What is Greed? – Osho

What is greed?

Sahajo, man feels meaningless, empty, hollow within, and wants to fill it, stuff it. The effort to fill it somehow is greed. That effort is bound to fail for the simple reason because whatsoever you accumulate remains on the outside; it cannot reach within you. And the problem is within and the solution you are seeking is without.

For example, you are feeling meaningless inside you and you are trying to fill it by money. It is a stupid effort, unconscious effort, not seeing a simple point: that money can be gathered, accumulated, but it will pile up around you. You can have mountains of money around you… there have been people with mountains of money.

One of the greatest rich men in the world was Andrew Carnegie. He left inestimable treasures, but when he was dying his biographer asked him, “Are you dying contented?”

He opened his eyes and said, “No, I am a very discontented man. My whole life has been a failure. I am dying unfulfilled.”

The biographer was surprised. He said, “But you have so much money! Perhaps nobody else has that much money as you have got. Why should you not be contented and fulfilled?”

Andrew Carnegie laughed and he said, “Yes, the same logic destroyed my whole life. I was also thinking that if I can have that much money then all will be well. Money is there, and I have lost my life in accumulating all this junk, but inside I am as empty as ever, in fact far more empty than ever, because when I was poor…” He was born a poor man. He has not inherited money, he earned his money himself. He worked hard, eighteen hours per day; not even beggars work that hard. He was greed incarnate. His whole life is the story of greed.

And his experience is significant because he says “When I was poor at least there was hope that someday I am going to be rich and then all will be well. Now I have even lost that hope, because I am rich and still my poverty remains the same.”

Greed is the unintelligent man’s effort to make his life meaningful. But remember my emphasis: unintelligent man’s effort. No quantitative change can really transform your life. You can have millions of dollars or trillions of dollars; it is not going to change. It is only looking in the direction of quantity.

What you really need is a qualitative transformation of your being. You need your life to become full of light. You need some inner richness; outer richness is not going to help. In fact, it will make you more aware of your inner poverty by contrast. And if you have one million dollars and nothing has happened, how can you hope that by having two million dollars it is going to happen? If one million dollars have not given you anything, two million dollars are not going to give you anything. If one million dollars have given you something of inner joy, of inner splendor, then of course two million dollars will make it twice; it will become more. But people never think about it. They go on rushing almost unconsciously, asking the same again and again, more and more.

Greed means a desire for more without seeing the total futility of it. If less is not giving you anything, then it is not going to happen by having more of the same.

On her morning flight through the forest an angel meets a Polack dwarf. The angel says, “Dwarf, I grant you two wishes. Whatever you desire, tell me, and it will be fulfilled.”

The Polack dwarf scratches his head, which helps him to think, and with a big smile says, “Well, if that is so, I would not mind a nice cold draught of beer.”

An enormous tankard of beer immediately appears in front of him. The angel says, “This is an enchanted tankard. You can never empty it. Beer will always be flowing from it. Drunk you get, but never sick of it. Just a taste and you will never forget it. It will quench all your thirst and you will always be drinking from it.”

The Polack dwarf is pleased. He takes a sip, licks his lips, and feels very satisfied with himself.

The angel looks at the dwarf and says, “You still have one more wish.”

“Do I?” he exclaims. “Well, I wouldn’t mind another beer, just like this one.”

Greed is stupidity, Sahajo, utter stupidity. The greedy man is not functioning intelligently. The intelligent person can see it, but what actually is his need? His need basically is to know in the first place “Who am I? – Because unless I know who I am, whatsoever I do is going to be wrong; it is not going to fulfill me. Once I know exactly who I am, then whatsoever I do is going to enhance my richness, my treasures, my bliss, my benediction, because then I will be moving according to my nature.”

To be rooted in one’s nature is to know bliss. Without knowing your nature, without knowing your inner being, you are bound to go astray. All that you are doing is guesswork, all that you are doing is just imitating others. People are after money, so you are after money. People are after big houses, so you are after big houses. People are after this, so you are after this. You are simply being imitative, and only a stupid person is imitative.

The intelligent person is never imitative. He tries to find first, “What is my nature.” He never imitates, he never follows others. He listens to his inner voice.

The first thing to be done is to be so silent, so meditative that you can listen to your own inner voice. It is a very still small voice, but once you listen it, it directs you, and then you never go astray.

There was once a very poor Portuguese whose only possessions were a cart and a donkey. Things were going very badly so he decided to ask for advice from a richer friend.

“Manuel,” said his friend, “the solution is to sell the donkey. In this way you will save the money you spend on feeding the donkey and you can pull the cart yourself. You will see you can do whatever the donkey does.”

Manuel followed his advice and sold his donkey. A few weeks later, while pulling the cart, he met his rich friend.

“So you see, Manuel,” said his friend, “I told you, you could do whatever the donkey did!”

“I can do almost everything, Antonio,” replied Manuel, “except one thing – I still can’t shit while I walk!”

And people are doing that all the time – just imitating others. And then they are always in trouble because they cannot do this and they cannot do that. Somebody is doing that and they are incapable and they feel inferior. The whole world suffers from inferiority complexes in some way or other, for the simple reason that we go on comparing.

In fact, everybody is so unique that all comparison is wrong, utterly wrong. But you don’t know your uniqueness. You have never entered your own being, you have never encountered yourself. You have never looked in that direction at all. You are bound to feel inferior. Even the greatest people of your history, the people you call very great, all feel inferior in some way or other, maybe different ways of feeling inferior, but nobody can really feel superior – he will be missing something. He may not be so beautiful as somebody else, he may not be so healthy as somebody else, he may not be such a great musician as somebody else. He may be a president of a country, but when it comes to singing, a beggar can make him feel inferior. He may be the president of a country, but may not be so rich. There are thousands of other people who are far more richer.

Life consists of millions of things and if you are constantly comparing… and that’s what you have been told to do. You have been brought up in such a way, educated in such a stupid way that you are constantly comparing. Somebody is taller than you, somebody is more beautiful than you, somebody seems to be more intelligent than you, somebody seems more virtuous, more religious, more meditative. And you are always in a state of inferiority, suffering.

Look within yourself and you will experience great uniqueness. And all inferiority disappears, evaporates; it was created by you and by wrong education, it was created by a subtle strategy – the strategy of comparison. Once you know your uniqueness you are joyous, and then there is no need to follow anybody. Learn from everybody. An intelligent person even learns from idiots, because there are few things you can learn only from idiots because they are experts in idiocy. At least watching them, observing them, you can avoid a few things in your life.

You can learn from everybody, not only from man but from animals, from trees, from clouds, from rivers. But there is no question of imitating. You can’t become a river, but you can learn some quality which is river-likeness: the flow, the let-go. You can learn something from a rose flower. You cannot become a rose flower, you need not, but you can learn something from the rose flower. You see the Rose flower so delicate yet so strong in the wind, in the rain, in the sun. By the evening it will be gone but has no care about it, is joyous in the moment. You can learn from the rose flower how to live in the moment. Right now the rose flower is dancing in the wind, in the rain, unafraid, unconcerned for the future. By the evening the petals will wither away, but who bothers about the evening? This moment is all and this dance is all there is.

Learn something from the rose. Learn something from the bird on the wing: the courage – the courage to go into the unbounded. Learn from all sources but don’t imitate. But that is possible only if you have found the right space to begin with, and that is acquaintance with yourself.

Then, Sahajo, greed disappears. Greed is unacquaintance with oneself. Greed is because you have never looked within yourself, and you feel empty and you go on making all kinds of efforts to fill that emptiness. It cannot be filled. Experience it and you will be surprised: that emptiness looks only empty from the outside; when you go inside it, it is a fullness of its own kind. It is not empty at all; it is vast, it is infinite. It has a tremendous beauty of silence, purity. And then you will not look at it as emptiness in a negative sense; you will start feeling a positive well-being in it. It is spaciousness, not emptiness. It is roominess, not emptiness.

And that’s the message of Zen: to experience your emptiness so totally that the emptiness itself becomes fullness. Then all greed disappears, and that is the only way it disappears; there is no other way.-Osho

From Zen: The Special Transmission, Chapter Ten

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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How to Die – Osho

Every culture, every civilization, every so called religion, cuts every child off from his heart. It is a most dangerous thing. All that is dangerous comes out of the heart. Mind is more secure, and with the mind you know where you are. With the heart, no one ever knows where one is. With the mind, everything is calculated, mapped, measured. And you can feel the crowd always with you, in front of you, at the back of you. Many are moving on it; it is a highway – concrete, solid, gives you a feeling of security. With the heart you are alone. Nobody is with you. Fear grips, fear possesses you. Where are you going? Now you no longer know, because when you move with a crowd on a highway, you know where you are moving because you think the crowd knows.

And everybody is in the same position: everybody thinks, ‘So many people are moving, we must be moving somewhere; otherwise, why so many people, millions of them, moving? They must be moving somewhere.’ Everybody thinks like that. In fact, the crowd is not moving anywhere. No crowd has ever reached any goal. The crowd goes on moving and moving. You are born; you become part of the crowd. And the crowd was already moving before you were born. And then a day comes when you are finished, you die, and the crowd goes on moving, because new ones are always being born. The crowd never reaches anywhere! – but it gives a feeling of comfort. You feel cozy, surrounded by so many people wiser than you, older than you, more experienced than you; they must know where they are moving – you feel secure.

The moment you start falling towards the heart… and it is a falling: falling like falling in an abyss. That’s why when somebody is in love; we say he has fallen in love. It is a fall – the head sees it as a fall – someone has gone astray, fallen. When you start falling towards the heart you become alone; now nobody can be with you there, you in your total loneliness. Afraid, scared you will be. Now you will not know where you are going, because nobody is there and there are no milestones. In fact, there is no concrete solid path. Heart is unmapped, unmeasured, uncharted. Tremendous fear will be there.

The whole of my effort is to help you not to be afraid, because only through the heart will you be reborn. But before you are reborn, you will have to die. Nobody can be reborn before he dies. So the whole message of Sufism, Zen, Hassidism – these are all forms of Sufism – is how to die. The whole art of dying is the base. I am teaching you here nothing except that: how to die.

If you die, you become available to infinite sources of life. You die, really, in your present form. It has become too narrow. You only survive in it – you don’t live. The tremendous possibility of life is completely closed, and you feel confined, imprisoned. You feel everywhere a limitation, a boundary. A wall, a stone wall comes wherever you move – a wall.

My whole effort is how to break these stone walls. And they are not made of stone – they are made of thoughts. And nothing is more like rock than a thought. They are made of dogmas, scriptures. They surround you. And wherever you go, you carry them with you. Your imprisonment you carry with you. Your prison is always hanging around you. How to break them?

The breaking of the walls will appear to you like a death. It is in a way, because your present identity will be lost. Whosoever you are, that identity will be lost. You will be that no more. Suddenly something else…. It was always hidden within you, but you were not aware. Suddenly a discontinuity. The old is no more there, and something utterly new has entered. It is not continuous with your past. That’s why we call it a death. It is not continuous: a gap exists.

And if you look backwards, you will not feel that whatsoever existed before this resurrection was real. No, it will appear as if you saw it in a dream; or it will appear as if you read it somewhere in a fiction; or, as if somebody else related his own story and it was never yours – somebody else’s. The old completely disappears. That’s why we call it a death. An absolutely new phenomenon comes into existence. And remember the word ‘absolutely’. It is not a modified form of the old; it has no connection with the old. It is resurrection. But resurrection is possible only when you are capable of dying.

-Osho

Excerpt from Until You Die (Journey Toward the Heart), Chapter One

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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Sandhya: Twilight of Meditation – Osho

When people come to me and they ask, “How to meditate?” I tell them, “There is no need to ask how to meditate, just ask how to remain unoccupied. Meditation happens spontaneously. Just ask how to remain unoccupied, that’s all. That’s the whole trick of meditation – how to remain unoccupied. Then you cannot do anything. The meditation will flower.”

When you are not doing anything the energy moves towards the center, it settles down towards the center. When you are doing something the energy moves out. Doing is a way of moving out. Non-doing is a way of moving in. Occupation is an escape. You can read The Bible; you can make it an occupation. There is no difference between religious occupation and secular occupation: all occupations are occupations, and they help you to cling outside your being. They are excuses to remain outside.

Man is ignorant and blind, and he wants to remain ignorant and blind, because to come inwards looks like entering into a chaos. And it is so; inside you have created a chaos. You have to encounter it and go through it. Courage is needed – courage to be oneself, and courage to move inwards. I have not come across a greater courage than that – the courage to be meditative.

But people who are engaged outside with worldly things or non-worldly things, but occupied all the same, they think – and they have created a rumor around it, they have their own philosophers – they say that if you are an introvert you are somehow morbid, something is wrong with you. And they are in the majority. If you meditate, if you sit silently, they will joke about you: “What are you doing? – gazing at your navel? What are you doing? – opening the third eye? Where are you going? Are you morbid?… because what is there to do inside? There is nothing inside.”

Inside doesn’t exist for the majority of people, only the outside exists. And just the opposite is the case. Only inside is real; outside is nothing but a dream. But they call introverts morbid, they call meditators morbid. In the West they think that the East is a little morbid. What is the point of sitting alone and looking inwards? What are you going to get there? There is nothing.

David Hume, one of the great British philosophers, tried once… because he was studying the Upanishads and they go on saying: Go in, go in, go in – that is their only message. So he tried it. He closed his eyes one day – a totally secular man, very logical, empirical, but not meditative at all – he closed his eyes and he said, “It is so boring! It is a boredom to look in. Thoughts move, sometimes a few emotions, and they go on racing in the mind, and you go on looking at them – what is the point of it? It is useless. It has no utility.”

And this is the understanding of many people. Hume’s standpoint is that of the majority: What are you going to get inside? There is darkness, thoughts floating here and there. What will you do? What will come out of it? Had Hume waited a little longer – and that is difficult for such people – if he had been a little more patient, by and by thoughts disappear, emotions subside. But if it had happened to him he would have said, “That is even worse, because emptiness comes. At least first there were thoughts, something to be occupied with, to look at, to think about. Now even thoughts have disappeared; only emptiness…. What to do with emptiness? It is absolutely useless.”

But had he waited a little more, then darkness also disappears. It is just like when you come from the hot sun and you enter your house: everything looks dark because your eyes need a little attunement. They are fixed on the hot sun outside. Comparatively, your house looks dark. You cannot see, you feel as if it is night. But you wait, you sit, you rest in a chair, and after a few seconds the eyes get attuned. Now it is not dark, a little more light…. You rest for an hour, and everything is light, there is no darkness at all.

If Hume had waited a little longer, then darkness also disappears. Because you have lived in the hot sun outside for many lives your eyes have become fixed, they have lost the flexibility. They need tuning. When one comes inside the house it takes a little while, a little time, a patience. Don’t be in a hurry.

In haste nobody can come to know himself. It is a very, very deep awaiting. Infinite patience is needed. By and by darkness disappears. There comes a light with no source. There is no flame in it, no lamp is burning, no sun is there. A light, just like it is in the morning: the night has disappeared, and the sun has not risen…. Or in the evening – the twilight, when the sun has set and the night has not yet descended. That’s why Hindus call their prayer time sandhya. Sandhya means twilight, light without any source.

When you move inwards you will come to the light without any source. In that light, for the first time you start understanding yourself, who you are, because you are that light. You are that twilight, that sandhya, that pure clarity, that perception, where the observer and the observed disappear, and only the light remains.

But it takes time. In the beginning you will feel chaos. One has to pass through it. And nobody else can do it for you, remember, you have to pass through it. The master can only do this much – he can help you to pass, he can give you courage. He can say, “Don’t be afraid, just a few steps more.”

It happened: Buddha was moving from one town to another. They had lost their way. They asked a few villagers on the way, “How far until the next town?”

They said, “Just two miles,” as is always said in India. Whether it is fifty miles or twenty miles, it makes no difference; villagers always say, “Just two miles.”

Buddha and his disciple Ananda, they walked two miles but there was no sign of any village coming nearer. They couldn’t see any possibility that the village was any nearer. They asked again a few villagers, “How far is the village?”

They said, “Just two miles.”

They moved two miles. Ananda became desperate. He said, “Are these people absolute fools or are they knowingly deceiving us? – Because we have again moved two miles and there is no village. Are they playing tricks? Why should they lie?”

Buddha said, “You don’t understand. They are like me. It is because of compassion that they say, ‘Just two miles,’ so you get courage. And you say, ’Okay, so just two miles? Let two miles be passed.’ They help you. If they say, ‘It is a hundred miles,’ you will drop dead. You will be flat on the earth. You will lose courage.”

A master cannot do it for you. He cannot pass through the misery, through the chaos. If he could he would have done it, but that is not possible in the nature of things. But he can help you, he can give you courage, he can say, “Come on, just a little more, and the night will pass. And when the night is the darkest the morning is nearest.” He will give you courage, and that is needed.

That’s why without a master it is almost impossible to travel on the path, because who will help give you courage? Who will say, “Just two miles more…”? Who will say that you are almost at the end of the journey, you have almost reached, just a little bit more…? And as Lao Tzu says, a thousand league journey is completed by taking only one step at a time. You take one step, then another, then another, and a thousand-mile journey is completed.

Chaos is going to be there. When you enter inside, all diseases that you have suppressed will erupt to the surface. All the miseries that you have been avoiding – they are waiting for you there, restlessly waiting for you. They will surface. You will pass through hell. But nobody ever reaches heaven if he is not ready to pass through hell. Hell is the gateway. Hell is the way, heaven is the journey’s end. But one has to pass through the hell. Through a dark night one has to pass to come to the morning. And you will have to encounter it.

Man is ignorant, and he resists any effort to break his ignorance because he is afraid a chaos is waiting. And you rightly suspect, the chaos is there. You will almost go mad. A master will be needed who can hold your hand while you are going mad, and take you out of the madness.

These are the implications. That’s why the mind goes on playing games with you. It says, “Yes, tomorrow I am going to meditate.” But it is afraid. Meditation is like death. And it is. You will have to die as you are; only then the new can be born.

-Osho

Excerpt from Just Like That, Chapter Six

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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Self-Realization: A Personal Account – Albert Blackburn

Beginning on page 5:

July 2, 1944 was another beautiful day for a drive to Ojai. This time I was accompanied by my wife and two Theosophical friends from Pasadena. We all had an animated discussion about Theosophy on the way up. Krishnamurti’s talk on this day included reference to the dualistic nature of thought and the mind’s play between the pairs of opposites (good & bad, right & wrong, yours & mind, etc.) After the talk, we had a picnic lunch down by a beautiful stream under the trees. I spent the rest of the afternoon awaiting my 5:00 o’clock interview. The interview was to be given at Arya Vihara at the east end of the Ojai Valley, an old redwood house which had been purchased in the early 1920’s for Krishnamurti and his brother Nitya by Annie Besant and a group calling themselves The Brothers Association.

My wife and friends waited in the car while I went into the house for my interview. I had been trying to think of what to say. I thought I had all of the answers to life’s problems. What could we talk about?

Krishanji—as I later came to call him—met me at the door and asked me to be seated in a chair in the small redwood room. Then he sat down facing me and after a brief period of silence he said, “Well, sir, what do you want to talk about?” This of course was the same question I had been asking myself all afternoon. I began by asking how I could actually live a celibate life under the conditions in which I was living. I brought up the subject of celibacy and the goals I had set for myself.

His response was, “Why do you want to live a celibate life?”

I told him of my wishes to develop my psychic powers and live a spiritual life.

Krishnamurti asked me what my wife thought about my wishes for celibacy an I explained how this proposed way of life was so important to me that I really didn’t care what she thought about it; it was something I felt compelled to do.

“But don’t you feel that she has some rights in this matter?”

Even so, I replied, I still feel that way about it.

Krishnaji apparently saw that I was determined on this course of action; he dropped the subject. He obviously was not going to give me any magical solution to my problem with sex.

The interview came to an end and we both left the room to stand on the outside porch. The afternoon sun was low in the western sky and the scene from this elevation overlooking the Ojai Valley was very beautiful. I remarked to him about this beauty and he replied, “Yes, it is beautiful, but isn’t it a shame that the war is still going on?”

That’s true but I suppose it is all according to The Plan.”

Krishnaji said, “What plan?”

I said, “You know, the Plan of Evolution?”

“All of the great teachers have talked about evolution; Christ, Buddha, and all the others.”

“That’s funny, I don’t remember the Buddha saying anything about evolution. Of course, there is such a thing as physical evolution such as from and oxcart to an airplane, but I don’t think this is what you mean by evolution.”

He was right! I didn’t mean physical evolution. I meant the idea that I had always entertained pertaining to spiritual evolution. He then asked, “Is there such a thing as evolution in the way you mean it?”

Suddenly I saw that a basic idea upon which I had based all my life and hopes was not valid in the way I had believed it to be. There was no spiritual evolution, only the freeing of the consciousness from conditioning.

I was utterly shattered by this discovery and in desperation I asked him, “Is there nothing real in this world outside of the pairs of opposites?”

“Yes, that tree is real and your little dog is real, but what you think about them is not real.”

I suppose he could see the shock and void I was facing, as he kindly said, “Please come and see me again on Thursday afternoon and we will talk more about these things.” He then said goodbye and we parted.

My mind was in utter turmoil. The very foundations of my psychological world had been torn apart. I felt that I was in a void and doubted by ability to drive home. However, Krishnaji had pointed out the obvious fact that physical things did have a reality in themselves. This meant that my car was real and the steering wheel which I could firmly hold onto could be my link with reality. I have no recollection of the trip home.

The next three days are also totally lost to personal memory. I know that I did not eat or sleep during this time. There was no “me” to do these things and I suppose the body was quiet.

When I came back to normal functioning it was with an entirely new perspective. My first conscious act was to resign from the Theosophical Society. It had been the whole basis of  my life; now for me it was dead. I now saw from a new perspective the occult studies that had held such a fascination for me before. Not that these studies represented falseness, only that I had transcended them. They were part of the dualistic thought process. Because of my sudden awareness of the state of being beyond thought, these occult studies no longer held interest for me. Ambition was gone: there was no future so how could there be ambition? Fear was gone: what is there to be afraid of when one is going nowhere and hence has nothing to gain or lose? There were no problems because there was a new discernment moment-by-moment into the true relationship between myself and the environment. There was a direct perception into all relationships and a feeling of oneness with everyone and everything. The word love took on a different meaning. With the personal element removed, there was an integral feeling of love and compassion for every living thing: a knowing what was right and the desire to help. There was the knowing that never again could I consciously escape the facts of life by being dishonest in order to protect myself or in order to gain anything for myself. From that moment on I felt completely responsible for my own actions, aware now that freedom is an intrinsic part of life, and thus I must never again consciously stand in another’s way or cast my shadow across another’s path. All life was really one, and the actuality of it was overwhelming. There was a seeing the virtues spoken of in the Bible were an intrinsic part of this unified consciousness. I no longer needed to worry about expending the effort required to live virtuously. No discipline was required, no effort need be exerted, the path and I were one, constant companions in this new state of being. There was a state of acceptance of whatever life brought and true faith born in the knowledge that in doing my best, with no thought of self, whatever happened would be all right. There was the birth of insight into many things and with it the ability to see the true in the true and the false in the false.

I felt as though I had been living in a very cluttered house surrounded by innumerable “things.” These things were ideas, and conclusions which I had created. Suddenly my house had been swept clean and I was alone—not lonely, but in a state of complete freedom—free to start from scratch to discover the true values in living. Concepts such as right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral were stripped away as absolutes. Now, these judgments were only relative terms. As Krishnaji had said, it was a pathless land. There was no one who could give advice. There was no authority! It was a new dimension: a timeless state. There was no fear.

I remember writing Krishnaji a note in which I told him that I felt as a little bird must feel when it has outgrown its nest: it must fly but doesn’t know how.

Thursday I drove up to see Krishnaji again. The trip helped to bring me down to earth and by the time I had arrived, there was a grounding in physical reality. I tried to explain to him some of the fantastic things that had happened, but he would stop me on each attempt to describe this to him. Each time he would bring me back to the present moment and refused to discuss anything which had happened in the past. This attitude of his applied to all meetings that I have ever had with him over the past 39 years. Though I didn’t appreciate it at that time, his wisdom in this matter was well grounded in fact, as subsequent events have shown.

During this interview he said, “Find the answer to the question, ‘What is the I?’” Naturally at that moment, I could not answer the question. However, the question had been posed, it did register in my mind, and was to bear its own fruit in a most interesting way.

On the way home I tried to analyze the details of all the events of the past few days. I was again in focus with my everyday life in the physical world but a new dimension had been added. All of the qualities and feelings of the experience were present in the deepest part of my consciousness. I could not forget the essence of the event; it was now an intrinsic part of my nature. With all of this, however, there was now also the reality of my actual life situation to be faced. I was married, with its relationships and responsibilities. There were my wife and son, whom I loved and who certainly needed my help and understanding. There was my home and the airport business in Monrovia. There was the Monrovia Flight School operating in Prescott, Arizona, with a contract to train Navy pilots. World War II was in full swing. I knew that I must give my complete attention to every detail of this situation which I had created through my past thoughts and actions.

Krishnaji had challenged me to answer the question, “What is the I?” This question began working inside me like a seed that had been planted. It seemed an impossible question. Where was I to start? I can see now that this is a fundamental question. Our whole life’s activity is based on the premise that we know what we are. There are certainly plenty of professional authorities who have told us about ourselves. I was well familiar with many of these descriptions: medical terminology concerned with the gross physical body; the psychological terms for the various phases of consciousness; and the esoteric terms form the domain of the occult tradition.

For the next few days I found myself busy with my home life and the airport business. The private airports within 150 miles of the coastline had been closed to flight operations shortly after Pearl Harbor. However, there were other activities which needed supervision at the Monrovia airport. My secretary had moved to the flight operations at Prescott, Arizona, so I found myself alone in the office most of the time.

One morning, having taken care of the things that had to be done, I picked up the booklet of the Krishnamurti Talks of 1936. These were the talks that had been given in various locations around the world. I had been reading this booklet in a desultory manner for the last several weeks, and had gotten up to the fourth talk given in Ommen, Holland on July 29, 1936. I had not picked up this book for the past week, as so many things had been happening in my own life. Now, however, there was time and space in which to read. There had been no intimation of any connection between this material and Krishnaji’s question, “What is the I?” Now a new element had been added to my understanding. The words were alive and had a living quality. They no longer were just furnishing “dead” information but as I read, there was a different quality. Each sentence applied directly to me at that moment. This was what I was actually experiencing at that moment. There was again that heightened awareness which had been experienced the previous Sunday, but this time it was happening at my own level and in direct relationship to what I was involved in. What I was reading was like looking at the innermost functioning of my own mind. I was in direct relationship with the words, they were like a mirror in which I saw and understood the workings of my mind.

In this particular talk Krishnaji was continuing to examine the “I” process, and as his description of its dynamics unfolded, there was a direct link between me and this description.

Suddenly it happened! In the midst of the second paragraph there was again that complete stopping of time and an insight into the situation. The “I” had caught itself in action. At this moment there was no longer any mystery. Krishnaji’s question had been answered! There was no “I” existing separate from the thought process. The “ego” as a permanent entity didn’t exist. What did exist was a process! This process had a name, a past, and a future which was the result of time.

When the thought process stopped, time did not exist. There was only experiencing, not the dual process of experience and the person to whom the experience was happening.

[…]

The result of these contacts with Krishnaji led to many changes in my life. I began to experience more and more frequently the state of consciousness which for obvious reasons I have chosen to call Now-Consciousness.

This has become an ongoing state of experiencing for me over the intervening years. It has brought a transformation in behavioral patterns that I have not consciously sought. Neurotic responses to many life experiences have dropped away. Relationships with nature have taken on a depth of meaning hitherto undreamed of. Each detail of life has become meaningful in a new way. All of the insights previously seen have remained in their essence as a sustaining background through which life is met.

To me, the valuable characteristic of Now-Consciousness is its universal availability for anyone. It can be experienced by rich or poor, in a palace or a hovel, by an intellectual or a simple person. It is the common heritage of everyone. Because of its simplicity it is easily overlooked by the erudite.

It is the only approach to the experiencing of reality that is non-dualistic. Therefore the transformative results are not ego induced. What is discovered is true and uniquely understood by each in his own way. This truth becomes an intrinsic part of one’s nature and leads to right behavioral patterns. In this behavioral change, which so subtly comes about, one finds his or her place in the over-all fabric of life. It is a true uniqueness in which there is no competition or exploitation of another.

I have found that it is all too easy to reach conclusions about anything. Any conclusion or definite answer is a blockage to the ceaseless flow of life which gathers around itself other mental debris. This effectively brings to an end further insights into that particular subject. Therefore what I happen to be now observing is only my individual point of view. My findings may be of interest to others who are also seeking the true meaning of life.

In the early years of his teaching, Krishnamurti had reiterated many times his intention to never betray the truth in order to make it more palatable to his listeners. I was deeply touched by his sense of integrity. In speaking with him one day, I remarked, “Krishnaji, I never what to betray this truth, which has become so important in my life.”

He answered, “Don’t worry, you will never betray the truth if you are careful to only speak or write from your own experience and understanding of life. Never quote or use other people’s material as your own.” This made a profound impression on me and since that time, I have been very careful to follow that course.”

-Albert Blackburn

Excerpts from Now Consciousness: Exploring the World Beyond Thought, Part One

This book is available from IdylwildBooks.com

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Release Those Devils – Osho

You said the other day to ignore negative mind contents and not give energy to them. I find it difficult to stay on the razor’s edge of ignoring without falling into suppressing and thus putting things back into the unconscious. Can you please tell me how to discriminate between these two?

You already know it. Your question contains the discrimination. You know perfectly well when you are ignoring and when you are suppressing.

Ignoring simply means not paying attention to it. Something is there; let it be there. You are unconcerned this way or that, whether it should remain or go. You have no judgment. You have simply accepted it is there, and it is none of your business whether it should be there or not.

In suppressing you are taking an active part. You are wrestling with that energy; you are forcing it into the unconscious. You are trying not to be able to see it anywhere. You want to know that it is no longer there.

For example, anger is there. Just sit silently and watch that the anger is there. Let it remain. How long can it remain? Do you think it is something immortal, eternal? Just as it has come, it will be gone. You simply wait. You don’t do anything about it, for or against. If you do something for, you are expressing it, and when you are expressing it you are getting into a mess because the other person may not be a meditator – most probably he will not be. He will also react with greater rage. Now you are in a vicious circle.

You are angry, you made the other angry, and you go on becoming angry with each other more and more. Sooner or later your anger will become almost a solid rock of hatred, violence, and while you are moving in this vicious circle you are losing consciousness. You may do something for which you will repent later on. You may murder, you may kill or at least you may attempt to. And after the episode is over you may wonder: “I had never thought that I could murder somebody!” But you created the energy, and energy can do anything. Energy is neutral: it can create, it can destroy; it can light your house, it can set your house on fire.

Ignoring means you are not doing anything about it. The anger is there. Just take note of it, that anger is there, just the way you see a tree is there outside. Do you have to do something about it? A cloud is moving in the sky; do you have to do something about it? Anger is also a cloud moving on the screen of your mind. So watch; let it move.

And it is not a question of being on a razor’s edge. Don’t make small things into big things. This is a very small thing and can be done very simply; you just have to accept that it is there. Don’t try to remove it, don’t try to act upon it, and don’t feel ashamed that you are angry. Even if you feel ashamed, you have started acting. Can’t you be a non-doer?

Sadness is there, anger is there: just watch. And be ready for a surprise; if you can watch, and your watchfulness is uncontaminated, is pure – you are really not doing anything but simply looking – the anger will slowly pass by. The sadness will disappear, and you will be left with such a clean consciousness.

You were not so clean before because the possibility of anger was there. Now that possibility has become actual and it is gone with the anger. You are far cleaner. You were not so silent, so peaceful; now you are. Sadness had taken up some energy. It would not have allowed you a deep sense of happiness, it would have clouded your consciousness.

And all the other negative emotions are eating your energy. They are all there because you have repressed them, and they are repressed so you don’t let them out. You have closed the door and you have put them in the basement; they cannot escape. Even if they want to escape, you won’t let them out. And they will disturb your whole life. In the night they will become nightmares, ugly dreams. In the day they will affect your actions.

And there is always a possibility that some emotion may become too big to control. You have been repressing and repressing and repressing, and the cloud is becoming bigger. And a point comes when you cannot control it anymore. Then something happens, which the world will see as you doing, but only those who know can see you are not doing it: you are under a very great impulsive force. You are behaving like a robot; you are helpless.

You are murdering, you are raping, you are doing something ugly, but in fact you are not doing it. You have collected all that material which has become so powerful that now it can force you to do things – things in spite of you, things against you. Even while you are doing it you know it is not right. You know, “I should not be doing it. Why am I doing it?” but still you will do it.

Many murderers in many courts of the world have said very honestly that they have not murdered. But the court cannot believe it, the law cannot believe it. I can believe it – because the courts and the law are all primitive. They have not come to maturity. They are not yet psychologically based. They are simply the revenge of the society – put into beautiful words, but it is really nothing but the same thing the man has done… he has murdered, now the society wants to murder him.

He was alone. But the society has the law, the court, the police, the jail. And it will go through a long ritual to prove to itself, “We are not murdering the man, we are simply trying to prevent crime.” But this is not the fact. If you want to prevent crime, then your law should be based more on psychology, psychoanalysis, meditation. Then you will be able to see that no man has ever done anything wrong, just your whole society is wrong.

The society is wrong because it teaches people to repress, and when they repress there comes a point when what they have repressed starts overflowing and they are simply helpless. They are victims. All your criminals are victims, and all your judges and all your politicians and priests are criminals. But this has been going on for centuries so it has become accepted.

Don’t do anything, just ignore… and it is not difficult, it is a very simple phenomenon. For example, this plant is here. Can’t you ignore it? Do you have to do something about it? There is no need to do anything about it.

Just take a look at the contents of your mind from a distance, just a little distance, so that you can see, “This is anger, this is sadness, this is anguish, this is anxiety, this is worry,” and so on and so forth. Let them be there. ”I am unconcerned. I am not going to do anything for or against.” And they will start disappearing.

And if you can learn a simple thing, of letting these things disappear from the conscious, you will have such a clarity of consciousness… your vision will be so penetrating, your insight so far-reaching that not only will it change your individuality, it will allow the repressed contents in the unconscious to surface. Seeing that you have learned not to repress, things are moving out. They want to go out into the world.

Nobody wants to live in your basement in the darkness. Seeing that you are allowing things to move out, they need not wait for the night when you are asleep; they will start coming up. You will see them coming up from the basement of your being and moving out from your consciousness. Slowly your unconscious will be empty.

And this is the miracle, the magic: if the unconscious is empty, the wall between the conscious and unconscious collapses. It all becomes consciousness. First you had only one-tenth of your mind conscious; now you have all ten parts together conscious. You are ten times more conscious. And the process can go deeper; it can release the collective unconscious. The key is the same. It can release the cosmic unconscious.

And if you can clean all the unconscious parts below your consciousness, you will have such a beautiful awareness that to enter into the superconscious will be as easy as a bird taking wing.

It is your open sky. It is just that you were so loaded… so much weight that you could not fly. Now there is no weight. You are so light that gravitation loses its force over your mind; you can fly to the superconscious, to the collective conscious, to the cosmic conscious.

Godliness is within your reach. You just have to release the devils you have been keeping in your consciousness, forcing them into unconsciousness. Release those devils, and godliness is within your reach. And both things can happen together: as the lower part is cleaned, the upper world becomes available to you. And remember, again I say, it is a simple process.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 35

Path of the Mystic

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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Tears Gently Falling – Osho

Tears gently falling in rivers down my face… Just so tired of trying, struggling, fighting to be what I think I should be in order to get what I think I need. Beloved, even with you I tried so hard. In this giving up… The gap, the beauty, the unknown… Fears meet trust. Osho, could it be that this river is flowing towards life, towards you, towards the ocean?

Do you see? “Tears gently falling in rivers down my face… just so tired of trying, struggling, fighting to be what I think I should be in order to get what I think I need. Beloved, even with you I tried so hard.” This is the way of the will. It simply goes on destroying you. […]

You are feeling tired, full of tears. You have been struggling hard to be what you think you should be in order to get what you think you need. These are the ways of the will: you have to become this, you have to become that, you have to get this, you have to get that. But you are fortunate, greatly blessed that you became tired and you gave up trying; you gave up the will to succeed; you dropped the hardship you were imposing upon yourself.

“In this giving up… the gap,” – no will, no way, no you, just the gap. And, “the beauty, the unknown… fears meet trust. Osho, could it be that this river is flowing towards life, towards you, towards the ocean?” Deva Leena, there is no question, because every river is moving towards the ocean. It is only the man who gets frozen, and then the flow stops…. If you melt in trust, the river starts flowing again. And it has never been the case that any river has forgotten the path and has not reached the ocean.

But remember the gap. And remember Chuang Tzu’s statement, “Easy is right and right is easy.”

And when you forget both, what is right and what is easy, you have arrived at the ocean.

The ocean is not far away, Leena. But your ego is a frozen block – it needs melting. Love melts it, fear makes it more frozen, trust melts it. All that the people who are trying to find themselves have to do, is remain melted and allow the river to move on its own. You should not be the guide; the river needs no guide. Its very nature is to reach to the ocean. It is not an effort, it is its intrinsic quality.

After making the flight information, the Israeli pilot on the El Al jet forgot to turn the intercom off, and his next words were heard throughout the cabin, ”I will have a cup of coffee and then I will screw that gorgeous new stewardess, Lee.”

Lee was down at the end of the passenger cabin and ran forward to tell the pilot to turn the intercom off. Halfway down, an old man tripped her up.

“Can’t you wait, Lee? Let him have his coffee first!”

Leena, be at ease, have your coffee. And there is no need to run towards the ocean. Just slowly enjoy the trees, and the birds, and the people, having a trust in your heart that every river has always reached the ocean. And you cannot be the exception; existence does not allow any exceptions. You will also reach the ocean.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Chapter 18

The Razor's Edge

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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Witnessing – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: I am full of desires and want them fulfilled. How am I to get what I want?

Maharaj: Do you deserve what you desire? In some way or other you have to work for the fulfillment of your desires. Put in energy and wait for the results.

Q: Where am I to get the energy?

M: Desire itself is energy.

Q: Then why does not every desire get fulfilled?

M: Maybe it was not strong enough and lasting.

Q: Yes, that is my problem. I want things, but I am lazy when it comes to action.

M: When your desire is not clear nor strong, it cannot take shape. Besides, if your desires are personal, for your own enjoyment, the energy you give them is necessarily limited; it cannot be more than what you have.

Q: Yet, often ordinary persons do attain what they desire.

M: After desiring it very much and for a long time. Even then, their achievements are limited.

Q: And what about unselfish desires?

M: When you desire the common good, the whole world desires with you. Make humanity’s desire your own and work for it. There you cannot fail,

Q: Humanity is God’s work, not mine. I am concerned with myself. Have I not the right to see my legitimate desires fulfilled? They will hurt no one. My desires are legitimate. They are right desires, why don’t they come true?

M: Desires are right or wrong according to circumstances; it depends on how you look at them. It is only for the individual that a distinction between right and wrong is valid.

Q: What are the guide-lines for such distinction? How am I to know which of my desires are right and which are wrong?

M: In your case desires that lead to sorrow are wrong and those which lead to happiness are right. But you must not forget others. Their sorrow and happiness also count.

Q: Results are in the future. How can I know what they will be?

M: Use your mind. Remember. Observe. You are not different from others. Most of their experiences are valid for you too. Think clearly and deeply, go into the entire structure of your desires and their ramifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional make-up and powerfully affect your actions. Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself.

Q: What does it mean to know myself? By knowing myself what exactly do I come to know?

M: All that you are not.

Q: And not what I am?

M: What you are, you already are. By knowing what you are not, you are free of it and remain in your own natural state. It all happens quite spontaneously and effortlessly.

Q: And what do I discover?

M: You discover that there is nothing to discover. You are what you are and that is all.

Q: I do not understand!

M: It is your fixed idea that you must be something or other, that blinds you.

Q: How can I get rid of this idea?

M: If you trust me, believe when I tell you that you are the pure awareness that illuminates consciousness and its infinite content. Realise this and live accordingly. If you do not believe me, then go within, enquiring ‘What am I’? or focus your mind on ‘I am’, which is pure and simple being.

Q: On what my faith in you depends?

M: On your insight into other people’s hearts. If you cannot look into my heart, look into your own.

Q: I can do neither.

M: Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision.

Q: Must I not renounce everything first, and live a homeless life?

M: You cannot renounce. You may leave your home and give trouble to your family, but attachments are in the mind and will not leave you until you know your mind in and out. First thing first — know yourself, all else will come with it.

Q: But you already told me that I am the Supreme Reality. Is it not self-knowledge?

M: Of course you are the Supreme Reality! But what of it? Every grain of sand is God; to know it is important, but that is only the beginning.

Q: Well, you told me that I am the Supreme Reality. I believe you. What next is there for me to do?

M: I told you already. Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that — nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you. A mere verbal statement will not do — you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever. You must watch yourself continuously — particularly your mind — moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not-self.

Q: The witnessing — is it not my real nature?

M: For witnessing, there must be something else to witness. We are still in duality!

Q: What about witnessing the witness? Awareness of awareness?

M: Putting words together will not take you far. Go within and discover what you are not. Nothing else matters.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From I Am That, Chapter Ten

I Am That

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