The Seeing I

Before, there was a “me” and I was totally identified with this “me”. There was no separation at all. The me and I were one and the same. I felt that I was the “me.” There was no experience of I that was not “the me”.

Through meditation a seeing has arisen which is separate from the “me.” Let’s call it the “seeing I”.  This “seeing I” can watch the me, see its arising and see its dissolving. There are moments when the “me” is absent and yet the “seeing I” remains. The “me” is seen within this seeing. And yet many times this seeing still gets entangled with the “me” and only the “me” is present. And then, a remembering and the “me” is once again seen by the seeing.

It becomes clear from watching this changing landscape that that the “me” is not necessary when the “seeing I” is present. And it also becomes clear that there may come a time when no “me” exists at all and only seeing.

But for now it is a time for watching all the ins and outs of the “me”, a time for watching all of its comings and goings. And the more there is seeing these comings and goings, these ins and outs of the “me” the more the “seeing I” is present.

-purushottama

See related post Awakening Before Enlightenment.

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The Beauty of Egoless Moments – Osho

You are teaching us to believe in nothing. But why should I try to drop my ego without believing that life is better without an ego? Before I drop my ego I cannot know how life is without an ego. Therefore I have to believe that life is better without an ego before I try to drop the ego. But I can’t believe it, because I suppose that life without an ego is life without a will of my own. The idea of giving up my own will is horrible to me. I cannot imagine that anybody would do this of his own free will, because my ego is all I have. Osho, Please talk to us about this. 

Bernd Schweiger. It happens all the time that I say one thing and you understand something else for the simple reason that I am talking from a state of no-mind and you are listening through the mind. It is as if a person who is awake is talking to a person who is fast asleep. Yes, even in sleep you can hear a few words, fragments of words, maybe even fragments of sentences. But you will not be able to understand exactly what is being said to you. You are bound to misunderstand.

That is one of the problems faced by all those people who have experienced something of the beyond. The beyond cannot he put into words. It remains inexpressible for the simple reason that you can understand only that which you have experienced.

I am not saying drop the ego; that is impossible. Even if you want to drop it you cannot drop it. It is impossible because the ego does not exist. How can you drop something which does not exist? You can only drop something which exists in the first place. But the ego is a false phenomenon; nobody has ever been able to drop it.

Then what do I mean when I say learn the secret of being egoless? I do not mean that you have to drop it but that you have to understand it. There is no question of belief.

Now the whole question has come out of your misunderstanding, but you are making it look so logical that anybody looking at your question will think, “Of course, how can you drop the ego without believing that life will be better without the ego?” And I say don’t believe in anything. I repeat again: don’t believe in anything. I am not saying that you should believe me and become egoless, I am simply saying – sharing my own experience – that the more I tried to understand the ego the more I became aware that it is non-existential. When I became fully conscious of it, it disappeared.

It disappears of its own accord. You don’t drop it. If you drop it, then who will drop it? Then the ego will survive; then it will be the ego dropping another ego, dropping the gross ego. And the gross is not dangerous; the subtle ego is more dangerous. Then you will become a pious egoist, you will become a humble egoist, you will become a spiritual egoist. Then you will become an “egoless” egoist. And that is getting into more trouble because that is getting into more contradictions.

All that I am saying to you is very simple. Try to understand what this ego is. Just look at it, watch it. Become aware of all its subtle ways, how it comes in. And there are moments when it is not – watch those moments also. Even you have those moments when it is not. It needs constant pedaling – it is like a bicycle. If you go on pedaling it, it can go on moving; if you stop pedaling it… how far can it go without pedaling? Maybe a few feet, maybe one furlong, two furlongs, but then it is bound to fall.

The ego needs to be constantly nourished. There are moments when you forget to nourish it and it disappears. For example, seeing a beautiful sunset it disappears because the sunset possesses you so totally. It is so beautiful, it is so extraordinary, so exquisite, it fills you with wonder and awe; for a moment you forget completely that you are, only the sunset is, and the clouds and the luminous colors on the clouds, and the birds coming back to their nests, and the day ending, entering into a silent night; as the sun starts disappearing below the horizon, something in you stops.

It happened to Ramakrishna – his first experience of egolessness. He was only thirteen. He was coming home from the field – he was a poor man’s son and he lived in a small village. He was passing by the lake. A silent evening, the sunset, and there was nobody on the lake; his coming to the lake… There was a big crowd of white cranes sitting by the side of the lake. They suddenly flew up – it was so sudden, as if out of nowhere – and against the backdrop of a black cloud which was shining like velvet against the setting sun, those white cranes in a row flashed before his eyes like lightning. It was a moment, a tremendous moment!

He fell on the ground. He was so possessed by the beauty of it he became unconscious. He had to be carried home by others. After one hour somebody found him Lying down there on the shore of the lake. It took six hours for him to be brought back to consciousness. When he came back to consciousness he started crying. And they asked, “Why are you crying? You should be happy – you have come back to consciousness.”

He said, “No, I am crying because I have come back to the ordinary world. I was not unconscious. I had moved to a higher plane of consciousness, I had moved to some new plane. I don’t know what it was, but I was not there and still there was great joy. I have never tasted such joy!”

That was his first experience, his first satori: a moment of egolessness. Then he started seeking and searching for it deliberately, consciously. He would go to the lake again and again in the morning, in the evening, in the night, and it started happening again and again more easily.

It happens to you too; it has happened to everybody. God comes to everybody. You may have forgotten him; he has not forgotten you – he cannot. It is not only that you are searching for him; he is also groping for you, he is also searching for you.

I am not telling you to drop the ego, I am telling you to understand it, to see it. Seeing it, it disappears. And see and become aware of those moments when it disappears of its own accord. Making love, it disappears. In a deep orgasm, it disappears; you melt, merge into existence. The wave again becomes the ocean; it is no more separate, it falls back into the ocean. It is only for a moment. Remain conscious of that moment and you will see the beauty of it. Once you have seen the beauty of egoless moments, then it will be easy for you to see the ugliness of the ego, the misery of the ego.

You need not believe me; I am simply inviting you to experience it. I am utterly against belief – belief is the cause of destroying religion on the earth. It is belief that has made religions false and pseudo.

Now listen to your question again, Schweiger.

You say: You are teaching us to believe in nothing.

Absolutely true.

But why should I try to drop my ego…?

Who has said this? You must have heard it, that I can understand, but I have not said it.

A young man went to a sex therapist for advice about his staying power. “Ah yes, ” said the therapist. “Premature ejaculation is quite a common problem for many young men. It is entirely due to over-eagerness and there is a definite cure.”

“What is that, doctor?” asked the young man.

“Next time you go to bed with a woman, imagine that you are about to eat a delicious meal in a gourmet restaurant. Imagine every aspect of the meal, from the soup to the coffee.

“Begin with the soup… imagine it steaming in the bowl… taste each spoonful. Next, order the wine, perhaps a rose’. Smell the bouquet of the wine, look at it sparkling with each sip. Imagine the main course… perhaps a mushroom-garnished steak with a baked potato, sour cream and chives and a fresh green salad. Eat it very slowly, tasting each bite. After the main course order dessert… perhaps a chocolate mousse or a pecan pie with whipped cream. And then… you are ready for your coffee… Brazilian, French roast, or maybe cappuccino. Then you can relax and feel the contentment of having enjoyed a very satisfying meal.

“By the time you have enjoyed such a banquet in your imagination your problem will disappear. You will have such an orgasm, such fulfillment – together! ”

The young man thanked the therapist and went away, delighted. That same evening in bed with his woman friend, they began making love. So he started to fantasize. He pictured the restaurant in his mind, sat down at the table, and called out, “Hey, waiter, we’ll have the tomato soup… and a cup of coffee!”

You may have heard it, but I have not said it!

You say: Before I drop my ego I cannot know how life is without an ego.

You have known it many times already. Nobody is so poor… I have never come across a man who has never known a few moments of it. Just try to remember. Or now, if you cannot remember, just try every day to watch. Soon you will be able to see a few moments which are without ego. Even this moment, if you are not too concerned about your question, this moment can be without ego; it is so for everybody else. It may not be for you because you will be so disturbed that I am destroying such a logical question of yours, that I am avoiding the real question, that I am trying to evade it, that I am not being logical. I never am, because what I am trying to indicate is basically supra-logical.

If you just try to listen to me as if this were not Schweiger’s question but some other fool’s – some idiot has asked this, not you – then even this moment can be of tremendous beauty and you can experience egolessness. And then you can compare. Only your own experience and comparison will make it possible for you to decide. Who am I to decide for you? I never decide for anybody else.

-Osho

From Tao: the Golden Gate, V.1, Chapter Eight

Tao-The Golden Gate, V.1

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.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

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Three Steps of Awareness – Osho

There are three steps of awareness.

First, become aware of your body – walking, chopping wood or carrying water from the well. Be watchful; be alert, aware, conscious. Don’t go on doing things like a zombie, like a somnambulist, a sleepwalker.

When you have become aware of your body and its actions, then move deeper – to your mind and its activity, thoughts, imagination, projections. When you have become deeply aware of the mind, you will be surprised.

When you become aware of your bodily processes, you will be surprised there too. I can move my hand mechanically, I can move it with full awareness. When I move it with full awareness, there is grace, there is beauty.

I can speak without awareness. There are orators, speakers…. I don’t know any oratory; I have never learned the art of speaking, because to me it looks foolish. If I have something to say, that is enough. But I am speaking to you with full awareness, each word, each pause… I am not an orator, not a speaker.

But when you are aware of speaking, it starts becoming art. It takes on the nuances of poetry and music. […]

When you become aware of the mind, you are in for a greater surprise. The more you become aware, the less thoughts move on the track. If you have one hundred percent thoughts, there is no awareness. If you have one percent awareness, there are only ninety-nine percent thoughts – in exact proportion. When you have ninety-nine percent awareness there is only one percent thought, because it is the same energy.

As you become more aware there is no energy available for thoughts; they die out. When you are one hundred percent aware, the mind becomes absolutely silent. That is the time to move still deeper.

The third step: to become aware of feelings, moods, emotions. In other words, first the body – its action; second, the mind – its activity; third, the heart and its functions.

When you move to the heart and bring your awareness there, again a new surprise. All that is good grows, and all that is bad starts disappearing. Love grows, hate disappears. Compassion grows, anger disappears. Sharing grows, greed disappears.

When your awareness of the heart is complete, the last surprise, and the greatest surprise: you don’t have to take any step. A quantum leap happens on its own accord. From the heart, you suddenly find yourself in your being, at the very center.

There you are aware only of awareness, conscious only of consciousness. There is nothing else to be aware of, or to be conscious of. And this is the ultimate purity. This is what I call enlightenment.

And this is your birthright! If you miss, only you are responsible. You cannot dump the responsibility on anybody else.

And it is so simple and natural, that you just have to begin.

Only the first step is difficult. The whole journey is simple. There is a saying that the first step is almost the whole journey.

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter Three

From Bondage to Freedom

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.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

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Enlightenment: The By-Product of Staying in the Present – Osho

Before I came to know you, I had never heard about enlightenment. But I was searching for something. Now, after years of living in a commune, I feel further away from reaching somewhere than ever before. I’m grateful to be here and to feel your friendship and compassion. Is enlightenment still the goal? Is there any goal at all?

This is a troublesome question.

Enlightenment has never been the goal. Its very nature prohibits making it a goal. The goal is always in the future somewhere; and enlightenment is always now and here. Enlightenment is an experience in the present.

But this is one of the troubles of the mind, that it makes goals out of everything. If you love the idea of enlightenment, then immediately the mechanism of the mind makes it a goal: you have to achieve it – and that’s where you go on the wrong path.

Enlightenment is a by-product of the understanding that to live in the past is foolish, because it is simply memory. But millions of people are wasting their time in memories. Millions of others are living in the future. You cannot live in the future; it is making castles in the air.

To understand that past and future are both nonexistential… all that you have got is a very small moment: this very moment. You don’t even get two moments together. When one moment is gone, you get another moment. You always have only one moment in your hands; and it is so small and so fleeting, that if you are thinking of the past and the future, you will miss it. And that is the only life and the only reality there is.

Understanding this whole process, one thing becomes certain: why the mind avoids the present, which is the real, and why it tries to get involved with past and future, which are not real. As one tries to understand that, one thing becomes clear: that in the present moment, mind cannot exist.

Mind is simply a collection of memories of the past, and – out of those memories – imagination about the future.

Mind does not know three tenses. It knows only two: past and future.

Present is nonexistential to the mind. The existential is nonexistential to the mind; and the non-existentials are existential to the mind. Hence the whole effort is how to get out of the mind, how to get out of the non-existentials and to stand in the middle – where existence is.

How to be in the present? – That is the whole knack of meditation. And the moment you are in the present, enlightenment is its by-product.

Don’t give it to the mind – the mind will immediately make it a goal. Mind cannot do anything else. It cannot put it in the past because you have never experienced it, so the past is closed. You have yet to experience it; naturally, it has to be put somewhere in the future. And it always happens in the present.

So forget about enlightenment. It is a by-product; you cannot do anything about it. This is the beauty of by-products: you have to do something else, and the by-product comes in. You have to learn to be in the present more and more. In other words: you have to learn to be in a state of no-mind more and more.

It was for a certain reason that mystics called meditation “no-mind”: if you call it meditation, again the mind makes a goal out of it. Then you have to achieve meditation. So it makes no difference whether the goal is enlightenment or meditation, the goal remains, the future remains, and goes on destroying the present.

The mystics time changed from meditation to no-mind for the first time had a tremendous insight. Now no-mind cannot be made a goal: mind cannot make it a goal. It is simply absurd – how can mind make a goal of no-mind? It will simply say it is not possible; mind is all, there is no no-mind.

This was a strategy not to allow you to make it a goal. Very few people have understood the strategy, that that’s why they have called it no-mind – to prevent the mind from making it a goal.

So be more and more in a state of no-mind. Just go on removing memories, imagination, to clean and clear the present moment. And as it deepens, as you become more and more capable of no-mind, enlightenment comes of its own accord.

Enlightenment is simply recognizing your being, recognizing the eternity of your being, recognizing that there has been no death before, nor is there any death to come – that death is a fiction. Seeing your being in its utter nakedness, in its absolute beauty, its grandeur, its silence, its blissfulness, its ecstasy – all that is involved in the word “enlightenment.”

Once you have experienced that juice, mind starts losing its grip on you because you have found something which is qualitatively so high, so fulfilling, such a tremendous contentment, that mind feels its function is finished. It looks ugly, because it has only given you misery, worries, anxiety. What has been its contribution to you? Its grip loosens; it starts hiding in the shadows, and by and by it falls away.

You continue to live, but now your living is moment to moment; and what you have got as a by-product in that small gap of no-mind goes on growing. There is no end to that growth.

Enlightenment only begins, it never ends.

Nobody has said this before. They have all said that it is perfect – but perfection means it cannot grow. It has happened once, and all growth, all evolution, is finished.

But as far as my experience is concerned, I can say very authoritatively that anything that you are stuck with permanently cannot remain ecstatic, cannot remain blissful. You will start taking it for granted.

It was ecstatic because you had lived in agony; compared to that agony it was ecstatic. You have lived in pain, in wounds; against that, it was contentment, fulfillment. But now, day after day, month after month, year after year, life after life, you have forgotten agony, the taste of pain. And with that forgetfulness, your enlightenment will become just ordinary – something that you take for granted, dull and dead. The ecstasy is the same but you cannot feel it the same. There has come a full stop, and life knows no full stop.

But why have all these mystics insisted that it is perfect? – Because they were afraid. Logically they were not able to face the philosophers, the critics… because if you say it is imperfect, that means something more has to happen. You have not attained the goal – something is still missing. So it is partial, what you have attained. If it is not perfect, it is partial.

To avoid calling it partial, they said that it is perfect. But they forgot that someday somebody can raise a question against perfection. It has not been raised yet, but I am raising it: perfection is going to be dead; it cannot be living, because nothing is going to happen. It will be the same tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, for eternity.

You will get utterly bored with your ecstasy, with your contentment, and there is no going back. You cannot find that agony again, those moments of misery again, because all that has fallen out of your being. There is no way back, and in the future, for as far as you can see, it will remain the same.

I deny perfection. Enlightenment appears perfect because nothing seems to be missing at the moment. All that you have ever dreamed – it is much more than that. All that you could have ever conceived – it is much more than that. So it appears absolute, perfect, ultimate; but this is a fallacy. It will grow, it will become vast. New qualities will be added to it; and each time it is going to be a surprise because you have never thought about this quality.

So I want it to be clearly understood by my people, that enlightenment is only a beginning, the beginning of tremendous evolution, that has no limits. Only then can you remain dancing, singing. And you can remain thrilled every moment, because one never knows what the next moment is going to bring – new insights, new visions, new experiences.

And there is no limitation to it. There never comes a point when you can say the journey has ended. The journey only begins, it never ends.

Other mystics have not said it because they were afraid that if you say to people that the journey only begins and never ends, they will never begin it. What is the point of a journey that begins and never ends? Then do something else. Why waste your life in such a journey, where nowhere you will find a place where you can say, ”I have come home”?

But I want to be absolutely truthful about enlightenment. And I want it to be an excitement that it does not end. It is not something against it, it is something favorable about it – that everything goes on expanding, everything goes on growing, everything goes on getting higher; and still the infinite sky is there, the infinite universe is there.

And if the universe can be infinite, which is inconceivable for the mind… you cannot conceive the universe as infinite. Mind cannot conceive infinity, for the simple reason that mind functions through logic. It will say, “It may be far away, but somewhere it has to end. How can it go on and on and on? We may never reach the end; we may never find the boundary line where the universe ends – that is possible because we are limited – but that does not mean that the universe is unlimited.

Logic cannot conceive it, thinking cannot have any justification for it. And if you start thinking, you cannot believe it. You can push on the boundary as far as you can but the boundary remains.

But the truth is, the boundary cannot be there, because a boundary always needs two things: one on this side and one on the other side. You cannot make a boundary with only one side. You have a fence around your house because there is a neighbor’s house. Your fence is not the end – it is simply the beginning of another house.

So if sometime logic forces you to conclude there must be a boundary, it has to be asked: What will be beyond the boundary? There must be something. Even though it is going to be nothing, that nothing will also be part of the universe. Why are you creating a boundary? That emptiness will also be the universe.

Once you understand that every boundary needs two things – something that it closes and something that it opens – then you can have some idea that a finite universe is impossible. Only an infinite universe is possible.

But for the infinite universe you need an infinity of growth, because if you come to a point where you think you have become perfect, you fall out of tune with the universe.

The same logic has to be understood about evolution. It has to be forever and forever – because again there is the question of a boundary.

You cannot make any boundaries in existence.

Boundaries do not belong to reality.

One of my professors, Doctor S.S. Roy, had written a doctoral thesis on Bradley and Shankara – both are absolutists, both believe in perfection. And his doctoral thesis was accepted, he got the Ph.D.

But I told him, “You may have got the Ph.D., but if I had been one of the examiners of your thesis, you would not have got it, because Shankara and Bradley are preaching – and you are trying to make a comparative study, that they are saying the same thing – that there is a boundary at perfection. And you are saying it with so much emphasis that it seems you also believe in it.”

He said, “Yes, I have been studying Shankara and Bradley my whole life, and they have left an immense impact on me. They both are the greatest philosophers in the world.”

But I said, “They are just childish, that both believe there is a boundary at perfection. Then there is no growth possible. Perfection is death and life is growth.”

And I asked him directly, “Would you like to be perfect and dead, or imperfect and alive? That is the choice.”

He said, “I have never thought about it – that perfection means death, and imperfection means growth. But when you say it, it sounds correct.”

And I said, “You just think: For how long has existence been there? It has not yet reached perfection. Growth has not stopped, evolution has not stopped, and existence has been for eternity. So what reason can there be to think that tomorrow it will be perfect?

“The whole of eternity in the past has failed to make it perfect. What reason is there to think that just one day more is needed, or a few days, or a few years? We are always in the middle.” I told him, “We are always in the middle. We will never know the beginning because there has never been one, and we will never know the end because there is not going to be any.”

We are always in the middle, growing. It is eternal growth, in all the dimensions.

And the same applies to enlightenment.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter 36

Light on the Path

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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It Has Happened – Osho

Have you yet been able to say to one of your disciples, ‘so, it has happened’? 

If it has not happened it will not be true to say so, and if it has happened it will be futile. What is the point of saying it when it has happened? Either way it is meaningless.

If it has not happened I will not say it and if it has happened why should I say it? You know, I know – it will be a tacit understanding. I am not going to say to anybody that it has happened, remember.

I will never say to anybody that it has happened. It is happening to many, it will happen to many; in fact, it has never happened to so many people as it is going to happen this time.

But I am not going to say anything to anybody. You would like me to say something because then you can create great politics around it. If I say to Maneesha ‘Maneesha, it has happened to you’ then everybody else will be jealous. Then you will start finding fault with Maneesha. Then you will start trying to prove that it has not happened to her. How can it happen to Maneesha before you? Impossible!

Do you know that when Bodhidharma gave his robe to Hui Koju he told him a second thing? ‘Escape now. Take this robe and escape as far away as possible otherwise the other disciples will kill you.’

There were five hundred disciples. So four hundred and ninety-nine would be against this Hui Koju, who was just a simple poor man. They would kill him, certainly they would kill him. They followed him. The moment they became aware that it had happened to Hui Koju and the robe had been given to him, they followed him. Where had he gone? He had moved past a mountain retreat, running as far away as possible – as the Master had told him to.

They got hold of him. The greatest scholar, who had been expecting that it would happen to him, got hold of him first. He was a very dangerous man. He said, ‘Give me the robe.’ Hui Koju said, ‘You can take the robe, because the robe is not the thing. You can take it.’ He dropped the robe on the ground and said, ‘You can take it. But remember, if you are not yet capable of taking it, it will be a crime against the Master.’

And the scholar started trembling and shaking and perspiring, because he was certainly not ready. He had an ego. He tried to get the robe but he could not pick it up, it was so heavy. It was not that the robe became heavy, he must have become too shaky, nervous.

Remember, I say again: miracles never happen. If you ask the Buddhists they will say that this was a miracle. The robe became so heavy that the man could not pick it up. That is not right. The man became very shaky, naturally. Hui Koju was standing there as a witness – in pure silence, in great meditation, in great ecstasy watching. And he said, ‘Remember one thing: you will be committing a crime against the Master if you are not ready for it. You can take it if you are ready.’

How can you deceive a man like Hui Koju who has become a mirror? He must have seen all this scholar’s ignorance hidden behind the so-called knowledge. He must have trembled. He must have tried to take the robe but could not pick it up from the ground. He fell down at the feet of Hui Koju and he said, ‘I am sorry. I am not after the robe. Tell me what he has transferred to you.’ For years Hui Koju was pursued and efforts were made to kill him.

This has been so always. I am not going to say to anybody that it has happened to them, because I am not interested in creating any politics. When it has happened, it has happened. You will know, I will know, and there is no need for anybody else to know about it. You will know that I have said it to you in deep silence. Not a single word will be uttered but the message will reach you. You will know my recognition – that I have recognized, that I have blessed, that I have patted you on your back and said, ‘Yes, it has happened.’ But it will not be in so many words; not a word will be uttered.

It will be a gesture and you will understand and nobody else will understand.

This is going to be the way.

-Osho

From Tao: The Pathless Path, V.2, Chapter Eight

Tao-The Pathless Path, V.2

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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He Remains in the Subjective Mood – Osho

The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlighted person. The former has one greatness: he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things.

There is a very beautiful method. You can start it as you are; no other prerequisite is needed. The method is simple: you are surrounded by persons, things, phenomena – every moment something is around you. Things are there, events are there, persons are there – but because you are not alert, you are not there. Everything is there but you are fast asleep. Things move around you, persons move around you, events move around you, but you are not there. Or, you are asleep.

So whatsoever happens in your surroundings becomes a master, becomes a force over you; you are dragged by it. You are not only impressed, conditioned by it, you are dragged by it.

Anything can catch you, and you will follow it. Somebody passes – you look, the face is beautiful – and you are carried away. The dress is beautiful, the color, the material is beautiful – you are carried away. The car passes – you are carried away. Whatsoever happens around you, catches you. You are not powerful. Everything else is more powerful than you. Anything changes you. Your mood, your being, your mind, depend on other things. Objects influence you.

This sutra says that enlightened persons and unenlightened persons live in the same world. A Buddha and you both live and move in the same world – the world remains the same. The difference is not in the world, the difference happens in the Buddha: he moves in a different way. He moves among the same objects but he moves in a different way. He is his own master. His subjectivity remains aloof and untouched. That is the secret. Nothing can impress him; nothing from the outside can condition him; nothing can overpower him. He remains detached; he remains himself. If he wants to go somewhere, he will go, but he will remain the master. If he wants to pursue a shadow, he will pursue it, but it is his own decision.

This distinction must be understood. By ‘detachment’ I don’t mean a person who has renounced the world – then there is no sense and no meaning in detachment. A detached person is a person who is living in the same world as you – the difference is not in the world. A person who renounces the world is changing the situation, not himself. And you will insist on changing the situation if you cannot change yourself. That is the indication of a weak personality. A strong person, alert and aware, will start to change himself… not the situation in which he is. Because really the situation cannot be changed – even if you can change the situation, there will be other situations. Every moment situations go on changing so every moment the problem will be there.

This is the difference between the religious and the non-religious attitude. The non-religious attitude is to change the situation, the surrounding. It doesn’t believe in you, it believes in situations: when the situation is okay, you will be okay. You are dependent on the situation: if the situation is not okay, you will not be okay. So you are not an independent entity. For communists, Marxists, socialists, and all those who believe in changing the situation, you are not important; really, you don’t exist. Only the situation exists and you are just a mirror which reflects the situation. The religious attitude says that as you are you may be a mirror, but this is not your destiny – you can become something more, someone who is not dependent.

There are three steps of growth. Firstly, the situation is the master, you are just dragged by it. You believe that ‘you are’, but you are not. Secondly, ‘you are’, and the situation cannot drag you, the situation cannot influence you because you have become a will, you are integrated and crystalized. Thirdly, you start influencing the situation: just by your being there, the situation changes.

The first state is that of the unenlightened; the second state is of the person who is constantly aware but as yet unenlightened – he has to be alert, he has to do something to be alert. The alertness has not become natural yet so he has to fight. If he loses consciousness or alertness for a single moment, he will be in the influence of the thing. So he has to stand on his toes continuously. He is the seeker, the sadhak, the one who is practising something. The third state is that of the siddha, the enlightened one. He is not trying to be alert, he simply is alert – there is no effort to it. Alertness is just like breathing: it goes on, he does not have to maintain it. When alertness becomes a phenomenon like breathing, natural, sahaj, spontaneous, then this type of person, this type of centered being, automatically influences situations. Situations change around him – not that he wishes them to change, but he is powerful.

Power is the thing to be remembered. You are powerless so anything can overpower you. And power comes through alertness, awareness: the more alert, the more powerful; the less alert, the less powerful. Look… while you are asleep even a dream becomes powerful because you are fast asleep, you have lost all consciousness. Even a dream is powerful, and you are so weak that you cannot even doubt it. Even in an absurd dream you cannot be skeptical, you will have to believe it. And while it lasts, it looks real. You may see just absurd things in the dream, but while you are dreaming, you cannot doubt. You cannot say this is not real; you cannot say this is a dream; you cannot say this is impossible. You simply cannot say it because you are so fast asleep. When consciousness is not there even a dream affects you. While awake, you will laugh and you will say, “It was absurd, impossible, this cannot happen. This dream was just illusory.” But you have not noticed that while it was there you were influenced by it, you were totally taken over by it. Why was a dream so powerful? The dream was not powerful – you were powerless. Remember this: when you are powerless even a dream becomes powerful.

While you are awake, a dream cannot influence you, but reality, the so-called reality around, does. An awakened person, an enlightened person, has become so alert that your reality also cannot influence him. If a woman passes, a beautiful woman, you are suddenly carried away. Desire has arisen, the desire to possess. If you are alert, the woman will pass by, but the desire will not arise – you have not been influenced, you have not been taken over. When this happens for the first time, when things move around you and you are not influenced, you will feel a subtle joy of being. For the first time really you feel that you are; nothing can drag you out of you. If you want to follow, that is another thing. That is your decision. But don’t deceive yourself. You can deceive. You can say, “Yes. The woman is not powerful, but I want to follow her, I want to possess her.” You can deceive. Many people go on deceiving. But you are deceiving nobody except yourself – then it is futile. Just take a close look: you will know the desire is there. The desire comes first, and then you start rationalizing it.

For an enlightened person, things are there and he is there but there is no bridge between him and the thing. The bridge has broken. He moves alone. He lives alone. He follows himself. Nothing else can possess him. Because of this feeling we have called this attainment moksha – total freedom, mukti. He is totally free.

All over the world, man has searched for freedom; you cannot find a man who is not hankering after freedom in his own way. Through many paths man tries to find a state of being where he can be free, and he resents anything that gives him a feeling of bondage. He hates it. Anything that hinders, that makes him imprisoned, he fights. He struggles against it. Hence so many political fights, so many wars, revolutions; hence so many continuous family fights – wife and husband, father and son, all fighting each other. The fight is basic. The fight is for freedom. The husband feels confined, the wife has imprisoned him – now his freedom is cut. And the wife feels the same. They both resent each other, they both fight, they both try to destroy the bondage. The father fights the son because every stage of growth in the son means more freedom for him. And the father feels he is losing something: power, authority. In families, in nations, in civilizations, man is hankering after only one thing – freedom.

But nothing is achieved through political fights, revolutions, wars. Nothing is achieved. Because even if you get freedom, it is superficial – deep down you remain in bondage. So every freedom proves a disillusionment. Man longs so much for wealth, but as far as I understand it, it is not a longing for wealth, it is a longing for freedom. Wealth gives you a feeling of freedom. If you are poor, you are confined, your means are limited – you cannot do this, you cannot do that. You don’t have the money to do it. The more money you have, the more you feel you have freedom, you can do anything you like. But when you have all the money and you can do all that you wish, imagine, dream about, suddenly you feel this freedom is superficial, because inside your being knows well that you are powerless and that anything can attract you. You are impressed, influenced, possessed by things and persons.

This sutra says that you have to come to a state of consciousness where nothing impresses you, you can remain detached. How to do it? Throughout the whole day the opportunity is there to do it. That is why I say this method is good for you to do. Any moment you can become aware that something is possessing you. Then take a deep breath, inhale deeply, exhale deeply, and look at the thing again. While you are exhaling look at the thing again, but look just as a witness, as a spectator. If you can achieve the witnessing state of mind for even a single moment, suddenly you will feel you are alone, nothing can impress you; at least in that moment nothing can create desire in you. Take a deep breath and exhale it whenever you feel that something is impressing you, influencing you, dragging you away from you, becoming more important than yourself. And in that small gap created by the exhalation look at the thing – a beautiful face, a beautiful body, a beautiful building, or anything. If you feel it is difficult, if just by exhaling you cannot create a gap, then do one thing more: exhale, and stop inhalation for a single moment so the exhalation has thrown all the air out. Stop, don’t inhale. Then look at the thing. When the air is out, or in, when you have stopped breathing, nothing can influence you. In that moment you are unbridged – the bridge is broken. Breathing is the bridge. Try it. It will be only for a single moment that you will have the feeling of witnessing, but that will give you the taste, that will give you the feeling of what witnessing is. Then you can pursue it.Throughout the whole day, whenever something impresses you and a desire arises, exhale, stop in the interval, and look at the thing. The thing will be there, you will be there, but there will be no bridge. Breathing is the bridge. Suddenly you will feel you are powerful, you are potential. And the more powerful you feel, the more YOU will become. The more things drop, the more their power over you drops, the more crystalized you will feel. Individuality has begun. Now you have a center to refer to, and any moment you can move to the center and the world disappears. Any moment you can take shelter in your own center, and the world is powerless.

This sutra says, The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlighted person. The former has one greatness: he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things. He remains in the subjective mood, he remains within himself, he remains centered in consciousness. Remaining in the subjective mood has to be practised. As many opportunities as you can get, try it. And every moment there is an opportunity, every single moment there is an opportunity. Something or other is impressing you, dragging you out, pulling you out, pushing you in.

I am reminded of an old story. A great king, Bharthruhari, renounced the world. He renounced the world because he had lived in it totally and he had come to realize that it was futile. It was not a doctrine to him, it was a lived reality. He had come to the conclusion through his own life. He was a man of strong desire, he had indulged in life as much as possible, then suddenly he realized it was useless, futile. So he left the world, he renounced it, and he went to a forest.

One day he was meditating under a tree. The sun was rising. Suddenly he became aware that just on the road, the small road which passed nearby the tree, lay a very big diamond. As the sun was rising, it was reflecting the rays. Even Bharthruhari had not seen such a big diamond before. Suddenly, in a moment of unawareness, a desire arose to possess it. The body remained unmoved, but the mind moved. The body was in the posture of meditation, siddhasana, but the meditation was no longer there. Only the dead body was there, the mind had moved – it had gone to the diamond.

Before the king could move, two men came from different directions on their horses and simultaneously they became aware of the diamond lying on the street. They pulled out their swords, each one claiming that he had seen the diamond first. There was no other way to decide so they had to fight. They fought and killed each other. Within moments two dead bodies were lying there next to the diamond. Bharthruhari laughed, closed his eyes, and went into meditation again.

What happened? He again realized the futility. And what happened to these two men? The diamond became more meaningful than their whole life. This is what possession means: they threw away their life just for a stone. When desire is there, you are no more – desire can lead you to suicide. Really, every desire is leading you to suicide. When you are in the power of a desire, you are not in your senses, you are just mad.

The desire to possess arose in Bharthruhari’s mind also; in a fragment of a moment the desire arose. And he might have moved to get it but before he could, the other two persons came and fought, and there were two dead bodies lying on the road with the stone there in its own place. Bharthruhari laughed, closed his eyes, and went into his meditation again. For a single moment his subjectivity was lost. A stone, a diamond, the object, became more powerful. But again the subjectivity was regained. Without the diamond the whole world disappeared, and he closed his eyes.

For centuries meditators have been closing their eyes. Why? It is only symbolic that the world has disappeared, that there is nothing to look at, that nothing is worth anything, even to look at. You will have to remember continuously that whenever desire arises, you have moved out of your subjectivity. This is the world, this movement. Regain, move back, get centered again! You will be able to do it: the capacity is there with everyone. No one ever loses the inner potential, it is always there. You can move. If you can move out, you can move in. If I can go out of my house, why can I not come back within it? The same route is to be traveled; the same legs are to be used. If I can go out, I can come in. Every moment you are moving out, but whenever you move out, remember – and suddenly come back. Be centered. If you feel it difficult in the beginning then take a deep breath, exhale, and stop. In that moment look at the thing which was attracting you. Really, nothing was attracting you, you were attracted. That diamond lying there on the road in the lonely forest was not attracting anybody, it was simply lying there being itself. The diamond was not aware that Bharthruhari had been attracted, that someone had moved from his meditation, from his subjectivity, had come back into the world. The diamond was not aware that two persons had fought for it and lost their lives.

So nothing is attracting you – You get attracted. Be alert and the bridge will be broken and you will regain balance inside. Go on doing it more and more. The more you do, the better. And a moment will come when you will not need to do it because the inner power will give you such a strength that the attraction of things will be lost. It is your weakness which is attracted. Be more powerful and nothing will attract you. Only then for the first time are you master of your own being.

That will give you real freedom. No political freedom, no economic freedom, no social freedom, can be of much help. Not that they are not desirable, they are good, good in themselves, but they will not give you the things which the innermost core of your being is longing for – the freedom from things, from objects, the freedom to be oneself without any possibility of being possessed by anything or anybody.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 73

The Book of Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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This Witnessing is the Buddha – Osho

When there is nothing to perceive – No input from the body or the mind and so one has nothing by which to define oneself – Is what is left witnessing? There does not even seem to be a witness, but just the awareness that there is no one there.

That’s exactly right. There is no witness, there is only witnessing. There is only consciousness, but no personality to it, no form. There is only awareness, like a flame arising from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, and just in the middle you see the flame.

Have you watched a candle, where the flame goes? Gautam Buddha himself used as the word for the ultimate experience, blowing out the candle. Nirvana means blowing out the candle. Nothing is, just a pure awareness, not even confined into your individuality, but just a floating cloud, no firm shape – a tremendous isness, a great joy.

But it is not your joy; you are absent. Then arises in your absence the joy, the blissfulness. The moment you are not, then the witnessing is pure. And this witnessing brings the greatest benediction possible. This witnessing is the Buddha.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Chapter Seven

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.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

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Filed under Advaita, on Witnessing, Osho