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Chapter 17: Playing a Part in the Movie

Entertainment you can have - but then you cannot be the watcher. And if you want to be the watcher, you cannot have the entertainment. In fact, who needs entertainment? - only a miserable person. Who are the people who are lining up in front of movie houses? - all kinds of miserable, tense, worried, tired people, crushed by life - wanting for at least three hours to forget all the problems and all the worries and all the anxieties and get lost in the movie.

Entertainment is for the miserable - not for the blissful, not for the meditator, not for one who is aware. He is having so much joy within himself that no entertainment can enhance it; on the contrary, the entertainment may become a disturbance. If you are peaceful, silent, then any kind of entertainment is just a disturbance. But if you are too full of thoughts, and noisy, the entertainment gives a relief for two, three hours; you forget yourself.

It is good that in movie houses when the film starts, it is dark. In that darkness people cry, people weep, people laugh; they are not worried, because nobody is seeing them. But why are they crying? - because on the screen there is nothing, except a play of light and darkness. But some tragic scene, and tears come to their eyes. They have become absolutely identified, part of the story.

Their life is so negatively empty that they would like to fill it with something. It may be a movie, a circus, it may be alcohol or some other drug - for the simple reason that they can forget this world and all its problems. But by forgetting them they are not solving them; after three hours the problems will be back with vengeance. After the whole night remaining drunk, in the morning they will have all the problems and above all, the hangover, a migraine - that is an additional gain. All the problems are there, all the worries are there.perhaps they have grown in the night.

I have told you many times that Jews have suffered the most in the whole history of man, and because of this suffering they are the people who have the best jokes in the world. Just something to laugh at; otherwise their life is just tears. To avoid the tears, something is needed that can make you laugh.

I have worked hard to find one, but in India we don’t have a single original joke. Ten thousand years, and we don’t have a single joke which we can say is our own. All jokes are imported, and most of them are from the Jewish tradition.

Jews have beautiful jokes. And the reason is not that they are very happy - just the opposite. The reason is that they have lived in such tragic times. Since the times of Moses - almost four thousand years - they have suffered and suffered. And there seems to be no end to their suffering - they are still suffering in Israel.

But you will be surprised: in this whole long history of suffering, they have somehow managed themselves, they have not gone mad. Their jokes have saved them; but their jokes have not solved their problems.

I will tell you two Jewish jokes.

A rabbi finds himself sharing a railway compartment with a Roman Catholic priest. After some time, the priest leans forward,

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