The Sanest Path – Osho

In the last few days I heard you speak about watching the clouds of moods passing by. The other day I heard you saying: Be total, go totally into it. I like to watch the clouds of anger, sadness, jealousy, etc. passing by, but not moods like happiness and joy. I like to become identified with these moods and go totally into them and express them. Should I watch every mood or should I go totally into every mood? I cannot bring these things together. 

Would you please comment?

Anutosh Samat, no one can bring these two things together. You will have to choose one. My suggestion is, watch everything with equal distance, with equal aloofness. Sadness, anger, jealousy, happiness, joy, love – remain aloof from all and just be total in your watching.

Your watchfulness should be total. You be identified with your watching because that is your nature, that’s what you are. There is no question of dis-identifying with it; even if you try you cannot succeed.

Your intrinsic nature is simply that of a witness. A single quality of awareness makes your whole being. So watch everything as if it is a cloud passing by.

I can see your difficulty: you would like to be identified with love, you would like to be identified with happiness and you would like not to be identified with sadness, you would not like to be identified with misery. But this kind of choice is not allowed by existence.

If you really want to get beyond the mind and all its experiences – sadness and joy, anger and peace, hate and love; if you want to get beyond all these dualities, you have to watch them equally, you cannot choose. If you choose, you will not be able to watch those which you don’t want to choose. So the first thing is, just be a watcher.

It will be a little difficult in the beginning to watch those things which are so sweet, so beautiful because watching makes you distant from every experience that is passing by like a cloud. You cannot cling. Up to now that’s what you have been doing: clinging to that which you think is good and trying to get away from that which you think is ugly and miserable. But you have created only a mess of yourself. You have not been successful.

The best way is to be totally a watcher, but if you find it difficult there is an alternative. But that is harder than this; it is more difficult than this one – to get identified with every cloud that moves. If there is misery, then become absolutely miserable, then don’t hold anything back, just go with it to the very end. If you are angry, then be angry and do whatever stupidity it suggests to you to do. If some crazy cloud passes by, be crazy. But then don’t miss anything. Whatever comes to you, be totally with it in that moment, and when it is gone it is gone.

This also will liberate you, but it is a more difficult path. If you want something really dangerous to play with, you can get identified with everything. Then don’t make any differentiation, that this is good to get identified with and this is bad to get identified with. Then there is no question; without any discrimination, get identified, and within a week you will be finished with it. Just one week will be enough, because so many things are passing by; you will be so tired, so exhausted. If you survive, we will meet again. If you don’t survive, good bye.

But this is a dangerous path. I have never heard of anybody surviving. And you know perfectly well what kind of things come to your mind. Sometimes you feel like barking, then get into it, bark like a dog. And whatever the world thinks let them think. You have chosen your path, you will get free … perhaps totally free. Enlightenment and freedom from the body will come together! But it is a bit dangerous.

People may try to prevent you, because nobody knows what kind of things come to your mind. Your own people – your friends, your family, your wife, your husband – may try to prevent you. There are many people all over the world whose families have forced them into insane asylums, because that was the only way to protect them. And this happens everywhere. […]

Just now the world has come to know that England’s royal family has been keeping two persons, belonging to the royal family, locked in a basement for forty years in Buckingham Palace. And this was not released; this was not allowed to be known, because even to accept that royal people can go mad is humiliating. Royal blood?

For forty years they have been hiding the facts about where these people had disappeared to, and just now it has leaked out. Then they had to accept that they have been keeping them in a basement because they were behaving in an insane way, and they did not want the world to know that members of the royal family of England are behaving insanely.

But this goes on happening. In my village, the richest family had one person locked inside in their house his whole life. Everybody knew that something had happened to the person because he suddenly disappeared. But it was sixty years before, so by and by, people had forgotten. I came to know just by chance, because one of the sons of the man who was kept in chains was my student.

Because he was from my own village, he used to come to see me often, and one day I just asked him, “I have never seen your father.”

He became very sad and he said, “I cannot lie to you, but what is happening to my father is such a heavy weight on my heart. Because my family is the richest family of the village, they don’t want anybody to know what they are doing with my father. They beat him; he has been encaged almost like a wild animal. He cries, shouts, screams, but nobody listens, nobody goes near. Just from the top, food is dropped to him. Everything that he needs is dropped from the top. Nobody wants even to face him.”

But I said, “What has he done?”

He said, “Nothing special, he was just crazy. He used to do things which are not normal.” For example, he might go naked into the market. Now, there was no harm … he had not done any harm to anybody, he had just been walking naked in the marketplace, but that was enough for the family to force him. And they made him more and more insane. This was not going to help; this was not a cure, not a treatment. […]

So if you get identified with all your ideas, then you should think before you start the practice: what people will think about it and how they will behave with you – although it is possible to get free of all those emotions if you get identified with all of them, without any choice.

Either be choicelessly identified or be choicelessly unidentified. The real thing is choicelessness.

But the first way, you will be on safer ground. Be a choiceless watcher. Don’t choose something good and don’t throw away something bad. Nothing is good, nothing is bad; only witnessing is good and non-witnessing is bad.

“Doctor,” said the housewife, “I have come to see you about my husband. We have been married for over twenty-five years. He has been a good husband, happy, contented and very devoted to me, but since he came to see you about his headaches he has been a different man. Now he never comes home at night, he never takes me out anymore; he never buys me anything nor gives me any money.

Hell, he never even looks at me. Your treatment seems to have changed his entire personality.”

“Treatment?” said the doctor. “All I did was give him a prescription for a pair of glasses.” Because he was not able to see exactly … now for the first time he has seen the woman. So just a pair of glasses can make a dramatic change – the whole personality, his whole behavior. Otherwise he used to be a very loyal husband.

And this will not be such a small thing, just a pair of glasses. If you start getting identified with everything, you will be in difficulty from every corner. It is better to choose the safer way; all awakened people have chosen that way. It is without exception the sanest path towards enlightenment.

-Osho

From The New Dawn, Chapter 31

The New Dawn

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Patiently Impatient – Osho

Paltudas says “Every art takes place in its own time, so why get impatient? No matter how much you water it, the tree comes into fruition in its own time.” Osho, please say something about impatience on the spiritual path. Is impatience an essential part of human growth? Please comment.

It is true that everything takes place in its own time – but it is only half true.

Paltudas says, “Every art takes place in its own time, so why get impatient? No matter how much you water it, the tree comes into fruition in its own time.” But that does not mean that you need not water the tree; that does not mean that you have not to sow the seeds. The seeds have also to be sown in time – only then will the fruits come in their own time.

What Paltudas is saying is only half of the whole thing. From the seed to the fruit is a long journey, and great patience is needed on the part of the gardener. But the patience must not become laziness, because the difference is very delicate and very fine. The patience should remain, in its heart of hearts, very impatient – knowing perfectly well that when the spring comes, flowers will come. That does not mean you have to forget longing, desiring, for the spring to come; praying, waiting, for the spring to come. Wait – but your waiting should not be   dullness on your part.

The guest will come – and one never knows when the guest will come; but wait like a lover, with doors open, eyes fixed on the road… as if the next moment is going to be the meeting with the guest, with the friend.

On the spiritual path, things which ordinarily appear contradictory become complementary. Be impatiently patient, or be patiently impatient; but both have to be together. If you choose one, there is danger. Patience alone is going to become laziness; impatience alone is going to become unnecessary anguish, anxiety. They both are needed, balanced; so impatience keeps you longing, waiting, and patience keeps you from becoming tense, from creating anxiety. Both have their parts to fulfill on the spiritual path.

And it is not only so about this contradiction; about many other contradictions the same is true. One has to be both together, in deep harmony. What do you think this is about – the gardener? Paltudas has forgotten completely that the real question is about the seed, not about the gardener, because the gardener is going to remain the same; there is going to be no growth, spiritual or unspiritual.

The growth is going to happen to the seed, and if the seed is too patient it will die; it will lose the very longing to live, the zest for living.

Long months have to pass before the rains will come. If it becomes too patient, it will die before even being born. It needs a certain impatience on the part of the seed – a tremendous desire to grow, to blossom, to come to fruition.

But even if there is tremendous desire and longing for growth, it will happen in its own time. Your longing cannot arrange that the spring comes a little sooner, but it can keep you awake – so that when the spring comes, you are not fast asleep and dead.

The seed has to continue to dream, desire… has to remain discontent as it is, because this is not its destiny, it is only a potential – otherwise it is empty. Everything is going to happen in the future, so it has to be alert, hopeful, aware of the unknown, listening to the footsteps of the spring coming.

And on the other hand it has to be patient, because there is nothing it can do to bring the rains or to bring the spring – they will come in their own time.

So if the seed can keep a balance between patience and impatience, it will remain alive, and it will also not go mad. Too much impatience can make you insane, and too much patience can make you one of the living dead. Both are needed in the right proportions: a deep harmony between the contradictions, so they are transformed into complementaries.

On the spiritual path a deep harmony is needed with every step – a little imbalance and you will be lost. And that’s what your religions have been teaching you: they have been teaching you imbalance, not balance. They have been telling you to choose between two contradictions.

I say unto you: Never choose.

Remain choiceless. Both are yours. Use them – and use them in such a way that they both create a beautiful music in your heart. It looks very strange to say, but nothing can be done about the mysteries of life.

I can only say – even if I appear to be very contradictory – be patiently impatient, or be impatiently patient – but be both.

-Osho

From The Rebellious Spirit, Chapter Seven

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

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.

The Mind is the Watched – Osho

I have come to a dead end. I see the impotence of the mind and feel all action useless. Does the mind totally die only in samadhi? 

Please say something about mind and action in witnessing.

Vinod Bharti, you say, “I have come to a dead end”—but I don’t feel it so. Not yet, because when you really come to a dead end, a transformation immediately happens. You are coming closer to it; of that much I am certain. The dead end is not far away, but you have not come to it yet. Your whole question proves it.

You are coming closer, you are feeling intuitively that it is not far away—but it has not been reached yet. Still, there is hope. Still, deep down, you are dreaming that this is not going to be the dead end; hence the question arises.

You say, “I see the impotence of the mind….” You have not seen it yet, you only think you have. Seeing and thinking are totally different, but one can get mixed up very easily. Thinking can pretend to be seeing. You are not seeing the impotence of the mind; otherwise even this question would not arise. If the mind is really impotent, what can it ask? What can it think about? It simply falls from you, it withers away.

But the shadow is on you, and that’s a good sign. The day is not far away when you WILL see the impotence of the mind—and then immediately the transformation. Then, immediately, a sudden enlightening experience. All questions disappear; all answers disappear, because when the mind is seen, really seen as impotent, what is there to ask and what is there to find? The mind simply evaporates. Then life is left, pure life, unhindered, undistorted by the mind.

Then you will not say that you feel all action useless. If you see the impotence of the mind, the mind disappears but action becomes for the first time tremendously beautiful. There is no question of utility at all. Life has no utility in itself. What is the use of a rose flower?—but still it goes on growing, still it goes on opening, still it goes on releasing its fragrance. What is the use of it? What is the use of the sun rising every day? Is there any use for the sun itself? What is the use of the starry night?

The word “use” is part of the paraphernalia of the mind. Mind always thinks in terms of utility. The mind is a Jew; it always thinks in terms of purpose, profit, utility. When the mind disappears, action does not disappear, activity disappears—and there is a great difference between the two. Activity has utility; action is pure joy, pure beauty. You act not because something has to be achieved, you act because action is a dance, is a song. You act because you are so full of energy.

Have you watched a child running on the sea beach? You ask him, “Why are you running? What is the purpose of your running? What are you going to gain out of it?” Have you watched the child collecting seashells on the beach? You ask him, “What is the utility of it all? You can use your time in a more utilitarian way. Why waste your time?”

The child is not concerned about utility at all, he is enjoying his energy. He is so full of energy, so bubbling with energy that it is a sheer dance — any excuse will do. These are just excuses — seashells, pebbles, colored stones. These are just excuses — the sun, the beautiful beach…just excuses to run and to jump and to shout with joy. There is no utility at all. “Energy is delight” — that is a statement made by William Blake, one of the most mystical poets of the West. Energy IS delight. When there is great energy, what are you going to do with it? It is bound to explode.

Action comes out of energy, out of delight. Activity is businesslike. Action is poetry. Activity creates a bondage because it is result oriented: you are doing it not for its own sake, you are doing it for some goal. There is a motive, and then there is frustration. Out of a hundred cases, ninety-nine times you will not achieve the goal, so ninety-nine times you will be in misery, frustration. You did not enjoy the activity itself, you were waiting for the result. Now the result has come, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred there is frustration. And don’t hope for the remaining one percent, because when you achieve the goal, there is frustration also. The goal is achieved, but suddenly you realize that all the dreams you have been dreaming about the goal are not fulfilled.

You have achieved the money, but where is the joy that you have always been hoping for when the money was there? You have that great marble palace, but you are the same poor man — the same emptiness inside, the same hollowness. You used to live in a hut, now you start living in a palace — but the SAME person. You were miserable in the hut, and you will be even more miserable in the palace, because the palace has more space and of course when there is more space you will be more miserable. What else can you do with that space? All that you know is how to be miserable.

So you see poor people and you see rich people. The only difference is that the poor people are still hoping. There is hope; hence poor people are not so frustrated. Rich people have lost all their hopes; they are more frustrated. The poor person can still dream — he can still go on counting in his mind how great a bank balance he will have next year and the year after. Soon the day will come when he will be rich and he will have a car and a good house and a good wife, and the children will be going to good schools. But what can the rich man dream? All that he can dream about he has already, and nothing is happening out of it. The money is there, but he is as empty as ever.

There are two kinds of poor people: the poor poor and the rich poor. And remember, the second category is far worse.

Activity means there is a goal; activity is only a means to that end. Action means that the means and the end are together in it. That’s the difference between action and activity.

Vinod Bharti, activity will become useless, but then action arises and action has a totally different dimension. You act for the sheer joy of acting. For example, I am speaking to you — it is not activity, hence I am not concerned with the result at all. It is a pure act. I enjoy communicating with you, I enjoy communing with you. I am grateful to you that you allow me. If you don’t allow me, I will have to talk to the trees or to the rocks, or I will have to talk to myself! I am obliged to you; you need not be obliged to me. It is a pure act. There is something in me that wants to relate. There is no goal orientation — I am not expecting anything from you. If something happens, good; if nothing happens, even better! If you become enlightened, good; if you don’t become enlightened, far out! — for the simple reason that if you all become enlightened, who am I going to talk to? So please, delay your enlightenment as long as you can — this much of a favor you have to do for me! It is a simple act. No motive, no future in it — just the present.

Hence I am not trying to create a system of thought — I cannot, because to create a system of thought you have to be motivated. Then you have to link everything in a certain logical order. I can enjoy fragments.

When P. D. Ouspensky wrote his first book on Gurdjieff, he gave it the title In Search of the Miraculous. He was a man of a philosophic bent, a great mathematician, logician and philosopher.

When he showed the book to George Gurdjieff, his master, Gurdjieff just looked here and there for a few minutes and then he said, “Give it a subtitle too: Fragments of a Teaching.”

He was a little puzzled, because he had tried to make a whole system and Gurdjieff was suggesting an extra title. “The main title, In Search of the Miraculous,” Gurdjieff said, “is okay, but it needs the subtitle, Fragments of a Teaching — in fact, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching.”

Ouspensky asked, “Why?”

Gurdjieff said, “Because I cannot create a system of thought — these are all fragments.”

And you can see it happening here. You can collect all my thoughts, but they will be only fragments — fragments but not a system. To create a system, you need to be goal oriented. You have to follow a certain structure, and you have to go on like an arrow towards a target.

That is not possible either for a man like me or Gurdjieff. We cannot follow any goal. Our every act is complete in itself, entire in itself. It has no relationship with the past and no relationship with the future. It is total. If I die this very moment, there will be no desire in me even to have completed the sentence.

Action is an end unto itself; it has no utility. When the mind is seen to be impotent, the mind disappears. In that very seeing, the mind disappears. And, of course, with it all utilitarian activities will also disappear, because mind is the cause of goal orientation. It contains all your motives. It contains your past and the future; it does not contain the present at all. And when there is no mind, all that is left is pure present. You act moment to moment, and each moment is enough unto itself. Hence the beauty of the statements of Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, because each statement is in itself perfect, it needs nothing. You can take any statement from anywhere, and you can meditate over it and it will give you the taste of Tao, Dhamma — truth.

Buddha used to say again and again that the taste of the sea is the same. You can taste it from anywhere, from any shore — the taste is the same. This shore or that makes no difference. Each statement of a buddha has the taste of truth. But it is not concerned with utility….

Vinod Bharti, you are feeling in an intuitive way that something is coming closer of which you are afraid: “the dead end.” Everybody becomes afraid, and out of fear the question has arisen. You ask, “I have come to a dead end. I see the impotence of the mind and feel all action useless. Does the mind totally die only in samadhi?”

Just the reverse is the case: when the mind dies totally, what is left is samadhi. So I cannot say that the mind dies totally only in samadhi; that will be putting things upside down. The mind dies first, and then what is left is called samadhi. That state of no-mind is called samadhi.

But the death of the mind frightens, scares one. That’s what you are feeling: the shadow of death. It is not YOUR death, it is the death of the mind which is not you. But for many lives we have lived identified with the mind, so when the death of the mind comes closer it feels as if WE are going to die. It is not a dead end for YOU, it is certainly a dead end for the mind. That too has not come yet, but the mind is freaking out, because once it has come, then there is no way out for the mind. If it can escape just before the dead end, then there is a possibility of surviving…hence the question.

You say: “Please say something about mind and action in witnessing.” In witnessing, mind remains only as a biocomputer, a mechanism, but separate from you; you are no longer identified with it. When you want any memory you can use the mind just as you can put on your tape recorder. Mind is really a tape recorder. But it is not continuously on, not twenty-four hours on. When needed, the witness, the man of meditation, the man of awareness, is capable of putting the mind on or off. He puts it on when there is some need.

If I am talking to you, I have to put the mind on; otherwise language will not be possible. No-mind is silent; there is no language; only mind can supply the language. I have to use the mind to relate with your mind; that’s the only way to relate with your mind, so I put it on.

When I go back and sit in the car, I put it off. Before Heeren turns the ignition on, I turn MY ignition off! In my room I don’t need my mind. When my secretary comes with the letters, or with some work, I say to her, “Hello!” And inside I say, “Hello, mind. My secretary has come!” Otherwise there is no need for the mind.

When you are witnessing, the mind remains, but not constantly working. Your identity is broken. You are the watcher; the mind is the watched. It is a beautiful mechanism, one of the most beautiful mechanisms that nature has given to you. So you can use it when needed for factual memory — for phone numbers, for addresses, for names, for faces…. It is a good tool, but that’s all it is. It need not sit upon you continuously twenty-four hours a day. Even while you are sleeping, it is sitting on your chest torturing you, giving you nightmares. All kinds of relevant and irrelevant thoughts go on and on.

It does two harms. One: you lose your purity of witnessing, you don’t remain a mirror. Your mirror becomes so covered with the dust of thoughts that you start becoming closed to existence, you cannot reflect existence. The full moon is there, but your mirror does not reflect it. How many people are there who see the full moon? Even if they see it, they don’t SEE — their seeing is not of any value. They don’t rejoice, they don’t dance. How many people are there who see the flowers? Just now the birds are singing, but how many people are there who are aware of the birds and the wind passing through the trees?

When the mind is no longer hovering over you continuously, you become aware of infinite beauty, of truth, of the celebration that goes on and on in existence. But the mind is there, put aside — you can put it on when needed.

And when activity ceases, action is born. Action means response; activity means reaction. When you are in action, it means the mind is put aside and your consciousness is in a direct contact with existence; hence the response is immediate. Then whatsoever you do is not ready-made. It is not a ready-made answer given by the mind; you are responding to the reality as it is. Then there is beauty, because your action is true to the situation.

But millions of people in the world are simply living through ready-made answers. They are already carrying the answer; they don’t listen, they don’t see the situation confronting them. They are more interested in the answer that they are carrying within themselves than in the question itself, and they go on living their answer again and again. That’s why their life becomes a boredom, a repetitive boredom, a drag. It is no longer a dance, it cannot be a dance.

Action is a dance; activity is a drag. Activity is always untrue to the situation; action is always true to the situation. And activity is always inadequate because it carries an answer from the past, and life goes on changing every moment, so whatsoever you bring from the past is never adequate, it always falls short. So whatsoever you do, there is frustration; you feel that you have not been able to cope with reality. You always feel something is missing, you always feel your reaction was not exactly as it should have been. And the reason is that you have simply repeated, parrot-like, a ready-made answer, cheap but untrue – untrue because the situation is new.

Vinod Bharti, the mind will be there but with a new status, with a new functioning. It will be under your control: you will be the master, not the mind. You will use it when it is needed; you will not use it when it is not needed. It cannot insist that you have to listen to it, that you have to go on listening to it. Even if you are sleeping, it goes on knocking on your doors; it does not allow you even to have a beautiful sleep.

The second loss is that because the mind is working twenty-four hours a day, from the cradle to the grave, it becomes mediocre, it becomes stupid. It never has enough energy, it becomes very weak; hence the impotence. If the mind has time to rest, it will again become rejuvenated, it will again be fresh.

The mind of a buddha is always fresh, it is always young. It is always responding with such freshness, with such newness that it seems unbelievable. Your questions may be the same, but the answers of a buddha always have a new nuance to them, a new flavor, a new fragrance. You can go on listening to the Buddha for years, and still you will remain enchanted. Even if he repeats something it is never the same — the context is different, the color is different, the meaning is different.

The mind will be there, more alive, more potent, more restful, younger, fresher — not your master but a good servant, an obedient servant. Activity will disappear totally; there will arise action.

Action means there is no goal to it. Just as the poets say “poetry for poetry’s sake” or “art for art’s sake,” the same is the situation with the mystic. His action is for action’s sake; there is no other goal to it. He enjoys it just like a small child, innocently he enjoys it.

Vinod Bharti, witnessing is the miracle that changes everything in your life. Then the dead end is only a new beginning, a death and a birth — the death of the old, a total death; a discontinuity with the old, and the arrival of something absolutely unknown, the arrival of the new. It is a resurrection — a crucifixion and a resurrection. But the resurrection is possible only after crucifixion.

The dead end is going to come, but it is the beginning also. And you will see the beginning immediately, when the dead end has come. If you are just thinking about it, that it is coming, it is coming…the mind can even say, “It has come — beware, escape! While there is time, run away!” Then you will miss the other side of it. You will see only the cross, you will miss the resurrection.

You are thinking the mind is impotent. Your thinking is on the right track, but thinking will not help, seeing is needed. Become a witness so that you can see that the mind is impotent. Feel that activities are useless, but not action. Action continues. Buddha lived for forty-two years after his enlightenment. Action continued, activities disappeared.

-Osho

From Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Chapter One

Come, Come, Yet Again Come

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.

The Path of Intelligence – Osho

Can the intellect be a door to enlightenment, or is enlightenment only achieved through surrender?

Enlightenment is always through surrender, but surrender is achieved through intelligence. Only idiots cannot surrender. To surrender you need great intelligence. To see the point of surrender is the climax of insight; to see the point that you are not separate from existence is the highest that intelligence can give to you.

There is no conflict between intelligence and surrender. Surrender is through intelligence, although when you surrender intelligence is also surrendered. Through surrender intellect commits a suicide. Seeing the futility of itself, seeing the absurdity of itself, seeing the anguish that it creates, it disappears. But it happens through intelligence. And especially in concern with Buddha, the path is of intelligence. The very word buddha means awakened intelligence.

In the Heart Sutra one-fourth of the words used mean intelligence. The word buddha means awake, bodhi means awakening, sambodhi means perfect awakening, abhisambuddha means the fully awake, bodhisattva means ready to become fully awake. All go back to the same root, budh, which means intelligence. The word buddhi, intellect, also comes from the same root. The root budh has many dimensions to it. There is no single English word that can translate it; it has many implications. It is very fluid and poetic. In no other language does any word like budh exist, with so many meanings. There are at least five meanings to the word budh.

The first is to awake, to wake oneself up, and to awaken others, to be awake. As such, it is opposed to being asleep, in the slumber of delusion from which the enlightened awakens as from a dream. That is the first meaning of intelligence, budh—to create an awakening in you.

Ordinarily man is asleep. Even while you think you are awake, you are not. Walking on the road, you are fully awake—in your mind. But looked at from the vision of a Buddha, you are fast asleep, because a thousand and one dreams and thoughts are clamoring inside you. Your inner light is very clouded. It is a kind of sleep. Yes, your eyes are open, obviously, but people can walk in a dream, in sleep, with eyes open. And Buddha says: You are also walking in sleep—with eyes open.

But your inner eye is not open. You don’t know yet who you are. You have not looked into your own reality. You are not awake. A mind full of thoughts is not awake, cannot be awake. Only a mind which has dropped thoughts and thinking, which has dispersed the clouds around it—and the sun is burning bright, and the sky is utterly empty of clouds—is the mind which has intelligence, which is awake.

Intelligence is the capacity to be in the present. The more you are in the past or are in the future, the less intelligent you are. Intelligence is the capacity to be here-now, to be in this moment and nowhere else. Then you are awake.

For example, you are sitting in a house and the house suddenly catches fire; your life is in danger. Then for a moment you will be awake. In that moment you will not think many thoughts. In that moment you forget your whole past. In that moment you will not be clamored at by your psychological memories — that you had loved a woman thirty years before, and boy, it was fantastic! Or, the other day you had been to the Chinese restaurant, and still the taste lingers on, and the aroma and the smell of the freshly cooked bread. You will not be in those thoughts. No, when your house is on fire you cannot afford this kind of thinking. Suddenly you will rush to this moment: the house is on fire and your life is at stake. You will not dream about the future, about what you are going to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is no longer relevant, yesterday is no longer relevant, even today is no longer relevant!—only this moment, this split moment. That is the first meaning of budh, intelligence.

And then there are great insights. A man who wants to be really awake, wants to be really a Buddha, has to live each moment in such intensity—as you live only rarely, rarely, in some danger.

The first meaning is opposite to sleep. And naturally, you can see reality only when you are not asleep. You can face it, you can look into the eyes of truth—or call it God—only when you are awake. Do you understand the point of intensity, the point of being on fire? Utterly awake, there is insight. That insight brings freedom, that insight brings truth.

The second meaning of budh is to recognize, as to become aware of, acquainted with, to notice, give heed to. And so a Buddha is one who has recognized the false as the false, and has his eyes opened to the true as the true. To see the false as the false is the beginning of understanding what truth is. Only when you see the false as the false can you see what truth is. You cannot go on living in illusions, you cannot go on living in your beliefs, you cannot go on living in your prejudices if you want to know truth. The false has to be recognized as false. That is the second meaning of budh—recognition of the false as false, of the untrue as untrue.

For example, you have believed in God; you were born a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. You have been taught that God exists, you have been made afraid of God—that if you don’t believe you will suffer, that you will be punished, that God is very ferocious, that God will never forgive you. The Jewish God says, “I am a very jealous God. Worship only me and nobody else!” The Mohammedan God also says the same thing: “There is only one God, and no other God; and there is only one prophet of God—Mohammed—and there is no other prophet.”

This conditioning can go so deep in you that it can go on lingering even if you start disbelieving in God.

Just the other day Mulla Nasruddin was here, and I asked him, “Mulla Nasruddin, since you have turned into a communist, you have become a comrade, what about God?”

He said, “There is no God! — and Mohammed is the only prophet.”

A conditioning can go so deep: Mohammed remains the prophet.

You have been brought up to believe in God, and you have believed. This is a belief. Whether God exists or not has nothing to do with your belief. Truth has nothing to do with your belief. Whether you believe or not makes no difference to truth. But if you believe in God you will go on seeing, at least thinking that you see God. If you don’t believe in God, that disbelief in God will prevent you from knowing. All beliefs prevent, because they become prejudices around you, they become thought-coverings—what Buddha calls avarnas.

The man of intelligence does not believe in anything, and does not disbelieve in anything. The man of intelligence is simply open to recognizing whatsoever is the case. If God is there he will recognize, but not according to his belief; he has no belief. Only in a nonbelieving intelligence can truth appear. When you already believe you don’t allow truth any space to come to you. Your prejudice is enthroned, already enthroned. You cannot see something which goes against your belief; you will become afraid, you will become shaky, you will start trembling. You have put so much in your belief, so much life, so much time, so many prayers, five prayers every day. For fifty years a man has been devoted to his belief; now suddenly how can he recognize the fact that there is no God? A man has put his whole life into communism, believing that there is no God; how can he come to see if God is there? He will go on avoiding.

I’m not saying anything about whether God is or is not. What I am saying is something concerned with you, not with God. A mind, a clear mind, is needed, an intelligence is needed which does not cling to any belief. Then you are like a mirror: you reflect that which is, you don’t distort it. That is the second meaning of budh.

An intelligent person is neither a communist nor a Catholic. An intelligent person does not believe, does not disbelieve. That is not his way. He looks into life, and whatsoever is there he is ready to see it. He has no barriers to his vision; his vision is transparent. Only those few people attain to truth.

The third meaning of the root budh, intelligence, is to know, to understand. The Buddha knows that which is; he understands that which is, and in that very understanding is free from all bondage—to know in the sense of to understand, not in the sense of knowledgeability. Buddha is not knowledgeable. An intelligent person does not care much about information and knowledge. An intelligent person cares much more for the capacity to know. His real authentic interest is in knowing, not in knowledge.

Knowing gives you understanding; knowledge only gives you a feeling of understanding without giving you real understanding. Knowledge is a pseudo-coin, it is deceptive. It only gives you a feeling that you know, and you don’t know at all. You can go on accumulating knowledge as much as you want, you can go on hoarding, you can become very, very knowledgeable. You can write books, you can have degrees, you can have PhD’s, DLitt’s, and still you remain the same ignorant, stupid person you have always been. Those degrees don’t change you; they can’t change you. In fact your stupidity becomes more strong… it has degrees now! It can prove itself through certificates. It cannot prove through life, but it can prove through the certificates. It cannot prove in any other way, but it will carry degrees, certificates, recognitions from the society; people think you know, and you also think you know.

Have you not seen this? The people who are thought to be very knowledgeable are as ignorant as anybody, sometimes more ignorant. It is very rare to find intelligent people in the academic world, very rare. I have been in the academic world, and I say it through my experience. I have seen intelligent farmers; I have not seen intelligent professors. I have seen intelligent woodcutters; I have not seen intelligent professors. Why? What has gone wrong with these people?

One thing has gone wrong: they can depend on knowledge. They need not become knowers, they can depend on knowledge. They have found a secondhand way. The firsthand needs courage. The firsthand, knowing, only few people can afford—the adventurers, people who go beyond the ordinary path where crowds move, people who take small footpaths into the jungle of the unknowable. The danger is they may get lost. The risk is high.

When you can get secondhand knowledge, why bother? You can just sit in your chair. You can go to the library or to the university, you can collect information. You can make a big pile of information and sit on top of it. Through knowledge your memory becomes bigger and bigger, but your intelligence does not become bigger. Sometimes it happens when you don’t know much, when you are not very knowledgeable, that you will have to be intelligent in some moments.

I have heard…

A woman bought a tin of fruit but she could not open the tin. She did not know how to open it. So she rushed to her study to look in the cookbook. By the time she looked in the book and found out the page and reference, and came rushing back ready to open the tin, the servant had already opened it.

She asked, “But how did you do it?”

The servant said, “Madam, when you can’t read, you have to use your mind.”

Yes, that’s how it happens. That’s why farmers, gardeners, woodcutters, are more intelligent, have a kind of freshness around them. They can’t read, so they have to use their minds. One has to live and one has to use one’s mind.

The third meaning of budh is to know, in the sense of understanding.

The Buddha has seen that which is. He understands that which is, and in that very understanding is free from all bondage. What does it mean? It means you are afraid.

For example, these Heart Sutra talks are making many people feel fear. Many people have sent their messages: “Osho, no more! You make us afraid of nothingness and death.” Prageet is very afraid. Vidya is very afraid, and many more. Why? You don’t want to get rid of fear? If you want to get rid of fear you will have to understand fear. You want to avoid the fact that the fear is there, the fear of death is there.

Now Prageet, on the surface, looks a strong man, a Rolfer, but deep down he’s very much afraid of death; he is one of the most afraid persons around here. Maybe that’s why on the surface he has taken the stance of strength, power, a bully. That’s what a Rolfer is!

I have heard that recently the devil in hell is appointing Rolfers: they torture people for their own sakes, and they torture very technically.

If you are afraid inside, you will have to create something strong around you, like a hard shell, so nobody comes to know that you are afraid. And that is not the only point—you also will not know that you are afraid because of that hard shell. It will protect you from others, it will protect you from your own understanding.

An intelligent person does not escape from any fact. If it is fear he will go into it, because the way out is through. If he feels fear and trembling arising in him, he will leave everything aside: first this fear has to be gone through. He will go into it, he will try to understand. He will not try how not to be afraid; he will not ask that question. He will simply ask one question: “What is this fear? It is there, it is part of me, it is my reality. I have to go into it, I have to understand it. If I don’t understand it then a part of me will always remain unknown to me. And how am I going to know who I am if I go on avoiding parts? I will not understand fear, I will not understand death, I will not understand anger, I will not understand my hatred, I will not understand my jealousy, I will not understand this and that…” Then how are you going to know yourself?

All these things are you! This is your being. You have to go into everything that is there, every nook and corner. You have to explore fear. Even if you are trembling it is nothing to be worried about: tremble, but go in. It is far better to tremble than to escape, because once you escape, that part will remain unknown to you, and you will become more and more afraid to look at it because that fear will go on accumulating. It will become bigger and bigger if you don’t go into it right now, this moment. Tomorrow it will have lived twenty-four hours more. Beware!—it will have got more roots in you, it will have bigger foliage, it will become stronger; and then it will be more difficult to tackle. It is better to go right now, it is already late.

And if you go into it and you see it… And seeing means without prejudice. Seeing means that you don’t condemn fear as bad from the very beginning. Who knows?—it is not bad. Who knows that it is? The explorer has to remain open to all the possibilities; he cannot afford a closed mind. A closed mind and exploration don’t go together. He will go into it. If it brings suffering and pain, he will suffer the pain but he will go into it. Trembling, hesitant, but he will go into it: “It is my territory; I have to know what it is. Maybe it is carrying some treasure for me? Maybe the fear is only there to protect the treasure.”

That’s my experience, that’s my understanding: if you go deep into your fear you will find love. That’s why it happens that when you are in love, fear disappears. And when you are afraid you cannot be in love. What does this mean? A simple arithmetic — fear and love don’t exist together. That means it must be the same energy that becomes fear; then there is nothing left to become love. It becomes love; then there is nothing left to become fear.

Go into fear, Prageet, Vidya, and all others who are feeling afraid. Go into it, and you will find a great treasure. Hidden behind fear is love, and hidden behind anger is compassion, and hidden behind sex is samadhi.

Go into each negative thing and you will find the positive. And knowing the negative and the positive, the third, the ultimate happens—the transcendental. That is the meaning of understanding, budh, intelligence.

And the fourth meaning is to be enlightened and to enlighten. The Buddha is the light, he has become the light. And since he’s the light and he has become the light, he shows the light to others too, naturally, obviously. He is illumination. His darkness has disappeared, his inner flame is burning bright. Smokeless is his flame. This meaning is opposite to darkness and the corresponding blindness and ignorance. This is the fourth meaning: to become light, to become enlightened.

Ordinarily you are a darkness, a continent of darkness, a dark continent, unexplored. Man is a little strange: he goes on exploring the Himalayas, he goes on exploring the Pacific, he goes on reaching for the moon and Mars; there is just one thing he never tries, exploring his inner being. Man has landed on the moon, and man has not landed yet in his own being. This is strange. Maybe landing on the moon is just an escape; going to Everest is just an escape. Maybe he does not want to go inside, because he’s very much afraid. He substitutes with some other explorations to feel good; otherwise you will have to feel very, very guilty. You start climbing a mountain and you feel good, and the greatest mountain is within you and is yet unclimbed. You start going, diving deep into the Pacific, and the greatest Pacific is within you, and uncharted, unmapped. And you start going to the moon—what foolishness! And you are wasting your energy in going to the moon, and the real moon is within you, because the real light is within you.

The intelligent person will go inwards first. Before going anywhere else he will go into his own being; that is the first thing, and it should have the first preference. Only when you have known yourself can you go anywhere else. Then wherever you go you will carry a blissfulness around you, a peace, a silence, a celebration.

So the fourth meaning is to be enlightened.

Intelligence is the spark. Helped, cooperated with, it can become the fire, and the light, and the warmth. It can become light, it can become life, it can become love: those are all included in the word enlightenment. An enlightened person has no dark corners in his being. All is like the morning—the sun is on the horizon; the darkness of the night and the dismalness of the night have disappeared, and the shadows of the night have disappeared. The earth is again awake. To be a Buddha is to attain to a morning, a dawn within you. That is the function of intelligence, the ultimate function.

And the fifth meaning of budh is to fathom. A depth is there in you, a bottomless depth, which has to be fathomed. Or, the fifth meaning can be to penetrate, to drop all that obstructs and penetrate to the very core of your being, the heart. That’s why this sutra is called the Heart Sutra—Prajnaparamita Hridayam Sutra—to penetrate.

People try to penetrate many things in life. Your urge, your great desire for sex is nothing but a kind of penetration. But that is a penetration into the other. The same penetration has to happen into your own being: you have to penetrate yourself. If you penetrate somebody else it can give you a momentary glimpse, but if you penetrate yourself you can attain to the universal cosmic orgasm that remains and remains and remains.

A man meets an outer woman, and a woman meets an outer man: this is a very superficial meeting, yet meaningful, yet it brings moments of joy. When the inner woman meets the inner man… And you are carrying both inside you: a part of you is feminine; a part of you is masculine. Whether you are man or woman does not matter; everybody is bisexual.

The fifth meaning of the root budh means penetration. When your inner man penetrates your inner woman there is a meeting; you become whole, you become one. And then all desires for the outer disappear. In that desirelessness is freedom, is nirvana.

The path of Buddha is the path of budh. Remember that ‘Buddha’ is not the name of Gautama the Buddha, Buddha is the state that he has attained. His name was Gautam Siddhartha. Then one day he became Buddha, one day his bodhi, his intelligence bloomed.

‘Buddha’ means exactly what ‘Christ’ means. Jesus’ name is not Christ: that is the ultimate flowering that happened to him. So is it with Buddha. There have been many Buddhas other than Gautam Siddartha.

Everybody has the capacity for budh. But budh, that capacity to see, is just like a seed in you—if it sprouts, becomes a big tree, blooms, starts dancing in the sky, starts whispering to the stars, you are a Buddha.

The path of Buddha is the path of intelligence. It is not an emotional path, no, not at all. Not that emotional people cannot reach; there are other paths for them — the path of devotion Bhakti Yoga. Buddha’s path is pure Gyan Yoga, the path of knowing. Buddha’s path is the ath of meditation, not of love.

And just like budh, there is another root, gya, at the basis of gyanam. Gyanam means cognition, knowing. And the word prajna, which means wisdom—Prajnaparamita—the wisdom of the beyond, or sangya, which means perception, sensitivity, or vigyanam which means consciousness—these roots come from gya. Gya means to know.

You will find these words repeated so many times in the sutra—not only in this sutra, but in all the sutras of the Buddha. You will find a few more words, repeated very often, and those words are ved—ved means to know; from ved comes the Hindu word veda—or man, which means mind; manan which means minding; or chit, which means consciousness; chaitanya, which again means consciousness. These words are almost like paving stones on the Buddha Way. His path is that of intelligence.

One thing more to be remembered: the sutra, it is true, points to something that lies far beyond the intellect. But the way to get to that is to follow the intellect as far as it will take you.

The intellect has to be used, not discarded; has to be transcended, not discarded. And it can be transcended only when you have reached to the uppermost rung of the ladder. You have to go on growing in intelligence. Then a moment comes when intelligence has done all that it can do. In that moment say goodbye to intelligence. It has helped you a long way, it has brought you long enough, it has been a good vehicle. It has been a boat you crossed with: you have reached the other shore, then you leave the boat. Then you don’t carry the boat on your head; that would be foolish.

The Buddha’s path goes through intelligence but goes beyond it. A moment comes when intelligence has given you all that it can give, then it is no longer needed. Then finally you drop it too, its work is finished. The disease is gone, now that medicine has to go too. And when you are free of the disease and the medicine too, then only are you free. Sometimes it happens that the disease is gone, and now you have become addicted to the medicine. This is not freedom.

A thorn is in your foot and is hurting. You take another thorn so that the thorn in your foot can be taken out with the help of the other. When you have taken the thorn out you throw both; you don’t save the one that has been helpful. It is now meaningless. The work of intelligence is to help you to become aware of your being. Once that work has happened and your being is there, now there is no need for this instrument. You can say goodbye, you can say thank you.

Buddha’s path is the path of intelligence, pure intelligence, although it goes beyond it.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Chapter Eight

The Heart Sutra

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Groove Goes Deep – Osho

Last night you said that desires move between the dead past and the imaginary future. Please explain how and why this dead past proves so dynamic and powerful that it compels a person to flow into the process of endless desire. How can one be free from this dynamic past, the unconscious and the collective unconscious?

The past is not dynamic at all: it is totally dead. But still it has a weight – a dead weight. That dead weight works; it is not dynamic at all. Why the dead weight works has to be understood.

The past is so forceful because it is the known, the experienced, and mind always feels fearful of the unknown, the unexperienced. And how can you desire the unknown? You cannot desire the unknown. Only the known can be desired. So desires are always repetitious. They repeat, they are circular. You always move in the same pattern, in the same circle. The mind becomes just a groove of repetitions, and the more you repeat a particular thing, the more weighty it becomes, because the groove goes deep.

So the past is important not because it is dynamic; it forces you to do something and to desire not because it is forceful, powerful, alive – but only because it is a dead groove. And the past has been repeated so many times that to repeat it has become easy and automatic. The more you repeat a particular thing the more convenient and easier it becomes. The basic convenience is this: that if you are repeating a thing, you need not be aware.

Awareness is the most inconvenient thing. If you are repeating a particular thing, then you need not be aware. You can be just deep asleep, and the thing can be repeated automatically, mechanically. So it is convenient to repeat the past because you need not be aware. You can go on sleeping, and the mind will repeat itself.

That’s why those who say that desirelessness is the state of bliss also say that desirelessness is synonymous with awareness. You cannot be desireless unless you are totally aware. Or, if you are aware you will find that you are desireless, because desires can have a repetitive force upon the mind only when you are not aware. So the more asleep the mind is, the more repetitive and the more mechanical. So the past has the grip only because it is a repetition – and because it is the known. How can you desire the unknown?

For the unknown there can be no desire. The unknown is inconceivable. That’s why, even when we begin to desire God, we are not desiring the unknown. By “God” we must mean something which I known. So go deep: what do you mean by “God”? – Particularly your God. What do you mean by it? You will find under the garb of “God” something known, something experienced.

It may be eternal pleasure. So the so-called religious persons go on saying, “Why are you wasting your life in desires which are momentary? Come to us! Here is the fulfillment; here is the possibility to achieve permanent, eternal pleasure.” The language can be understood. You know the momentary pleasure, so you can desire permanent pleasure – but under the garb of God there is pleasure.

You may be seeking God only because you are fearful of death. Then, under the garb of God, you are really asking for immortality, not to die ever, an eternal life. You know this life – that is your experience – now you want to make it eternal. So whenever we talk about God, the Divine, Liberation, mokhsa, don’t be deceived by the words because the words may be hiding something totally different. And they are hiding it – because how can you desire the unknown? How can you conceive of it? How can you ask for it?

Really, the phenomenon is quite different. When you are not in desire, the unknown comes to you – you cannot desire it. When you are desireless the unknown comes to you. You cannot desire it! The state of desirelessness is the opening for the unknown to come. You cannot desire it because the very desire will become the hindrance.

So mind goes on repeating; it is a mechanical thing. So the dynamism is not in the mind – mind is just a dead, mechanical thing – the dynamism is in your consciousness, and if your consciousness is identified with the mind then the dead mind becomes dynamic. The dynamism belongs to your energy; it is not part of your mind. You are the dynamism behind it. If you are identified with the mind, if you think that you are the mind, then the mind begins to be dynamic. If you are not identified with the mind, then the mind is just dead – just a dead weight, just a mechanical accumulation.

It is a long accumulation – millennia of evolution, many, many, many lives are accumulated there. It is not only that your mind belongs to this life – it belongs to life as such. It has evolved, so it has deep grooves. It is not only that you fall in love: your father and mother have fallen in love before you; their fathers and their mothers and theirs and theirs – they have all fallen in love. The mind has a deep groove of falling in love, so when you fall m love don’t be deceived that you are falling in love. The whole humanity is behind you; the whole humanity has made the groove. It is in your bones, it is in your cells, it is in your very metabolism. Every cell has a sex part in it, and every cell has a groove, and every cell has a mind, memory – long memories, beginningless memories. So if you are identified with this mind, it becomes a force – a dynamic force. You give the energy, but the dead machine begins to move. You pedal it.

So remember: energy belongs to you; dynamism belongs to you. Mind is a mechanical thing produced by millennia of evolution, but it has deep grooves. And if you are identified, then you will have to flow through those grooves. There is no escape then.

So the first thing is how not to identify, how to remember constantly that mind is one thing and you are something else. It is difficult, it is arduous – but it is possible. It is not impossible. And once, if you have even a moment’s glimpse of unidentified Existence, then you will never be the same again. Once you come to know that mind is not the force: “I am the force, the vitality comes from me,” if even for a single moment you have the glimpse of your mastery, then mind will never be master again. And only then can you move into the unknown.

Mind cannot move into the unknown: it is produced by the known. It is a product of the known, so it cannot move into the unknown. That’s why mind can never know what Truth is, what God is.  Mind can never know what freedom is, mind can never know what life is – because intrinsically mind is dead. It is dead: dust accumulated through centuries and centuries – just dust, memory dust.

It seems that mind forces you. It doesn’t force you really; it only gives you the easiest grooves.

It supplies to you only the repeated routine tracks, and you fall victim to convenience – because to break a new route and to create a new track and to move in a new groove is very difficult and inconvenient. That is what is meant by tapa – austerity. If you begin to move in some new grooves which are created not by the mind but created by consciousness, then you are in tapascharya – in austerity. It is arduous.

Gurdjieff had many exercises. One exercise was to deny the mechanism sometimes. You are hungry: just deny and let your body suffer. You be just calm and quiet, and remember that the body is hungry. Don’t suppress it; don’t force it not to be hungry. It is hungry; you know. But at the same time say to it, “I am not going to fulfill this hunger today. Be hungry, suffer! Now, I am not going to move today in this supplied groove. I will remain aloof.”

And, suddenly, if you can do this, you begin to feel a gap. The body is hungry, but somewhere there is a distance between you and it. If you try to occupy your mind, then you have missed the point. If you go to the temple and begin to do kirtan and singing just to forget the hunger, then you have missed the point. Let the body be hungry. Don’t occupy your mind to escape from hunger. Remain hungry, but just tell the body, “Today I am not going to fall in the trap.” You remain hungry, you suffer.

There are persons who are doing fasting, but meaninglessly because whenever they fast they try to occupy the mind so that the hunger should not be known and should not be felt. If the hunger is not felt, the whole point is missed! Then you are playing tricks. Let the hunger be there in its totality, in its intensity. Let it be there; don’t escape from it. Let the fact of it be there, present, and remain aloof and tell the body, “Today I am not going to give you anything.” There is neither conflict nor suppression nor any escape.

If you can do this, then suddenly you become aware of a gap. Your mind asks for something. For example, someone has become angry. He is angry with you, and the mind begins to react, to be angry. Just tell the mind, “I am not going to fall in the trap this time.” Be aloof. Let the anger be there in the mind, but be aloof. Don’t cooperate, don’t be identified, and you will feel that anger is somewhere else. It surrounds you, but it is not in you, it doesn’t belong to you. It is just like smoke around you. It goes on, goes on, and waits for you to come and cooperate.

There will be every temptation. This is what is really meant by temptation. Mm? – no devil is there to tempt you. Your own mind tempts you, because that’s the most convenient way to be and to behave. Convenience is the temptation; convenience is the devil. The mind will say, “Be angry!” The situation is there and the mechanism is just on. Always, whenever this situation was there, you have been angry, so the mind supplies you again with the same reaction.

As far as it goes it is good because mind makes you ready to do something you have always been doing; but sometimes just stand off, off the track, and tell the mind, “Okay, anger is there outside. Someone is angry with me. You are supplying, me with an old reaction, a stereotyped reaction, but this time I am not going to cooperate. I will just stand here and observe and see what happens.” Suddenly the whole situation changes.

If you don’t cooperate the mind falls dead, because it is your cooperation which gives it dynamism, energy. It is your energy, but you only become aware when it is used by the mind. Don’t give it any cooperation, and the mind will just fall down as if without a backbone – just a dead snake with no life. It will be there, and for the first time you will become aware of a certain energy in you which doesn’t belong to the mind but belongs to you.

This energy is pure energy, and with this energy one can move into the unknown. Really, this energy moves into the unknown if it is not associated with the mind. If it is associated with the mind, then it moves into the known. If it moves into the known, then it takes the shape of desire. If it moves into the unknown, then it takes the shape of desirelessness. Then there is sheer movement – a play of energy, a sheer dance of energy, an overflowing energy moving into the unknown.

Mind can only supply the known. If you can be detached from your mind, the energy will have to move, it cannot remain static. That is what is meant by energy: it has to move! Movement is its very life. Movement is not a quality of energy: movement is the very life! It is not that energy cannot be without movement – no! It is the very life, intrinsic.

Energy means movement, so it moves. If mind supplies its grooves, then it moves into the grooves. If there is no supply of grooves and if you have just put off the mind, then too it moves, but now the movement is into the uncharted. This movement is the play, the leela this movement is creative; this movement is spiritual. And it is desireless. It is not because there is some desire that you move. It is because you cannot do anything else but move: you are energy and movement. So see the difference.

When mind works, it works as a dead weight, a mechanical weight, through the past. It pushes you towards the future. Because the past is pushing towards the future, the past again projects its own desires. So first understand the repetitiveness of desires.

There are not so many desires. Really, there are very few. You go on repeating them. Just count how many desires you have. They are not many – very few! You will not even be able to find enough to count on your fingers. How many desires do you have? Very few! And, really, if you look deeply, you may even find that only one desire is there. There are modifications of it, but really only one desire, and the same desire is being repeated continuously. Life after life it is being repeated. You go on repeating and then it begins to seem, it begins to appear, that you are helpless, that the wheel is moving and you cannot do anything. It is not so. You are helpless only because you have forgotten totally that the energy by which the wheel is moving is given by you.

Because of the past, the future is just a repetition. It is the projected past. You again desire the same thing, and you go on again and again. That’s why I said that past and future are parts of mind, not parts of time. Time is just here and now, the present. If mind is not working, then energy will be here and now in the moment. It will move because it is energy, but now the movement will be into the unknown. The known is not there at all. Mind is not, so the known is not.

Someone asked Hui-Hai, “How did you achieve? How did you reach?”

Hui-Hai said, “When I became a no-mind, then I achieved, then I reached.”

We are minds. That means: tethered to the past. If we can become no-minds that means untethered to the past – then the moment is free, fresh, and energy moves – not for something but because it is energy. Remember the difference exactly: it moves not for something; it moves because it is energy.

A river is moving; ordinarily we think it is moving for the sea. How can it know? It is not moving for the sea. It is moving because it is energy. Ultimately, the sea happens to be there; that is another thing. So when you move into the unknown, ultimately you reach to the Divine. It happens to be there. If your movement is pure, you reach it.

The river goes on moving without knowing, without any map. The past cannot supply the map because the river is not going to move on the past tracks again, so every step is into the unknown. And where it is going, there is no way to know. It is not moving because of any desire; it is not moving for something. The future is unknown – just unknown, dark. It moves. Why does it move? It moves because it is energy.

A seed is moving, a tree is growing, stars are moving. Why do they move? Have they to reach somewhere? No! They move because they are energy; pure energy is moving. Because pure energy cannot do anything else, it moves. So when you become just pure energy, not mind but no-mind energy, you move; and then every step is just into the unknown. Then life becomes bliss, it becomes ecstatic, because the old is never repeated again. Never will the morning be the same again, never again this moment. Now it is a sensation, a thrill every time. This thrill creates Meera’s dance; this thrill creates Chaitanya’s singing with this thrill, every moment something new is bursting, exploding. A Buddha is never bored. He looks fresh.

Maulingputta came to Buddha. He was a very inquiring young man, a great scholar, one who knew all that can be known from scriptures, a great pundit. When he came to Buddha he began to ask many questions. The second day again he asked many questions. The third day again he asked many questions. Ananda, another disciple of Buddha’s, was just bored. He asked Buddha, “Are you not bored? He is repeating the same questions again and again.”

Buddha asked Ananda, “Has he repeated? Has he repeated a single question?”

Every moment is so new for a Buddha-conscious mind. For a Buddha-like mind, everything is so new, how can you repeat the old question again? Even the questioner does not remain the same. How can you ask the same question you asked yesterday? The Ganges has flowed so much, so how can you ask the same question again? You will never be the same again yourself.

And Buddha said, “Even if he is asking the same questions, he is not asking the same person. So how can I say he is repeating? He must have asked someone else. Yesterday where was l? The energy has moved.”

Someone was very angry, insulted Buddha; then felt sorry, and the next day came to ask Buddha’s forgiveness. Buddha was just bewildered, and he said, “You are a strange man! You insult one person and then you ask pardon from somebody else.”

The man said, “What are you saying? Am I strange, or are you? I came yesterday and insulted you. I felt very sorry and I couldn’t sleep.”

Buddha said, “That’s why you are still repeating. But I could sleep and now I am a different man. The river has gone on. It is not the same bank again, and I will never be the same so now you are in difficulty, because you cannot ask pardon of a man you will never meet. If I ever meet him I will tell him whatsoever you have said to me.”

This energy moves into the unknown. It is fresh, young, so a Buddha can never be old. The body, of course, will become old, but a Buddha can never be old. He will remain young. That’s why we have never pictured Ram, Krishna or Buddha as old. They became old, but we have no pictures of Krishna’s old age, of Ram’s old age, of Buddha’s old age, of Mahavir’s old age. We have no pictures!

It is not that they never became old – the body has to follow the common lot – but by not creating pictures of their old age we have just meant something more. Really, they were never old because they were so moving – so moving and so young. For such persons death is not an end. It is again a further movement. It is not an end at all.

So mind is not dynamic: mind is mechanical. It can become dynamic if you cooperate with it. Don’t cooperate with it! Remember your aloofness, create a distance. Be aware, and then the mind will be there but you will be outside.

The English word “ecstasy” is very beautiful and meaningful. You may not have even conceived of what this word means – “ecstasy”. It means to stand outside; the word means to stand outside. If you can stand outside of yourself, if you can be outside of yourself, you are in ecstasy. Someone has suggested that to translate “Samadhi” as ”ecstasy” is not good because the word “Samadhi” doesn’t mean to stand outside. Really, Samadhi means to stand inside. So someone has suggested a new word, he has coined a new word: instead of ecstasy he says it is better to translate Samadhi as “instasy” – to stand inside.

Really, these two words mean two different things, but in a certain way they mean the same. If you can stand out of your mind, then you will be able to stand in yourself. If you can stand outside yourself – the so-called self – then you will be, for the first time, inside. So ecstasy is “instasy”. Then you will be in your center.

If you are out of your mind, then you will be centered in yourself. So going out of the mind is going into consciousness. That’s why mind has to be understood as mechanical, as a mechanism, as accumulation, as the past. And once you feel it, you are out of it. But we go on, we continue to identify ourselves with it.

Whenever you say, “This is my thought,” you are identifying. Change the language, and sometimes it helps very much – if you can just change the language! Language has such a deep grip. Say, “This belongs to my past mind,” and feel the difference. When you say, “This is my thought,” you are identified. Say, “This belongs to my mind, my past mind,” and feel how only a change of language creates a distance.

For example, we say, “My mind is tense.” Then you are identified. We even say, “I am tense.” Then there is even more identification. When I say, “I am tense,” there is no gap. When I say, “My mind is tense,” there is a little gap. If I can say, “I am aware that the mind is tense,” then there is a greater gap, and the greater the gap, the less will be the tension.

When we say, “I am tense,” it looks as if someone else is responsible. So psychology suggests never to say “I am tense,” because subtly it makes someone else responsible. They say that rather than to say “I am tense,” one should say, “I am tensing.” Then the responsibility is yours.

So break the old habits of language, mind, thoughts, and then your energy will move. And once the mind is not there, you are free for the first time.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Chapter Four

Ultimate Alchemy, V. 1

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.

Existential Doubts – Osho

I remember.

I let go.

I forget.

I let go.

My love affair with life

keeps deepening.

Still, I am not without doubts.

But the plunge forward!

A dance unpredictable.

And I allow all around…

Dissolve in through sound…

Ahh, Osho – Thank you.

A question on polarities:

Man-Woman, Zen-Sufi…

Can any one being encompass it all?

Yes, Kavita, I am encompassing it all – so can you. Because being is vast. Being is neither male nor female. Bodies are male and female. Psychologies are male and female. But not being.

Being is simply being.

At the very core of your existence, there is no man, no woman. The consciousness is beyond polarity. When you are witnessing your body, if you are a man you will see a man’s body there as an object; if you are a woman, you will see a woman’s body as an object. But the witness is the witness, man or woman. The witness is neither. The witness is simply there – a witness, that’s all. A consciousness, an awareness.

That awareness comprehends all. When you become a witness, when you become a Buddha, all is comprehended. Then there is no question of polarities.

The world is not just polar. That is the meaning of the Christian idea of the Trinity and the Hindu concept of Trimurti. The world is not divided in two – world is divided in three. The three is very fundamental. The two is on the surface and the three is at the center. Man-woman, on the surface. Zen-Sufi, on the surface. But as you move deeper, as you dive deep into your being, and you reach the center, all disappears. One simply is. A kind of purity, a pure existence.

Kavita, it is possible – not only possible, it has to be made possible. That’s my work here. On the path, be a Sufi or a Zen. When you reach the center, forget all about it. When the goal is reached, the path has to be forgotten. These are divisions of the path.

One can climb up a mountain from many sides, can choose different routes. And when you are moving on different routes, you look as if you are moving in different directions, sometimes opposite also. One is going to the north, another is going to the south, but ultimately, when you reach to the peak, you will have come to the same place.

At the peak, Buddha is Christ, Christ is Krishna, Krishna is Mohammed, Mohammed is Zarathustra, Zarathustra is Lao Tzu. At the peak ALL distinctions dissolve.

So, Kavita, right now be Zen, be Sufi, and when you have reached to the peak be Zen/Sufi – then forget all about it! But on the path… one has to move on some path. And all paths are good, because they all lead to the same goal. All doors are good, because they lead to the same shrine.

You say:

I remember.

I let go.

I forget.

I let go.

My love affair with life

keeps deepening.

Still, I am not without doubts.

Don’t be worried about it! Doubts are perfectly natural on the path. If you are without doubts that means you have reached the peak. They disappear only at the peak. They have a certain purpose – they goad you, they keep you going.

Doubts are not necessarily hindrances. It depends on you, on how you use your doubts. They can become hindrances. If because of doubt you simply stop moving, you say, “Unless my doubt is dissolved I am not going to move,” then the doubt has become a rock. But if you say, “The doubt is there, but in spite of the doubt I am going to move, because that is the only way to resolve it…. Unless I reach higher I cannot resolve this doubt” – a better vision, from a height, will help.

Doubts are not resolved if you remain clinging to the same space where you are, because those doubts are created by that state of mind. If you remain clinging to that state, the doubts will persist; they will become stronger every day.

Doubts are not resolved by somebody else answering you. These are not philosophical doubts – these are existential doubts. They are resolved only by experiencing. When you move a little higher, they disappear. You have reached to another state of mind. In that state of mind they cannot exist. Suddenly they disappear, as if they have never been there.

In spite of the doubt, one has to go on moving. In fact, one has to use the doubt as a goading to move. Listen to the doubt and say to the doubt, “Okay, I will remember you, but the only way to solve you is that I should go a little higher in my consciousness. I should become a little more alert. It is my un-alertness that is creating you. It is my unconsciousness that is creating you, that is feeding you, nourishing you. It is my state of mechanicalness that is the cause of it.”

If you try to solve your doubts where you are, you can gather many, many answers from many, many sources. They will make you knowledgeable, but not really – they will fill you with information. But the doubt will remain somewhere. On the surface, you may start pretending that you know, but you will know that you don’t know. And it will gnaw at your heart.

You can learn the answers; you can start telling those answers to others, but your very existence, your very life-style, will show that you don’t know.

That is the difference between the Western and the Eastern philosophies. They should not be called by the same name, because their approaches are so basically different, so fundamentally different, so diametrically opposite.

The Western philosopher thinks, but never changes his state of awareness. He thinks where he is. He thinks hard, he thinks VERY logically. He tries in every way to solve the problem, and he finds many solutions. But those solutions don’t help his life. If they don’t even help HIS life, how can they help somebody else’s life?

For example: the English thinker and philosopher, David Hume, arrived at the same conclusion as Gautam Buddha, exactly the same. Had he been in the East he would have become a Buddha, but unfortunately he was in the West, in the very thick of the Western noe-sphere.

He arrived at the same conclusion, not by changing his consciousness, but only by logical argumentation. Buddha became enlightened, Hume remained unenlightened. Buddha arrived at a state of bliss; Hume remained crawling on the earth in the same way as of old. Buddha created a new tradition which has remained alive even today; twenty-five centuries have passed. Many people have bloomed because of Buddha.

What did Hume create? Hume also created great argumentation, and even today books are written on Hume, and the argument continues. But it is only argumentation; not a single human being has been transformed by it.

And the irony is that the conclusion is exactly the same. Buddha came to see that there is no self; that was his realization. He meditated. He went deeper and deeper into his being. He searched inside, each nook and corner, and he didn’t find anybody there. That was his release. The ego disappeared, and with the ego all its miseries and hells.

The ego was not found, so all the problems that were created by the ego evaporated. When the source evaporated, all the by-products evaporated of their own accord. When the ego was not found, there was silence – and that silence is beatitude, and that silence is benediction.

When the ego was not found, there was all light, radiant. The whole existence flowed in. Buddha became a void capable of containing the whole existence. He himself became transformed. And thousands of other people became transformed from his insight. Remember, it was an insight.

What happened to David Hume? He also came to the same point, but it was not an insight – it was an outlook. Remember these two words. Literally they are significant: insight, outlook. He arrived at the same conclusion, AS an outlook. He discussed, argued, pondered, thought, contemplated, concentrated – did everything on the problem, but never went in.

And he came to the point, exactly the same, at least in appearance the same, that there is no self. The self cannot exist. But it was not a great revolution in his life; it was just a beautiful conclusion in his treatise. But he remained the same man! Before the conclusion and after the conclusion there was not a bit of difference in the man. He continued to behave in the same way.

If you had insulted him he would have become angry, but not Buddha. That is the difference.

He would have become angry, although he says there is no self. He would have forgotten all his philosophy. That philosophy was not his insight. He would have said, “That is philosophy – that is aside. But when you insult me, I am insulted. And I am going to take revenge. You have to be answered!”

When Buddha was insulted, he smiled. He said, “You came a little late. You should have come ten years before, then I WAS there, very much. Had you insulted me ten years before, I would have reacted madly. You come a little late. I feel sorry for you, because now there is NOBODY to react. I hear what you are saying, but it simply passes through me. It comes in through one ear and it goes out through the other ear. There is nobody inside to catch hold of it. I am sorry. I feel compassion for you.”

This is the difference between the Eastern and the Western approaches. Western philosophy is rightly called philosophy – love of knowledge, love of wisdom. For Eastern philosophy, Hesse has coined a word which I like. He has coined a new word; he calls it philosia – it means love of seeing. Sia means to see. That is exactly the translation of the Eastern term for philosophy, darshan – to see. It is philosia – it is insight, it is seeing in.

Western philosophy is a search for knowledge, and Eastern philosophy or philosia is a search for knowing. Knowledge looks out; knowing looks in. Knowledge gathers information; knowing does not gather anything – it simply goes in to see who is there. ”Who am I?” Its inquiry is not objective, its inquiry is subjective.

Kavita, doubts will persist. They leave you only on the last rung, never before. Use them creatively. Each doubt has to be transformed into a goading. The doubt simply says you have to go a little further, a little ahead, a little higher. The doubt says, “I do not feel satisfied – whatsoever you have now is not satisfactory. You have to go a little deeper.”

Don’t be stopped by the doubt; that is not the function of the doubt. And don’t start arguing, and don’t start thinking, because by thinking you will become a David Hume, you will remain the same person.

My effort here is to create Buddhas. And unless you become a Buddha, doubts will continue. You can solve one doubt; it will assert itself from another corner. It is the same doubt in a new shape, a new form. You repress it here, it pops up there. You will go mad. No need. Take note of the doubt, thank the doubt, and say, “Okay, so I will go a little further so you can be solved.”

It is like this:

A man was sitting on a tree. His friend was sitting underneath the tree. The man on the tree was picking some fruits, and the man underneath the tree was waiting for the fruits and collecting whatsoever was falling. The man on the tree said, “I see a bullock cart coming.” He was high on the top of the tree; he could see far away.

And the man underneath the tree looked to the side where the man was pointing and he said, “I doubt – I don’t see. There is no bullock cart. What are you talking about? Can you deceive me? I have eyes, I am not blind. There is no bullock cart coming! ”

And the man on the top said, “Yes, it is coming!”

And they started arguing. Is the argument going to help? Can the man on the tree convince the man who is not on the tree that the bullock cart is coming? Howsoever clever he is in his arguments, how can he prove to the man who cannot see the bullock cart?

What did the man do? First he argued, tried in every way, saying, “It is coming. It is painted red.

One bullock is black one bullock is white, this and that,” and everything he described. “And the man has a beard,” and all. But it was in vain.

Then he recognized the truth: “How can he see? His vision is limited.” So he called him; he said, “You come up. You climb up the tree, and I will show you the bullock cart.”

Now, if the man underneath the tree says, “I will come up only if you convince me that the bullock cart is there,” then there is no way. But he climbed up the tree, and he saw the bullock cart, and the doubt was resolved. And there was no more argumentation. He apologized. He said; “I feel sorry. I unnecessarily argued with you. It was not a question of argument. You had a far better vision from here.”

This is what the Buddhas have been doing down the ages. They say, “We have a far better vision from here. From this vantage point you will be able to see what is. Come closer to us. Don’t go on arguing.”

Not that Buddhas cannot argue – they can certainly argue and they can argue better than you. But it is pointless! They can silence you through their arguments, but they cannot convince you. They can destroy all your arguments, but even that will not help – you will not be able to see the bullock cart. And the whole point is how to see it, because only seeing is believing.

Kavita, go on climbing the tree. I am calling you. I can see. You cannot see yet. Doubts will persist. Let those doubts help you to climb up faster, sooner. Let it become an urgency, those doubts, make it an urgency. Doubts in themselves are not wrong – it all depends on how you use them. They can become blessings .

-Osho

The Perfect Master, V.1, Chapter Eight

The Perfect Master, Volume 1
The Perfect Master, Volume 1

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.

A Divine Discontent – Osho

What is the religion of a rebellious spirit?

Maneesha, the rebellious spirit can be religious, but cannot have a religion. And the difference between the two is immense, unbridgeable.

To be religious is an experience, just like love. It is an encounter with the totality of existence. It is facing yourself in the mirror of life. It is orgasmic in the sense that you melt and merge with the whole – the earth, the trees, the flowers, the sky, the stars. It is an oceanic experience, the dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf into the ocean. You can say either the dewdrop has become the ocean, or you can say the ocean has become the dewdrop. It is the greatest experience there is.

But to belong to a religion is not an experience; it is just a belief system in which you have been brought up. It is all borrowed. And remember that truth cannot be borrowed. Either it is yours, or it is not there.

Gautam Buddha may have known the truth, but there is no way to follow him, because to follow means to imitate, to follow means to become a shadow, to follow means to betray yourself. Following is nothing but the effort of trying to be somebody that you are not; and that is not your destiny either.

Jesus is not a Christian, he is a rebellious spirit; he does not belong to any religion, and that is his crime. Jews could not tolerate him because he had become a stranger to his own people; he had started talking about having a direct contact with the universal spirit.

A religion is a marketplace thing. It is a kind of bureaucracy – you should go through the right channel. You are not even allowed to confess to God directly; you have to confess to the priest and the priest will pray for you. The priest has to always be there as a mediator.

Religion is the business of the priest; it has nothing to do with religiousness. It is a profession, pure and simple, of exploiting the ignorance and the helplessness of mankind. It is exploiting the fear of death, the fear of the unknown, the fear of the responsibilities of life. The priest takes care – you have to simply believe in his church, his religion, his god, his holy scripture.

To belong to a religion is to belong to all kinds of lies and superstitions. To belong to a religion is to belong to the past – which is dead.

A rebellious spirit has no past. A rebellious spirit has only the present and a vast opening towards the future.

Religion, to the religious spirit, is not in the holy scriptures but in the holiness of existence. It is not in the prayer taught by the priests of all kinds of religions. It is in the gratitude that one feels before a sunset, before a sunrise; it is in the gratitude that one feels to be a part of this beautiful and tremendously miraculous existence.

It is a prayer without words. It is a song without sound. It is pure silence. And in that silence existence speaks to you. In that silence you speak to existence, there is a dialogue. No one speaks, no one hears, but there is a transfer of energy. Something transpires within you – perhaps a flame that makes you afire.

Religiousness and rebelliousness are basically names of one experience. But to be a part of an organized religion is to be not really alive, not really in search of truth, not in love with existence. It is a kind of death – although you go on breathing, you go on eating. But all your breathing and all your eating drive you only towards the graveyard. You don’t grow up, you only grow old.

Only the rebellious spirit grows up; its longing is to touch the stars. It is not satisfied with the trivia of life. Its contentment is far away; its discontentment is a present reality. The rebellious man has a divine discontent in his heart and a longing to find contentment and peace. He is on a pilgrimage towards that contentment.

His whole life is a pilgrimage, always moving closer and closer and closer to the ultimate reality; that realization that releases one from all bondage, all frustration, all misery, all anguish, and allows one to taste freedom, truth, beauty, love and an outburst of creativity – creativity in the multi-dimensions of life.

The rebellious man has a golden touch – whatever he touches becomes gold, it does not matter what. He may play on a bamboo flute and it becomes pure gold, twenty-four carat. He may dance alone under the starry sky, and his dance is more meaningful, more significant than all the paintings in the world, all the statues and all the holy scriptures. His creativity may simply be expressed in his silence. But his silence will not be an ordinary silence – just an absence of noise. His silence will be a positive blossoming of roses in his being. You can experience the fragrance of his silence, it is almost tangible.

The organized religions are all dead; the churches, the temples, the mosques, the synagogues… they are all graveyards of the past. And the sooner we convert them into museums the better, otherwise they are going to kill the whole of humanity – they have already killed too much in every man. They have crippled everybody, poisoned everybody; their destruction is uncountable. You are asking, Maneesha, “What is the religion of a rebellious spirit?”

Rebellion! Rebellion is the religion of a rebellious spirit – to rebel against all exploitation, to rebel against all discrimination, to rebel against oppression, to rebel against all kinds of spiritual slavery, to rebel against all kinds of superstitions. There is so much to rebel against.

And that is only half of the rebellion, because the other half is to rebel for – to rebel against superstition is only half – to rebel for the truth, to rebel for freedom, to rebel for love, to rebel for a new humanity, to rebel for a new man, a new society, a new kind of consciousness.

Rebellion has two parts. The negative part is against all that is ugly but has been worshipped for centuries, and the positive part is for all that is beautiful but has been ignored for centuries – not only ignored, but crucified, poisoned, murdered. Whenever any individual has tried the authentic religion of rebelliousness, his reward has been crucifixion. Hence I want so many rebellious people in the world that it will be difficult to find people to crucify them.

Mick had returned to his native town after many years overseas. “I hope,” said the parish priest, “that you have been loyal to your faith while you have been away.”

“Indeed, Father,” said Mick, “I have lied, I fought, I cursed, I robbed and I made love to women; but not for a moment did I forget the religion I was brought up in.”

What is the point of all these religions? There are three hundred religions in existence in the world today. There are also millions of murders, suicides, rapes, robberies and continuous warfare, either in this part of the world or in another part of the world. What are these religions doing? And everybody is religious! Nobody is disloyal to his religion; he robs, he murders, he rapes, but he remembers that he is a Christian, that he is a Hindu, that he is a Mohammedan, that he is a believer in God, that he is a follower of Gautam Buddha.

What does all this following mean? Sheer deception, not only to others, but to yourself. It is strange – so strange that it is almost unbelievable – that there are three hundred religions in the world and there is no peace, no joy, no celebration, no holiness, no divineness anywhere. All these religions are fake. The rebellious spirit has to get rid of all these religions and create only a quality of religiousness without any adjective – simply religious.

It has always been a problem…. In my whole life I have not been able to vote, for the simple reason that whenever the officers reached me to fill in the form so that I could be a valid voter, there was a clause, “What is your religion?”

I said, “I don’t have any religion. I am a religious person.”

They said, “But all the clauses have to be filled in.”

I said, “Then you can take your form back. I am not so much interested in voting anyway, because it is an unnecessary anxiety when you have to choose between two idiots. Whom to vote for? – Whoever you vote for, you are voting for an idiot. It is better not to vote; at least your hands are clean. You can see: my hands are absolutely clean!”

Man’s problems have increased as time has passed. It should have been otherwise – that the problems would be less and less as man has become more and more cultured, educated, civilized.

But the more he is cultured, the more he is civilized, the more he is educated; his problems have increased out of all proportion. And religions go on proclaiming that they have the cure for every disease, for every spiritual sickness. But man is suffering from spiritual sickness all over the world – everybody is feeling hollow. And these religions have not been of any help; on the contrary, they have increased his problems by their wrong, unnatural, stupid teachings.

It was Mrs. Levy’s third visit to the doctor for a cure from her cold. “Doctor,” she complained, “nothing you have given me has been of any use. Mr. Levy complains that I keep him awake all night with my cough. Can you do something – anything to cure me?”

“Okay,” the doctor replied, “go home and have a hot bath and without drying yourself stand in the nude where there is a strong draft.”

“Really,” Mrs. Levy sniffed, “will that cure me?”

“No,” replied the doctor, “but it will give you pneumonia, and I can cure pneumonia.”

These religions have been giving you bigger diseases. Perhaps, in a certain way, when you have a bigger disease you tend to forget the smaller one.

I have heard about Mulla Nasruddin, that he was purchasing shoes in a shop. The shopkeeper said, “Mulla, are you mad or something, because you are trying on shoes which are not going to fit. You need shoes that are one size bigger.”

Mulla said, “Don’t disturb me. I have always used that size and I am going to continue to use that size. I am a man of principles.”

The shopkeeper said, “It is up to you, but you will suffer the whole day. The shoes will pinch you.”

Mulla said, “That’s what I want.”

The shopkeeper said, “But why do you want that?”

He said, “You don’t understand the psychology of it. Suffering the whole day, when I come home and take off my shoes, it is such a relief that I say, ‘My God!’ – it brings such pleasure. Without these shoes, life is nothing but misery. The whole day they keep me away from all miseries. I don’t have enough energy to look at other miseries. What my wife is saying, who has ears to hear her?

My shoes are pinching me so badly that I am only hearing my shoes. She goes on talking to herself – she has become accustomed to monologues.

“Business is bad, things are going from bad to worse, but nothing worries me. My only worry is my shoes. The shoes keep me away from all the miseries of the world; and in the end, before going to bed, taking them off gives me such relief that I sleep so relaxedly, so deeply…. And you are suggesting that I wear shoes that are one size bigger? You are going to destroy my life!”

These religions have provided you all with shoes that don’t fit – shoes which may have fit somebody five thousand years ago. They have given you pants which don’t fit. They are making a mockery of you, because those shoes are not made according to your needs, those pants are not made for you; those shirts are not made for you. Everything that these religions are supplying for you has been made by somebody else for somebody else far back – centuries before. Nothing fits; everything gives nothing but pain.

But these religions have been teaching you: blessed are those who suffer, blessed are those who live in misery, blessed are those whose lives are of hostility, asceticism, self-torture, because they shall inherit the kingdom of God. So just to inherit the kingdom of God you go on wearing shoes that don’t fit, caps that are so loose that you cannot see – they cover your eyes. Clothes that are either so small that you want to jump out of them or so loose that a crowd can live inside them – the whole family can be accommodated.

The rebellious man cannot accept any of this idiocy. His religion is his intelligence. His religion is his consciousness.

His religion is his awareness.

And out of his awareness, he becomes as free as a bird on the wing, as beautiful as a lotus in the pond, and as joyous as a cuckoo singing from the mango grove. He starts living for the first time, and he knows that life is the only God there is – there is no other God.

The rebellious man is a pagan. He worships the trees, he worships the stars, he worships the rivers, the mountains. He worships man, he worships everything that is alive – because wherever there is life, there is godliness.

-Osho

From The Rebel, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

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