No word has a meaning of itself; meanings are given, they are arbitrary. Otherwise every word is just a sound, meaningless. But we can give meaning to any sound, and the sound becomes a word when we give a meaning to it. Sometimes the meaning is very relevant and sometimes it is not relevant. Most of the time it is not relevant ? it is arbitrary, useful; utilitarian but not existential.
Hence, languages don't consist of existential words. For example om has no meaning, it is not part of any alphabet, but it has some existential purpose: it provokes in you the sound of the eternal. It is something similar to the sound of existence itself ? not exactly the same, a faraway echo, but still very representative.
In the same way is the word 'Yaa-Hoo!' Hoo is an ancient practice of the Sufis. They have discovered that rather than repeating the mantra Allah, Allah-hoo helps you to go deeper into yourself. And somebody found on the way that there is no need even to say "Allah-hoo" ? just "Hoo" serves the purpose, because the sound "Hoo" hits at the very center of your being. Just by repeating "Hoo" again and again ? you will be surprised ? you have left your mind far away, your thoughts have ceased, time has disappeared and you have come into a space which is yours, but you have never been aware of it.
With "Hoo," I have joined "Yaa" also, because in my feeling "Hoo" works, certainly, but it is serious. It makes you centered, but in your center there is no laughter, no dance. Certainly the flower blossoms, but there is no fragrance. The sound "Yaa" does the work; it makes the word "Hoo" complete and total. "Yaa-Hoo!" not only hits your center, your very being, it also brings in you a tremendous feeling of joy, a laughter, a dance. It is celebration.
Just repeating Yaa-Hoo! you will be surprised ? you are not becoming sad and serious as the saints are supposed to be, but a totally new dimension is opening up: the laughing saint, the dancing god. Yaa-Hoo! is only a representative expression of a laughing and dancing being.
I have chosen Leela, one of my therapists, to create a new meditative therapy.
The first part will be Yaa-Hoo! ? for three hours, people simply laugh for no reason at all. And whenever their laughter starts dying they again say, "Yaa-Hoo!" and it will come back. Digging for three hours you will be surprised how many layers of dust have gathered upon your being. It will cut them like a sword, in one blow. For seven days continuously, three hours every day...you cannot conceive how much transformation can come to your being.
And then the second part is "Yaa-Boo." The first part removes everything that hinders your laughter ? all the inhibitions of past humanity, all the repressions. It cuts them away. It brings a new space within you, but still you have to go a few steps more to reach the temple of your being, because you have suppressed so much sadness, so much despair, so much anxiety, so many tears ? they are all there, covering you and destroying your beauty, your grace, your joy.
In old Mongolia they had an ancient idea that every life, whatever pain is suppressed...and pain is suppressed, because nobody wants it. You don't want to be painful so you suppress it, you avoid, you look somewhere else. But it remains.
And the Mongolian idea was ? and I agree with it ? that life after life it goes on accumulating in you; it becomes almost a hard shell of pain. That's why all the saints and the sages have been telling you, shouting ? "Go into yourself!" You listen to them, but you don't go. There is a reason why you don't go: you know that going in, you have to encounter pain; going in, you have to encounter misery, suffering, agony. It is better to remain outside ? engaged, busy. Never be alone, because in your aloneness you may unconsciously start moving inwards. Being alone, having nothing else to do you may start looking inwards.
People have invented all kinds of things to escape from themselves: they may smoke cigarettes.... Not that they need them. I have never felt any need for cigarettes, so I cannot conceive that there is any necessity for anybody to be so stupid. When pure air is available, he is making his breathing full of poison, and he is paying for it! But there must be some reason. Why do millions of people go on smoking? The reason is, it keeps you occupied. Even if you are alone, it does not leave you unoccupied.
These are devices of your mind. There are people who are chewing gum. Now what a nonsense thing to do! ? chewing gum? Are you sane or insane? Can't you chew anything else? No sane person can do this unnecessary exercise of chewing gum. But it keeps you occupied, so millions of people are chewing gum.
All your conversations, your so-called busy-ness is almost without any purpose, without any business. But it helps just one thing: you don't come across yourself. There is too much pain.
So you can listen to the sages, to the awakened ones, and you can nod ? "You are right, but my time has not come yet. Please forgive me; I have still to chew gum, I have still to smoke cigarettes. You are great, you can drop these things; we are small people, how can we drop cigarettes and chewing gum?"
Just see the stupidity of it all. But behind the stupidity there must be some psychology and the psychology is: anything that helps you to avoid yourself becomes useful. Football match, volleyball, boxing...somebody else is doing it, you are just looking, but that looking takes you away from your own inside.
If you go in you will find both, laughter and tears.
That's why sometimes it happens that by laughing, suddenly you find tears also start coming together with it ? very confusing, because ordinarily we think they are contrary. When you are full of tears it is not a time to laugh, or when you are laughing it is not the right season for tears. But existence does not believe in your concepts, ideologies; existence transcends all your concepts, which are dualistic, which are based on duality. Day and night, laughter and tears, pain and blissfulness, they both come together.
When a man reaches into his innermost being he will find the first layer is of laughter and the second layer is of agony, tears.
So for seven days you have to allow yourself to weep, cry, for no reason at all ? just the tears are ready to come. You have been preventing them. Just don't prevent, and whenever you feel they are not coming, just say, "Yaa-Boo!"
These are pure sounds, used as a technique to bring all your laughter and all your tears and clean you completely, so that you can become an innocent child.
This is absolutely my meditation.
Leela will be in charge of it and you will be surprised that no meditation can give you so much as this small strategy. This is my experience of many meditations, that what has to be done is to break two layers in you. Your laughter has been repressed; you have been told, "Don't laugh, it is a serious matter." You are not allowed to laugh in a church, or in a university clbutt....
So the first layer is of laughter, but once laughter is over you will suddenly find yourself flooded with tears, agony. But that too will be a great unburdening phenomenon. Many lives of pain and suffering will disappear. If you can get rid of these two layers you have found yourself.
There is no meaning in the words, "Yaa-Hoo" or "Yaa-Boo." These are simply techniques, sounds which can be used for a certain purpose to enter into your own being.
And you may have felt it ? when you shout, "Yaa-Hoo!" you may have felt a sudden breeze of freshness and joy.
I don't want so many people to cry here; that's why I have not used the other part. That is to be used in special groups.
I have invented many meditations, but perhaps this will be the most essential and fundamental one.
It can take over the whole world. Already from every country news cuttings are coming to me: "What is this Yaa-Hoo!?" People are making up meanings of their own, but it has taken over around the world. Now the second thing is Yaa-Boo! And the whole process of Yaa-Hoo and Yaa-Boo, the couple, married...arranged marriage!
Every society has done so much harm by preventing your joys and your tears. If an old man starts crying you will say, "What are you doing? You should feel ashamed; you are not a child, that somebody has taken your banana and you are crying. Have another banana, but don't cry."
Just see ? stand on the street and start crying and a crowd will gather to console you: "Don't cry! Whatever has happened forget all about it, it has happened." Nobody knows what has happened, nobody can help you, but everybody will try.... "Don't cry!" And the reason is that if you go on crying, then they will start crying, because they are also flooded with....
Those tears are very close to the eyes.
And it is a healthy thing to cry, to weep, to laugh. Now scientists are discovering that crying, weeping, laughter, are immensely healthful; not only physically but also psychologically, they are very much capable of keeping you sane. The whole of humanity has gone a little cuckoo, for the simple reason that nobody laughs fully because all around there are people who will say, "What are you doing? Are you a child? ? at this age? What will your children think? Keep quiet!"
If you cry and weep without any reason, just as an exercise, a meditation...nobody will believe it. Tears have never been accepted as meditation. And I tell you, they are not only a meditation, they are a medicine also. You will have better eyesight and you will have better inner vision.
I am giving you a very fundamental technique, fresh and unused. And it is going to become worldwide, without any doubt, because its effects will show anybody that the person has become younger, the person has become more loving, the person has become graceful. The person has become more flexible, less fanatic; the person has become more joyful, more a celebrant.
All that this world needs is a good cleansing of the heart of all the inhibitions of the past.
Laughter and tears can do both. Tears will take out all the agony that is hidden inside you and laughter will take all that is preventing your ecstasy. Once you have learned the art you will be immensely surprised: why has this not been told up to now? There is a reason: nobody has wanted humanity to have the freshness of a rose flower and the fragrance and the beauty.
I have called this series of lectures "The Mystic Rose." "Yaa-Hoo!" is the mantra to bring the mystic rose in your very center, to open your center and release your fragrance. Your life becomes for the first time significant, not just useful. Right now it is only useful ? you are a father, useful. Without you what will your children do? You are a mother, useful; you are a wife, useful ? without you what will your husband do? He may go astray.
He is already going astray, so you have to hang around! If the husband is too joyous the wife cannot believe that he is joyful because of her. There must be some other woman: "Just tell us, what is her name? Who is the other woman? Why are you laughing?"
The husband cannot cry, because the wife will say, "What is the matter? I have been telling you continually, these love affairs won't do. Has the woman gone, leaving you behind crying and weeping?"
Two old people appeared in the court, husband and wife ? the husband was ninety-five years old, the wife ninety years old, and they wanted a divorce. The magistrate could not believe it. He said, "My god, at this age! For what? How long have you been married?" They said, "Who remembers? Maybe sixty years, seventy years, but we cannot give you a certain date. It was long before." The magistrate said, "If you have lived together so long that you cannot even remember when you started living together, then why are you divorcing now? If life was not good, and things were not going well, you should have appeared before the court long ago!" The old man said, "We wanted to come, but the children.... Now all the children are dead, so we decided there is no point in torturing each other. Now we should get a divorce: you torture somebody else if you can find anybody; I will torture somebody else if I can find. Otherwise we can be alone far better than we are together. Together we become so sad that 'this woman destroyed my life' or, 'this man destroyed my life.'"
People marry not because of love ? love knows no marriage, because love will not create any contract. It is not business. Love knows no marriage because it is not business, it is not law. It won't reduce the freedom of the other. If anything, it will increase and enhance the freedom of the other.
Love cannot cut the wings of the other. It will give you more wings, more skies, vast spaces to fly and to be.
But that does not happen. Marriage is a utility. It is a need, it is not a celebration.
Everything in life has become so mundane, so burdensome, but you don't know what else to do, where to go. Everybody is suffering his own suffering. You cannot change places. Even if it were possible to change places you would not change, because our own misery is at least ours and we are well acquainted.
At a party one man was asked by his wife, "I hear that the woman sitting over there is your mistress?" The man did not want to create a fuss in the party, so he whispered; he said, "Yes, everybody has mistresses here, so don't make any trouble." She said, "Then tell me who is whose mistress?" So he told her: "This man has that mistress, and his wife is somebody else's mistress. It is a bit of a puzzle...."
He told her about everybody. The same women, the same men, but all have mistresses, all have wives. The woman looked at all of them and finally said, "But ours is the best."
Her husband's mistress! It was an agony, but ours...! "Others are being more idiotic ? these horrible women.... I know all of them."
Even the agony, the pain becomes by and by an acquaintance, old and familiar. You cannot part with it, you will miss it.
I have seen people missing their wives, just after two or three days when the wife has gone to her parents. For two or three days they are so joyful, but the fourth day they start missing the wife. And I have said to my friends, "You always wanted to get rid of your wife. It is good that she is prolonging her holiday ? enjoy!"
And what have I heard from my friends? "Yes, it is true, when she is here I feel like killing her. But when she goes somewhere else I feel so alone, that I go on writing letters and sending telegrams and every day a phone call ? 'Come back soon; without you, life is not life!'"
Strange people! And when she comes then they want to kill her. They don't kill, just because they know it is very risky. If there were rewards for killing wives, I don't think you would find anybody who would not participate in the competition. Afterwards they will cry and weep and they will remember the golden days, but right now it is a nightmare.
The whole of life has become just a utility: either you are an inspector, or you are a police commissioner, or you are a minister, or you are a teacher ? just a function which any robot can do.
The only thing that the robot cannot do is meditation.
In other words, I am saying that those who are not in meditation are being robots, without being aware that they are just utilities, functions, they are needed.
But a man of meditation for the first time realizes that it does not matter whether he is needed or not ? he himself is a joy unto himself. He himself is bliss, he does not depend on anybody to make him blissful. That is the only freedom possible in the world. Otherwise everybody is a slave.
I want my people to understand it absolutely that unless you become blissful on your own accord, unless your rose opens within your own being, you are just a commodity, just a thing, an object. Meditation reveals your subjectivity. Subjectivity is your consciousness, and your consciousness and its experience makes your life significant, meaningful, eternal, immortal, without any beginning and without any end. A celebration, moment-to-moment a dance.
And unless you have transformed your life into a moment-to-moment dance you have missed the opportunity that existence gives you.
Could you speak to us on laughter, its meditative powers, its chemistry on the brain, its power of transformation and healing.. Its relation to silence, the gap, clarity, vision.... Its contagiousness, its relation to different emotions.... On Homo ridens ? the essential human condition ? on how to recognize true, authentic laughter from hysterical, exhibitionist, or hypocritical laughter, on how to be a channel of pure joy?
I have just been talking about laughter, its meditative powers and its medicinal powers. It certainly changes your very chemistry; it changes your brain waves, it changes your intelligence ? you become more intelligent. The parts of your mind that have been asleep suddenly wake up. The laughter reaches to the innermost part of your brain, to your heart.
A man of laughter cannot have a heart attack. A man of laughter cannot commit suicide. A man of laughter automatically comes to know the world of silence, because when laughter ceases suddenly there is silence. And each time laughter becomes deeper it is followed by deeper silence.
It certainly clarifies you ? from the traditions, from the garbage of the past. It gives you a new vision of life. It makes you more alive and radiant, more creative. If you are a singer, your song becomes more celestial; if you are a musician your music starts going beyond sound, starts reaching silences. If you are a sculptor, then your sculpture will not be what Gurdjieff calls objective..
Ordinarily a painter or architect or any other dimension of creativity is only your projection, your imagination. But there is another kind of art, which is not your imagination but your insight.
For example, sitting in silence near the Taj Mahal in the full-moon night you will find yourself falling into silence without any effort.
The Taj Mahal was created by Sufi mystics. History tells only about the man who for thirty years paid thousands of artists, but the history has no idea that the people who were the architects were Sufi mystics. And it was not an imaginative thing; it was something so that if somebody sits silently looking at it, it will create the same feeling, the same vibration in which the architect was living.
The Taj Mahal is a scripture, it is a message, it is not just a beautiful building. It is not just for the tourists to come and take photographs, it is for meditators to sit and just watch: the very form of the architecture creates something in you. The people who made the building were aware that they were making a device for meditation.
You know about the pyramids in Egypt ? when for the first time, in the beginning of this century, the pyramids were opened...the biggest pyramid was opened first. They had remained closed for three thousand years. And the scientists were surprised to find a cat, dead, inside the pyramid ? but not deteriorated, no sign of deterioration, no sign that it has been dead for three thousand years. When the pyramid was being closed somehow the cat must have remained inside and must have died. But there were no signs. It looked as if it had just died, and they could not figure out ? what is the matter? Finally they decided that it was because of the shape of the pyramid.
If you sit in any structure in the shape of a pyramid, you will fall into deep silence and meditation without difficulty. And a dead body can be preserved in a pyramid-shaped grave; it will not in any way start stinking. It will remain fresh, as if it has just died this very moment.
Now pyramids are being used...small pyramids are being sold in the market; you sit underneath them, and they are health-giving. They don't do anything, just their shape reflects the rays of the sun in such a way that you get only the health-giving rays, and the other rays which are not health-giving are reflected back. The very shape is the cause.
People were wondering for centuries why these pyramids were made in such a shape. And the oldest pyramid is three thousand years old. It shows that the people of those times were aware that certain shapes ? of clothes, of buildings ? are healthful; some other shapes are not healthful.
Osho, Are you infallible? I am infallibly fallible! First, I am not a perfectionist because to me perfectionism is the root cause of all neurosis. Unless humanity gets rid of the idea of perfection it...
Now we don't bother about it, we don't think about it. When you are making a house you don't think whether this house is going to give you health or sickness, long life, or is going to cut your life short.
As mind disappears and leaves behind a silence, a space of meditation, your vision about everything that you do is completely different. If you are a painter you will paint something not with the mind, but with the clarity that your painting will give health, insight, peace, silence, to anyone who will just look at it.
In this sense we are more primitive than people like Mozart or Beethoven. Our music is very poor, because our music is simply clumsy; it does not create any spiritual peace, it does not give any meditative silence; more often it is loveual. It functions on your love center. It makes you closer to the animal rather than closer to the buddha.
Clbuttical music takes you very high, beyond your reach; perhaps you would not have been able to reach alone. Just listening to that music and you have gone for a new journey, far away from your thoughts, far away from your emotions, into spaces of eternity.
And you are asking: how to distinguish true, authentic laughter from hysterical, exhibitionist, or hypocritical laughter.
Two things to be remembered: one, you should not bother about others. You should not judge. There is no way to judge from outside whether the person's laughter is authentic or not, healthy or hysterical; exhibitionist, hypocritical, or real, coming from the very deepest sources of his being.
So first thing, don't be bothered about the other person. It is uncivilized. Just think about yourself, that's enough, and then the distinction it not difficult.
The authentic laughter is not about anything. It is simply arising in you as a flower blossoms in a tree. It has no reason, no rational explanation. It is mysterious; hence the mystic rose.
The hysterical laughter is sick. It is about somebody else; it is not healthy and it is not going to give you all the benefits I have talked about. It is insane.
The exhibitionist is one who is laughing just to show others, but the laughter is not coming from his being. It is just superficial, social. If everybody else is laughing and you are not laughing you are being a little unsocial.
They say that if you tell a joke to an Englishman he laughs twice: once just to be social, just to say that, "Yes, I understand." And the second time in the middle of the night when he understands it.
If you tell a joke to a German he laughs only once, just to be social. The second time to laugh never comes. He never understands a joke.
And never tell a joke to a Jew, because he will stop you in the middle. He will say, "It is all rotten, an old joke, and anyway you are telling it all wrong." It is useless to tell a joke to a Jew ? he will not laugh. He will even make you sad ? why did you talk to this man?
Different nations will behave differently. But one point you can understand yourself: whether you are laughing just to be in tune with others...then laughter is only exhibition. You have not understood the joke and you are laughing ? it is hypocritical.
But always remember not to judge others. That is very primitive, uncivilized, inhuman. Only look at yourself.
A patient in the hospital accidentally has a bowel movement in his bed. Not wanting the nurses to find out, he bundles up the sheet and throws it out of the window. It lands on Kowalski, who is walking in the street below. After a fierce struggle Kowalski disentangles himself from the sheet and goes into a bar to calm his nerves. "My god," says the bartender, "you stink!" "You would too," replies Kowalski, "if you had just beaten the poo out of a ghost."
In a remote part of the countryside, a young farmer and his wife are delighted when a Martian couple land their spaceship nearby. The young farmer invites the Martians to stay over dinner. They all become so friendly that they decide to exchange partners for the night. The farmer's wife and the male Martian are getting ready for bed when she notices that he has a very small prick. "What do you think you are going to do with that?" she giggles. "Watch," he says, twisting his right ear. Immediately the prick grows to twelve inches long, but as thin as a pencil. Then he twists his left ear and the prick becomes as fat as a sausage. They enjoy a wonderful night together. The next morning after saying goodbye the Martians take off. The farmer turns to his wife, "So, how was it?" he asks. "It was fantastic, really out of this world," she says. "How about you?" "Nothing special," admits the farmer, "A bit weird, in fact. All night long she kept playing with my ears."
A man has his prick amputated in a car accident. As an experiment the doctors graft on a baby elephant's trunk instead. Some time later he goes out to dinner at a French restaurant. He is sitting there with his date, when all of a sudden the baby elephant's trunk sneaks out of his pants, scoots across the table and grasps a bread roll and then disappears again. The girl does not believe what she has just seen and says nothing. But a few minutes later, while they are talking, out pops the baby elephant's trunk, scoots across the table, grabs another bread roll and vanishes. "My god," cries the girl, "what was that?" The man is extremely embarrbutted but finally manages to explain the whole story. "That is great!" exclaims the girl enthusiastically. "Can you make it to do it again?" "I would," says the man, "but I don't think I can fit another bread roll into my butt."
Now, two minutes of silence, close your eyes and no movements; just be absolutely still, as if you are frozen.
Now, relax...let go.(At which point every lies down in a relaxed let-go.)
...Okay, come back.
Osho, YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose, Number 30
Copyright © 2006 Osho International Foundation