Taking Back from the Robot – Osho

Man is always in a state of becoming. Man is not a being but a process of becoming. Hence there is so much misery, anxiety, anguish. Animals are, trees are, mountains are, God also is – man is not. Man is an effort to be.

Trees are not trying to be, they simply are. God also is not trying to be, he is one with isness. Man is just in between the two – of course tense, pulled apart, torn apart. A part of his being wants to become one with the animals, another part of his being wants to rise high into the sky and become God.

Man remains in this tug-of-war.

Walt Whitman says: “There have been many moments in my life when I had the desire to become an animal again, because they are so free of desire, so free of anguish, so free of competition, so free of ambition.”

Look into the eyes of a cow, or into the eyes of a cat or a dog – all seems to be so quiet and silent. As if this moment is all! But look into the mind of man and you will find a maniac. And not one but a crowd, not one but the whole madhouse inside. So many madmen shouting, desiring, asking and asking. And the desires are contradictory. If you fulfill one, necessarily the other becomes impossible to fulfill. If you fulfill the other, then something else becomes the problem.

You cannot satisfy man! There is no communication between his parts. One hand wants to do one thing; another hand may want to destroy it. A part of you is constantly hankering for the past that is lost; another part is striving to reach to the future. How can you be at ease? How can you be at home?

Listen sometimes to what goes on inside your mind.

Just the other night I was reading a passage from Ionesco’s play, The Bald Soprano:

Two couples – the Smiths and the Martins – sit in a room engaging in small talk which does not communicate. A weird clock on the wall which strikes at any time does not communicate either.

At one point in the play, the four characters angrily shout meaningless insults at each other:

“Cockatoos, cockatoos, cockatoos…. Such coca, such coca, such coca…. Such-cascades of cacao, such cascades of cacao, such cascades of cacao…. ”

When the Martins fall into bored slumber, the maid addresses the audience: “Elizabeth is not Elizabeth, Donald is not Donald. It is in vain that he thinks he is Donald. It is in vain that she thinks she is Elizabeth. But who is the true Donald? and who is the true Elizabeth? Who has any interest in prolonging the confusion?”

Ionesco is telling us in this play that loss of self is the loss of communication, and the loss of communication is the loss of self.

Have you watched inside yourself what goes on? No communication! Between one fragment of your being and another fragment of your being. What to say about communion? There is no communication even. You are not one: you are a multiplicity. And you are a multiplicity because of the multiplicity of desires. You want to become so many things.

In the first place, the moment you want to become something you are losing your being. In the clouds of becoming, the being is lost. The moment you start thinking in terms of what to become, you are no more aware of who you are. When becoming is dropped, energy turns back upon itself.

That’s what Jesus calls conversion – returning to the source. That’s what Patanjali calls pratyahar – coming back to oneself. That is what Mahavir calls pratikraman – turning back to one’s own being.

We are all rushing – rushing for somewhere there in the future. We are all rushing so fast because life is short and time is fleeting. And we go on rushing, and where do we reach? We reach only our graves. Nothing ever is fulfilled, because those desires are by their very nature unfulfillable.

Try to understand the nature of desire. That is the only deception there is, the only mirage, the only illusion. If one understands what desire is, one becomes a Buddha. Seeing the futility of desire, desire is no more valid for you. That dimension simply disappears. Becoming aware that no desire is ever fulfilled, cannot be fulfilled by its very nature, it is intrinsically unfulfillable, you need not then renounce it.

Those who renounce have not understood. Those who have understood, they don’t renounce – there is nothing to renounce! Simply, the desire is no more relevant. It slips out of your hands – not that you renounce it. It simply becomes utterly meaningless. In that very understanding you are free of it.

The whole work of sannyas is to understand the nature of desire. What is the nature of desire?

First thing: it always hankers for that which is not. Now, look into it, meditate over it. This is the very nature of desire: asking for that which is not. How can it be fulfilled? When you have it, your desire will have moved away.

You see a beautiful house, and you desire it and you long for it end you dream about it, and you work hard for years. And then one day the house is yours. But you are surprised, a revelation: the moment the house is yours, the desire is no more there for it. It has already moved. It is never in the present. It can only be in the future. Future is its space, its soil; it grows there. Present is not its soil. In the present it dies – immediately dies. So when the house is yours, and you have moved into the house, suddenly you are surprised: where are those beautiful dreams that you have been dreaming about the house? House is yours, but where are those dreams? They have flown away.

The English poet, Byron, was in love with a woman. He was in love with many women, it is said near about sixty women – and he didn’t live long. And to each woman he was saying, “Without you I cannot live.” And he was deceiving. And the deception may not have been conscious, because he was a good man. It may have been unconscious. He may not have been doing it on purpose, but it was happening. Whenever he became interested in a woman, the whole world would disappear. That woman would be his target.

And he was a beautiful man, talented, a genius. And women are always interested in people who have some kind of talent, some kind of genius. Women are always interested not in the physical beauty as much as in something inner. And Byron had it! that magic touch, that magnetism. So it was very easy for any woman to fall in love with him. But the love would not last for a few days, at the most for a few weeks, and Byron would move to somebody else.

When he fell in love with one woman, she was very, very insistent: “Unless you get married to me I am not interested. You say you are ready to die for me – I don’t want you to die for me. I simply want you to get married to me.”

Now, that was a bigger demand. It is very easy to die – it is so poetic, so romantic – but to live with a woman and to get married is so unpoetic, so unromantic, so utterly meaningless. Byron tried to avoid and avoid, but the woman was also very clever. She had learnt many stories about Byron, that this was happening: “Within weeks, within days, his interest simply disappears. He starts looking at the woman as if he has not known her at all, as if she does not exist.”

The more the woman avoided Byron, the more he became infatuated. That is the nature of desire. The more the woman looked unapproachable, the more mad he was. The more the woman created hindrances, the more he was bent upon it to get her. He was ready to do anything – even marriage. They got married.

The day they got married… Byron and his wife are coming down the steps of the church, the wedding bells are still ringing, guests are still in the church, coming out, Byron is holding the hand of the woman for whom for months he has been dreaming and has not been able to sleep, has not been able to think of anything else. She has been for these few months his whole life.

And suddenly he saw another woman pass by… and for a moment he forgot the woman to whom he had just got married. His hand slipped out of the hand of the woman. The woman saw what was happening. Those eyes were focused on the movement of some other woman, and she asked Byron, “What are you doing?”

And Byron said, “I am sorry, but I have to be true to you. When I saw this woman, my whole energy moved towards her. I forgot about you, completely. It is not conscious that I have taken my hand out of your hand. You ceased to exist in that moment. And I know I was mad after you, but the moment we were married something disappeared. The oasis is no more an oasis. You are an ordinary woman.”

And you will see this happening to you again and again, if you are alert. You strive for a certain thing – and you get it one day! But all joy is in the waiting, dreaming, fantasizing. When you get it, it is finished – because desire cannot live in the present. Desire cannot live with that which is available to you, which is yours. Desire lives only in that emptiness….

Whatsoever you have is never an object of desire – how can it be? What you don’t have is the object of desire. So whenever you have it, the moment you have it, it ceases to be an object of desire. This is the intrinsic nature of desire. Hence desire just drives you and drives you… to no point! It is a vicious circle. You go on moving, much movement… Much ado about nothing!

A Tale Told by an Idiot of Fury and Noise Signifying Nothing – that’s what desire is.

But that is where man is caught. Man is not caught in the world. Don’t renounce the world. The world has nothing to do with it. There are thousands of people who have renounced the world without understanding the nature of desire – they remain the same. They can move to the Himalayas or to a monastery – Catholic, Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan – they can go to Tibet, but nothing is going to happen.

In fact, this is again another game of the desire. Now, they are not desiring the things of the world – they are desiring things of the beyond. Now they desire God, they desire paradise, they desire heaven, they desire Nirvana, enlightenment. But they go on desiring! And desire is the problem, not what you desire. The object is irrelevant. Desire can live with any object. It can live with money, it can live with power, prestige, respectability; it can live with God, it can live with enlightenment. Any object will do.

If you don’t understand desire you will go on changing your objects of desire. And the desire will continue the same. And you will be in the grip of it.

This is a very unconscious state. You are suffering from desire, but you think you are suffering from things. People think they are suffering from their wives, from their husbands, children, society, people. No, not at all. You are suffering only from one thing: desire.

Come to the root cause of it, and try to understand the root cause. And my emphasis is on understanding. I am not saying do something about it. I am not saying don’t desire – no, not at all. I will be the last person to say don’t desire. I am saying something totally different: Look into desire. Meditate on desire. Go deep into it. See it as deeply as possible. Layer upon layer, penetrate into it. Penetrate to the very core of it.

In that very penetration there comes a renunciation which is not of your making. There comes a renunciation which is a gift. And because it comes out of understanding you need not cultivate it, you need not practice it. Its very coming is transforming. You go through a mutation.

Let this be your criterion forever: that that which you do is going to remain superficial – you are superficial, how can you do anything in depth? Your doing is not going to help. Your doing has been your undoing up to now. No more of it. Now change the emphasis. It is not a question of doing.

Sannyas is not a question of doing: it is a question of awareness, understanding, observation, witnessing. Witness desire.

Below man, there is no desire. There are no needs. They are momentary. The tiger is hungry, he searches for the prey. When he is not hungry, there is no desire.

One day, a tiger and a hare entered into a restaurant. And the tiger asked for Coca-Cola. The waiter asked the hare, “What would you like? And your friend has asked only for Coca-Cola – is he not hungry?”

The hare said, “What are you asking? If he was hungry, should I be here? He would have breakfasted long before. He is not hungry – that’s why I am with him.”

If a tiger is hungry, he eats! But when he is not hungry, he does not hoard. He never thinks of the future. Tomorrow does not exist for him. When the spring comes, trees bloom; they don’t prepare for it, they don’t fantasize about it, they don’t have great desires of blooming. They don’t go through rehearsals; they don’t cultivate. They don’t do yoga. When spring comes they bloom! It is simple, it is spontaneous. It is not out of desire – hence the beauty of nature, hence the immense silence of nature. There is no desire. The desire has not entered yet. It cannot enter, because for desire to enter a little bit of conscious-ness is needed – otherwise, how will you think of tomorrow? How will you think of death How will you think of beyond? How will you plan for the future?

A little consciousness is needed – but only a little, because we have seen Buddhas who are fully conscious: again desire disappears. A Buddha again lives spontaneously, like a tree, like a rock, like a river. Of course, there is a great difference the difference is that the Buddha is conscious and the tree is unconscious. But there is a great similarity too: both are utterly in the moment.

Buddha is in the moment because he is fully conscious; the tree is in the moment because it is fully unconscious. One thing is similar, that both are non-dual, a single phenomenon. Buddha is pure consciousness – consciousness and only consciousness. Chinmatram – just consciousness. There is no duality involved in it. And the tree is unconscious – Achinmatram – just unconsciousness no duality involved, purity, one

When the dual comes, tension comes. With the dual, the tug-of-war. Man is dual. A part has become conscious, and the greater part has remained still unconscious. Man is like an iceberg – only the tip of the iceberg is conscious, one tenth. Nine tenths is underneath the water, unconscious. Between these two there is bound to be conflict, a civil war.

Man is a constant civil war. The conscious says, “Do this,” the unconscious says, “Do that.” They are totally different phenomena. They can’t understand each other. There is no possibility of any communication. One says one thing, another says another thing. There has never been any communication between them.

Because of this split, man remains in a turmoil, and remains absolutely unconscious of who he is. If he listens to the conscious he is one thing. If he listens to the unconscious he is totally another. That’s why man is divided in many ways. Not only psychologically – biologically, physiologically man has divided himself. The upper part of the body seems to be higher; the lower part seems to be lower – not just lower, but low in an evaluating sense. You are identified with the upper part of the body; you are not identified with the lower part of the body. The lower seems animal. And you are constantly repressing it.

Because of these repressions, there has arisen a China Wall and you are not one. And without being one, there is no possibility of peace.

The animals are in peace, in utter peace. The Buddha is in peace. Man? Man is just in misery.

Sometimes man decides, as Walt Whitman says, just to become an animal. That’s why there is so much attraction in drugs: they help you for a moment to lose your consciousness. You are again one. It may be alcohol or it may be modern drugs, but they give you a release – a release from the tense life. You relax, you become calm. Suddenly you are one again. And life seems to be no more a continuous fight in which failure is absolutely certain.

When you are drunk, you can dance again, sing again, be loving again. There is no more competition, no more politics. But how long can you remain in a drugged state? You have to come out of it. It cannot become a permanent state. And when you come back, those worries those anxieties, are waiting for you – and they jump upon you with a vengeance. Then it becomes a vicious thing: when you become too tired of the worries, you fall into a drugged coma; and then you come again and the worries are there – they have grown meanwhile. When you were fast asleep in the coma, they were growing, they were multiplying. They don’t wait for you. When you come back they are there to be taken care of.

Man constantly wants to fall back but cannot. All his efforts, at the most, can succeed for a few moments. But this is easier – to fall back. It is always easier because it is downhill. The other way to be blissful is to become a Buddha, but that is an uphill task; one has to grow, grow in consciousness. That is the only growth, remember! To grow in consciousness is the only growth. To transform your dark continent inside into an eternal light, to fill your whole being with light and awareness – that’s what growth is.

Just watch your life, how conscious you are. You will be surprised – it is negligible, it is almost zero. It is very fragile, your consciousness. It is not even skin-deep. Somebody insults you and the consciousness is gone, and you are boiling with anger, mad. Somebody praises you, and the consciousness is gone, and you are puffed up and your ego becomes huge. Just small things!

Just two persons standing by the road when you pass by start laughing, and you are hurt. They may not be laughing at you – there are millions of things to laugh at. You are not the only person to laugh at. They start whispering something, and you start thinking they must be whispering against you, otherwise why should they whisper? Why can’t they talk loudly? And suspicion has arisen. And you are in a turmoil? What is your consciousness?

Rena went into the City Clerk’s office to report the birth of her sixth child.

“But, miss, this is your sixth child by the same father,” said the clerk. “Why don’t you marry him?”

“Are you jivin’?” replied Rena. “I don’t even like the sonuvabitch!”

Then why do you go on making love to this man? But you should not ask the question. People go on doing a thousand and one things, not knowing why they are doing them, for what. They are simply doing them because they have nothing else to do; they are simply doing them to keep themselves occupied.

A man was getting married, and his friends asked him, “How come? Because you were introduced to this woman only two, three days ago. Have you fallen in love or something?”

And he said, “Nothing of the kind! We were dancing in the club and after a few minutes I could not find what to say to her, so I proposed.”

You can laugh at it, but think of your own proposals… were they out of your consciousness, or just because you couldn’t find anything else to say? And one has to say something. Just think: when you talk with a friend or your wife or your husband, are you really talking, or is it just that one has to say something? Silence seems so embarrassing.

And just because something has to be said, you say it, and then it creates trouble. Ninety-nine percent of your troubles will disappear if you stop talking too much.

I have heard:

A hunter went into the jungle. He found there a skull. He was just sitting by the side of the skull, underneath the tree – he was tired and exhausted. Nothing else to do, and there being nobody else he just said “Hello!” to the skull – just by the way.

But he was surprised: the skull said “Hello!” He was shocked too. He said, “Can you talk?”

The skull said, “Yes!”

And the man asked, “What brought you here, to this situation?” The skull said, “Talking, too much talking.”

He was scared. He ran away from the place. He could not believe it. He immediately went to the king, because this was a miraculous phenomenon. And he told the king, “Something one will not believe I have seen, I have heard with my own ears a skull talking! I said ‘Hello!’ because there was nothing else to do and there was nobody else either. Just the skull was lying by the side of the tree. I never thought… but the skull said ‘Hello!’”

He was still trembling.

“And I asked the skull, and she answers! She says, ’Yes.’ She can talk.”

The king said, “You must be joking.”

He said, “No! I bet!”

The king said, “Okay, I will come.”

And the whole court followed, and the king went there, and of course the skull was there, and the man went close to the skull and said, “Hello!” And she didn’t reply. He said, “HELLO!” loudly, and the skull remained silent. He said, “What has happened to you?” But no answer.

And the king said, “I knew it before. Either you are a madman or you have some deceptions in your mind. Cut this man’s head!”

The head was cut and thrown there, and the king returned. When the king returned, the skull said to the head “Hello!”

He said, “You fool! Why didn’t you speak THAT time?”

And the skull asked, “What brought you here?”

And the head said, “Too much talking.”

Ninety-nine percent of your problems will disappear if you don’t talk too much. But what else to do? Life is so empty! One fills it somehow, patches it, stuffs it, makes it look as if it is full. Desires help you infinitely. They keep you on the go. They make you feel that something is happening or is going to happen. They keep you hoping. They keep you on the move; otherwise, how will you move? How you will live? But all those desires are unconscious. You don’t know from where they come, how they take possession of you, where their source is.

Armstrong was brought into court for non-support by his wife.

‘Young man,” said the judge, “your wife says you have twelve children and you don’t support them. How can a man who doesn’t support his family want to have so many children?”

“Your Honor,” said Armstrong, “when I get that feel in’, I feel I could support the whole world.”

But from where does that feeling come? It comes from somewhere in your innermost core, but it is dark and you have never groped for it, from where it comes. The only thing that a man has to do to get out of the misery that is created by the unconscious and the problems that are created by the unconscious is one, the only one key: become more conscious.

What do I mean when I say become more conscious? De-automatize your habits. Remember this: de-automatize your habits. You are walking, it is an automatic habit; you need not be aware of it. But bring awareness to yourself. Walk fully conscious.

Buddha says: When you stand up, stand up consciously; when you sit down, sit down consciously. When you say some-thing, say it very consciously. When you listen to something, listen consciously. When you are eating, eat consciously.

It happened once:

Buddha was not yet enlightened, was coming closer and closer and closer. Maybe ninety-nine percent of his being was almost light; only one percent remained dark. He was just on the verge of enlightenment. It was just a few days before he became enlightened that this incident happened.

They were moving – he had five disciples with him. A fly came and sat on his forehead. Just out of unconscious habit, he waved his hand, the fly went away, but he stopped himself in the middle of the road with the five disciples watching what happened. Now, there was a fly, but he took his hands again, very consciously, slowly, waved at the fly – which was not there!

The disciples were puzzled, they said, “What are you doing? The fly is gone! When you first waved your hand, the fly went away. What are you doing now?”

Buddha said, “I did it unconsciously. It is automatic. It was robot like. Now I am doing as I should have done. The fly is not there – that is not the point – but now I am doing as I should have done. Consciously I move my hand, slowly, with full awareness, attentiveness. My mind is nowhere else. My total mind is focused on this simple act – the hand is moving, and then I wave, with great compassion for the fly.

“The first time, I was walking, I was looking around, and the fly came. And the robot part of my body worked, but I was not in it.”

That’s what happens when you have learned something. If you start learning to drive, in the beginning you have to be very alert – alert about many things: the wheel, and the accelerator, and the brake and the clutch, and the people on the road. You have to be conscious of all these things. Slowly, slowly, once you have learnt to drive, you need not think of anything at all. Everything has become automatized. Now you can sing a song, smoke a cigarette, listen to the radio, talk to the friend – you can do anything! Now, that part, the driving part, needs no attention, your attention is free.

This is a necessity of life; otherwise you will not be able to do many things. So whatsoever you have learned is always transferred to the robot. Then the robot does it and you are free to learn something else. This is perfectly okay in ordinary life, but, slowly, slowly, the robot becomes bigger and bigger. And your tiny consciousness remains tiny.

The work that one has to do upon oneself consists in taking back from the robot, de-automatizing processes. And you will be surprised: if you de-automatize any process, great awareness is released.

Just walk consciously for half an hour, and you will be surprised how quiet, how peaceful and serene you look and you feel. Just sitting in your chair, watch your in-going, out-going breath, silently – the breath goes in, and you know, you watch, it is going in. Each step of the breath: it has touched your nostrils, the inner side of the nose, it is moving, it has touched your throat, it has moved, it has gone deep into your lungs; you can feel the belly coming up. And then you feel for a moment it has stopped. No movement. And then the return journey: the belly falls back, the air is going out; again you feel the same route. It leaves your nostrils… and again a moment’s gap. And then again new fresh air moves in.

If you simply watch such a simple process, you will be surprised: one hour’s watching of breath will bring you so much silence and so much alertness, as you have never felt in your life. And that makes a difference. That is the difference that makes the difference, that transforms your whole life, slowly, slowly. Then you can change everything: eating, walking, breathing – even making love can become a very, very conscious, alert phenomenon.

And then from everywhere, consciousness goes on pouring in. And, slowly, slowly, the balance changes: you become more conscious than you are unconscious. Then you start leaning towards God, farther and farther away you start moving from the animals. When a man is really conscious, all desires disappear just as dewdrops disappear when in the morning the sun rises.

Desires have not to be dropped; they have also to be used to grow in consciousness.


From The Perfect Master, V.1, Chapter Seven

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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See Your Inner Being in Detail – Osho

Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus see your true nature. 

Eyes closed… Close your eyes. But this closing is not enough. Total closing means to close your eyes and stop their movements; otherwise the eyes will continue to see something which is of the outside. Even with closed eyes you will see things – images of things. Actual things are not there, but images, ideas, collected memories – they will start flowing. They are also from outside, so your eyes are still not totally closed. Totally closed eyes means nothing to see.

Understand the difference. You can close your eyes; that is easy, everyone closes them every moment. In the night you close your eyes, but that will not reveal the inner nature to you. Close your eyes so that nothing remains to be seen – no outside object, no inside image of any outside object, just a blank darkness as if you have suddenly gone blind. Not blind only to reality, but to the dream reality also.

One has to practice it. A long period will be needed; it cannot be done suddenly. You will need a long training. Close your eyes. Anytime you feel that it is easy and you have time, close your eyes and then inwardly stop all movements of the eyes. Do not allow any movement. Feel! Do not allow any movement. Stop all movements of the eyes. Feel as if they have become stones, and then remain in that “stoney” state of the eyes. Do not do anything; just remain there. Suddenly, someday, you will become aware that you are looking inside yourself.

You can go just outside this building, move around the building and have a look, but that is looking at the building from the outside. Then you can enter into the room and you can stand in this room and have a look. That is looking at the building from the inside. When you are taking a round outside, you see the walls, but only one side; (The walls are the same, but) then you are seeing the outside of the walls. When you come in, the walls are the same, but now you will see the inside of the walls.

You have seen your body only from the outside. You have seen your body in a mirror or you have seen your hands from the outside. You do not know what the inside of your body is. You have never entered into your own self; you have never been at the center of your body and being, to look around at what is there from the inside.

This technique is very helpful for having a look from the inside, and that transforms your total consciousness, your total existence – because if you can have a look from the inside, you immediately become different from the world. This false identity that “I am the body” is only because we have been looking at our bodies from the outside. If you can have a look from the inside, the looker becomes different. And then you can move your consciousness in your body, from your toe to your head; you can now have a round inside the body. And once you become capable of having a look from the inside and moving there, then it is not difficult to go outside at all.

Once you know how to move, once you know that you are separate from the body, you are freed from a great bondage. Now you have no gravitational pull; now you have no limitation. Now you are absolute freedom. You can go out of the body; you can go and come. And then your body becomes just an abode.

Close your eyes, see your inner being in detail and move from limb to limb inside. Just go to your toe. Forget the whole body: move to the toe. Stay there and have a look. Then move through the legs, come on upwards, go to every limb. Then many things happen. Many things happen!

Then your body becomes such a sensitive vehicle, you cannot even imagine it. Then if you touch someone, you can move into your hand totally and that touch will become transforming. That is what is meant by a master’s touch: he can move to any limb totally, and then he is concentrated there. If you can move to any part of your body totally, that part becomes alive – so much alive that you cannot imagine what happens to that part. Then you can move to the eyes totally. If you can move to your eyes totally and then look into someone’s eyes, you will penetrate him; you will go to his very depths.

Now psychoanalysts are trying to go to the depths through psychoanalysis. Then they take one year, two years, three years… This is a sheer wastage of time. And life is so short that if three years are taken to analyze a person’s mind, it is nonsense. And then too you cannot rely on whether the analysis is complete or not. You are groping in the dark. The Eastern approach has been through the eyes. No need of analyzing the person for such a long time. The work can be done by just entering through his eyes totally, touching his depths, knowing many things about him of which even he is not aware.

The master has many things to do. One of the basic things is this: to analyze you, to go deep into you, to move into your darker realms which are unknown to you. And if he says to you that something is hidden in you, you will not believe it. How can you believe it? You are not aware of it. You know only one part of the mind – a very small fragment which is just the upper part, just the first layer. Behind it there are hidden nine layers which are not known to you, but through your eyes a penetration is possible.

Close your eyes; See your inner being in detail. The first, outer part of the technique is to look at your body inwardly – from your inner center. Stand there and have a look. You will be separated from the body because the looker is never the looked at. The observer is different from the object.

If you can see your body totally from the inside, then you can never fall into the illusion that you are the body. Then you will remain different – totally different: inside it but not it, in the body but not the body. This is the first part. Then you can move; then you are free to move. Once freed from the body, freed from the identity, you are free to move. Now you can move into your mind – deep down. Those nine layers which are within and unconscious can now be entered into.

This is the inner cave of the mind. If you enter this cave of the mind, you will become separate from the mind also. Then you will see that the mind is also an object which you can look at, and that which is entering the mind is, again, separate and different. This entering into the mind is what is meant by: See your inner being in detail. Body and mind both should be entered and looked at from within. Then you are simply a witness, and this witness cannot be penetrated.

That is why it is your innermost core: that is you. That which can be penetrated, that which can be seen, is not you. When you have come to that which cannot be penetrated, that in which you cannot move, which cannot be observed, then only have you come to the real self. You cannot witness the witnessing source, remember – that is absurd.

If someone says that “I have witnessed my witness,” that is absurd. Why is it absurd? Because if you have witnessed your witnessing self, then the witnessing self is not the witnessing self. That who has witnessed it is the witness. That who you can see, you are not; that which you can observe, you are not; that which you can become aware of, you are not.

But a point comes beyond the mind where simply you are. Now you cannot divide your single existence into two: object and subject. Simple subjectivity is there, just witnessing. This is very, very difficult to comprehend through intellect because all the categories of the intellect are broken there.

Because of this logical difficulty, Charwak – the expounder of one of the most logical philosophical systems in the world – says that you cannot know the self; there is no self-knowledge. And because there is no self-knowledge, how can you say that there is a elf? Whatsoever you know is not the self. The knower is the self, not the known, so you cannot say logically that “I have known my self.” That is absurd, illogical. How can you know your self? Then who will be the knower and who will be the known? Knowledge means a dichotomy, a division between object and subject, the knower and the known.

So Charwak says that all those who say they have known the self are talking nonsense. Self-knowledge is impossible because the self is irreducibly the knower. It cannot be converted into the known.

Then Charwak says that if you cannot know the self, how can you say that there is self? Those like Charwak, who do not believe in the presence of a self, are called Anatmavadin. They say no self is; they say there is no self – that which cannot be known is not. And they are right logically. If logic is all, they are right. But this is the mystery of life, that logic is only the beginning – not the end. A moment comes when logic ends, but you do not end. A moment comes when logic is finished, but you are still there. Life is illogical. That is why it is difficult to comprehend, to conceive of what is meant when it is said that only the witness remains.

For example, if there is a lamp in this room, you see many objects around you. When the lamp is turned off, there is darkness and nothing can be seen. When the lamp is put on, there is light and you can see everything in the room. But have you ever observed what is happening? If there are no objects, will you be able to see the lamp and its light? You will not be able to see its light, because to be seen the light must reflect something. It must strike an object. The rays must go to an object and then be reflected, then they will reach to your eyes. So first you see objects, then you infer that light is there. When you burn a lamp or a candle, you never see the light first. First you see the objects, and because of the objects you come to know about the light.

Scientists say that if there are no objects then light cannot be seen. Look at the sky: it looks blue but it is not blue, it is filled with cosmic rays. It looks blue because there are no objects. Those rays cannot reflect and come to your eyes. If you go into space and there are no objects, then there will be darkness. Of course, rays will be passing just by your side, but there will be darkness. To know the light some objects have to be there.

Charwak says that if you enter within and come to the point where only the witness has remained and there is nothing to be witnessed, how can you know about it? Some object must be there to be witnessed; only then can you know the witnessing. Logically, scientifically, it is right. But existentially it is not right.

Those who really move inside come to a point where there is no object left but just the consciousness of being. You are, but nothing is there to be seen – only the seer. ONLY the seer! There is simple subjectivity without any object around it. The moment you come to this point, you have entered your ultimate goal of being. You can call it the alpha – the beginning, or you can call it the omega – the end. It is both, alpha and omega. This is called “self-knowledge.”

Linguistically the word is wrong because linguistically nothing can be said about it. Language becomes meaningless when you enter the world of the one. Language is meaningful only when you are in the world of two. In the world of duality language is meaningful because language is created in, is part of the dualistic world. It becomes meaningless when you enter the one, the non-dual. That is why those who know have remained silent – or even if they say something they hurriedly add that whatsoever they are saying is just symbolic, and whatsoever they are saying is not exactly true: it is false.

Lao Tzu said that that which can be said cannot be true, and that which is true cannot be said. He remained silent; for most of his life he would not write anything. He said, “If I say something it will be untrue, because nothing can be said about the realm where only the One remains.” 

Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail – body and mind both. Thus see your true nature. See your body and mind, your structure. And remember, body and mind are not two things. Rather, you are both: body-mind – psychosomatic. Mind is the finer part of the body and body is the grosser part of the mind.

So if you can become aware of the structure of body-mind, if you can become conscious of the structure, you are freed from the structure, you are freed from the vehicle, you have become different. And this knowing that you are separate from the structure is your true nature. That is what you really are. This body will die, but that true nature never dies. This mind will die and change, and die again and again, but that true nature never dies. That true nature is eternal. That is why that true nature is neither your name nor your form. It is beyond both.

So how to do this technique? Total closing of the eyes is needed. If you try it, close your eyes and then stop the movements. Let your eyes become just like stones. No movements allowed. Suddenly, any day while practicing this, suddenly it will happen that you will be able to look within. The eyes which were always looking outside will turn in and you will have a glimpse inside.

Then there is no difficulty. Once you have the glimpse inside, you know what to do and how to move. Only the first glimpse is difficult; after that you have the knack. Then it becomes just like a trick. Any moment you can close your eyes, make your eyes static, and you can enter the realm.

Buddha was dying. It was the last day of his life, and he asked his disciples if they wanted to ask any questions. They were weeping, crying, and they said, “You have told us so much. Now nothing is left to ask.” Buddha had a habit of asking thrice. He would never stop after asking once. He would ask again, and then he would ask still again whether you had any question to ask. Many times Buddha was asked, “Why do you ask a single thing three times?” He said, “Because man is so unaware, so unconscious, he may not have heard the first time and he may have missed the second time.”

Thrice he asked, and thrice his bhikkhus, monks, his disciples said; “Now we do not want to ask anything. You have said so much.” Then he closed his eyes and said, “If you do not have anything to ask, before death occurs to the body I will move from it. Before death enters the body I will move from it.”

He closed his eyes. His eyes became static and he started moving. It is said that there were four parts to his movement inwards. First he closed his eyes; secondly, his eyes became static, there were no movements. If you had then the instrument for recording R.E.M., the graph would not have come. The eyes became static – that was the second thing. Thirdly, he looked at his body; then fourthly, he looked at his mind.

This was the whole journey. Before death occurred he was back at his center, in his original source. That is why this death is not called death: we call it nirvana, and this is the difference. We call it nirvana – cessation – not death. Ordinarily, we die because death occurs to us. It never occurred to Buddha. Before death came, he had already returned to the source.

Death occurred only to the dead body – he was not there to be found. So in Buddhist tradition it is said that he never died. Death could not catch him. It followed as it follows him everyone, but he could not be trapped; he tricked Death out of it. He must have been laughing – standing beyond, and Death was there only with a dead body.

This technique is the same. Make four parts of it and move. And when you know one glimpse, the whole thing will become very easy and simple. Then any moment you can move in and come out, and go in and come out, just like coming out of your house and going in… coming out and going in.


From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 21

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Book of Secrets

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

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt See Your Inner Being in Detail

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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Why Not Take a Chance and Become Enlightened? – Osho

 I am afraid—afraid of enlightenment. What is beyond enlightenment? What to do after the goal of living is reached? What do you aim for? It is like falling into a bottomless pit. You fall—no bottom, no goal. Then what do you aim for? What is beyond the goal?

Cliff — obviously it is not my pilot Cliff, because the question does not show the guts of a pilot – but whoever you are you have raised very significant questions. I am saying questions because there are many. You have condensed them into a very small question.

First you are saying, “I am afraid, afraid of enlightenment.” This can be taken as a general state of human mind; otherwise there is no reason why so few people have ever become enlightened. And those who have become enlightened have been shouting for centuries of its joy, its bliss; its ultimate truth, beauty; its eternity and its going beyond death. But the larger part of humanity has not paid any attention to it, naturally. Your question comes from the deepest core of humanity.

It is not only your question, everybody is afraid of enlightenment. And the reason is clear why one is afraid: the fear is of losing yourself. For the same reason people are afraid of love; for the same reason people are afraid of trust; for the same reason they remain enclosed in all kinds of fears, miseries, anxieties and anguish, because at least these feel familiar. And one thing is certain; they don’t ask you to be lost. The more painful your life is, the more you are.

Perhaps deep down you desire pain, you desire misery, you desire anguish, because that keeps you clearly defined. You are afraid of the same things for which you also have a longing. On the one hand, there is a longing to go beyond all fears, beyond all anxieties, beyond all suffering. But the problem becomes complex, because being beyond suffering you are also beyond yourself — you are the suffering. You are the prison, that’s why you are afraid to get out of it. On the contrary, you try to console yourself in every way, that “This is not a prison, this is my home.”

So you are living in a dilemma: you want to go into the open sky and open your wings and fly across the sun. But on the other hand, you are afraid you may never be able to find the way back to your cozy, familiar space. Although it is painful you have become accustomed to it; although there is suffering it is like an old friend. The beyond invites you, calls you to take courage. But it also creates a trembling within you, because going out of the cozy circle of your misery and your hell, you know for certain — you may not be very conscious of it — that your so-called personality will melt away into the vast ocean, just like an ice block.

The fear is, is there something beyond your personality? You are not aware of it, you have never come across it — you have never met yourself. You know only the superficial that has been told to you. You don’t know on your own authority your essential, your inner. And of course nobody else can say anything about your inner. It is not available for observation; it is not available to be an object. Science cannot find it. Logic feels absolutely inadequate. Reason has not the wings to fly to the inner.

Karl Marx used to say, “I will believe in God only if he is caught in a test tube and scientists unanimously declare that this is God — after dissection and autopsy to find whether he is really divine.” Karl Marx was representative of you all, of the wider humanity; he is saying, “How can I believe in God? Science has no proof for it.” And science has no proof either for your self. It can dissect you, it can cut you into as many parts as possible, but it will not find you; it will find only a dead corpse.

Only very recently have geniuses become aware that what we have been doing in physiology, in biology, in medical sciences, is not right. The moment you take blood out of my body and then you test it, it is not the same blood that is flowing in my body. In my body it is alive, it has a life of its own; outside my body it is a dead thing. And you cannot conclude from the analysis of the dead about the living. You can take anything out of the human body, but the moment you take it out, you have taken it out as a dead thing. In the human body it was an organic, living, breathing, alive part.

A few very sensitive medical surgeons have become aware of the fact that something has to be done about it, because in the medical colleges they go on studying the corpses, skeletons, to decide about living human beings — there is such a great logical fallacy. But they are also feeling impotent — how to approach life? All that they know is — their whole technology, their whole methodology is to know — the object, and you are not the object. Hence, science is never going to accept your living being — it is beyond its limits. Logic cannot accept, reason cannot accept, philosophy cannot accept.

And your fear, on top of it all, is that nobody is there to give you a certainty that beyond your superficial personality there is something more. You will disappear as you are, and you will appear in your authentic reality. This is the fear. People are afraid of coming closer to each other, even in love; they keep each other at arm’s length. They want to come closer, but a fear… to be too close, you can be lost.

With love, the problem is not so great — but going beyond your ordinary self, your accepted face that you have seen in the mirror, that others have told you is very beautiful, or is ugly… All your knowledge about yourself is dependent on others’ opinions.


The fear, Cliff, is because you don’t have any experience of your innermost being; all that you know about yourself is what people have said. And these are the people who don’t know anything about themselves — what can they know about you?

Everybody is afraid of enlightenment, because who knows? Once your personality disappears maybe everything disappears. Then what is the point of such an enlightenment? It is better to remain unenlightened — at least you are. And death may come whenever it may come, but right now you are alive – why unnecessarily commit a suicide?

Enlightenment appears to your personality as a suicide, and in fact it is a suicide. But the suicide of personality is the beginning of individuality. The death of your personality and ego is the birth of your real authentic being, of your immortality. You will have to gather courage, and remember Michel’s Rule for Prospective Mountain Climbers: The mountain gets steeper as you get closer to the top.

So as you come closer to enlightenment — and that is the greatest mountain — it gets steeper and more and more dangerous as you come close to the disappearance of your old personality with which you were so identified.

But I tell you, I have survived. I have lost my personality; that’s why I am not at all concerned what people think about me. The whole world is against me, but they don’t even create a small stir in me. It does not matter whether they are against or for; it is their business, their problem. I know myself, and I know that what I am doing and what I am trying is intrinsically right. Nobody, just because they are in the majority, can destroy my truth.

Truth has never been the opinion of the majority; it has always been an individual achievement. The majority is interested in crucifying the truth, but it is not ready to accept it.

You can understand the psychology of it all. For two thousand years Christians have been thinking about Jesus and his crucifixion. And I am utterly disappointed with the whole two thousand years’ theology, because they have not looked at the psychology of the crucifixion. Why did people crucify Jesus? He had not done any wrong; he has not committed any crime. But the majority was turning against him because he was telling them, “Drop your ego; be humble. Drop your so-called false identity; just be nobody. Blessed are those who stand last in the line.”

He was talking against the ambitious majority. They did not crucify Jesus, they crucified the truth that was hurting them and was making them afraid: if they become impressed by this man, there is a danger. They may lose half the bread in the hope of the whole bread, and there may not be any bread at all. It is better to keep the half and not to lose it in the hope of getting the whole. That is the majority’s mind.

You say, “I am afraid — afraid of enlightenment.” It is natural, so don’t be serious about it. In a way, it is a good symptom — at least you have become interested in enlightenment; otherwise, you would not be afraid. Just go into the town and you will not find anybody… ask people, “Are you afraid of enlightenment?” And they will say, “Why should we be afraid?” They have never bothered about it. It is not a problem to them, they have never thought about enlightenment. They will think you are crazy. “Why should we be afraid of enlightenment?”

Just the other day I was looking at a newspaper clipping. It was a statement against me, that the world is coming to an end but I seem to be the only person who is not going to change, who is still talking about enlightenment. As far as I am concerned, I take it as a compliment. When the world is coming to an end, this is the right moment.

Take the risk; anyway it is going to end.

Why not take a chance and become enlightened?

The world is coming to an end — you will end with it. So now there is no fear: before the world ends, end your personality, and at least you will be saved. The world may end, but you will not end. And the person who has criticized me is right. I will go on insisting. My insistence will become more and more powerful as the end of the world comes near, to make more and more people interested in enlightenment because there is no problem about losing; you can put the fear aside.

The fear is a good symptom — it means you have become interested in enlightenment and your mind is trembling. You have become interested in the great adventure, the great affair, and your small personality is worried that this is the end. As for the small personality, which consists only of public opinions, it is going to dissolve — naturally.

It is said that every river before entering the ocean stops for a while and looks back — a moment of hesitation about what she is going to do. Ahead is the vast ocean, in which she is going to be lost. Back, she had a personality of her own — her own mountains, valleys, forests. The whole journey, long journey, maybe thousands of years, thousands of miles… Naturally, it is understandable to hesitate for a moment. But I have never seen any river go backwards. You can hesitate, but you cannot go backwards.

Cliff, you have come to the cliff! You have to take the jump. Only by taking the jump will you prove your mettle.

“What is beyond enlightenment?” First things first! Out of fear you are thinking that it seems enlightenment is bound to happen; now be clear what is going to happen after it — “What is beyond enlightenment?”

Beyond enlightenment is all — the whole universe. Beyond enlightenment you are no more a small dewdrop, you are the ocean.

“What to do after the goal of living is reached?” You are not supposed to do anything. I can see all your concerns are very human. You know one thing, that now you cannot avoid enlightenment; you may be afraid, but you have to take the jump. Naturally, you are asking, “What is beyond enlightenment?” And even if something is there — “What to do after the goal of living is reached?”

You have never thought about what you have done as far as your birth is concerned — have you done anything? What are you doing as far as your life is concerned? Do you think you are breathing? If it was up to you to breathe, you would have been dead long before; just in anger, or in some love affair, you would forget to breathe. Or in the night, will you sleep or not? Or keep yourself awake just to continue breathing, because if you fall asleep and breathing stops, in the morning who is going to get up? No, breathing you are not doing.

Existence is breathing.

What are you doing as far as your inner structure of life is concerned? Do you digest? Are you responsible for changing food into blood, into bones, into marrow? These are not your concerns. Your concern ends with the taste buds, and the moment the food is swallowed it goes into the hands of existence; it is no more your concern.

One day try to be continuously aware what is happening in your stomach, and then you will have a good disturbed stomach for at least one week! Your consciousness is not needed, the stomach is doing its work on its own. Your brain consists of seven million cells, and each cell is doing its own function, and you are not needed — they don’t even ask your advice. Has any part of your body stopped you sometime and asked you, “What to do? — I am at a loss?” They are never at a loss; they are part of the cosmic organism. They have an inbuilt process; they go on doing their things.

The moment you become enlightened and disappear into the ocean, you will not be asked to do something — to type, or to dig, or to prepare piesta… or is it pizza! You are not supposed to do anything; you are gone. Now the universal force has taken possession of you. Things will be happening, but they will not be your doing.

“What do you aim for?” You have reached beyond aim. Aim is a concern of the ego. The ego cannot exist without an aim — some ambition, some desire, some infatuation, something to be achieved tomorrow.

The ego is a tension between today and the future. The moment there is no ego, there is no tension. You simply live in a state of let-go.

Then, wherever the river takes you, wherever the life force takes you, you simply go. It is not your goal; you have become part of the whole. Now whatever is the goal of the whole… and I don’t think there is any goal. The whole is perfectly happy in singing and dancing and enjoying; in flowers, in the wind, in the rain, in the sun, in the stars. There is no goal. The whole is perfectly happy just to be, here-now.

If there is no aim, you start thinking it is like falling into a bottomless pit. Then what to do and what to aim for? “What is beyond the goal?” You are really in trouble! You will not be satisfied unless you are enlightened. All these problems: first, “What is the goal?” Then, “What is beyond the goal?” You want to determine the whole eternity!

Your question should be just about enlightenment. Beyond that, existence takes care.

Who has given you the name, Cliff? — that’s what I have been wondering. Such a dangerous name! Use your intelligence to see that the fear is arising out of the false in you, the fear is not arising out of the real. The real is really deeply challenged by the idea of enlightenment. But be intelligent; otherwise you may listen to the personality and forget to listen to the individuality.

Meditate more, so that your intelligence can become more clear, unclouded, and all fears will disappear. And all other questions are just nonsense; they will also disappear. All that you need is a little more meditation, a little more sharpness of intelligence.

Paddy and Maureen planned to get married, so they went to the doctor for a physical checkup. The doctor then tried to explain sex to them, but Paddy just listened with a dumb expression on his face. So the doctor took Maureen over to the examination table, made her lie down, and then made love to her. “Now do you understand?” said the physician.

“Yes,” said Paddy, “but how often do I have to bring her in?”

A great question! Just become enlightened, Cliff! Don’t get worried about so many problems. You will be lost in a jungle of a thousand and one problems. And enlightenment is a simple process; it is just becoming your authentic self. And it is so luminous that in its light all darkness disappears, and with the darkness all the doubts, all the questions. And a tremendous insight arises that you are not separate from existence; hence there is no question of goal, no question of direction; no question where you are going, why you are going.

Then just to be part of the whole is so immense and so overwhelming, one feels fulfilled and contented. There is nowhere to go; you have arrived.

The theatrical agent, trying to sell a new strip act to a nightclub manager, was carrying on very excitedly about a girl’s unbelievable seventy-two, twenty-six, forty, figure.

“What kind of dance does she do?” the manager inquired, impressed by the description of the girl’s figure.

“Well, she doesn’t actually dance at all,” the agent replied. “She just crawls out onto the stage and tries to stand up!”

With that kind of figure… how can you dance? Even if you can stand up, that’s enough! Let me repeat the figure — seventy-two, twenty-six, forty!

Cliff, you have come to the right place. Here we are not giving you any goals, any heaven, any paradise. We are not selling any future to you. We are not in any business — the churches are, the temples are, the synagogues are. I am teaching you that there is no goal and that there is no meaning, but there is great joy, and great love, and great blissfulness. And all that you have to pay for it is to drop your false ego, your false personality.

Become silent. In your silence, all questions will disappear. And the dance will begin whatever the figure! Because as far as your inner being is concerned, it has no figure; it is just a luminous flame which can dance. It has been eternally there, repressed by you. You are the greatest enemy of yourself. My effort is to turn you into the greatest friend of yourself.


From The Invitation, Chapter Five

The Invitation

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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Too Tongue in Cheek – Osho

One says you told Ram he is enlightened – In the sense of realized. Another says you had both your tongues in both your cheeks. Ram says you were joking and that I should ask you. I tell myself it is really none of my business, but still, is he? Has he?

This is from Anurag.

If he has understood that I was joking, then he must be enlightened.


From Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V. 8, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Choice is Yours – Osho

I am energy that becomes thoughts and emotions. I am the expression of those thoughts and emotions. I am the witness of those thoughts and emotions. Which of this holy trinity is the closest to the unique being that is me?

The last category, energy as awareness, is the closest to the very center of existence. Then thinking goes a little far away, then expression goes a little farther away. In turning back from expression to thinking, and from thinking to non-thinking and just pure awareness, you are closest to yourself and to existence itself.

In emotions, in thoughts, in expressions, it is the same energy, but it is moving towards the periphery, the circumference, not towards the center. The closer you are to the circumference, the farther you are away from yourself.

Drop backwards step by step. It is a journey to the source, and the source is all that you need to experience… because it is not only your source, it is the source of the stars and the moon and the sun. It is the source of all.

You can move towards the periphery. That’s what people are doing. It is the same energy, just the direction is different – the energy going outward, going further away from yourself. It is the same energy. Remember, I am not saying that it is different energy, but it is going further away from yourself. You will come to know many things, but you will never know yourself.

Coming closer to yourself, it is the same energy. And to know oneself should be a singular goal for every intelligent person in the world; otherwise, you can know the whole world and yet remain ignorant about yourself. Your whole knowledge is futile. You may not know anything, but if you know yourself, your life will be of peace, love, silence, and of great ecstasy.

The choice is yours.


From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 35

Path of the Mystic

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt The Choice is Yours.

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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Dancingly Disappear – Osho

Often, when I am deeply relaxed, a strong feeling to die comes up in me. In these moments I feel myself as part of the whole cosmos, and I want to disappear into it. On one hand, it is such a beautiful feeling, and I am so grateful for it. On the other hand I mistrust it: maybe I have not said “yes” to myself, to my being, if the desire to die is so strong. Is it a suicidal desire?

It is not a suicidal desire. One basic thing about suicide is that it arises only in people who are clinging very much to life. And when they fail in their clinging, the mind moves to the opposite pole. The function of the mind is of either/or: either it wants the whole, or none of it. The lust for life cannot be fulfilled totally, because life as such is a temporal thing; it is bound to end at a point, just as it began one day at a point. You cannot have a line with only the beginning; somewhere or other there is bound to be an end.

So the people who commit suicide are not against life; it only appears so. They want life in its totality, they want to grab it whole, and when they fail — and they are bound to fail — then out of frustration, out of failure, they start thinking of death. Then suicide is the only alternative. They will not be satisfied with whatsoever life gives them; they want more and more and more.

Life is short, and the desire for more and more is infinite, so the failure is certain. Somewhere or other there is bound to come a moment when they will feel they have been cheated by life. Nobody is cheating them — they have cheated themselves. They have been asking too much, and they have only been asking, they have not been giving anything, not even gratefulness. In anger, in rage, in revenge the pendulum of the mind moves to the other end — still they do not know with whom they are taking the revenge. They are killing themselves: it does not destroy life, it does not destroy existence.

So this experience is not of a suicidal nature. It is something similar to suicide, but on a very different level and from a very different dimension. When you are relaxed, when there is no tension in you, when there is no desire, when the mind is as silent as a lake without any ripples, a deep feeling arises in you to disappear in this moment, because life has not given you anything better than this. There have been moments of happiness, of pleasure, but this is something far beyond happiness and pleasure; it is pure blissfulness.

To turn back from it is really hard. One wants to go deeper, and one can see going deeper means disappearing. Most of him has already disappeared in relaxation, in silence, in desirelessness. Most of his personality has already gone; just a small thread of the ego is still hanging around. And he would like to take a jump out of this circle of the ego, because if relaxing even within the ego brings so much benediction, one cannot imagine what will be the result if everything is dissolved, so that one can say, “I am not and existence is.”

This is not a suicidal instinct. This is what basically is meant by spiritual liberation: it is liberation from the ego, from desire, even from the lust for life. It is total liberation, it is absolute freedom.

But in this situation the question is bound to arise in everyone. The question is arising not out of your intelligence; the question is arising out of your cowardice. You really want some excuse not to dissolve, not to evaporate into the infinite. Immediately the mind gives you the idea that this is what suicide is: — “Don’t commit suicide. Suicide is a sin, suicide is a crime. Come back!” And you start coming back. And coming back means you become again tense, again full of anxieties, again full of desires. Again the whole tragic drama of your life…

It is your fear of total dissolution. But you don’t want to accept it as a fear, so you give it a condemnatory name — suicide. It has nothing to do with suicide; it is really going deeper into life.

Life has two dimensions. One is horizontal — in which you are all living, in which you are always asking for more and more and more. The quantity is not the question; no quantity is going to satisfy you.

The horizontal line is the quantitative line. You can go on and on. It is like the horizon — as you go on, the horizon goes on receding back. The distance between you and the goal of your more and more, the goal of your desire, remains always exactly the same. It was the same when you were a child, it was the same when you were young, it is the same when you are old. It will remain the same to your last breath. The horizontal line is exactly an illusion. The horizon does not exist, it only appears — there, perhaps just a few miles away, the sky is meeting the earth… it meets nowhere. And out of the horizon comes the horizontal line — unending, because the goal is illusory; you cannot come to make it a reality. And your patience is limited; your span of life is limited. One day you realize that it seems all futile, meaningless: “I am unnecessarily dragging myself, torturing myself, reaching nowhere.” Then the opposite of it arises in you — destroy yourself. It is not worthwhile to live, because life promises, but never delivers the goods.

But life has another line — a vertical line. The vertical line moves in a totally different dimension. In such an experience, for a moment you have turned your face towards the vertical.

You are not asking — that’s why you are being given.

You are not desiring — that’s why so much is made available to you.

You don’t have any goal — that’s why you are so close to it.

Because there is no desire, no goal, no asking, no begging, you don’t have any tension; you are utterly relaxed. In this relaxed state is the meeting with existence.

The fear comes at the moment when you come to dissolve your last part, because then it will be irrevocable; you will not be able to come back.

I have told many times a beautiful poem of Rabindranath Tagore. The poet has been searching for God for millions of lives. He has seen him sometimes, far away, near a star, and he started moving that way, but by the time he reached that star, God has moved to some other place. But he went on searching and searching — he was determined to find God’s home — and the surprise of surprises was, one day he actually reached a house where on the door was written: “God’s Home.”

You can understand his ecstasy, you can understand his joy. He runs up the steps, and just as he is going to knock on the door, suddenly his hand freezes. An idea arises in him: “If by chance this is really the home of God, then I am finished, my seeking is finished. I have become identified with my seeking, with my search. I don’t know anything else. If the door opens and I face God, I am finished — the search is over. Then what? Then there is an eternity of boredom — no excitement, no discovery, no new challenge, because there cannot be any challenge greater than God.”

He starts trembling with fear, takes his shoes off his feet, and descends back down the beautiful marble steps. He took the shoes off so that no noise was made, for his fear was that even a noise on the steps… God may open the door, although he has not knocked. And then he runs as fast as he has never run before. He used to think that he had been running after God as fast as he can, but today, suddenly, he finds energy which was never available to him before. He runs as he has never run, not looking back.

The poem ends, “I am still searching for God. I know his home, so I avoid it and search everywhere else. The excitement is great, the challenge is great, and in my search I continue, I continue to exist. God is a danger — I will be annihilated. But now I am not afraid even of God, because I know His home. So, leaving His home aside, I go on searching for him all around the universe. And deep down I know my search is not for God; my search is to nourish my ego.”

I place Rabindranath Tagore as one of the greatest religious men of our century, although he is not ordinarily related with religion. But only a religious man of tremendous experience can write this poem. It is not just ordinary poetry; it contains such a great truth. And that’s what your question is raising. Relaxed, you come to a moment where you feel you are going to disappear, and then you think, “Perhaps this is a suicidal instinct,” and you come back to your old miserable world. But that miserable world has one thing: it protects your ego, it allows you to be.

This is the strange situation: blissfulness does not allow you; you have to disappear. That’s why you don’t see many blissful people in the world. Misery nourishes your ego — that’s why you see so many miserable people in the world. The basic central point is the ego.

So you have not come to a point of suicide. You have come to a point of nirvana, of cessation, of disappearance, of blowing out the candle. This is the ultimate experience. If you can gather courage, just one step more… Existence is only one step away from you.

Don’t listen to this garbage of your mind saying that this is suicide. You are neither drinking poison, nor are you hanging yourself from a tree, and you are not shooting yourself with a gun — what suicide? You are simply becoming thinner and thinner and thinner. And the moment comes when you are so thin and so spread all over existence that you cannot say you are, but you can say that existence is. This we have called enlightenment, not suicide.

This we have called realization of the ultimate truth. But you have to pay the price. And the price is nothing but dropping the ego. So when such a moment comes, don’t hesitate. Dancingly, disappear… with a great laughter, disappear; with songs on your lips, disappear.

I am not a theoretician, this is not my philosophy. I have come to the same borderline many times and turned back. I have also found the home of God many times and could not knock. Jesus has a few sayings. One of the sayings is, “Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.” If this sentence has any meaning, it is this meaning that I am giving you now.

So when this moment comes, rejoice and melt. It is human nature — and understandable — that many times you will come back. But those many times don’t count. One time, gather all courage and take a jump.

You will be, but in such a new way that you cannot connect it with the old. It will be a discontinuity. The old was so tiny, so small, so mean, and the new is so vast. From a small dewdrop you have become the ocean. But even the dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf trembles for a moment, tries to hang on a little more, because he can see the ocean… once he has fallen from the lotus leaf he is gone. Yes, in a way he will not be; as a dewdrop he will be gone. But it is not a loss. He will be oceanic.

And all other oceans are limited.

The ocean of existence is unlimited.


From Beyond Psychology, Chapter Four

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.

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



Filed under Advaita, Osho

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.


Filed under Osho