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Chapter 8: The First Principle

When the outside and inside disappear, nobody dominates anybody, because a domination is not a good state of affairs. The one who dominates will be thrown sooner or later; the oppressors will become the oppressed, and the oppressed will become the oppressors. It is just a fight between your left hand and right hand, and the whole game is a pretense. Remember this paradox: the more you go inwards, the less of the outer there is. When you really reach to the innermost, inner and outer both disappear. Then you are nothing, and everything.

In a school a teacher was asking tricky questions, and then she said, “Charlie Brown, how will you define nothingness?”

Without a single moment’s hesitation Charlie Brown said, “Nothingness is a balloon with its skin off.”

That is you at the last moment - the skin off.nothingness. But then you have become the whole because the skin was dividing you from the whole.

And where is your skin? Self-consciousness is your skin, the ego is your skin. When the ego is off you become nothing and the whole simultaneously, because they both mean the same thing.

The second thing to be understood: you may have observed in yourself and in others also, that there is a very deep urge to become unconscious; hence the appeal of all types of alcohol, drugs, chemical intoxicants. Puritans cannot understand it, moralists cannot understand it. Why? Preachers go on preaching against it but it has not changed a single person; not a single man has been changed through it. Humanity goes on moving on its path: puritans go on condemning, but nobody listens to them.

It cannot be an ordinary thing, something extraordinary is involved. That’s why it is so difficult to try to change an alcoholic - very very difficult, almost impossible. Why is there so much appeal in becoming unconscious? - because self-consciousness is such a disease, it is such a burden. And there are only two ways to go beyond it: one is to fall into unconsciousness, the other is to become superbly conscious. Either move to superconsciousness or move to unconsciousness. Self-consciousness is such a tension, such an anguish and anxiety, so move either to alcohol or move to God.

God and the devil are not opposites really; God and alcohol.If God is supreme consciousness, then unconsciousness is the opposite pole.

I have heard: Once it happened that a social worker who was trying to convert people towards religion and against sin, against alcohol, came to see Mulla Nasruddin. She said, “Last time I came to see you, you were sober, and it made me tremendously happy. But now you are again intoxicated and it makes me very very unhappy.”

“True,” said Mulla Nasruddin beaming with happiness. He said, “This time it is my turn to be happy.”

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