this side or that. The reality of the situation is that.
The other problem is: how do we change a human being, and for what purpose? If the purpose is to correct physical deformities, we are lucky that medical technology will help us. If a child has some kind of handicap, there is something that can be done to change it. So, people have to be thankful to medical technology. Nature is not concerned about the handicap one way or another. One more person is added to the population. So, if any changes are necessary in human beings, and if you want them to function differently by freeing them from all the things that the ethical, cultural, legal structure is failing to free them from, and thereby create a different kind of people, then probably only genetic engineering could come to our aid. Codes of ethics, morals, and the legal structure are not going to help. They have not helped so far. They have not achieved anything. But through the help of genetic engineering we may be able to free individuals from thieving tendencies, from violence, greed, and jealousy. But the question is, for what? I don't know for what.
Q: What the genetic engineers are doing will only give them more power!
UG: The engineers are helped by the state. They are the victims of the state. They are doing this not, as they claim, for humanitarian reasons or altruistic purposes, but for recognition, for a Nobel Prize, or for some prestigious awards.
Q: So, if they find a solution, then...?
UG: They will hand it over to the state, and it will become a lot easier for the leaders to send people like robots to the battle fields and to kill without question. That is inevitable. So what is it that we are actually doing? As I see it - and this is my doomsday song - there is nothing that you can do to reverse this whole trend. Individually, probably, you can jump off the tiger. But no matter what you say to that man who is frightened of jumping off and is continuing the tiger ride, it is not going to help him. Actually, you don't even have to jump off, [Laughs] you can continue to ride. There is no problem there. You are not in conflict with the society because the world cannot be any different. If someone wants to be on the top, if it is part of his power game, then he talks of changing the world; he talks of creating heaven or paradise on earth. But I want to know when.
During the Second World War we were all made to believe that it was a war to end all wars. What nonsense they talked! Has it ended wars? Wars have been going on and on. We were made to believe that the first world war was waged to make the world safe for democracy. [Laughs] Oh boy! We are all made to believe all kinds of stuff. If you believe your leader, or if you believe what the newspaper man is telling you, you will believe anybody and anything.
Q: But even realizing this doesn't change anything?
UG: Changes.... Why are you concerned about the world and the other man?
Q: But you know, Sir, when you realize that you are on the wrong side of the tiger....
UG: You have not realized anything. If there really is that realization there is an action. I don't like to use the phrase "freed from all that", but you are not in conflict any more. There is no way you can bring the conflict [to an end]. The conflict is there because of the neurotic situation that the culture has put in you.
Q: And in realizing that....
UG: How do you realize? The instrument which you have at your disposal....
Q: My intellect....
UG: That intellect is the one that is responsible for the neurotic situation. This is the human situation. There is no way you can resolve your problems through that instrument. But we are not ready to accept that it can only create problems and cannot help us to solve them.
Q: But even if you accept that, would it make a difference?
Q: This is so clear....
UG: If it is so, it is not a fact there [in us, and in the interviewer]. To me, it is a fact. "It is so" means, there is no further movement there to do anything about it. That is the end of the whole thing.
Q: If it is so....
UG: It cannot be so for you. If it is so, that is the end of our dialogue. You are on your own.
Q: I can see that.
UG: You are on your own. You will not talk about me. If you talk about me it is just another story you are telling, picked up somewhere else. So what will come out of it is anybody's guess. It will not be the same. What you will say will not be the same.
Q: I don't catch that....
UG: If you are lucky enough to throw the whole thing out of your system, the whole of what everyone thought, felt and experienced....
Q: Can we?
UG: You cannot, and there is nothing that you can do about it. You don't even complete that sentence. The situation is such that you don't even tell yourself that there is nothing that you can do about it.
Q: So when I say to myself that I can do nothing....
UG: Still that demand to do something is bound to be there.
Q: ...which is the problem.
UG: That is the problem. You call it hopelessness and say, "Intellectually I understand." But that is the only way you can understand anything. That is what you are trying to do now. I can say that that [thought] is not the instrument, there is no other instrument, and there is nothing to understand. How this understanding dawned on me, I really don't know. If I knew that, it would be as worthless as any other thing. I really don't know. So, you have to be in a situation where you really don't know what to do about this whole situation. You have not exhausted the whole thing. You know, if you exhaust one, there is always another one [situation], another one, and yet another one.
Q: And even planning to exhaust that would be a disaster ?
UG: Yes, to attempt to free yourself from that, to put yourself in a state that you really don't know,
is part of the movement [of thought].
Go to Chapter 9