The Movement of Love – J. Krishnamurti

Meditation is one of the most extraordinary things, and if you do not know what it is you are like the blind man in a world of bright color, shadows and moving light. It is not an intellectual affair, but when the heart enters into the mind, the mind has quite a different quality; it is really, then, limitless, not only in its capacity to think, to act efficiently, but also in its sense of living in a vast space where you are part of everything.

Meditation is the movement of love. It isn’t the love of the one or of the many. It is like water that anyone can drink out of any jar, whether golden or earthenware; it is inexhaustible. And a peculiar thing takes place, which no drug or self-hypnosis can bring about; it is as though the mind enters into itself, beginning at the surface and penetrating ever more deeply, until depth and height have lost their meaning and every form of measurement ceases. In this state there is complete peace—not contentment which has come about through gratification—but a peace that has order, beauty and intensity. It can be destroyed, as you can destroy a flower, and yet because of its very vulnerability it is indestructible. This meditation cannot be learned from another. You must begin without knowing anything about it, and move from innocence to innocence.

The soil in which the meditative mind can begin is the soil of everyday life, the strife, the pain and the fleeting joy. It must begin there, and bring order, and from there move endlessly. But if you are concerned only with making order, then that very order will bring about its own limitation and the mind will be its prisoner. In all this movement you must somehow begin from the other end, from the other shore, and not always be concerned with this shore or how to cross the river. You must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, what the end is.

-J. Krishnamurti

From Meditations, page 9-11

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Between Two Breaths – Osho

Radiant One, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out)—The Beneficence.

That is the technique:

Radiant One, this experience may dawn between two breaths.

After breath comes in – that is, down – and just before turning out – that is, going up – The Beneficence. Be aware between these two points, and the happening. When your breath comes in, observe. For a single moment, or a thousandth part of a moment, there is no breathing – before it turns up, before it turns outward. One breath comes in; then there is a certain point and breathing stops. Then the breathing goes out. When the breath goes out, then again for a single moment, or a part of a moment, breathing stops. Then breathing comes in.

Before the breath is turning in or turning out, there is a moment when you are not breathing. In that moment the happening is possible, because when you are not breathing you are not in the world. Understand this: when you are not breathing you are dead; you ARE still, but dead. But the moment is of such a short duration that you never observe it.

For tantra, each outgoing breath is a death and each new breath is a rebirth. Breath coming in is rebirth; breath going out is death. The outgoing breath is synonymous with death; the incoming breath is synonymous with life. So with each breath you are dying and being reborn. The gap between the two is of a very short duration, but keen, sincere observation and attention will make you feel the gap. If you can feel the gap, Shiva says, The Beneficence. Then nothing else is needed. You are blessed, you have known; the thing has happened.

You are not to train the breath. Leave it just as it is. Why such a simple technique? It looks so simple. Such a simple technique to know the truth? To know the truth means to know that which is neither born nor dies, to know that eternal element which is always. You can know the breath going out, you can know the breath coming in, but you never know the gap between the two.

Try it. Suddenly you will get the point – and you can get it; it is already there. Nothing is to be added to you or to your structure, it is already there. Everything is already there except a certain awareness. So how to do this? First, become aware of the breath coming in. Watch it. Forget everything, just watch breath coming in – the very passage.

When the breath touches your nostrils, feel it there. Then let the breath move in. Move with the breath fully consciously. When you are going down, down, down with the breath, do not miss the breath. Do not go ahead and do not follow behind, just go with it. Remember this: do not go ahead, do not follow it like a shadow; be simultaneous with it.

Breath and consciousness should become one. The breath goes in – you go in. Only then will it be possible to get the point which is between two breaths. It will not be easy. Move in with the breath, then move out with the breath: in-out, in-out.

Buddha tried particularly to use this method, so this method has become a Buddhist method. In Buddhist terminology it is known as Anapanasati Yoga. And Buddha’s enlightenment was based on this technique – only this.

All the religions of the world, all the seers of the world, have reached through some technique or other, and all those techniques will be in these one hundred and twelve techniques. This first one is a Buddhist technique. It has become known in the world as a Buddhist technique because Buddha attained his enlightenment through this technique.

Buddha said, “Be aware of your breath as it is coming in, going out – coming in, going out.” He never mentions the gap because there is no need. Buddha thought and felt that if you become concerned with the gap, the gap between two breaths, that concern may disturb your awareness. So he simply said, “Be aware. When the breath is going in move with it, and when the breath is going out move with it. Do simply this: going in, going out, with the breath.” He never says anything about the latter part of the technique.

The reason is that Buddha was talking with very ordinary men, and even that might create a desire to attain the interval. That desire to attain the interval will become a barrier to awareness, because if you are desiring to get to the interval you will move ahead. Breath will be coming in, and you will move ahead because you are interested in the gap which is going to be in the future. Buddha never mentions it, so Buddha’s technique is just half.

But the other half follows automatically. If you go on practicing breath consciousness, breath awareness, suddenly, one day, without knowing, you will come to the interval. Because as your awareness will become keen and deep and intense, as your awareness will become bracketed – the whole world is bracketed out; only your breath coming in or going out is your world, the whole arena for your consciousness – suddenly you are bound to feel the gap in which there is no breath. When you are moving with breath minutely, when there is no breath, how can you remain unaware?

You will suddenly become aware that there is no breath, and the moment will come when you will feel that the breath is neither going out nor coming in. The breath has stopped completely. In that stopping, The Beneficence.

This one technique is enough for millions. The whole of Asia tried and lived with this technique for centuries. Tibet, China, Japan, Burma, Thailand, Ceylon – the whole of Asia except India has tried this technique. Only one technique and thousands and thousands have attained enlightenment through it. And this is only the first technique.

But unfortunately, because the technique became associated with Buddha’s name, Hindus have been trying to avoid it. Because it became more and more known as a Buddhist method, Hindus have completely forgotten it. And not only that, they have also tried to avoid it for another reason.

Because this technique is the first technique mentioned by Shiva, many Buddhists have claimed that this book, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, is a Buddhist book, not a Hindu book.

It is neither Hindu nor Buddhist – a technique is just a technique. Buddha used it, but it was there already to be used. Buddha became a buddha, an enlightened one, because of the technique. The technique preceded Buddha; the technique was already there. Try it. It is one of the most simple techniques – simple compared to other techniques; I am not saying simple for you. Other techniques will be more difficult. That is why it is mentioned as the first technique.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 34

The Book of Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can find all of Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques.

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The Taste of Your Being – Osho

What is religion? What is your opinion on organized religion?

Anand Maitreya, religion is the highest flight of human consciousness — it is the individual search for truth.

The inner truth cannot be made an object of common knowledge. Each one has to go within himself; each time, it is a new discovery. It does not matter how many people have attained awakening, realization; the moment you attain it, it will be absolutely fresh – because it cannot be borrowed.

The search basically consists of knowing your interiority. You have an outside, and no outside can exist without an inside: the very existence of the outside is proof of an inner world.

The inner world consists of three layers: thoughts are the most superficial; feelings are deeper — and then is the being, which is your godliness. To know one’s own godliness, to know one’s own eternity, is the basic search of religion.

All your senses lead you outside: eyes open to look outside, ears hear what is happening outside, your hands can touch what is outside. Senses are the doors to go out — and always remember, the door that takes you out, can also take you in. It is the same door from which you go out of your home and through which you come back in; just the direction changes.

To go out, you need open eyes. To come in, you need closed eyes, all your senses silent. The first encounter is with the mind — but that is not your reality. Although it is inside your skull, it is not you — it is the reflection of the outside. All your thoughts are reflections of the outside.

For example, a blind man cannot think about colors because he has not seen colors — hence the reflection is not possible. The blind man cannot even see darkness; and because he has never seen light or darkness outside, there is no possibility of any reflection. The blind man does not know whether there is darkness or there is light — both words are meaningless. And if you analyze your thoughts, you will find they are all triggered inside you by outside reality — so they are basically of the outside, reflected in your inner lake of consciousness.

But because of these thoughts… and they are a tremendous crowd in you; they go on accumulating, they create a China wall. You have to go beyond your thoughts. And religion knows only one method — there are different names, but the method is one: it is watchfulness, it is witnessing. You simply watch your thoughts, with no judgment, no condemnation, no appreciation — utterly aloof; you just see the process of thoughts passing on the screen of your mind.

As your watcher becomes stronger, thoughts become less — in the same proportion. If the watcher is ten percent of your energy, then ninety percent of your energy is wasted in thoughts; if your watcher becomes ninety percent, then only ten percent remains in thoughts. The moment you are one hundred percent a watcher, the mind becomes empty.

This whole process is known as meditation. As you pass through the thoughts, you will come to the second layer which is inside you — of feelings, of your heart, which is more subtle. But by now, your watcher is capable even of watching your moods, your sentiments, your emotions, your feelings — howsoever subtle they may be. And the same method works in the same way as it worked with the thoughts: soon there will be no sentiments, no feelings, no moods. You have gone beyond the mind, and the heart. Now there is utter silence; nothing moves. This is your being; this is you.

The taste of your being is truth.

The beauty of your being is the beauty of existence.

The silence of your being is the language that existence understands. And just settled in being, you have come home. The wandering is finished. The struggle is finished. At ease, you sit silently within yourself.

A great hidden splendor is revealed to you: you are not separate from reality, you are one with it. The trees and the moon and the stars and the mountains are all part of one organic unity; you are also part of that organic unity — you become part of God.

Religion is man’s highest achievement.

Beyond religion, there is nothing — but there is no need either. Your being is so abundant, so overflowing with bliss, silence, peace, understanding, ecstasy, that for the first time, life becomes really a song, a dance, a celebration. Those who do not know religion, don’t know celebration.

But organized religion is a totally different affair, so I have to make it clear to you that authentic religion is always individual. The moment truth is organized, it dies; it becomes a doctrine, a theology, a philosophy — but it is no longer experienced, because the crowd cannot experience. Experience happens only to individuals — separately.

It is almost like love. You cannot have organizations of love — so that you need not bother; the organization will take care, the priest will love on your behalf. But that’s what has happened to religion. Each time a man discovers the truth, immediately one of the most cunning parts of humanity, the priests, surround him. They start compiling his words; they start interpreting his words; and they start making it clear to people that if you want to know truth, you have to go via them — they are agents of God. They may call themselves prophets, they may call themselves messengers; they may choose any name, but the reality is, they are self-appointed agents of God. They don’t know God, but in the name of God, they exploit humanity.

Organized religion is another form of politics. Just as I have always condemned politics as the lowest activity of human beings, the same is my attitude about organized religions. You can see it: the priests and the politicians have always been in conspiracy against humanity. They have been supporting each other. They have divided things between themselves so that your worldly life belongs to the politician, he is the ruler there, and your inner life belongs to the priest, he is the ruler there.

One sometimes feels so amazed… it seems unbelievable, that even in the twentieth century the pope could declare, a few months ago, that to communicate with God directly is a sin. You should go through the priest, the right channel — because if people start going directly to God, confessing to God, praying to God, the millions of priests will be unemployed. They don’t do anything; their whole function is to deceive you. Because you don’t understand the language of God, and you are not so evolved, just for some fee — a donation to their church or to their temple — they will do the job for you.

All those donations go in the pockets of the priests. They don’t know anything about God, but they are very learned — they can repeat scriptures like parrots. But their inner desire is not for God, not for truth — they are not seekers, they are exploiters.

I have heard… a priest bought two parrots and he taught them, with great hardship, beautiful statements of Jesus Christ. And everybody was really amazed — the parrots were so accurate. He made small beads for them so they were constantly praying, and he also found small bibles for them… So they were always keeping their bibles open, and moving their beads. Although they could not read, they had already crammed everything. The priest would open the page and say, “Twelfth page,” and they would start reading it — not that they were reading; they had memorized it.

The priest was very pleased and he felt it would be good to have one more parrot. Rather than learning the bible and the beads, he could be taught to give whole sermons. He found a parrot, and the pet shop owner said, “Your wish will be fulfilled; this parrot is the most intelligent I have ever seen.”

But he was not aware that it was a female parrot. And as the parrot was put in the same cage as the two parrots who were moving their beads and reading the bible, they both looked at the female parrot, and one parrot said to the other, “George, now drop those beads! Our prayers have been heard.”

Your priests are no more than parrots — and their prayers are for power, for prestige, for money. They are politicians in disguise; they are doing politics in the name of God – the politics of numbers. There are now seven hundred million Catholics; naturally the pope is the most powerful religious man in the world.

Every religion has been trying to increase its population by different methods. Mohammedans are allowed to marry four women so that they can produce four children per year. And they have been successful: they are the second largest religion after Christianity.

Organized religion is only a content-less, meaningless word; hidden inside is the politics of numbers. And you know perfectly well — as the election comes near, your politicians start going to see the shankaracharya. For five years, nobody goes to visit the shankaracharya, but when the election comes near, then the prime minister goes to visit the shankaracharya. He goes for a pilgrimage to the temples, high and deep in the mountains of the Himalayan range. For what? Suddenly, a great religious urge has arisen… which subsides as the election ends.

These people need votes; they have to pay respect to the leaders of religions. And a shankaracharya feels great that the prime minister is touching his feet. And the followers of the shankaracharya, the Hindus, feel that “our prime minister is a very religious person.”

When the pope comes to India, even the president and the prime minister with his whole cabinet stand in line at the airport to receive him. For what? The third largest religion in India is now Christianity, and to pay respect to the pope means all the votes of the Christians will be yours.

Organized religions — whether it is Christianity or Hinduism or Mohammedanism – have not been seekers of truth. In two thousand years, what truth has organized Christianity added to the statements of Jesus? So what is the need of this organization? It is not increasing religiousness in the world, it is simply repeating what Jesus has said — which is available in books for anybody to read. In twenty-five centuries, how many Buddhists have searched for the truth, or have found the truth? — just a long line of parrots repeating what Gautam Buddha has found.

And you should be reminded that Gautam Buddha was not part of any organized religion; neither was Mahavira part of any organized religion, nor was Jesus part of any organized religion — they were individual seekers.

Truth has always been found by individuals. That is the privilege of the individual, and his dignity.

Organized religions have created wars — just like politicians have done. Their names may be different… politicians fight for socialism, for communism, for fascism, for Nazism, and organized religions have been fighting for God, for love, for their concept of what truth is. And millions of people have been killed in the clashes between Christians and Mohammedans, between Christians and Jews, between Mohammedans and Hindus, between Hindus and Buddhists. Religion has nothing to do with war; it is a search for peace. But organized religions are not interested in peace; they are interested in becoming more and more powerful and dominant.

I condemn the organized religions in the same way I condemn the politicians — they are nothing but politics. So when I said to you that religious people should be respected, honored — the politicians should go to them for advice — I was not talking about organized religions; I was talking only about religious individuals. And a religious individual is neither Hindu nor Christian nor Mohammedan. How can he be? — God himself is not Hindu, not Mohammedan, not Christian. And the man who knows something of the divine becomes colored with his divinity, becomes fragrant with godliness.

In the ancient East these religious people were our highest flowers, and even kings and emperors used to go to them to touch their feet and to be blessed — to ask their advice on problems which they were unable to solve.

If we want the world to remain alive, we have to bring back our ancient childhood days when the religious person had no interest of his own. That’s why his eyes were clear, his heart was pure love, his being was nothing but a blessing. Whomsoever came to him was healed, his problems were solved; he was given new insights into rotten old problems.

Organized religions should disappear from the world — they should drop this mask of being religious. They are simply politicians, wolves hiding themselves in the skin of sheep. They should come into their true colors; they should be politicians — there is no harm in that. And all the time they are politicians, but they are playing the game in the name of religion.

Organized religions don’t have any future. They should drop their disguise and come truly out in front as politicians, and be part of the political world so that we can find the authentic religious individual — who will be very rare. But just a few authentic religious individuals can lead the whole world towards light, towards immortal life, towards ultimate truth.

-Osho

From The Hidden Splendor, Chapter Eight

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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Drop the Duality Betwen Me and You – Osho

When you said that now is the time to drop the duality between me and you, you gave me what I’ve yearned for from the moment I saw you. I want to write this so that it is more real, so that I can know more and more that this is my truth. Beloved Osho, I am not separate from you. There is no you – there is no me. This feels so awesome to say – even more awesome to live. Why? How to ever drop over my head?

Kaveesha, this is your truth. It will be better to say this is the truth, because the truth cannot be yours or mine. And I have known it from the very beginning, since you first saw me.

It is not a question of time – that one has to live with me for years and only then will he be able to feel that there is no I and there is no thou. It is a question of sensitivity, not of time – of a clear perception, not of living many, many years with me.

There are people who have lived with me for years. In fact, the more they have lived with me, the more they have forgotten me completely; they have started taking me for granted. They will wake up only when I disappear from this physical body. Then they will feel a sudden shock – twenty years we have been together, what happened?

So it can happen in the first moment – it can happen any time. The only requirement is a clear perception. And Kaveesha, you have a very clear perception and a very loving heart. And from the very first moment you have not hesitated at all in opening all your doors, all your windows; you have been available to me.

I remember the first day I looked into your eyes, and I knew that somebody is there who is ready to disappear. If you disappear, you will suddenly realize that I disappeared long ago. So there is no I and there is no thou.

Kaveesha was born in a Jewish family, and she must be aware of one of the great Jewish thinkers of this century, Martin Buber. His most famous book, for which he received the Nobel Prize, is I And Thou. His whole philosophy is that people need a deep dialogue between I and thou.

He has written very logically and very rationally – he was one of the geniuses of this century – but his whole philosophy is wrong. He thinks the dialogue happens between I and thou. And I say unto you, the dialogue happens only when there is no I and no thou.

It is a very strange dialogue, of course, because we are accustomed only to a dialogue between two persons; and I am saying that when two persons disappear into one, only then there is dialogue, a heart-to-heart communion.

Martin Buber is dead; otherwise I would have traveled to Israel – he was very old – just to tell him, “There is still time for you; drop this idea of I and thou. Let there remain only the dialogue.”

With Kaveesha there has been only a dialogue. And it is not that only now she has become aware of it; she has also been aware of it, but she wanted the seal of my authority on it – because one never knows whether one is dreaming or seeing the reality, whether one is imagining, or really the revolution has happened. Her question is just for her to become clear about it, so nothing remains clouded.

Yes, Kaveesha, this is the truth. Neither yours nor mine; just the truth. You are saying, “Beloved Osho, I am not separate from you. There is no you – there is no me. This feels so awesome to say – even more awesome to live.”

It is such a great mystery to live that it is natural it will look very awesome – it is so overwhelming. But slowly, slowly, everything else becomes unreal and false before this simple reality – that there is no I and there is no thou.

It has happened between me and you, and soon you will see that it is happening between you and everyone else. This is only the beginning. It will be complete only when there is no I and no thou anywhere, when you are merged and melted into the ocean of the whole.

You have entered the door of the temple, and now there is no way of turning back. Just accept it as a gift of the divine in total humbleness and simplicity of the heart; otherwise it can become a heavy burden. The experience is too big, and we are so small.

It is almost as if the ocean has dropped into the dewdrop – just think of the poor dewdrop! When the dewdrop falls into the ocean, it is simpler; but once in a while the ocean also drops into the dewdrop – then it is tremendously awesome and overwhelming. But to whomsoever it happens, he is blessed, immensely blessed.

Just take it with deep relaxation, and with a humble heart, and soon it will become your natural way of life. Looking at the trees, or at the stars, you will find the same dialogue.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Chapter Three

The Razor's Edge

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Wherever Your Mind Is Wandering – Osho

Wherever you mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.

This mind is the door – this very mind. Wherever it is wandering, whatsoever it is thinking, contemplating, dreaming, this very mind, this very moment, is the door. This is a very revolutionary method because we never think that the ordinary mind is the door. We think that some super-mind – a Buddha, a Jesus – can enter, that they have some superhuman mind. This very mind that you have – this mind which goes on dreaming and imagining relevant or irrelevant thoughts, which is crowded with ugly desires, passions, anger, greed, all that is condemned, which is there beyond your control, pulling you here and there, pushing you from here and there, constantly a madhouse – this very mind, says this sutra, is the door. Wherever your mind is wandering – wherever remember; the object is not relevant – wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.

Many things have to be understood. One, the ordinary mind is not so ordinary as we think. The ordinary mind is not unrelated to the universal mind: it is part of it. Its roots go down to the very center of existence; otherwise you cannot be. Even a sinner is grounded into the divine; otherwise he cannot be. Even if the devil is there, he cannot be without divine support.

Existence itself is possible only because of the groundedness into the being. Your mind is dreaming, imagining, wandering, tense, in anguish, in misery. Howsoever it moves and wheresoever it moves, it remains grounded in the totality. Otherwise is not possible. You cannot go away from existence; that is impossible. This very moment you are grounded in it.

So what is to be done? If this very moment we are grounded in it, then it will appear to the egoist mind that nothing is to be done. We are already the divine, so why so much fuss? You are grounded in the divine, but you are unaware of the fact. When mind is wandering, there are two things – the mind and the wandering, the objects in the mind and the mind itself, clouds wandering in the sky and the sky. There are two things – the clouds and the sky.

Sometimes it may happen, it happens, that there are so many clouds that the sky disappears, you cannot see it. But even if you cannot see it, it has not disappeared; it cannot disappear. There is no way to help the sky to disappear. It is there; hidden or unhidden, visible or invisible, it is there.

But clouds are also there. If you pay attention to the clouds, the sky has disappeared. If you pay attention to the sky, the clouds are just accidental, they come and they go. You need not be too much worried about them. They come and they go. They have been coming, they have been going. They have not been destroying the sky even an inch, they have not made the sky dirty; they have not even touched it. The sky remains virgin.

When your mind is wandering, there are two things: one is the clouds, the thoughts, the objects, images, and the other is the consciousness, the mind itself. If you pay too much attention to the clouds, to objects, thoughts, images, you have forgotten the sky. You have forgotten the host; you have become too much interested in the guest. Those thoughts, images, wandering, are just guests. If you focus yourself on the guests, you forget your own being. Change the focus from the guests to the host, from the clouds to the sky. Do it practically.

A sex desire arises: this is a cloud. Or greed arises to have a bigger house: this is a cloud. You can become so obsessed with it that you forget completely to whom it has arisen, to whom it has happened. Who is behind it? In what sky is this cloud moving? Remember that sky, and suddenly the cloud disappears. You need just a change of focus from the object to the subject, from the outer to the inner, from the cloud to the sky, from the guest to the host – just a change of focus.

Lin-Chi, one Zen master, was speaking. Someone from the crowd said, “Answer me only one question: Who am I?

“Lin-Chi stopped speaking. Everyone was alert. What answer was he going to give? But he didn’t answer. He came down from his chair, walked, came near to the man. The whole crowd became attentive, alert. They were not even breathing. What was he going to do? He should have answered from the chair; there was no need. The man became afraid, and Lin-Chi came near him with his piercing eyes. He took the man’s collar in his hand, gave him a shake and asked him, “Close your eyes! And remember who is asking this question, ‘Who am I?’” The man closed his eyes – afraid, of course. He went within to seek who had asked this question, and he would not come back.

The crowd waited and waited and waited. His face became silent calm, still. Then Lin-Chi had to shock him again. “Now come out and tell everybody, ‘Who am I?’”

The man started laughing and he said, “What a miraculous way of answering a thing. But if someone asks me this now, I am going to do the same. I cannot answer.”

It was just a change of focus. You ask the question “Who am I?” and your mind is focused on the question and the answer is hidden just behind the question in the questioner. Change the focus; return to yourself.

This sutra says, “Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.” Move from the objects to the mind itself, and you are no more an ordinary mind. You are ordinary because of the objects. Suddenly you become a buddha yourself. You are already a buddha, you are just burdened with many clouds. And not only are you burdened: you are clinging to your clouds, you won’t allow them to move. You think that clouds are your property. You think that the more you have, the better: you are richer. And your whole sky, your inner space, is just hidden. In a way, it has disappeared amidst the clouds and clouds have become your life. The life of the clouds is sansara – the world.

This can happen in a single moment even, this change of focus – and it always happens suddenly. I don’t mean that you need not do anything and it will happen suddenly; you will have to do much. But it will never happen gradually. You will have to do and do and do, and one day, suddenly, a moment comes when you are at the right temperature to evaporate. Suddenly there is no water; it has evaporated. Suddenly you are not in the object. Your eyes are not focused to the clouds: suddenly they have turned inward to the inner space.

It never happens gradually that one part of your eyes has turned inward and one part is with the outward clouds – nor does it happen in percentages, that now you have become ten percent inner and ninety percent outer, now twenty percent inner and eighty percent outer – no! When it happens it happens a hundred percent, because you cannot divide your focusing. Either you see the objects or you see yourself – either the world or the Brahman. You can come back to the world, you can change your focus again; you are the master. Really, only now are you the master – when you can change your focus as you like.

I remember Marpa, one Tibetan mystic. When he realized, when he became a Buddha, when he turned inward, when he came to encounter the inner space – the infinity, someone asked him,

“Marpa, how are you now?”

Marpa’s answer is exceptional, unexpected. No buddha has answered that way. Marpa said, “As miserable as before.”

The man was bewildered. He said, “As miserable as before?”

But Marpa laughed. He said, “Yes, but with a difference, and the difference is that now the misery is voluntary. Sometimes, just for a taste of the world, I move outwards, but now I am the master. Any moment I can go inwards, and it is good to move in the polarities. Then one remains alive. I can move!” Marpa said, “I can move now. Sometimes I move in the miseries, but now the miseries are not something which happen to me. I happen to them and I remain untouched.” Of course, when you move voluntarily, you remain untouched.

Once you know how to change your focus inwards, you can come back to the world. Every buddha has come back to the world. Again he focuses, but now the inner man has a different quality. He knows that this is his focusing. These clouds are allowed to move. These clouds are not masters; they cannot dominate you. You allow them, and it is beautiful. Sometimes, when the sky is filled with clouds, it is beautiful; the movement of the clouds is beautiful. If the sky remains itself, the clouds can be allowed to move. The problem arises only when the sky forgets itself and only clouds are there. Then everything becomes ugly because the freedom is lost.

This sutra is beautiful. Wherever you mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this. This sutra has been used deeply in Zen tradition. Zen says your ordinary mind is the Buddha-mind. Eating, you are a buddha; sleeping, you are a buddha; carrying water from the well, you are a buddha. You are! Carrying water from the well, eating your food, lying down on your bed, you are a buddha. Inconceivable! It looks puzzling, but it is the truth.

If when carrying water you simply carry the water, if you don’t make any problem out of it and you simply carry water, if your mind is unclouded and the sky vacant, if you are just carrying water, then you are a buddha. Eating, just eat without doing anything else. When we are eating we are doing thousands and thousands of things. The mind may not be here at all. Your body may be eating just like a robot; your mind may be somewhere else.

One university student was here some days before. His examination is coming near, so he came to ask me, “I am very much confused and the problem is this: I have fallen in love with a girl. While I am with the girl, I think of my examination, and while I read I think only of my girl. So what to do? While reading, studying, I am not there; I am with my girl in my imagination. And with my girl, I am never with her; I am thinking about my problems, about my examination which is drawing near. So everything has become a mess.”

This is how everyone has become a mess, not only that boy. While in the office you think of the house; while in the house you are in the office. And you cannot do such a magical thing. While in the house you can be only in the house, you cannot be in the office. And if you are in the office, you are not sane, you are insane. Then everything gets into everything else. Then nothing is clear. And this mind is a problem.

While drawing water from a well, carrying water from a well, if you are simply doing this simple act, you are a buddha. So many times, if you go to Zen masters and ask them, “What do YOU do? What is your sadhana? What is your meditation?” they will say, “While feeling sleepy, we sleep. While feeling hungry, we eat. And that is all, there is no other sadhana.” But this is very arduous. It looks simple: if while eating you can just eat, if while sitting you can just sit – not doing anything else, if you can remain with the moment and not move away from it, if you can be merged with the moment with no future, no past, if this moment now is the only existence, then you are a buddha. This very mind becomes a Buddha-mind.

When your mind wanders, don’t try to stop it. Rather, become aware of the sky. When mind wanders, don’t try to stop it, don’t try to bring it to some point, to some concentration – no! Allow it to wander, but don’t pay much attention to the wandering – because for or against, you remain concerned with the wandering.

Remember the sky, allow the wandering, and just say, “Okay, it is just traffic on the road. Many people are moving this way and that. The same traffic is going on in the mind. I am just the sky, not the cloud.” Feel it, remember it, and remain in it. Sooner or later you will feel that the clouds are slowing down and there are bigger gaps between the clouds. They are not so dark, not so dense.

The speed has slowed down, and intervals can be seen, and the sky can be looked at. Go on feeling yourself as the sky and not the clouds. Sooner or later, someday, in some right moment when your focus has really gone inwards, clouds will have disappeared and you are the sky, the ever-pure sky, the ever-virgin sky.

Once you know this virginity, you can come back to the clouds, to the world of the clouds. Then that world has its own beauty. You can move in it, but now you are a master. The world is not bad; the world as the master is the problem. With you as the master, you can move in it. Then the world has a beauty of its own. It is beautiful, it is lovely, but you need to know that beauty and that loveliness as a master within.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 39

The Book of Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can find all of Shiva’s 112 Meditation Techniques.

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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The Touchstone of Truth – Osho

While out walking at dusk, I felt suddenly your whole lecture of yesterday morning began echoing in every cell of my body. I was looking as a spectator at the splendor of scenes going by, when the memory of the observer arose. This play of the observer went on for some time, then my legs began wobbling and to keep from falling I sat down at the side of the road and then neither scene nor spectator remained, nor even the observer. Everything disappeared but still something was – sometimes dark, sometimes light, playing hide and seek. But since then anxiety has increased and I cannot understand all this.

This is just what I was saying. If a small glimpse of the truth comes to you, you will be upset; you won’t be able to understand. Not understanding it, a deep uneasiness will take hold of you; madness too can overtake you.

This is why I speak on these scriptures. This is why I go on explaining every day, so that the information will remain in your unconscious, and when the happening takes place you can figure it out, you can clearly define what happened. Otherwise how will you comprehend it? You won’t have the language, the words; you will have no way to understand it, no measuring stick, no scales – how will you weigh it? You will have no touchstone. How can you appraise it?

You have said: “… Your whole lecture of yesterday morning began echoing in every cell of my body. I was looking as a spectator at the splendor of scenes going by, when the memory of the observer arose. This play of the observer went on for some time, then my legs began wobbling and to keep from falling I sat down at the side of the road.”

Certainly this happens. When you first become aware of the observer, you wobble. Your whole life totters, because your whole life is set up without the observer. This new happening will shatter everything. It is like a blind man whose eyes suddenly open: do you think he will be able to walk down the road? He will stagger. Blind for forty, fifty years, he felt his way along with the help of his cane. In his blindness he gradually developed the ability to walk in the dark. He became skillful. He interpreted sounds around him. He got to know the turns in the roads. He had learned the art of seeing with his ears. For fifty years everything had been going well.

This life of the blind – which you cannot even imagine – bereft of light, color, beauty, shape; it depends only on the medium of sound…. He has only one language: sound. He has created his whole life on this basis. If on the way to the market in the morning suddenly his eyes open, think of what will happen. His whole world will come crashing down. His world of sound will go completely topsy-turvy.

This event will be so strong – the eyes opening, seeing peoples’ faces, seeing colors, the rays of the sun, sunlight and shadow, this crowd; so many people, buses, cars, bicycles – he will completely freak out! It will be such a great shock to his life: Will the small world he has made with the help of sound disappear, be wiped out, die, be trampled under? He will sit down on the spot trembling, he may stagger and fall. Perhaps he will not be able to make it home… maybe he will faint.

And this example is nothing. When the observer makes its entrance into your life, when just one ray of the observer comes, then this example is nothing – the event is so much bigger. The inner eye is opening. You have created your world without the inner eye and when the inner eye suddenly opens it makes your whole world wrong. You will remain speechless in amazement.

You have asked rightly and asked from experience. Consider the two types of questions. One is theoretical – it has no great value. But this question comes out of experience. If there were no experience this question could not have arisen. If these legs had not staggered, this question would not have arisen. This question is from direct experience.

“… The memory of the observer arose.” Ashtavakra’s words must have reverberated. An echo must have remained of what I had said in the morning. Its fragrance must have arisen in you, a few threads of what I said must have become entangled in you.

“… The memory of the observer arose. This play of the observer went on for some time….” Perhaps it was only a moment. A moment of the observer seems very long, because the observer is beyond time. Here only a second passes on your watch; there, as the observer, it seems centuries have passed. This watch is of no use there. This watch is not made for the inner eye.

“This play of the observer went on for some time, but then my legs began wobbling and I sat down at the side of the road to keep from falling.” This wobbling indicates that it happened. The questioner has not asked a question from his listening or reading – something transpired.

“And then neither scene nor spectator remained, nor even the observer.” In that wobbling everything dispersed, everything disappeared. In such moments confusion arises if there has been no gradual preparation. If we are unable to assimilate it drop by drop, if it happens all of a sudden, there can be an explosion.

“Everything disappeared but still something was.” Certainly something was. Actually everything was for the first time. Everything of yours ended, your little house of straw fell down. The sky, the moon and stars – the ultimate remained. The boundaries, the lines you had drawn all disappeared – cloudless sky remained. Your conditioning of living in a confined shell was shaken. You were frightened by this wobbling and sat down at the roadside. Certainly something was. The experience makes one speechless. One cannot grasp: what was it, who was it?

Have you noticed? – Sometimes something suddenly wakes you up when you were deep asleep. At five a.m. you were sound asleep, at the hour of deepest sleep, and something suddenly awakens you. Some noise, some firecracker goes off in the street, a car crashes into your door: some noise that immediately wakes you up. Instantly! You jump immediately from sleep to wakefulness. You come like an arrow from the depths of sleep. Usually when we come out of deep sleep we come very slowly. First deep sleep drops away, then dreams gradually start floating, then we remain in dreams for a while.

You can remember your morning dreams, but you do not recall the night dreams, because the morning dreams are very light and exactly half way between sleep and waking up. Then gradually dreams disappear. Then there is half broken sleep. Then sun and shadow play a little hide and seek with your eyes: you are one moment awake, one moment again asleep; you roll over as if awake…. In between you hear your wife making tea, a dish falls, the milkman comes, someone passes by on the street, the servant knocks, the kids are getting ready for school. Then you roll over again and start falling into the depths. In this way you very gradually come to the surface. Then you open your eyes.

But if something happens suddenly, you come like an arrow from the depths straight to awakening. Your eyes open and you wonder: Where am I? Who am I? For a moment nothing is clear. This must have happened to all of you at some time or other: you wonder, Who am I? Even your name and address will be gone. Where am I? This too will be unclear. It is as if you have suddenly come to some alien world. It lasts only a moment then you come back together, because this shock isn’t such a great shock. And then too you are used to it – it happens every day. You get up every morning: you return from the world of dreams into the world of wakefulness. This routine is old, yet sometimes when it happens suddenly you are startled and frightened.

When the real awakening happens you will be completely speechless. You won’t have any idea what is happening. Everything will become calm and silent.

But it was good. “… Neither scene nor spectator remained, not even the observer remained.

Everything disappeared but still something was.” It is to help you to comprehend this “something” that I speak on scriptures – so you become capable of interpreting it. You can give meaning to this “something,” you can identify it, you can define it. If not, it can drown you. You will be carried away in a flood, you won’t have any place to stand. Hence I go on saying so many things.

“Everything disappeared but still something was. Sometimes dark, sometimes light playing hide and seek. But since then anxiety has increased and I cannot understand all this.”

Put it away, keep what I say to you. Make a jewelled box for it. Don’t take it as wisdom but only as information. Consciously make a box for it. Then gradually you will find, as experiences begin happening, that my words arise from your unconscious, and make clear and comprehensible the experiences that happen. I will be your witness.

But if you argue with me as you listen I cannot become your witness – you listen and you are creating some kind of internal struggle against me, refuting me. If you are not listening sympathetically, lovingly, but go on debating, then I cannot be your witness because then when you put something in your box it won’t be mine, it will be yours.

Last night a psychologist from Australia took sannyas. I told him, “You are welcome here even if you don’t take sannyas. But then you will not become my guest. You are welcomed. But if you take sannyas you are welcome here and you will also become my guest.”

People ask me, “Will your love for us be less if we don’t take sannyas?” My love for you will remain total. Be welcome! But the moment you take sannyas you become my guest also. And there is a great difference. Without taking sannyas you listen from a distance. Taking sannyas you come close.

Without your taking sannyas your intellect goes on analyzing, goes on shifting whatever I say. Whatever fits with your mind you keep, whatever does not fit you throw out. And the possibility is that what doesn’t fit with you is what will be useful for you. Whatever agrees with your mind cannot transform you. If it agrees with you it means that it is in harmony with your past. What doesn’t fit with your past can spark a revolution within. What doesn’t fit with you can transform. Whatever totally fits you will strengthen you as you are, not transform you. You go on selecting – you think you are intelligent.

Intelligent people sometimes do very idiotic things. They sit here selecting. They go on choosing. They hold on to things that fit their prejudice, and make no connection with anything that is against their prejudice. But I repeat to you that what doesn’t seem to fit you will someday be useful. Now you don’t have any way to understand it, because you don’t have any experience of it. But still I say unto you, keep it with you. When the experience comes someday, then suddenly it will arise from your unconscious and clarify everything. Then you will not remain speechless, the amazement will not break you apart. And you need not be frightened and uneasy.

“High above what the wind sang and the cedars echoed, what was shining on the snow peaks, what spilled over from the evening sky, who received all this? The one who extended his hand, desiring to attract it? Oh, it has descended into my already given heart. It overflows in my accepted tears. It came unknown, unrecognized. It has manifested itself by means of all these and me. It has permeated itself. Alone where it is resplendent, eyes are helplessly lowered. Not only sounds, the echoing of the infinite silence is also lost there.”

Hear me – with deep tears! Hear me – with the heart. Hear me – with love. Not with intellect, not with logic. This is the meaning of trust and faith.

“High above what the wind sang and the cedars echoed, what was shining on the snow peaks, what spilled over from the evening sky, who received all this? The one who extended his hand, desiring to attract it?” No! Whenever the hand of desire is extended, it shrinks. The hand of desire can only contain alms, not an empire. A heart opened by love is needed to contain an empire. A begging, desiring bowl will not do.

“… Who received all this? The one who extended his hand, desiring to attract it?”

You can listen to me in such a way that you take what fits your prejudices and put it in your bag. Then you come to me extending your begging bowl. Desire is a beggar. You can take a little, but what you take are just scraps of bread fallen from the table. You could not become a guest. Sannyas will make you a guest. “Oh, it has descended into my already given heart. It overflows in my accepted tears. It came unknown, unrecognized. It has manifested itself by means of all these and me. It has permeated itself. Alone where it is resplendent, eyes are helplessly lowered.”

Where eyes bow down…. “Not only sounds, the echoing of the infinite silence is also lost there.” Get ready for this. Fill the heart with love for this. Learn to listen with sympathy. And keep in a treasure box what I am saying to you. Then you will not suffer. Then when the unacquainted, the unknown descends, you can understand it. You will be able to understand its hidden music. You will not drown or be frightened by its silence, you will be liberated; otherwise it seems like death.

If God comes without your understanding, if you have no means to understand him, it will feel like death, that you are finished. If you have a little understanding, some preparation, you have learnt something from a master, have sat in his presence, then God is liberation; otherwise he seems to be death. And once you have freaked out, you will stop going in that direction. Once you have been so frightened, every cell of your body will tremble. You will go everywhere except where there is such fear. Where your arms and legs tremble, where you have to sit at the side of the road, where everything goes dark and all seems to be lost; something unknown, unacquainted remains and you are just freaked out – you won’t go back there.

In one of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems he says, “I searched for God for many lives… searched but never found. Sometimes I got a glimpse of him among the most distant stars. I kept hoping, kept looking. Then one day by a lucky accident I reached his door. There was a sign: ’This is God’s house.’ I climbed the steps – in one leap the journey of many lives was complete. Benediction!

“My hand was on the doorbell chain when a fear overcame me: ’What if I meet him? Then? What will I do? My whole work has been to seek God. I live in this hope – it is my life’s journey. So if I meet God it will be death. What will happen to my life, my journey? Then where will I go, what will I attain, what will I seek? Then nothing will remain.’ So in fright I let go of the chain, slowly let go of it so there would be no noise, so that he would not open the door. I took my shoes in my hand and fled, and since then I have been fleeing.”

“Still I go on seeking” – the poem continues – ”even now I am seeking God, though I know where his house is. I seek him everywhere except there, because seeking is my life. I keep myself from going near it. I go anywhere except towards that house. I turn away from it. I ask everywhere else, ‘Where is God?’ – and all along I know where God is.”

As I see it, many people have come close to that house many times in their endless seeking, but freaked out. Freaked out and forgot everything; only that fright they cannot forget. This is why people are not readily attracted to meditation. People are scared, and avoid even talking about things like meditation. They make formal use of the word God, but they never let themselves go in a deep search for him. They go to the temple, the mosque – it is a social formality, a convention, a custom. They go because they are supposed to, but they never let the temple, the mosque, be established in their heart. They won’t take on such danger. They keep God far away. And there is a reason for it – somewhere hidden deep in their memory is an experience of fear. Sometime they must have faltered in front of that door.

If the friend who has had this experience does not understand it correctly he will start being frightened. Sitting down freaked out in the street, all limbs trembling, heart pounding wildly, breath coming in gulps, everything every which-way – it is better to stay away from such meditation! It is trouble. It is okay if you come back, but if you don’t come back? If you go on sitting at the roadside people will think you are crazy. It is okay for an hour or two; more, and the police will come. More, and the neighbors will take you away, or send you to the hospital to find out what happened. The medics will start giving injections, concerned that you have lost consciousness, that there may be a brain injury.

A friend has written – a sannyasin – that he left here dancing, ecstatic. His family had never seen him dancing and ecstatic. When he danced and was blissed out at home they thought he was insane. They came running, caught him, sat him down, and asked what happened.

He said, “Nothing happened to me. I am very happy, in bliss.” The more he spoke of spiritual truths the more his family was sure something was wrong. They took him from the house and forced him to enter a hospital.

A letter has come from him. He says, “I am lying here in the hospital laughing. This is great fun. When I was sad no one took me for medical help. Now I am happy people have brought me to the hospital. I am watching this drama. But they think I am insane. And the more they think I am mad the more I laugh! The more I laugh the more they think I am mad!”

It is good that you have asked. Don’t be frightened. This experience will gradually quieten down.

Witness it. This happening is natural.

-Osho

From Enlightenment: The Only Revolution, Chapter Six

Enlightenment- The Only Revolution

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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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You are in Prison and You Think You are Free – Osho

George Gurdjieff has said: “You are in prison. If you wish to get out of prison, the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.”

What are the prisons that I call “home”?

Rama Prem, George Gurdjieff is one of the most significant masters of this age.

He is unique in many ways — nobody has said things in the contemporary world the way Gurdjieff has said them. He is almost like another Bodhidharma or Chuang Tzu, apparently absurd but in reality giving great indications towards the liberation of human consciousness.

You are asking about one of his significant statements. He often used to say, “You are in prison.” Sometimes he was even deeper into the reality, and instead of saying, “You are in prison,” he would say, “You are the prison.” That is more true.

If you wish to get out of prison — or better to say, if you don’t want to be a prison — the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison… or you are the prison. This is something to be always remembered as one of the first principles for any seeker of truth.

The tendency of the human mind is to deny those things which are ugly, to hide those things which he does not want others to know — to hide in such a way, in such depths of the unconscious that even he himself becomes unaware of them. This way he maintains his superficial personality.

Gurdjieff had a story about it…

There was a magician who used to live in faraway deep forests, and he had many sheep because that was his only food. In those deep forests he was keeping all those sheep just to kill them every day, one by one. Naturally, the sheep were very afraid of the man, and they used to run into the forest being afraid that any day can be their day. Their friends are gone, there is no reliability… tomorrow they may be gone. Out of fear they used to go far away, deep into the forest. And to find them was a tedious job every day.

Finally, the magician did a trick. He hypnotized all the sheep, and told every sheep, “You are an exception; everybody may be killed but you can never be killed. You are no ordinary sheep; you have a divine privilege.” To some he said, “You are not sheep at all; you are lions, you are tigers, you are wolves. Only sheep are killed. You need not hide yourself in the forest; that is very embarrassing, because a lion hiding himself in the forest in the fear that he will be killed… only sheep are killed.” And in this way, he managed to hypnotize all the sheep in different ways.

He even said to a few sheep, “You are men, human beings, and human beings don’t kill each other. You are just like me. Never be afraid and never escape out of fear.” Since that day, no sheep escaped and hid in the forest, although they all saw every day that one sheep was being killed, slaughtered. But naturally everybody thought, That must be a sheep; I am a tiger, a lion, a human being. I am special and exceptional, I have a divine privilege…. So many different stories he put in their minds.

Gurdjieff says that unless you realize the first thing — that you are in prison, that you are the prison — then there is no hope for freedom. If you already believe that you are free, you are a hypnotized sheep which believes himself to be a lion — exceptional, there is no need to be afraid — which even believes he is a human being. He goes on seeing other sheep being killed, and still remains in a hypnotized state, never being aware of his actuality. To be free, if you already know that you are free, there is no problem.

All the religions together, perhaps unintentionally, have created a tremendous hypnotic state. People believe they have immortal souls. I am not saying that they don’t have, I am simply saying that they don’t know what they are believing. And because they believe they have an immortal soul, they never discover that they already have it. They have been told, “You are the very kingdom of God”… and it is so comfortable and so consoling to believe. But then there is no way to seek and search and find whether your hypothetical belief has any truth in it, or is just a hypnotic trick used by the society to keep you unafraid of death, to keep you unafraid of disease, old age, to keep you unafraid of your loneliness.

Your God may be just a psychological hypnosis. It is not your discovery. That is true — that much is absolutely true. It has been implanted in your mind, and because you go on believing in it, your belief prevents any adventure in seeking the truth.

Ordinarily, you have been told continually that unless you believe, you will not find. But the truth is just the contrary. Belief is a barrier, it is not a bridge. Those who believe never find, because they never even begin the search; there is no need.

You are in prison and you think you are free.

You are in chains but you think they are ornaments. You are a slave but you have been told that you are humble, that you are simple, that this is the way a religious person should be. You are surrounded by many hypnotic strategies developed by society down the ages. And those hypnotic strategies are the root cause of your ignorance, of your misery, of your unenlightened state.

Hence the first thing to realize is that you are in prison. The moment you recognize that you are in prison, you cannot tolerate the prison. Nobody can tolerate it; it goes against human dignity. You will start finding ways to get out of it. You will start finding people who have already got out of it. You may start seeking and searching outside help beyond the walls, because there are people beyond the walls ready with every kind of help. But they are absolutely helpless if you believe that you are living in absolute freedom.

If you believe this imprisonment is your home, then of course it is absolute nonsense even to think of getting rid of it. The wall that keeps you a prisoner, you think is a protection. Then there is no question of making a hole in the wall and getting out, or finding a ladder, or taking some help from the outside. A rope can be thrown from the outside, a ladder can be arranged from the outside, but this is possible only if the basic thing, that you are in prison, is recognized. George Gurdjieff was consistently insisting, “This is a basic realization. Without it, there is no progress towards enlightenment. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.”

“What are the prisons that I call `home’?” Rama Prem, all the so-called homes are nothing but prisons, because they don’t give you freedom, they only give you security, safety, and in place they take away your very being, your freedom, your joy, your dance. But certainly they give you security, safety — and naturally you have to pay for it.

The price that one has to pay is immensely great in comparison to what you get. You have to sell your very soul. But then what is the point of safety and security? You were searching for security and safety for your being, and in the very search you have sold your being. Now you are secure and safe, but what is the point? For whom is the safety and security? It does not serve you, it serves those who have managed to convince you that “If you give your soul, your being, we will take care — then you need not be worried, then we are responsible for your safety and security.”

The moment you give up your responsibility, you give up everything. Then you are just an empty shell, without any meaning and without any essence. Your homes are nothing but beautiful prisons made by you, decorated by you. You think they are protecting you; they are destroying you. Certainly they protect you from the rains and they protect you from the winds and they protect you from the sun, but for these trivia they destroy you completely. You lose all joy, you lose all freedom, you lose all sense of direction. You lose the very purpose you are here for. You get lost in your own home. You become too much concerned about the furniture and about the decorations, and you forget yourself completely. This forgetfulness is a kind of deep psychological sleep.

Your wife, your husband, your children — nobody is yours. All are man-made, arbitrary relationships — even your own children are not your own. They come through you; they don’t belong to you. You belong to the past; they belong to the future. There is no connection, there is no relationship; hence, as man has become more and more intelligent there has come a great generation gap.

One great Russian novelist, Turgenev, has written a book — perhaps his best, his masterpiece – Fathers and Sons. The whole book is about the struggle between the fathers and the sons, because the fathers would like the sons just to be their replicas. Naturally, they will not allow the sons any freedom. Obedience they expect; they expect their sons to be their carbon copies.

Even God the Father was expecting obedience and nothing else; what to say about ordinary fathers? He was angry because of disobedience, and his anger was too great in comparison to the disobedience. The disobedience was created by him. He provoked it; he created the curiosity in the children, Adam and Eve, to eat from certain trees, by preventing them — that is the easiest way.

[…]

In the Garden of Eden, so many trees… and God indicated to a particular tree: “This is the tree of knowledge. Never eat the fruit from it.” There was no need of any serpent to convince Eve, God convinced her himself; he is the serpent. And then the punishment for it is unbelievable. Even today we are suffering because Adam and Eve disobeyed!

Religions have created all kinds of crimes in the mind of man, just by prohibiting them. They have also created ideas which prevent man from any search. They say, “Believe” — and belief is cheap. You don’t have to do anything. Gurdjieff had to go to such extents that he started saying to people, “You don’t have souls. It is a wrong idea, implanted within you by religions, that everybody has a soul.”

He had to say such a thing just to wake you up to search whether it is true or not; otherwise, everybody was perfectly asleep. What is the need to search? You already have it; God is within you! So do other things which, if you don’t do, you will not get – become a president, prime minister, become the richest man in the world, conquer the world — because these things will not happen on their own. As far as God is concerned you already have him; he is within you, you don’t have to go anywhere. Any day, any rainy day when you can’t go anywhere to conquer the world, and you don’t have anything else to do — to correct the mechanism of your car, or to open your wall clock, or to open your radio or television even though they are functioning perfectly well, but you don’t have anything else to do…. Any day, when you don’t have anything to do, you can find God. He is within you, in your pocket.

Gurdjieff is perhaps the only man in the whole of history who insisted against all religions that you don’t have a soul — that a soul has to be created, then you have it. You are not born with it, you are born only with the possibility. If you make a great effort, perhaps you may achieve it. Otherwise most people are born and die; there is no soul that survives.

He was telling a compassionate lie. He was not right, but I cannot say that he was telling the lie for any other reason than compassion. It is true you are born with the soul, but it has become such an accepted fact that you don’t even look within yourself. Somebody needs to shatter your idea that you are born with a soul, to tell you that inside you are just empty, hollow. Perhaps this may shake you up, wake you up. Perhaps this may give you the idea to look inside at least one time, whether there is a soul or you have been deceived.

And George Gurdjieff helped more people in this century than anybody else, because he created a great longing: “Don’t die before you have created a soul; otherwise nothing will survive the death. Crystallize your being so that death cannot destroy it. But you are not born with it, you have to create it.”

The idea of all the religions, although true, has not been helpful; it has become a hindrance. Gurdjieff’s compassion is great. All the religions were against him, obviously, because that is the one point they all agree on — that everybody is born with a soul. But Gurdjieff’s point is more psychological, and more effective in creating liberation. He says you are just empty, and you will remain empty unless you make the effort, with a determined will, to create a center within you. There is possibility, potential, but you have to make it an actuality. His insight was great.

And since Gurdjieff, people have forgotten it completely. He was alive just thirty years ago and just within thirty years people have forgotten the great teacher who was compassionate enough even to lie, just to make you shocked; just to create an opening in you so that you can start searching whether what all the religions have been saying has any truth in it or not.

The first thing he says is to realize you are in prison. The first thing that can also be said is, you have to realize that you are not yet. You have to be. You are a seed, but you have to find the right soil, and nobody else can do it for you. If you go on depending on priests and your so-called saints, you will miss this great opportunity that life has given to you. And one does not know whether a second chance is being given or not. It has to be made emphatically clear to you that there is a possibility – once missed, you have missed it forever.

Gurdjieff created a great turmoil in a few intelligent people, and he put them to great work in finding themselves. I don’t agree with George Gurdjieff as far as his methods are concerned, but as far as this statement is concerned I agree totally. It is simply a psychological fact.

There are people who believe they are intelligent. In fact, it is very difficult to find somebody who believes he is unintelligent. If you can find somebody who believes he is unintelligent, there is a possibility for him to be intelligent. But for all those who already believe they are intelligent, you can’t help them. And certainly this whole humanity is not intelligent. Their actions show it, their behavior shows it, their misery shows it — it shows nothing but their retardedness.

But their belief is that they are geniuses — life is just not giving them the right opportunities to show their talents; otherwise, they could have been Picasso, or Sartre, or Bertrand Russell, or Martin Buber; there is no problem. It is just because life is preventing them; otherwise, they have everything. It is not so.

Now education is universal, particularly in advanced countries, but even universal education does not create universal geniuses. Everybody is educated but even that does not give you the same talent. Man is living in a kind of half-awake and half-asleep state, and it is very easy to believe that you are great – great in intelligence, great in beauty, great in everything — rather than finding greatness, creating greatness, because that will require effort, tremendous effort. And enlightenment is the ultimate intelligence. If you already believe you are intelligent, you have stopped yourself from growing.

Just watch exactly where you are. Be very impartial about judging yourself. See exactly, even if it hurts, that you are a slave — of some political ideology, of some religious theology, of some racial stupidity. Just watch and be very impartial and objective about yourself, and you will find what Gurdjieff calls your prisons. And once you recognize your prisons, it is not difficult to get out, because they are your own creations.

Bernstein died and went to hell. The receptionist asked, “Where do you want to go?”

“Do I have a choice?” asked the surprised Bernstein.

“Certainly! This anteroom is surrounded by closed doors. Just listen at each one and decide which you want to enter.”

Bernstein listened at the first door and heard horrible shrieks of agony. He went to the second, then the third — always hearing screams, cries, and yells. Finally, at the seventh door, he heard nothing but gentle murmuring.

He said quickly, “I’ll take this one.”

The door was flung open and he was propelled inside. He found himself up to his lower lip in a vast sea of shit. With him were millions of others, standing on tiptoe, muttering, “Don’t make waves! Don’t make waves!”

Whatever you have made your life is your own choice. Even in hell you have a choice – everywhere you have a choice. Your life is your own creation. Once you recognize it, then every change is possible.

Churchill’s commentary on man was: “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.” Man is a very strange animal, strangest of all the animals you see. He goes on believing in things which are not, he goes on believing in things which he has not. He never makes any effort, even in finding one very fundamental thing: who he is, from where he comes, and what is his destiny, where he is going.

People discuss all kinds of things, and people read about all kinds of things, but generally they never bother about themselves. It seems they take themselves for granted, and that’s what Gurdjieff wants to stop: Don’t take yourself for granted. Look inside, search for who you are, and whether you are or if there is just emptiness and something has to be done to bring the seed to sprout, to take care of the seed so that one day it can blossom.

Sinking uneasily into the depths of the psychiatrist’s couch, the patient sighed, “Doctor, I have a problem.” He loosened his collar and continued, “I’ve got one son in Harvard and another at Yale. I’ve just gifted them with twin Ferraris. I have a townhouse on upper Fifth Avenue, and a summer home at East Hampton, and a sprawling ranch in Venezuela.”

“Well,” smiled the psychiatrist, obviously impressed, “either I missed something or you really don’t have a problem.”

“Doc,” the harried chap croaked, “I only make seventy-five dollars a week.”

Naturally you will have problems! You make seventy-five dollars a week, and you imagine all these things: two Ferraris, two sons — one in Harvard, one in Yale — a townhouse, a house in the hills, a big ranch in Venezuela, and seventy-five dollars a week! People create their problems. People are utterly poor in their consciousness, and go on believing that the kingdom of God is within. In your poor consciousness, you can have only a very poor God — seventy-five dollars a week. Your God is as rich as your consciousness is, because the God is another name for your consciousness.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Invitation, Chapter Four

The Invitation

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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