System Makers & System Breakers
Question : YOU SAID THAT SHIVA IS NOT A SYSTEM-MAKER AND SECTS CANNOT FORM AROUND HIS TEACHINGS. BUT PERSONS LIKE BUDDHA, MAHAVIR, JESUS, GURDJIEFF, SEEM TO BE GREAT SYSTEM-MAKERS. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO BE SYSTEM-MAKERS? PLEASE EXPLAIN THE PRO’S AND CON’S OF SYSTEM-MAKING. ARE YOU A MULTI-SYSTEM-MAKER?
There are two possibilities: you can create a system to help people, create multi-systems to help people, or the other, you can try to destroy systems to help people. Again the yes and no. Again the polar opposites. And in both ways you can help people.
Bodhidharma is a system-destroyer, Krishnamurti is a system-destroyer, the whole tradition of Zen is system-destroying. Mahavir, Mohammed, Jesus, Gurdjieff, are great system-makers. The problems is always that we cannot understand these two contradictory things simultaneously together: we think that either one can be right but both cannot be. If system-makers are right, then our mind says that system-destroyers must be wrong. Or if the system-destroyers are right, then system-makers must be wrong. No, both are right.
A system means a pattern to follow, a clear-cut map to follow so that no doubt arises, no indecisiveness arises and you can follow with absolute faith. Remember this: a system is created to create faith, to create trust. If everything is clear, then there will be trust more easily. If all your questions are answered mathematically, then you will be in a state of no doubt and you can proceed. So sometimes Mahavir answers your absurd questions also. They are futile questions, meaningless, but he will answer. And he will answer in such a way that it helps you to have trust, because that quality of trust is needed.
When someone tries to penetrate into the unknown a deep trust is needed otherwise it will be impossible to move. It will be so dangerous you will get scared. It is dark, the path is not clear, everything is chaos and every step leads you into more and more insecurity. Hence system-making is needed so that everything is planned: you know everything about heaven and hell and the ultimate moksha, and from where you will move, from where you will pass. Every inch has been mapped.
That gives you a security, a feeling, that everything is okay. People have been there before and you are not moving into a no-man’s land, you are not moving into the unknown. A system makes it appear as if it is known. That is to help you, just to give you support. And if you have faith then you will have energy to move. If you are doubtful, you will dissipate energy and movement will be difficult.
System-makers have tried to answer all types of questions and they have created a neat and clean map. With that map in your hand you feel everything is okay, you can proceed. But I tell you, every system is just artificial. Every system is just to help you. It is not true. No system can be true. It is a device. But it helps because your whole personality is so untrue that even untrue devices help. You live in lies and you cannot understand truth. A system means less lies and then even less lies and then by and by, by and by, you will come nearer and nearer to the truth. When the truth is revealed to you the system will become meaningless, it will simply drop.
When Sariputta became enlightened, came to the ultimate goal, he looked back from that point and saw that the whole system had disappeared. Whatsoever he had been taught was not there. So he said to Buddha, ”The whole system that was taught to me has disappeared.” Buddha said to him, ”Keep silent, don’t tell the others! It has disappeared, it has to disappear because it was never there, it was a make-believe – but it helped you to come to this point. Don’t tell those who have not come yet, because if they know that there is no knowledge where they are going to they will drop. They cannot go into the unknown unguarded, alone they cannot go.”
It happens many times. It has been my own experience that people come to me and they say, ”Now meditation is going deep but we are scared.” An ultimate feeling is bound to come when you feel a ”dying” fear, as if death is approaching near. When meditation comes to its peak it is death-like. I tell them, ”Don’t worry, I am with you.” Then they feel okay. I cannot be there – impossible! No one can be there. This is untrue. No one can be there, you will be alone. That point is one of total aloneness. But when I say, ”I will be there, you don’t worry, you go ahead,” they feel okay and they move. If I say, ”You will be alone and no one is going to be there,” they will step back. The point has come where fear is bound to be there. The abyss is there and they are going to fall – I must help them to fall. So I say that I am there, you just take the jump. And they take the jump! After the jump they will come to know that no one was there, but now, now the whole thing is finished. They cannot come back. This is a device.
All systems are devices to help: to help people who are full of doubts, to help people who have no trust, to help people who have no confidence. To help people to move into the unknown without fear, systems are created. In those systems everything is just like a myth, that is why there are so many systems. Mahavir creates his own – that system is created according to the needs of his followers. So he creates a system. It is a myth, but very helpful, because many moved through it and reached to the truth. And when they reached they knew that the system was false – but it worked.
There are so many systems, and every system helps. But every system cannot help everybody. That is why the old religions insisted that a person should not be converted into a new religion, because although the mind can after a time be conditioned in a system and can be changed, deep down you will never change, and a new system will never become useful for you. A Hindu can become a Christian, a Christian can become a Hindu, but after the age of seven the mind is almost fixed, conditioned. so if a Hindu becomes a Christian he will remain a Hindu deep down and the Christian system will not help him. And he has lost contact with his own system which might have worked.
Hindus and Jews have always been against conversion. Not only against conversion – if someone wants to enter into their religion voluntarily, they will resist. They will say, ”No, follow your own path.” Because a system is a great unconscious phenomenon; it has to be deep in the unconscious, only then can it help. Otherwise it cannot help and it is an artificial thing. It is just like language. You can never speak any language as you speak your mother-tongue, it is impossible. Nothing can be done about it. Howsoever efficient you become in somebody else’s language it will remain superficial. Deep down your mother-tongue will continue to influence it. Your dreams will be in your mothertongue; the unconscious will function with the original language. Anything can be imposed on and above it, but it cannot be replaced.
Religious systems are like language, they are language. But if they penetrate deep, they help because you feel confident. The system is irrelevant but the confidence is relevant. You feel trusting so you move with a sure step – you know where you are moving. And this knowing helps.
But there are system-destroyers also and they also help. There is a rhythmic circle, just like day and night – again day comes, again night comes. They help because sometimes it happens that when there are so many systems people get confused, and rather than moving with the maps, the maps become so heavy that they cannot carry them. It happens always.
For example, a tradition, a very long tradition, is helpful because it will give confidence because it is so long. But because it is so long it is heavy also, it has become a dead weight. So rather than helping you to move, you cannot move because of it. You have to be unburdened. So there are system-destroyers who destroy the system from your mind and unburden you and help you to move. They both help, but it depends. It depends on the age, it depends on the person who is to be helped.
Krishnamurti appeals to them because he says leave all systems. If you can leave all systems you will become unconfused – but it depends on you. It may happen, as it happens almost always, that all the systems will remain there and this new system of destroying all systems will also enter.
If you can believe in a system, so far so good; if you cannot believe in any system, then drop all. Then be completely clean, unburdened.
Buddha and Krishna and Jesus – every century they go on teaching certain things. You go on listening but you are very clever. You listen and yet you don’t listen. And you always find something, some hole, from where you can escape. Now the trick of the modern mind is that if there is a system, if Gurdjieff is teaching, then people will go to him and say, ”Krishnamurti says no system.” These same people will go to Krishnamurti – Krishnamurti teaches no-system – and they will say, ”But Gurdjieff says that without a system nothing can be done.” So while near Gurdjieff they use Krishnamurti as a loophole to escape; while near Krishnamurti they use Gurdjieff as a trick to escape. But they are not deceiving anybody, they are simply destroying themselves.
Gurdjieff can help, Krishnamurti can help, but they cannot help against you. You must be certain about certain things. One, either you need help or you don’t need it. Second, either you can move into the unknown without any fear or you cannot. And third, without any method, without any technique, without any system, can you proceed a single inch or can’t you? These three things you have to decide within you: analyze your mind, open it, look into it and decide what type of mind you have got. If you decide that you cannot do it alone then you need a system, a master, a scripture, a technique. If you think that you can do alone then there is no need for anything else. You are the master, you are the scripture, you are the technique. But be honest, and if you feel that it is impossible to decide – it is not easy to decide – if you feel confused, then first try a master, a technique, a system. And try it hard, to the very extreme, so that if something is going to happen, it happens. If nothing is going to happen then you come to a point where you can decide that now you will have all, you will be alone. That too will be good.
But my suggestion is that you should always start with a master, a system, a technique, because in both ways it will be good. If you can achieve through it, it is good; if you cannot achieve through it, then the whole thing becomes futile and you can drop it and then you can proceed alone. Then you will not need Krishnamurti to tell you that no master is needed, you will know it. Then you will not need any Zen teaching to tell you to throw away your scriptures and burn them, you will have already burned them.
So it is good to proceed with a master, with a system, with a technique – but be sincere. When I say be sincere I mean that you should do whatsoever you can do with a master, so that if something can happen, it happens. If nothing can happen, then you can conclude that this is not the path for you and you can move alone.
[Osho - 'Vigyan Bahairava Tantra']