There is No Ladder – Osho

Every day you talk about the ‘Earth’ and about the ‘Sky’ – About the potential and about the ultimate. But what is the ‘ladder’ in between? What is the process that happens in between? Why do you not talk about the ‘ladder’?

The ladder exists not. There is no ladder. There is no in between. There is not any gap, it is all one. The earth and sky are not disconnected. They are already joined together. They are in a deep union, communion. The very idea of the ladder arises because we have been taught that there is a gap between this world and the other. There is none. It has not to be bridged. The other shore is in this shore. You are not to go anywhere; you are not to do anything. The potential is actual, and the first step is the last step. But the mind boggles down, the mind cannot conceive it. Mind always wants to have steps, ladders.

Mind can cope with a ladder; mind cannot cope with a quantum leap. Mind can cope with evolution, mind cannot cope with revolution. That’s why mind is never revolutionary; it is always orthodox, it is always conventional. Mind cannot be revolutionary by its very nature.

You have been taught again and again that the body and soul are two, that God and the world are two. And you have been taught that you have to find God against the world, you have to go beyond the world to find God.

I am giving you a totally new message you are not to go beyond, you are to go within. The beyond is within, and the within is the beyond. All is here-now. In this very moment the whole existence is present in all its possibilities. It is only a shift of consciousness, not a ladder. It is a change of gestalt, not a ladder. Nothing changes, all remains the same – just a leap happens within you. Suddenly you start seeing things which you were not seeing but they were already present; they have always been present.

Have you looked in some gestalt psychology books? – There are pictures. A famous picture is one picture where there is an old woman, and also, hidden in the same lines, is a young woman. You can see the old woman; if you go on looking and looking and looking, suddenly a moment will come and the consciousness will shift to another gestalt and you will start seeing the young woman. If you go on looking at the young woman long enough, suddenly something will change and you will start seeing the old woman again. When you have seen both and you know perfectly well that both are there, even then you cannot see both together. Because the old woman consists of the same lines, the young woman also consists of the same lines; you can see only one at one time. At another time you can see the other, but you cannot see both together, simultaneously.

If you see the world, you cannot see God, that’s true – but God is not opposite to the world, it is just another gestalt. If you see God the world disappears. It doesn’t mean that you have transcended the world. It is the same world; just your vision has made a new gestalt. That’s why you will find it again and again, down the ages, Charavakara, Epicurus, Karl Marx – all the materialists of the world say that only matter exists, consciousness is a by-product, an epi-phenomenon. Consciousness is illusory, the real thing is matter: this is one gestalt. They are not wrong.

Then there is another tradition: Shankara, Vedantins, Berkeley, they say the world exists not, only God is; only consciousness is. Matter is illusory, Maya. They are also not wrong; that is another gestalt – but no one is absolutely true either.

The real man of understanding will say that God can be looked at as the world; the world can be looked at as God.

William James is reported to have said, “Mind is one way in which the world is assembled and things put together; matter is another” – just ways of putting and assembling things together. Neither does matter exist against mind, nor does mind exist against matter. You are body – this is a gestalt; you are soul – that is another gestalt. There is no ladder in between, because these are two gestalts.

Remember the picture again: is there a ladder between the old woman and the young woman? There is no ladder because they consist of the same lines. Nothing changes, the picture remains the same and you don’t go anywhere… but a shift, a flick in consciousness. You see things in one way, you assemble things in one way, then you see things in another way, you assemble things in another way. Neither are materialists right, absolutely right – they are not, they are partially true; nor are Vedantins right – they are partially true. They both suffer from partiality. That’s why their argument can continue forever, it will never be decisive.

Just think of two persons arguing: “In this picture there is a young woman”, and another man says “There is an old woman.” They can go on arguing forever because they have partial truth, and it can never be decisive. They will never be able to commune with each other; they will never be able to understand what the other is saying, because how can one who has seen the young woman believe that the old woman exists there in the picture? And vice- versa. The materialist and the spiritualist go on arguing.

I am neither. I am simply saying to you that which is. Both exist, but both are not separate. We call them two because we can see them in two ways.

You ask me about the ladder – there is no ladder. I am not proposing any gradual, slow progress for you here. That’s how you have lived for many lives: thinking that gradually, gradually, slowly, slowly, you will attain. If you see my point you attain right now!

But you are looking for a ladder.

Somebody has asked, “Osho, these talks are supposed to be on Sufism, but you are not saying anything about Sufism, You are saying many beautiful things but they are not Sufism.”

I am not talking about Sufism, that is true. I talk Sufism, not about Sufism! I am a Sufi, so whatsoever I say is Sufism. I am not giving you steps to move to the beyond, I am simply making my own experience available to you. I am simply sharing my being with you. This is not a message, it is a sharing. It is not a teaching, it is imparting. Being with me can reveal to you that nothing has to be achieved, that all goals are false, that all is already achieved.

I don’t want you to BECOME enlightened. I declare that you are enlightened! But you are not courageous enough; you say, “How can I be enlightened? I will have to wait. Someday I will become enlightened.” You are so cowardly – that’s why you need time even to recognize your Godhood. You have condemned yourself so much that you cannot conceive that you can be a God. Because you cannot conceive that you can be a God, you cannot conceive how Buddha can be a God, how Christ can be a God.

When Christ declares “I am God”, he’s simply saying to you “You are God. Look! I have the courage to declare. You also participate. See the point. I am as much of the flesh as you are; I am as much the body as you are.” There is nothing special about Christ; the only special thing is his courage. Otherwise he is just like you. I am just like you; the only thing is that I respect myself and you don’t respect yourself, I love myself and you don’t love yourself.

You are also very suspicious. That’s why I call myself Bhagwan. There are questions: “Why?”

Because I am! And you are also, but you are not courageous. This Buddhafield is being created so that you can gather courage, so that you can become bold, so that you can say things as they are and you can see things as they are.

I’m not supplying you with any ladder. You would like it very much, because then you can postpone. I am simply saying to you, jump… and be! Have a quantum leap!

There are not stations between you and God. The moment you are concentrated in your courage, suddenly the gestalt changes – God is revealed in millions of forms. And the moment you become God, the whole existence becomes God. If somebody says “I am God and you are not God”, then he is a cheat, he is a charlatan, he is playing a game, he is on an ego-trip.

-Osho

From The Wisdom of the Sands, Volume One, Chapter Eight

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

A PDF file of this book can be downloaded from Osho World.

 

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Filed under Advaita, on Sufism, Osho

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