The Centre is the Master

One friend asks how a person should find the internal centre that is mentioned by Lao Tzu and develop its hunger.

Sit with your eyes closed and think, “Where is the centre of my body?” We live through our body, but it is an unfortunate fact that we do not give any thought to the centre of our body. We are completely ignorant of the pivot on which the body functions. Many people believe the head to be the centre of all body functions because it is in the brain that all activities seem to take place.

The fact is, however, that the brain forms much later. When the child is conceived, there is no brain and yet life functions. But that which is formed later, cannot be the centre. People who are emotional, like most women, artists, poets, feel the centre to be the heart because whatever these people have known and experienced — love, beauty and the like — are things that have had a direct impact on their heart. That is why, when people talk of love, their hand inadvertently goes to their heart. So those who are emotional take the heart to be the centre of the body.

But the heart does not beat until the child takes its first breath. The child hears the mother’s heart beat within. Therefore, the sound “tick-tick” causes not only children but also adults to fall asleep. The sound of water dripping, or the ticking of a watch, induces sleep. Doctors say that the ticking of a clock is a very good tranquilizer. The heart in the embryo does not function like a heart and yet the child is alive.

Therefore, the heart also is not the centre. Lao Tzu says, “The navel is the centre and not the heart or the brain.” The child is joined to the mother by its navel. The first glimpse of life comes through the navel. This is scientifically correct.

So, search within. Lao Tzu says, “Keep searching within and bring your consciousness to the level of the navel centre. That is the first step of sadhana.” When the authentic centre and the centre of your understanding become one, you will become a united, integrated whole. When the centre of your mind, the centre of your consciousness and your authentic centre concentrate and converge into a single focus, you will find that your life has changed. You are now a new person altogether.

Lao Tzu’s disciples have, for ages, been carrying out a simple experiment to prove that you cannot grow unless you locate your centre within. The experiment is this. Take two small tanks of equal dimensions. Fill them with water. Insert an iron rod in the middle of one tank, leaving the other as it is. Put two identical fish and put one in each tank. Given the same conditions and the same diet, you will be surprised to find that the fish in the tank with the iron-rod in the centre develops quickly, whereas the growth of the fish in the other tank, which is without the central rod, is slower. The fish in the former tank swims around and around the rod, while the fish in the second tank has no centre. It swims here and there listlessly in the absence of a centre and is also more prone to illness.

This experiment has been religiously carried out by the followers of Lao Tzu for hundreds of years and it has always been found that the fish in the tank with the centre rod has always been well-developed and healthy, whereas the fish in the other tank was stunted in growth and unhealthy.

The followers of Lao Tzu maintain that a person who succeeds in locating his centre finds his consciousness revolving around and around this centre. It is only then that his consciousness begins to develop. Those who do not find their centres remain stunted and lifeless, like the fish in the second tank, because they have no centre, no base around which they can revolve and develop. They cannot find their direction: where they should go, what they should do. By revolving round the same circumference, the consciousness develops.

Lao Tzu says: “Your consciousness becomes concentrated when it discovers the navel centre. Then it begins to revolve around it.” Lao Tzu says: “When you walk, keep your attention on the navel. When you sit, keep your mind on the navel; when you get up, be aware of the navel. Do what you will, but let your consciousness always move around the navel.” Become a fish and go round and round the navel, and you will soon discover a new, powerful consciousness arising within you. The results are wondrous!

There are many experiments you carry out. You are sitting on a chair. Now, Lao Tzu says your way of sitting on the chair is wrong, therefore, you get tired. He says, “Do not sit on the chair.” This does not mean you are not actually to sit on the chair; that you should sit on the ground. Lao Tzu says, “Sit on the chair but do not put your weight on the chair. Put all your weight on the navel.”

You can carry out the experiment right away. It is only a matter of emphasis. When we put all our weight on the chair the emphasis is in the chair. The chair becomes the all in all. You are merely like a coat hanging on a peg. If the peg breaks, you fall down, like a coat which has no centre of its own and which depends on the peg for its centre. Lao Tzu says you will tire yourself this way because you are not acting like an animate, conscious being and are depending entirely on an inanimate object.

Lao Tzu says: “Sit on the chair but be fixed at your own centre at the navel.” Hang everything on the peg of the navel. Hours will go by and you will find no sign of fatigue. If a man begins to live by hanging his consciousness on the peg of the navel-centre, all mental-fatigue vanishes. A unique freshness pervades his mind, a serene calmness flows within him and he gains a self-confidence which only those who have found their centre attain.

So the first step in this sadhana is to find your centre and to continue your efforts till the consciousness reaches not only the navel but two inches below the navel. Then one should begin to keep this centre always in mind. When one breathes in, this centre should rise up; when one breathes out, this centre should go down. Then, a constant japa begins: the rising of the centre with the incoming breath and the falling of the centre with the outgoing breath. If this becomes a conscious act, it yields great results. This is very difficult of course in the beginning, because remembrance is the most difficult thing to do. Constant remembrance is even more difficult. You might say, “That is not such a difficult thing at all. I can recollect the name of a person even after six years!” This is not remembrance. This is recollection smriti.

Understand the difference. Recollection means you know something; you pass it on to your memory for recording. The memory stores this information and reproduces it on demand. Remembrance smaran means, constant, non-stop remembering. Try it a little: Observe the rising and falling of your abdomen as the breath comes and goes for just five minutes. After two seconds you will find that you have forgotten. You have started to do something else. Then you will be perturbed. You could not concentrate for even two seconds? The respiration was going on as usual; the abdomen also rose and fell accordingly, but you were not there. Then again bring back your remembrance.

If you strive continuously, your remembrance will increase — second by second. When you find that you can observe the breath constantly without a simple break for three minutes — and this short interval of three minutes will seem like three year — then you will find that you have begun to experience the centre correctly. Then you will feel the body to be separate from the centre.

This centre is the centre of energy. One who is united to this centre, reaches infinite exaltation because he is constantly receiving infinite energy. So, keep a constant remembrance of the navel centre and let your consciousness revolve around it constantly. That is the temple. Keep circling around this temple. Whatever the state within you — whether there is anger or hatred, jealousy or misery or happiness — whatever the state, your first duty is to return to the navel. Then do whatever you wish.

Someone gives you news of the death of a loved one. Go back to the navel. Then let the news go within you. “Then,” Lao Tzu says, “No one’s death will cause a blow to the mind.” You may not have observed, or perhaps you have or maybe you realised later on, recollecting the incident — that whenever you have been given news of great joy or sorrow, the first effect has always been on the navel. You are walking on the road, or cycling, or going in a car, and suddenly an accident occurs. The first impact is on the navel. It begins to tremble. Then, the whole body begins to tremble.

Lao Tzu says, “Whenever anything happens, go back first to the navel centre.” Your first work is remembrance of the navel. Then, do what you like. Then happiness will not make you mad with joy, and sorrow will fail to make you unhappy. Then your centre will stand apart from the happenings that take place on the periphery. Then you remain the witness only. Yoga says, “Practice the sadhana of witnessing.” Lao Tzu says. “Remember the navel centre constantly and the witness state will result by itself.”

You will step outside of birth and death the day you become conscious of your navel centre, because this centre arises before birth and is the only thing that remains after death, when all else is lost. So he who knows and recognizes his navel centre, knows that there is no birth for him nor death. He becomes beyond birth and death.

Keep constant remembrance. Seek the centre and keep incessant remembrance smaran. The first thing is to find the centre, second is to keep on remembering it, and third is to remember the frequent loss of the remembrance. “This is going to be rather difficult however. People come to me and say, “I try to keep my attention on the nabhi, the navel, but I cannot. What should I do?”

To this I say: Keep attention on the fact that you have lost attention. Make it a part of your meditation. Be attentive to inattention also: don’t let it pass unnoticed by you. Whenever you slip, be conscious of the slip and you will go back to remembrance, the current of meditation will join the mainstream again.

Now, the last thing. When the remembrance is complete and the centre becomes clear to you — when you experience the centre — then surrender everything to the centre. Say to the centre, “You alone are the master. Release me!” This surrender is easy.

Surrender is very difficult until the centre is experienced. People say, “Surrender to God,” but we have no knowledge of God. How is surrender to an unknown entity possible? And even if God is known, you still remain the owner of your surrender. If you feel sometime that God is not to your taste, you will withdraw your surrender. We are the givers and we are the withdrawers — what can God do? But the surrender that can be withdrawn is no surrender; in fact, it was never surrender.

Lao Tzu’s method is different. Lao Tzu says: “The day the centre is known and felt, you begin to understand and experience that the centre is the master that does not need your assistance. The breath comes and goes; sleep comes, then awakening; birth happens, then death. The current of life flows on from the centre, without your help.” Then the question of surrendering does not arise because surrender just happens.

So the third and last stage of sadhana is to experience the surrender to the centre. Then there is no way for the ego to save itself. In the state of such surrender a person reach s the highest attainment.

-Osho

From The Way of Tao, Vol. 2, Chapter 7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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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Hara, the Third Eye and Zen – Osho

I heard you say that the center of our Buddhahood is at the hara  point inside the body. Is there also a sleeping buddha energy in our hearts and in the third eye? 

Do we all have the same potential of remembering, each one with his or her unique expression of creativity? 

Please comment. 

The hara center is the source of all your energy. It can grow just like a tree grows from the roots into different branches.

According to a different calculation of Patanjali, the energy can be divided into seven centers, but the original source remains the hara. From the hara it can go up.

The seventh center is in the head, and the sixth center is what you call the third eye. The fifth center is in our throat, and the fourth center is exactly in the middle: the heart. Below the heart there are three centers, above the heart there are three centers. But all these seven centers grow like a tree from the original source of the hara. That’s why, in Japanese, suicide is called hara-kiri. People don’t cut their throats, they don’t cut their heads. They simply pierce a small knife into the hara center – just exactly two inches below the navel – and the person dies. And you will not know at all that somebody has committed suicide. Just the energy is released from the body, the source is opened.

I am trying to take you to the very original source. From there, it is up to you to bring your energy into any center you want.

Between the first center, the hara, and the seventh center in the head, the energy can move just like the energy moves into different branches of a tree – from the roots to the uppermost flowering. The hara is the source. When it blossoms, it reaches suddenly to the seventh center, piercing your heart, your throat, and at the seventh center it blossoms as a lotus. Man is also a flowering tree.

These are different ways of looking at things. Patanjali’s yoga is one of the ways; Zen is a totally different approach. To me, Zen seems to be more scientific, while Patanjali seems to be more intellectual and philosophical. Zen begins from the very source.

The buddha is not lying anywhere else other than in the hara; he is not lying in the heart. The energy can be brought to the heart, then the expression will be love. The energy can be brought to the third eye, then you will be able to see things which are not ordinarily visible – auras of people, auras of things, a certain kind of X-ray energy that goes deeper into things. If the same energy moves into the seventh center, according to Patanjali, samadhi is attained – you become enlightened.

But these are different calculations. Rather than talking about samadhi, I would rather encourage you to enter into the source of energy from where everything is going to happen. I don’t like to talk about the flowers much, because that talk will remain simply conceptual. My approach is more pragmatic.

I want you to experience your sleeping energy. And the moment you reach there, it awakens. It sleeps only if you are not there. If your awareness reaches to the source, it wakes up, and in its waking is the Buddhahood. In its waking you become for the first time part of existence: no ego, no self, a pure nothingness.

People are afraid of the word ‘nothingness’. In the second question that fear is clear.

The second question is:

Though you have infused the sutras with life and humor, for me, Zen remains the stark beauty of the desert, and I long for something else.

Why can’t I drop the idea that my way is not via emptiness, but fullness? I still carry this longing for some kind of union, a melting outwards rather than dissolving into nothingness inside.

With whom are you going to melt outside? You don’t know even who you are. And who has told you that Zen is a “stark beauty of the desert”? Zen is perhaps the most beautiful path, full of flowers, songs, joy and laughter.

But the idea of nothingness creates a certain fear of dissolving into a desert. It is just your mind that makes the difference between emptiness and fullness. In realizing either, you will be realizing the other too, because they are two aspects of one thing, of one phenomenon which can either be called nothingness, or can be called fullness.

Zen has chosen rightly to call it nothingness, because fullness can give you misunderstandings. The moment you think of fullness you start imagining. The moment you think of melting into someone outside, immediately a God, a paradise, a heaven, and all kinds of imaginations arise. And those imaginations will prevent you from going anywhere.

I am not helping your imagination at all. I am trying to uproot your imagination in every possible way. I want to leave you without images, in utter silence, in nothingness, because that is the only way to attain fullness.

When the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, it is not that it becomes nothing. Yes, it becomes nothing but it also becomes the ocean. In its disappearing as a dewdrop, on the other side it is also becoming the whole ocean. So the fullness and nothingness are not two things, only two concepts of the mind, but in reality, only two ways of saying one thing. Emptiness, or nothingness, is better because it does not allow any imagination to arise.

Fullness is dangerous. If rightly used there is no problem. Fullness will also dissolve God, and paradise, and heaven and hell, and incarnation. But mind is capable of using the idea of fullness in a way that it cannot use the word ‘nothingness’. To prevent the mind from using the word ‘fullness’ and preventing you from realizing the reality, from Gautam Buddha onwards the word ‘nothingness’ has been chosen. But nothingness is not absence; nothingness is not dead. Nothingness is fullness, but so full that you cannot define it, and you cannot make a limit or a boundary to it.

Unbounded fullness and nothingness, in experience, mean exactly the same. But for the beginner, the word ‘fullness’ is dangerous – and everybody is a beginner.

Begin with something which is less capable of taking you astray from reality. Fullness can be used only by a master who knows that nothingness and fullness are synonymous. But for the beginner it is dangerous, because for him fullness means something opposed to nothingness. If ‘fullness’ is synonymous with ‘nothingness’, then there is no problem. Then the desert becomes the ocean, then there is only beauty and song and dance.

Nothingness gives the idea to the mind that everything will be lost. You will be lost, but the truth is, the moment everything is lost, including you, you have gained the whole universe – all the stars within you, and the vast universe inside your heart. It is not losing anything, so don’t be worried about nothing.

The questioner goes on:

Is this just my refusal to grow up? Am I fooling myself? Are we all to embrace the Zen Manifesto no matter what ‘type’ we feel we are?

There is no question of type. All types are just superficial. At the innermost core there is only one existence. The Zen Manifesto is not for a particular type, it is for all – for men and for women, and for black and white, and for Hindu and Mohammedan, and for Christian and Buddhist. It does not matter what kind of conditioning you have been brought up in, Zen is simply a technique of entering into your veryness. The entrance is so deep that nothing remains, and all is found.

Gurdjieff has written a book, All and Nothing. I would like to withdraw the word ‘and’, because all is nothing; there is no question of ‘and’. Whatever type you are – introvert, extrovert – it does not matter, you are all part of the same existence. And when you relax into existence, all your differences disappear; only oneness remains. You can call that oneness whatever you like, but basically it is nothingness. You can give it any color; you can call it by any name, but don’t start calling it by another name from the beginning, because that can take you astray. Somebody may think that he can call it God, then he will start worshipping a God which is man manufactured.

For the beginner, nothing is the most secure path to avoid the mind playing games. Nothing is beyond the reaches of the mind, so it cannot play games with it. But anything else you name it, mind is capable of playing games with it.

The whole effort of meditation is not to allow the mind to play games. It has been playing games for centuries. One has to come to the point of seeing all the games of the mind: all the gods, all the messiahs, all the prophets, all the religions, all the philosophies.

Existence is available to a silent being, not to the learned, not to the well informed, not to the scholar. It is available to the innocent, and meditation is a way of becoming innocent again. Getting back your childhood, being reborn, knowing nothing, a silence, a joy, a blissfulness arises which is indestructible, which is eternal.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Chapter Seven

The Zen Manifesto

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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This Host is Your Being in its Purity – Osho

I am never born as a body.

I am not the ten senses.

And I am neither intellect,

nor mind nor everlasting ego.

I am eternally pure self-nature

without vital breath and mind.

I am the witness without intellect,

And I am the ever-knowing self-nature.

There is no doubt, whatsoever, about it. 

-Sarvasar Upanishad 

A very long journey from “I” to “thou,” from “thou” to “that,” and from “that” to the beyond. And now again the rishi begins to talk about “Who am I?” Obviously, the first “I” is not referred to, that has been just disposed of. This is a second “I.”

The first “I” constitutes the ego; constitutes whatsoever we have done, whatsoever we have achieved, whatsoever has been our accumulation. This second “I” is not our doing; this second “I” is our being. So we must distinguish between these two: the doing and the being.

The being is something which is there, has been there; it is a priori.  It is not your creation, it is not your construction, you have not contributed anything to it, because you are it. So how can you do anything? And whatsoever you have done is just an accumulations around – never on the center; the center has always been there.

The child is born. The child is born with a being, with a center, but with no periphery, with no circumference. The child is born with a being, but with no doing at all. Now the doing will grow; now the child will cultivate the ego. Whatsoever the child is going to do will become part of his ego. If he succeeds, then a superiority is accumulated; if he fails, then an inferiority is accumulated. And whether you begin to feel to be inferior or superior, a certain ego is formed. Even when you feel inferior, you have an ego which feels to be inferior. If you succeed, you have an ego which feels to be superior.

The ego means whatsoever you have done – whether you succeed or fail, it is irrelevant, you create an ego. You begin to assert, “I am this, I am that.” And the more this feeling grows, the more the center is lost, and by and by forgotten. In the end we are nothing but our doings. The being is just lost; we have lost the track.

So first we discussed the “I,” the ego, the superficial, the one created by us – our own creation. Now the rishi is talking about the being – what we are, not what we have done; what we are, pure, simple beingness. Of course when we say “I” and use “I” for it, the meaning is totally different. We again refer to it as an “I,” because this is the innermost center of our existence. But now there is no feeling of “I-ness,” only a reference, only a word to be used and forgotten. This pure “I,” this pure being, can only be described in a negative way, through elimination. We have to say, “This is not, that is not,” and go on denying. And when nothing remains to deny anymore, it is revealed.

There are two ways to indicate a thing. One is direct, positive; another is indirect, negative. The more sublime a phenomenon, the more deep a thing is, you cannot indicate it positively, you cannot figure it out. You cannot say, “This is.” No, that’s not possible. How can you say what love is? How can you say what goodness is? How can you say what God is? If you say something positive, you will feel that much has remained unexpressed, and your word has given a limitation.

Saint Augustine has been asked by someone, “What is God?” Saint Augustine says, “When you do not ask me, I know very well, but when you ask me, everything is lost. So don’t disturb me; go and find out. Please go and find out for yourself. I am not going to answer, because the moment I begin to answer, I feel guilty. Any expression becomes just criminal, because whatsoever I say is nothing compared to that about which I am saying.” This has always been felt, very deeply felt, and so many have just remained silent, mm? – not to be guilty; it is better not to say.

Wittgenstein has written in his Tractatus, “It is better not to say than to say something about a thing which is inexpressible. So be silent, it is better, because at least you are right.” At least you are right! The moment you say something you are bound to be wrong, any assertion is bound to be wrong. So infinite a phenomenon as the deeper “I”…. It is better to be silent. But it needs expression. It may be better for the person who is going to say, but it is not better for the person who is going to understand it, to enquire about it. Silence will not do.

So the rishi uses the second method, the negative one. The Upanishads have been using the same method always. That has been their technique, to negate. They will say, “I am that which is never born. I am the unborn one. All that which is born, I am not. So whatsoever is born, I am not.” This is the eliminating process. Whatsoever is born, I am not. Breathing has been born in me. It is born because a child is born without breathing, then he breathes. So the being precedes breathing; being comes first, and then there is breathing. Then there is thinking, then there is ego – all this is born.

If we go still deeper, when the mother becomes pregnant, the first egg has no senses, but the being is there. Then by and by the egg grows and then senses come into being; they are born. After the being is, it is born.

So the rishi says: “I am not the senses, because I am always prior.” I always precede. And whatsoever has succeeded me, I am not.”

“I am not the senses” – that is, I am not the body – “neither am I the mind,” because mind is a later growth, and sometimes mind can be destroyed without destroying you. Sometimes it happens that accidentally the mind is destroyed, and you are.

In the Second World War, one English soldier fell down into a ditch. He became unconscious, and he remained unconscious for one week. And when he came back from unconsciousness, he was not the same mind again. He couldn’t recognize anyone – not even himself; he couldn’t recognize his face in the mirror, because all his memory was lost; the whole mechanism was destroyed. But the being was still there. So the mind is a mechanism – something added to you, but not you. It is something instrumental to you, but not you.

The rishi says, “I am not the mind. Neither am I the feeling of being a self.” Neither am I the feeling of being a self, because how can you feel yourself as a self without the mind? The feeling of self is part of the mind, that, “I am.” Go deep into it. We use “I am.” This feeling of “I” is part of our mind. The rishi says, “No not this either. This feeling of being a self is again not my reality, my being.” So when the rishi says, “Not even the feeling of self,” then what remains? “I” drops completely, and only “am-ness” remains. The feeling of “I” belongs to the mind, but “am-ness” belongs to my being itself. A feeling of “am-ness” is what is meant by atma – just “am-ness.”

If you can drop your thinking, you will be, but in an oceanic feeling of “am-ness.” Even this formation of “I,” this formation of self-hood, is not there. That is a later growth.

The rishi is really trying to bring into consciousness, the purest possibility of existence, with nothing added to it – the purest, just a clean slate, nothing written on it. So he is washing everything that we have written on it, and just cleaning the whole thing. When nothing more remains to be washed, he says, “This is the being.” Because whatsoever is written is just doing – howsoever subtle, howsoever hidden, howsoever unconscious – whatsoever is written is a later growth.

So go back, retrace, regress to the original “am-ness.” That, he says, even when there is no breathing, where there is no “minding,” this being is there – without mind, without breathing, without senses. What remains? But what remains? Just a vacuum? Just a nothingness? No, all remains, but in its purity, in its potentiality, in its absolute seed.

Only one positive assertion is made, and that is, “This innermost center is aware, is conscious.” The very nature of it is consciousness. When everything has been eliminated – thoughts, senses, body, mind – when everything has been eliminated, only pure consciousness remains. This is the nature of it.

What is meant by pure consciousness? By pure consciousness is meant that there is consciousness; not conscious about anything – just a mirror, mirroring nothing. Towards this purity is the whole search. And the rishi says, “There is no doubt about it,” because this is not a doctrine, this is not a philosophical system; this is experience, this is realization. The rishi says, “This I have known; this I have lived; this I have reached. This is not just a mental projection; this is not just a thought-out system; this is what I have lived and known and experienced.”

This must be understood because this is one of the most emphatic characteristics of Eastern darshan – I will not call it philosophy. It has been called and translated as philosophy very wrongly – not only wrongly, but the very meaning is perverted. By darshan is meant that which you have seen, not thought. By philosophy is meant that which you have thought.

Philosophy means love of thinking. Philo means love, sophy means thinking – love of thinking.

Darshan is not love of thinking; it is love of seeing. So only one man, Hermann Hesse, has rightly

translated it; he has coined a new word to translate darshan into English, and that word is philosia philo for love, and sia for seeing – not sophy, but sia.

The Eastern mind has been constantly concerned, not with thinking, but with seeing. They say thinking is a pale substitute. You have seen the sunrise, that is one thing. Someone who is blind can only think about the sunrise. Can there be any parallel? Can there be any comparison? Whatsoever you have seen and whatsoever he may have thought – can there be any link between the two? A blind man thinking about the sunrise is really a very complex phenomenon, primarily, because a blind man has never known what sunrise is, what light is. What does rising mean to a blind man? What does light mean to a blind man? Simple words – only words, mere words with nothing in them – meaningless. He has heard “light,” “sun,” “sunrise”; he can think. What can he think? He can think in a chain of words. He can create a chain of words – simple – a chain of words, not of meanings, because meaning is something which is always felt. A word is meaningless unless you have felt the substance of it. A blind man cannot think about the sunrise because he cannot even think about light; really, he cannot even think about darkness.

We always think, we assume that the blind man is living in darkness. That is simply absurd, because darkness is a phenomenon of the eyes, not of blindness. You have to be not blind to know darkness: darkness is seen, and a blind man cannot see. So a blind man is not in darkness – remember this. A blind man has never known what darkness is, because for darkness to be felt, you need eyes. So even darkness has not been known. So if you eliminate, negate, and you say to the blind man, “Light is what darkness is not,” it still means nothing. You cannot even use the eliminative process; you cannot say, “Light is not darkness.” He will ask what darkness is.

A blind man can think. Thinking is a dimension which need not be experienced. He can think, he can create concepts in his own way – in his own blind ways he can create concepts. He can create some parallelism; he can create some synonyms. He can begin to think in terms of his own experience about light, darkness and sunrise, and he can create a philosophy. Really, only blind men create philosophies, because those who can see will not bother to create philosophies. If you can see, there is no need.

This is the basic difference between Eastern thinking and Western. Western thinking has always remained with thinking; Eastern thinking has always stepped out of thinking, because they say even thinking is a barrier to seeing. If your eyes are filled with thoughts, you cannot see. The eyes must cease all thinking, all ideation, all minding – then the eyes are clear, then you can go deep into reality.

So the rishi says, “There is no doubt about it. Whatsoever I am saying, I have seen, and there is no doubt.” So it is not, “I don’t know, but I propose… perhaps… it may be so….” It is not so. The rishi is not saying, “Perhaps it may be like this,” or “Perhaps it may be like that.” He is simply saying – he is describing. So it is not that he is proposing any ideology; it is simply this, that he is describing something he has gone into. So he says, “There is no doubt. I myself have known this: this pure consciousness.”

How to go? – because for us still there is doubt. It may not be for him – for the rishi it may not be – but for us there is still doubt. And it is good – if you also say, “”Now there is no doubt,” then you are lost, because if there is no doubt for you, you will not go for the journey where the certainty is. You will create a pseudo certainty; all believers create pseudo certainties. They also say, “We believe it is so,” and they have not known.

Unless you know, do not believe.

Unless you know, do not say, “There is no doubt.”

Remain with the doubt.

Doubt is healthy; it pushes you.

But don’t get stuck in the doubt – go ahead, find the state where you can also say, “Now there is no doubt. I know it.” But not before that – not before that.

Live with doubt, go with doubt; search, enquire.

Don’t make your doubt suicidal – that’s enough – don’t make your doubt suicidal. Let it be a healthy push! Let it be an enquiry, an open enquiry.

So be with doubt. Don’t create any false belief. It is better to be sincerely in doubt, than to be insincerely into belief, because at least you are authentic. And authenticity is very meaningful. An authentic, sincere person can reach – will reach. But a non-authentic, insincere person may go on believing for lives and lives together. He is not even moving a single inch; he cannot move. So when this rishi says, “There is no doubt,” it is not meant that thereby you begin to believe. The rishi is simply giving a statement about his own stage. He is saying, “For me, there is no doubt. Whatsoever I am saying, I mean it, and I have known it.”

Really, the Upanishads have never given any arguments. Whatsoever they say, they say without any arguments, without any proofs. This is rare! They don’t say why this is so; they say, “This is so.” Why? It is significant. It is very significant, because whenever you try to prove something – you argue something, you gather witnesses for it – it means that you are creating a philosophy, a rationalization, a reasoning, a logical system; but you have not known.

If you have known, then a simple statement is enough. So the rishis give simple statements, and then methods – not proofs. Whatsoever they say, they say, “It is so; now this is the method, you can also know it.” They never give any proofs; quite the opposite.

There are Greek thinkers: Aristotle, or Plato, or even Socrates. They go on giving proofs. They go on giving proofs, arguments. They say, “This is so because…. And in “because” they will never say, “because I have known it.” They will say, “because this proves it, that proves it; that’s why it is so.” It is a syllogism, a logical syllogism.

These rishis are just illogical. They say, “This is so.” And if you ask, “Give us proofs,” they say, “This is the method. Experiment with it and you will get the proof.” In a way this is more scientific – less logical, but more scientific – not concerned with arguments at all, but with experiment. Really, this is what scientists are doing. If you ask them, “Why is this so, why does fire burn?” they will say, “Put your hand in it. We don’t know why, we know how it burns.”

So the basic approach of any philosophical ideation is “why?” And the basic scientific approach is always concerned with “how,” never with “why.” The rishi will never ask why we are not minds; he will ask “how” – the method. This is religious science, not philosophical systematizing. Of course, the experiment has to be different, because the lab has to be different. For scientific experimenting a lab is needed outside you; for religious experimentation you are the lab.

How? How can this pure consciousness be achieved? The very description is the process also – this eliminatory method of saying a thing is also the process. When the rishi says, “I am not the body; I am not the senses; I am not the mind” – this is also the method. Go on, go on being more and more conscious of the fact that “I am not the body.” Remain with this fact: “I am not the body.”

Remember this fact – let it go deep in you:

I am not the body.

Begin to feel the gap between you and the body and soon the gap is known, because the gap exists there – you have only forgotten it. It is not to be created; it is there already – you have just forgotten it. You have just escaped from the gap. The gap is always there, but we never go in to see the gap.

Really, this is miraculous in a way, and very strange, that we know our bodies from the outside – even our own bodies we know from the outside. This is as if you live in a house but you have never known the inner walls of the house; you have known only the outer ones – your own house! You cannot describe your body – how it looks from within? You can describe how your body looks in the mirror. But the mirror cannot see the inside; it can only see the outer, the outer shell.

But there is an inside also, because no outside can exist without an inside – or can an outside exist without an inside? But we have never become aware from the inside of our own body.

So be aware:

Close your senses, remain in, and be aware.

And begin to feel your body from the inside. There will be a gap, because there is always a gap. You will come to know that gap, and then you will know what this rishi means when he says, “I am not the body, I am not the senses, I am not the mind.” Go on, deep. Begin to look into your minding itself, into your mind process itself, and then you will begin to be aware that there is still a gap, between you and your mind.

Go on eliminating, and a moment comes when you explode into simple am-ness – without any I, without any self, without any selfhood – into pure authentic, existential being.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Chapter 15

I am not the doer. I am not the consumer.

I am simply the witness of nature.

And just because of my nearness, the body, et cetera,

have the feeling of being conscious,

and they act accordingly.

Beyond a shadow of doubt,

I am still, eternal, everlasting bliss –

Ever-knowing pure self or soul.

And I pervade all beings as the witnessing soul. 

-Sarvasar Upanishad

How does this bondage happen? How is it that we never feel that we are in the body, but feel that we are the body? The witnessing self is never felt. We always feel some identity; we always feel some identification. And the witnessing consciousness is the reality. So why does this happen? And how does this happen?

You are in pain – what is really happening inside? Analyze the whole phenomenon: the pain is there, and there is this consciousness that pain is there. These are the two points: the pain is there, and there is this consciousness that the pain is there. But there is no gap, and somehow “I am in pain” – this feeling happens – “I am in pain.” And not only this – sooner or later, “I am the pain” begins, happens, starts to be the feeling. “I am pain; I am in pain; I am aware of the pain” – these are three different, very different states.

The rishi says, “I am aware of the pain.” This much can be allowed, because then you transcend pain. The awareness transcends – you are different from it, and there is a deep separation. Really, there has never been any relation; the relation begins to appear only because of the nearness, because of the intimate nearness of your consciousness and all that happens around.

Consciousness is so near when you are in pain – it is just there by the side, very near. It has to be; otherwise, the pain cannot be cured. It has to be just near to feel it, to know it, to be aware about it. But because of this nearness, you become identified, and one. This is a safety measure again; this is a security measure, a natural security. When there is pain you must be near; when there is pain your consciousness must go in a rush towards the pain – to feel it, to do something about it.

You are on the street and suddenly you feel a snake there – then your whole consciousness just becomes a jump. No moment can be lost, not even in thinking what to do. There is no gap between being aware and the action. You must be very near; only then this can happen. When your body is suffering pain, disease, illness, you must be near; otherwise, life cannot survive. If you are far off and the pain is not felt, then you will die. The pain must be felt immediately – there should be no gap. The message must be received immediately, and your consciousness must go to the spot to do something. That’s why nearness is a necessity.

But because of this necessity, the other phenomenon happens: so near, you become one; so near, you begin to feel that “this is me – this pain, this pleasure.” Because of nearness there is identification: you become anger, you become love, you become pain, you become happiness.

The rishi says that there are two ways to disassociate yourself from these false identities. You are not what you have been thinking, feeling, imagining, projecting – what you are is simply the fact of being aware. Whatsoever happens, you remain just the awareness. You are awareness – that identity cannot be broken. That identity cannot be negated. All else can be negated and thrown. Awareness remains the ultimate substratum, the ultimate base. You cannot deny it, you cannot negate it, you cannot disassociate yourself from it.

So this is the process: That which cannot be thrown, that which cannot be made separate from you, is you; that which can be separated, you are not.

The pain is there; a moment later it may not be there – but you will be. Happiness has come, and it will go; it has been, and it will not be – but you will be. The body is young, then the body becomes old.

All else comes and goes – guests come and go – but the host remains the same. So the Zen mystics say:

Do not be lost in the crowd of the guests.

Remember your host-ness.

That host-ness is awareness.

That host-ness is the witnessing consciousness.

What is the basic element that remains always the same in you? Only be that, and disidentify yourself from all that comes and goes. But we become identified with the guest. Really the host is so occupied with the guest, he forgets.

Mulla Nasruddin has given a party for some friends and some strangers. The party is very boring, and half the night is just lost and it goes on. So one stranger, not knowing that Mulla is the host, says to him, “I have never seen such a party, such nonsense. It seems never-ending, and I am so bored that I would like to leave.”

Mulla says, “You have said what I was going to say to you. I myself have never seen such a boring and nonsense party before, but I was not so courageous as you are. I was also thinking to leave it and just run away.” So they both run.

Then, in the street Mulla remembers and says, “Something has gone wrong, because now I remember: I am the host! So please excuse me, I have to go back.”

This is happening to us all.

The host is lost –

The host is forgotten every moment.

The host is your witnessing self.

Pain comes and pleasure follows; there is happiness, and there is misery. And each moment, whatsoever comes you are identified with it, you become the guest.

Remember the host.

When the quest is there, remember the host.

And there are so many types of guests: pleasurable, painful; guests you would like, guests you would not like to be your guests; guests you would like to live with, guests you would like to avoid – but all guests.

Remember the host.

Constantly remember the host.

Be centered in the host.

Remain in your host-ness; then there is a separation. Then there is a gap, an interval – the bridge is broken. The moment this bridge is broken, the phenomenon of renunciation happens. Then you are in it, and not of it. Then you are there in the guest, and still a host. You need not escape from the guest, there is no need.

Then you can be in the crowd and alone. And if you cannot be alone in the crowd, you can never be alone anywhere, because the capacity to be alone in the crowd is needed to be alone when you are really alone; otherwise, if you cannot be alone in the crowd, the crowd will be there when you are alone. The mind will be crowded even MORE, because the mind has a tendency to feel absence more than presence.

If your beloved, if your lover is present, you can just forget very easily. But if he is not present, you cannot forget. The mind has the tendency to feel absence more, because through absence is desiring. And mind is just desiring, so mind feels absences more; otherwise, there can be no desiring. If you can forget absences, then desire becomes impossible. So we forget presences, and we go on feeling absences. Whatsoever is not, is desired; and whatsoever is, is just forgotten.

So when you are alone, the crowd will be there; it will follow you. If you escape from the crowd, the crowd will follow you. So do not escape, do not try – it is impossible. Remain where you are, but don’t be centered in the guest.

Be centered in yourself, remember the host.

This host is your being in its purity.

Do not fall in love with the guest.

Do not fall in hate with the guest.

Really, this word is very good: “falling” in love. Why falling in love? Why not rising in love? No one rises in love, everyone falls in love. Why? Why this falling? Really, the moment you are in love, or in hate, you fall from your host-ness. You just fall from your host-ness; you become the guest. That is the misery, that’s the confusion, that’s the darkness.

Wherever you are – doing, not-doing, lonely, in the crowd, active, inactive – wherever you are, go on remembering the host. Remember that whatsoever is happening is just a guest, and you are the host, and don’t be identified with anything. Anger comes – remember you are the host; anger is just a guest. It has come and it will go.

I am reminded of a Sufi story.

A great emperor asks his wise men to give him a mantra of such a type that it can be used in any dangerous, fatal situation – ANY. Advice is always particular, and he wants a mantra, an advice, the essence of all wisdom, so that it can be used in any situation whatsoever, whenever there is danger.

The wise men are very confused, very disturbed, and in a deep anguish. They cannot find such an essence of all wisdom. Then they go to a Sufi mystic and he gives a piece of paper and says, “This should not be opened unless there is really danger! And then the advice will be there.” So the king put the piece of paper under the diamond of his ring.

There are many moments when the danger approaches, but the Sufi has emphatically said, “Unless you feel this is really the last hope – that nothing can be more dangerous – only then open it!” Many dangers come and go, and the king always feels this is not the last; something more can still happen. Even death approaches, and the king is just on his deathbed, but still he cannot open it, because he remembers still more is possible.

But his wise men say, “Now please open it. We want to see what is there.” But the king says, “The promise must be fulfilled. Really, now it is irrelevant what is there; the mantra has worked upon me. Since having this mantra with me, I have not felt any danger at all. Whatsoever the danger was, I have felt still more was possible, and I have remained the host. I was never identified.”

Danger can never become the ultimate unless you are identified with it, and then anything can become the ultimate – just anything! Just anything ordinary can become the ultimate, and you are disturbed. And the king said, “Now I am not worried at all, whatsoever. The man is wise; the Sufi knows – I am not concerned about what he has written.”

Then, the king died without opening the ring. The moment he died, the first thing his wise men did was to open the ring. There was nothing; it was just a piece of paper… just a piece of paper – not a word, not a single word of advice.

But the advice worked; the mantra worked.

So be centered in your host, and remember nothing is happening to you. All that is happening is just the guests, visitors; they will come and go. And it is good that they come and go; it enriches you, you become more mature. But don’t follow them, don’t be involved with them. Don’t become one with them. Don’t fall in love and hate; don’t fall into identification.

Remain the host, and then the ultimate happening happens.

Then the ultimate explosion becomes possible.

Once the witnessing soul is known, you will never be the same again. The whole world disappears and you are transmuted into a new dimension of bliss. Identification is misery; non-identification is bliss.

To fall in love and hate with the guest is misery. To transcend them, and to be centered in oneself, is bliss.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Chapter 16

That Art Thou

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This Fourth is the Being – Osho

The state in which the soul,

with the help of the energies of the sun and other gods,

and through the instrumentality of these fourteen:

mind, intellect, mind stuff, ego and the ten sense organs –

becomes sensitive to sound, touch and such other gross objects,

is called the waking state. 

When the living being, on account of the unfulfilled desires of the waking state,

becomes sensitive to sound, touch and other gross objects –

even in the absence of the latter –

it is called the dreaming state of the self or soul. 

-Sarvasar Upanishad 

The Eastern mind divides consciousness into four states: one is when we are awake, or the first; the second is dreaming; the third is deep sleep, dreamless; and the fourth is beyond all the three, the turiya, the fourth.

What is this which we call the awake state of consciousness? Knowledge, knowing is possible in two ways: mediate and immediate. Mediate knowledge means knowledge through some means, not direct – indirect. Senses are the means, the windows through which we know the extension beyond us. But the knowledge gained is indirect; it is not a face-to-face encounter, the mediator is in between. The senses are mediators, and when senses inform us of something, it is not a simple information, it is an interpretation also. The senses are not just passive receptors; they are positive interpreters also; they impose something, they add something to the information.

So whenever anything is reported by the senses to the consciousness, it is not a passive receptivity; the senses have added something to it, they have interpreted it, they have imposed something on it. This imposition creates an illusory world around every consciousness, and everyone begins to live in a world of his own. This world, the Eastern esoteric mind says, is the maya, the illusion. It is not the real, the objective, that-which-is: it is something that you have created.

Everyone is within his own world, and there are as many worlds as there are minds. So whenever two persons are near, two worlds are in collision. And otherwise is not possible, because you have not known the objective as it is.

The second dimension, the alternative dimension to know the world as it is, is not through senses, but through transcendence of the senses. And human consciousness can be in a direct encounter: the senses are just dropped; and still, knowing happens. That knowing is about the truth, because there has been no mediator. Now you have known directly. To know the truth through the senses is maya; to know the truth immediately, directly, face to face, is brahman. That which we know remains the same, but the knower changes. If he is using senses, then he creates an illusory perception; if he is not using the senses, then he is face to face with the reality.

Meditation is the path of how to drop the senses, how to drop the windows and just to be in reality without anyone in between. The rishi says that this contact with the world through the senses is the first state of consciousness, the awake state of mind, jagrut. When you are in contact with the world through the senses, this is jagrut – the awake state of the mind.

Dreaming is the second state, deeper than the state we call the awake. Dreaming is a substitute state, secondary, but deeper. Whatsoever has been left unfulfilled in the state when you were awake has to be completed. Mind has a tendency to complete things. If you leave something incomplete, then you will create a dream to complete it. The mind tends to complete a thing. You must complete it; otherwise, there is something restless inside.

You have seen a beautiful figure, but you couldn’t look at it as you liked, as much you liked. Now a lingering incompletion will continue inside. You can suppress it when you are awake – you are occupied in many other things, and the suppression is possible – but when you go to sleep, the incomplete link unfolds a dream and completes the thing.

This state of dreaming, the rishi says, means without the instrumentality of your senses. The senses are closed – they are not aware of the world beyond you; now you are within your cells, within your body, but still you can create your own worlds. This creation of your own worlds in dreams becomes possible because your mind is a conditioning of everything you have known, you have felt; everything has been accumulated in it. It is an accumulation, not only of this life, but of all the lives one has lived; and not only of human lives, of animal lives also; and not only of animal lives, but of vegetable lives also.

So in a dream you can become a tree; in a dream you can become a lion. Sometime you have been a tree: that memory is still there – it can unfold. This unfolding of past memories, of past lives, means only that you have never lived totally – always partially. You have not loved totally, you have not been angry totally, you have not been anything totally. Everything is incomplete. So many things incomplete inside, create the situation in which dreaming happens. The moment one begins to live totally, everything is completed, dreaming ceases.

A christ, a buddha, will not dream, because he has not left anything incomplete. A Jesus says this moment is enough – live it totally. Do not think of the other moment that is to come; do not think of the other moment that has gone. That which has gone is no more, and that which has not come yet, has not come yet. Both are non-existential.

This moment, this very moment, this passive moment is the only existential time. Live in it! And leave all else aside. Be totally in it, then there will be no dreaming, then everything is complete. And by the night, when you are dropping into sleep, nothing is incomplete and needs to be completed. And when dreaming ceases, mind becomes more aware.

This is the second state: dreaming. When dreaming ceases you become more awake; and when there is no dreaming in the night, in the morning when you are awake, you have more innocent eyes, more fresh, more alive. In your eyes there is no dust, there is no smoke; the flame is clear without the smoke. Dreaming creates a smoke around your eyes.

And one who has been dreaming in the night, really goes on dreaming in the day also. Deep down there is always a continuous dream film. You are hearing me: just close your eyes and look inside and there is a dream unfolding.

You are too occupied outside, that’s why you cannot become attentive to your inside dreaming; but the dreaming continues.

Look at the sky; there are no stars now. Where have they gone? They cannot go anywhere; they are where they have been in the night, but only because of the sun, we cannot see them. Our eyes are so occupied with the sun, they cannot penetrate through to them. They are still there. If you can go down into a deep well, even in the day, you can look at the stars, because then there is a gap of darkness and again stars appear.

Just like this, you are continuously dreaming. But when you are occupied in the outside world, the dreaming continues inside without your being attentive to it. The moment you are not occupied, relaxed, you become again aware of the dreaming. This is a constant state – in fact, continuous. And this dreaming is more indicative about your mind than whatsoever we call being awake, because it is less inhibited, less suppressed, more naked and therefore more true.

So, if your dreaming can be known, if your dream can be known, much is known about you. You cannot deceive – in dreams, at least. They are still not a part of your will, they are not voluntary. You are not the controller; that’s why they are so wild, so animal-like. This second stage must be penetrated, must be transcended. Only then we can come to the third – still deeper, the deep sleep, the dreamless sleep.

The more you go deep inside, the nearer you are to existence. The deeper you go to the center, the nearer you are to the center of the universe. These three are concentric circles around the center: awake, dreaming and deep sleep. These are three concentric circles. If you transcend all these three, then suddenly you are face to face with your own center. Then you are centered in it. That centering is all.

That centering is to achieve the deathless.

That centering is to be deep inside the heart of the universe.

That centering is divine realization.

Dreaming has to cease, one must cease dreaming. Dreaming has to be transcended – dreaming is the barrier. A dreaming mind can never know the truth; a dreaming mind is bound to live in illusory worlds. Dreaming is the problem, and if dreaming stops…. And it stops when ambition stops, it stops when desiring stops, it stops when one begins to live moment to moment, just here and now. If you can remember two words, “here” and “now,” dreaming stops. Be here and now, and there can be no dreaming, because dreaming is always from the past and for the future. It originates in the past; it spreads into the future.

Dreaming can never be in the present. To be in the present and to be in a dream is impossible; they never meet. So if one is awake, aware, attentive of the time that is just here and now, dreaming stops. And when dreaming withers away, you can become aware, really aware; you can really become awake. And when you are awake, this awareness can penetrate the third state of consciousness: dreamless sleep. Really, in no language other than Hindi, is there a word for it – sushupti. In no language is there a word for it – sushupti.

Sleep is not sushupti – that’s why we have to add dreamless  sleep. It is not just sleep, it is non-dreaming sleep – without any ripple of the dream, with no waves of the dream. The ocean is totally silent, not even a dream is there to disturb. Then you are in sushupti – the third state, dreamless sleep, the non-dreaming sleep. But you can never become aware of it unless dreaming ceases. The waves must cease; only then can you become aware of the ocean; otherwise, you are always aware of the waves. Waves are on the surface, so when you see, you see the waves, not the ocean.

The waves must stop totally. Only then, for the first time, do you become aware of the ocean, the waveless ocean – the dreamless sleep. And if one can become aware of dreamless sleep, one transcends sleep. One transcends sleep only when one becomes aware of it. And then you are turiya, the fourth; then you have passed all the three.

This fourth is the being; this fourth is the search. For this fourth effort is needed. And one may go on continuously dreaming and dreaming and dreaming – one can never achieve this fourth state through dreaming. That’s why there is so much insistence on non-desiring, non-ambition. The buddhas go on saying, “Do not desire,” because if you desire then dreaming cannot cease. The buddhas go on saying, “Do not be attached,” because if you are attached the dreaming cannot cease. Do not be ambitious, do not long for any becoming, do not think in terms of the future; otherwise, dreaming cannot cease. And unless dreaming ceases you will never be. You can never be! You will always be a becoming, just a becoming: “a” changing into “b,” “b” changing into “c,” “c” changing into “d” – and always the longing for the far off. And then you go on running, and you never reach; then you go on becoming this and that and you are never a being.

The being is here and now.

Drop dreaming and you are there where you have really been always, but you were never aware.

All meditation techniques are just anti-dream efforts, just dream-negating devices.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Chapter Four

 

The sleeping state is one

 in which all the fourteen organs are still and tranquil,

and when – For lack of real knowledge – the self of soul

is insensitive to sound, touch and such other objects.

And the one which is aware of the creation and dissolution

of these three states – waking , dreaming and sleeping – but which

is itself beyond creation and dissolution, is known as turiya –

the fourth state of consciousness, the state of turiya. 

-Sarvasar Upanishad 

Consciousness in itself is nothing. One is always conscious about something; so the “about” is important. Consciousness is always objective: you are conscious of something. If there is nothing in front of you, consciousness will drop – you will not be conscious.

This state, the oriental religious perception says, is the sushupti; this is the third state. When there is no object to be known, the knower is lost. When then is no object in the outside world to be aware of, and when there is no object in the mind, dream object, when all objects have dropped – outside all are dream objects – then consciousness drops. Then you are not conscious; then you are unconscious. This unconsciousness is sushupti, the third stage.

But this is amazing: it means that we are not conscious really, we are only objectively conscious.

We have not known ourselves, we have known only objects and things. Our consciousness is other oriented; it is not self-centered. I can be conscious only when something else is present. When nothing is present I will go to sleep. I have not known any subjective consciousness which can exist without the object. That’s why in the third state, consciousness equals unconsciousness – it becomes unconscious. When there is no object as a challenge, one becomes unconscious.

So this consciousness, this so-called consciousness, is just a struggle, just a challenge, just a constant stimulus-response; it is not anything in itself. You are not the master of it; you are not really conscious: you are only being forced to be conscious constantly. Everything is forcing you to be conscious; otherwise, to go to sleep will be the spontaneous act – one will just drop into a coma. So can we call it consciousness? It is not. This state is not the state of self-consciousness, it is just a constant tension between you and the world, between you and the thoughts. If there are no objects and no thoughts, you drop… and be unconscious. This is the third state, sushupti. And unless one transcends it, one cannot be called conscious.

Gurdjieff used to say that man has no soul. He used to say that you have got no self, because self means self-consciousness; otherwise, how can you be said to have a self? If you are not conscious, how can you be a self? How can you be an individual? So Gurdjieff’s teaching doesn’t believe that every man has got a soul. He says, “Every man has got a potentiality he can develop, he may not develop.”

If you become self-conscious, then you develop the individual; then you become the individual. If you are not self-conscious then you are just one object among other objects, and there is nothing more. Gurdjieff’s teaching makes this central point the supreme point. He says, “Try to remember yourself without any object. Try to remember yourself without any object, without any relation to anything else. Remember yourself directly, simply.” It is very arduous; in a way it seems impossible. You cannot remember yourself without in any way relating to something else – Can you?

Can you remember yourself?

Can you feel yourself?

Whenever you feel, you feel in relation to: someone’s son, someone’s daughter, someone’s husband, being rich or poor, belonging to this country or that, being healthy or ill – but this is all in relation to something else. Can you remember yourself without any relation? – Unrelated? Without any context? Just you? It becomes inconceivable. Really, we have not known ourselves, we have known only in relation. And this is the miracle: you know yourself in relation to someone, who knows himself in relation to you. See the absurdity of it! Everyone knows themselves because of others – and the others know themselves because of him.

Everyone is ignorant, but by being related with other ignorant people, you become wise. You know yourself because you know your name, you know your house, your address, your city, your country – and not for a single moment have you known who you are. This sushupti, this third state of unconsciousness must be broken apart, must be penetrated beyond. One must become aware of oneself without being related to anything else – this is self- knowledge. This fourth is known as the turiya.

We must make a distinction between the being and the states. Any state, whether it is awake, or dreaming, or non-dreaming sleep, cannot be synonymous with the being, because the being is that upon which these states happen. The being is one who goes through all these three states. He cannot be identified with any; otherwise, he cannot move.

You cannot be awake if you are identified with dreaming: if you are dreaming, then you cannot be awake. If you are awake, then you cannot go into sleep. But you move – just as one moves into one’s house and out of one’s house, you come in and you go out; so you cannot be identified with the inside of your house or the outside of your house. You move: you can come in; you can go out; so you become the third. You move from dreaming to non-dreaming; you move from sleep to dream, from dream to wakefulness.

So this mover must be something else, more than all the three – this is the fourth; hence, it is called “the fourth.” And therefore no name is given to it… because from the fourth it can never move. From the fourth it can never move. When I say this, a question must come into your mind: “But this fourth goes into sleep, goes into dreaming and other states?”

This is something very subtle to be understood. No, this fourth never goes anywhere; those states come upon it and pass – this fourth remains in itself constantly. Dreaming comes over it just like clouds coming over the sun. The sun remains, then there are clouds, then the clouds have gone. This fourth is the non-moving center within you. Dreams come, then objects are seen, then thoughts are seen; then objects drop, and thoughts drop, and you are engulfed in a dark sleep; but the fourth remains its center – it has never moved. That’s why no name has been given to it; no name is needed – it remains the nameless. One has to penetrate to this fourth.

This is not a state really; when we talk we have to call it the fourth state, but it is not a state. All the three are states; this fourth is beyond these states. This fourth is the being – this fourth is the very nature of one’s self. Unless one goes to this fourth, unless one becomes aware of this non-moving center, unless one is centered in it, there is no freedom and there is no bliss. Really, there is nothing except dreaming, many many dreams, many types of dreams; but nothing else – just bubbles in the air.

This fourth…. How to achieve this fourth? How to reach this fourth? How to penetrate this deep sleep? How to destroy this darkness within? What to do?

The one basic thing is to be aware first: in the first state when you are awake, be aware. Be aware whatsoever you are doing. Walking on the street, then be aware that you are walking. Let your awareness be double-arrowed: one arrow conscious of the act of walking, another arrow going deep inside and aware of the walker. Listening to me, be aware, double-arrowed: one arrow of your consciousness going outside listening attentively, another going inside constantly aware of the listener.

Mahavira has a very beautiful word. He used “listener”, shravak, with a very original meaning, and he has given a very new shape, a new nuance to it. He says if you can be simply a right-listener, nothing else is needed. This much will do: if you can be a right listener – samyak shravak. If you can listen attentively with double-arrowed attention, then this much is enough, you will be awakened. No other discipline is needed.

Buddha has used the word, “mindfulness” – samyak smriti, right mindfulness. He says whatsoever you are doing, do it mindfully; don’t do it in sleep, do it mindfully – whatsoever you are doing. Do it consciously, then consciousness begins to crystallize in the first state, wakefulness. When you have become conscious, when you are awake, the your consciousness can penetrate the second state, dreaming. It is not difficult then. Then you can become conscious of your dreams; and the moment you become conscious of your dreams, dreams disappear. The moment dreams disappear you become conscious of your dreamless sleep, and the arrow goes on. Now be aware that you are asleep, and by and by the arrow penetrates – and suddenly you are in the fourth.

Religion cannot be a belief.

Religion cannot be a tradition.

Religion cannot be an accepted dogma.

Religion is totally individual:

One has to discover it again and again.

One has to know it for oneself, for oneself.

Unless you know there is no knowledge.

All knowledge gathered from others is just false, it is pseudo, it is deceptive. One has to encounter the reality oneself. This is just like love – you know if you love. If you have not loved you may know everything about love, but love will not be known, because love is not really a knowledge, it is a realization, it is an experience… rather, not even experience, but experiencing. Experience means something which you have experienced and now it is dead. Experience means something which has finished, which is finished with a full stop. Experiencing means a process, a continuous process.  You have to go on discovering, discovering – and there is no end to it.

Religion is like love: There is a beginning to it but no end.

You have to begin it but you never reach it – you go on reaching. You go on reaching, but it is never of the past. It is not that there comes a full stop and you can say, “I have reached.” No, never. That’s why we call the religious search, the ultimate search. By “ultimate” we mean that which begins, which never ends. Rather, on the contrary, a moment comes when you are lost but the end has not been achieved. But this, this seeker being lost is the explosion.

So unless you know, never believe. Unless you know, never feel at ease with words, doctrines, scriptures. Unless you know, remember continuously that you have to seek and find, that you have to go on a far, faraway journey. And that’s why religion really is the only adventure; all else is just childish. That which can be found is just childish; that which can be found is not really the adventure; that which is possible needs no courage. Only the impossible needs courage, only that which cannot be found. If you go on the search for it, you have gone on an adventure.

But the moment one is ready for the impossible, the impossible become possible. The moment one is ready to take the jump, the miracle happens. You are not in a way, in the jump – you are lost. And still, for the first time, you are – you have found yourself.

The states are lost, the identities are lost, the names and forms are lost. There only remains the original source of all This rishi says: These are the states; these three are the states. The fourth is the knower of all these states. These three states come out of the fourth, again are dissolved in the fourth, and the fourth never comes out of anything and is never dissolved in anything else.

The fourth is the eternal principle, the eternal life, the eternal aliveness.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Chapter Five

That Art Thou

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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This Identification is Ego – Osho

The Self or soul is both God and Living Being.

But the body, which is not the soul,

gets infected with a sense of ego,

and that is what is called living being’s bondage.

The cessation of this ego is what is called freedom.

That which gives rise to the ego is called avidya (false learning).

And that which leads to the cessation of the ego is called vidya (right learning). 

-Sarvasar Upanishad 

One is to analyze a thing, to divide it into its parts, but parts are not the whole. They constitute the whole, but they are not equivalent to the whole. The whole cannot be created without the parts. But still the whole is something plus, something more than all the parts combined. That something plus is the mystery.

Science divides, and the knowledge achieved is through analysis. Religion is quite the opposite dimension. Religion believes, not in division, but in synthesis. Religion goes on adding, totaling. And when everything is totaled – nothing remains outside, everything is included; and this whole, taken as a whole, is looked at – the divine appears. That’s why science can never say that there is a god – that is impossible. So no one should hope that any day science can say there is a god, because the very process of scientific analysis cannot lead to the total. The very process leads to the part, the minutest part – never to the whole – because it depends on division.

Science can never come to any divineness in the universe, in existence, because divineness is something like a perfume that comes out of the whole. It is not mathematical; it is organic. It is not mechanical; it is alive. You can divide me into parts; then put back all those parts, but I will not be found there. You have put everything again in its place; but I am not a mechanical device, I am not just parts accumulated and arranged. Something more is there, more than all the parts – that something is lost.

Life can never be known by analysis.

Analysis can only know the material, never the spiritual. These are the two dimensions of knowing. So if someone concludes that there is nothing except matter, that only means that he has used the analytical method – nothing else. When someone says there is no matter, but only consciousness, it only shows that he has used the method of synthesis – not analysis.

Freud used analysis as a methodology; then he couldn’t conceive that there is any soul, any divine element in man. But another psychologist, Assagioli, is now using synthesis as a method, and he says: There is no body, only the spirit, only the consciousness. Whenever someone asserts matter or consciousness, it means a particular method for the search has been used.

Logic is analysis – love is synthesis.

That’s why religion has always been illogical, and science always loveless.

To be identified with something which you are not, is the formation of the ego. Ego means to be identified with something you are not.

Whatsoever one is needs no identification.

You need not be identified with it: You are already it.

So whenever there is any identification, it means with something else – that you are not. One can be identified with the body, with the mind. But the moment one is identified, one is lost to oneself. This is what ego means. This is how ego is formed and becomes crystallized.

Whenever you assert “I,” there is identification with something – with some name, with some form, with some body, with some past; with mind, with thoughts, with memories. There is some deep identification: only then you can assert “I.” If you are not identified with anything else and can remain with yourself, then you cannot say “I”; the “I” just drops.

“I” means identity.

Identity is the basis of all slavery:

Be identified and you will be in a prison.

The very identity will become your prison. Be non-identified, remain totally yourself, and then there is freedom. So this is what bondage is: Ego is the bondage, and egolessness is freedom. And this ego is nothing but to be identified with something that you are not. For example, everyone is identified with his name; and everyone is born without any name. Then the name becomes so significant that one can die for his name’s sake.

What is a name? But the moment you are identified, it becomes very meaningful. And everyone is born without any name – nameless. Or, you take form; everyone is identified with one’s own form. Every day you are standing before your mirror. What are you seeing? – Yourself? No. No mirror can mirror you, just the form you are identified with. But such is the stupidity of the human mind that every day the form is changing constantly, but you are never disillusioned.

When you were a child, what was your form? When you were in your mother’s womb, what was your form? When you were in your parents’ seed, what was your form? Can you recognize – if a picture is produced for you – the egg in your mother’s womb? Will you be able to recognize and say, “this is ‘I’”? No, but you must have been identified with this egg somewhere back…. You were born – and if the first scream can be reproduced for you, will you be able to recognize it and say, “this is my scream”? No, but it was yours, and you must have been identified with that.

If an album can be produced before a dying man…. A constant changing form – there is a continuity but still every moment a change…. The body is changing every seven years, completely, totally; nothing remains the same, not a single cell. Still, still we think, “this is my form, this is me.” And consciousness is formless. The form is just something outside that goes on changing and changing and changing – just like clothes.

This identification is ego. If you are not identified with anything – with name or with form or anything – then where is the ego? Then you are, and still you are not. Then you are in your absolute purity, but with no ego. That’s why Buddha called the self, no-self; he called it anatta, anatma. He said, “There is no ego, so you cannot call yourself atma even. You cannot call yourself ‘I’; there is no ‘I.’ There is pure existence.” This pure existence is freedom.

This term avidya really cannot be translated. It is not synonymous with ignorance; it is not ignorance… because ignorance is just negative. You don’t know something, you are ignorant. But this avidya is not something negative, it is very positive. It is not that you don’t know something; it is rather, on the contrary, that you know something which is not. This avidya is, rather, a positive projection of something which is not.

The “I” is not – the ego is the most non-existential thing in the world.

It looks very substantial, and is absolutely empty.

Avidya means the projective source in you of this ego, of this identified image of yourself. Avidya is a projective force within you. It is not just ignorance, it is not that you don’t know something; it is that you can create something which is not. You can dream something which is not, you can project something which is not.

When the mind is projecting something which is not, it is avidya .When this mind destroys all projections, all identifications, remains without any projective activity, then this method of destroying all projections, all that is not, but appears to be – is called vidya. Vidya is not knowledge; again, vidya is a positive force to destroy all that which avidya creates. Vidya is untranslatable. Vidya means a positive force in you which can destroy ego formation. Both are positive: avidya creates that which is not, and vidya destroys that which is not. So vidya means yoga, vidya mean the science of religion.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Chapter Three

That Art Thou

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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Just Being Delighted – Osho

An ancient proverb says:

Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.

And I say to you: sow nothing, and reap meditation or love.

Sowing nothing — that’s what meditation is all about. And its natural consequence is love.

If, at the end of the journey of meditation, love has not flowered, then the whole journey has been futile. Something went wrong somewhere. You started but you never reached.

Love is the test. For the path of meditation, love is the test. They are two sides of one coin, two aspects of the same energy. When one is there, the other has to be there. If the other is not there, then the first is also not there.

Meditation is not concentration. A man of concentration may not reach to love; in fact, he will not. A man of concentration may become more violent because concentration is a training to remain tense, concentration is an effort to narrow down the Mind. It is deep violence with your consciousness. And when you are violent with your consciousness you cannot be non-violent with others. Whatsoever you are with yourself, you are going to be with others.

Let this be a fundamental rule of life, one of the most fundamental: whatsoever you are towards yourself, you will be towards others. If you love yourself, you will love others. If you are flowing within your being, you will be flowing in relationships also. If you are frozen inside, you will be frozen outside also. The inner tends to become the outer; the inner goes on manifesting itself in the outer.

Concentration is not meditation; concentration is the method of science. It is scientific methodology. A man of science needs the deep discipline of concentration, but a man of science is not expected to be compassionate. There is no need. In fact, a man of science becomes more and more violent with nature. All scientific progress is based on violence towards nature. It is destructive because, in the first place, the scientific man is destructive to his own expanding consciousness. Rather than expanding his consciousness he narrows it down, makes it exclusive, one-pointed. It is a coercion, violence.

So remember, meditation is not concentration but neither is meditation contemplation. It is not thinking. Maybe you are thinking about God — even then, it is thinking. If there is ‘about’, there is thinking. You may be thinking about money, you may be thinking about God — it basically makes no difference. Thinking continues, only objects change. So if you are thinking about the world, or about sex, nobody will call it contemplation. If you are thinking about God, virtue, if you are thinking about Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, then people will call it contemplation.

But Zen is very strict about it — it is not meditation, it is still thinking. You are still concerned with the other. In contemplation the other is there, although of course not so exclusively as it is in concentration. Contemplation has more fluidity than concentration. In concentration the mind is one-pointed; in contemplation the mind is oriented towards one subject, not towards one point. You can go on thinking about it, you can go on changing and flowing with the subject, but still, on the whole, the subject remains the same.

Then what is meditation? Meditation is just being delighted in your own presence; meditation is a delight in your own being. It is very simple — a totally relaxed state of consciousness where you are not doing anything. The moment doing enters, you become tense; anxiety enters immediately. How to do? What to do? How to succeed? How not to fail? You have already moved into the future.

If you are contemplating, what can you contemplate? How can you contemplate the unknown? How can you contemplate the unknowable? You can contemplate only the known. You can chew it again and again, but it is the known. If you know something about Jesus, you can think again and again; if you know something about Krishna, you can think again and again. You can go on modifying, changing, decorating — but it is not going to lead you towards the unknown. And God is the unknown.

Meditation is just to be, not doing anything — no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are. And it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or, it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy. It needs no cause, no reason. If you are unhappy you have a reason to be unhappy; if you are happy you are simply happy – there is no reason for it. Your mind tries to find a reason because it cannot believe in the uncaused because it cannot control the uncaused — with the uncaused the mind simply becomes impotent. So the mind goes on finding some reason or other. But I would like to tell you that whenever you are happy, you are happy for no reason at all, whenever you are unhappy, you have some reason to be unhappy — because happiness is just the stuff you are made of. It is your very being, it is your innermost core. Joy is your innermost core.

-Osho

Excerpt from Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter Five

Dang Dang Doko Dang

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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Nothing Is Found – Osho

I was brought up in the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, but I could not yet break through my barriers towards him. Although I believe him to be right in the way he shows that for the West, the possibility to free ourselves from ‘maya’ is to learn to think in the right way. By doing this and by meditating, he says we are able to lose our egos and find our ‘I”.

The central figure for him is Christ, whom he differentiates from Jesus as a totally different being. Your way seems different to me. Can you please advise me? I am somehow torn between you and the way Steiner shows.

Rudolph Steiner was a great mind, but mind you, I say ‘a great mind’, and mind as such has nothing to do with religion. He was tremendously talented. In fact, it is very rare to find another mind to compare with Rudolph Steiner. He was so talented in so many directions and dimensions; it looks almost super-human: a great logical thinker, a great philosopher, a great architect, a great educator, and so on and so forth. And whatsoever he touched, he brought very novel ideas to that subject. Wherever he moved his eyes, he created new patterns of thought. He was a great man, a great mind, but mind as such, small or great, has nothing to do with religion.

Religion comes out of no-mind. Religion is not a talent, it is your nature. If you want to be a great painter, you have to be talented; if you want to be a great poet, you have to be talented; if you want to be a scientist, of course, you have to be talented; but if you want to be religious, no special talent is needed. Anybody, small or great, who is willing to drop his mind, enters into the dimension of the divine. And of course, great talented men find it very difficult to drop their minds; their investment is bigger. For an ordinary man who has no talent, it is very easy to drop the mind. Even then it seems so difficult. He has nothing to lose; still he goes on clinging. Of course, the difficulty is multiplied when you have a talented mind, when you are a genius. Then your whole ego is invested in your mind. You cannot drop it.

Rudolph Steiner founded a new movement called anthroposophy, against theosophy. He was a theosophist in the beginning, then his ego started fighting other egos in the movement. He wanted to become the very head, the supreme-most of the theosophical movement in the world, the world head. That was not possible; there were many other egos. And the greatest problem was coming from J. Krishnamurti, who is not an ego at all. And of course, theosophists were thinking more and more towards Krishnamurti. He was becoming, by and by, the messiah. That created trouble in Rudolph Steiner’s mind. He broke off from the movement. The whole German section of theosophy broke with him. He was really a very, very convincing orator, a convincing writer; he convinced people. He destroyed theosophy very badly, he divided it. And since then theosophy could never become whole and healthy.

Rudolph Steiner has an appeal for the Western mind, and that is the danger – because the Western mind is basically logic-oriented: reason, thinking, logos. He talks about it, and he says, “This is the way for the Western mind.” No, Eastern or Western, mind is mind; and the way is no-mind. If you are Eastern, you will have to drop the Eastern mind. If you are Western, you will have to drop the Western mind. To move into meditation, mind, as such, has to be dropped. If you are a Christian you will have to drop a Christian mind. If you are a Hindu, you will have to drop the Hindu mind. Meditation is not concerned with Christian, Hindu, Eastern, Western, Indian or German, no.

What is mind? Mind is a conditioning given to you by the society. It is an over-imposition on the original mind, which we call no-mind. Just so that you don’t get confused, all mind, as such, has to be dropped. The passage has to be completely empty for the divine to enter into you. Thinking is not meditation. Even right thinking is not meditation. Wrong or right, thinking has to be dropped. When there is no thought in you, no clouds of thinking in you, the ego disappears. And remember, when the ego disappears the ‘I’ is not found. The questioner says that Rudolf Steiner says, “When the ego disappears, the ‘I’ is found.” No, when the ego disappears ‘I’ is not found. Nothing is found. Yes, exactly; nothing… is found.

Just the other night I was telling a story of a great Zen master, To-san. He became empty, he became enlightened, he became a non-being; what Buddhists call anatta, no-mind. The rumor reached to the gods that somebody had again become enlightened. And of course, when somebody becomes enlightened, gods want to see his face – the beauty of it, the beauty of the original, the virginity of it. Gods came down to the monastery To-san lived in. They looked and looked, and they tried, and they would enter into him from one side, and get out from another side, and nobody was found inside To-san. They were very frustrated. They wanted to see the face, the original face, and there was nobody. They tried many devices, and then one very cunning god, clever, said, “Do one thing”: he ran into the kitchen of the monastery, brought handfuls of rice and wheat. To-san was coming from his morning walk and he threw it on his path.

In a Zen monastery, everything has to be respected absolutely; even rice and wheat, stones, everything has to be respected. One has to be continuously careful and aware. Not even a grain of rice can you find in a Zen monastery lying here and there. You have to be respectful. And remember, that respect has nothing to do with Gandhian economics. It is not a question of economy, because Gandhian economy is nothing but rationalized miserliness. It has nothing to do with miserliness. It is a simple respect for everything, absolute respect. This was disrespectful. This is the original idea of the Upanishads where seers have said, anambrahma – food is God – because food gives you life, food is your energy. God comes into your body through food, becomes your blood, your bones, so a god should be treated as a god. When those gods threw rice and wheat on the path where To-san came, he could not believe: “Who has done this? Who has been so careless?” A thought arose in his mind, and the story is that gods could see his face for a single moment, because for a single moment the ‘I’ arose in a very subtle way: “Who has done this? Something has gone wrong.”

And whenever you decide what is wrong and what is right, you are there, immediately. Between the right and the wrong exists the ego. Between one thought and another thought exists the ego. Each thought brings its own ego. For a moment, a cloud arose in To-san’s consciousness – “Who has done this?” – a tension. Each thought is a tension. Even very ordinary, very innocent-looking thoughts are tensions.

You see the garden is beautiful, and the sun is rising, and the birds are singing, and an idea arises, “How beautiful!” Even that, that is a tension. That’s why if somebody is walking by your side, you will immediately say to him, “Look, what a beautiful morning!” What are you doing? You are simply releasing the tension that has come through the thought. Beautiful morning… a thought has come; it has created a tension around it. Your being is no more non-tense. It has to be released, so you speak to the other. It is meaningless because he is also standing just where you are standing. He is also listening to the birds, he is also seeing the sun rise, he is also looking at the flowers, so what is the point of saying something like “this is beautiful”? Is he blind? But that is not the point. You are not communicating any message to him. The message is as clear to him as to you. In fact, you are relieving yourself of a tension. By saying it, the thought is dispersed into the atmosphere; you are relieved of the burden.

A thought arose in To-san’s mind, a cloud gathered, and through that cloud the gods were able to see his face, just a glimpse. Again the cloud disappeared, again there was no longer any To-san.

Remember, this is what meditation is all about, to destroy you so utterly that even if gods come they cannot seek you, they cannot find you. You yourself have found when such a situation arises, that not even gods can find you. There is nobody inside to be found. That ‘somebodiness’ is a sort of tension. That’s why people who think they are somebodies are more tense. People who think that they are nobodies are less tense. People who have completely forgotten that they are, are tensionless. So remember, when the ego is lost, the ’I’ is not found. When the ego is lost nothing is found. That nothingness, that purity of nothingness is your being, your innermost core, your very nature, your Buddha-nature, your awareness – like a vast sky with no clouds gathered in it.

Now, listen to the question again.

I was brought up in the teachings of Rudolph Steiner.

Yes, they are teachings, and what I am doing here is not teaching you anything. Rather, on the contrary, I am taking all teachings away from you. I am not a teacher. I am not imparting knowledge to you. My whole effort is to destroy all that you think you know. My whole effort is to take all knowledge from you. I’m here to help you to unlearn.

I was brought up in the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, but I could not yet break through my barriers towards him.

Nobody is able to break his barriers towards a person who is himself ego-oriented. It is difficult to break your barriers towards a person who is no more. Even then, it is so difficult to break your barriers because your ego resists. But when you are around a teacher who has his own ego-trip still alive, who is still, who is still trying to be somebody, who is still tense, it is impossible to drop down your ego.

Although I believe him to be right in the way he shows that for the West, the possibility to free ourselves from maya is to learn to think in the right way.

No, the way for the East or for the West is: how to unlearn thinking, how not to think, and just be. And it is needed more for the West than for the East, because in the West the whole two millennia since Aristotle have been of conditioning you for thinking, thinking, thinking. Thinking has been the goal. The thinking mind has been the goal in the West: how to become more and more accurate, scientific in your thinking. The whole scientific world arose out of this effort, because when you are working as a scientist you have to think. You have to work out in the objective world, and you have to find more accurate, exact, valid ways of thinking. And it has paid off too much. Science has been a great success, so of course people think that the same methodology will be helpful when you go inwards. That is the fallacy of Rudolph Steiner.

He thinks that in the same way as we have been able to penetrate into matter, the same method will help to go in. It cannot help, because to go in one has to move in just the opposite direction, diametrically opposite. If thinking helps to know matter, no thinking will help to know yourself. If logic helps to know matter, something like a Zen koan, something absurd, illogical, will help you to go in: faith, trust, love, maybe; but logic, never. Whatsoever has helped you to know the world better is going to be a barrier inside. And the same is true about the outer world also: whatsoever helps you to know yourself will not necessarily help you to know matter. That’s why the East could not develop science.

The first glimpses of science had come to the East, but the East could not develop it. The East did not move in that direction. The basic rudimentary knowledge was developed in the East.

For example: mathematical symbols, figures from one to ten, were developed in India. That made mathematics possible. It was a great discovery, but there it stopped. The beginning happened, but the East could not go very far in that direction. Because of that, in all the languages of the world, the numerals, mathematical numerals, carry Sanskrit roots.

For example: two is Sanskrit dwa – it became twa, and then two. Three is Sanskrit tri – it became three. Six is Sanskrit sasth – it became six. Seven is Sanskrit sapt – it became seven. Eight is Sanskrit ast – it became eight. Nine is Sanskrit nawa – it became nine. The basic discovery is Indian, but then it stopped there.

In China they developed ammunition for the first time, almost five thousand years back, but they never made any bombs out of it. They made only fireworks. They enjoyed, they loved it, they played with it, but it was a toy. They never killed anybody through it. They never went too far into it.

The East has discovered many basic things, but has not gone deep into it. It cannot go, because the whole effort is to go within. Science is a Western effort; religion is an Eastern effort. In the West even religion tries to be scientific. That was what Rudolph Steiner was doing: trying to make the religious approach more and more scientific – because in the West, science is valuable. If you can prove that religion is also scientific, then religion also becomes valuable in a vicarious way, indirectly. So in the West, every religious person goes on trying to prove that science is not the only science, religion is also a science. In the East we have not bothered. It is just the other way round: if there was some scientific discovery, the people who had discovered it had to prove that it had some religious significance. Otherwise, it was meaningless.

By doing this and by meditating, he says we are able to lose our ego and find our ’I’.

Rudolph Steiner does not know what meditation is, and what he calls meditation is concentration. He’s completely confused: he calls concentration meditation. Concentration is not meditation.

Concentration is again a very, very useful means for scientific thinking. It is to concentrate the mind, narrow the mind, focus the mind on a certain thing. But the mind remains, becomes more focused, becomes more integrated.

Meditation is not concentrating on anything. In fact, it is a relaxing, not narrowing. In concentration there is an object. In meditation there is no object at all. You are simply lost in an objectless consciousness, a diffusion of consciousness. Concentration is exclusive to something, and everything else is excluded from it. It includes only one thing; it excludes everything else.

For example: if you are listening to me you can listen in two ways: you can listen through concentration; then you are tense, and you are focused on what I am saying. Then the birds will be singing, but you will not listen to them. You will think that is a distraction.

Distraction arises out of your-effort to concentrate. Distraction is a by-product of concentration. You can listen to me in a meditative way; then you are simply open, available – you listen to me, and you listen to the birds also, and the wind passes through the trees and creates a sound; you listen to that also – then you are simultaneously here. Then whatsoever is happening here, you are available to it without any mind of your own, without any choice of your own. You don’t say, “I will listen to this and I will not listen. to that.” No, you listen to the whole existence. Then birds and I and the wind are not three separate things. They are not. They are happening simultaneously, together, all together, and you listen to the whole. Of course, then your understanding will be tremendously enriched because the birds are also saying the same thing in their way, and the wind is also carrying the same message in its way, and I am also saying the same thing in a linguistic way, so that you can understand it more. Otherwise, the message is the same. Mediums differ, but the message is the same, because God is the message.

When a cuckoo goes crazy, it is God going crazy. Don’t exclude, don’t exclude him; you will be excluding God. Don’t exclude anything; be inclusive.

Concentration is a narrowing of consciousness; meditation is expansion: all doors are open, all windows are open, and you are not choosing. Then of course, when you don’t choose you cannot be distracted. This is the beauty of meditation: a meditator cannot be distracted. And let that be the criterion: if you are distracted, know that you are doing concentration, not meditation. A dog starts barking – a meditator is not distracted. He absorbs that too, he enjoys that too. So he says, “Look… so God is barking in the dog. Perfectly good. Thank you for barking while I’m meditating. So you take care of me in so many ways,” but no tension arises. He does not say, “This dog is antagonistic. He is trying to destroy my concentration. I am such a religious, serious man, and this foolish dog… what is he doing here?” Then enmity arises, anger arises. And you think this is meditation? – No, this is not of worth if you become angry at the dog, poor dog who is doing his own thing. He is not destroying your meditation or concentration or anything. He is not worried about your religion at all, nor about you. He may not even be aware of what nonsense you are doing. He’s simply enjoying his way, his life. No, he is not your enemy.

Watch… if one person becomes religious in a house, the whole house becomes disturbed because that person is continuously on the verge of being distracted. He’s praying; nobody should make any sound. He’s meditating; children should remain silent, nobody should play. You are imposing unnecessary conditions on existence. And then if you are distracted and you feel disturbed, only you are responsible. Only you are to be blamed, nobody else.

What Rudolph Steiner calls meditation is nothing but concentration. And through concentration you can lose the ego and you will gain the ‘I’, and the ‘I’ will be nothing but a very, very subtle ego. You will become a pious egoist. Your ego will now be decorated in religious language, but it will be there.

The central figure for him is Christ, whom he differentiates from Jesus as a totally different being.

Now, for a meditator there cannot be any central figure. There need not be. But for one who concentrates, something is needed to concentrate upon. Rudolph Steiner says Christ is the central figure. Why not Buddha? Why not Patanjali? Why not Mahavir? Why Christ? For Buddhists, Buddha is the central figure, not Christ. They all need some object to concentrate upon, something on which to focus their minds. For a religious man there is no central figure. If your own central ego has disappeared, or is disappearing, you need not have any other ego outside to support it. That Christ or Buddha is again an ego somewhere. You are creating a polarity of I-thou. You say, “Christ, thou art my master,” but who will say this? An ‘I’ is needed to assert. Look, listen to Zen Buddhists. They say, “If you meet Buddha on the way, kill him immediately.” If you meet Buddha on the way, kill him immediately, otherwise he will kill you. Don’t allow him a single chance, otherwise he will possess you and he will become a central figure. Your mind will arise around him again. You will become a Buddhist mind. You will become a Christian mind. For a certain mind, a certain central object is needed.

And of course, he is more in favor of Christ than Jesus. That too has to be understood. That’s how the pious ego arises. Jesus is just like us: a human being with a body, with ordinary life; very human. Now, for a very great egoist this won’t do. He needs a very, very purified figure. Christ is nothing but Jesus purified. It is just like if you make curd out of your milk, then take cream out of it, and then you make ghee out of the cream. Then ghee is the purest part, the most essential. Now you cannot make anything out of ghee. Ghee is the last refinement, the white petrol. From kerosene, petrol; from petrol, white petrol. Now, no more; it is finished. Christ is just the purified Jesus. It is difficult for Rudolph Steiner to accept Jesus, and it is difficult for all egoists. They try to reject in many ways.

For example: Christians say that he was born out of a virgin. The basic problem is that Christians cannot accept that he was born just like we ordinary human beings. Then he will also look ordinary. He has to be special, and we have to be followers of a special Master. Not like Buddha, born out of ordinary human love, ordinary human sexual copulation, no – Jesus is special. Special people need a special Master, out of a virgin. And he’s the only begotten Son of God, the only. Because if there are other sons, then he is no longer special. He is the only Christ, the only one who has been crowned by God. All others, at the most, can be messengers, but cannot be of the same level and plane as Christ. Christians have done it in their own way, but I would like you to understand Jesus more than Christ – because Jesus will be more blissful to understand, peaceful to understand, and will be of great help on the path. Because you are in the situation of being a Jesus; Christ is just a dream.

First you have to pass through being a Jesus, and only then someday will Christ arise within you.

Christ is just a state of being, just as Buddha is a state of being. Gautama became Buddha; Jesus became Christ. You can also become Christ, but right now Christ is too far. You can think about it and create philosophies and theologies about it, but that is not going to help. Right now it is better to understand Jesus, because that is where you are. That is from where the journey has to start. Love Jesus, because through loving Jesus you will love your humanity. Try to understand Jesus, and the paradox, and through that paradox you will be able to feel less guilty. Through understanding Jesus you will be able to love yourself more.

Now, Christians go on trying somehow to drop the paradox of Jesus through bringing the concept of Christ. For example: there are moments when Jesus is angry, and it is a problem; what to do? It is very difficult to avoid the fact because many times he is angry, and that goes against his very teaching. He continually talks about love, and is angry. And he talks about forgiving your enemies – not only that, but loving your enemies – but he himself lashes out his anger. In the temple of Jerusalem he took a whip, started beating the money changers, and threw them out of the temple singlehanded. He must have been in a real fury, in a rage, almost mad. Now this… how to reconcile this? The way that Christians have found to reconcile – and Rudolph Steiner bases his own ideology on it – is to create a Christ, which is completely reconciled. Forget all about Jesus; bring a pure concept of Christ. You can say in that moment, “He was Jesus when he was angry.” And when he said on the cross, “God my Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing,” he was Christ. Now the paradox can be managed. When he was moving with women he was Jesus; when he told Magdalene not to touch him he was Christ. Two concepts help to figure things out – but you destroy the beauty of Jesus, because the whole beauty is in paradox.

There is no need to reconcile, because deep in Jesus’ being they are reconciled. In fact, he could become angry because he loved so much. He loved so tremendously, that’s why he could become angry. His anger was not part of hatred; it was part of his love. Have you not sometimes known anger out of love? Then where is the problem? You love your child: sometimes you spank the child, you beat the child, sometimes you are almost in a fury, but it is because of love. It is not because you hate. He loved so much – that’s my understanding of Jesus – he loved so much that he forgot all about anger and he became angry. His love was so much. He was not just a dead saint, he was an alive person; and his love was not just philosophy, it was a reality. When love is a reality, sometimes love becomes anger also.

He was as human as you are. Yes, he was not finished there. He was more than human also, but first and basically he was human, human plus. Christians have been trying to prove that he was super-human and the humanity was just accidental, a necessary evil because he had to come into a body. That’s why he was angry. Otherwise, he was just purity. That purity will be dead.

If purity is real and authentic, it is not afraid of impurity. If love is true it is not afraid of anger; if love is true it is not afraid of fighting. It shows that even fight will not destroy it; it will survive. There are saints who talk about loving humanity, but cannot love a single human being. It is very easy to love humanity. Always remember: if you cannot love, you love humanity. It is very easy, because you can never come across humanity, and humanity is not going to create any trouble. A single human being will create many troubles, many more. And you can feel very, very good that you love humanity. How can you love human beings? – you love humanity. You are vast, your love is great. But I will tell you: love a human being; that is the basic preparation for loving humanity. It is going to be difficult, and it is going to be a great crisis, a continuous crisis and challenge. If you can transcend it, and you don’t destroy love because of the difficulties but you go on strengthening your love so that it can face all difficulties – possible, impossible – you will become integrated. Christ loved human beings, and loved so much, and his love was so great that it transcended human beings and became the love for humanity. Then it transcended humanity and became love for existence. That is love for God.

Your way seems different to me.

Not only different; it is diametrically opposite. In the first place, it is not a way at all. It is not a path, or if you love the word then call it a pathless path, a gateless gate. But it is not a path, because a path or way is needed if your reality is far away from you. Then it has to be joined by a path. But my whole insistence is that your reality is available to you right now. It is just within you. A path is not needed to reach to it. In fact, if you drop all paths, you will suddenly find yourself standing in it. The more you follow paths, the farther away you go from yourself. Paths misguide, mislead, because you are already that which you are seeking. So paths are not needed, but if you are trained to think in those terms, then I will say that my way is diametrically opposite. Steiner says right-thinking; and I say, right or wrong, all thinking is wrong. Thinking as such is wrong; no-thinking is right.

Can you please advise me? because I am somehow torn between you and the way Steiner shows.

No, you will have to remain in that state of tension for a few days. I will not advise and I will not help. Because if I advise and I help you, you can come and lean towards me; that may be immature. You will have to have a good fight with Steiner before you can come to me, and he will certainly give you a good fight. He is not going to leave you so easily. And I’m not going to give you any help, so that you come on your own. Only then do you come, when you come on your own. When a fruit is ripe it falls on its own accord. No, I will not throw even a small stone at it, because the fruit may not be ripe and the stone may bring it down… and that will be a calamity. You would remain in your torn state of mind.

You will have to decide, because nobody can remain in a torn state of mind for long. There is a point where one has to decide. And it will not be just towards Rudolph Steiner if I help you. He’s dead; he cannot fight with me. It is easier for me to pull you towards me than it will be for him. So to also be just to him it is better that I leave it to you. You just go on fighting. Either you will drop me… that will also be a gain, because then you will follow Rudolph Steiner more totally.

But I don’t think that is possible now… the poison has entered you. Now it is only a question of time.

-Osho

From Yoga: The Supreme Science, Chapter Six (formerly Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V. 10)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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