Three Levels of Body Consciousness – Osho

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

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


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

Flight of the Alone to the Alone

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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


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Emptiness Has Its Own Fullness – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Anand said, “I see a few leaves.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The transcendence needs nothing but just a silent understanding.


From Beyond Psychology, Chapter Sixteen

Beyond Psychology

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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



Filed under Advaita, on Advaita, on Buddha, Osho

A State of Extreme Abundance – Jean Klein

During these meetings we shall discuss the knowledge of our true nature. But the word knowledge will here be used in its strict meaning of metaphysical realization, in other words, the actual establishing of ourselves in that which we truly are. It is therefore a total achievement.

This activity implies the absence of any preconceived idea. We do not strive to reach an imaginable goal, because the unknown can be neither imagined nor conceived. In matters of ordinary understanding, one makes use of analogy and reasoning. But here we shall be concerned with a formless absolute, an Ultimate Subject which can never be an object to be apprehended by the mind. Such research obviously implies that it be undertaken empty-handed, by a mind which has rejected the strategy of functioning with the already known. The projection of a “God”, a “Self”, a “where”, a “when”, are part of such a strategy and must be entirely laid aside. The only technique – if I may say so – which we can use, is based on an art of listening which is the supreme teaching of the traditional method.

Consequently, our meetings will provide neither information nor documentation in the usual sense of these words. We therefore suggest that no notes be taken. What is important is for you to take up a passively-active attitude. This will enable you to convert into your own substance what such an attitude has allowed you to absorb. You should therefore listen with intense awareness and moreover strive to listen to yourself at the same time.

The ordinary man’s activity is made up of reactions which are the expression of his egotistic make-up. He is a self surrounded by pleasant or unpleasant, friendly or hostile objects, and everything which impinges on him incites him to react according to his desires and his fears. Consequently, all his reactions are false, fragmentary, inadequate, because they are rooted in his egotistic outlook which is born of his delusion that he is a separate self. All the traditional doctrines teach us methods by which we may come to discard this state of reaction and reach an ego-less state where all reactions cease to be, giving place to impersonal actions which are true, impartial and adequate.

It may happen that even the egotistic man, under certain circumstances, responds to the challenge of outside objects in such a spontaneous and adequate manner. It does happen at times, when he comes face-to-face with something absolutely new, with something which it is impossible for him to integrate into his egotistical mental framework. It may also happen in the course of a poetical or aesthetic experience, because a thing of beauty, being an expression of harmony, possesses of its own nature a harmonizing power which, placing us temporarily in a state of perfect balance, allows us to be in tune with Reality. But they are few and evanescent, these states of grace, which allow us to catch sight of the lost Paradise, and they remain unnoticed and unpursued because the ego rejects and shuns them, sensing in them a herald of its death.

All this must be thoroughly understood if one wishes to listen to a traditional teaching with any profit. In the presence of a master, the listening should be modelled on the above mentioned “state of grace”, during which, for an instant, we may have emerged from the egotistic condition. An effort should be made to remember such states of nakedness, austerity, openness and clarity.

This state of listening is the first true step on the path.

Next we must undertake the observation of our desires so as to understand what it is that we are really seeking in all the objects which seem to please our appetites. We shall then realize that when the desired object is stripped of all its peculiarities, its distinctive characteristics, there remains a constant residue which is the true object of our search and which may be called fullness, bliss and peace. Now it so happens that nothing in the world of objects possesses perfect fullness, nor unconditional bliss. After the conquest of a desired object, we experience a few short moments of non-desire, but very soon desire reappears, and we embark on a new search.

This clearly indicates that what we really desire is not the object, because if it were, its possession would eliminate all desire. What is desired is bliss, Ananda, which exists at all times in myself and in everything. The realization of the presence of this bliss was lost to me when I became a separate ego, thereby losing sight of my essential identity with it. From that moment on, the world of objects and duality was born. This duality makes it impossible for us to perceive the presence of this bliss which abides in ourselves as in all things. We can only perceive it in those objects which are more or less in accordance with our egotistic make-up. We are thus compelled to strive in a world where the pleasant and the unpleasant, where good and evil, oppose each other. Most of the time we are content to waver between pleasant-pleasure and unpleasant-pain, having no inkling of that true joy of which pleasure is only a shadow. But it may happen in certain cases that we find ourselves face to face with an object which is in exceptional harmony with us. We may then transcend pleasure and experience joy; and discover that perfect joy lies beyond the pleasure-pain duality and is of another nature. Indeed pleasure is of its own nature fickle and transitory, hence its fleeting and disappointing character. When it reaches a very high degree of intensity and purity, it may do more than allay desire, it may completely satisfy it . . . for one moment. . . then it gives place to joy. This joy only arises with the suppression of desire, that is, of the ego. This is why true joy is impersonal, is beyond the ego. When we are immersed in perfect joy, we cease to be ourselves, only joy remains, and the object has disappeared with the subject.

I would like to look closely at certain points with you, points which I have only outlined, but please bear in mind that our study shall be chiefly made up of suggestions, since over-clear and over-precise formulae might be an impediment to any inclination you might have of seeing a question through to its end.


There are two questions I wish to put. The first concerns me personally; the second is of a more general nature. You said we should not take notes and nevertheless I have done so. As time goes by, the more I listen to you and almost unknown to myself, the more do I take up a position of standing aloof. But to obtain a direct contact, to plunge into ultimate reality, it seems to me that one must necessarily make use of the intellect. It is the intellect that views the path, or at least, he thinks he views it. He knows that intellect must be finally eliminated, or at least he thinks he knows it, and that is why it seems to me that by taking notes of a few essential ideas, on reading them over and being, so to speak, impregnated by them, I get a better result than a direct dive into the unknown. 

That is my first question. The second is this: you said at the outset that the search is carried out without searching. What then are we to think of those disciplines intended to condition us in some particular view of an approach to reality?

Jean Klein:

To understand this search, we must first rid ourselves of one foregone conclusion, that is, the idea that objects exist independently of he who perceives them. Next, it must be understood that a simultaneous perception of several objects is impossible.

When we observe something attentively, consciousness penetrates vision and we are nothing else but vision. When we really listen to something, we are nothing else but hearing. We can never be both hearing and seeing simultaneously. We can pass very rapidly from one activity to another, from one thought to another, but absolute simultaneousness is impossible. Thus you can see for yourself that it is impossible to be thoroughly aware of any inner upsurge and take notes at the same time. This cannot but impair the quality of your listening. The word of the master must be seized with its import of the moment, intended to reach the hearer of that moment. The words read over in a page of notes have lost all their initial impact.

As to intellectual preparation, it should be unconditionally discarded, in order that the hearing lose nothing of its authenticity and spontaneity.

Disciplines also should be deliberately set aside, since they necessarily imply compulsion: there is always someone who wants to discipline and something which resists, so that there is always a state of effort and conflict. Before undertaking any profound search, one must be able to look into oneself. One must not however analyse oneself, compare or judge, but one must observe oneself as one would any object. If one attentively observes the inner welling-up, one is thereby absolutely and adequately situated and there is no conflict. Discipline is of no use whatsoever, since things are naturally eliminated by discernment without it being necessary for us to treat them brutally. Even in the course of the technique known as “letting-go”, a faint shadow of discipline is implied, for letting-go of an object implies a certain discipline. Only an effortless and choiceless, I repeat choiceless reaction, is the hallmark of liberation. 

If I understand you rightly, choosing always means remaining in oneself by a voluntary fixation. So that choosing an object is finally choosing oneself whereas by not choosing one is inserted in the totality of life, that totality where all objects merge into one.

Yes, it is by not choosing that the object chooses itself within us. 

It seems comparatively easy to observe my thoughts for only a few seconds, but how can one maintain such a state of observation without making an effort, since it is so easy to identify oneself with one’s thoughts?

While you are thinking, you cannot be a witness, since at that moment thought and its object are one. Only afterwards can you know that you have thought. This, you must thoroughly understand. In order to listen to yourself, a certain state of relaxation must settle within you progressively. Hitherto you have tried to reach the mastery of your body by yoga. But when such a technique, such practices are not carried out under the direction of a master who has an authentic tradition behind him, mastering one’s body inevitably means bullying it. Whereas to work on one’s body should mean that we rid ourselves of it by elimination. After all, the body is nothing but a notion which has been built up and put together by the mind and therefore the mind should be able to free itself of it. The practice of relaxation which you have undertaken is carried out, not only with the idea of freeing yourself from its bondage, but even more so to achieve a transfiguration of the body itself. Our physical body can be glorified if we cease to think about it in our usual way, and when we are able to feel it, not as a resisting and solid mass, but as something subtle and radiant. This result can be obtained by the frequent repetition of an inner attitude. This standpoint of deep relaxation accompanied by a visualization of the body as being more and more fluid and transparent may finally lead us to a real experience of dematerialization. We then understand that the physical opacity of our body is nothing but the consequence of our former and habitual state of fixation and tenseness.

As long as you hold on to the idea of a solid body, whatever the degree of relaxation you may attain, your body nevertheless remains something heavy and stale. But when you become able to recreate your body, when it has become something as light as air, pure and fluid, when its nature is of the very nature of ether, you will see that you have obtained such a result because your attention has been stripped of any strain. At the present moment your attention is all strain and tension. And this state of strain has been strengthened by all the disciplines which you have been subjected to, mainly by concentration.

All disciplines are fixations: discipline excludes everything, except the one thing that one wishes to concentrate upon. Thus one establishes a dictatorship over oneself and all understanding is jeopardized. What is absolutely necessary is attention without strain.

. . . and choiceless.


. . . and without an end result.

What end result could you possibly arrive at, since the object of your search is unknown? All you can say is this: “When I observe myself, I am really forced to admit that every day I am the prisoner of a thousand unsatisfied desires, or desires whose satisfaction brings me no permanent bliss.”

So it seems to me that instead of endlessly running from one desire to another, it would be better to stop and examine the true nature of desire.

If this investigation is successful you will penetrate the nature of the true aim of all desire. What any desire really aims at, is a state of non-desire. This non-desire is a state in which we demand absolutely nothing.

Thus it is a state of extreme abundance, of fullness.

This fullness is revealed as being bliss and peace. You now know that you are really seeking nothing else but fullness and absolute peace. Now that you have understood the inner nature of your ultimate goal, you perceive that the ultimate goal is, in fact, not a goal, that is to say an end towards which you strive, but that the ultimate state can only be the consequence of relaxing and letting go. Liberation is not to be obtained by collecting and accumulating, but by being rooted in a state of being which is truly ours and in which we live constantly without knowing it. Even if we wished to, we could not live for a single moment outside of this state. 

Might inspiration not be an approach to the path of which you speak? Everyone has problems to solve and everyone has inspirations. Some are helped by spiritual practices, and some by art. In such a state, when one is helped, when one is inspired and things come to meet you, there is a complete letting go of strict attention and reasoning (after lengthy striving of course). In other words, one does not live, but something lives within us. There is a contact with something else. A certain state of duality does subsist, but is not this the kind of approach which could help us towards the path?

I said a few minutes ago that objects have no other significance than to point towards consciousness, but there are of course, certain privileged objects which direct us towards the non-dual experience; works of art are foremost amongst them. When a work of art (whose very nature is to allow itself to be forgotten) causes an inner resonance, the personality disappears, the ego vanishes, and one becomes, for one moment, the very expression of Unity. 

I thank you for your answer, but I was thinking of something more definite, that is of artistic creation. At the moment of creation, there is a state. . . I don’t like to use this word . . . a mediumistic state, that is to say a state when one is simply a channel between “something else” and that which is going to appear or that which one intends to do. . .

Interrupter. Yes, one isn’t there anymore.

(Questioner) Yes one is present! . . . and yet one isn’t! . . . There is a giving of oneself, a something which comes to you and urges you to action. Beforehand, of course, one must have worked hard, but at the moment of this gift, this communication between something else which is far away, and that which you are doing, you vanish. The channel is only a channel. May this not be an approach because after all it is an objective phenomenon, not exactly to be in communication with what one is creating, but with one’s self? The approach to knowledge is very difficult could this not make it easier for some of us? Because, after all, what is knowable is an essence, even if this essence is temporary. If, for instance, we look at a rose, we observe its shape, colour, etc. A quantity of information can be given about the rose, but its very essence nobody knows. We know no more than others, we know that it exists, we . . . I mean people who go into things. So perhaps there is in us an essence which may be known in the same way.

Referring to your first remark, you must understand what happens at the moment of the creation of a work of art. By this act, the artist projects himself outwardly.

Temporarily the body and mind become perfect instruments of the background and are, as you say, a kind of channel. By means of shape, colour and proportions, they manage to express what is inexpressible.

When you look at a work of architecture whose vertical and horizontal components are in perfect balance, the drive towards the heights and the impression of weight compensate each other to the extent of stripping the building of all its objective mass so that one is carried back, upstream towards the background which is bliss.

Now let us consider your second problem. This we have often analysed. When you think of a rose, you refer to your perception of it and also to your personal way of conceiving it. As you say, you know that such and such a rose has such and such a scent, and its petals are soft to the touch, that it belongs to such and such a botanical species, that it can be made use of in such and such a way; all this is part of the knowledge accumulated by yourself and by men in general, and you superimpose all this on the impression of the rose when you say: “I see a rose”. But the real being of the rose, you never see. If you wish to know the rose, it is enough to be yourself. Because our essence and the essence of the rose are the same, since in reality only one essence exists. When you are established in your essence, you communicate with the essence of every separate thing. 

Could you speak to us of this inner springing forth which one may observe when truly listening to oneself?

We habitually stop this springing forth by our impatience. What we should do, is be open to it, without striving to handle it, to treat it as the first step of a deductive line of thought, because by doing so we destroy any possibility of real understanding. The quality, the taste, the fullness of this springing forth depend on the purity of our attitude. It may happen that it arises and that it directs us towards something which our ego refuses. In this case we immediately erase it. Sometimes it comes to us later on, and we must show great patience to give it time to ripen.

If we thus get into the habit of observing our daily upsurges, we will become more and more ready to receive the final one. Once we fully realize that nondual realization cannot be dealt with by the mind because it is beyond the mind, there arises a supreme springing forth which is different from the others. It is simply caused by the elimination of all false identifications, which directs us to the essential part of our being and leaves us in a state which no analysis can reach, because we then no longer exist in a subject-object relationship. It does happen that we know such moments, but our inclination is to by-pass them, since the ego tries to grasp them and turn them into an object of enjoyment, thus warping the experience, transforming it into a caricature. The very desire to prolong this experience causes it to vanish. 

Could you speak to us about intuition?

The meaning of the word intuition is direct vision, an immediate grasping of an object known by the subject. Intuition therefore belongs to the realm of duality. Sadhana develops intuition, deepening it more and more. All indications given on the attitude of listening are also true of intuition. 

When thought comes to an end and one finds oneself in the very midst of oneself, can one and should one remain in such a state?

Are you able to put this question to yourself when you are the state? When you are there, you are there and that is all there is to it.

One thing however is important. That is, to recognize in this experience, that we are open to the Self and not on a mental plane. 

Here is something which strikes me as being rather significant, and it happens every day, one does one thing while thinking about another. For instance I often happen to put my keys down somewhere, and the next moment I can’t remember where they are, because I was thinking of something else and I was not really present. Is this not a very ordinary example showing that most of the time we are not present to ourselves?

Yes it is. We are always somewhere else, living ahead or behind in time, we long for the future or we regret the past. We are never really here. This flight in time is of great significance. If we turn away from the present, or rather if the present is so often unable to hold our attention, it is because we conceive of it as being a known and registered reality, therefore devoid of interest, or as a disappointing one. Just so long as we have not understood that true bliss is not in objects, but in us, we continue to place our hope in the future and keep racing ahead. We thus live in a state of imbalance, bent upon, and striving endlessly towards, the future.

What we must come to understand is that awareness in the present is the only true starting point and that this starting point is at the same time the point of arrival.

-Jean Klein

From Be Who You Are, Chapter One

Be Who You Are

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A Guiltless Consciousness – Osho

You tell us to be aware of everything—which means to be a witness to everything, every act. When I decide to be aware in work, I forget about awareness, and when I become aware that I was not aware. I feel guilty; I feel that I have made a mistake. Could you please explain? 

Manish Bharti, it is one of the basic problems for anybody who is trying to be aware while at work—because work demands that you should forget yourself completely. You should be involved in it so deeply… as if you are absent. Unless such total involvement is there, the work remains superficial.

All that is great, created by man — in painting, in poetry, in architecture, in sculpture – in any dimension of life — needs you to be totally involved. And if you are trying to be aware at the same time, your work will never be first rate, because you will not be in it.

So awareness while you are working needs a tremendous training and discipline, and one has to start from very simple actions. For example, walking: you can walk, and you can be aware that you are walking — each step can be full of awareness. Eating… just the way in Zen monasteries they drink tea; they call it the “tea ceremony” because sipping the tea, one has to remain alert and aware.

These are small actions, but to begin with they are perfectly good. One should not start with something like painting, dancing — those are very deep and complex phenomena. Start with small actions of daily routine life. As you become more and more accustomed to awareness, as awareness becomes just like breathing — you don’t have to make any effort for it, it has become spontaneous — then in any act, any work, you can be aware.

But remember the condition: it has to be effortless; it has to come out of spontaneity. Then painting or composing music, or dancing, or even fighting an enemy with a sword, you can remain absolutely aware. But that awareness is not the awareness you are trying for. It is not the beginning; it is the culmination of a long discipline. Sometimes it can happen without discipline too. At least one story I remember…

A great swordsman, a great warrior, came back home and found that his servant was making love to his wife. According to custom, he challenged the servant — gave him a sword and told him to come out of the house and let it be decided; whoever remains alive will be the husband of the woman.

The servant did not even know how to hold a sword — he was a poor servant, he had never been trained in swordsmanship. He said, “Master, although you are following a convention, and respecting even a servant and giving him an opportunity, this is for you just a game. I don’t know anything about swordsmanship. At least give me a few minutes so that I can go to the greatest master — who lives nearby in a monastery, a Zen monk — to have some clue.”

The man agreed. He said, “You can go. And if it is needed, a few hours, or even a few days, or even a few months — you can get disciplined. I will wait for you.”

He went to the great warrior, the Zen master. The Zen master said, “Even years of training will not help you. Your boss is just second to me in the whole country — you cannot hope to compete with him. My suggestion is: this is the right moment to fight.”

The servant could not understand. He said, “What kind of puzzle are you giving to me: this moment is the right moment?”

And he said, “Yes, because you have one thing certain — your death. Now more than that you cannot lose. Your master has many things to lose: his wife, his prestige, his respectability as a warrior; he is a great landlord… all his money — his mind cannot be total while he is fighting. But you can be total. You have to be total — just a moment of unawareness and you are gone; you have to be totally alert. This is the right moment; don’t bother about any discipline — you simply take the sword and go.”

The servant came back within minutes. His boss said, “Have you learned anything?”

He said, “There is no need of learning anything. Come out of the house!”

And the way he shouted, “Come out of the house” … The boss could not believe what magical change had happened to his servant. As he came out, the servant, according to convention, bowed down to the boss; the boss bowed down to the servant. That is, in Japan, part of their culture; even with the enemy, you have to respect his dignity, his humanity, his divinity.

And then the servant started hitting the warrior — knowing nothing about swordsmanship.

The warrior was at a loss, because where any expert would have hit, the servant would not hit because he had no idea; he would hit somewhere where no expert would have ever hit. And he was fighting with such totality that the warrior started moving backwards, and as the warrior started moving backwards, the servant gathered more courage. He was moving his sword without knowing why — to what purpose, or where he was hitting. And since it has been decided that his death is certain, now there is nothing to worry about — all worries belong to life.

Soon he cornered the master. Behind, there was the wall surrounding the master’s garden.

He could not move backwards anymore. He was so afraid of death, for the first time in his life, and he said, “Wait! You can have my wife, you can have my properties; I am renouncing the world, I am becoming a monk.”

He was trembling with fear. Even he could not understand what happened. From where did this courage come? From where this totality? From where this awareness? But it can be only in such special situations that without any discipline, just the situation can create so much awakening in you.

Whenever I have read this story, I have always remembered Adolf Hitler. For five years continuously he was winning the war on all fronts, alone — fighting the whole world. And the reason he was winning the war was that he was not listening to the generals at all.

Fighting is an art; in the military you go through a long training. Hitler’s advisors were not generals and experts in military science; his advisors were astrologers. They would tell him where to attack and where not to attack, and that was the reason that for five years he went on winning — because the other side was following military science. And if he had also listened to his generals, then there would have been no possibility for five years’ of continual victory.

You will be surprised to know that finally Churchill had to call astrologers from India to find out where he was going to attack — because it is normal and common sense that wherever the enemy is weak, you attack at that point, and wherever the enemy is strong, you avoid that point until the very last. But the astrologers have nothing to do with the army or fighting; they consult the stars.

The enemy would be following military science and would be preparing at the weakest point, knowing that this would be the point where Adolf Hitler’s generals would decide to attack. And Adolf Hitler would attack the strongest point of the enemy, where they were fast asleep… not even bothering — because no military scientist would ever suggest to attack at the strongest point. They were not prepared there; they were preparing at the weakest link.

In a haphazard way… the enemies were simply puzzled: What to make of it? He knows nothing of the army; he knows nothing of military science. But his not knowing was immensely helpful for five years until Churchill decided, in spite of himself — knowing that this is stupidity — that astrologers from India would come to London. And from that very day, Germany started falling apart — because now astrologers were against astrologers; it was no more a war between two armies. As stupid as Adolf Hitler was, Winston Churchill had found even greater idiots from India. Things changed — just within two months, Adolf Hitler was retreating.

Whenever I have come across the story of the Zen master and his servant, I have always remembered Adolf Hitler: he had absolute certainty about astrology, he was total in his action.

Not even a single doubt crossed his mind, ever.

The same must have happened to the servant. When death is certain, fear disappears. Fear is only there because of death. But when death is certain and there is no way to avoid it, what is the point of being afraid? He became almost a man of total integrity — knowing nothing, but defeating the master who had been a victorious man in many combats.

But this can happen only rarely, in extreme conditions. In everyday life you should follow the simple course. First become aware about actions which do not need your involvement. You can walk and you can go on thinking; you can eat and you can go on thinking. Replace thinking by awareness. Go on eating, and remain alert that you are eating. Walk; replace thinking by awareness. Go on walking; perhaps your walking will be a little slower and more graceful. But awareness is possible with these small acts. And as you become more and more articulate, use more complicated activities.

A day comes when there is no activity in the world in which you cannot remain alert and at the same time, act with totality.

You are saying, “When I decide to be aware in work, I forget about awareness.” It has not to be your decision; it has to be your long discipline. And awareness has to come spontaneously; you are not to call it, you are not to force it.

“And when I become aware that I was not aware, I feel guilty.” That is absolute stupidity.

When you become aware that you were not aware, feel happy that at least now you are aware.

For the concept of guilt, there is no place in my teachings. Guilt is one of the cancers of the soul.

And all the religions have used guilt to destroy your dignity, your pride, and to make you just slaves. There is no need to feel guilty, it is natural. Awareness is such a great thing that even if you can be aware for few seconds, rejoice. Don’t pay attention to those moments when you forgot. Pay attention to that state when you suddenly remember, “I was not aware.” Feel fortunate that at least after few hours, awareness has returned.

Don’t make it repentance, a guilt, a sadness — because by being guilty and sad, you are not going to be helped. You will feel, deep down, a failure. And once a feeling of failure settles in you, awareness will become even more difficult.

Change your whole focus. It is great that you became aware that you had forgotten to be aware. Now don’t forget, for as long as possible. Again you will forget; again you will remember — but each time, the gap of forgetfulness will become smaller and smaller. If you can avoid guilt, which is basically Christian, your gaps of unawareness will become shorter, and one day they will simply disappear. Awareness will become just like breathing or heartbeat, or the blood circulating in you — day in, day out.

So be watchful that you don’t feel guilty. There is nothing to feel guilty about. It is immensely significant that the trees don’t listen to your Catholic priests. Otherwise, they will make the roses feel guilty: “Why do you have thorns?” And the rose, dancing in the wind, in the rain, in the sun, will suddenly become sad. The dance will disappear, the joy will disappear, the fragrance will disappear. Now the thorn will become his only reality, a wound — “Why do you have thorns?”

But because there are no rose bushes so foolish as to listen to any priest of any religion, roses go on dancing, and with the roses, thorns also go on dancing. The whole existence is guiltless. And a man, the moment he becomes guiltless, becomes part of the universal flow of life. That is enlightenment: a guiltless consciousness, rejoicing in everything that life makes available — the light is beautiful; so is darkness.

When you cannot find anything to be guilty about, to me you have become a religious man. To the so-called religions, unless you are guilty you are not religious; the more guilty you are, the more religious you are.

People are torturing themselves as punishment, as penance. People are fasting; people are beating their chests with their fists till blood oozes from their chests. These people, to me, are psychopaths; they are not religious. Their so-called religions have taught them that if you commit anything wrong, it is better to punish yourself than be punished by God on Judgment Day — because that punishment is to be thrown into the abysmal darkness of hell for eternity.

There is no escape, no exit. Once you enter hell, you have entered.

The whole humanity has been made guilty in some measure or other. It has taken away the shine from your eyes, it has taken away the beauty from your face, it has taken away the grace of your being. It has reduced you to a criminal — unnecessarily.

Remember: man is frail and weak, and to err is human. And the people who invented the proverb, “To err is human,” have also invented the proverb, “To forgive is divine.” I don’t agree with the second part.

I say, “To err is human and to forgive is also human.” And to forgive oneself is one of the greatest virtues, because if you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot forgive anybody else in the world — it is impossible. You are so full of wounds, of guilt — how can you forgive anybody?

Your so-called saints go on saying that you will be thrown into hell. The reality is, they are living in hell! They cannot allow even God to forgive you.

One great Sufi poet, Omar Khayyam, has written in his Rubaiyat, his world-famous collection of poetry: “I am going to drink, to dance, to love. I am going to commit every kind of sin because I trust God is compassionate — he will forgive. My sins are very small; his forgiveness is immense.”

When the priests came to know about his book — because in those days books were written by hand, there were no printing presses… When the priests discovered that he was writing such sacrilegious things, that he was saying, “Don’t be worried, go on doing anything you want because God is nothing but pure compassion and love. How much sin can you commit in seventy years of life? — in comparison to his forgiveness, it is nothing.”

He was a famous mathematician too, renowned in his country. The priests approached him and said, “What kind of things are you writing? You will destroy people’s religiousness! Create fear in people, tell people that God is very just: — if you have committed a sin, you will be punished. There will be no compassion.”

Omar Khayyam’s book was burned in his day. Whenever a copy was found, it was burned by the priests, because this man was teaching such a dangerous idea. If it spreads among human beings and everybody starts rejoicing in life, what will happen to the priests? What happen to the saints? What will happen to their mythologies of hell and heaven and god? All will disappear in thin air.

At least with me, Omar Khayyam is one of the enlightened Sufi mystics, and what he is saying has immense truth in it. He does not mean that you should commit sin. What he means simply is that you should not feel guilty. Whatever you do — if it is not right, don’t do it again. If you feel it hurts somebody, don’t do it again. But there is no need to feel guilty, there is no need to be repentant, there is no need to do penance and torture yourself.

I want to change your focus completely. Rather than counting how many times you forgot to remember to be aware, count those few beautiful moments when you were crystal clear and aware. Those few moments are enough to save you, are enough to cure you, to heal you. And if you pay attention to them, they will go on growing and spreading in your consciousness. Slowly, slowly the whole darkness of unawareness will disappear.

A young man is about to be married so before his wife-to-be moves into their apartment he has a man-to-man chat with his pet parrot.

“Now listen, buddy, there is this beautiful young woman whom I am about to marry and we are going to live together in this flat. She comes from a very good family and I want you to forget all about those dirty, four-letter words that you have picked up from living with me these past few years. If I hear you utter one dirty remark in front of her, I am going to sell you to the zoo. Got it?”

“Okay,” says the parrot. “Got it!”

After the wedding, the couple is packing their bags for their honeymoon. There are suitcases all over the apartment, and after hours of struggle everything is packed — even the parrot’s cage has a cover on it. But suddenly they discover that one shoe has been left out. The girl tries to push it into a large suitcase but it just won’t go in.

So the husband says, “You will have to sit on top and I will push it in.”

They try and try but it does not work. “Let’s try it another way,” says the wife. “Let’s both be on top and push it in together.”

At this point, the parrot pushes his covering aside and says, “The zoo be damned. This one I’ve got to see!”

He kept in control of himself so much, but there comes a point that even he has to go to the zoo. He says, “Let the zoo be damned, but this thing I have got to see.” The curiosity… he could not believe that this kind of thing is possible.

In the beginning you will also find many times that perhaps it is not possible to be working and to be aware together. But I say unto you that it is not only possible, it is very easily possible. Just begin in the right way. Just don’t start from XYZ; start from ABC.

In life, we go on missing many things because of wrong starts. Everything should be started from the very beginning. Our minds are impatient; we want to do everything quickly.

We want to reach the highest point without passing through every rung of the ladder.

But that means an absolute failure. And once you fail in something like awareness — it is not a small failure — perhaps you will not try it again, ever. The failure hurts.

So anything that is as valuable as awareness — because it can open all the doors of the mysteries of existence, it can bring you to the very temple of God — you should start very carefully and from the very beginning. And move very slowly.

Just a little patience and the goal is not far away.


From The Hidden Splendor, Chapter Eleven

The Hidden Splendor

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Taking Back from the Robot – Osho

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

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

Man remains in this tug-of-war.

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

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

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

Listen sometimes to what goes on inside your mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have heard:

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

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

The skull said, “Yes!”

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

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

He was still trembling.

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

The king said, “You must be joking.”

He said, “No! I bet!”

The king said, “Okay, I will come.”

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

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

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

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

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

And the head said, “Too much talking.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It happened once:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From The Perfect Master, V.1, Chapter Seven

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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See Your Inner Being in Detail – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 21

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Book of Secrets

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

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

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Why Not Take a Chance and Become Enlightened? – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take the risk; anyway it is going to end.

Why not take a chance and become enlightened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Existence is breathing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From The Invitation, Chapter Five

The Invitation

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