All Dreams Must Cease – Osho

Mind has only one capacity and that is to dream. And this dreaming continues even while you are awake. That’s the reason Sosan or Jesus won’t believe that you are ever awake, because dreaming has one quality: that it can happen only in sleep.

These two things have to be understood first: mind is the source of all dreaming, but dream can happen only in sleep. And if you are dreaming twenty-four hours a day, one thing is absolutely certain: that you are fast asleep. Close the eyes any moment and the dream is there; it continues as an undercurrent. Even while you are engaged, for all outward purposes you seem to be awake, but deep down a current of dreaming goes on and on and on.

Any moment, close the eyes and it is there. It is not interrupted by your occupations. You walk on the street, you drive the car, you work in a factory, in the office – it continues. You go to sleep, then you can feel it more because, unoccupied, the whole attention comes to the mind.

It is just like the stars. In the day you cannot see stars in the sky. They are there, because where can they go? But because of the light of the sun you cannot see them. If you go in a deep well, two hundred feet down, from there you can see stars in the sky even in the day. They are there, but because of so much light you cannot see them. Darkness is needed for them to be revealed.

The same happens with dreaming; dreams are there in the day also, but darkness is needed so that you can see them. It is just like when you go to a theater. If the doors are open the film may continue but you cannot see. Close the doors, make the room dark, and you can see.

Dreaming is your continuity, and unless this continuity is broken you cannot know what truth is. The question is not whether truth is very far away or near, the question is whether the mind is in a dream or not.

So the basic problem is not how to seek the truth; you cannot seek with a dreaming mind, because whatsoever will come before you, your dreams will be imposed on it. Your dreams will be projected on it, you will interpret it. You will not be able to see as it is. You will see according to your dreams, you will falsify it. Truth IS there, because only truth can be – untruth cannot be.

So another thing before we enter the sutra: Shankara has divided reality in three categories, and those categories are beautiful to understand. One category is the category of the truth: that which is. In fact nothing else is possible; only truth is and only truth can be.

The second category is of that which is untruth, which cannot be. No possibility of its being there, because how can untruth be? For being, truth is needed. So untruth is non-being, truth is being. Then Shankara finds a third category that he calls dreaming, appearance, illusion, maya: that which appears to be but is not.

So three categories. Truth, that which is. If your eyes are clear, unclouded, if the mind is not dreaming, then there is only one category – truth. But if your mind is dreaming then two other categories come into existence.

Dream is, in a certain sense, because you dream it. And it is not, in a different certain sense, because it corresponds to no reality. You dream in the night that you have become a king. In the morning you find you are just the same beggar. The dream was false, but the dream was, so it has a quality of truth about it because it happened. And in those moments when it was happening you completely believed in its truth, otherwise it would have stopped immediately.

If you become aware that “I am dreaming and this is false,” the dream is broken, you are awake already. The dream existed for a few hours; it had one quality of truth, that it existed. But it is not true because in the morning you find it was not. It was just a thought, a wave in the air, a flower in the sky – appeared to be true but was untrue.

Truth is being, untruth is non-being, and between the two there is a world of dreaming – it carries the qualities of both. And mind is the source of dreaming, so mind IS illusory. Mind is the source of all maya.

You may be thinking that if you leave the world and go to the Himalayas you will attain to truth. You are wrong, because your house is not maya, your wife is not maya, your children – no. Your mind is maya. And how can you leave the mind here and go to the Himalayas? The mind is within you. If you can drop it, you can drop it anywhere. If you cannot drop it, you cannot drop it whether you go to the Himalayas or not.

The wife, the children, the house, the world, is called maya, illusion, in a secondary sense – because the wife exists, she has a being. She is a Brahma in her own right, she is truth – not as a wife, but as a soul.

Your mind interprets her as wife: “She is my wife.” Then a dream is created. She is there, absolutely true! You are here, absolutely true! And between the two a dream happens. You call her your wife, she calls you her husband. Now a dream exists between the two, and dreams always become nightmares. So all relationships ultimately become nightmares, because you cannot tolerate an illusion very long. An illusion is temporary; sooner or later it has to disappear. It cannot be eternal, it cannot be permanent.

You love a woman, a dream is created. But how long can you dream? By the time the honeymoon is finished the dream is gone – even before. Then what will you do? Then you will pretend, because now you are a slave of your own promises.

You will pretend that you still love, you will pretend that “You are still beautiful,” you will pretend that “There exists no person like you.” But now everything is a pretension. And when you pretend, and the dream is broken, and you still carry the dream, it becomes a burden and nightmarish. That’s why you live in such suffering.

The suffering is nothing but broken dreams, broken rainbows, broken illusions, appearances. And you have invested in them so much you cannot look at the truth: that from the very beginning they were dreams.

Rather than looking at the truth you will throw the responsibility on the other. You will say, “This wife has deceived me. She was not as good as she appeared. She deceived me, she didn’t reveal her true reality.” And you will not see that that is not the point at all. You were creating a dream around her, and because of that dream you couldn’t see the reality. She was also creating a dream around you.

So whenever two persons fall in love there are not two persons, there are four: one the lover, another, the beloved, and between these two the beloved that is a creation of the mind of the lover, and the lover that is a creation of the mind of the beloved. These two are dreams, and these two go on moving.

Sooner or later, when the dream is broken, you are two not four. Whenever you are two there will be difficulty. Then you would like to throw the responsibility on the other: “It is because of the other.” You have missed the point again. That means you will create the same dream around another woman because you will think, “This woman is not going to deceive me, and now I am more clever also.”

But mind is never clever. The essence of mind is foolishness, so mind can never be clever. It can be cunning, cunning in its foolishness, but it can never be wise. That is not its nature, because wisdom happens only when dreaming leaves. So if dreaming is the basic reality of the mind then it can never be wise.

A Buddha is wise because now there is no mind. A Sosan is wise because now he lives in no-mind, now all dreams stop. He looks at things as they are. You never look at things as they are; you mix with your illusions. And you are so afraid to look straight because you know, unconsciously, deep down somewhere you know, that things are not as you look at them.

But you think if you look at the reality of things it will be too much, too heavy – you may not be able to stand it. You mix it with dreams just to make it a little sweeter. You think it is bitter so you coat it with sugar. You coat a person in dreams and you feel the person has become sweet? No, you are simply deceiving yourself, nobody else. Hence, so much misery.

It is out of your dreams that the misery has happened, and one has to be aware of this phenomenon. Don’t throw responsibility on the other; otherwise you will create other dreams. Look that it is you who are projecting, but it is difficult to look.

In a theater, in a cinema hall, you look at the screen, you never look at the back – the projector is at the back. The film is not there really on the screen; on the screen it is just a projection of shadow and light. The film exists just at the back, but you never look at that. And the projector is there. Your mind is at the back of the whole thing, and the mind is the projector. But you always look at the other because the other is the screen.

When you are in love the person seems beautiful, no comparison. When you hate, the same person seems the ugliest, and you never become aware of how the same person can be the ugliest and the same person can be the most beautiful. When you are in love the same person is a flower, a rose, a rose garden with no thorns. When you dislike, when you hate, flowers disappear, there are only thorns, no more a garden – the ugliest, the dirtiest, you would not like even to see. And you never become aware of what you are doing. How can roses disappear so soon, in a single minute? Not even a gap of a single minute is needed. This moment you are in love and the next moment you are in hate; the same person, the same screen, and the whole story changes.

Just watch and you will be able to see that this person is not the point, you are projecting something. When you project love the person looks lovely, when you project hate the person looks ugly. The person is not; you have not seen the real person at all. You cannot see the reality through the eyes of the mind.

If you really want to know what the truth is, scriptures won’t help. Neither will going to the Himalayas be of any help. Only one thing can help: start looking at things without the mind. Look at the flower and don’t allow the mind to say anything. Just look at it. It is difficult because of an old habit of interpreting. You go on interpreting and interpretations differ. Interpretations depend on the mind.

Mulla Nasruddin asked the court for a divorce. He said to the judge, “Now it is impossible. Every day I come back home and I find my wife is hiding some man or other in the closet.” Even the judge was shocked and he said, “Every day?” Nasruddin said, “Every day! And not the same person either – every day a new person.”

Just to console Nasruddin the judge said, “Then you must be very much hurt. You come home tired and you think the wife must be waiting for you, to receive and welcome and be loving. And you come home and you find a new man is hiding in the closet every day. It is very Nasruddin said, “Yes, I feel very hurt – because I never had any room to hang my clothes.”

It depends on the mind how you interpret things.

Then Nasruddin deserted his wife and ran away. He was caught, again brought to the court. The judge said, “You are a deserter and you have to be punished.”

Nasruddin said, “Wait! Before you decide you must see my wife. If you see my wife you will never say that I am a deserter. You will simply say, ’Nasruddin, you are a coward!’ And that I accept. I am not a deserter, simply a coward. But first look at my wife.”

How you look at things depends on you, not on things. Unless you come to a point where you drop the interpreting mind and look direct, look immediate, mind is your mediator. It brings you things distorted, it brings you things mixed with interpretations. They are not pure.

So the only way to reach to truth is: how to learn to be immediate in your vision, how to drop the help of the mind… This agency of the mind is the problem, because mind can create only dreams. But beautiful dreams mind can create, and you can get so excited. Through your excitement the dream starts looking like reality. If you are too excited then you are intoxicated, then you are not in your senses. Then whatsoever you see is just your projection. And there are as many worlds as there are minds, because every mind lives in its own world. You can laugh at others’ foolishness, but unless you start laughing at your own you will not be able to become a man of Tao, the man of nature, the man of truth. So what to do?

Try in small things not to bring the mind in. You look at a flower – you simply look. You don’t say, “Beautiful! Ugly!” You don’t say anything! Don’t bring words, don’t verbalize. Simply look. The mind will feel uncomfortable, uneasy. The mind would like to say something. You simply say to the mind, “Be silent! Let me see. I will just look.”

In the beginning it will be difficult, but start with things in which you are not too much involved. It will be difficult to look at your wife without bringing words in. You are too much involved, too much emotionally attached. Angry or in love, but too much involved. Look at things which are neutral – a rock, a flower, a tree, the sun rising, a bird in flight, a cloud moving in the sky. Just look at things with which you are not much involved, with which you can remain detached, with which you can remain indifferent. Start from neutral things and only then move towards emotionally loaded situations.

People start from the loaded situations; they fail, because it is almost impossible. Either you love your wife or you hate, there is no in between. If you love you are mad, if you hate you are mad – and both ways the words will come. It is almost impossible not to allow the words, difficult, because of so much practice in saying something continuously.

One day I was at Mulla Nasruddin’s house in the morning. They were taking tea when I arrived. The wife said, “Darling, in the night while you were asleep, you were saying many nasty things about me.” Nasruddin looked at me and said, “Who says I was asleep? I cannot say things while awake, that’s why I was pretending sleep.”

Even in sleep, or awake, when you are emotionally too much involved, it is difficult to put the mind aside. It will come in. So look at unloaded situations first. When you have the feeling that, yes, you can look at certain things without the mind coming in, then try with loaded relationships. By and by one becomes efficient. It is just like swimming: in the beginning you feel afraid and in the beginning you cannot believe how you will survive. And you have been working with the mind so long you cannot think that without the mind you can exist for a single moment. But try!

And the more you put the mind aside, the more light will happen to you, because when there are no dreams, doors are open, windows are open, and the sky reaches to you, and the sun rises and it comes to the very heart, the light reaches you. You become more and more filled with truth as you are less and less filled with dreaming.

And if while you are awake dreaming stops, by and by when you are asleep dreaming will stop there also, because it can exist only as a continuous circle. If it is broken anywhere, by and by the whole house disappears. You take out one brick and the whole house is already on the way towards being a ruin.

If during the day you can look at things without dreaming, then in the night less and less dreams will be there, because your night is nothing but a reflection of the day, a continuity of the same. When the day is different the night is different. When you are awake – and by ‘awake’ is meant when you are not dreaming, not that you are sitting with open eyes…

Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, “Be awake!” Were they sleeping before him always, continuously? Because he is every day saying, “Be awake!” Buddha teaching his disciples every day, “Be awake!” Why? They were with open eyes, as alert as you are, but Buddha and Jesus go on saying, “Be awake!” They mean, “Don’t dream, just be here! Don’t go anywhere else!” In the memories, in the past, and you dream; in the future, in imagination, and you dream. Be here-now – only then is there no dream.

In the present there is no dream. In the present there is no mind. In the present YOU are there and the truth is there. And then there is no gap between you and truth – -because both are true and there is no boundary. You melt into truth and truth melts into you. You become Brahma, Brahma becomes you. Dreaming is creating a fence around you, very invisible but subtle, powerful.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter Seven

Hsin Hsin Ming

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Zorba and Zen – Osho

What is the relationship between Zorba and Zen? 

The whole past of humanity has tried to keep them separate, and this has been an unfortunate experiment. The Zorba has remained incomplete, just superficial. And Zen has remained incomplete; it has only the inner world, and the outer is missing.

My Manifesto of Zen is that Zorba and Zen are not antagonistic to each other. The Zorba can melt into Zen, and only then will both be complete.

The man who has lived outside has lived very superficially, and the man who does not know anything about the inner, knows nothing about the existential, about the eternal. And on the other hand, the man who knows something of the inner starts thinking that the outer is illusory.

Nothing is illusory.

The outer and the inner are part of one existence.

I want Zorbas to be buddhas and vice versa. And unless this becomes possible, there will not be many buddhas, and there will not be many Zorbas either. In the completion of Zorba and Zen, a tremendous quality comes to your life: you relish every moment of the outside world, every flower of the outside world. And you relish simultaneously the inner freedom, the inner joy, the inner drunkenness. There is no question of any division. But humanity has lived in a divided way, and that has been a catastrophe.

It is time for Zorba to start meditating, and it is time for the people who are meditators not to allow themselves to escape from the world. They have to come to the world with all their juice, with all their ecstasy… to share.

It seems very difficult to understand, because the whole tradition of the world goes against it. But I don’t see any difficulty.

In myself I have joined Zorba and Zen together; hence I don’t see any difficulty. I am in the world, and yet I am not of the world.

I rejoice in the birds, the flowers, the trees.

I rejoice in myself, in my silence, and I don’t see there is any difference. The inner and the outer slowly have become melted into one whole. And unless your inner and outer become one whole, you will remain incomplete – and incompletion is misery.

Only in completion is there bliss.

Only in completion have you come home.

You have come to existence without any conflict, in tremendous ease, relaxed.

The Zorba in the past has been tense and worried that perhaps he is not the right person. And the man of Zen has been with the tension that he has to avoid this, he has to avoid that – that he has to become a recluse far away in the mountains. But the very fear of the world shows your misunderstanding.

The world has not to be feared, it has to be loved.

We are the world.

There is no question of escaping from anything. Every moment everything has to be enjoyed without any guilt, without any inhibition. But all the religions have been against it.

I proclaim with this manifesto a totally new sky for religious consciousness: the sky of completion, the joining of the inner and the outer, of the material and the spiritual, of Zorba and the Buddha.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto, Chapter Five

The Zen Manifesto

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I Bow Down to Myself – Osho

Amazing am I, I bow down to myself.

I have nothing at all, or I have all that can be encompassed

by speech or thought.

Janak is saying in one sense nothing is his because he is not. He no longer exists, how can ‘his’ exist? So in one sense nothing is his and in another sense everything is his. As ‘he’ no longer is, only existence remains in him; godliness remains, and everything belongs to it. This paradox has happened, where it seems nothing is his and everything is his.

Amazing am I, I bow down to myself.

I have nothing at all, or I have all that can be encompassed

by speech or thought.

The day you become an observer is the day you become Buddha, Ashtavakra, Krishna…that day you become all. When you become an observer you become the center of the universe. You disappear from this side; you are fulfilled from that side. You lose this small ‘I’, this small droplet – and gain the infinite ocean.

These sutras are the sutras for worshipping your own being. These sutras are saying that you yourself are the devotee, you yourself are the divine. These sutras say you are the one worthy of adoration and you are the adorer. These sutras are saying that both are present inside you: allow them to meet! These sutras are saying something very unique: bend down to your own feet, lose yourself within yourself, drown inside yourself! Your devotee and your God are inside you. Let the union happen there, let the fusion happen.

The revolution will happen when inside you your devotee and your godliness meet and become one. Neither God nor devotee will remain. Something will remain – without form, without attributes, beyond limit, beyond death, beyond time, beyond space. Duality will disappear, nonduality will remain.

The first glimpses of these nondual moments are what we call meditation. When these nondual moments start becoming stable it is what we call ‘samadhi with seed’. And when this nondual moment becomes permanent, becomes so stable there is no way it can be dismissed – this is what we call ‘seedless samadhi, with no-mind’.

This can happen in two ways – either just by awareness, as it happened to Janak, merely through understanding…. But great intelligence is needed, sharp intelligence is needed, great intensity is needed – a very sharp-edged awareness is needed within you. It can happen immediately! If you find this happening, good. If you find that it is not happening, then don’t sit repeating these sutras. It will not happen from repeating them. These sutras are such that if it happens while listening to them, then it happens; if while listening you miss, then even if you repeat them a million times it won’t happen, because it does not happen through repetition. The sharpness of your brain does not come through repetition; through repetition its edge is lost.

One way is it if it happens when you hear these sutras. If it happens it happens, you cannot do anything. If it doesn’t happen, then slowly, slowly you will have to start with meditation, from meditation to samadhi with mind, from samadhi with mind to samadhi with no-mind – you will have to make the journey. If the leap happens, then good; if not you will have to go down the steps.

-Osho

Excerpt from Enlightenment: The Only Revolution, Chapter Nine

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Enlightenment- The Only Revolution

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Watchfullness Not Concentration – Osho

Please explain how I can meditate over something without using my mind. 

Meditation has nothing to do with mind; meditation simply means a state of no-mind. The functioning of the mind is the only disturbance in meditation. If you are trying to achieve meditation THROUGH mind you are bound to fail, doomed to fail. You are trying to achieve the impossible.

A Zen initiate was meditating for years and whenever he would come to his Master, whatsoever experience he would bring to the Master, the Master would simply reject: “It is all nonsense. You go back and meditate again.”

One day the Master came to the hut of the disciple – he was sitting in a Buddha posture. The Master shook him and told him, “What are you doing here? If we needed stone Buddhas we have many in the temple! Just by sitting like a stone Buddha you will not attain to meditation. Do what I have been telling you to do. Just by stilling the body, your mind is not going to disappear, because it is through the mind that you are enforcing a certain discipline on the body. Anything done by the mind is going to strengthen the mind. It is a nourishment for the mind.”

A year passed. The Master came again. The disciple was sitting almost in a kind of euphoria, enjoying the morning breeze and sun with closed eyes, thinking that he was meditating. The Master took a brick and started rubbing it on a stone in front of the disciple. It was such a disturbance that finally the disciple had to shout, “What are you doing? Are you trying to drive me crazy?”

The Master said, “I am trying to make a mirror out of this brick. If one goes on rubbing it enough I think it will become a mirror.”

The disciple laughed. He said, “I always suspected that you were a little mad – now it is proved! The brick can never become a mirror. You can go on rubbing it on the stone for lives together; the brick will remain a brick.”

The Master said, “That shows some intelligence! Then what are you doing? For years you have been trying to make meditation out of the mind; it is like trying to make a mirror out of a brick.”

And the Master threw the brick in the pond at the side of the tree the disciple was sitting under. The brick made a great splash in the pond, and the very sound of it was enough to do the miracle.

Something awakened in the disciple. A sleep was broken, a dream was shattered: he became alert. For the first time he tasted something of meditation.

And the Master immediately said, “This is it!”

It happened so unexpectedly – the disciple was taken unawares. He was not waiting for this to happen, that the Master would suddenly throw the brick into the pond, and the splash…

Basho has a beautiful haiku:

The ancient pond.
The frog jumps in.
The sound…

That’s all. The sound can awaken you.

Meditation is not a question of effort because all effort is going to be through the mind, of the mind, by the mind. How can it take you beyond the mind? You will go round and round IN the mind. You have to wake up! Mind is sleep. Mind is a constant process of dreaming, desiring, thoughts, memories.

Dinesh, you ask me: Please explain how I can meditate over something without using my mind.

Can’t you see something just with your eyes? Can’t you watch something without bringing your mind in? The birds chirping, this silence… What need is there of the mind? It is a question of watchfulness not of concentration.

But it is not only your problem; it is the problem of millions of people who become interested in meditation all over the world. They all mistake concentration for meditation. Concentration is something of the mind. It is being taught in the schools, colleges, universities. It has its uses – I am not saying it is useless. It is focusing on a certain object. In science it is needed. You have to focus your mind on a particular object totally so that you can observe deeply. You have to exclude everything else; you have to break it out of everything else.

You have to narrow down your consciousness; you almost have to make a pinpoint of it. That’s a scientific way as far as the objective world is concerned.

But as far as the subjective world is concerned it is of no help, not at all. There you are not to focus your mind on anything – on the idea of God or on some inner light, flame, love, compassion – you are not to concentrate at all; you have to be simply aware of all that is.

The man of concentration can be distracted easily; anything can become a distraction because he is trying to do something unnatural. Just a child crying, and he will be distracted; the traffic noise, and he will be distracted; an airplane passing by, and he will be distracted; a dog starts barking, and he will be distracted. Anything can distract him. And of course, when he is distracted he will feel miserable, frustrated – he has failed again. The man of meditation cannot be distracted for the simple reason that he is not concentrating in the first place.

Existence is not linear, it is simultaneous. For example, I am speaking here, the birds are chirping, the traffic noise is there, the train is passing by – all these things are happening together. You have to be simple, silent, watchful, witnessing all that is – no need to exclude anything because the excluded thing will try to distract you. If nothing is excluded, if your awareness is all-inclusive, then what can distract you? Can this bird distract you? In fact, it will enhance your silence. Nothing can distract you because you are not in a tense state.

Concentration is tension, hence the word “attention”. It comes from the same root, “tension”. Awareness is not attention; awareness is relaxation, it is rest.

So rest silently. Thoughts will pass; there is no need to he worried – what can they do? Desires will come and go. Watch them coming and going. Don’t have any evaluation. Don’t say, “This is good; this is bad.” Don’t say, “Aha! This is something great, spiritual, far out!” Some sensation in the spine – it may be just an ant crawling up and you start feeling your kundalini is rising, or just imagination – you see some light inside, which is not difficult… You can see light; you can see colors, psychedelic colors. You can experience beautiful things, but it is all imagination, howsoever colorful, howsoever beautiful.

Don’t start saying that this is good that Jesus is standing in front of you or Krishna or Buddha and that now you are starting to feel you are coming closer and closer to the ultimate realization. Buddha says, “If you meet me on the Way, kill me immediately!” He means: If I come in your meditation, don’t start feeling very good about it, because if you start feeling good about it you will start clinging to the idea – and it is only an idea. Just watch it with no preference, with no choice. If you can be choicelessly aware of everything outside and inside, meditation will happen one day. It is nothing that you have to do.

You can do only one thing and that is to learn the art of watching, watching without any judgment.

Then one day you simply relax, and in that total relaxation there is pure awareness. All thoughts disappear, all desires disappear; the mind is found no more. When mind is not found, this is meditation. A state of no-mind is meditation.

So you have been misunderstanding me. When I say “Meditate”, I mean “Watch”. If I say “Meditate on the songs of the birds”, I am simply saying “Watch”. I am not saying “Concentrate” – I am against concentration. And because I am for watchfulness you can watch anything. You can sit in the marketplace and watch people and that will be meditation. You can sit in the railway station and you can watch all kinds of noises: the trains coming and the passengers getting down and the coolies shouting and the vendors, and then the train goes away and a silence falls over the station. You simply watch, you don’t do anything.

And slowly, slowly you start relaxing, your tensions disappear. Then insight opens up like a bud opening and becoming a flower. Great fragrance is released. In that silence is truth, is bliss, is benediction.

-Osho

From Tao: The Golden Gate, V.1, Chapter Six

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Tao-The Golden Gate, V.1

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A New World and a New Man – Osho

Many people are ready to simply change their state of being, but they are terrified of the possibility of the end of the world. I, too, toyed around like a puppet until I searched in the scriptures. I found out that the ancient phrase is not “the end of the world” but “the end of time” or “the end of days.”  

Will the highest mystery be the destruction of the world, or will it be the salvation of human beings – A glorious change of the universal forces of movement and man’s measurement of time? 

It makes no difference whether you call it the end of the world or the end of time or the end of days; it is simply three ways of saying the same thing, the end of the world.

Don’t try to deceive yourself just by different phrases. If there is no time, how can the world exist? If there are no days, how can the world exist? The end of the world is terrifying – but the answer cannot be found in the old scriptures because in the old scriptures there is no answer for the contemporary man.

The old scriptures are all rotten. They had answers for their own contemporaries – but some are twenty centuries old, some are thirty centuries old, some are fifty centuries old; they don’t have any answer for you.

You have to find the answer within yourself.

The world can be saved not by changing phrases, but by changing man. And it is worth understanding this most important thing: man can change only when he is faced with ultimate death; otherwise he goes on postponing change. Change is troublesome. You are fixed with your own habits, you are accustomed to your old mind, your old ideas, your old prejudices. Change means you will have to go through almost a death of the old so the new can be born in you.

As far as I am concerned, it is good news that the end of the world is very close, because only then can man be persuaded to transform himself totally. Certainly this world will have to die. This world has come to its end, but we can create another world.

This man has lived enough, but we can give birth to a new man. All the old concepts, ideologies, religions, philosophies, have become absolutely empty. They no longer give any nutrition, any nourishment to human growth; on the contrary they all hinder. If you go on listening to them and if you go on searching for answers in the old scriptures, then the world is going to end and you are going to end. There will be no new man, no new world.

Forget the old.

I am reminded of a beautiful parable in Jesus’ life… One morning, a beautiful morning on Lake

Galilee, he came and put his hand on one of the men who was trying to catch fish. The man turned round, and there was something in the eyes of Jesus: whatever Jesus said the man followed it. Jesus said, “Drop that net. How long are you going to destroy your life just by catching fish? Come with me. I will tell you the way to catch men.”

He had never thought that he could be anything else than a fisherman. This man was so authoritative that he dropped the net and followed Jesus. Just as they were going out of the town a man came running and said to the man, “Where are you going? Your father who was ill for so many days has died. Come home.”

He asked Jesus, “Give me three days so I can go and bury my dead father and do all the rituals that are needed. I will be back soon.”

What Jesus said to that man I would like to say to you. Jesus said, “There are enough dead people in the town, you need not worry. Let the dead bury the dead. You come with me.”

Those words are tremendously significant: “Let the dead bury the dead.” The whole town is full of dead people. Although they are breathing and walking and talking and doing all kinds of things, they are not alive. There is no song in them, their heart has no dance in it, there is no ecstasy in their lives. Whether they are alive or dead does not matter; it is just the same. In fact, death will be better, it will be a great rest for them.

The world you are asking about is already dead. You cannot save it, no savior can save it – and there is no need to save it either. It is rotten. There are only corpses all around. They have forgotten to live, they have forgotten to love, they have forgotten to celebrate. They have forgotten everything that gives meaning to life, makes each moment a souvenir, a memory so golden to be kept alive forever. Their lives are just empty; inside they are hollow, there is nothing substantial in them. They don’t have a soul.

It is perfectly good that this world dies, this man dies, this society dies. But before it dies and before we take it to the graveyard, we have to bring out of it a new life, a new man, a new world – exactly in the same way as when a seed dies into the earth it sprouts into a new life, with two beautiful leaves, green, fresh. This is transformation. The seed was closed and almost dead, but it has died into the soil and has given place to a living thing. A beautiful tree will grow with many branches, great foliage, fruits, flowers. And those branches will dance in the sun, in the wind, under the stars, under the moon.

Before it dies, let us use this world as a seed for the new man; let us use this man as a seed for a new humanity. That’s my whole work – to prepare you for two things: to die as far as the past is concerned; and to start living in a totally new way, discontinuous with the past, so you can become the new man. It is absolutely urgent. You cannot postpone it.

The time is running short – because the old world has prepared for its own suicide. The nuclear weapons, a third world war… it has prepared everything for its own suicide. It has not taken any chances: just now on the earth there are so many nuclear weapons that we can kill seven hundred earths of this size, seven hundred human civilizations of this size. We are not taking any chance; the whole society has prepared its grave already.

Before it commits suicide, we have to save the essential life principle. And that can be done by each individual without being dependent on any organization; that is the old way. Without being dependent on any church – that is again of the past… For the first time the individual has to take all the responsibility for his life in his own hands. No God, no savior, no church is going to help; they are all part of the old structure which is going to die. They are all woven together so closely that you cannot save anything from them; they will all die together.

But each individual can free himself.

Just when I came to your beautiful island I was informed that Kazantzakis, one of the greatest artists of the contemporary world, was expelled, excommunicated from the Greek Orthodox church. The reason for his expulsion was the creation of Zorba the Buddha. He named it Zorba the Greek. Unconsciously he was creating the base of a new man; I call that new man Zorba the Buddha. It cannot be Greek, it cannot be Italian, it cannot be German, it cannot be Hindu, it cannot be Mohammedan….

The same was the situation with me. I was also born into a religion – perhaps the oldest religion in the world, Jainism. It is older than Hinduism, because the Hindus’ oldest book, Rigveda, mentions the first Jaina tirthankara, the founder of Jainism. That means Jainism was already in existence when Rigveda was written.

And about Rigveda there are problems. Contemporary scholarship thinks it must be at least five thousand years old; but one very great scholar of ancient scriptures, Lokmanya Tilak has decided Rigveda is ninety thousand years old. And his argument is such that there is no way to destroy it; his argument is very factual.

In Rigveda there is a description of a certain configuration of stars that happened ninety thousand years ago, and about which astronomers are scientifically agreed that it has happened only once. That kind of constellation only happened ninety thousand years ago, and Rigveda describes the constellations so minutely, in such detail that it is impossible that the people who were writing it were not aware of it. It could not be fiction; they could not create it out of their minds. If Rigveda is ninety thousand years old, then Jainism must be perhaps one hundred thousand years old.

I was born into a Jaina family, and what happened to Kazantzakis was going to happen to me – but I am a different kind of man. The supreme command of the Jaina religion was going to decide about my expulsion from the Jaina religion. I wrote them a letter saying, “You don’t have to make any trouble. I expel you all; now you cannot expel me. I do not belong to your gang, I am finished with it.” They could not expel me because I expelled them all.

It is up to every individual not to be part of any dead, rotten ideology. Try to find out within yourself whatsoever is old, dead, and drop out of it. Throw it away. Clean yourself completely and be again a child. Be again innocent, with no ideas, no prejudices, no conditionings.

You have already been born; a new man has come into being, and it has to go from individual to individual. The fire can take almost like a wildfire, and if millions of individuals drop out of all old heritages, there is no need for life to disappear from this beautiful earth.

But we have to create a new life based on totally different principles. The old life was based, very strangely, on antilife principles. It was against everything that is living in you; it was against your love, it was against your sex, it was against your joy, it was against your pleasure. It was against everything that you enjoyed. It wanted you to be a dead saint, not a living human being. Antilife principles have ruled for thousands of years.

The ultimate result of it is that we are coming close to the end of the world. Your religions have contributed to it, your saints have contributed to it, and your so-called philosophers have contributed to it… because they were all antilife. Anybody like Zorba who was for life was not allowed by the society to exist. He was condemned, he was discredited; in every way his dignity was taken away. He was reduced into an animal. Naturally, the crowd was powerful and managed to repress all rebellious individuals and forced them to follow the crowd.

I want the society to disappear. I want the crowd to have no power anymore. Each individual has a birthright to be free, to choose his life pattern and to move according to his nature, respectfully, with dignity. That is going to be the new way of life, where each individual is respected in his uniqueness, and there are no ready-made ideas that everybody has to fulfill in his life.

Everybody has to live according to his own heart, has to move according to his own inner being, wherever it leads. That is your destiny. Nobody else is going to decide it; you are the only one to decide for yourself. This decisiveness – freed from all crowds, mobs, organizations – will create a new earth and a new jubilant, celebrant life for each individual. There will be no need for anybody to think of paradise after death; paradise will be here-now.

It is good that the old world is coming to an end. Now you have to decide whether you want to die with the old world or to take a quantum leap out of the old, and create a new world and a new man.

-Osho

From Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chapter 23

Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries

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Three Levels of Body Consciousness – Osho

…Another, still deeper, thing also needs to be understood in the context of body purification: whenever you experience yourself in the body, then the way you experience it will have an effect on the whole structure of the body. If a man thinks he is the body, this man will end up having the most impure body. Another thinks he is not the body but lives within the body: this person will have a more pure body than the first. Yet another man thinks that he is not the body nor is he living within the body – that he is beyond the body: this man will have the purest body of all. This means that the more identified you are with the body, the more heavy and dull it will become, and the more distance there is between your body and your self the lighter your body will become. The more of a gap there is between your consciousness and your body, the more the body is purified in this gap. The smaller this gap is, the more impure the body will become. For a pure body it is essential that there be a gap between the body and the consciousness…

…Take note of these three levels of understanding: I am the body, I am within the body, I am beyond the body. If someone wants to purify the body totally, he will have to constantly remember that he is beyond the body, not just within but beyond, separate, at a distance.

-Osho

Excerpt from Flight of the Alone to the Alone, Chapter Five

Flight of the Alone to the Alone

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Emptiness Has Its Own Fullness – Osho

For years I have contemplated what seems to me to be the basic message for well-being: love yourself. When I was a therapist, all day hearing, “I hate myself; I feel sorry for myself; I am proud of myself; I want to destroy myself,” I started wondering—who is this self?

I love when you say there is no self. That seems so freeing. Could you please say more? 

The whole therapeutic movement has gone wrong on that point: Love thyself.

Socrates used to say, “Know thyself.” And there have been masters, particularly Sufis, who say, “Be thyself.” But there is only one person in the whole history of man, Gautam Buddha, who said, “There is no self. You are an emptiness, utter silence, a non-being.”

His message was much opposed by all the traditions, because they all depended in some way or other on the idea of the self. There may have been differences on other points, but on one point they were all totally in agreement — and that was the existence of the self. Even people like George Gurdjieff, who used to talk about a very novel idea — that you are not born with a self, you have to earn it: “Deserve thyself” — finally, he also ends up with the self.

Gautam Buddha does not make any distinction between the self and the ego — and there is none. It is just sophistry, linguistic gymnastics, to make such distinctions; then you can discard the ego and save the self. But the self is simply another name of the ego. You are only changing names, and no transformation of being is happening.

Buddha’s message is tremendously significant: you are an emptiness; there is no point in you which can say “I.”

Looked at from my vision, when I say to you, “Melt, dissolve into existence,” I am simply saying the same thing in more positive terms.

Buddha’s way of saying it was so negative that many people were stopped, because the question arose, naturally, that if there is no self, why bother? what is there to achieve? Just to know that you are not?

A whole life of discipline, great effort for meditation, and the result is to know that you are not? The result does not seem to be worth it! At least without the meditation, without the discipline you have some sense of being. It may be wrong, but at least you are not feeling hollow and empty. Knowing that you are not, how will you live? Out of nothingness there is no possibility of any love, of any compassion – no possibility of anything. Out of nothing comes only nothing.

So the opponents of Buddha described his method as a subtle way of spiritual suicide — far more dangerous than ordinary suicide, because with ordinary suicide you will survive, you will take a new form, a new birth. But with Buddha you will be committing total suicide, annihilation. There will be no longer anything left of you, and you will be never heard from again, never found again. You never were in the first place.

Buddhism died in India, and one of the basic reasons was Buddha’s way of putting his philosophy. I can understand why he was so insistent on negatives, because all other philosophies were so positivistic, and all their positivism was turning into stronger and stronger egos. He moved to the other extreme, seeing that positivism is going to give you egoistic ideas — and that is a hindrance between you and existence. To stop this idea he became totally negative.

You cannot complain about it, because the positivistic ideologies were in a strange situation: you have to drop the ego to find yourself, you have to drop the ego to find God, you have to drop the ego to become God, you have to drop the ego to find ultimate liberation — liberation of whom? Liberation of your self.

So there was achievement, and achievement is always of the ego. There is a goal, and the goal is always of the ego.

Seeing all this, Buddha said, “There is no self. There is nothing to be achieved, and there is no goal to be found. You have never existed, you do not exist, you will not exist. You can only imagine, you can only dream that you are.”

Chuang Tzu’s story is famous. I never get tired of Chuang Tzu because his small absurd stories have so many aspects to explore, each time I can bring it in with a new light, with a new meaning, with a new perspective.

One morning he wakes up, calls all his disciples and says, “I am in great trouble, and you have to help me.”

The disciples said, “We have come to be helped by you, and you want our help?” Chuang Tzu said, “It was okay, but this night everything got disturbed: I dreamt that I had become a butterfly.”

They all laughed. They said, “All nonsense! Dreaming does not create any mess.”

Chuang Tzu said, “It has created, because now I am thinking that perhaps I am a butterfly, thinking, dreaming that I am Chuang Tzu. Now, who am I? And I have to be certain, in order to live, whether I am Chuang Tzu or I am a butterfly.”

He looks absurd, but he is really bringing the absurdity of logic of being the surface. If a butterfly cannot dream of being a Chuang Tzu, then how can Chuang Tzu dream of being a butterfly? And if Chuang Tzu can dream of being a butterfly, then there is no logical objection to a butterfly falling asleep under the morning sun on a beautiful flower, and dreaming of herself being Chuang Tzu.

None of his disciples could help him. For centuries Taoists have been using that as a koan, because it is insoluble — but to Buddha it is not so.

Chuang Tzu and Gautam Buddha were contemporaries, but far away; one was in China, one in India. They were divided by the great Himalayas, so no communication; otherwise Buddha would have solved Chuang Tzu’s problem, because he says, “Both are dreams. It does not matter whether Chuang Tzu dreams of being a butterfly, or the butterfly dreams of being a Chuang Tzu — both are dreams. You simply don’t exist.”

Many came to Buddha and turned away, because nobody can make nothingness be his life’s achievement — for what? So much discipline and so much great trouble in getting into meditation just to find out that you are not… strange kind of man this Gautam Buddha. We are good as we are, what is the need of digging so deep that you find there is nothing? Even if we are dreaming, at least there is something.

My own approach is just the same, but from a very different angle. I say to you that you don’t have a self, because you are part of the universe; you are not nothing. Only the universe can have a self, only the universe can have a center, only the whole can have a soul. My hand cannot have a soul, my fingers cannot have a soul; only the organic unity can have a soul. And we are only parts. We are, but we are only parts; hence we cannot claim that we have a self.

So Buddha is right — there is no self — but he is not helping people, poor people, because they cannot figure out all the implications of the statement.

I say to you: You don’t have a self because you are part of a great self, the whole. You cannot have any separate, private, self of your own. This takes away the negativity, and this does not give you the positive desire for becoming more and more egoistic. It avoids both the extremes and finds a new approach: The universe is, I am not. And whatever happens and appears to be in me, as me, is simply universal.

To call it “I” is to make it too small. That is what makes it untrue; it does not correspond to reality. To call it “self” makes it unreal, because the self is possible only if you are totally independent — and you are not. Even for a single breath you are not independent. Even for a single moment you are not independent of the sun, of the moon, of the stars. The whole is contributing all the time. That’s why you are.

To recognize it is not a loss, it is a gain; and yet it is not an egoistic gain. If you can see the subtlety of it… it is a tremendous achievement to understand that you are part of the whole, that the whole belongs to you, that you belong to the whole. And yet with such a great achievement, there is no shadow of the self.

It is one of the most beautiful understandings, that we are not separate — not separate from the mountains, not separate from the trees, not separate from the ocean, not separate from anybody. We are all connected, interwoven into oneness. The gain is immense, but there is no sense of I, of me, of my, of mine. As far as these things are concerned, there is utter silence and emptiness. But this emptiness is not just empty.

We can empty this room — we can take all the furniture, everything in the room out — and anybody coming in will say, “The room is empty.” That is one way of looking at it — but not the right way.

The right way is that now the room is full of emptiness. Before, the emptiness was hindered, cut into parts, because so much furniture and so many things were not allowing it to be one: now it is one.

Emptiness too is. It is existential; it does not mean that it is not. Somebody empty of jealousy will become full of love, somebody empty of stupidness will become full of intelligence. Each emptiness has its own fullness. And if you miss seeing the fullness that comes with emptiness, absolutely and certainly, then you are blind.

There is no self. And that’s a great relief.

You don’t have to love it, you don’t have to hate it, you don’t have to accept it, you don’t have to reject it; you don’t have to do anything: it simply is not there. You can relax, and in this relaxation is the melting into the universe. Then nothingness becomes wholeness.

Buddha was very miserly; he would never say that nothingness is wholeness. He knew it; it is impossible that a man who knows nothingness to such depths will not know the other side of the coin — wholeness. But he was very miserly — and for a reason, because the moment you utter “wholeness,” immediately the ego feels at ease.

The ego says, “So there is no fear. You have to attain to wholeness. Nothing was a danger; wholeness gives hope.” That’s why he was so persistently denying something which is ultimately real. He was leading people towards it, but denying it because the moment you assert it those people start going astray. But I would like tell you the whole thing.

One day Buddha is passing through a forest. It is fall, and the whole forest is full of dry and dead leaves, and the wind is taking those dry and dead leaves from here and there and making beautiful music; and just to walk on those leaves is a joy.

Ananda asked Buddha, “Can I ask you… there is nobody around, and I rarely get a chance to be alone with you. Although I am twenty-four hours a day with you, somebody is always there, and of course he has preference to ask, to talk, because it is an opportunity for him; I am always with you. But today there is nobody. Can I ask you one thing: Have you said everything that you know? Or have you been keeping a few things back and not revealing them to people?”

Buddha stooped down and filled one of his fists with dead leaves. Ananda said, “What are you doing?”

He said, “I am trying to answer your question. What do you see in my hand?”

And Anand said, “I see a few leaves.”

Buddha said, “What do you see all over the forest?”

He said, “Millions and millions of dead leaves.”

Buddha said, “What I have said is just this much, and what I have not said is equal to the leaves that are in the whole forest. But my whole desire is to take you to the forest, to leave you to listen to the music of the whole, to walk and run on dry leaves, just like children. I don’t want to give you a few leaves in my fist. No, I want to give you the whole.”

And this is my understanding: you may trust me or not, but I trust you. You may change, you may even become an enemy to me, but my trust will remain the same in you. Because my trust is not something conditional upon you, it does not depend on you. My trust is my joy, and I want to give the whole.

Nothingness is half of the truth — immensely relieving, but yet it leaves something like a wound, something unfulfilled. You will be relieved, relaxed, but you will be still looking for something, because emptiness cannot become the end.

The other side, wholeness, has to be made available to you. Then your emptiness is full — full of wholeness.

Then your nothingness is all. It is not just nothing, but all. These are the moments when contradictory terms are transcended, and whenever you transcend contradictory terms you become enlightened. Whatever the contradiction may be, all contradictions transcended bring enlightenment to you. And this is one of the fundamental contradictions: emptiness and wholeness.

The transcendence needs nothing but just a silent understanding.

-Osho

From Beyond Psychology, Chapter Sixteen

Beyond Psychology

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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