On Knowing the Eternal Law – Osho

Death is destiny. It has to be so because it is the origin – you come from death and you go to death. Life is just a moment between two nothingnesses, just a flight of a bird between two states of non-being.

If death is destiny, as it is, then the whole of life becomes a preparation, a training for it – a discipline in how to die rightly and how to die totally and utterly. The whole of life consists in learning how to die. But somehow a wrong conception about death has entered humanity, the conception that death is the enemy. This is the basis of all wrong conceptions, and this is the basis of humanity going astray from the eternal law, from Tao. How has this happened? It has to be understood.

Man has taken death as the enemy of life, as if death is there to destroy life, as if death is against life. If this is the conception then of course you have to fight death, and life becomes an effort to survive death. Then you are fighting against your own origin, you are fighting against your destiny, you are fighting against something which is going to happen. The whole fight is absurd because death cannot be avoided.

If it were something outside you it could be avoided, but it is inside. You carry it from the very moment you are born. You start dying really when you start breathing, at the same moment. It is not right to say that death comes in the end, it has always been with you from the very beginning. It is part of you, it is your innermost center, it grows with you, and one day it comes to a culmination, one day it comes to flowering. The day of death is not the day of death’s coming, it is the flowering. Death was growing within you all this time, now it has reached a peak; and once death reaches a peak you disappear back into the origin.

But man has taken a wrong attitude and that wrong attitude creates struggle, fight, violence. A man who thinks that death is against life can never be non-violent. It is impossible. A man who thinks that death is the enemy can never be at ease, at home. That is impossible. How can you be at ease when the enemy is waiting for you any moment? It will jump on you and destroy you. And the shadow of death is always falling on you? It can happen any moment. How can you rest when death is there? How can you relax? The enemy won’t allow you to relax.

Hence the tension, the anxiety, the anguish of humanity. The more you fight with death, the more anxiety-ridden you will become, you are bound to become. It is a natural consequence. If you fight with death you know that you are going to be defeated. How can you be happy with a life which is going to end in defeat? You know that whatsoever effort you make, nothing is going to succeed against death. Deep down you are certain about only one thing and that is death. In life everything else is uncertain, only death is certain. There is only one certainty, and in that certainty you have an enemy. Fighting with certainty and hoping for uncertainties how can you be in a repose? How can you be relaxed, calm, collected? Impossible.

People come to me and they say they would like to be at peace, they would like to be at home in the world, they would like to be silent, they need a certain relaxation. But I look into their eyes and the fear of death is there. Maybe they are just trying to be relaxed to fight against death more easily; maybe they are trying to find a repose so that they can become stronger against death. But if death is there how can you be relaxed, silent, at peace, at home? If death is the enemy, then basically the whole of life becomes your enemy. Then every moment, everywhere, the shadow falls; then every moment, from everywhere, death echoes. The whole life becomes inimical, and you start fighting.

The whole concept of the Western mind is to fight to survive. They say, ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘life is a struggle’. Why is it a struggle? It is a struggle because death is taken as the opposite. Once you understand that death is not the opposite of life but part of it, an intrinsic part of it, which can never be separated from it – once you accept death as a friend, suddenly a transformation happens. You are transfigured, your vision now has a new quality in it. Now there is no fight, no war, you are not fighting against anybody, now you can relax, now you can be at home. Once death becomes a friend only then does life become a friend also. This may look paradoxical but it is so, only the appearance is paradoxical. If death is the enemy, then deep down life is also the enemy, because life leads to death.

Every type of life leads to death – the poor man’s life, the rich man’s life, a life of success and a life of failure, the life of the wise man and the life of an ignorant one, the life of a sinner and a saint.

All sorts of lives, whatsoever their differences, lead to death. How can you be in love with life if you are against death? Then your love is just nothing but a possessiveness, your love is nothing but a clinging. Against death you cling to life, but you can understand that this very life is bringing death nearer every day. So you are doomed, all your efforts are doomed. And then anxiety arises, the whole being trembles. You live in a trembling and then you become violent and mad. In the West the proportion of mad people is much higher than in the East. The reason is clear.

The West takes death against life but the East has a totally different standpoint – life and death are one, two faces of the same phenomenon. Once you accept death many things are immediately accepted. In fact if you accept death as part of life, then all other enemies are also accepted as part of friendship because the basic duality dissolves, the duality of life and death, being and non-being. If the basic duality is resolved, then all other dualities are just superficial, they dissolve. Suddenly you are at home – eyes are clear, no smoke is in them, perception is absolutely clear, and no darkness is around.

But why, why has it happened in the West? And it is happening in the East also because the East is turning more Western every day. In all education, in scientific attitudes the East is no longer purely Eastern, it is already contaminated. The East is now also becoming anxious, afraid. Have you observed that in the West there is much time consciousness but in the East it is not so much, and even if it is, it is only in the cultured, educated parts? If you move to the villages there is no time consciousness. In fact, time consciousness is death consciousness: when you are afraid of death then time is short. With so many things to do and so little time given, you are conscious of every second passing. Life is being shortened so you are tense, running around, doing many things, trying to enjoy the whole of it, running from one place to another, one enjoyment to another – and enjoying nothing because you are so time conscious.

In the East people are not so time conscious because they have accepted life. You may not be aware that in India we have named death as time. We call death kal, and we also call time kal; kal means time and kal means death as well. To use the same word for both means a very deep understanding, it is very meaningful. Time is death, death is time: the more death conscious you are, the more time conscious you will be, the less death conscious, the less time conscious. Then there is no question of time. If you have completely absorbed death into life time consciousness simply disappears. Why in the West and now in the East is there so much anxiety about death, somuch so, that life cannot be enjoyed at all?

Living in a timeless world rocks are more happy than man; living in a world where death is not known the trees are more blissful than man; not that they don’t die, but death is not known. Animals happy, celebrating, birds singing, the whole existence except man is blissfully unaware of death. Only man is aware of death and that creates all the other problems; that is the source problem, the basic rift.

It should not be so because man is the highest, the most refined, the peak of existence – why should it be so with man? Whenever you attain to a peak, almost side by side the valley becomes deeper. A high peak can exist only with a deep valley. For rocks there is no unhappiness, no valley part, because their happiness is also on the plain ground. Man is a peak, he has risen high, but because of this rise, side by side there is a depth, a valley. You look down and you feel nauseous, you look down and you feel afraid. The valley is part of the peak.  The valley cannot exist without the peak and the peak cannot exist without the valley, they are together, they are a togetherness. But a man standing at the height of the peak looks down and feels nauseous, giddy, afraid, fearful.

Man is conscious – that is where the whole trouble lies.

Consciousness is a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways. It can make you so utterly happy that that type of happiness is not known anywhere in existence; it can make you so unhappy and miserable that that type of unhappiness is also not known anywhere else in the world. Man is a double possibility; by being conscious two roads suddenly open before him.

Consciousness can become a blessing, but it can become a curse also. Every blessing comes with a curse. The problem is that it depends on you how you choose. Let me explain it to you, then we can enter the sutra easily.

Man is conscious. The moment man becomes conscious he becomes conscious of the end also – that he is going to die. He becomes conscious of tomorrow, conscious of time, conscious of the passing of time – then sooner or later the end will come near. The more he becomes conscious, the more death becomes a problem, the only problem. How to avoid it? This is using consciousness in a wrong way. It is just as if you have given a child a telescope, and the child doesn’t know how to use it. He can look into the telescope from the wrong end.

Consciousness is a telescope; you can look through it from the wrong end. And the wrong end has some benefits of its own – that creates more trouble. Through the wrong end of the telescope you can see that many benefits are possible; in the short range many benefits are possible. People who are time conscious gain something in comparison to people who are not time conscious. People who are death conscious attain many things in comparison to those who are not death conscious. That’s why the West goes on accumulating material wealth and the East has remained poor. If you are not death conscious, who bothers?

People live moment to moment as if the tomorrow doesn’t exist. Who accumulates? For what? Today is so beautiful, why not celebrate it, and we will see about tomorrow when it comes.

In the West they have accumulated infinite wealth because they are so time conscious. They have reduced their whole life into things, material things – skyscrapers. They have attained much wealth… that is the benefit of looking from the wrong end. They can see only certain things which are close, short-range, they cannot see farther away. Their eyes have become like those of a blind man who cannot see farther away. He looks at just whatsoever he can gather right now, without thinking that it may be at a very great cost in the end. In the long range this benefit may not prove a benefit. You can make a big house, but by the time it is built you are ready to go; you couldn’t live in it at all. You could have lived in a small house beautifully, even a cottage would have done, but you thought that you would live in a palace. Now the palace is ready but the man is gone. He is not there.

People accumulate wealth at the cost of their own self. Finally, eventually, one day, they become aware that they have lost themselves and that they have purchased useless things. The cost was great, but now nothing can be done, the time is past.

If you are time conscious you will be mad about accumulating things, you will transform your whole life energy into things. A man who is conscious of the whole range will enjoy this moment as much as he can. He will float. He will not bother about the tomorrow because he knows tomorrow never comes. He knows deeply that finally only one thing has to be attained – that is one’s own self.

Live, and live so totally that you come in contact with yourself…. And there is no other way to come in contact with yourself. The deeper you live, the deeper you know yourself, in relationship, in aloneness. The deeper you move in relationship, in love, the deeper you know. Love becomes a mirror. And one who has never loved cannot be alone, he can at the most be lonely.

One who has loved and known a relationship, can be alone. Now his aloneness has a totally different quality to it, it is not loneliness. He has lived in a relationship, fulfilled his love, known the other, and known himself through the other. Now he can know himself directly, now the mirror is not needed.

Just think of someone who has never come across a mirror. Can he close his eyes and see his face? Impossible. He cannot even imagine his face, he cannot meditate on it. But a man who has come to a mirror, looked into it, known his face through it, can close his eyes and see the face inside. That’s what happens in relationship. When a person moves into a relationship, the relationship mirrors, reflects himself, and he comes to know many things that he never knew existed in him.

Through the other he comes to know his anger, his greed, his jealousy, his possessiveness, his compassion, his love, and thousands of moods of his being. Many climates he encounters through the other. By and by a moment comes when he can now be alone; he can close his eyes and know his own consciousness directly. That’s why I say that for people who have never loved meditation is very, very difficult.

Those who have loved deeply can become deep meditators; those who have loved in a relationship are now in a position to be by themselves. Now they have become mature, now the other is not needed. If the other is there they can share, but the need has disappeared; now there is no dependence.

Consciousness becomes conscious of death in the end. If consciousness becomes conscious of death in the end a fear arises. That fear creates a continuous escaping within you. Then you are escaping from life; wherever there is life you are escaping because wherever there is life a hint, a glimpse of death comes. People who are too afraid of death never fall in love with persons, they fall in love with things – things never die because they have never lived.

You can have things for ever and ever and, moreover, they are replaceable. If one car goes you can replace it by another car of exactly the same make. But you cannot replace a person – if your wife dies, she dies for ever. You can have another wife but no other woman will ever replace her – for good or for bad, no other woman can be the same woman. If your child dies you can adopt another, but no adopted child will have the same quality of relationship that your own child can have. The wound remains, it cannot be healed. People who are too afraid of death become afraid of life. Then they accumulate things: a big palace, a big car, millions of dollars, rupees, this and that, things which are deathless. A rupee is more deathless than a rose. They are not bothered about roses, they only go on accumulating rupees.

A rupee never dies, it is almost immortal, but a rose…. In the morning it was alive and by the evening it is no more. They become afraid of roses, they don’t look at them. Or sometimes, if the desire arises, they purchase plastic flowers. They are good. You can be at ease with plastic flowers because they give a sense of immortality. They can be there forever and forever and forever. A real rose – in the morning it is so alive, by the evening it is gone, the petals have settled on the soil, it has returned to the same source. From the earth it comes, flowers a while, and sends its fragrance to the whole of existence. Then mission done, message given, it falls silently back to the earth and disappears with not a single tear, with no struggle. Have you seen petals falling down onto the earth from a flower? How beautifully and gracefully they fall, with no clinging; for not even a single moment do they try to cling. A breeze just comes and the whole flower has gone to the earth, returned to the source.

A man who is afraid of death will be afraid of life; will be afraid of love, because love is a flower – love is not a rupee. A man who is afraid of life may get married but he will never fall in love. Marriage is like a rupee, love is like a rose flower. It is there, it may not be there, but you cannot be certain about it, it has no legal immortality about it. A marriage is something to cling to, it has a certificate, a court behind it. It has the force of the police and the president behind it and they will all come if something goes wrong.

But with love…. There is the force of roses of course, but roses are not policemen, they are not presidents, they cannot protect.

Love comes and goes, marriage simply comes. It is a dead phenomenon, it is an institution. It is simply unbelievable that people like to live in institutions. Afraid, afraid of death, they have killed all possibilities of death from everywhere. They are creating an illusion around them that everything is going to stay as it is. Everything is secure and safe. Hidden behind this security they feel a certain security, but that is foolish, stupid. Nothing can save them; death will come and knock at their doors and they will die.

Consciousness can take two views. One is to be afraid of life because through life comes death.

Another is to love life so deeply that you start loving death also, because it is the innermost core of it. The first attitude comes from thinking; the second attitude comes from meditation. The first attitude comes from too many thoughts, the second attitude comes from a thought-less mind, from a no-mind. Consciousness can be reduced to thoughts; thoughts can be melted down again into consciousness.

Just think of a river in cold winter. When icebergs start appearing certain parts of the water are now frozen. Then more cold comes, the temperature falls below zero and the whole river is frozen. Now there is no movement, no flow. Consciousness is a river, a stream – with more thoughts, the stream is frozen. If there are so many thoughts, so many ‘thought-hindrances’, there is no possibility of any flow. Then the river is completely frozen. You are already dead.

But if the river is completely flowing, if you melt down the icebergs, if you melt down all that has frozen, all the thoughts…. That is what meditation is all about: it is an effort to defreeze all thoughts. They can be converted again into consciousness. Then the river flows, then the river has a flow to it, and alive, vibrant, dancing, it moves toward the sea. Why do people like to be frozen? Because a frozen river cannot move to the sea. Sea means death. The river will disappear, disappear forever, it will become one with the infinite, it will not be any longer an individual. It will not have its own name: the Ganges will not be Ganges then, the Volga will not be Volga. They disappear into the uncharted.

If the mind is afraid, it becomes a whirlwind of thoughts. If you are too much of a thinking man, continuously thinking from morning to evening, from evening to morning, in the day, thoughts and thoughts and thoughts, in the night, dreams and dreams and dreams – your river is frozen. That too is part of fear: your river is so frozen that you cannot move, so the ocean remains far away. If you move, you will fall into the ocean.

Meditation is an effort to defreeze you. Thoughts by and by melt like snow, become flowing again, and mind becomes a stream. Now nothing hinders it, it moves unhindered towards the sea.

If consciousness becomes meditative then you accept death, then death is nothing apart, it is you. Then you accept death as repose; then you accept death as a final relaxation; then you accept death as a retirement. You retire. The whole day you have worked hard, in the evening you come home, and then you go to sleep, you retire. Life is like the day, death is like the night. Again you will come; many mornings will come, in different forms you will be here again and again and again, until the absolute death happens. That absolute death is for those who have become absolutely without thoughts. It is for those who have known absolutely that death and life are two aspects of the same coin, who are now no longer afraid of death – have not even a slight fear – and who are now no longer attached to life.

So there are two stages of the final disappearance. The first one is not to be afraid of death. And once you are not afraid of death the second step is not to have any deep lust for life. Then you go beyond.

And Lao Tzu said this is the eternal law – to know it is to be enlightened, not to know it is to court disaster.

-Osho

From Tao: The Three Treasures, V.2, Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Filed under on Death, on Tao, Osho

Translucent Darkness – Osho

Man up to now has lived in a very schizophrenic way. The reason why he has become divided is not very difficult to understand. For centuries he has been told that the world consists not of one world but of two worlds: the world of matter and the world of the spirit. This is absolute nonsense.

The world consists only of one truth. Of course, that truth has two aspects to it, but those aspects are indivisible. The outer aspect appears as matter and the inner as spirit. It is like a center and its circumference. This division has penetrated human mind in a thousand and one ways. It has become the separation between the body and the soul. It has become the separation between the lower and the higher. It has become the separation between the sin and the virtue. It has become the separation between the East and the West.

Man stands today so fragmented, so divided, that it is almost a miracle how we are managing to keep ourselves together. The whole energy is exhausted in just keeping ourselves together, because we are constantly falling apart.

The greatest need of the day it to get beyond this schizophrenia, to get beyond all divisions, to reach to the ‘one” which is neither this nor that, which is neither East nor West, which is neither man nor woman. That “one” has been called by the mystics God, truth, mokshanirvana, the absolute, Dhamma, Logos, Tao – different names but pointing to the same one reality. It was possible up to now somehow to go on living in a schizophrenic way, but now it is no longer possible.

We have come to a point where the decision has to be made. If we want to exist we have to create a synthesis, or rather a transcendence, of all dualities. If we don’t want to exist then there is no problem. If we want to commit a global suicide, then of course all problems are solved – but I don’t think anybody wants or desires a global suicide.

Man has achieved much in spite of all kinds of madness. Man has reached many peaks: religious, aesthetic, poetic, musical. And all this has happened in spite of all kinds of madness that we go on supporting, nourishing, because the vested interests don’t want you to be united and one; the vested interests want you to remain divided.

When Rudyard Kipling said, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” he was giving expression to all the vested interests. They want the world to remain divided, they want man to remain divided – into many religions, philosophies, political ideologies, in every possible way they would like you not to become one. Why? – Because the man who is integrated and one is impossible to enslave. He cannot be exploited by the priests or by the politicians. In fact, he becomes absolutely free from all possibilities of exploitation and oppression. He becomes an individual, he becomes rebellious, he becomes intelligent. He becomes so sharp and clear that he can see through all superstitions, howsoever old and ancient. He can see the stupidity in which humanity has lived – and not only lived in but glorified. He can see the foolishness of nationalities, the utter nonsense of so many religions in the world.

There are three hundred religions’ in the world and at least three thousand sub-sects. He can see clearly that to divide matter from spirit is to create a division in the very being of man – because the body, matter, is nothing but spirit manifest, and the spirit is nothing but matter, body, unmanifest.

God and the world are not two things. God is not the creator and the world is not the created; God and the world are one. It is a process of creativity. You can divide creativity in two parts, the creator and the created, but in fact that division is arbitrary. It is ONE flow of creativity God is not the creator, let me remind you again and again and the world is not the created. This whole existence is a river-like creative energy.

My sannyasins have to understand this oneness in as many ways as possible so that no nook and corner of your being remains divided. The West is very proud of its materialism, science, technology. That pride hinders it from getting into a deep communion with the East, but that pride is nothing compared to the Eastern ego.

The Eastern ego is far more subtle and far more dangerous, far more poisonous. The Eastern ego pretends, projects, brags about its spirituality. Of course, the people who think they are spiritual can condemn the people who are materialists more easily than vice versa, because even the materialist feels somehow that matter is a lower reality. He may not even consciously believe in any higher reality, but the conditioning is so old – it has penetrated into the blood, into the bones, into the very marrow – that a man can become consciously a materialist but deep down he remains part of the whole heritage of humanity. Hence the Western ego is not much of a danger, but the Eastern ego is very dangerous – for the simple reason that it is more subtle, more hidden, not on the surface, more unconscious.

The East goes on proclaiming itself as the source of all spirituality, the source of all mysticism – which is patent nonsense. It depends only on ignorance. If you ask any Eastern so-called mahatma, you will be surprised that he knows nothing about other spiritual Masters who have existed in other parts of the world. He has not heard about Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Ko Hsuan. He has not heard about Lin Chi, Basho, Bokuju. He has not heard anything about Pythagoras, Heraclitus or Dionysius.

We are going to discuss Dionysius in this series. Dionysius is one of the greatest Buddhas ever.

And whenever the Eastern scholar by any chance, if at all, comes across a person like Dionysius, he starts thinking that he must have borrowed from the East. That seems to be a tacit assumption: that the East has some monopoly over spiritualism. Nobody has any monopoly. East or West cannot make any difference in man s spiritual growth. Jesus could become a Buddha in Jerusalem, Lao Tzu could become a Buddha in China, Dionysius could become a Buddha in Athens. There is no need to borrow from anybody.

Yes, in scientific experimentation we have discovered very recently a strange phenomenon: that whenever one scientist discovers something, almost simultaneously many people all around the earth discover the same thing in different ways. Albert Einstein is reported to have said, ”If I had not discovered the Theory of Relativity, then within two years somebody else was bound to discover it.”

Why does it happen that some scientist working somewhere far away in Soviet Russia discovers something almost simultaneously with some other scientist who is working in England or in America or in India or in Japan – not knowing anything of the other, not even being aware of the existence of the other, not knowing that somebody else is also working on the same problem?

Now it is becoming more and clearer that with all the great discoveries, although the initial effort is made by the conscious mind, the ultimate result always comes through the unconscious. And the deepest layer of the unconscious mind is collective. I am different from you as a person, you are different from me AS persons – as far as conscious mind is concerned. If you go a little deeper, we are not so different in the unconscious mind. If you go a little deeper still, we come even closer in the collective unconscious.

And the mystics say there is even a little more than the collective unconscious; they call it the universal unconscious, or God. That is the very center. At that center we all meet and we all are one. All the great insights come from that center. It is only a question of who is looking in that direction – he will get the insight first. Otherwise the insight starts happening to many people; they may not be looking at it and therefore they will miss it.

Alan Watts, writing on this small treatise of tremendous beauty, the Theologia Mystica of St. Dionysius, says that one is tempted, greatly tempted, to think that Dionysius must have visited the East; if not, then some Eastern mystic must have traveled to Athens.

In those days, when Dionysius lived, many Western travelers had started coming to India. With the coming of Alexander the Great many barriers were broken, many bridges were made. And it was not one sided: Eastern mystics also started traveling towards the West. Even Jaina monks, who live totally naked, for whom the Western climate is bound to be far more harmful than Poona is for you, they went to Alexandria, to Athens, to the farthest corners of the known world. The Jainas are referred to in ancient Athenian treatises as “gymnosophists.” Sophist means one who is searching for the truth and gymno comes from Jainu. “Gymnosophist” is the name for the Jaina mystics who had penetrated Athens. And there was great business going on between India and Greece. And, of course, with the businessmen, the traders coming and going, there was a great exchange of thoughts.

Alan Watts thinks either Dionysius visited India… because the way he speaks is so Eastern, the insight that he reveals is so Eastern. Even his words remind one of the Upanishads and nothing else. So Watts thinks either he visited the East or somebody from the East or many influences from the East somehow became available to him. But I am not tempted that way at all.

My own experience and understanding is this: that great truths erupt in many places in almost similar ways. Lao Tzu never came to India and nobody from India ever visited Lao Tzu. China and India were divided by the great Himalayan mountains; there was no business going on between India and China, no communication of any kind. Still, what Lao Tzu says is so similar to the Upanishads, is so synonymous with the teachings of Buddha, that there is a great temptation to believe that there must have been some communication – either Buddha has borrowed from Lao Tzu or Lao Tzu has borrowed from Buddha.

But I say to you, nobody has borrowed from anybody else, they have all drunk from the same source. And when you taste the ocean, whether you taste it on an Indian shore or on the Chinese shore, it makes no difference; it always tastes the same, the same salty taste. So is truth: it has the same taste, the same flavor, the same fragrance. Maybe in expressing it there is a possibility of a few differences of language, but that does not matter much. Sometimes even those differences are not there.

Dionysius is a Christian, and one of the real Christians. It seems Friedrich Nietzsche was not aware of Dionysius and his Mystica; otherwise he would not have said that the first and the last Christian died on the cross two thousand years ago. In fact, there have been a few more Christs in the tradition of Christ. Dionysius is one of the most beautiful of them all. Then there is Meister Eckhart, St. Francis, Jacob Boehme and a few more – not many of course, because Christianity became such an organized religion that it became impossible for mystics to exist, or even if they existed they went underground. They had to; there was no other way.

It is just like today in Russia you cannot be a mystic without hiding yourself. Because to be a mystic in Russia means you are insane, you have to be hospitalized, you have to be given insulin shocks or electric shocks.

It is fortunate that Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mahavira were not born in today’s Soviet Russia. Jesus would not have been crucified in Soviet Russia, that is true, but he would have gone through far more sophisticated tortures. Crucifixion is a very primitive phenomenon, and not so dangerous either; it kills you, that’s all. Electric shocks will not kill you, but they will destroy all your splendor, all your glory, all your intelligence. They will force you to vegetate. Your life will become as lifeless as possible. You will continue to exist but it will be a mere existence, mere survival. Your dignity will be gone.

Jesus died a dignified man. He died with tremendous joy, he died fulfilled. But if he is born in Russia today he will have to die a very undignified death, or if he lives he will have to live a very undignified life.

In Russia now, a really religious person has to go underground. There are my sannyasins who have to go underground. They are working underground – in basements they meet in the darkness of the night. What an ugly world we have created, where you cannot meditate openly when you cannot discuss about truth, about love openly To meditate as if you are committing some crime does not show that humanity has progressed; in many ways it has regressed.

Christianity did the same for two thousand years in the West. Communism is an offshoot of Christianity. Whatsoever communists are doing now they have learned from the Christian popes. Christianity destroyed all possibilities of mysticism.

There were only two ways to avoid being persecuted. One was to go underground or escape to some desert, to some mountains. And the second possibility was to exist as a formal Christian on the surface, use the Christian language, and go on doing your inner work privately. That’s what Dionysius did.

You will be surprised to know: he was the first Bishop of Athens. He must have been a man of rare intelligence. To remain a Bishop of Athens and yet to penetrate the deepest mysteries of life like Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, he must have been a man of rare intelligence. He managed a facade. He deceived the Christian organization.

His treatise was not published while he was alive. He must have managed it in such a way that it was published only when he was dead. If the treatise had been published while he was alive he would have been expelled from the Church, persecuted, tortured. And a man of understanding, a man who is not suicidal in some way, would not like to be persecuted unnecessarily. If it becomes a necessity he accepts the challenge. But he is not looking for it; he is not in some way hankering to be a martyr. He is not suicidal, he is not violent towards himself.

Dionysius is a rare man: living with stupid Christianity and its rigid organization, being a bishop and still being able to reach to the ultimate peaks of consciousness is something worthy of praise.

Before we enter into these beautiful sutras of Dionysius, a few things have to be understood.

One: these sutras were written as letters to one of his disciples, Timothy. All that is really great, all that is really of the ultimate, of the transcendental, can only be communicated to disciples. It has to be addressed to those who love you, to those who have a deep attunement with your heart. It cannot be addressed to the mass, to the crowd, to the indifferent, to the antagonistic. Great truths are communed only when there is love. It is possible only between a Master and a disciple that a truth can be transferred.

The disciple means one who is open to receive. The disciple means one who trusts so totally that there is no question of arguing, because these profound mysteries cannot be argued about. Either you know or you don’t know – you cannot argue. There are no proofs for them, except your trust in the Master. Of course, if you trust the Master, the Master can take you to the window from where you can see the vast sky with all its splendor… millions of stars. But you will have to trust him at least this much: to allow him to hold your hand, to allow him to take you to the window. If you start arguing about the window and its existence and there is no way to convince you.

There are no proofs for God; there have never been there will never be. Those who have known have known; only because of deep intimacy, because of a love affair with the Master. It is not a question of convincing somebody, it is not conversion to a certain ideology; it is simply a mad love affair. You come across a man like Dionysius and the very presence of the man is enough: the very presence becomes a proof that there are many more things in life than you have ever dreamt of. The presence of the man penetrates your very heart. The presence of the man transpires something in you, triggers something in you of which you were never aware before. You start hearing a song, you start seeing a beauty, you start feeling a new mood of elation, ecstasy – for no visible reason. Then it becomes possible to surrender your ego to such a person.

When you surrender your ego to the Master, the Master is only an excuse. You are really surrendering to God, not to the Master. In fact you are simply surrendering. It is not of any importance to whom: the question is not to whom; the question is that you are surrendering the ego. The moment the ego is surrendered there is a possibility of communion.

These are letters from Dionysius to his most beloved disciple, Timothy.

The second thing to remember is: Christianity, in becoming the religion about Jesus, missed something of tremendous importance. Because it tried to become the religion about Jesus it could not become the religion of Jesus. And a religion about Jesus is not a religion of Jesus. In fact, the religion about Jesus is against the religion of Jesus, because when a religion becomes about a person you lose contact with his inner reality; you become concerned with his outer expressions.

Christianity became too much concerned about following Jesus as an example. Now, that is getting into a wrong direction. Nobody can follow Jesus as an example, his life cannot be an example to anybody else, because a certain life exists in a certain context. To be exactly like Jesus you will need the whole situation, the whole context in which Jesus existed. Where can you find the same context again? Life goes on changing; it is never the same even for two consecutive moments. You cannot be Jesus of Nazareth, impossible; there is no Nazareth anymore. You cannot be Jesus because that Jewish mind which crucified Jesus exists no more.

Amongst my sannyasins there are thousands of Jews. Jesus could not have believed his eyes if he had seen this! He was a Jew – he was born a Jew, he spoke the language of the Jews, he believed in all the fundamentals of the Judaic religion – still he could not find many followers. I am not a Jew – I don’t speak the language of the Jews, I don’t believe in the Judaic fundamentals – still I have been able to find thousands of Jews. The context has changed; it is a totally different world. Twenty centuries have passed.

Also, whenever you start trying to follow a certain person as an example you become imitative, you become false, you lose authenticity, you are no more yourself. And to make the point very emphatic, Christianity has insisted for two thousand years on a very absurd thing. The absurdity is that on the one hand Christianity says, “Follow Jesus, imitate Jesus! Let Jesus be your example!” and on the other hand the same Christianity goes on telling you that “Jesus is God, God’s only begotten Son, and you cannot be related to God in the same way.” Can you see the absurdity? On the one hand you say, “Follow Jesus, be like Jesus!” and on the other hand you make it absolutely impossible for yourself to be like Jesus, because Jesus has a special relationship with God and you cannot have that relationship; that is not possible.

Hence Christianity has created an impossible religion on the earth, telling people such nonsense. Such an absurd approach is bound to create guilt. People try to follow Jesus, but they cannot be Jesus-like; hence guilt arises, they feel guilty. No other religion has created so much guilt on the earth as Christianity. Christianity has proved the greatest calamity for the simple reason that religion is not supposed to create guilt. If religion creates guilt then it makes you depressed, then it makes you frustrated with yourself, then it creates a subtle suicidal instinct in you.

A true religion elates you, enhances, enriches your being, makes your life more festive, creates more possibilities for you to celebrate and rejoice. And Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, “Rejoice! Rejoice! I say unto you rejoice!” And what has Christianity done? It has done just the opposite. Dionysius was aware of this fact.

The third thing: the experience of truth is like music – yes, more like music than like anything else, because you cannot describe music to anybody else. You can say it was beautiful, but that is an evaluation, your judgment. You are not describing music, you are describing your mood that happened through the music. There is no way to describe the beauty of music.

The same is true about religious experience. That’s why authentic religion is always mystic. By “mystic” I mean something that can be felt, experienced, but can never be described. Even though you know it, you are incapable of making it known to others; you are almost dumb. The more you know, the more dumb you are. When you have known it absolutely you become almost an absolutely ignorant man.

Dionysius has a special word for it; he calls it agnosia. You must have heard the word “agnostic”; Bertrand Russell used the word for himself. The atheist says there is no God, but he says it as if he knows – that “as if” is always there – as if he has explored the whole reality and has come to know that there is no God. In declaring there is no God he is declaring his knowledge. He is a gnostic: he knows.Gnosis means knowledge. The theist says there is a God – as if he knows, as if he has attained, arrived. He is also a gnostic; he has gnosis, knowledge.

An agnostic means one who says, “I don’t know, neither this way nor that. I don’t know whether God is or God is not. I am utterly ignorant. ” Hence Bertrand Russell says, “I am agnostic.” He must have discovered the word in Dionysius:Agnosia. But Dionysius’ use of the word is far more potential, far more pregnant than Bertrand Russell’s; Bertrand Russell’s cannot be more than a logical statement. He is a logician, a mathematician; he has never meditated, he has never gone within himself. He says he is an agnostic, but he has never tried to go beyond it, as if agnosticism is the ultimate and there is nothing more to do about it.

My feeling is that he is not a true agnostic. The atheist says, “I know there is no God,” the theist says, ”I know that there is a God,” and the Bertrand Russellian agnosticism says, “I know there is no way of knowing” – but that knowledge, that tacit knowledge is there.

Dionysius says that one can know God only when one comes to the moment when one knows nothing: the state of not-knowing is the opening of the door. By agnosia he means exactly the same as the Upanishads mean. One of the most famous Upanishads, the Kenopanishad, says:

“It is conceived by him who conceives it not.
Who conceives it, knows it not.
It is not understood by those who understand it.
It is understood by those who understand it not.”

Or it reminds one of the Zen Master Yung-chia. In his Song of Enlightenment he says:

“You cannot grasp it;
you cannot get rid of it.
In not being able to get it, you get it.
When you are silent, it speaks;
when you speak, it is silent.”

Or it reminds one of the great Socratic statement: “I know only one thing, that I know nothing.”

Agnosia means the state of not-knowing. That’s what samadhi is, that’s what meditation is all about: the state of not-knowing.

Meditation creates that state, agnosia. When meditation has helped you to burn all your knowledge, to unburden you of mountainous loads of conditioning when it has left you utterly silent, like a small child full of wonder and awe, that state is called in India samadhi. Samandhi means all is solved: there is no longer any question and there is no longer any answer; one is utterly silent. There is no longer any belief and no longer any doubt. Dionysius calls it agnosia. It is through agnosia that one comes to know.

This is the ultimate paradox of mysticism: that by not-knowing one comes to know it and by knowing one misses it. Not-knowing is far higher than all knowledge. The universities give you knowledge, but when you enter into the Buddhafield of a Master you are entering into an anti-university. In the university you learn more and more knowledge, information; you accumulate. In the anti-university of a Master you unlearn more and more… a moment comes when you know nothing.

It is a very strange moment, hence it has been described by Dionysius with tremendous beauty: he calls it “translucent darkness.” Many mystics have called it different names, but Dionysius seems to surpass them all. Translucent darkness… darkness which is pure light. He also calls it Docta Ignorantia, the doctrine of ignorance. He also calls it “knowing ignorance.” You can compare it with the knowledge of the knowledgeable people. The knowledgeable people are called by Dionysius people who have “ignorant knowledge.” So he divides people in two categories: those who belong to the world of ignorant knowledge – they know much, knowing nothing – and the second category, the people who belong to the world of knowing ignorance – they know nothing, hence they know all.

-Osho

From Theologia Mystica, Chapter One

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Junnaid’s Gratitude – Osho

I have always loved to remember a Sufi master, Junnaid. He was the master of al-Hillaj Mansoor. He had a habit: after each prayer – and Mohammedans pray five times a day – after each prayer he would say to the sky, “Your compassion is great. How beautifully you take care of us, and we don’t deserve it. I don’t even have words to show my gratefulness, but I hope you will understand the unexpressed gratitude of my heart.”

They were on a pilgrimage, and it happened that for three days they passed through villages where orthodox Mohammedans would not allow them even to stay in the villages; there was no question of giving them food or water. For three days without food, without water, without sleep, tired, utterly frustrated… The disciples could not believe that this man Junnaid, their master, still goes on saying the same things. Before, it was okay – but still he goes on saying, “You are great, you are compassionate, and I don’t have words to express my gratitude.”

On the third evening when he had finished his prayer, his disciples said, “Now it is time for an explanation. For three days we have been hungry, we have not had water, we are thirsty; we have not slept, we have been insulted continually, no place has been given to us, no shelter. At least today you should not say, ‘You are great, you are compassionate.’ For what are you showing your gratitude?”

Junnaid laughed. He said, “My trust in existence is unconditional. It is not that I am grateful because existence provides this and that and that. I am – that’s enough. Existence accepts me – that’s enough. And I don’t deserve to be; I have not earned it. Moreover, these three days have been of tremendous beauty because I had an opportunity to watch whether anger would arise in me, and it didn’t arise; whether I would start to feel that God had forsaken me, and the idea did not arise. There has been no difference in my attitude towards existence. My gratitude has not changed, and it has filled me with more gratitude than ever. It was a fire test, and I have come out of it unburned. What more do you want? I will trust existence in my life and I will trust existence in my death. It is my love affair.

-Osho

Excerpt from Beyond Enlightenment, Chapter 19

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Beyond Enlightenment

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Awaiting Its Discovery – Osho

What is satori and how to attain it?

Pratima, satori is exactly your ordinary nature; it is not anything special. Hence there is no question of attaining it – it is already the case. You are in it, you have just forgotten. You have become too occupied with the outside world. You have forgotten your own kingdom, you have forgotten your own treasure, you have forgotten yourself. You have become too concerned with others. You are too much in the world and you don’t give any time, any space for your inner nature to have a dialogue with you, to whisper a few things to you. You have become artificial.

You have created a false ego because nobody can live without a center. You have forgotten your real center, and nobody can live without a center, so you have created a false center as a substitute.

That’s the ego. Ego simply means living with a false center.

Satori is dropping the false, entering into the real; just being yourself, your natural self, your ordinary self.

The word “ordinary” has to be remembered because the mind is not interested in the ordinary at all; it wants to be extraordinary, it wants to be special. It is through being special that the ego survives. It is constantly striving to be more special, more special. It wants to be more rich, more powerful, more respectable; it is ambitious. Hence the word “ordinary” has no appeal for the mind. And that is the beauty of the word ”ordinary” – because it has no appeal for the mind.

Mind is an achiever and the ordinary need not be achieved; it is already the case. The extraordinary has to be achieved, the extraordinary becomes the goal. It is far away; you have to make all kinds of efforts, you have to struggle for it, you have to fight for it because there are so many competitors.

To be ordinary… and there is no competition at all. You can just be ordinary, nobody has any objection. People will simply feel sorry for you that you have dropped out of the competitive race.

One competitor less – they will feel good but sorry for you. They will say, “Poor fellow! What happened to him? Why did he have to drop out?” The dropouts are not respectable people.

Buddha is a dropout. All real Masters are dropouts. To be a sannyasin means to be a dropout. To drop out of the rat race is to drop in, because when you are in the race you cannot enter in. When you are no longer in the race there is nowhere to go. You start moving inwards because life is a flow: if there is no outer direction it takes the inner direction. If the goal is not there far away in the future, then you start moving into your nature in the present. That is satori.

Satori is very ordinary. Satori means your nature. You have come with it; it is your original face – all other faces are masks.

Yoka says:
A disciple speaks in accordance with the ultimate, the absolute truth. Remember that one should cut the root and not the branches and the leaves.

What is the root of your misery? The root is your ambition, desiring. One wants to be this and that, one wants to possess this and that, one wants to be somebody, one wants to be significant. Yoka says: Cut the root… only then are you a disciple. And the moment you cut the root – not the branches, not the leaves – you attain the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is not far away; it is the immediate truth, it is your truth, it is your very being.

Most people do not recognize the perfect jewel, the jewel of supreme wisdom, satori. It is hidden in the secret place of Tathagata, awaiting its discovery. It is to live in your suchness; it is hidden in your suchness. Whatsoever you are, live in it. Don’t create any conflict, don’t live through the ideal. Don’t be an idealist, just be natural.

But everybody is being taught to be an idealist: “Become a Jesus” or “Become a Buddha” or “Become a Krishna.” Nobody tells you just to be yourself! Why should you be a Jesus? One Jesus is enough and one Jesus is beautiful – he enriches the existence. Many Jesuses just carrying crosses, and wherever you go you meet them… It won’t look beautiful, it won’t add to the beauty of existence; it will make the whole world ugly. Wherever you go you meet a Mahavira standing naked…. It is because of this that God never creates the same person again. He never repeats; he is original.

He always creates a new person. You have never been before, and there is no one who is like you, and there will never be anybody else like you again. In the whole of eternity you alone are just like you. Look at the beauty of it and the glory of it and the respect that God has shown to you! What more respectability do you need? See the uniqueness of yourself. There is no need to be unique; you are already unique, just as everybody else is unique. You are unique in your ordinariness, in your suchness.

Satori is hidden, says Yoka, in the secret place of your suchness, awaiting its discovery.

It has not to be created, it is already there; you just have to discover it. Go in and discover it! It is waiting and waiting. And centuries have passed and many many lives have passed, and you have become addicted to extroversion. You never move in.

The first step towards satori is meditation. Satori is the ultimate experience of meditation when meditation is fulfilled, when meditation has reached to its ultimate flowering .

Yoka says:
The world is complete illusion, yet nothing exists which might be called illusion.

The world that you have created through your mind is illusory, but there is another world which is not your creation. When your mind disappears you discover that world: the world of suchness. That is a totally different experience. No words can describe it. Thousands of mystics have tried to describe it, but nobody has ever been able and nobody will ever be able to describe it. It is so mysterious, it is so beautiful that all words fall short. No poetry reaches to its level, no music even touches its feet.

The perfect light of this wisdom enlightens one.

The moment you have put your mind aside – mind means ambition, the ego trip of being this and that – the moment you have put the whole mind aside, a great light explodes in you and you are enlightened. This is satori. It does not come from the outside: you are not delivered by somebody else; you are delivered by your own being, by your own nature.

That is possible only by practicing Zazen beyond speculation. You can see clouds naturally in the mirror but to hold on to the reflection is impossible.

That is possible only by practicing zazen… Satori is possible only by practicing zazen. Zazen means:

Just sitting, doing nothing, the Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

You are simply relaxing into your own being, not doing anything at all. It is not a question of doing; it is simply a question of being. You go on relaxing into your being. A moment comes when you are in your utter purity, in your utter simplicity, in your utter innocence. That is satori.

Zazen is a beautiful word. It simply means just sitting – not even doing meditation. In fact, you cannot do meditation. Meditation is just sitting silently; it is not a question of doing. If you are doing something you are disturbing your meditation.

Somebody is chanting a mantra; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is focusing on something; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is concentrating, somebody is praying, somebody is thinking of God: they are disturbing their meditation. All these are the doings of the mind, and if the doing continues the mind continues. Stop doing, and where is the mind? When the doing disappears, mind disappears. And the disappearance of the mind is satori.

It is beyond speculation, says Yoka. You cannot think about it, you can only experience it. It is the ultimate experience, and the immediate experience, too, of truth, of beauty, of love, of bliss, of God, of nirvana.

-Osho
From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Four

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Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen

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Sannyas is Eternal – Osho

What do you foresee as the future of your sannyas movement? Do you see it as prospering, even when you’re not here?

Sannyas movement is not mine. It is not yours. It was here when I was not here. It will be here when I will not be here.

Sannyas movement simply means the movement of the seekers of truth. They have always been here.

Of course, they have been always tortured by the ignorant masses: killed, murdered, crucified, or worshipped.

Remember: it is the same whether you crucify or you worship. Both are the ways how to get rid of those people. One is crucifixion, another is worship. Worship is more cultured. We say you are an incarnation of God, we will worship you. But we will not do what you say. How can we do? We are ordinary human beings. You were extraordinary — either you were a prophet sent by God, or a messenger, or the only begotten son of God, or you were a reincarnation of God — you could do miracles. We have created all kinds of miracles, only for one reason. To create a distance between us and the people who have been seeking the truth and the people who have ultimately found the truth. We were not ready to go with them. There were only two ways: either to kill them, destroy them, so we can forget them and forgive them.

They were a disturbing element, a nuisance. We were asleep and having such beautiful dreams and a Gautam Buddha comes and starts shaking you and tells, “Wake up!” Naturally you get angry.

There have always been a line of seekers of truth… I call it sannyas. It is eternal. It is sanatan. It has nothing to do with me.

Millions of people have contributed to it. I have also contributed my own share. It will go on becoming richer and richer. When I am gone there will be more and more people coming and making it richer. The old sannyas was serious. I have contributed to it a sense of humor. The old sannyas was sad. I have contributed to it singing, dancing, laughing… I have made it more human.

The old sannyas was somehow life-negative. I have made it life-affirmative. But it is the same sannyas. It is the same search. I have made it richer. I have made it more grounded in the world because my whole teaching is `be in the world, but don’t be of the world.’

There is no need to renounce the world. Only cowards renounce it. Live in the world, experience it. It is a school. You cannot grow in the Himalayas. You can only grow in the world.

Each step is an examination. Each step you are passing through a test. Life is an opportunity.

I will be gone. That does not mean that the sannyas movement will be gone. It does not belong to anybody.

Just as science does not belong to Albert Einstein. Why the search for truth should belong to somebody? To Gautam Buddha? To J Krishnamurti? Or to me? Or to you?

Just as science goes on growing and every scientific genius goes on contributing to it and the Ganges goes on becoming bigger and wider — oceanic; in the same way the inner world needs a science. The objective world has a science. The inner world needs a science and I call sannyas the science of the inner world. It has been growing but because it goes against humanities attachments, ignorance, superstitions, so-called religions, churches, priests, popes, shankaracharyas… these are the enemies of the inner search because the inner search needs no organization.

Sannyas movement is not an organization: that is why I call it `movement’. It is individual. People join. I had started alone and then people started coming and joining me and slowly, slowly the caravan became bigger and bigger. But it is not an organization. I am nobody’s leader. Nobody has to follow me. I am grateful that you have allowed me to share my bliss, my love, my ecstasy. I am grateful to you. Nobody is my follower, nobody is lower. There is no hierarchy. It is not a religion. It is pure religiousness. The very essence. Not a flower, but only a fragrance. You cannot catch hold of it.

You can have the experience of it, you can be surrounded by the perfume, but you cannot catch hold of it.

Religions are like dead flowers you can find in Bibles, in Gitas… When they were put in the Bible they were living, they were fragrant, but now it is only a corpse. All holy books are corpses, dead flowers and nothing else.

Truth, the living truth, has to be discovered by each individual by himself. Nobody can give it to you.

Yes, somebody who has achieved it can transpire a thirst in you, a tremendous desire for it. I cannot give you the truth, but I can give you the desire for it.

I cannot give you the truth, but I can show you the moon… please don’t get attached to my finger which is indicating the moon. This finger will disappear. The moon will remain and the search will continue.

As long as there is a single human being on the earth the flowers of sannyas will go on blossoming.

-Osho

From The Last Testament, V.6, Chapter 15

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Speak to us of Love – Osho

Then said Almitra, speak to us of love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
into the season less world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. 

The people who have realized the meaning of life have only spoken to those who can understand love, because love is the meaning of life. Very few people have realized that love is your very flame. It is not food that keeps you alive, it is love – which keeps you not only alive but gives you a life of beauty, truth, silence, and millions of other priceless things.

The world can be divided in two parts: the world where everything has a price and the world where price is meaningless. Where prices are no longer relevant, values arise. Prices are for things, for dead things.

Life does not recognize that which is dead. But such a simple truth, man goes on missing. He even tries to purchase love; otherwise there would not have been prostitutes. And it is not only a question of prostitutes. What are your marriages? – a permanent institution of prostitution.

Remember, only when you enter into the world of values – where no money, no power, no respectability is of any help – are you entering into authentic life. And the flavor of that life is love.

Because man is so much accustomed to purchasing everything, he forgets that the very effort to purchase something that cannot be purchased is a murder. A husband demands love from his wife because he has purchased her, and the same is true about the wife. But they are unaware that they are assassinating each other. They do not know: the moment price enters into love, love dies.

Love is very delicate, very sacred. In all of our relationships, we are trying to reduce the other person to a thing. A wife is a thing. If you have any intelligence, let her remain just a woman. A husband is no more alive. Allow him to remain in freedom because only in freedom can love flower.

But man, in his utter stupidity, has destroyed everything that is valuable. You even try to purchase God. How deep is your blindness? People who can afford it – remember the word “afford” – have temples in their houses. Statues can be purchased but whatever you do with those statues is sheer nonsense; a purchased statue can never become a living God. And not only do they purchase the statue, they also purchase a priest to do the worship.

I have seen priests running from one house to another house because they have to worship in at least ten or twelve temples; only then they can feed themselves. And the people who are purchasing even prayer, worship, think they are doing great virtuous acts. These are the sinners!

Your life will not have any flowers if it does not have something which is priceless. Do you have something in your life which is priceless?

People are selling even their lives. What are your soldiers? – And their number must be millions all around the earth. They have sold themselves. Their only function is to kill and be killed. But as far as I can see, that is not important; they have killed themselves the day they sold themselves. They may be still breathing, but just to breathe is not life. Trees breathe, vegetables breathe. Cabbages and cauliflowers breathe, but they are not alive and they know nothing of love. They have prices attached to them. Perhaps cabbages are cheaper, cauliflowers a little costly – because cauliflowers are nothing but cabbages with university degrees. But don’t do this to any human being.

And if you cannot purchase a thing you cannot possess it either. In your deep sleep, you even possess your children without ever becoming aware that the very possession – “This is my child” – is a murder. Children come through you, but they belong to the universe. You are just a passage.

But you make every effort that your child should have your family name, your religion, your political ideology. He should be just an obedient object.

When I was a student in the university, the government of India passed a resolution that unless you participate in the training for the army, your postgraduate degree could not be given to you. It was compulsory. I approached the vice-chancellor and I said, “I would love to remain without any postgraduate degree. I am not willing to participate in a training which is nothing but a very psychological process of destroying your consciousness, your life, and reducing you to just a number.”

In the army, when somebody dies, on the notice board it is declared, “Number Sixteen has fallen.” When you read this, that “Number Sixteen has fallen,” nothing happens to your heart because Number Sixteen has no wife, no children, no old mother, no old father to be taken care of. Numbers don’t produce children. This is a strategy. But if you see a name, you will suddenly feel sad. What will happen to the children, to the wife, to the old mother, to the old father who is just living to see his son coming back home? But he does not know that his son exists no more. He has become Number Sixteen. Number Sixteen can be replaced and will be replaced. Somebody else will become Number Sixteen.

You cannot replace a living human being… but a dead number? But it is not only the soldiers; if you look at yourself, in many ways you have allowed the crowd around you to make you a number. Even the people who say that they love you simply want to possess you, to exploit you. You are an object of their longings, of their desires.

Love is not available in the marketplace. For love, you will have to understand that existence is not a dead existence. It is full of light, overflowing with love but to experience that love, you have to be attuned with the world of values.

Almustafa did not answer some people. Perhaps they were not worth answering. They have lost their souls: somebody has become a governor, somebody has become a president. The presidents and the governors and the prime ministers – they don’t have any souls; otherwise it is impossible for a man like Josef Stalin to kill one million Russians. And these were not capitalists – Russia has never been so rich – these were poor people, but they wanted not to be possessed by anyone and they were rebelling against slavery. First the czars were killing them for centuries, but Stalin outdid all the czars.

But sometimes I think perhaps he killed only dead people. Adolf Hitler killed six million human beings – but perhaps it is not right to condemn him, because these six million people had lost their souls long before. Somebody had become a husband, somebody had become a wife, somebody had become a father, somebody had become a mother.

In the world of nature, a woman is just a woman – not a lady. A lady is a woman who is living a posthumous life. In nature, there are authentic men – raw, rooted in the earth – but you will not find your gentlemen. They are the hypocrites who have died long ago and are now just breathing, eating, dragging themselves from the cradle to the grave. If they were really alive, they would have known the secret that exists between birth and death.

Almustafa simply refused to answer those people – who may have been knowledgeable, who may have been rich, but their questions were phony. Their questions were American.

I must remind you: the word “phony” comes from America. It is derived from “telephone.”

When you are talking to someone on the telephone, have you observed the change? The voice is not the same, the tone is not the same, and no one knows whether on the other side there is another American or a ghost.

I have heard…. One great psychoanalyst was treating a super-rich billionaire. Although his fee was beyond the capacity of millions of people, for the super-rich it was nothing.

The rich man continued. A year passed and he would lie down on the psychoanalyst’s couch and would talk all kinds of absurd things… which are filled in your heads too; it is another thing that you keep them within, but in psychoanalysis you have to bring them out.

The psychoanalyst was getting bored but he could not get rid of the super-rich man because he was getting so much money from him. Finally, he found an American solution to it: He said to the rich man, “I have so many other patients and sometimes your session takes three hours, four hours, five hours. You have time, you have money. I have a humble suggestion to make. I will keep a tape recorder which will listen to you. My four or five hours will be saved and at night when I have time, I can listen to the tape.”

The rich man said, “Great!” 

The next day when the psychoanalyst was entering his office, he saw the rich man coming out. He said, “So quick? Are you finished?”

He said, “No, I have also brought my tape recorder. My tape recorder is talking to your tape recorder. Why should I waste five hours? When tape recorders can do it, what is the need of me coming every day?”

This is how, slowly, slowly, man becomes more and more mechanical. He says things, he lives a life, but it is all like a robot.

Dale Carnegie, one of America’s most famous philosophers – he would not be recognized as a philosopher anywhere else except in America – but his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold second only to The Bible. And it is full of crap. He suggests that every husband, at least three or four times a day, should say to his wife, “Darling, I love you so much, I cannot live without you. I cannot conceive of myself without you.” Whether you mean it or not does not matter.

Do you see the phoniness? If you are in love, it is so difficult to say ”I love you,” because words fall short. And to repeat three, four times a mechanical routine… you don’t mean anything, you are just a grammaphone record. Perhaps the needle on the record is stuck: “Darling, I love you.” And the darling also answers, and deep inside both hate each other: “This is the woman who has destroyed my freedom. This is the man who has put me into a prison.”

Love is the highest value. That’s why Jesus could say, “God is love.” But his statement is two thousand years old. It needs some refinement; it needs to be made up-to-date. God is not love.

I say unto you: Love is god. And there is a vast difference between the two, although the same words are used. If God is love that simply means it is only one of the qualities of God. He may have many other qualities: he may be wise, he may be just, fair. He may be forgiveness.

But when you say “Love is god,” the statement is totally different. Then god itself becomes a quality of those who know how to love. Then there is no need to believe in God… because it is only a hypothesis. And it is up to you what to make of the hypothesis.

The Jewish God in the Old Testament says, “I am a very angry God, I’m very jealous. I am not nice! Remember, I am not your uncle! I cannot tolerate another God.” The Mohammedans have inherited the Jewish conception of God. That’s why they have been destroying statues and temples, beautiful pieces of art: because there is only one God and one holy book and one messenger, Mohammed. This is a fascist attitude, ugly, inhuman. What is the problem if there are millions of gods? The world will be far richer. Why are you stuck with one god?

Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, all such religions which believe in one god believe in dictatorship, not in democracy. What is the problem?

Gautam Buddha is perhaps the first democratic religious person, who says that every man is a potential god and finally, all are going to blossom into godhood. This has a beauty.

Almustafa did not answer those people. Instead he cried, wept, tears came to his eyes because their questions were phony. They were asking simply to show others that they were knowledgeable. You know perfectly well the distinction between a knowledgeable question and an authentic quest. When you want to exhibit your knowledge, there is no quest in your heart. You are asking to show that you are not ignorant.

In fact, before asking the question, you already know the answer – not by your own experience, but borrowed….

A great philosopher in Gautam Buddha’s time came to see him. He brought his five hundred disciples with him. Buddha never refused anybody. Even at the last moment when he was dying, he asked if anybody had a question because “Now, I am going, my ship has arrived. And I don’t want it to be said by future generations that Gautam Buddha was alive and yet he did not answer an authentic question.”

Buddha asked the philosopher, “Is it your question or a quest?”

The philosopher said, “What is the difference?”

Buddha said, “The difference is unbridgeable, of the earth and the sky. A quest is a thirst. A question is a mind game. If you have a quest, I am ready to answer. But if it is only a question, don’t waste my time.”

Almustafa did not answer those people amongst whom he had lived for twelve years and who had never asked anything. But when Almitra, the woman who had recognized him on the first day in the city of Orphalese, asked – he answered. And he answered with such beauty, with such poetry, with such truth. Perhaps nobody else has answered that way – not even a person like Krishna, who answered his disciple Arjuna’s questions after questions.

Perhaps Arjuna’s questions are authentic, but Krishna’s answers are not. He is not concerned with the quest. His whole concern is political – somehow to persuade Arjuna to participate in the war. So he goes on answering in different ways which contradict each other and finally, when he finds that his answers are not convincing to Arjuna, he resorts to the last thing which any dictator is bound to fall upon.

Finally, he says, “It is God’s will that you should participate in the war.” It is strange that God is speaking to him and not to Arjuna directly. If I had been in the place of Arjuna, I would have said, “It may be God’s will for you – fight! But as far as I am concerned, it is God’s will not to fight but to renounce this whole nonsense of destroying and killing people and move deeper into the Himalayas to meditate.”

But he became afraid. If it is God’s will, he has to fight. He forgot a simple thing – why does God always need mediators? Why can’t he speak directly?

In fact, there is no God. These mediators are the most cunning people in the world. In the name of God, they are forcing their own ideas. Because they cannot force through their arguments, their final strategy is to bring God in.

I have wondered always: Is God your real question? Anybody’s? It is philosophical, intellectual, hypothetical – but what will you do if you meet God? And what is the point of meeting God? No, that is not the real quest of man.

Almitra does not ask Almustafa, “Speak to us of God.” No, she asks:

Speak to us of love.

It has to be noted that only a woman can ask about love. Man wants to know God or to become God. These are power trips. Love is not a power trip. Love is the only experience in which you become humble, simple, innocent.

And what does Almustafa say? Meditate over it. Each single word is of immense significance:

And he raised his head and looked upon the people…

Before answering, you have to look into the hearts of people – to see whether there is any stirring, whether love is their quest. Almitra has asked a very fundamental question; the most fundamental question. But what about the people, the crowd who have gathered there?

And there fell a stillness upon them. 

A great silence, because those were simple people, and as Almustafa looked around into their eyes, into their faces, there was a great silence. Those simple people really wanted to know what Almitra had asked about. Perhaps they were not articulate enough to ask the question; Almitra had become their voice. She represents their hearts. Seeing that….

And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him… 

Do not doubt, do not be skeptical, because love is beckoning you towards something you have not known. Although you have the seed… but the seed has not known its own flower. When love beckons to you, you are blessed; Follow him.

Though his ways are hard and steep.

Love is not just a bed of roses.

And when his winds enfold you yield to him…

Do not resist, do not be reluctant, do not go half-hearted. Don’t be wishy-washy.

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And love certainly wounds people, but that wound is something like a surgical operation. You are carrying so much hate – that hate has to be destroyed. For a time you may feel a wound, an empty space where hate used to be.

And when he speaks to you believe in him…

He’s not saying believe in what he speaks, remember. He is saying when he speaks, believe in him. There is a very subtle distinction. If I am speaking to you, you can believe in what I am speaking – that will be from the head, and that is not going to help in any way because tomorrow somebody may speak against it, with better arguments, with more logic. Then you will shift.

Almustafa is saying believe in him, not what he is saying. This is a tremendously potential statement: Whenever a master speaks, do not be too much bothered about his words. If the words can only help you to believe in the authenticity of the master, they have done their work. When you believe in a person, it is from the heart. It is not an argument. When you believe in words, it is from the head. It is just an argument.

Life is not an argument, and love is not an argument. It is a meeting of two hearts, two beings – two bodies become one. That is what Almustafa is saying:

Though his voice may shatter your dreams…

It is going to shatter your dreams. It is going to shatter your sleep; it is going to shatter you.
Just believing in words will not shatter anything in you. On the contrary, you will become more
knowledgeable, your ego more decorated.

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Never before has anybody spoken, in a single sentence, the whole alchemy of man’s transformation. Love will crown you but it will also crucify you. It will crucify you as you have been, your past, and it will crown you as you should be, your future. Love is both: a crowning and a crucifixion. Because of this, millions of people miss the glory of love. The crucifixion makes them afraid… and what is the point of being crowned if you are going to be crucified?

But you are not one, you are many. The real you will be crowned and the false personalities will be crucified, and these processes are going to happen simultaneously. On the one hand, death; on the other hand, a resurrection.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for pruning.

You have grown so many ugly things in your life. They have to be pruned – and that pruning is not against your growth. In fact, those ugly things that you have gathered around yourself – jealousy, domination, continuous effort to have the upper hand – will not allow you to experience love.

When I read that sentence, I remember my gardener, Mukta. She goes on pruning my trees. I know what she’s doing is right, because unless you prune them, they will not grow. But whenever she sees me – once in a while I come out of the room and she hides her garden scissors. Mukta, from today, there is no need to hide. But only prune that which is against the growth of the tree. Don’t prune according to your ideas of how the tree should be. Let the tree be itself. Give it freedom… and if a gardener cannot love his own trees, who is going to love? Prune whenever you see that this will help to bring more foliage, more growth, more leaves, more flowers.

I am not against pruning. I had told her not to do this because there was, six years ago, a beautiful creeper on the back fence of my garden. But it was wild, and Mukta is a Greek. Just to prune it, she named it “The Monster.” This is one of the strategies of human mind. Whenever you want to destroy something, first you give it a name – that becomes the argument for you. That poor creeper was not a monster. Yes, it was wild, but to be wild is not to be a monster. I am wild… but do you think you can prune me? I have not even cut a single hair of my beard – they are the originals. You all have unoriginal beards. I have never cut a single hair of my mustache. Just a few days ago, there was a question: “Osho, everything you say reaches my heart but one question remains: how do you manage to eat?”

I can understand his question – an unpruned mustache has almost covered my lips. That’s why I never come to eat with you. I always eat alone just to protect my original hair. It is a little difficult.

Even as he ascend to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun..

You will enjoy it when love reaches to your heights with tenderness, caressing your branches dancing in the wind and in the sun and in the rain. But that is only the half of it.

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the Earth.

And you cannot choose one and avoid the other. Love is a solid phenomenon, it cannot be cut into fragments. Just as your heights need to be showered by love, your roots which are clinging to the earth have to be shaken, because every clinging is an imprisonment. Love would like to give you wings to fly – and with a clinging mind, with attachment, it is impossible to fly in the open sky. Just to cling to the earth, you have grown great roots going deep down so that nobody can shake you. It is out of fear, but fear is just the opposite pole of freedom.

Don’t cling to anything – not even to the person you love. Clinging will destroy the very love to which you were clinging. Don’t become a bondage.

I have heard….

A great freedom fighter had gone for a holiday in the hills. On the way, he stopped for a night’s rest in a small caravanserai. The owner of the serai had a beautiful parrot, and in accordance with his beauty, he had made a golden cage studded with diamonds. The owner also loved freedom, so he had taught the parrot only one word: “Freedom.” The whole day long the parrot used to call, “Freedom! Freedom!” and his voice would echo and re-echo in the valleys.

This freedom fighter thought, “This is strange. I know the owner; he’s my friend. I know his love for freedom – that’s why he has taught his parrot only one word, “Freedom.” But this is very contradictory. If he loves freedom, let the parrot be free. Even the golden cage studded with diamonds is not freedom.” So he waited. In the middle of the night the parrot again shouted, “Freedom! Freedom!” and in the silences around, the voice of the parrot echoed far and wide in the silences around.

The man came out. It was night and the owner was asleep. No one was around. He opened the door of the cage and waited… such a freedom-loving parrot, seeing the door open, will immediately fly into the sky. But instead of flying into the sky, the parrot clung hard to his golden cage.

But the freedom fighter was not a man to be defeated by a parrot. He put his hand inside the cage, pulled the parrot out… and while he was pulling the parrot out, the parrot was hitting his hand, scratching his hand and still shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” His whole hand was full of blood, but he threw the parrot into the open sky on a full moon night. The hand was wounded, but he felt deeply contented that the parrot was free.

He went to sleep. In the morning he was awakened again by the same voice: “Freedom!” He said, “My god, he has come back!” He looked out. The door was still open and the parrot was inside.

Love will caress you. But it will also go deep down to your roots and shake them to make you free.

It is something to be remembered: most of us go on living in a contradiction. On the one hand we want freedom; on the other hand, we go on clinging to something. Freedom is a risk. In the cage, the parrot is safe, secure. In freedom, although he gains the whole existence, the whole sky, he loses the safety and the security.

But freedom is such a value; anything can be sacrificed for it. And love needs absolute freedom to grow. Only then can you make the whole sky your home. People afraid of insecurity, unsafety, choose just the word love but never experience it.

If you want to experience love, you will have to risk everything and all – all your clingings, all your future safeties. But instead of sacrificing clingings and safeties and securities, man in his deep sleep has sacrificed love and saved the security.

That is what your marriage is – love is sacrificed; security is there. Of course in marriage there is security, there is safety; there is a guarantee that tomorrow also the wife will be available to you, the husband will be taking care of you. But what about love? Then love becomes an empty word.

Be aware of empty words, and particularly words like love, which are higher than God – God is only a quality of love. Don’t go on carrying an empty container with no content in it. This is your misery, the misery of the whole humanity. Nobody loves.

Love is risky. I teach you to take all the risks, because even a single moment of love is equal to the whole eternity.

And a life without love may be immortal, but will be just a graveyard. Nothing will blossom. You will be secure – but what will you do with your security?

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

But if you are clinging to something else, how can existence, or God, or love, gather you unto himself?

He threshes you to make you naked… 

because you are covered with so many fake personalities. Your face is not your original face. There are so many masks.

He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.

The word “whiteness” has to be understood – it is not a color. The whole rainbow you can have, but you will miss two colors which you have become accustomed to – black and white. And why have all the mystics condemned the black and praised the white?

White is not a color but all the colors. If you mix all the colors of the rainbow, whiteness arises. So whiteness is basically a great synthesis of all the colors of life. And if you remove all the colors, then there is blackness. Blackness is negativity, blackness is no. Blackness is death.

Whiteness is positivity, whiteness is yes, whiteness is God. Whiteness is love. 

He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All the religions of the world had been teaching people to fast. Almustafa is talking about the feast. Against all the religions, I am in agreement with Almustafa. Life is not a fasting, it is a continuous feast – a celebration, a festival of lights.

Love transforms your life into a festival of lights.

And unless your life becomes a feast and a festival, remember: you have not done the thing you have come for on this earth.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor…

People want love but they don’t want to be prepared for all the threshing, the fire that they have to pass through. They think love is just pleasure. It is not. Love is far more: it is blissfulness, it is the ultimate benediction. But you will have to drop the fear.

The man who is full of fear will never know the sweet taste of love. And if you have not known love, you have not known anything: all your knowledge is useless, all your treasures are useless. All your respectabilities are useless.

Almustafa says rightly:

Then… Cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears..

You will never know anything in its wholeness, in its totality. You will laugh but your laughter will be superficial. You will weep but your tears will be crocodile tears. Your life will always remain just a potentiality, it will never become a reality. And you will live your life in sleep – unconscious.

-Osho

From Speak to us of Love (Reflections on Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet), Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Speak to us of Love

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Rain Falling Softly on Earth – Osho

You tell me to float, but my body is so heavy with a dead-weight mind that I feel I will drown if I float. So I keep swimming in panic.

Floating is a totally new way of life. You are accustomed to fight; you are accustomed to swim upstream. The ego feels nourished if you fight with something. If you don’t fight, the ego simply evaporates. It is very essential for the existence of the ego to continue fighting. This way or that, in worldly matters or in spiritual matters, but go on fighting. Fight with others or fight with oneself, but continue the fight. The people you call worldly are fighting with others; and the people you call spiritual are fighting with themselves. But the basic thing remains the same.

The real vision arises only when you stop fighting. Then you start disappearing because without fight the ego cannot exist for a single moment. It needs constant pedaling. It is just like a bicycle. If you stop pedaling, it has to fall; it cannot continue for long — maybe a little while because of the past momentum. But your cooperation is needed for the ego, to keep it alive, and the cooperation is through fight, resistance.

When I say to you to float I mean that you are such a small, tiny part of the cosmos it is absolutely absurd to fight with it. With whom are you fighting? All fight is basically against God, because he surrounds you. If you are trying to go up current, you are trying to go against God. If he is flowing downwards to the ocean, go with him.

Once you start floating with the river, you will have a totally different quality arising in you. Something of the beyond will descend. You will not be there; you will become just an emptiness — tremendous emptiness, a receptivity. When you fight you shrink, when you fight you become small, when you fight you become hard. When you don’t fight — you surrender, you open, like a lotus opening its petals — then you receive. Unafraid you start moving, moving with life, moving with the river.

The question is: “You tell me to float, but I am afraid if I float I will drown.” It is good if you drown because only the ego can be drowned, not you. When you are fighting, in fact the ego is fighting with your innermost core. You will drown. But by that drowning, for the first time you will be able to float, for the first time you will be. Choose and you choose the ego. Be choiceless, let life choose for you, and you become egoless. Choose and you always choose hell. Choice is hell. Don’t choose. Let this prayer of Jesus resound in your hearts, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Let him do for you.

Drop yourself, drown yourself. Disappear from that plane of being. And then suddenly you are no longer human; you are superhuman. Your whole life will become a life of beatitude. Let me tell you one anecdote.

One unfortunate soul arrived at the doors of hell and was interviewed by old Nick himself “Which group would you like to join?” he asked with a leer.

What do you mean — group?” asked the new arrival.

“You see,” said the devil, “we have all sorts of torments here, and we allow people to choose their own. We believe in democracy, and we are not dictatorial — and there is no emergency going on. It is for you to choose. It is for eternity, remember one thing — mind this — so you must choose carefully. I will take you on a tour.”

So the devil took him through hell. One group was wallowing in slime and being perpetually eaten by maggots, another group was constantly being prodded with red-hot tridents, another group was being stretched on racks, etc., etc., and the new arrival was feeling very despondent.

Then the devil led him to one group in which all the inhabitants were standing up to their waists in a particularly evil-smelling cesspit and drinking cups of tea.

“This does not look too bad,” he thought to himself, “I will choose this group,” he said to the devil.

“You are sure?” asked Satan. “Remember, you can’t change your mind, and it is forever and forever and forever.”

“No, I am quite sure — this will do me,” said the newly damned.

“Very well,” said the devil, “in you go.”

And just as the wretched soul jumped into the pit, a whistle blew and a voice called out: “All right, everybody! Tea break’s over — stand on your heads!”

If you choose, you choose hell. Choice is hell. That’s how you have created your hell all around you — by choosing. When you choose you don’t allow God to choose for you.

Krishnamurti goes on insisting for choicelessness. That is just one end of the whole story. The other end is: if you arc choiceless God chooses for you. That is only half of the story — become choiceless — just the beginning. The moment you are choiceless life continues. You will not be there — life will continue. And you are nothing but a hell. Once you don’t stand between you and God he chooses. He has been always choosing for you. There is a proverb which says, “Man proposes and God disposes.” The reality is just the opposite: “God proposes and man goes on disposing.”

Once you have felt that beatitude of non-choosing and floating with him, you will never choose again. Because whenever you choose you choose hell, and whatsoever you choose you choose hell.

So I would like you to drown — drown with my blessings.

When Jesus says that those who cling to themselves will lose themselves, and those who are ready to lose will gain, he means exactly the same thing. When Sufis say, “Die before your death, and then you will become deathless,” they mean the same.

The death of the ego happens only through surrender. People come to me and they ask, “How not to be egoistic?” But you cannot do anything to be non-egoistic. Whatsoever you will do will make you again egoistic. You can try, discipline the ego, but you cannot be non-egoistic because whatsoever you do enhances the ego. The moment you become a doer, in whatsoever way…. You may try to be humble, but if it is your humbleness, practiced, disciplined by you, then deep down in your humbleness the ego will remain crowned, and it will go on saying, “Look. How humble I am.”

I have heard about one man who went to see Adler, the great psychologist who coined the word “inferiority complex.” The man was psychoanalyzed. After a few months and much effort, Adler told him, “Now you are cured.” The man said, “Yes, I also feel that I am cured. Now I am the one who has the most beautiful inferiority complex in the world — the best inferiority complex in the world.”

Inferiority complex, and the most beautiful and the best? It is possible; it happens every day. You can become egoistic about the inferiority complex also. You can have-a superiority complex about an inferiority complex also. Man is so ridiculous.

Go to religious people and see their faces. They show all signs of humbleness, but you will have to go a little deeper, deeper than their skin, to know them. Deep down the ego is very happy, feeling that “Nobody is more humble than me.” If you say to a religious man, “I have found a man who is more humble than you,” he will be hurt. He will feel insulted, it is impossible; nobody can be more humble than him. But that is the whole effort of the ego — nobody has a better house than me, nobody has a better car than me, nobody has a better face than me, nobody has better knowledge than me. In that comparison and feeling better is the ego.

You cannot do anything to change it. You can simply see the point that nothing is needed on your part. And once you drop it — or rather it will be better to say: once in your deep understanding it drops — you are open to life. Then life starts flowing through you, like a cool breeze in an open room. You are like a windowless room: all doors,-windows closed, no ray of light enters in you, no new breeze passes through you. You are caved in within yourself, closed. And of course if you start feeling suffocated it is natural.

But I know it is difficult to allow yourself to drown. It takes time. Just a few glimpses will be needed. Sometimes float, don’t swim, and just feel the river taking you over. Sometimes just sit in the garden, don’t choose. Don’t say what is beautiful, what is ugly. Don’t divide; just be there present to everything. Sometimes move in the marketplace, not saying, not condemning, not appreciating. In many ways learn how just to be, without any evaluation. Because the moment you evaluate you have chosen. The moment you say this is good, you are saying, “I would like to have it.” The moment you say this is bad, you say, “I don’t want it; I would not like to have it.” The moment you say this woman is beautiful, you have desired. The moment you say this woman is ugly, you have already felt repulsion. You are already caught in the duality of good and bad, beautiful and ugly; and the choice has entered in you.

Subtle are the ways of the ego. One has to be very alert.

And once you know — once even for a single moment the ego is not there, you are not creating it — suddenly all doors open, and from everywhere, from all directions, life rushes towards you. That rush is very fragile. If you are not alert you will not be able to see it, you will not be able to feel it. God’s touch is very delicate. Great sensitivity is needed to feel it.

Just the other day I was reading a small poem of Huub Oosterhuis.

“God does not send us his word
like a great torrent of water
raging in tempest and flood
sweeping us blindly along
but like a glimpse of the sun
or a green branch in the winter,
rain falling softly on earth:
this is how God comes to us. ”

… rain falling softly on earth: this is how God comes to us.”

In deep surrender, sensitivity, awareness, suddenly you are full of something which you had never known before. It has always been there, but you were too gross to know it. It has always been there, but you were too occupied in fighting, in the ways of the ego, that you couldn’t look back and feel it. It was always there, but you were not present. It was always waiting for you, but you had forgotten how to come back home. Dropping the ego is the way back home.

So drown yourself. That’s the whole art I am teaching you here. If I am teaching anything, I am teaching you death, because I know only through death is resurrection.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.9, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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