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Why should we raise the consciousness of the world?
Are you nuts or something?


Why should we raise the consciousness of the world? Are you nuts or something? Can't you let the world alone? You just raise your consciousness. But this is how the world is. Nobody is interested in raising his own consciousness, everybody is interested in raising the world's consciousness. That seems to be easier, more fun. To raise one's own consciousness is arduous. To raise the consciousness of the world is just fun, no problem to you. Whether it is raised or not, you are not losing anything.

Yes, by trying to raise it suddenly you become a great sage, you become a great religious leader, you become world famous. You are raising the consciousness of the world -- as if consciousness is just lying down there asleep and you just have to wake it up. Just pour cold water over it and consciousness rises up and says, "What is the matter? Who is troubling me?"

It is not so easy. Consciousness is not there in any collective sense; there is no world consciousness. There are only trees, no forest. Forest is only a word -- convenient, useful, but non-existential. If you go in search of a forest you will never find it. Standing in the middle of it still you will not find it. What you will find always is an individual tree, and of course an individual tree is not the forest.

This "consciousness of the world," "consciousness of humanity," are just words. Don't fall into linguistic games.

Remember one thing: Consciousness is always individual.

There is no way for consciousness to become collective. It is always "I," it is never "we."

And why this concern? Why are millions of people around the world concerned with raising the consciousness of the world? And not only now; as far back as you can find any records they have been concerned with raising human consciousness, humanity, making the world divine, sacred.

But I am a different kind of man, a little bit eccentric ... otherwise, if you had asked the question to any mahatma, any great religious personality, he would have answered, "Yes, we can raise humanity's consciousness. Of course time is very short but my methods are very quick, too."

That's what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi goes on telling people. Time is short, according to all the prophecies, all the astrologers; as this century closes there is every possibility that the earth will be finished. Time is really short! But Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says his method is quick: just ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening you do transcendental meditation.

And what is transcendental meditation? You repeat one word that is given to you. Of course you have to pay a fee for it, two hundred and fifty dollars. And what does he give? He asks you, "Are you a Christian?" You say, "Yes."

He says, "Catholic? Protestant?" -- just to figure out who you are so he can give you a mantra suitable to your religion.

If you say, "I am a Catholic," he will say, "That's very good. You start the mantra, `Ave Maria.' Repeat continuously: Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, anywhere, in any posture, just for ten minutes. Between two Ave Marias don't leave any gap, go as fast as you can." One Ave Maria almost entering another Ave Maria, just as when sometimes there is an accident of a railway train, and compartments go over other compartments, and inside other compartments. All the buffers are broken and the train is for the first time in a real unity.

This is a very traditional method in India. It is nothing new, and it is used by everybody; in every village you can get it, very cheap. If you are very rich the price is twenty rupees, which is less than a dollar. If you are poor it can be reduced; for the very poor, a coconut.

And in India there are two types of coconuts -- coconuts which people eat, and coconuts which people use religiously; they offer it to gods, to temples, to gurus. Those coconuts for centuries have the same price, their price has not changed. For one rupee you can get three -- because they are the same coconuts! For centuries ....

In my village, just in front of my house there was a temple of Krishna, and by the side of the temple, a coconut shop. A coconut shop is always very close. If you find a temple, you can know without any trouble that within a five-minute radius there must be a coconut shop; mostly it is just by the side of the temple.

You go on offering to the god, and the same coconuts go on getting back to the shop at the side of the temple. So the price remains the same -- and they are all rotten. The coconut shell is so hard that what is inside nobody knows. These are religious coconuts. Nobody will purchase coconuts from a religious coconut shop for eating, because inside you will find nothing. Their function is just to move from the shop to the temple, and from the back door again to the shop. In the morning they are again for sale -- and this round goes on and on.

And the coconut is a strange fruit. You can work with it for centuries. Its consciousness remains the same, no change. In India it is so cheap -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may not have been able to raise the consciousness of the people but he has raised the price of transcendental meditation from one coconut to two hundred and fifty dollars. I don't know how many coconuts that will be ... because for one rupee you can get three coconuts -- religious coconuts, don't forget that. For one rupee, three religious coconuts; for one dollar you can have at least a hundred religious coconuts; for two hundred and fifty dollars ... now you can work it out.

And now he is not only trying to raise the consciousness of people. He has been doing that for more than thirty years, and now people are fed up because nothing is raised. Simply their pocket becomes lighter, and nothing is raised. They are getting fed up. And how long can you cheat people?

So now these people have to go on inventing something new. His new thing is even more idiotic: now he is trying to levitate people. First he was trying to levitate their consciousness, now he is trying to levitate people. The fees have also gone higher -- of course, because he is raising your body, too. Now he says he has found the secret. Joined with transcendental meditation your body will rise, float in the air; your head will touch the roof. And there are fools in the world who are ready to pay for this kind of nonsense.

Time is short, and people are trying to levitate bodies. For what purpose? Even if, for argument's sake, we accept that people can learn to levitate their bodies, and their heads start touching their roofs, how is it going to make humanity better?

If just touching the roof with your head is the thing, then simpler methods can be used. Just make a tall stool -- ask any carpenter; he can make you a beautiful tall stool so your head touches the roof. A stool can be adjustable, so if you are short or tall the stool can be adjusted. You can adjust it yourself, so your head touches the roof. If that makes you a superman, then why bother about meditation and such long procedures? Time is very short.

The greater masses of the world are not interested in consciousness. They are more interested in unconsciousness. You may not have heard them saying that they are interested in unconsciousness, but you can see them drinking alcohol -- all kinds of narcotics are being used, all kinds of drugs are being used. And there are other kinds of unconsciousnesses which are not produced by chemical drugs.

For example, in a movie, for three hours, for what are you searching? You are searching for three hours of unconsciousness. For three hours you become so involved in any idiotic story. And they have been almost the same for centuries: just two men, one woman; two women, one man. And there is not much difference in those stories: two women, one man; or two men, one woman. It is really one story. Only three persons are needed; put them in all kinds of situations, create all different details, but the story remains the same.

But it is helpful -- you get involved in it. Your thinking disappears, your past, your present, disappear. You are suddenly herenow -- not in a conscious way, but through an unconscious trick. You can do it with alcohol, you can do it with politics, you can do it with religion. You can do it in a church, you can do it in a movie house. You can do it in a thousand and one ways, and people are using all kinds of ways.

People are not interested in consciousness.

So don't ask me how can we raise people's consciousness. Nobody can do it for somebody else; you can only do it for yourself. This is the fundamental of spiritual surgery: you can only be successful on yourself.

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