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From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva

Now available in four versions (see below).

From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva is a travelogue of the heart, a diary of the soul, and a handbook for meditation. Combining From Lemurs to Lamas with the author’s second book, Here to Now and Behind, and adding some new content, makes this a collection of stories, essays, poems, and insights spanning more than fifty years of inquiry.

The book first relates stories of the mysteries of life and travels on an overland journey through Africa, Madagascar, Nepal, and India, finally arriving at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. There are stories of the magic of Being in the Poona ashram, the opening of a Rajneesh Meditation Center in the heart of the USA, and the transformation of living life to its fullest in Osho’s Rajneeshpuram, Oregon commune of Wild Wild Country fame.

In addition to the stories of the journey to Osho, and life in his communes, the book relates stories of meeting several masters, teachers, and misfits, including: the 16th Karmapa, Jean Klein, U.G. Krishnamurti, and Vimala Thakar.

Layered throughout the book are essays, poems, insights, and photos that have occurred along the Way, on this journey, Here to Now and Behind.

From the Foreword:

As the editor of From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva, I have had the pleasure of reading this book several times, from varying perspectives. I coined the term ‘mediting’ to describe attempts to really get to the meaning of the more potent essays. Before I could even attempt to consider what little tweaks I could make to optimize readability and comprehension, I had to first accept the invitation to consider a slew of questions that occur on the pathless path.

Purushottama from at an early age experiences the futility of a life spent in the material world, the outer world where ambition, wealth, power, etc. beckon. He has a glimpse of the riches found in the interior, through grace, through LSD, through discovering a heart connection with Meher Baba. This prompts a leap into the unknown – into a life of more immediate experience – embarking on a journey that took him to India where he met the living master he sought.

From Lemurs to Lamas details the insights that occur in all stages of his life. Descriptions of life in the Buddhafield that emanated from Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later named Osho, evoke the very presence itself, the magic and the melting. Every aspect of life in the ashram in Poona, India, and later at the ranch in Oregon — from the therapy groups to the actual assigned job to interactions with fellow workers and bosses, not to mention daily discourses and occasional darshans – supported a deeper understanding and an opening of the heart.

The second section of this book distinctly turns from out to in. The gifts of the master and commune have been embraced and internalized. Now Purushottama finds the inner guru. His musings, poetic expressions, aphorisms, and essays are compelling. He thoroughly examines the questions that arise from his inward exploration, for example, what is turning in.  With impeccable logic he uncovers the meaning of I am not the body. He acknowledges the human desire to help others and illuminates the pitfalls of such intent.

The most significant overarching theme, however, is the steady encouragement for each of us to begin the journey, or to pick it up again if it has paused, that permeates these essays. He so clearly conveys that in meditation one is always beginning for it is the reverse of accumulation. Wherever we are on the journey is the place to begin.

-Amido

Now available in four versions.

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All Moons in the One Moon

I cannot understand the philosophy of Zen. What should I do to understand it?

Baula, Zen is not a philosophy at all. To approach Zen as if it were a philosophy is to start in a wrong way from the very beginning. A philosophy is something of the mind; Zen is totally beyond the mind. Zen is the process of going above the mind, far away from the mind; it is the process of transcendence, of surpassing the mind. You cannot understand it by the mind; mind has no function in it.

Zen is a state of no-mind; that has to be remembered. It is not Vedanta. Vedanta is a philosophy; you can understand it perfectly well. Zen is not even Buddhism; Buddhism is also a philosophy.

Zen is a very rare flowering – it is one of the strangest things that has happened in the history of consciousness – it is the meeting of Buddha’s experience and Lao Tzu’s experience. Buddha, after all, was part of the Indian heritage: he spoke the language of philosophy; he is perfectly clear, you can understand him. In fact, he avoided all metaphysical questions; he was very simple, clear, logical. But his experience was not of the mind. He was trying to destroy your philosophy by providing you with a negative philosophy. Just as you can take out a thorn from your foot with another thorn, Buddha’s effort was to take out the philosophy from your mind with another philosophy. Once the first thorn has been taken out both thorns can be thrown away and you will be beyond mind.

But when Buddha’s teachings reached China a tremendously beautiful thing happened: a crossbreeding happened. In China, Lao Tzu has given his experience of Tao in a totally non-philosophical way, in a very absurd way, in a very illogical way. But when the Buddhist meditators, Buddhist mystics, met the Taoist mystics they immediately could understand each other heart to heart, not mind to mind. They could feel the same vibe they could see that the same inner world had opened they could smell the same fragrance. And they came closer, and by their coming closer, by their meetings and mergings with each other, something new started growing up; that is Zen. It has both the beauty of Buddha and the beauty of Lao Tzu; it is the child of both. Such a meeting has never happened before or since.

Zen is neither Taoist nor Buddhist; it is both and neither. Hence the traditional Buddhists reject Zen and the traditional Taoists also reject Zen. For the traditional Buddhist it is absurd, for the traditional Taoist it is too philosophical, but to those who are really interested in meditation, Zen is an experience. It is neither absurd nor philosophical because both are terms of the mind; it is something transcendental.

The word “zen” comes from dhyan. Buddha used a certain language, a local language of his times, Pali. In Pali dhyan is pronounced “jhan”; it is from jhan that “zen” has arisen. The word comes from jhan; jhan comes from the Sanskrit dhyan.

To understand Zen you need not make a philosophical effort; you have to go deep into meditation. And what is meditation all about? Meditation is a jump from the mind into no-mind, from thoughts to no-thought. Mind means thinking, no-mind means pure awareness. One simply is aware. Only then, Baula, will you be able to understand Zen – through experience, not through any intellectual effort.

Yoka says:

There is one nature, perfect and penetrative, present in all natures, one reality which includes all, comprising all realities in itself. The one moon is reflected wherever there is water. And all moons in water are comprised in the one moon.

The moment you move beyond the mind, suddenly you have moved from the many to the one. Minds are many, consciousness is one. On the circumference we are different, at the center we are one. That one can be called Brahma, can be called God, the absolute, the truth, nirvana.

Zen calls it no-mind for a particular reason. If you call it God, then people start thinking in terms of a person, they start imagining a person – of course the supreme most person, but their idea of personality is derived from human personality; it is a projection, it is not truth.

The Bible says God created man in his own image; that is not true. Man has created God in his own image; that is far more true. The God that we have created is our idea, it is anthropocentric. If horses were philosophers, then God could not be a man, then God would be a supreme horse.

If donkeys were philosophers – and who knows? – they may be; they look very serious, always brooding, as if in deep contemplation, thinking of great things . . .  Watch a donkey and you will be certainly aware of this simple fact that donkeys are great thinkers. They are constantly somewhere else far away, involved in great esoteric things; that’s why people think they are fools. They are not fools; they are philosophers. If donkeys think, if they are theologians, theosophists, philosophers, then God will be a supreme donkey. God cannot be a man, that’s impossible. They cannot imagine God to be a man.

Hence Zen avoids any anthropocentric terminologies, any words that can become associated with our circumference. It does not call God Brahma because that is a philosophical term; maybe the best philosophical term, but even the best philosophical term is still philosophy, and philosophy is something of the mind – you can think about Brahma.

In India we have been thinking about Brahma for centuries and there are as many interpretations of Brahma as there have been philosophers. Shankara interprets it in one way, Nimbarka in another, Ramanuja still in a different way, and so on and so forth. Not even two philosophers agree and the dispute still continues. Philosophers go on quarreling. They never come to any conclusions, they cannot, because mind has no capacity to conclude about the One.

Even Shankara, the greatest non-dualist, remains a dualist deep down. He talks about Brahma, the One, but to talk about the One he has to bring in maya, illusion; then One becomes two. If you want to talk about the real you will have to talk about the unreal; that is a necessity, an absolute necessity. Without talking about the unreal you cannot talk about the real; without the unreal the real loses all meaning. Human languages are dualistic, hence Shankara got into trouble, great trouble. He tried to sort it out but he could not, and for one thousand years many philosophers who have followed Shankara have tried to find a way out, but they have not been able to. Even if you say that maya means illusion, maya means that which does not exist, you have to talk about it. To define Brahma, you have to use illusion as a support, otherwise who will define it? How will you define it? The One remains indefinable; the One needs something else to define it. So, although the philosophy of Shankara is thought to be non-dualist, it is not. No philosophy can be non-dualist.

Zen is neither dualist nor non-dualist; it is not a philosophy at all. It simply says, “Move from the mind into the no-mind and see.” It believes in seeing.

Yoka says:

The spirit operates naturally through the organs of sense. Thus, the objective world is perceived. This dualism mists the mirror. But when the haze is removed, the light shines forth. Thus, when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all words are gone, your mirror has no more dust on it, no more mist on it. When you look at things you collect impressions; that is the dust – that’s what you call thinking. When you see a rose flower, the rose flower is outside you but it makes a reflection inside you. The rose flower will fade away by the evening, the petals will fall and disappear, but the inner rose flower, the rose that has become imprinted in your memory will continue. It will remain forever with you, you can always remember it. And if you are a sensitive, aesthetic, artistic person you can visualize it again and again; you can imagine it as if it is true. In fact, if you try you will be surprised: you can even experience the fragrance of the rose again. If you create the whole situation in your imagination: the garden, the green grass, the dew on the grass, and you are walking with naked feet on the grass . . . and the sweet smell of the earth and the cool air and the birds singing; you just create the whole atmosphere… and then suddenly you discover a beautiful rose flower hidden behind a bush . . . and the fragrance! And then suddenly you will see: the fragrance has come back to you; the imprint is there. The outer rose is gone, but the inner rose is alive.

Now scientists, particularly brain experts, have discovered that if certain spots in the brain are touched by electrodes, certain memories become immediately active. Those memories are Lying there deep frozen; touched by the electrode they start becoming alive. A very strange experience. If your brain is touched by an electrode at the point where the rose memory is lying deep, suddenly you will forget the present; you will be again in the same garden. Maybe twenty years have passed, but it will be again as real as if you were in the garden again: the same smell, the same wind, the same coolness, the same flower. And if the electrode is taken out, the memory disappears. Put the electrode back again in the same spot and again the memory starts revealing itself.

And one thing more has been discovered: you can do it thousands of times. Again and again the same memory comes, and again and again the memory repeats itself from the very beginning. The moment you remove the electrode it seems that there is an automatic rewinding; the memory coils back into the same original state. Touch it again with the electrode and as the electricity starts flowing the memory begins from the beginning: you are entering the garden again . . . and the same sequence of events. And this can be done thousands of times. In fact, scientists say there is no limit to it; it can be done millions of times.

The outer reality goes on changing, but the mind goes on collecting dust. Your consciousness is a mirror, and you are carrying so much dust from this life and from other lives – such a thick layer of dust! That’s why you cannot understand Zen: because you cannot understand yourself, because you cannot understand life, because you cannot understand existence. Zen is not philosophy; it is existential, not philosophical.

 . . . When the haze is removed, says Yoka, the light shines forth. Thus when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all is emptied – you have forgotten all the memories, you have forgotten even your individual existence, your separate existence; you are no more an island, you have melted into the whole; you are not like an ice cube floating in the water, you have become water itself – this is what Zen is. Then suddenly truth is revealed.

Vision is clear, says Yoka.

These four lines are of tremendous importance.

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

This is the ultimate declaration of Zen. This is the lion’s roar!

Vision is clear.

This is a strange phenomenon. When there are objects to see, your vision is not clear because those objects are making impressions on you. Your vision cannot be clear; it is full of mist. When vision is clear, there are no objects at all, just clarity, just pure consciousness with no content, just seeing and nothing to see, just watchfulness and nothing to watch. A pure observer, a pure witness and nothing to witness.

There is no person.

And when there is nothing to witness, nothing to see, you cannot exist as a separate entity. The “In can exist only with the “thou”; if the “thou” disappears, the “I” disappears. They are part of each other, they are always together like two sides of a coin; you cannot say ”one.” This is what many stupid religious people go on doing: they go on saying to God, “I am not. Thou art.” That is sheer stupidity. In the very saying you are, otherwise who is saying “Thou art”?

There is a famous poem of Jalaluddin Rumi; I agree with him up to a point and then my disagreement starts. On the really essential point I cannot agree with him. My feeling is he must have written that poem before he became enlightened. He was an enlightened man, but the poem is decisive – it must have been written before he became enlightened. The poem is beautiful, because sometimes poets say things almost like seers, but remember they are almost like seers. There is bound to be some flaw, it can’t be flawless. You may not be able to find the flaw.

Listen to the story of the poem.

Jalaluddin says:

A lover comes to his beloved’s home, knocks on the door.

The beloved asks, “Who is there?”

And the lover says, “I am – your lover.”

The beloved says, “The house of love is so small, it cannot contain two, so please go back. When you are no more, then come again. The house of love cannot contain two, it can only contain one.”

So far so good!

The lover goes to the forest, he becomes an ascetic. He meditates, he prays to God. His prayer is only one: “Dissolve me!” Many moons come and go, months pass, years pass, and one day he comes back. He knocks again on the door, and the beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?”

And he says, “Now I am no more, only you are.”

And Rumi says:

The doors open and the lover is received in the home of love.

There I don’t agree – it is too early! Then who is the person who is saying “I am no more”? Even to say that “I am no more,” you are needed. It is as foolish as if you went and knocked at somebody’s house and he leaned out of the window and said, “I am not at home.” That is self-contradictory; you cannot say that. To say it is to prove that you are.

Jalaluddin must have written this poem before he became enlightened. He should have corrected it. But these enlightened people are crazy people. He may have forgotten all about the poem, but it needs correction. I can do the correction. I would like to say that the beloved says, “Go back again because you are still there. First you were positively there, now you are negatively there, but it makes no difference.”

The lover goes back. Now there is no point in praying because prayer has not helped. In fact, prayer cannot help: in prayer the duality persists. You are praying to somebody; God becomes your “thou.” God cannot help. Now he becomes a Zen monk – not a devotee but a real meditator. He simply goes deep within himself, searching and seeking. “Where is this ‘I’?” He tries to find out where it is. And anybody who goes in is bound not to find it because it is not there; it is non-existential; it is only a belief. So he searches and searches and finds it nowhere.

So he comes back, knocks on the door. The beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?” And there is no answer because there is nobody to answer. Just silence. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence deepens. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence is absolute. She opens the door. Now the lover has come, but he is no more; there is nobody to answer. He has to be taken inside the home, taken by the hand. He is completely, utterly empty.

This is what Zen people call “emptied suchness.”

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

Everything has disappeared. Zen has achieved the ultimate peak of enlightenment; hence it can say that there is no enlightenment either because if the enlightened person goes on thinking, “I am enlightened,” he is not enlightened. If he claims enlightenment then he is not enlightened, because every claim is an ego claim. Enlightenment is not a claim, it is a silent presence.

Baula, don’t try to understand Zen. Go within yourself to find out who you are, where you are. You will not find anybody there, just pure emptiness. And then vision is clear. No person, no Buddha. All is silent, utterly silent. There is nothing to say. In that silence one becomes truth. Not only that one knows truth, one becomes truth. That is the only way to know it.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Discourse #16

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Neither Licentiousness nor Repression – Osho

Do you profess licentiousness in life?

I don’t profess anything. I simply clarify things to you, I don’t profess. I am not giving you any ideology; I am only giving you insight. Take note of the difference. An ideology has to be professed; an insight has to be imparted. I simply make things clear to you, I simply help you to clarify things. I am not giving you a dogma. I am not giving you a theory that will solve all your problems – there is none. I am simply telling you: Open your eyes, become more aware. And that awareness will help you in every kind of difficulty, in every kind of problem. That awareness will be like a light in the dark night. And wherever you go that light will remain with you, you will be able to see. I don’t give you a theory. You have depended too much on theories. Theories are cheap because they don’t require any transformation on your part. Dogmas are very easy to accept. Then you have an idea which you go on trying to fit everywhere in your life, and you start depending on the idea.

That dependence on the idea makes you more and more blind. If you are a Christian, you are blind, if you are a Hindu you are blind, if you believe in any dogma you are blind. Because only blind people believe.

A blind man believes in light. But a man who has eyes, he does not believe in light, there is no need.

He knows light – why should he believe? You don’t believe in light, you don’t believe in the sun, you don’t believe in these trees, you know. But a blind man, he believes that trees are green, that the rainbow has seven colors, that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, that there are colors in the world. A deaf man believes in sounds; you don’t believe. Belief is an ugly word.

I help you to see. That’s what Buddha says: ‘Ihi passika – Come and see.’ You see the difference? Jesus says ‘Come and follow me.’ Buddha says ‘Come and see.’ Both are enlightened – but Jesus must be talking to a very low level of consciousness, he has to say ‘Come and follow me.’ ‘Follow me’ means believe. Buddha must be talking to highly evolved conscious people, he says ‘Come and see.’ There is no question of following anything, there is no question of believing in anything. He just says ‘I have seen – come and see through my eyes. Just come close to me and see through my window. Maybe that will give you an insight and you can open your own window.’

I also say to you: Ihi passika – Come and see. Seeing is a totally different matter. I don’t teach anything; I am not a teacher. In fact I destroy teachings. I don’t help you to learn anything, in fact I help you to unlearn. You have already learned too much.

But the question is relevant. Many people interpret me in that way, they think I am professing licentiousness. I am neither professing licentiousness nor am I professing repression I am simply helping you to see a saner way of life. Licentiousness is insane, as much insane as repressiveness. Christianity created a very repressive atmosphere in the West. That has created licentiousness. For your sinners, your saints are responsible. The world will never be without sinners unless it decides to be without saints. The saint creates the sinner, the saint cannot exist without the sinner. They are partners, they are together.

The Vatican has some deep support for the playboy. If you are repressive, you will create pornography. If you are repressive, people will start finding ways and means to go to the other extreme. Because normality is not allowed. Life has been forced to be either white or black – either be a saint or be a sinner. The priests have not allowed you the possibility that there is something else too. Life really is grey. It is neither black nor white. Black and white are two extremes of grey, but life remains grey.

I am neither teaching licentiousness nor repressiveness. I am simply helping you to become sane.

It is your life; it is nobody else’s life. And you have to be sane about it, otherwise you will miss the great opportunity, the great blessing, the great gift of God. Don’t be repressive, otherwise one day, in this life or in some other life, you will become licentious. And don’t be licentious, otherwise in this life or in some life you will become repressive. The pendulum goes that way. The pendulum has to stop in the middle. And have you watched? If the pendulum stops in the middle, the clock stops. When the mind stops in the middle, time stops. When the mind stops in the middle, the world stops. And in that silence, one knows God.

But listening to me – and you are all carrying a thousand and one repressions – you listen through the screen of your repressions, and you interpret that it is licentiousness. Your unconscious is too full of repressions. I am not teaching anything like that, I am simply saying to be a man is enough. You need not be a saint and then you will not need to be a sinner. Be natural. Don’t interfere with your nature, don’t mold it into pattern. Don’t be ideological and don’t be always hankering to be somebody else. Don’t hanker for betterment, just be natural and relax into your being. And whatsoever is natural is good.

This is the meaning of Tao, this is the meaning of Zen. But you have your repressed unconscious.

And when you hear me, naturally you hear from the repressed unconscious. That repressed unconscious immediately gives colors, changes meanings, interprets.

I have heard:

A Cockney was in great difficulties over which of his two girlfriends he should marry. One was called Margaret and the other Maria. The first was rich but very ugly, and the second was poor but immensely beautiful. So he was divided. The head was saying ‘Marry the rich girl and then you will have no problems. And what is ugliness? You will become accustomed to it. And even beauty is so fragile – today it is there, tomorrow it may not be there. And if you get even the most beautiful woman, after a few days you become accustomed to it and the beauty disappears. It is only a question of a few days. Marry the rich girl.’ But the heart was longing for the beauty. And he was going nuts.

A friend said to him ‘Ere, Bert, why don’t you go to Lourdes?’

‘Lourdes?’ said Bert. ‘Where’s that?’

‘It’s in France’ said his friend. ‘It’s a sort of shrine where people go to get cured. But maybe you could find the answer to your problem there – you know, a sort of miracle from heaven!’ So Bert saved up and went over to Lourdes. A week later he was back, and his friend asked him how he had got on. ‘Great!’ said Bert. ‘I got the answer all right. I went into the big church place – and there, up at the altar, was a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes with a big banner next to it, saying “Ave Maria”.’

So he married Maria, the beautiful girl.

When you hear, it depends on you what color you will give it to it. You are already too full of repressions, you are ready to become licentious – so when you hear me you interpret it as licentiousness. It is nothing of the sort. Be very careful with me.

I have heard:

It was some time since Patrick and Michael had met, so Michael was anxious to hear if there had been any addition to Patrick’s family.

‘Not one’ answered Patrick very sadly. ‘We’ve still got the four.’

‘Still four?’ said Michael. ‘Are you at the birth-control or something?’

‘Not exactly’ replied Patrick. ‘You see, it’s all to do with this new hearing-aid.’

‘What do you mean – this new hearing-aid?’

‘Well, you see, when Bridget and I would get to bed, I’d say to her “Darling, is it sleep or what?” And Bridget would reply “What?” And we would make love. But now, with this new hearing-aid of hers, when I say to her “Well, dear, is it sleep or what?” she just turns on her side and says “Sleep” and off she goes.’

That ‘what’ . . . You already have an idea, and the interpretation follows. Listen to me directly, just put your mind aside.

That’s why so many therapy groups are being run here. Just to help you to put your mind aside. Just to help you to see your unconscious, to help you to cathart your unconscious, to vomit it. So that you can become more and more empty and can listen to me through your emptiness. Otherwise, you are carrying so much rubbish, rubbish of the ages. You have been going through so many ideals, ideologies, you have accumulated so much nonsense. And when you hear me, that nonsense comes in-between.

I am neither for repression nor for licence, they are both aspects of the same coin. The whole coin has to be thrown into the Ganges. You have to become natural, you have to accept all that you are.

In that acceptance is flowering. All is good that God has given to you. How can it be otherwise? – it is a gift from God.

So listen to me, not through your thoughts, your prejudices. Listen to me without your prejudices, just put the mind aside. While listening to me don’t go on interpreting, while listening to me get en rapport with me. Don’t be in a hurry to conclude; that hurry is harmful. You are in such a hurry to conclude, you want to achieve some results so fast, that’s why you go on missing many things. There is no hurry and there is no need to conclude right now. While listening to me, first listen totally.

And then later on you can think about it. If you have listened rightly then your thoughts will not be able to distort the meaning, they will not be able to distract you. Once you have listened rightly, without any interpretation, without any thinking about it, then later on you can bring your whole mind to it. There will be no problem, you will have followed what I have said to you. Otherwise, while listening to me you are continuously thinking by the side. While you are listening to me you are thinking – many thoughts are going, rushing in and out. They are very, very dangerous. Then whatsoever conclusion you arrive at through them will be your conclusion, will not be mine.

But it feels good to throw the responsibility on me. You have become so disrespectful towards yourself that you always throw the responsibility on somebody else. You have forgotten that you are responsible to yourself. Only you. All that happens to you and all that is going to happen to you is going to happen through you. You are wholly and solely responsible for your life. Nobody else is the savior.

And you cannot throw your responsibilities on me. If you want to be licentious be licentious. I am nobody to interfere – who am I? If you want to be repressive, be repressive. But don’t impose meanings on what I say.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #9, Q3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

The Unity of Emptiness – Osho

The world is there because of you – you create it, you are a creator. Every single being creates a world around himself, it depends on his mind. The mind may be illusory, but it is creative – it creates dreams. And it is up to you to create a hell or heaven.

If you leave this world you will not be able to leave it. Wherever you go you will create the same world again, because the world is constantly coming out of you just as leaves are coming out of the tree.

You don’t live in the same world, you cannot because you don’t have similar minds. Just by the side of you somebody may be living in heaven, and you may be living in hell – and you feel that you are living in the same world? How can you live in the same world when minds differ?

So, the first thing to be understood is that you cannot leave the world unless the mind disappears. They are related, they depend on each other, they make a vicious circle. If the mind is there . . . And a mind is always a particular mind. When the mind is no more a particular mind, when it becomes a Mind with a capital M it is no more mind, it has become consciousness. A mind is always a particular mind and it carries a particular aroma around it – that is your world.

The mind creates the world and then the world creates the mind, helps the mind to remain the same. This is the vicious circle. But the source is in the mind; the world is just a by-product. The mind is substantial; the world is just the shadow of it. And you cannot destroy the shadow, but everybody tries to destroy it.

If this wife doesn’t suit you, you think another wife will. You are trying to change the world, and you are the same. You will just turn the next wife into an exact replica of the old. You will again create, because the wife will be just a screen.

And you will be surprised: people who have married many times, their experience is really strange. A person who has been married ten times recognizes the fact that “How does it happen? In such a wide and big world, I always stumble upon the same type of woman? Even by accident it seems impossible! Again, and again!”

The problem is not the woman, the problem is the mind. The mind is again attracted to the same type of woman, again creates the same relationship, again finds the same mess and the same hell.

And the same happens in everything you do. Do you think you will live happily in a palace? You are wrong! Who is going to live in the palace? You will live there. If you are not happy in your hut, you will not be happy in your palace. Who will live in the palace? Palaces don’t exist outside you.

If you can live happily in a hut, you can live happily in a palace, because you create the world around you. Otherwise, as the hut pinches you the palace will pinch – even more so because it is a bigger thing. It will be a hell, just the same – more decorated, but a decorated hell is not a heaven. And even if you are forcibly thrown into heaven you will try to find an exit, or you will create your hell there.

I have heard about one man, a great businessman, a dress manufacturer. He died. Somehow, by some technical mistake, he entered heaven. He met his old partner there. The old partner was as sad as he was on this earth. So the businessman said, “What does it mean? You are in heaven, and so unhappy?”

The partner said, “It is okay, but personally I prefer Miami.”

And the other also came to the same conclusion within days. They again became partners there, and they wanted to start a business firm to manufacture dresses.

The same is going to happen wherever you go, because you are the world. You create a world around you, then the world helps the mind which has created it. The son helps the father, the son helps the mother, your shadow helps the substance – then the mind is strengthened more, then again you create the same world on the same lines. From where to start a transformation? How to change?

If you look, the first look will say to change the world, because it is so apparent around you. Change it! And that’s what you have been doing for many lives: continuously changing the world, changing this and that, changing houses, bodies, wives, husbands, friends – changing, but never looking to the fact that you remain the same, so how can you change the world?

That’s why a false tradition of renunciation came into existence all over the world. Escape from the house and go to the monastery. Escape from the market, go to the Himalayas. Escape from the world! To the Himalayas you can go easily, but how can you escape from yourself? You will create the same world there – the same! It may be a miniature world, it may not be so vast, but you will do the same. You are the same – how can you do anything else?

Deeper insight reveals that: change the mind, then the world changes. Then wherever you are a different world is revealed. You go deeper, and then you understand that if you want to be really without the world around you . . . Because howsoever beautiful the world is, sooner or later it will become a boredom and you will be fed up. Even if it is a heaven you will start longing for the hell, because the mind needs change. It cannot live in the eternal, it cannot live in the non-changing, because the mind hankers for some new curiosity, some new sensation, some new excitement. It is not possible for the mind to stop time and to remain timelessly.

That’s why the mind cannot live in the now, the here, because now is not a part of time. It never changes, it is eternal. You cannot say it is unchanging, it is not permanent, it eternal. It is simply as it is. Nothing happens there. It is emptiness.

Buddha has called it sunyata – absolutely empty. Nothing happens there, nobody comes, nobody goes. There is nobody, because if somebody is there then something or other will happen.

Mind cannot live in the eternal now. Mind wants change and goes on hoping, and goes on hoping against all hope. The whole situation is hopeless, but mind goes on hoping.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasruddin remained unemployed for many, many years because he wanted to be an actor and he had no talent. But every day, religiously, he would go to the agent. Hopefully he would knock at the door, enter the office, and inquire, “Has something happened? Am I booked somewhere?”

And the agent would say always the same: “I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Days passed, weeks passed, then years passed and the Mulla’s knocking became a routine. Whatsoever the season, the climate, good or bad, but one thing was certain for the agent – that Mulla would come. And he would again ask hopefully, and the man would again say the same thing: “Nasruddin, I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Then one day the knock was different, a little sad. And when Mulla came in, even the agent was surprised: “Why is he so sad?”

Mulla said, “Listen, for two weeks don’t book me anywhere because I’m going for a vacation.”

This is how mind functions – goes on hoping, not for many years; but for many lives! You knock on the same door with the same inquiry and desire, and it is always no. What have you gained through mind except nos?

Yes has never come that way, it cannot come. Mind is a futile effort. It is desert like, nothing grows on it, nothing can grow. But it goes on hoping. Even a desert dreams, and dreams of beautiful gardens, rivers flowing, brooks and waterfalls. Even a desert dreams . . . and that is the dream of the mind.

One has to be alert. There is no need to waste any more time – no need to knock on the agent’s door. Enough you have lived with the mind. Nothing have you achieved through it. Is it not the right time to be alert and aware?

Of course, you have gathered many miseries and many hells – if you call them achievements then it is okay – anguish, frustration. And wherever you move with the mind something goes wrong, because mind is the mechanism of the wrong. You look: something goes wrong.

Mulla Nasruddin’s son was entered into the school. The teacher was talking about geography and she talked and explained the shape of the earth and everything. And then she asked Mulla Nasruddin’s son, “What is the shape of the earth?”

He remained silent, so just to provoke his answer she said, “Is it flat?”

The son said, “No.”

She became more hopeful; she said, “Then is it a globe, round-shaped?”

Nasruddin’s son said, “No.”

Then she was surprised. She said, “Only two are the possibilities: either it is flat or it is global, and you say no to both. So what is your idea?”

The son said, “My Dad said it is crooked!”

For the mind everything is crooked, not because everything is crooked – the way the mind looks, anything that penetrates the medium of the mind becomes crooked. Just as you put a straight thing into water, a straight staff, and suddenly you see the medium of the water has done something; it is no more straight. You bring it out of the water; it is again straight. Put it in again . . .

And you know that the staff remains straight even in water, but your eyes still say that it is not straight. A hundred times you can bring it out and put it in. Even if you know well that the staff remains straight, the medium will again give you the false information that it is no more straight.

You have known many many times that the misery is created by the mind, but again you fall a victim. Mind creates misery. It cannot create anything else because it cannot encounter reality. It can only dream – that is the only capacity for the mind. It can only dream. And dreams cannot fulfill, because
whenever they come against the reality they are shattered.

You live in a house of glass, you cannot face reality. Whenever reality comes your house is shattered, and many houses you have lived in are shattered. You carry their ruins in the mind, the anguish that resulted. And that has made you very sour, very bitter.

Taste anybody and you will taste him bitter. And that is the experience of others about you also: everybody tastes bitter. Come closer and everything goes bitter; remain distant, everything looks beautiful. Come closer, everything goes bitter – because when you come closer, minds penetrate
each other and everything is crooked, then nothing is straight.

This has to be realized as your experience, not as a theory from me or Sosan. Sosan can’t help, neither can I. It MUST become your own experienced phenomenon. Experienced, it becomes a truth – and then many things start changing, then you drop the mind.

And when the mind drops, all worlds disappear. When the mind drops, objects disappear; then they are no more objects. Then you don’t know where you end and where things start, then there are no boundaries. Boundaries disappear.

In the beginning you feel as if everything has gone blurred, but by and by you settle in the new phenomenon which is of no-mind. Then stars are there, but they are part of you, no more objects. Flowers and trees are there but they flower in YOU, no more outside. Then you live with the totality.

The barrier is broken – the barrier was your mind. Then for the first time there is no world, because world means the totality of objects. For the first time there is a universe, and universe means one. Remember the word ’uni.’ This you call a universe? Wrongly. Don’t call it a universe, for you it is a multiverse. Many worlds, no more one, it is not yet.

But when the mind drops, worlds disappear. There are no objects. Boundaries mingle and meet into each other. The tree becomes the rock, the rock becomes the sun, the sun becomes the star, the star becomes the woman you love, and everything is meeting and mingling into each other. And you are not there, separate. You are in it throbbing at the very heart, pulsating. Then it is a universe.

Mind drops, objects disappear – the source of dream has disappeared. What have you been doing? You have been trying to get a better dream, to no avail of course. But the whole effort of the mind is to get a better dream. Don’t think that mind can give you a better dream – a dream is a dream. Even if better, it will not be a satisfactory thing, it cannot give you a deep contentment. A dream is a dream.

If you are feeling thirsty you need real water, not dream water. If you are hungry you need real, substantial bread, not dream bread. For a few moments you may be able to deceive yourself, but how long?

Every night it happens: you are hungry, the mind creates a dream – you are eating, you are eating delicious things. For a few minutes it is okay even for a few hours it is okay, but how long? Can you stay in this dream forever and ever? It helps sleep, you don’t get disturbed. Otherwise hunger will disturb you, you will have to get up and go to the fridge. It helps: you can go on sleeping, feeling that you are eating; there is no need to go anywhere. But by the morning you will know that your mind deceived you.

Your whole life is just like a dream, and you are substituting dream objects for the reality. So every day everything is shattered, every day you are shocked into reality, because the reality goes on bumping from here and there. You cannot avoid it! A dream is a very fragile thing; the reality goes on bumping in and breaking.

And it is good, it is for your good, that the reality breaks your dreams, shatters them to pieces. But you again start collecting those pieces and creating other dreams. Drop it! Enough you have done that. Nothing has been achieved. Now no more of it!

Once you understand that dreaming has to be stopped, the world of objects disappears. The world will be there, but not of objects. Then everything becomes alive, everything becomes subjective.

That is the meaning of religious people who say that everything is God. What are they saying? God is just a metaphor. There is nobody sitting somewhere in heaven, controlling, managing, engineering. God is just a metaphor – the metaphor that the things in the world are not like things, they are persons. Deep inside a subjectivity is there. Everything is alive and throbbing. And this throbbing is not a fragmented process, this throbbing is a WHOLE throbbing.

Of course you feel the beat of the heart near the heart, at the heart. But you think it is only in the heart? Then you are wrong – the whole body is throbbing. The heart only indicates, the whole body is throbbing. That’s why when the heart stops, the body is dead. It was not the heart really that was throbbing, the whole body was throbbing through the heart; the heart was just an indicator.

You are throbbing, but the whole is throbbing through you – you are just an indicator, a heart. The universe throbs and beats through you. You are not, the universe is.

And the universe is not a totality of objects, it is a subjectivity. It exists as a person. It is alive, conscious. It is not a mechanical arrangement. It is an organic unity.

Now try to understand these words of Sosan:

When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject; the mind is such because of things.

Things are there around you because of you. You attract them. If you feel hell around you, it is you who has attracted it. Don’t be angry about it and don’t start fighting with it; it is useless. You attracted, you invited – you have done it! And now your desires are fulfilled: whatsoever you needed is around you. And then you start fighting and getting angry. You have succeeded!

Remember always that whatsoever is happening around you is rooted in the mind. Mind is always the cause. It is the projector, and outside there are only screens – you project yourself. If you feel it is ugly then change the mind. If you feel whatsoever comes from the mind is hellish and nightmarish, then drop the mind. Work with the mind, don’t work with the screen don’t go on painting it and changing it. Work with the mind.

But there is one problem, because you think you are the mind. So how can you drop it? So you feel you can drop everything, change everything, repaint, redecorate, rearrange, but how can you drop yourself That is the root of all trouble. You are not the mind; you are beyond mind. You have become identified, that’s true, but you are not the mind.

And this is the purpose of meditation: to give you small glimpses that you are not the mind. Even for a few moments the mind stops… you are still there! On the contrary, you are more, overflowing with being. When the mind stops it is as if a drainage which was continuously draining you has stopped. Suddenly you are overflooded with energy. You feel more!

If even for a single moment you become aware that the mind is not there but “I am,” you have reached a deep core of truth. Then it will be easy to drop the mind. You are not the mind, otherwise how can you drop yourself? The identification has to be dropped first, then the mind can be dropped.

The whole Gurdjieff method is how to get unidentified. When next time when a desire comes, look at it. Say within yourself, “Okay, I will watch where this mind is moving.” And you will feel a distance, you are looking at it. Who is this looker, the spectator? And the desire moves and creates dreams.

Sometimes you may forget, sometimes you may become one with the desire. Pull yourself together again, look at the desire again: the desire is moving on its own. It is as if a cloud has entered, a thought has come into the sky of your being. Just look at it, watch it. And remember, if you can be unidentified even for a fragment of a second – the desire is there and you are here and there is a distance – suddenly there is illumination, a light has happened to you.

Now you know that the mind works on its own, it is a mechanism. You can drop it! You may not use it, you may use it; you are the master. Now the slave, the mechanism, is put in its place; it is no more the master. Then dropping is possible. When you are different from it, only then is dropping possible.

Meditation, witnessing, silently sitting and looking at the mind, will be of much help. Not forcing, simply sitting and looking. Not doing much, just watching as one watches birds flying in the sky. Just Lying down on the ground and watching, nothing to do, indifferent. Not your concern really, where they are going; they are going on their own.

Remember, thoughts are also just like birds: they are moving on their own. And sometimes it happens that people who are around you, their thoughts enter into your sky, your thoughts go on entering into their sky. That’s why sometimes you feel that with some man suddenly you become sad; with some other man suddenly you feel an upsurge of energy and happiness and delight. Just looking at somebody, being near to him, something changes in your mood.

It happens even with places. You go into a house and suddenly a gloom settles on you. You go in another house, and suddenly you feel light as if wings have come to you, you can fly, you are weightless. You enter a crowd and you are no more yourself, something has changed. You enter another crowd, again something has changed.

This is the base of satsang: being with a Master who has no thoughts. Just being with him, sometimes his no-thought, his no-mind, will knock at your door. In some moments . . . it cannot be manipulated, one has to wait, one has just to pray and wait and watch. It cannot be forced because it is not a thought. A thought is a thing; it can be thrown at you. No-thought is not a thing, it cannot be thrown.

A thought has its own movement and propulsion. Whenever you are near a person who has too many thoughts, he will fill you with his thoughts. Just being near he will go on pouring his mind in you – whether he speaks or not, that is not the point. Continuously, thoughts, like sparks, are falling from his head all around – you catch them.

And sometimes you are even aware that this is not your thought. But when it comes you become filled with it, you become identified even with that. This is not your anger; somebody else was angry and you felt something within you. Somebody was hateful and the hate hit you. Everything is infectious, and mind is the most infectious disease in the world. No flu can compete with it, it goes on infecting people all around.

If you can see, you can see just sparks falling from the head of a person. They have different colors. That’s why so many mystics became aware of auras, because if a gloomy person comes he brings a gloomy aura. You can see it if your eyes are clear. You can see when a happy person comes around you. Even if you have not seen him – he is coming from behind you, you have not seen him – but suddenly you feel something happy is happening around.

Thoughts are not your own, they are not you. When you die your thoughts are scattered all around. It has happened, and next time you go near a dying man, watch – it is an experience in itself. When a man is dying, just sit and watch what happens to your mind. You will be surprised; thoughts which have never been there, thoughts you are not accustomed to, thoughts which are unknown, suddenly bubble up in you – pop! The man is dying and he is throwing his thoughts all around, like a dying tree throwing its seeds. It is in a panic; before the tree dies it should throw seeds so other trees come up.

Never go near a man who is dying if you are not aware, because then the dead will influence you. Basically, never be near a man where you feel gloomy, sad, unless you are aware. If you are aware then there is no problem. Then the gloom comes and passes; you never get identified with it.

Have you ever felt, going in a church, people praying, you feel immediately different. So much prayer, even not very real, just a Sunday prayer, but still they are doing it, even for a few moments the windows open – they are different. A fire catches you, you feel sudden changes within you.

Be aware! And then see how thoughts enter in the mind, how you get identified and become one with them. And they are moving so fast, the speed is so great, because there is nothing faster than thought. It is not possible to create anything faster than thought. It takes no time to reach anywhere. It jumps from one infinity to another; space doesn’t exist for it.

Thoughts are there, moving with fast speed. Because of the fast speed you cannot see two thoughts separately. Sit, close your eyes, slow down all processes of the body. Breathing slows, heartbeat slows, blood pressure slows. You slow down everything; you relax, because if everything slows, thought has to slow down, because it is a compact whole. When everything is slow, thought has to get slow.

That’s why in deep sleep thought stops; because everything is so slow and thought is so speedy a thing that there comes a breaking – the process cannot continue. The man is so slow and thought is so speedy, they cannot get together. Thought disappears. In deep sleep, only for a few hours, two hours at the most in the night, thought stops, because you are completely relaxed.

Relax and just watch: as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness. Between two clouds there is an interval – in that interval is the blue sky.

Slow down the thought process and look in the intervals, and pay more attention to the intervals than to the clouds. Shift the attention, change the gestalt. Don’t look at the figure, look at the background.

If I put a blackboard, a big blackboard the size of this wall here, and mark it with a white point and ask you what you see, ninety-nine percent the possibility is you will not see the blackboard, you will see the white dot – because we see the figure, not the background.

Such a big blackboard, but if I ask you, “What do you see there?” you will say, “I see a little white spot.” Such a big blackboard is not seen and only a little white spot, which is almost invisible, is seen? Why? Because this is the fixed pattern of the mind: to look at the figure, not at the background; to look at the cloud, not at the sky; to look at the thought, not at the consciousness.

This gestalt has to be changed. Pay more attention to the background and less attention to the figure. You will be nearer reality. In meditation this has to be done continuously. The mind, because of old habit, will look at the figure. You just shift again… Look at the background.

You are here, I am here. We can look at each other in two ways. I can look at the background; in the background are the trees, plants, greenery, the sky – the vast universe is your background. Or I can look at you, you are the figure. But mind always looks at the figure.

That’s why it happens if you go to a person like Sosan, Jesus or Buddha, you feel that their eyes are not looking at you. You are just the figure and they are looking at the background. Their gestalt is different. You may feel that their eyes are cold because they are not paying attention to you.

You are just a cloud. Persons like Buddha, when they look; you are there, but just as a small part of the background. And vast is the background, and you are just a dot. But you would like somebody to look at you, at the small dot, as if you are the universe, as if nothing exists beyond you.

Buddha’s love will look cold. You need a hot love, eyes which look at you and forget the whole. That is not possible for a Buddha. You have your place, but you are still a small dot. Howsoever beautiful, you are just part of a vast background – whole attention cannot be given to you.

That’s why the ego feels very much hurt near a Buddha, because the ego wants the whole attention: “Look at me, I am the center of the world.” But you are not the center of the world. Really there is no center in the world, because the center is possible only if the world is limited. If it is a finite circle then the center is possible – and it is an infinite circle.

It is absurd to think of a center. There is no center in the world; the world exists without any center. And it is beautiful. That’s why everybody can think, “I am the center.” If there is a center then it is impossible.

That’s why Mohammedans and Christians and Jews will not allow Hindu assertions that “I am God – Aham Brahmasmi.” They say, “This is heresy. What are you saying? Only God is the center. Nobody else is the center.” But Hindus can assert playfully that “I am God,” because they say there is no center, or everybody is the center.

But when you ask that the whole attention should come to you, this is the mind, the old habit of the mind, not to look at the background, just to look at the figure.

In meditation you have to shift from the figure to the background, from the star to the sky. The more this shift happens, the more you will feel you are not the mind, the more you will feel easily it can be dropped . . .

It is just like dropping a dress. You have made it so tight that it feels like a skin. It is not, it is just like a dress you can drop it easily. But one has to understand that one is the background, not the figure. And when this mind drops, says Sosan, then the objective world simply vanishes.

What does he mean? Does he mean that if you are in deep meditation, if you have reached the goal of no-mind, then these trees will disappear, vanish? Then this house will no more be here? Then you will not be sitting here? If I have attained, will this chair I am sitting on vanish?

No. Objects disappear as objects; not this chair, not that tree – they remain, but they are no more limited. Now they have no boundaries. Then this chair is meeting with the sun and with the sky, then the figure and the background has become one. There is no figure separate from the background, their identities are lost. And they are no more objects, because you are no more a subject there.

Krishnamurti goes on saying something very beautiful: that in deep meditation the observer becomes the observed. This is true, but you will feel that this looks absurd. If you are looking at a flower, does Krishnamurti mean that you become the flower? Then how will you get back home? And somebody may pluck you and you will be in trouble.

“The observer becomes the observed.” Does it mean that you become the flower? No – but still, in a sense, yes. You don’t become the flower in the sense that you can be plucked and somebody can carry you and you are no more a man. No, not in that sense. But when there is no mind, there is no boundary to you which separates you from the flower, no boundary to the flower which separates it from you. You have both become a subjective pool, you are merging and meeting. You remain you, the flower remains the flower, nobody can mistakenly pluck you – but there is a merging.

It happens only in your life sometimes in a few moments when you love a person. That too is rare, because man’s mind never leaves him even in love. It goes on creating its own nonsense, creating its own world. And the lover is no more allowed such closeness that he reaches to the background. The figure, the ego, always stands in between. But a few times it happens.

Of course, it must be happening in spite of you. It is so natural that even if you have made all the arrangements, sometimes the reality bumps into you. With all your arrangements, with all your dreams, sometimes it penetrates you; sometimes you are not on guard. Sometimes you forget, or you are so much occupied in a certain thing that a window opens and you are not looking at that window and the reality enters in.

A few moments, in love, this happens, when the observer has become the observed. This is a beautiful meditation: if you love a person then sit with the person and look into each other’s eyes – not thinking anything, not thinking who he is, not creating a thinking process, just looking into each other’s eyes.

There may be a few glimpses when the observer will become the observed, when you will be lost and you will not know who you are – whether you have become the beloved or the beloved has become you. Eyes are beautiful doors to enter into each other.

And why do I say only in love it is possible? Because only in love are you not on guard. You relax. You are not afraid of the other, you can be vulnerable, you can afford it. Otherwise, you are always on guard, because you don’t know what the other will do; you don’t know whether he will hurt you. And if you are not on guard the hurt can go very deep.

In love you can look into each other’s eyes. There will be some glimpses when the background and the figure dissolve into each other. You will be shaken to your very foundations. Suddenly you will have a glimpse: you are not, still you are. Somewhere deep there has been a meeting.

This happens to a real meditator with the universe itself – not that he becomes a tree, but still he becomes a tree. When he is with a tree, boundaries are not there. And when he becomes tuned to this no-boundary land, then he moves without boundaries..

This is what the meaning of Sosan is. When the mind disappears, objects vanish. When the objects vanish, you vanish, the ego vanishes. They are related.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: The unity of Emptiness.

You exist because of your objects around you. Your boundary exists because of the boundaries of other things around you. When their boundaries are lost, your boundary is lost – you are relative to each other, you are together.

Your mind and your objects outside are joined together, they have a bridge. If the one bank disappears the bridge falls. And with the bridge the other bank also disappears, because there is no possibility for one bank to exist without the other. This is the meaning of relativity.

And then there is a unity – unity of emptiness. You are empty and the flower is empty, because there is no boundary to the flower, then how can there be a center? This is one of the deepest realizations of Buddha, and only Buddhists have asserted this so beautifully. They say there is no atma, no self.

And this was very much misunderstood, because Hindus say that their whole religion is based on atma, the self, the supreme self. And Buddha says, “When there is no boundary, how can the self exist?” When there is no boundary and the mind has become totally silent, how can the ‘I’ exist? Because the ‘I’ is a noise. How can you say “I am” when the whole is? When the figure and the background have become one, how can you say “I am”?

This is the emptiness of Buddha – anatta. This word is beautiful – anatta, no-selfness. You are no more and still you are. Really, for the first time you are as the whole, but not as the individual, not as the defined, demarcated, fenced. You are as the whole, but you are not as an individual, as a marked, defined separateness. You are no more an island; you are the vast expanse of emptiness.

And the same is with the flower, and the same is with the tree, and the same is with the bird and with the animal, and the same is with the rock, stars and the sun. When your self disappears, the self disappears from everywhere, because it was your self-reflected, it was your self-resounded by the universe, it was your madness reflected. Now it is no more there.

Sosan is saying that when there is emptiness there is unity. If you are, how can there by any unity? Your very being separate creates the disunity.

Mohammedans say that they love Hindus, they are brothers; Christians say they love Jews, they are brothers. Everybody is a brother, but how can you be a brother when you are a Christian? How can you be a brother when you are a Hindu? Your demarcation, your boundary, carries the enmity in it. At the most you can tolerate the other, but you cannot be one with the other. And just saying ’brother’ doesn’t help, because nobody can fight as dangerously as brothers.

Saying that I am a Hindu, I am making myself separate from the whole. Saying that I am powerful, I am separating myself from the universe. Saying that I am extraordinary, I am separating myself from the universe. This is what Chuang Tzu says: Be just the ordinary. That means don’t separate in any way, don’t make clear-cut definitions about yourself. Live with liquid boundaries, which are always ready to meet and melt.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this emptiness the two are indistiguishable . . .

They cannot be distinguished; they cannot be felt as separate – separate from the other. They are separate, but this separateness is totally different. You can distinguish, but this separateness is not of the ego.

It is just like a wave in the ocean. You can distinguish. The wave is the wave, not the ocean – still it is the ocean. The wave cannot exist without the ocean. The ocean is waving in it, the ocean is pulsating in it. It is separate as a form, and still not separate as existence. You remain separate, and still, you are not separate. This is the most fundamental paradox a man comes to experience when he experiences no-selfness, anatta.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

Not separate, you don’t lose anything, you gain the whole. And you are always afraid of losing. You always think, “If I lose myself then I am no more. What am I going to gain?” You lose, and you gain the whole. And you lose nothing but your misery, your anxiety, anguish. What have you got to lose?! You don’t have anything to lose – only your suffering, your bondage.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

When you lose, you become the whole world. All is yours. You are beggars because of yourselves; you can be emperors. Mind is the begging bowl.

I have heard one Sufi story. It is one of the oldest Sufi teachings.

A beggar came to an emperor’s palace. The emperor was just in the garden so he heard the beggar. The man on the gate was going to give something, but the beggar said, “I have one condition. I always take from the master, never from servants.”

The emperor heard. He was taking a walk so he came to look at this beggar, because beggars don’t have conditions. If you are a beggar, how can you have conditions? “Seems to be a rare beggar.” So, he came to look – and he was a rare beggar. The emperor had never seen such an emperor-like man before; he was nothing. This man had some glory around him, a grace. Tattered his dress was, almost naked, but the begging bowl was very, very precious.

The emperor said, “Why this condition?”

The beggar said, “Because servants are themselves beggars and I don’t want to be rude to anybody. Only masters can give. How can servants give? So if you are ready, you can give and I will accept it. But then too I have a condition, and that is: my begging bowl has to be completely filled.”

A small begging bowl! The emperor started laughing. He said, “You seem to be mad. Do you think I cannot fill your begging bowl?” And then he ordered his ministers to bring precious stones, incomparable, unique, and fill the begging bowl with them.

But they got into a difficulty, because the more they filled the begging bowl, the stones would fall in it and they would not even make a sound, they would simply disappear. And the begging bowl remained empty.

Then the emperor was in a fix, his whole ego was at stake. He, a great emperor who ruled the whole earth, could not fill a begging bowl! He ordered, “Bring everything, but this begging bowl has to be filled!”

His treasures . . . for days together all his treasuries were emptied, but the begging bowl remained empty. There was no more left. The emperor had become a beggar, all was lost. The emperor fell to the beggar’s feet and said, “Now I am also a beggar and I beg only one thing. Tell me the secret of this bowl, it seems to be magical!”

The beggar said, “Nothing. It is made of human mind, nothing magical.”

Every human mind is just this begging bowl. You go on filling it, it remains empty. You throw the whole world, worlds together, and they simply disappear without making any sound. You go on giving and it is always begging.

Give love, and the begging bowl is there, your love has disappeared. Give your whole life, and the begging bowl is there, looking at you with complaining eyes. “You have not given anything. I am still empty.” And the only proof that you have given is if the begging bowl is full – and it is never full. Of course, the logic is clear: you have not given.

You have achieved many, many things – they have all disappeared in the begging bowl. The mind is a self-destructive process. Before the mind disappears, you will remain a beggar. Whatsoever you can gain will be in vain; you will remain empty.

And if you dissolve this mind, through emptiness you become filled for the first time. You are no more, but you have become the whole. If you are, you will remain a beggar. If you are not, you become the emperor.

That’s why in India we have been calling beggars swamis. Swami means a master, an emperor. You cannot find a better word for sannyasins. When I was thinking what name to give to the new sannyasins, I couldn’t improve on it. Swami seems to be the best.

It means one who has thrown himself so completely he is no more; he has become the whole world, the master of all. Otherwise even emperors remain beggars; they go on desiring, asking and suffering.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fin you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

If you don’t distinguish between coarse and fine, good and bad, beauty and ugliness, this and that – if you don’t distinguish, if you don’t discriminate, you simply accept the whole as it is. You don’t put your mind in it, you don’t become a judge. You simply say, “It is so.”

The thorn is there, you say, “It is so.” The rose is there, you say, “It is so.” A saint is there, you say, “It is so.” A sinner is there, you say, “It is so.” And the whole knows; nobody else can know why a sinner exists. There must be some reason, but that is a mystery for the whole, not for you to bother about.

The whole gives birth to saints and sinners, thorns and roses – only the whole knows why. You simply fall into the whole and you don’t make any discriminations. You will also know why, but only when you have become the whole.

The mystery is solved when you have become the mystery itself. You cannot solve it remaining yourself. If you remain yourself, you will become a great philosopher. You will have many answers and no answer; you will have many theories but no truth. But if you become the mystery itself, you will know. But that knowledge is so delicate it cannot be put into words. That knowledge is so paradoxical it defies all language. That knowledge is so contradictory – because opposites lose boundaries, they become one – no word can say it.

The figure means the word and the background means the silence. In that knowledge the figure and the background have become one, the silence and the word have become one. How can you say it? But still it has to be said, because there are many who are thirsty for it. Even hearing about it, it may be that somebody’s heart starts on a journey. That’s why Sosan is saying these things.

Sosan knows they cannot be said, because whenever you say it you have to make discrimination. Whenever you say something, you have to choose a word. Whenever you have to say something, you prefer this to that and the mind enters.

But nobody has tried better than Sosan. He is incomparable. You cannot find another man who has put that silence into words so beautifully. Even a Buddha will feel jealous. This Sosan is really a Master – Master of silence and Master of words. He has put something into this world which doesn’t belong to this world. He has penetrated into words a deep silence of his experience.

Listen to his words – not only listen, imbibe. Let them melt into your heart. Don’t memorize them. Let them move into your bloodstream and become your blood and bones. Imbibe, eat them, digest them, and forget them. And they have tremendous power to transform.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Discourse #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Loneliness is Aloneness Misunderstood – Osho

You said the other day that we are born alone, we live alone and we die alone. Yet it seems as if from the day we are born, whatever we are doing, whoever we are, we seek to relate to others; in addition, we are usually attracted to being intimate with one person in particular. Would you please comment?

Dhyan Amiyo, the question that you have asked is the question of every human being. We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone. Aloneness is our very nature, but we are not aware of it. Because we are not aware of it, we remain strangers to ourselves, and instead of seeing our aloneness as a tremendous beauty and bliss, silence and peace, at-easeness with existence, we misunderstand it as loneliness.

Loneliness is a misunderstood aloneness. Once you misunderstand your aloneness as loneliness, the whole context changes. Aloneness has a beauty and grandeur, a positivity; loneliness is poor, negative, dark, dismal.

Everybody is running away from loneliness. It is like a wound; it hurts. To escape from it, the only way is to be in a crowd, to become part of a society, to have friends, to create a family, to have husbands and wives, to have children. In this crowd, the basic effort is that you will be able to forget your loneliness.

But nobody has ever succeeded in forgetting it. That which is natural to you, you can try to ignore – but you cannot forget it; it will assert again and again. And the problem becomes more complex because you have never seen it as it is; you have taken it for granted that you are born lonely.

The dictionary meaning is the same; that shows the mind of the people who create dictionaries. They don’t understand at all the vast difference between loneliness and aloneness. Loneliness is a gap. Something is missing, something is needed to fill it, and nothing can ever fill it because it is a misunderstanding in the first place. As you grow older, the gap also grows bigger. People are so afraid to be by themselves that they do any kind of stupid thing. I have seen people playing cards alone; the other party is not there. They have invented games in which the same person plays cards from both sides. Somehow one wants to remain engaged. That engagement may be with people, may be with work . . . There are workaholics; they are afraid when the weekend comes close – what are they going to do? And if they don’t do anything, they are left to themselves, and that is the most painful experience.

You will be surprised to know that it is on the weekends that most of the accidents in the world happen. People are rushing in their cars to resort places, to sea beaches, to hill stations, bumper to bumper. It may take eight hours, ten hours to reach, and there is nothing for them to do because the whole crowd has come with them. Now their house, their neighborhood, their city is more peaceful than this sea resort. Everybody has come.

But some engagement . . .

People are playing cards, chess; people are watching television for hours. The average American watches television five hours a day; people are listening to the radio . . . just to avoid themselves. For all these activities, the only reason is – not to be left alone; it is very fearful. And this idea is taken from others. Who has told you that to be alone is a fearful state?

Those who have known aloneness say something absolutely different. They say there is nothing more beautiful, more peaceful, more joyful than being alone.

But you listen to the crowd. The people who live in misunderstanding are in such a majority, that who bothers about a Zarathustra, or a Gautam Buddha? These single individuals can be wrong, can be hallucinating, can be deceiving themselves or deceiving you, but millions of people cannot be wrong. And millions of people agree that to be left to oneself is the worst experience in life; it is hell.

But any relationship that is created because of the fear, because of the inner hell of being left alone, cannot be satisfying. Its very root is poisoned. You don’t love your woman, you are simply using her not to be lonely; neither does she love you. She is also in the same paranoia; she is using you not to be left alone.

Naturally, in the name of love anything may happen – except love. Fights may happen, arguments may happen, but even they are preferred to being lonely: at least somebody is there and you are engaged, you can forget your loneliness. But love is not possible, because there is no basic foundation for love.

Love never grows out of fear.

You are asking, “You said the other day that we are born alone, we live alone and we die alone. Yet it seems as if from the day we are born, whatever we are doing, whoever we are, we seek to relate to others.”

This seeking to relate to others is nothing but escapism. Even the smallest baby tries to find something to do; if nothing else, then he will suck his own big toes on his feet. It is an absolutely futile activity, nothing can come out of it, but it is engagement. He is doing something. You will see in the stations, in the airports, small boys and girls carrying their teddy bears; they cannot sleep without them. Darkness makes their loneliness even more dangerous. The teddy bear is a great protection; somebody is with them.

And your God is nothing but a teddy bear for grown-ups.

You cannot live as you are. Your relationships are not relationships. They are ugly. You are using the other person, and you know perfectly well the other person is using you. And to use anybody is to reduce him into a thing, into a commodity. You don’t have any respect for the person.

“In addition,” you are asking, “we are usually attracted to being intimate with one person in particular.”

It has a psychological reason. You are brought up by a mother, by a father; if you are a boy, you start loving your mother and you start being jealous of your father because he is a competitor; if you are a girl, you start loving your father and you hate your mother because she is a competitor. These are now established facts, not hypotheses, and the result of it turns your whole life into a misery. The boy carries the image of his mother as the model of a woman. He becomes conditioned continuously; he knows only one woman so closely, so intimately. Her face, her hair, her warmth – everything becomes an imprint. That’s exactly the scientific word used: it becomes an imprint in his psychology. And the same happens to the girl about the father.

When you grow up, you fall in love with some woman or with some man and you think, “Perhaps we are made for each other.” Nobody is made for anyone. But why do you feel attracted towards one certain person? It is because of your imprint. He must resemble your father in some way; she must resemble your mother in some way.

Of course no other woman can be exactly a replica of your mother, and anyway you are not in search of a mother, you are in search of a wife. But the imprint inside you decides who is the right woman for you. The moment you see that woman, there is no question of reasoning. You immediately feel attraction; your imprint immediately starts functioning – this is the woman for you, or this is the man for you.

It is good as far as meeting once in a while on the sea beach, in the movie hall, in the garden is concerned, because you don’t come to know each other totally. But you are both hankering to live together; you want to be married, and that is one of the most dangerous steps that lovers can take.

The moment you are married, you start becoming aware of the totality of the other person, and you are surprised on every single aspect – “Something went wrong; this is not the woman, this is not the man” – because they don’t fit with the ideal that you are carrying within you. And the trouble is multiplied because the woman is carrying an ideal of her father – you don’t fit with it. You are carrying the ideal of your mother – she does not fit with it. That’s why all marriages are failures.

Only very rare marriages are not failures – and I hope God should save you from those marriages which are not failures, because they are psychologically sick. There are people who are sadists, who enjoy torturing others, and there are people who are masochists, who enjoy torturing themselves. If a husband and wife belong to these two categories, that marriage will be a successful marriage. One is a masochist and one is a sadist – it is a perfect marriage, because one enjoys being tortured and one enjoys torturing. But ordinarily it is very difficult to find out in the first place whether you are a masochist or a sadist, and then to look for your other polarity . . . If you are wise enough you should go to the psychologist and enquire who you are, a masochist or a sadist? and ask if he can give you some references which can fit with you.

Sometimes, just by accident, it happens that a sadist and masochist become married. They are the happiest people in the world; they are fulfilling each other’s needs. But what kind of need is this? – they are both psychopaths, and they are living a life of torture. But otherwise, every marriage is going to fail, for one simple reason: the imprint is the problem.

Even in marriage, the basic reason for which you wanted to have the relationship is not fulfilled. You are more alone when you are with your wife than when you are alone. To leave husband and wife in a room by themselves is to make them both utterly miserable. One of my friends was retiring; he was a big industrialist, and he was retiring because of my advice. I said, “You have so much and you don’t have a son; you have two daughters and they are married in rich families. Now why unnecessarily bother about all kinds of worries – of business, and income tax, and this and that? You can close everything; you have enough. Even if you live one thousand years, it will do.”

He said, “That’s true. The real problem is not the business, the real problem is I will be left alone with my wife. I can retire right now if you promise me one thing, that you will live with us. I said, “This is strange. Are you retiring or am I retiring?”

He said, “That is the condition. Do you think I am interested in all these troubles? It is just to escape from my wife.”

The wife was a great social worker. She used to run an orphanage, a house for widows, and a hospital particularly for people who are beggars and cannot pay for their treatment.

I also asked her in the evening, “Do you really enjoy all this, from the morning till the evening?”

She said, “Enjoy? It is a kind of austerity, a self-imposed torture.”

I said, “Why should you impose this torture on yourself?” She said, “Just to avoid your friend. If we are left alone, that is the worst experience in life.”

And this is a love marriage, not an arranged marriage. They married each other against the whole family, the whole society, because they belonged to different religions, different castes; but their imprints gave them signals that this is the right woman, this is the right man. And all this happens unconsciously. That’s why you cannot answer why you have fallen in love with a certain woman, or with a certain man. It is not a conscious decision. It has been decided by your unconscious imprint.

Amiyo, this whole effort – whether of relationships or remaining busy in a thousand and one things – is just to escape from the idea that you are lonely. And I want it to be emphatically clear to you that this is where the meditator and the ordinary man part. The ordinary man goes on trying to forget his loneliness, and the meditator starts getting more and more acquainted with his aloneness. He has left the world; he has gone to the caves, to the mountains, to the forest, just for the sake of being alone. He wants to know who he is. In the crowd, it is difficult; there are so many disturbances. And those who have known their aloneness have known the greatest blissfulness possible to human beings – because your very being is blissful.

After being in tune with your aloneness, you can relate; then your relationship will bring great joys to you, because it is not out of fear. Finding your aloneness you can create, you can be involved in as many things as you want, because this involvement will not anymore be running away from yourself. Now it will be your expression; now it will be the manifestation of all that is your potential.

Only such a man – whether he lives alone or lives in the society, whether he marries or lives unmarried makes no difference – is always blissful, peaceful, silent. His life is a dance, is a song, is a flowering, is a fragrance. Whatever he does, he brings his fragrance to it.

But the first basic thing is to know your aloneness absolutely.

This escape from yourself you have learned from the crowd. Because everybody is escaping, you start escaping. Every child is born in a crowd and starts imitating people; what others are doing, he starts doing. He falls into the same miserable situations as others are in, and he starts thinking that this is what life is all about. And he has missed life completely.

So I remind you, don’t misunderstand aloneness as loneliness. Loneliness is certainly sick; aloneness is perfect health.

Ginsberg visits Doctor Goldberg. “Ja, you are sick.”

“Not good enough. I want another opinion.”

“Okay,” said Doctor Goldberg, “you are ugly too.”

We are all committing the same kinds of misunderstandings continually.

I would like my people to know that your first and most primary step towards finding the meaning and significance of life is to enter into your aloneness. It is your temple; it is where your God lives, and you cannot find this temple anywhere else. You can go on to the moon, to Mars . . .

Once you have entered your innermost core of being, you cannot believe your own eyes: you were carrying so much joy, so many blessings, so much love . . . and you were escaping from your own treasures.

Knowing these treasures and their inexhaustibility, you can move now into relationships, into creativity. You will help people by sharing your love, not by using them. You will give dignity to people by your love; you will not destroy their respect. And you will, without any effort, become a source for them to find their own treasures too. Whatever you make, whatever you do, you will spread your silence, your peace, your blessings into everything possible.

But this basic thing is not taught by any family, by any society, by any university. People go on living in misery, and it is taken for granted. Everybody is miserable, so it is nothing much if you are miserable; you cannot be an exception.

But I say unto you: You can be an exception. You just have not made the right effort.

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #6, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Consciousness Minus Thinking is Samadhi – Osho

In the search for the first principle, silence is the door – the only door. And except it there is no way to approach the first principle. The first principle can be known only when you move to the primordial state of your being. Thinking is secondary. Existence precedes thinking, existence comes first. First you are, and then you start thinking. Thinking is secondary. Thinking is a shadow activity; it follows you. It cannot exist without you, but you can exist without it. Through thinking you can know secondary things, not the primary things. The most fundamental is not available to thinking; the most fundamental is available to silence.

Silence means a state of consciousness where no thought interferes.

The first principle is not far away, it is not distant. Never think for a single moment that you are missing it because it is very far away. No, not at all. It is the closest thing to you. It is the obvious thing. It surrounds you. It surrounds you just like the ocean surrounds a fish. You are in it. You are born in it and born out of it. You live in it, you breathe in it, and one day you disappear in it. It is not far away, not that you have to travel to it. It is there. It is already there around you, within and without. It is your very existence, that first principle.

Zen people call it the first principle; other religions call it God. There is no difference. The Zen approach is far better because with the word “God,” trouble starts. The first principle becomes personified; then you can create an image. You cannot make an image of the first principle, but that’s what all the religions do. They say, “God is the first cause, the uncaused cause, the most fundamental, the substantial, the substratum.” Zen people call it the first principle. It is beautiful to call it the first principle because nothing preceded it. Everything has followed it.

So if you want to have a communion with the first principle, you will have to seek and search for a reality within yourself which is original, which has not been preceded by anything else.

Silence is primordial. Sound exists in silence. Sound comes and goes, silence remains. Sound is like light, and silence is like darkness. Darkness remains; light comes and goes. Light needs some cause to be. Darkness needs no cause. No fuel is needed for darkness; it simply exists without any fuel. It exists as primordial existence. Darkness is eternal; light is momentary. In the morning the sun rises and there is light. By the evening the sun is gone, the light is gone. Don’t think that the darkness comes. Darkness never comes; it is always there. Light comes and goes. You burn a lamp and there is light. You blow out the lamp and light is gone. Not that darkness comes; darkness is there. Light is accidental; darkness is existential.

Silence is there. You can create sound; you cannot create silence. The moment sound is no more created there is silence. Thinking is sound; meditation is silence. So all the religions of the world have been searching for and seeking in one way or another that silence which has not been preceded by anything else, which is the first.

Now a few things before we analyze this state of silence.

First thing. Man is missing this first principle not because he is not a skilled thinker but because he is, not because he is not a trained logician but because he is. Thinking creates a screen around you, a screen of smoke, and because of that smoke the obvious is lost. To see the obvious, you need clarity, not thinking, not logic. You simply need clarity, you need transparency. Your eyes should be completely empty, naked – naked of all clothes, naked of all concepts, empty, empty of all thoughts. When the eyes are just empty, you can see the first principle, and not only can you see it as an object outside you, you see it as your own interiority, as your own subjectivity.

In fact, it is thinking that creates the distinction between the subject and the object. It is thinking that creates division. It is thinking that creates a split. It is thinking that makes things separate. Once thinking is dropped, existence is one, it is one unity, it is one orgasmic experience where duality is totally lost. All boundaries lose themselves into each other, merge into each other. Everything is joined to everything else. The smallest leaf of grass is joined to the greatest star. And then there is nothing high, nothing low, nothing good, nothing bad, because all is joined together. The greatest saint is joined to the greatest sinner; they are not separate.

Nothing is separate. With the disappearance of thinking, schizophrenia disappears, this existential schizophrenia of dividing everything: this is man, this is woman, this is good, this is bad, this is beautiful, this is ugly, this is mine, this is thine. All distinctions create neuroses. Man is mad because he thinks too much, and he goes on missing the obvious.

God is very obvious.

I have heard about a great philosopher:

He married a beautiful girl many years his junior. After a while he began to be torn by doubts as to her faithfulness

Natural for a philosopher to be torn by doubts. A philosopher lives in doubts; doubt is his trade. He doubts, and he goes on doubting. Through doubt he creates questions and then answers, and through doubt he makes more questions out of the answers. His whole life is a procession of doubts. Naturally, “he began to be torn by doubts as to her faithfulness.”

. . . So he hired a private detective to watch her while he left on a trip. On his return he called the detective.

“Out with it, out with it!” shouted the philosopher. “I can take it. It is the element of doubt that is driving me crazy.”

“It looks bad,” said the detective. “As soon as you left the house a handsome fellow called for your wife. I followed them to a night dub. They had four or five drinks and then danced – and very close. Then they went back to their table and held hands. Finally they took a cab back to your house. The lights were on, and I saw them walk into the bedroom and embrace. Then the light went out and I could not see any more.”

“What did I tell you?” shouted the philosopher. “That damned element of doubt!”

Now, even the obvious – “That damned element of doubt! ” Even the obvious is not obvious to a philosopher. The greater the philosopher, the more doubts he has. He has doubts about everything. He doubts even his own existence – which in fact cannot be doubted. How can you doubt your own existence? Even to doubt, you are needed to be there. The doubt cannot exist in the air. The doubt cannot exist without you. The doubt can exist only if you are there, but philosophers have been doubting even their own existence: Who knows whether we are or we are not?

Doubt is the only outcome of thinking. Non-thinking gives you trust, non-thinking gives you faith, non-thinking brings you closer to reality, face to face with reality. So the first thing to be understood: thinking is not a way to the first principle. Not through philosophizing will you arrive at the first principle, because philosophy is secondary. You can know secondary things through the secondary. To know the primary, you will have to achieve the primary within yourself. You can know only that which you are.

If you live in thinking, you will be able to know only secondary things. You will be able to know the shadow world, what Hindus call the world of maya. Through the mind you can know only the world of maya, the shadow world, the world of illusions. You will be surprised. In Sanskrit we have two terms. One is vidya; vidya means “knowledge”. Another is avidya; avidya means “nonknowledge”. And you will be surprised, in Sanskrit “science” is called avidya – “nonknowledge”. Science is called avidya. Why? Science knows more than anything else, but in Sanskrit they call science avidya. Why? Because science knows only the shadow world – knows the secondary, the nonessential; knows the object, misses the subject; knows the body, misses the soul; knows the world, misses God; knows the secondary.

To know the primary, you will have to become primary. You will have to fall into that wavelength where the primary pulsates, that silence. That is the state of no-mind. No-mind preceded your mind.

A child is born. He comes without any mind whatsoever; he simply exists. His existence is pure, unhampered by any thought, unhindered by any cloud. Look into the eyes of a child. They are so innocent, they are so transparent, so crystal clear. From where comes this clarity? This clarity comes from no-thought. The child still has not learned how to think, how to accumulate thoughts. He looks, but he cannot classify. If he looks at the trees, he cannot say they are trees, he cannot say they are green, he cannot say they are beautiful. He sees the trees, but no classification, no category. He has no language yet to be clouded with. He simply sees. Color is there, but he cannot say is color; green is there, but he cannot say it is green. Everything is purely clear, but he cannot label it. Hence the innocence of the eyes.

A man of understanding again attains the same eyes. He again becomes a child, as far as the clarity is concerned. Jesus is right when he says, “Become like small children; only then will you be able to enter into my kingdom of God.” He is not saying become foolish like children; he is not saying become childish; he is not saying learn tantrum again; he is not saying that a child is the last stage. No, he is saying simply one thing. He is not saying become a child; he is saying become like a child. How can you become a child again? But you can become like a child. If you can drop thinking, if this cloak of thinking is dropped and you become nude, again you will have the same clarity.

It happens sometimes through drugs. Not a very good way to attain it – very dangerous, very costly, and illusory – but it happens. Hence the appeal of the drugs down the ages. Drugs are not new in the world; even in the Vedas they talk about soma. Soma seems to be one of the most powerful drugs ever discovered by man. It must be something like LSD. Aldous Huxley has said that in the future, when the ultimate drug will be known, we will call it soma. From the Vedas, the ancient most book in the world, to Timothy Leary, man has always been attracted by drugs – alcohol, marijuana, opium. Why this attraction? And all the moralists have been against it, and all the puritans have been against it, and all the governments have tried to curb and control, but it seems beyond any government to control it. What has been the cause of it? It gives something … it gives a glimpse into the innocent mind of the child again.

Through chemical impact, the mind becomes loosened for a few moments or a few hours. Under the impact of the drug your thinking slips. You start looking into reality without thinking; again the world is colorful, as it is for the child; again in a small pebble you can see the greatest diamond; ordinary grass looks so extraordinary; an ordinary flower looks so tremendously beautiful; an ordinary human face looks so divine. Not that anything has changed. The whole world is the same. Something has changed in you – and that too only temporarily. Through the forceful drug your mind has slipped down. You don’t have the mask; you can see into things with clarity. That is the appeal of the drugs down the ages.

And unless meditation becomes available to millions of people, drugs cannot be prevented.

Drugs are dangerous because they can destroy your body’s equilibrium, they can destroy your nature, they can destroy your inner chemistry. You have a very delicate chemistry. Those strong drugs can destroy your rhythm. And more and more drugs will be needed and you will become addicted – and less and less will be the experience. By and by, the mind will learn how to cope with the drugs, and then, even under the drug, you will not attain to the state of innocence. Then you will need even stronger drugs.

So this is not a way.

The mind can be put aside very easily. There is no need to depend on anything chemical, on anything artificial. There is a natural possibility to get out of the mind, because we were born without minds. Deep down we are still no-minds. The mind is only on the periphery. That’s why I say it is just a cloak, a dress that you are wearing. You can slip out of it.

And one moment of slipping out of it will reveal to you a totally different world: the world of the first principle.

So the real fight in the future is going to be between meditation and drugs. In fact, that has always been the case: the real fight is between drugs and meditation, either drugs or meditation.

So it is not coincidental that when you start meditating by and by the pull of the drug becomes less and less. If it is not becoming less and less, then know well you are not meditating yet, because when you know the higher, the lower is dropped automatically.

But one thing has to be understood. Drugs do something; they UNDO something in you. They help you to get out of the mind. They give you courage to look into reality without thinking. For a moment the curtain slips, and suddenly you are aware that the world has a splendor. It had never had it before. You had passed through the same street and you had looked through the same trees and at the same stars and the same people, and today now everything suddenly is so luminous and everybody is so beautiful and everybody is afire with life, with love. A saint – one who has attained – lives in that state continuously, without any effort.

You were born as a no-mind. Let this sink into your heart as deeply as possible because through that a door opens. If you were born as a no-mind, then the mind is just a social product. It is nothing natural; it is cultivated. It has been put together on top of you. Deep down you are still free; you can get out of it. One can never get out of nature, but one can get out of the artificial any moment one decides to.

Existence precedes thinking. So existence is not a state of mind; it is a state beyond. To be is the way to know the fundamental, not to think. Science means thinking, philosophy means thinking, theology means thinking. Religion does not mean thinking. The religious approach is a nonthinking approach. It is more intimate, it brings you closer to reality. It drops all that hinders, it unblocks you; you start flowing into life. You don’t think that you are separate, looking. You don’t think that you are a watcher, aloof, distant. You meet, mingle, and merge into reality.

And there is a different kind of knowing. It cannot be called “knowledge”. It is more like love, less like knowledge. It is so intimate that the word “knowledge” is not sufficient to express it. The word “love” is more adequate, more expressive.

In the history of human consciousness, the first thing that evolved was magic. Magic was a combination of science and religion. Magic had something of the mind and something of the no-mind. Then out of magic grew philosophy. Then out of philosophy grew science. Magic was both no-mind and mind; philosophy was only mind; and then mind plus experimentation became science. Religion is a state of no-mind.

Religion and science are the two approaches to reality. Science approaches through the secondary; religion goes direct. Science is an indirect approach; religion is an immediate approach. Science goes round and round; religion simply penetrates to the heart of reality.

A few more things. Thinking can only think about the known – it can chew the already chewed. Thinking can never be original. How can you think about the unknown? Whatsoever you can manage to think will belong to the known. You can think only because you know. At the most, thinking can create new combinations. You can think about a horse who flies in the sky, who is made of gold; but nothing is new. You know birds who fly in the sky, you know gold, you know horses; you combine the three together. At the most, thinking can imagine new things, but it cannot know the unknown. The unknown remains beyond it. So thinking goes in a circle, goes on knowing the known again and again and again. It goes on chewing the chewed one. Thinking is never original.

And the first principle means to come upon reality originally, radically, to come upon reality without any mediator, to come upon reality as if you are the first person to exist and you come upon reality. That is liberating. That very newness of it liberates.

And when you come to know reality directly, it is never reduced to the known; the mystery remains. In fact, it becomes a deeper mystery than ever. The more you know, the more you feel that you don’t know. The more you know, the less you feel you know. The more you know, the more vast is the mystery of it. Religion is mysticism, religion is magic, because religion is a no-mind approach.

Thinking can think only about the known; it is repetitive. Philosophy is repetitive. You can go into the books of philosophy, into the history of philosophy, and you will see the same thing being repeated again and again – new phraseology, new words; new terms, new definitions, but nothing fundamentally different. From Thales to Bertrand Russell you can go on, but you will find the same thing being repeated again and again. The wheel moving: the same spokes come to the top again and again.

Science can experiment only with the objective; experimentation is possible only with the objective. You cannot experiment with the experimenter himself; there is no way. The subjective reality remains outside science. Einstein may know much about matter, but he does not know anything about himself. Newton may know much about gravitation, but he does not know who he is. One goes on accumulating knowledge about the objective world, and one remains in deep darkness within one’s own self. One’s own light is not yet there, and one goes on groping, experimenting.

Science can experiment only with the objective, philosophy can think only about the known, and the reality is beyond both. The reality is unknown – not only unknown, but unknowable – and the reality contains the subjective element. So the very methodology of philosophy and science prohibits coming to the fundamental, to the first principle. To come to the fundamental, you will have to find another door, a door other than science and philosophy. That door is religion.

And religion can be reduced to one word, and that word is “meditation,” or call it silence – to be in such a silence that you are almost not, there is no noise within you, the stillness is absolute. Only in that stillness something stirs, only in that stillness do you start hearing the still, small voice of the first principle – call it God or call it soul. Only then life calls forth life. Only then the source calls forth the source. Only then are you close to reality, hand in hand with the fundamental. And that is the search, that is what we are seeking; and without knowing it, without realizing it, there is going to be no fulfillment.

The last thing; then we enter into this small parable. When thinking disappears you are left with the first principle. It has always been there; you were not there just because of thinking. Now you are also there: two presences meet. Ordinarily you are absent, you are somewhere else. In your thoughts you are lost. When there is no thought you are here-now; then there is no way to go from here-now. Thought functions as a bridge to go away from yourself. The moment a thought has come in, you are already far away from yourself. When there is no thought, where can you go, how can you go? When there is no thought you have to be in the present. Thought can take you to the past, thought can take you to the future; no-thought brings you to the present. And only the present is. This moment is all there is.

When you are here-now, absolutely here-now, how can you miss the real, how can you miss God? When thinking disappears you are left with the first principle.

But when I say “when thinking disappears,” I am not saying “when you fall asleep,” because in deep sleep thinking does disappear. In the East we have divided human consciousness into four phases. The first phase we call “waking”, jagrat. Waking means “consciousness plus thinking”; you are conscious, but your mind is crowded with thoughts. The second state we have called “dreaming”, swapna. The second state means “unconsciousness plus thinking”; you fall asleep, but the thinking continues so there is dreaming. Dreaming is a way of thinking in sleep, and thinking is a way of dreaming while awake. Thinking and dreaming are not two separate things. Dreaming is only thinking in a very primitive language – the language of images. Then the third state we call sushupti: sleep, deep sleep, dreamless deep sleep. The third state is “unconsciousness minus thinking”; you are unconscious – you don’t know where you are, who you are, all consciousness has disappeared, you are at rest – and with the consciousness has disappeared thinking too, dreaming too.

These three are ordinary states: waking, dreaming, sleeping. We all know these three. The fourth is the state of meditation. The fourth is called samadhi, turya. It means” consciousness minus thinking”.

So four stages: consciousness plus thinking is waking, consciousness minus thinking is samadhi, unconsciousness plus thinking is dreaming, unconsciousness minus thinking is sleep.

So samadhi has something similar to waking and something similar to sleep; hence Patanjali has defined samadhi as “waking sleep” – sleep and yet not sleep. Sleep in the sense that there are no thoughts now, no dreams. And not sleep in the sense that you are perfectly aware, that the light of your awareness is there, that you are conscious, that you know that there is no knowledge now, that you are aware that all thinking has disappeared, that you are aware that now there is no dream lurking in your field of consciousness, that you are absolutely zero, shunyam.

This is the state that the East has been trying to achieve. The West has been too involved with science; hence it has missed religion. The East’s involvement is with samadhi: hence it has missed science.

These four states can be thought of in some other ways also. Consciousness plus thinking means waking. Science is a waking activity, so is philosophy, so is theology. Second, dreaming: unconsciousness plus thinking. That is what art is, poetry, painting, music. It is a dream activity, so it is not just accidental that we call the poets dreamers, that we call the artists dreamers, that we don’t trust them much – they are not reliable, they cannot be the guides to reality. We enjoy them, it is fun, but we cannot accept them as guides to reality – they are not. They live in fantasy. They dream while awake. Their eyes are full of dreams. So waking is science, philosophy, theology, logic; and art, all kinds of art, is dream activity.

Unconsciousness minus thinking means sleep. Of course all activity ceases in sleep, so nothing is born out of sleep – no science, no art.

Consciousness minus thinking is samadhi. Samadhi gives birth to religion. When Jesus attained to samadhi Christianity was born. When Nanak attained to samadhi Sikhism was born. When Buddha attained to samadhi Buddhism was born. Religion is born out of samadhi, the fourth state. What is samadhi? If you can stop your thinking and yet remain alert and don’t fall asleep. Difficult, arduous, one of the most difficult things, almost impossible. It is easy to be awake and thinking, it is easy not to think and fall asleep, but to remain awake and not think is the most difficult thing, because it is not part of evolution. It is a revolution. It is not given by nature automatically. You have to attain it.

That is the task man has to solve. That is the challenge given to man, and very few have accepted that challenge. And those who have accepted it, only they are man; others are man only for the name’s sake. We exist as potential man, not as actual man. It is our potentiality. We can become a Buddha or a Christ, but it has not happened yet. We are just seeds. That’s our misery because a seed can never be satisfied unless it becomes a tree and blooms. A seed will remain miserable because there is a feeling deep down that “I am not yet that which I am meant to be; my destiny is not fulfilled.”

Have you not observed this in you? If you had not observed it, you would not be here. You are here only because you feel something is missing. You are here only because you continuously feel that something has to happen and it is not happening, that something is just there by the corner and yet you cannot grasp it, seems to be not very far away, yet seems to be beyond reach. The tree is not very far away from the seed. If the seed finds the right soil, falls into the soil, relaxes, surrenders to the soil, dissolves into the soil, dies into the soil, then the tree is not very far away. In the right season the seed will sprout, a tender plant will be born, and the seed will be able to see the light.

Only when the seed has become a plant will it be able to feel the wind and the ecstasy that the wind is and be able to feel the sunrays and the ecstasy that the sun brings and be able to live and be able to accept the challenges and start growing. Come storm, come wind, come rains, and the small, tender plant will become stronger and stronger. Every challenge will give it strength and integration; and one day there will be a great tree whispering to the skies, it will bloom, and the fragrance will be released to the winds in all directions. Then there will be jubilation.

When Jesus says again and again to his children, to his disciples, “Rejoice!” what he is saying is true because he has become a tree and he has bloomed. But his disciples must have looked here and there, they must have thought, “What does he mean? Why does he go on saying again and again, ‘Rejoice’?” They are seeds; how can they rejoice?

When I say to you, “Celebrate!” you start thinking, “For what? Why? What have we got to celebrate?” You cannot celebrate because celebration is possible only when you bloom. I know it! But I go on saying, “Celebrate!” And Jesus knows it and he goes on saying, “Rejoice!” In fact, he wants to create such a thirst in you to know what this rejoicing is that out of that thirst you start seeking and searching for the right soil.

To find a right Master is to find a right soil because only through the Master will you be able to dissolve, only through the Master will you be able to surrender. A seed needs to surrender. A seed has to die; only then is there a new life born out of it. Death makes it possible. Death is tremendously beautiful: it makes it possible that a man can be new, a man can be reborn.

Samadhi is celebration, samadhi is rejoicing. Samadhi is your gratitude towards God, your thanksgiving.

How can you thank God right now? You have nothing to thank him for. You can complain, you cannot thank him; so your prayers are more of complaints, less of thanks. You cannot say, “Thank you.” How can you? For what? In fact, you are very angry with God. Why has he given birth to you? Why has he created so much misery? Why has he put you in such anguish and turmoil? Why in the first place? What wrong have you done? If suddenly you come across God you will jump upon him. That’s why he goes on hiding. You will kill him. You will say, “What have you been doing? For what are we suffering? What wrong have we done? Why did you make us in the first place? Not to be would have been better – no anxiety, no anguish. Not to be would have been more peaceful. Why did you create us?”

The whole existence seems to be mischievous. It seems as if somebody, a sadistic God, is sitting there, torturing people, creating a thousand and one ways to torture them.

Right now, you cannot thank him because right now you are not. When you are, you will be able to thank him. And the way to be goes through death, through surrender. And the way goes through silence. But it is not easy to be silent; it is the most arduous thing to be silent.

-Osho

From The First Principle, Discourse #3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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A Divine Abode

In my leaving darshan I told Osho I wanted to open a meditation center in Kansas City and he gave the name Devalayam. Devalayam means ‘divine abode.’ I bought a couple of series of discourses on cassette tape and several books and the center was on its way.

It was difficult at first returning to Kansas City. I was seeing friends I had passed through so much with and yet I felt myself to be in a very different place than when I had left three years earlier. Of course, there was a bit of the missionary in me who wanted to share as much as possible. I didn’t find much interest in hearing about Osho, even from my good friend that had first heard about Meher Baba with me many years ago on the Country Club Plaza.

I remember very clearly saying to myself, “Okay Bhagwan, I give up, you take over.” Very soon after giving up, I was sitting at some kind of spiritual gathering outdoors on grass in my orange clothes and mala when this guy sat down beside me. He was interested in whatever it was I was into. He was in a therapy group and had heard of Osho.

I found a house, or I should say a house found me, for a center. The house had some orange in it. I don’t remember if it was in the wallpaper, paint, or carpet, but it spoke loud and clear this was the house for Devalayam. Soon afterwards this fellow I had met moved in. We were holding meditations both at a local church gym and at the house. A small group was forming. In the daytime I drove school buses with a Yogi Bhajan Sikh.

One night around midnight the doorbell rang. Mark had forgotten his key. I opened the door stark naked. He had brought an older woman home who was interested in listening to some discourses of Osho. They came in and I set her up with a few discourses and she stayed through the night until sunrise, listening. Her name was Joyce Schlossman. She was the ex-wife of a very successful car dealer in Kansas City, Schlossman Ford. Joyce was in the same group as Mark and wanted to be a therapist herself.

Soon after I got the house, I was on my way to visit another old friend and passed by the Nelson Adkins Museum of Art. I saw a Chinese girl teaching Tai Chi on the grass. When I passed by again on my return trip she was still there, so I stopped and asked if she was taking students and she gave me the details of a new class that would be starting soon. Before long, Mark, myself, and another member of the Sikh community, who by the way had their center just two blocks up the street from Devalayam, were learning Tai Chi from Pearl. Pearl was nineteen at the time and a student at the Kansas City Art Institute. I had been smitten the first moment I saw her flow in Tai Chi.

Another therapist called to find out about the meditations. He had read Only One Sky (Tantra: The Supreme Understanding) and was very impressed. He had a practice down on the Plaza and was into the Baha’i movement. Soon there was a growing group which I tended to. I would go down to the Plaza once a week and have a raw vegetable lunch with Cliff the therapist and counsel him. Rather ironic really – me, this high school dropout twenty-six-year-old dressed in orange clothes counseling this white haired, highly respected psychologist during his lunch hour.

Mark took sannyas pretty early on and was making plans to go to Poona. Joyce soon became Ma Prem Kaveesha and I gave her a mala at Devalayam. Kaveesha had other friends that would come to the center and buy books and tapes and sometimes I would make house calls and deliver the goods. Kaveesha’s best friend was Joyce Price. Coincidentally, Joyce was the mother of Donna Price who had visited me in Madagascar. Joyce did not, however, like Osho and in fact resented the fact he had somehow taken her best friend away.

Soon another young fellow started attending the meditations regularly, and before too long moved into the house when Mark (now Prakash) left for Poona. He also took sannyas and became Sanmarg. Sanmarg left for Poona just a short while before I left in the spring. I never saw him again, but years later I saw news of his father. He had been estranged from his father when he was living at the house. His father, John Testrake, was a TWA pilot and in 1985 was the pilot of Flight 847. There is a famous photo of him being held hostage by terrorists with a gun to his head on the tarmac at the Beirut airport.

I continued my Tai Chi lessons with Pearl for months and gave her a copy of one of Osho’s books No Water, No Moon. She had it for months and never said a word about it, so finally I asked her if she was enjoying it, and she was. I had not talked to her about Osho in all that time. Finally, after months of my surrendering to her Tai Chi tutelage, I asked her out. Our first date was to a performance by Marcel Marceau, which was interesting because she said she felt comfortable with me speaking very little. We enjoyed the time mostly in silence.

Kaveesha had gone off to Poona, and while there Osho had told her she would be his Tantra leader. When Kaveesha returned, she shared her energy and her presence with many others, and a few more of her people took sannyas.

Spring happened and Pearl and I were living together. Pearl took sannyas and was given the name Ma Prem Sagara* (ocean of love). We made plans to go to India together. It would be an overland trip through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and into India.

Cliff, the psychologist, had decided to go to Poona to take sannyas. We hoped to meet up there but I had no idea when Sagara and I would actually arrive. Prakash had come back from Poona and would take over the center as well as my car.

So in a little less than nine months, and after letting go of my own ideas, a center was flourishing in the heartland.

*Many years later Sagara would receive a new name, Sumati (wisdom).

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

 

My “Now” Contains “This” and “That” – Osho

In lecture yesterday you spoke about the Master’s work: keeping his disciples from settling for less than “freedom from the self”. In the West, much is made of the experience that “This is it,” that nothing can be different than it is – right now!

Is this a copper mind experience?  How can there be anything else?

Deva Sambuddha, I also say This Is It, but when I say this is it, it has a totally different meaning. It is not the same statement as it is being made in the West. The statement in itself has no meaning of its own; the meaning comes through your experience.

Man can live on different planes. When Gautam the Buddha says “This is it!” he is using the same words as you use. The words are exactly the same and the dictionary meaning is the same, but the existential meaning is totally different; it may be even diametrically opposed to your meaning.

In the West it has become fashionable to say that this is all, to live right now is all there is. But the people who are saying it have no idea of meditativeness, have no idea of absolute silence, thoughtless awareness, they have not experienced witnessing. Hence what they are saying – “This is it” – is nothing more significant than their mind.

So if your mind is full of lust, your “this is it” will be only lust and nothing else. If your mind is full of greed, full of anger, full of jealousy, then how it can have the same meaning as it has when Chuang Tzu says “This is it”? It is not possible to have the same meaning. Meaning comes from the person, his presence, his realization.

The West has got clichés from the East. Now Zen has become very fashionable in the West, not that the West is capable yet to understand Zen. Zen, the very word “Zen”, comes from dhyana. Buddha never used himself Sanskrit language; he was the first enlightened person in India who used the language of the people. That was one of the things that made the priesthood, the brahmins of India, to be antagonistic to Buddha. Amongst many things that was one of the major, because the priests of India have always used Sanskrit as their language, it was their property. And only the scholarly people could understand it; the masses were absolutely ignorant about it. Hence what was written in the scriptures was known only to the few priests, and of course through that knowledge they were powerful. And they never wanted it to be known by the masses, otherwise their power will be lost, their vested interests will be destroyed.

Buddha was the first man who dynamited their whole establishment. He used the language of the people; the language of the people in Buddha’s time was Pali. In Pali, dhyana is pronounced as jhana. Because Buddha used the word jhana it changed its color. When it reached China through Bodhidharma it became Ch’an, because in Chinese jhana cannot be written; in Chinese there is no alphabet. The Chinese is a pictorial language, so the closest picture that they had which could express the word jhana was ch’an or ch’ana.

And from China it reached Japan. They use the same pictorial language, but their pronunciations are different. In Japan it became Zen; in a way it came back to the original place. It came closer to Buddha’s Jhana; it became Zen.

Now the West has not yet understood what it is all about, but Zen has an appeal for the simple reason because it is very absurd, illogical, paradoxical. And the West has become fed up with logical philosophies – with Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein – it has become fed up. From Aristotle to Wittgenstein, two thousand years of logical thinking has not led anywhere except to a point where West feels that life is absolutely meaningless and accidental. Now this is the right situation for any illogical philosophy to become fashionable.

The western painting has become illogical. You can see it in Picasso, Dali, Cezanne and other painters: the painting has become absolutely illogical, absurd. The poetry has become illogical – Ezra Pound and others. You can read it, but you will not find any meaning in it. The novels, the plays, all other art forms have taken a turn; they have become very illogical. This illogicalness is the outcome of two thousand years of logical effort which has completely failed: it has not provided any significance and meaning to man’s life.

In the same flood of illogicalness, Zen also has become influential, but the reasons for its influence are totally different. It is not that the West has experienced meditation – it is simply a reaction against logic that Zen has become a great appeal. The absurd anecdotes. the absurd lives of the Zen Masters – seems to be appealing because it has no logical construction.

A great Zen Master, Ryokan, is known in Japan as the Great Fool – a great Master, of the same caliber as Buddha, is known as the Great Fool for the simple reason because his whole life was absurd, unpredictable. If you ask him a question he may hit you on the head; if you don’t ask him a question he may hit you on the head. He used to say, “Ask me a question and I will beat you; don’t ask me a question and I will beat you!” He used to throw his disciples…

Once he cut one of his disciples’ finger with a knife, and when the finger was cut and the disciple was in deep agony, he said, “This is it!” And in that moment the disciple became enlightened – because he was meditating for twenty years. Don’t forget those twenty years! In the West those twenty years are completely forgotten. Those twenty years have brought this climax. At the right moment the Master gave the last push. He wanted to bring him to the present, and cutting the finger is so painful that you cannot think of the past, you cannot think of the future, you cannot fantasize any more. For a moment everything stops. It is like an electric shock – you are suddenly here-now. But those twenty years of meditation had created a different quality: the shock became a satori. Just by cutting somebody’s finger, you cannot make him enlightened, but Ryokan did the miracle.

Ryokan lived in such a way that anybody will call him a fool, an idiot, and he enjoyed the word “idiot” very much; he himself used to call himself an idiot. He will forget his robe; will reach to the marketplace naked – with his shoes on! He will forget about everything.

He had written a list of things that he has to take when he goes out, and he has pasted the list on the door so that he can look at the list, that what things he had to carry: his staff, his robes, the shoes, the cap. And even this was written: “Where you have to put the cap – on the head.” Otherwise he will forget, he may put the shoes on the head! But still the same thing continued – because he will forget to read the list.

This Ryokan helped many people to become enlightened. His illogical ways, his absurd methods proved of tremendous help. Now in the West people will love Ryokan; they will feel at ease with him. They are fed up with Aristotle. Aristotle has become “Aristotlitis” – a great disease! They don’t want to do anything with Aristotle; they want something more alive, something more paradoxical because life is paradox; it is not logic.

Remember it, that life is not logical and cannot be understood by just logic. Life is far more than logic, far bigger than logic. It is not arithmetic. So there are planes to understand.

The West is not yet capable of being here-now; he has only heard the word. And there are different motives why the western youth, particularly the new generation, has become infatuated with Zen-like things. The Third World War is gathering around. Life seems to be very fragile; it had never been so before. Wars have always been there – in three thousand years we have fought five thousand wars – so war is not a new thing, but something new has happened. The Third World War will be the last war, it will be a total war. It will destroy not only humanity but all life from the earth. And the clouds are becoming darker and coming closer every day. It is creating a great fear. The western new generation is freaking out.

And now because the world can end, the whole future Zen seems to be appealing: Live here and live now because there is no future. Tomorrow may never arrive. This is a totally different reason why West has become interested in right now.

Sambuddha, this has to be remembered: the motive is different. The eastern mystics, from Buddha to Ryokan, were talking about the beauty of now-here for totally different reasons. Not that there is no future – there is infinite future, eternity – but the future never comes. All that comes is now; now is the only reality. When future comes, it also comes in the form of now. When tomorrow comes it will come as today, so you have to learn the art of being here, living today, because tomorrow will come but it will also be another today. And if you know how to live this day you will know how to live that day which will be coming. This was a totally different vision.

These are the four planes which have to be understood. First is the body. On the bodily plane, the man who lives identified with the body, if he says, “This is it,” he will only mean food and sex and nothing else. His “this is it” will contain only of two things, food and sex, which are not very different either. Food is nourishment for you; you cannot survive without food. And sex is nourishment for the coming generations; they cannot survive without sex. Your parents’ sex has created you; your sex will create your children. The society needs sex as food; it is food, it is survival for the society, just as food is your survival.

Food and sex are deeply connected. Hence it always happens if somebody starts controlling sex, becomes a celibate, he will start eating more; he will substitute his sexuality by food. It almost always happens when women get married they start becoming fatter, for the simple reason that before marriage they are interested in sex, after marriage they become fed up with it. They start feeling as if the man is exploiting their bodies. Reluctantly they go into it, but they are fed up. Then their interest changes towards food.

And the people who starve themselves for any reason – maybe naturopathy, dieting, or some religious reason, fasting – the people who will starve themselves will become full of sexual fantasies. Hence Jain monks are more full of sexual fantasies than anybody else, because of the fasting. It is a natural change: their energy starts moving from one pole to another.

Sambuddha, anybody who knows only his body, his “this is it” simply means food and sex. That’s what is happening in institutes like Esalen – food and sex. That’s what is happening all over America. Sambuddha comes from America.

The second plane is mind. With food and sex, you can have pleasure and pain. On the body level, if your body is satisfied, you will have a pleasant feeling; if it is not satisfied you will feel pain. The second phenomenon above the body is mind. Mind goes a little higher than pleasure; it starts experiencing happiness and unhappiness. With body there is only duality, food and sex, only two dimensions; with mind there are many dimensions. Mind opens up a greater world: music, poetry, painting, dance, et cetera, et cetera. It opens up many dimensions; you can enjoy more.

With the first you are just like an animal; your “this is it” will be nothing but animalistic. With the second, if you know that you are more than the body, higher than the body, you will have many dimensions, more richness. You become human; you rise above animals. When you say, “This is it,” now it will be music, poetry, painting, dance; it will have a totally different meaning.

On the third plane is the soul, the self. With the body the duality; with the mind, manyness, multitude; with soul only oneness, and that is meditation. You will know the real meaning of “this is it” only when you arrive at the third point.

And with the fourth… In the East we have called it the fourth, simply “the fourth”, turiya; we have not given it any name because no name is possible, it is inexpressible. With the fourth, turiya, there is neither two nor many nor one. You can call it either wholeness or nothingness. Buddha used the word “nothingness”, Isa Upanishad uses the word “wholeness”; they mean the same thing. The zero symbolizes both, nothing and the whole. This is the state of bliss, ecstasy.

On the body level pleasure is opposed by pain; on the mind level happiness is opposed by unhappiness; on the soul level joy is opposed by misery. But on the fourth, bliss is not opposed by anything; bliss has no polar opposite to it.

Where you are on these four planes will make the difference. When I say, “This is it,” I am talking from the fourth plane. And when in America, in the institutes like Esalen, people are talking about “this is it,” they are talking about the first plane, the body.

You ask me, In the West, much is made of the experience that “This is it,” that nothing can be different than it is – right now!

Yes, nothing can be different than it is, but you can be different. The world is the same – to the Buddha, to the enlightened, to the unenlightened – but you are different and that makes the difference. That’s the difference that makes the difference. The world is the same – Buddha moves here, you move here, gods live here, dogs live here – it is the same world. But because their awareness is different, their depth and height is different, their “this is it” will be different too, their now will also be different.

So, when I am talking about now, my “now” contains “this” and “that” both. When in the West people are talking about now, their now only contains “this”.

Remember what the Isa Upanishad says: This is whole. That is whole. The whole comes from the whole, still the whole remains behind.

This is the fourth state, turiya, the ultimate state beyond which nothing happens. Unless you have reached to it, Sambuddha, you are living at the copper mine. You have to move to the silver mine, then to the gold mine, and then to the diamond mine, and then to the beyond.

-Osho

From I Am That, Discourse #14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Like the Empty Sky it has no Boundaries – Osho

And now this profound sutra.

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

Replace ‘it’ by ‘God’ and you will immediately understand – but Zen people don’t use the word ‘God’, they say ‘it’.

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

If you start looking for the sky you will never find it. If you start searching and you become very serious you will never find the sky. Where will you find the sky? The sky is not somewhere, it is everywhere and that which is everywhere cannot be searched for. You cannot locate it; you cannot say it is in the north, you cannot say it is in the south, you cannot say it is there – because it is everywhere. That which is everywhere cannot be found somewhere. And where will you search? You will be rushing into the sky itself, here and there. And it is all sky. God is like the sky, like the empty sky.

It has no boundaries so it cannot be defined. You cannot say where it begins and where it ends. It is eternal, it is infinite – yet it is right in this place, just in front of you. If you are relaxed it is there; if you become tense it disappears.

A Zen Master used to say, ‘It is clear and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern. Had he known what fire was he could have cooked his rice much sooner.’

Now with a lighted lantern you are searching for fire and you are carrying fire in your hands all the time. Yes, the Zen Master was right: had he known what fire was he could have cooked his rice much sooner. You could have always cooked your rice much sooner. And you are hungry, and you have been hungry for centuries, for eternity. And you have been searching for fire with a lighted lantern in your hand.

People go on asking where God is and he is just in front of you. He surrounds you. He is in and he is out because only he is. But Zen people call it ‘it’ so that you don’t get trapped into the word ‘God’.

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

Why? Because when you want to know it your very wanting becomes a tense state of affairs. You become narrow. You become concentrated. When you seek to know it, you cannot see it. You miss – because it can be seen only when you are utterly relaxed, when you are open from everywhere, when you are not concentrated.

Listen to it. Ordinarily people who don’t know what meditation is, write that meditation is concentration. There are thousands of books in which you will find this statement, this utterly stupid statement – that meditation is concentration. Meditation is not concentration – it is the last thing that meditation can be. In fact, concentration is just the diametrically opposite. In concentration you are very tense, focused, looking for something. Yes, concentration is good if you are looking for tiny things. If you are searching for an ant, concentration is perfectly good – but not good for God. God is so vast, so tremendously vast. If you look with concentration, you will find an ant, not God. For God you have to be utterly open, unconcentrated, open from every side, not searching, not looking. An unfocussed consciousness is what meditation is – unfocussed consciousness. […]

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

So the very effort to see it, the very desire to see it becomes a barrier. Don’t seek God. Don’t seek truth. Rather, create the situation of unfocusedness and God comes to you, it comes to you. It is there. […] God is unconditionally available.

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

You cannot take hold of it, but you cannot lose it.

See the beauty of this statement. You cannot take hold of it. If you want to possess God you will not be able to. God cannot be possessed. […]

Life cannot be possessed because life is God. Existence cannot be possessed because existence is God.

You see a beautiful flower – a rose – on a bush, and you immediately take it away from the bush. You want to possess it. You have killed it. Now you put it in your buttonhole – it is a dead flower, it is a corpse, it is no more beautiful. How can a dead thing be beautiful? It is just a memory and it is fading. It was so alive on the bush; it was so beautiful on the bush. It was so young and so happy and there was dance in it and there was a song around it. You killed all. Now you are carrying a dead flower in your buttonhole.

And this is what we are doing in everything. Whether it is beauty, love, God, we want to possess.

You cannot take hold of it – remember.

But you cannot lose it.

So beautiful. Yes, you cannot possess it, but there is no way to lose it either. It is there. It is always there. If you are just silent you will start feeling it. You have to fall in tune with it. You have to become silent so you can listen to it. You have to become silent so the dance of God can penetrate you, so God can vibrate in you, so God can pulsate in you. You have to drop your rush, your hurry, your ideas to go somewhere, to reach, to become, to be this and that. You have to stop becoming. And it is there; you cannot lose it.

In not being able to get it, you get it.

In not being able to get it, you get it. The moment you understand that you cannot possess it, and you drop your possessiveness, it is there – and you have got it. The moment you understand that love cannot be possessed, a great understanding has arisen in you. And now you will have it, and you will have it forever. You cannot exhaust it.

But you will have it only when you have got the point that it cannot be possessed, that there is no way to get it.

This is the Zen paradox – Zen is the path of paradox. It says that if you want to possess God, please don’t possess him – and you will possess him. If you want to possess love, don’t possess, and it is there and it is always yours. You cannot lose it; it is not possible to lose it.

When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent. […]

Either you speak’ and God is not there, or God speaks and you are not there. If you dissolve, disappear, then you hear him. Then he is speaking from everywhere – from every chirping of every bird and from every murmur of every brook and from every wind passing through every pine. He is everywhere – but you fall silent.

When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent.

The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, and no crowd is blocking the way.

There is no competition, there is nobody blocking your way, there are no competitors. You need not be in a hurry. You need not make any effort to grab. There is nobody competing with you and there is nobody standing in front of you – only God, only God. You can relax. You need not be afraid that you will miss it. You cannot miss it in the very nature of things. You cannot lose him. You relax.

All these statements are just to help you to relax. God cannot be lost – relax. There is nobody blocking the way – relax. There is no hurry because God is not something in time – relax.

There is nowhere to go because God is not distant on some star – relax. You cannot miss in the very nature of things – relax.

The whole message of all these paradoxical statements is – relax. It can be condensed into one thing – relax. Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.

That’s what Zen calls satori . . . utter relaxation of your being; a state of your consciousness where there is no becoming left; when you are not an achiever anymore; when you are not going anywhere; when there is no goal; when all goals have disappeared and all purposes have been left behind; when you are, simply are. In that moment of isness you dissolve into totality and a new tick arises that has never been there. That tick is called satori, samadhi, enlightenment. It can happen in any situation – whenever you fall in tune with the whole.

-Osho

From Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.1, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

By Itself Nothing has Existence – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: As I listen to you, I find that it is useless to ask you questions. Whatever the question, you invariably turn it upon itself and bring me to the basic fact that I am living in an illusion of my own making and that reality is inexpressible in words. Words merely add to the confusion and the only wise course is the silent search within.

Maharaj: After all, it is the mind that creates illusion and it is the mind that gets free of it. Words may aggravate illusion; words may also help dispel it. There is nothing wrong in repeating the same truth again and again until it becomes reality. Mother’s work is not over with the birth of the child. She feeds it day after day, year after year until it needs her no longer. People need hearing words, until facts speak to them louder than words.

Q: So we are children to be fed on words?

M: As long as you give importance to words, you are children.

Q: All right, then be our mother.

M: Where was the child before it was born? Was it not with the mother? Because it was already with the mother it could be born.

Q: Surely, the mother did not carry the child when she was a child herself.

M: Potentially, she was the mother. Go beyond the illusion of time.

Q: Your answer is always the same. A kind of clockwork which strikes the same hours again and again.

M: It can not be helped. Just like the one sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated. When l repeat: ‘I am, I am’, I merely assert and re-assert an ever-present fact. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence — both.

Q: You say that the little girl is already the mother of her future child. Potentially — yes. Actually — no.

M: The potential becomes actual by thinking. The body and its affairs exist in the mind.

Q: And the mind is consciousness in motion and consciousness is the conditioned (saguna) aspect of the Self. The unconditioned (nirguna) is another aspect and beyond lies the abyss of the absolute (paramartha).

M: Quite right — you have put it beautifully.

Q: But these are mere words to me. Hearing and repeating them is not enough, they must be experienced.

M: Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer which prevents you from focussing the inner. It cannot be helped; you cannot skip your sadhana. You have to turn away from the world and go within, until the inner and the outer merge and you can go beyond the conditioned, whether inner or outer.

Q: Surely, the unconditioned is merely an idea in the conditioned mind. By itself it has no existence.

M: By itself nothing has existence. Everything needs its own absence. To be, is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there, to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise. Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything determined by conditions (gunas). As water remains water regardless of the vessels, as light remains itself regardless of the colours it brings out, so does the real remain real, regardless of conditions in which it is reflected. Why keep the reflection only in the focus of consciousness? Why not the real itself?

Q: Consciousness itself is a reflection. How can it hold the real?

M: To know that consciousness and its content are but reflections, changeful and transient, is the focussing of the real. The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.

Q: Only necessary, or also sufficient?

M: One must also know that a rope exists and looks like a snake. Similarly, one must know that the real exists and is of the nature of witness-consciousness. Of course it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realise the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned.

Q: Can the unconditioned be experienced?

M: To know the conditioned as conditioned is all that can be said about the unconditioned. Positive terms are mere hints and misleading.

Q: Can we talk of witnessing the real?

M: How can we? We can talk only of the unreal, the illusory, the transient, the conditioned. To go beyond, we must pass through total negation of everything as having independent existence. All things depend.

Q: On what do they depend?

M: On consciousness. And consciousness depends on the witness.

Q: And the witness depends on the real?

M: The witness is the reflection of the real in all its purity. It depends on the condition of the mind. Where clarity and detachment predominate, the witness-consciousness comes into being. It is just like saying that where the water is clear and quiet, the image of the moon appears. Or like daylight that appears as sparkle in the diamond.

Q: Can there be consciousness without the witness?

M: Without the witness it becomes unconsciousness, just living. The witness is latent in every state of consciousness, just like light in every colour. There can be no knowledge without the knower and no knower without his witness. Not only you know, but you know that you know.

Q: If the unconditioned cannot be experienced, for all experience is conditioned, then why talk of it at all?

M: How can there be knowledge of the conditioned without the unconditioned? There must be a source from which all this flows, a foundation on which all stands. Self-realisation is primarily the knowledge of one’s conditioning and the awareness that the infinite variety of conditions depends on our infinite ability to be conditioned and to give rise to variety. To the conditioned mind the unconditioned appears as the totality as well as the absence of everything. Neither can be directly experienced, but this does not make it not-existent.

Q: Is it not a feeling?

M: A feeling too is a state of mind. Just like a healthy body does not call for attention, so is the unconditioned free from experience. Take the experience of death. The ordinary man is afraid to die, because he is afraid of change. The jnani is not afraid because his mind is dead already. He does not think: ‘I live’. He knows: ‘There is life’. There is no change in it and no death. Death appears to be a change in time and space. Where there is neither time nor space, how can there be death? The jnani is already dead to name and shape. How can their loss affect him? The man in the train travels from place to place, but the man off the train goes nowhere, for he is not bound for a destination. He has nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to become. Those who make plans will be born to carry them out. Those who make no plans need not be born.

Q: What is the purpose of pain and pleasure?

M: Do they exist by themselves, or only in the mind?

Q: Still, they exist. Never mind the mind.

M: Pain and pleasure are merely symptoms, the results of wrong knowledge and wrong feeling. A result cannot have a purpose of its own.

Q: In God’s economy everything must have a purpose.

M: Do you know God that you talk of him so freely? What is God to you? A sound, a word on paper, an idea in the mind?

Q: By his power I am born and kept alive.

M: And suffer, and die. Are you glad?

Q: It may be my own fault that I suffer and die. I was created unto life eternal.

M: Why eternal in the future and not in the past. What has a beginning must have an end. Only the beginningless is endless.

Q: God may be a mere concept, a working theory. A very useful concept all the same!

M: For this it must be free of inner contradictions, which is not the case. Why not work on the theory that you are your own creation and creator. At least there will be no external God to battle with.

Q: This world is so rich and complex — how could I create it?

M: Do you know yourself enough to know what you can do and what you cannot? You do not know your own powers. You never investigated. Begin with yourself now.

Q: Everybody believes in God.

M: To me you are your own God. But if you think otherwise, think to the end. If there be God, then all is God’s and all is for the best. Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful heart. And love all creatures. This too will take you to your Self.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From I Am That, Chapter #39, By Itself Nothing has Existence.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.

You can read more from U.G. Krishnamurti here.

Being a Light Unto Myself – Dayanand Bharati

A lot of water has flowed down the Ganga since that article about the addiction. I had transcended alcohol addiction and sobriety then. It is not quite correct that “I” had transcended them. Transcendence happened after “I” had failed absolutely, completely. Only through the power of awareness and watching, both had disappeared in a blaze of grace never to be seen or heard of again.

The first true transformation had happened in my life. It was real. It was a miracle. I was in awe, and the mind still cannot comprehend it, even now, because he was left out of the loop. I mean something that was such a strong destructive habit for almost half my life, suddenly just gone, evaporated like it never existed from one moment to the next. This was a key experience; I knew this key could be used to transcend the mind itself, and not just part of it.

Many changes happened right after this transformation. I was filled with love and gratitude. All doubt about myself was erased from my mind forever. I knew that truth existed. It was clear confirmation that transcendence is possible − I had experienced it − even on just this small scale of the personal mind, the impact was mind blowing, literally. I had been on the right path, I was not in some kind of spiritual illusion about myself, because even in all that time I had been with my master, I never had an experience that confirmed that I was on the right path, never proof, except his acceptance of me and my love and trust for him. Of course many other things happened on the emotional and mental plane but never this final proof, this dropping into another dimension, this falling out of polarity. But now this was it, the first real transformation made it all real. I was free now of all unconscious layers, free of the hidden influences that had directed this life so far.

I was conscious of myself as part of existence and no longer part of society. I was free of all the games society plays. I had nothing to do with it anymore; there was nothing I wanted from the outer world. Therefore, anxiety dropped away immediately, replaced by a natural trust in existence.

I was loved, accepted and embraced by life, I was ultimately worthy to be alive. I looked at myself now, not anymore at others. I had asked my whole life, the other, the woman, the mother image to confirm me, give me worth and value, love me, or the lover, to satisfy me, give me bliss and fulfillment. But I was asking a mirror image, there was nobody in this reflection, only my own projections, nobody really there, only the reflection echoing back, asking the same from me. As if when I look in my bathroom mirror and ask, “Do you love me?” What will happen?  Will the reflection say, “Yes!” No, the reflection will say, “Do you love me?” There was no other!

To me, this is best described by a small anecdote my beloved master Osho told once. I don’t recall in which discourse so I write it as I remember it. My master had a friend who had a butcher shop in his village. (It must be a made up story. No Jain, even an enlightened one, ever walks into a butcher shop.) Anyway, he liked the man and he dropped in occasionally to say hello. One day just before closing time, my master stopped by and asked how his day was. The butcher said he had had a great day today, “I sold all my meat except for this chicken here.”

That very moment, the shop door burst open and a customer rushed in, “Ahh, glad I made it. I have some friends over for dinner today and need a chicken.” The Butcher winked at my master and put the chicken on the scale, “$5.00 please,” he said. “Hmmm,” said the customer, “Do you have a bigger one?” Without hesitation the butcher walked back in his storeroom with the chicken, made some noise and came back with the same chicken. He slapped it on the scale and said, “This one will be $7.” “Tell you what,” said the customer, “I will take them both.”

Now, there is only one chicken. My master said there is always only one chicken. Asking for both will reveal the truth! That there is not two! Being alert, watching, looking, inquiring is asking for both.

Love this story!

The Steps that Led to Transcendence

I want to elaborate on the steps that led to this transcendence because this is a key that can be applied to transcend any duality. And, it can be used by anyone.

Before the transformation from getting drunk and trying to control it, I had always believed I was going in a straight line, from this point to that, from unhappiness to happiness, from addiction to sobriety, from dependence to independence. And to get there I just had to try hard enough, give it my all and one bright sunny day . . . it will happen. I will arrive at my final destination. I will be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. And when it didn’t happen, as I had hoped, the reverse attitude kicked in, no matter how hard I try, I will never make it. I will be never be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. But in the struggle to be free of the drunkard, I became aware that I was not going in a straight line at all. I became aware of the circle, going from negative to positive and back again to negative, from addict to anti-addict back to addict . . . from unhappiness to happiness back to unhappiness, round and round . . .

If I follow a straight road and keep going and going, I will eventually drive around the planet and arrive exactly where I am now. The same with the mind. Previously, I had never been aware of this fact, because the opposite was always hidden in the unconscious, half of the globe hidden in the dark night.

The invisible road appears non-existent, that is why it looks like it is a straight line. A half circle looks like a straight line going from dawn to dusk, from here to there. The other half is dark, unconscious, hidden, but somehow, through watching my mind and by trying, digging myself out of myself hopelessly, I had brought eventually light to that dark hidden part. I suddenly saw the whole mind. I stood apart. I saw the full circle not just a half. I became aware that they are one whole, one dynamic and not two separate things.

It changed everything!

If you make a circle, the end and beginning meet – only then is the circle complete. If you become a circle, whole, total, in you will meet the beginning and the end. You will be the very source of the world and you will be the very climax of the world. You will be both the alpha and the omega. And unless you become that, something is incomplete; and when something is incomplete you will remain miserable. The only misery that I know is being incomplete. The whole being tends to be complete, needs to be complete, and the incomplete becomes a torture. The incompletion is the only problem. And when you become complete, the end and the beginning meet in you. God as the source and God as the ultimate flowering meet in you.

-Osho, The Hidden Harmony, Discourse #4.

It is not that the mind saw that, he cannot, he is not able to look around the full circle, around the whole globe. The mind, just like the eyes, can always only see half, the front or the back, the up or the down. The eyes can never see front and back, up and down, at the same time. That is the limitation of the mind and body.

Only awareness can see all, no, not see, be all, rooted at the center with full awareness of all that is. Being aware of that, I could not be in illusion anymore that one day I will be fulfilled, that this mind would one day arrive at the destination of one side only, and stay there. There was no destination. A circle has no end, no arrival point, it just goes round and round, on and on, like the horses on a merry-go-round.

Understanding this clearly, the turning in happened, the “letting go” happened, the transformation happened. Addict and anti-addict evaporated into awareness, into the heart of being, because reaching anywhere was not possible. Choice was not possible. Choice was an illusion.

I would never reach one side because there is no one side. There are always two sides, like breathing in and breathing out. There cannot be only breathing in, or only breathing out. But the mind believes that this is possible, that is the illusion.

I would never attain fulfillment of any of my desires because they are all based in duality. There was no love waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, or security, or happiness. There were always both waiting for me. Love and hate, happiness and unhappiness, life and death. If I am in love unaware, hate is waiting in the basement for its turn, because love is based on hate and vice versa. They are each other’s contrast. How would I know what love is if I did not know hate, its opposite?

Seeing this, understanding this, choice was now irrelevant. I would always end up at the opposite again sooner or later. The illusion that I was going somewhere, that I was growing, winning, that one day I would arrive at my goal, was only an illusion, and that I will be condemned forever, lost in eternal despair was also only one side of the coin. It is like a chess player suddenly becomes aware that he is actually playing against himself, his own mirror image.

I became aware that I was 100% addicted to alcohol. I wanted to get drunk, escape, forget, period. And I was aware that I wanted 100% to get rid of the addiction, be free of it, period. And both identifications where mine. I was the only player in this game. I was aware of the player opposite as myself. I was my own enemy, my own competitor. I competed against myself, tried to win against myself.

But now the light was on. I saw who I was playing against, and I knew the next move I would make because the opponent was me, myself, my own mind. I played from now on with an open deck of cards, like playing poker with all the cards face up. You know exactly the next card coming up. The game is meaningless. There is no game anymore because the game consists in not knowing what card will be next; will it be a winner or a loser? That day, the game of playing and winning against the world collapsed because it was all me, my projection. I was the world and I was the individual because I projected me onto the world. The world was me, my projection.

The mind got it too! Once a fact is known, it cannot be reversed. Once a child knows by experience that fire burns, it will know it for life and not touch fire again. Once the mind knows 100% it is not possible to get fulfillment outside, it will cooperate and stop reaching out.

The mind itself inside of me did not collapse yet, only the mind going out, playing with the world, getting, desiring, escaping. Resisting the outside was now meaningless. I did not project the images in my mind onto the outside anymore, but the images themselves where still intact.

The conditioned mind fell onto itself. I was the center now and the world was the periphery. Before, I had no center. I was kicked around like a ping-pong ball on the periphery. I became a light onto myself; I could see where I was going.

Now I had a center. I was “in” but the center was again divided in itself, inside, into its own duality.

. . . .if you are wise, intelligent, and you know how to contain the opposites together in a deep friendly embrace, then thesis opposed by antithesis will create a new phenomenon in your being: synthesis. On a higher plane you will arise. In a deeper way you will be united. And then again, the synthesis functions as a thesis, creates its antithesis, and again, on a higher plane, synthesis. It goes on and on, waves upon waves, higher and higher. There are planes upon planes, and one can go on reaching. The ultimate plane is the total synthesis of your life. All conflict disappears – is not dropped, but disappears of its own accord.

 -Osho, The Secret of Secrets, Discourse #29. 

For me, the addiction to alcohol was the catalyst that pushed me into awareness, but it can be anything that the mind is addicted to. The mind is basically in its essence addiction.

What I am pointing to in this writing is that any duality can be transcended with deep inquiry and awareness.

The conditioned mind, acquired in this life, had been erased. But the ancient mind, the totality of the mind with its roots in the beginning of time, had not yet. But it opened the door to “The final ultimate synthesis.”

In deep gratitude to my beloved master Osho.

-Dayanand Bharati

See a related post How I Came to One-Mind.

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