Your House is on Fire – Osho

I have heard one anecdote. In a conservative party rally, Lord Mancroft was invited to speak. He came right on time, reached the rostrum and said to the public – he was looking a little flustered – he said, ‘Forgive me for shortening my speech a little, but the fact is that my house is on fire.’ And that fact is everybody’s fact. Your house is also on fire, but you don’t even seem a little flustered. Everybody’s house is on fire, but you are not aware – not aware of death, not aware that your life is just passing through your hands. Every moment you are dying, every moment you are losing an opportunity which cannot be regained. The time that is lost, is lost: nothing can be done to regain it, and your life becomes shorter and shorter every moment.

This is what I mean when I say that your house is also on fire. But you don’t seem even a little flustered. You don’t even seem to be worried about it. You are not aware of the fact that the house is on fire. The fact is there, but your attention is not there. And everybody thinks that there is enough time to do something. There is not enough time, because whatsoever has to be done is so much that the time is never enough.

Once it happened that the Devil was waiting for years and years and nobody was coming to hell. He was waiting to welcome people, but the earth was running so well and people were so good that no one was coming to hell. Of course he became very worried. He called an emergency council. His greatest disciples gathered together to discuss the situation. Hell was passing through a great crisis and this could not be tolerated. Something had to be done. So he asked for advice: ‘What should we do?’

One disciple suggested, ‘I would go to the earth and I would talk to people and try to convince them that there is no God and religions are false, and whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is nonsense.’

The Devil said, ‘This won’t do, because we have been doing this since the very beginning and it has not influenced people very much. Through such teaching you can convince only those who are already convinced. So it is of no use; it is not of much use.’

Then the second disciple, subtler than the first, said, ‘I will go and teach people and try to convince people that whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is right. There is heaven, there is God, but there is no Devil and no hell, so don’t be afraid. And if we can make them less afraid, they will not bother about religion at all, because all religion is based on fear.’

The Devil said, ‘Your proposal is a little better. You may be able to, you may succeed in convincing a minority, but the majority will not listen to you. They are not as much afraid of hell as they are greedy of heaven. Even if you convince them that there is no hell, they will still want to enter into heaven, and they will try to be good for that. So this also won’t do much.’

Then the third disciple, the subtlest of them all, said, ‘I have an idea. Give me a chance to try it. I will go and say that whatsoever religion says is absolutely true – there is God and there is Devil and there is heaven and there is hell – but there is no hurry.’

And the Devil said, ‘Right? You have the right system. You go!’

And it is said that since then there has never been a crisis in hell. Rather, they are worried about the over-population.

This is how our minds are functioning: we always think there is no hurry. These techniques we are talking about will be of no use if your mind thinks there is no hurry. Then you can go on postponing and death will come first. That day will not come when you think there is a hurry, when you think that now the moment has come. You can go on postponing. This is what we have been doing with our lives.

You have to be decisive to do something. You are in a crisis – the house is on fire. Life is always on fire because death is always there hidden behind it; any moment and you may not be any more.

And you cannot argue with death. You cannot do anything. When death happens, it happens. Time is very short. Even if you live for seventy years or for a hundred years, it is very short. What you have to do with yourself to transform, to mutate, to become a new being, is such a great work. Don’t go on postponing.

Unless you feel it as an emergency, a deep crisis, you will not do anything. Unless religion becomes a very critical process for you, and you feel that unless something is done to transform you, your whole life is just wasted…. If you feel this very keenly and deeply and honestly, only then will these techniques be of any help. Because you can understand them – understanding is of no use unless you do something about it. Really, unless you do something about it, you have not understood them, because understanding must become action. If it is not becoming action then it is only  acquaintance, not understanding.

Try to understand this distinction. Acquaintance is not understanding. Acquaintance will not force you to actions. It will not force you to any change. It will not force you to do something about it. You will gather it in the mind; it will become information. You will become more knowledgeable. But at death everything stops. You go on collecting many things, never doing anything about them. They become just a burden on you.

Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.

I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, ‘Now you have to leave.’ The minister said, ‘Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.’ So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing. Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished, they gathered around the minister and they said, ‘You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.’

But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, ‘Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture, you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol? The minister said, ‘The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.’

Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.

These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.

Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the Devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.

Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #61

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.

 

Turning Inward Toward the Real – Osho

Civilization is a training in how to become unreal. Tantra is the reverse process – how to prevent yourself from becoming unreal, and if you have already become unreal, how to touch the reality which is hidden within you, how to contact it again, how to be again real. The first thing to be understood is how we go on becoming unreal, and once this process is understood many things change immediately. The very understanding becomes mutation.

Man is born undivided. He is neither a body nor a mind. He is born undivided, as one individual. He is both body and mind. Even to say that he is both is wrong. He is body-mind. Body and mind are two aspects of his being, not two divisions – two polarities of something which we may call life, energy or anything – X,Y,Z – but body and mind are not two things.

The very process of civilization, education, culture, conditioning, starts with the division. Everyone is taught that he is two, not one, and then, of course, one begins to be identified with the mind and not with the body. The very thinking process becomes your center and the thinking process is just a periphery. It is not the center because you can exist without thinking. Once you existed without thinking: thinking is not a necessity to exist. If you go deep in meditation you will be, and there will be no thinking. If you become unconscious you will be, but there will be no thinking. Moving into deep sleep you will be, but there will be no thinking. Thinking is just on the periphery; your being is somewhere else – deeper than thinking. But you are being taught continuously that you are two, body and mind, and that, really, you are the mind and you possess the body. The mind becomes the master and body becomes the slave, and you go on struggling against the body. This creates a rift, a gap, and that gap is the problem. All neurosis is born out of that gap; all anxiety is born out of that gap.

Your being is rooted in your body, and your body is not just something separate from existence. It is part of it. Your body is the whole universe. It is not something limited, finite. You may not have observed it, but try to observe where your body really ends – where! Do you think that your body ends where your skin ends?

If the sun which is so far away just goes dead, instantly you will be dead here. If the sun rays stop coming, you will be no more here. Your body cannot exist without the sun being there so far away. The sun and you are somehow deeply related. The sun must be included in your body; otherwise you cannot exist. You are part of its rays.

In the morning you see flowers open: their opening is really the rising of the sun. In the night they will close: their closing is the setting of the sun. They are just rays that are spread out. You exist here because there, so far away, the sun exists. Your skin is not really your skin. Your skin goes on spreading; even the sun is included. You are breathing: you can breathe because the air is there, the atmosphere is there. Each moment you exhale and inhale the atmosphere in and out.

If for a single moment there were no air, you would be dead. Your breath is your life. If your breath is your life, then the whole atmosphere is part of you. You cannot exist without it. So where does your body really end? Where is the limit? There is no limit! If you observe, if you go deep, you will find there is no limit. Or, the limit of the universe is your body limit. The whole universe is involved in you, so your body is not just your body; it is your universe and you are grounded in it. Your mind too cannot exist without the body. It is part of it, a process of it.

Division is destructive, and with the division you are bound to become identified with the mind. You think, and without thinking there is no division. You think, and you become identified with your thinking. Then you feel as if you possess the body. This is a complete reversal of the truth. You do not possess the body; neither is the body possessing you. They are not two things. Your existence is one, a deep harmony of opposite poles. But opposite poles are not divided, they are joined together. Only then can they become opposite poles. And the opposition is good. It gives challenge, it gives stamina, it creates energy. It is dialectical.

If you were really one, without opposite poles within, you would be dull and dead. These two opposite poles, body and mind, give you life. They are opposite and at the same time complementary – and basically and ultimately one. One current of energy runs in both. But once we get identified with the thinking process, we think that we are centered in the head. If your legs are cut, you will not feel that you are cut. You will say, “My legs are cut.” But if your head is cut, you are cut. You are murdered.

If you close your eyes to feel where you are, immediately you will feel you are in your head. You are not there – because when for the first moment you entered life in your mother’s womb, when the male and female atoms met, there was no head. But life was started. You were there, and there was no head. In that first meeting of two alive cells, you were created. The head came later on, but your being was there. Where is that being? It is not in your head. Really, it is nowhere – or everywhere in your body. It is nowhere; you cannot pinpoint where it is. And the moment you pinpoint it you miss the whole thing. It is everywhere. Your life is everywhere, it is spread out all over you. And not only all over you; if you follow it, you will have to go to the very ends of the universe. It is everywhere!

With the identification that “I am my mind,” everything becomes false. You become unreal because this identity is false. This has to be broken. Tantra techniques are to break down this identity. The effort of tantra is to make you headless, uncentered, everywhere or nowhere. And why does humanity, why do human beings become false and unreal with the mind? Because mind is an epiphenomenon – a process which is necessary, useful, but secondary; a process which consists of words, not of realities. The word ‘love’ is not love; the word ‘god’ is not God. But mind consists of words, of a verbal process, and then love itself becomes less significant than the word ‘love’. For the mind, the word is more significant. God becomes less significant than the word ‘God’. For the mind it is so. Words become more meaningful, significant. They become primary, and we start living in words. And the more you live in words the more shallow you become, and you will go on missing the reality which is not words. Reality is existence.

Living in the mind is as if someone is living in a mirror. In the night, if you go to a lake and the lake is silent and there are no ripples, the lake becomes a mirror. You can look at the moon in the lake, but that moon is false – just a reflection. The reflection comes from the real, but the reflection is not real. Mind is just a reflecting phenomenon. The reality is reflected in it, but reflections are not real. And if you get caught in reflections, you will miss reality completely. That is why, with the mind, with mind reflections, everything wavers. A slight wave, a slight wind, will disturb your mind. Reality is not disturbed, but the mind is disturbed by anything. Mind is a reflecting phenomenon, and we are living in mind.

Tantra says come down. Descend from your thrones, come down from your heads. Forget the reflections and move towards the reality. All the techniques which we are discussing are concerned with this: how to be away from the mind so that you can move into reality.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #35

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.

Your Meditation Will Take You, I Cannot Take You Anywhere

 

Krishna said to Arjuna, “Surrender and I promise you moksha.” Jesus also said to his disciples, “Come follow me and I will take you to the kingdom, to God.” But you say to us that you can only show the facts. Why don’t you promise us nirvana?

All promises are poisons because they are political not religious. The people who have promised you that you have only to surrender to them and they will take you to the ultimate goal of light; you have just to follow them and they will take you to the kingdom of God… these promises have created a spiritually slave humanity. These promises have not helped anyone.

Do you have a single witness who can say, “Following Jesus I have reached the kingdom of God”? In two thousand years the promise remains there, and you remain in your misery, in your anguish, in your utter spiritual poverty.

It is very significant to understand that no one can take you to the ultimate goal of light except yourself. That is your prerogative, your privilege. That is your freedom, your individuality and its beauty.

Nobody can interfere with your spiritual growth. You are not cattle that somebody can take you somewhere. But you have been insulted, humiliated so continuously, that you have become almost accustomed to it and you don’t feel the insult of it. Somebody saying to you, “Surrender to me” – and you don’t see the humiliation…? To whom did Krishna surrender? He never surrendered to anybody. To whom did Jesus surrender? He never surrendered to anybody.

And if these people had some beauty, the beauty was their individuality, their freedom, their absolute uniqueness. A surrendered human being has almost fallen below humanity.

Jesus said to the people, “I am your shepherd, and you are the sheep.” And nobody even raised any objection that this was very insulting. On what grounds do you become the shepherd and reduce other human beings who are just like you into animals, into sheep? But any lie repeated again and again starts appearing to be a truth.

These words have been repeated so often by the so-called spiritual masters that you have forgotten what they are doing to your being. They are destroying you. There is no need for any surrender – the very word is ugly. There is no need to follow anybody, because if you follow somebody you will always remain a blind follower, you will never attain in your own eyes. And the most wonderful thing is: the people who are telling you these things have never themselves done those acts. They have never surrendered, they have never followed – and that’s what gives them grandeur, makes them pinnacles of consciousness.

You should try to understand Jesus, not to follow him. You should try to understand Krishna, not to surrender to him. It is your understanding that is going to lead you to higher levels of being. Do not depend on anybody else to help. There have been so many saviors in the world and the world is not saved yet – so many prophets, so many incarnations of God, so many tirthankaras… and what is the result? And they have all claimed that they have come to redeem the world from pain, from misery, from ignorance. They come and go – the world remains the same. In fact, it becomes darker and darker every day. It becomes more and more miserable every day.

Jainas have twenty-four tirthankaras – their quota is finished; they cannot have twenty-five. For one creation, from the beginning of this universe to the end of this universe, they can have only twenty-four tirthankaras. Now, what is the hope? And what have these twenty-four tirthankaras done? How many people have been redeemed? How many people have become enlightened? How many steps has humanity grown towards maturity?

It is strange. Hindu avataras have been here, Gautam Buddha has been here, Moses and Jesus have been here, Mohammed and many others. And this small earth and all these prophets, saviors… and the strange thing is that the world goes on becoming worse and worse. Man goes on becoming lower and lower; he has not become a spiritual being. He has not become more aware, more alert, more meditative, more compassionate. Otherwise there would not have been so many wars. In three thousand years there have been five thousand wars. This is the man that has been created by all your so-called spiritual founders. Just within this century we have already had two great world wars, and now we are preparing for the third.

What spiritual heritage, what spiritual insight is there that makes us destructive rather than being creative, makes us hate each other rather than being loving and compassionate? Even in the name of religion, for centuries there has been bloodshed continuously. In the name of peace, love, and all great qualities, we have done everything that even an animal would be ashamed to do.

It is time to have a look backwards and see that surrender and the idea of following has not helped; in fact, it has degraded you. And you are asking me also to insult you, to humiliate you. Please forgive me, I cannot do that. I can help you as a friend, I can hold your hand as a friend and companion, I can show you the way, but I cannot walk for you. You will have to walk for yourself; otherwise truth will be too cheap. If others can achieve it for you then it won’t have any value. And if others can achieve it for you, they can take it away also.

If, following Jesus, you reach the kingdom of God, remember – if you do something against him, he can kick you out of the kingdom of God because it is not your achievement.

You are living on borrowed spirituality. At least leave something which cannot be borrowed. Leave truth – it can be achieved. Those who have achieved can certainly help, but their help can only be that of a friend not of a master. The very idea of somebody being a master is the idea of spiritual slavery.

You have been asked for centuries to surrender, to trust, and do whatever the master says. And you don’t know whether he is a master or not. Do you have any criteria? Do you have any way to judge that this man is a master?

There is no criterion available, so you have been surrendering to people who are cunning enough to pretend to be masters. A real master will be so humble that he cannot call himself a master. The very claim, “I am the master, and you are just a devotee, a disciple, a follower,” is nothing but pure egoistic assertion. And wherever the ego exists one thing is certain: you cannot get any help towards light, love, life.

Man is capable of spiritual growth – he has the potential. All that he needs to know is the right way. And anybody who can show you the right way – you can be grateful to him; you can be thankful to him. But what is the need to surrender?

I am reminded of a Tibetan story….

Milarepa, a great master, was searching for truth. The story is of the days when he had not found it. And people told him, “There is a certain master – all that is needed is absolute surrender.” Milarepa went to the man and surrendered totally – he must have been a unique individual – and then other disciples of that master became very jealous of Milarepa because he started doing strange things. He would walk on water; he would go through fire and not be burned… And they all asked him, “What is your secret?”

He said, “You are senior disciples of the master, you must know. I have simply surrendered myself to him, so whenever I want to cross the river, I simply remember the master and just say to him, ‘Take me to the other side,’ and I walk on the waters.”

The master heard – he could not believe it. He wanted to see. He told Milarepa to jump from a mountain peak into a thousand-foot-deep valley. Milarepa simply remembered the name of the master, and jumped.

They all were thinking, “We will not be able to find even bits and pieces of the man, the valley is so deep and so dangerous.”

But when they went there – it took hours for them to go down – Milarepa was sitting there in the lotus posture, so blissfully.

The master said, “Just my name helps you…?”

And naturally, and logically, he thought, “If my name helps him so much, I must be a great master. And he thought, “If my name helps him, then what miracles can I not do?”

He tried to walk on the water, and he started drowning and had to be saved by his disciples. That moment Milarepa saw his own master drowning, and the whole idea of surrender to a fake, to a fraud, disappeared. He said to the master, “At least you should not have done it in front of us. You have destroyed our trust, our surrender. You have destroyed us so deeply that now it will be difficult for us to trust in anyone. You have made us skeptical. I came to you in innocence, and I am going absolutely corrupted.”

There is no criterion. Surrender, if it is total – which is very difficult, almost impossible; only a very innocent man can do it – will help you, not the master. The master may not be a master at all. But surrender simply means you have dropped your ego completely. But why call it surrender? Surrender always means to someone.

I am a straightforward, simple person. I will tell you to drop the ego; I will not tell you to surrender to me. That is a roundabout way of dropping the ego, and dangerous because you may be surrendering yourself to somebody who is not right; you may be following someone who himself is lost.

There is a beautiful story by Kahlil Gibran….

A man became a very famous master, and he went from one place to another teaching his doctrine which was very simple: “Come follow me.”

Of course, people have so many things to do they cannot just come and follow you. And they always think, “Next time when you come, perhaps I will be ready; my children are small, my girl has to be married, my wife is sick. What you are saying is right, but the time is not right. I am ready, but the situation does not allow it.”

He went on telling the people, “Whoever follows me, within days, he will attain to the ultimate illumination.”

In one village, one young man stood up and said, “I am ready.”

There was great silence for a moment because this had never happened. The master was a little hesitant. Now where to take him… what to do? He had no knowledge of what it means when you attain to self-illumination, but in front of the crowd he pretended. He said, “Okay, you come with me.” He took him into the hills, into rough places… made the journey as terrible as possible. But the young man was also very stubborn – he continued to follow him. Many times, the master said, “You must be tired; it is better you go back.”

That young man said, “I will never go back. First I will attain self-illumination whatever the cost; only then can I go back.”

But trying to put the young man into hardships, the old master was himself also trying to do the same. He was also terribly tired. Finally, he had a nervous breakdown.

The young man said, “What is the matter?”

The old man said, “To be honest with you – I have to be honest, otherwise you will kill me – you are young and I am old. You can go through all this suffering and I cannot.”

But the young man said, “I have not told you to go through all this suffering. I was simply following you; you were not following me.”

The old man said, “To be honest, I don’t know what self-illumination is. My profession was going so well… my whole life. Because nobody ever followed, no problem ever arose. You are such a rascal that you really followed, and you are still bent upon following me – that means you will kill me.”

The young man said, “But what about self-illumination?”

The master said, “I have forgotten all. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what self-illumination is. I just pray to you to leave me in peace. I will never bother you again, but don’t disturb my business in other parts of the country. The only business I know is telling people, ‘I can give you salvation; you just come and follow me,’ knowing perfectly well that who is going to follow? – everybody has incomplete things to complete. But you are such a stubborn fellow that you dropped all that you were doing and simply went on following me!”

The story is significant. Jesus says, “Follow me and I will take you into the kingdom of God.” But is there any kingdom of God? In Buddhism there is no kingdom of God; in Jainism there is no existence of God. It is simply a hypothesis. And the people who followed Jesus were all illiterate, uneducated, coming from the lowest strata of society – fishermen, farmers, woodcutters, carpenters… He himself was the son of a carpenter. He himself was not educated, not cultured, not civilized. Not a single rabbi of his day, not a single learned person, not a single wise man followed him. The people who followed were following him out of greed.

A fisherman cannot hope that on his own he can enter into the kingdom of God – and this man is not asking for much money, he is simply saying, “Follow me.” Just following him there is no harm, and the promise is great. They were not in love with Jesus.

Even in the last hours before Jesus was caught they were asking him, “Soon you will be reaching to the kingdom of God” – because it was known that he would be crucified. “Before you leave us, we want to know… of course your place will be exactly at the right hand of God. You are the only begotten son of God – but what will be the place of your twelve disciples? Who will be next to you?”

Do you see their mind? Do you see their greed? Do you see their ambition? And what have they done? Just hanging around Jesus, and they have become capable of entering into the kingdom of God. Now they are asking what their position will be. They must have been feeling jealous of each other – “Who will be next to Jesus?” And when Jesus was crucified all the twelve apostles had escaped – great followers – just out of fear that they may be recognized as Jesus’ followers, because they were always hanging around him wherever he was going. Those twelve fellows were always with him; everybody knew them – they may be caught. If Jesus is crucified, the same may happen to them.

They all escaped. They forgot all about the kingdom of God, they forgot all about following Jesus Christ. And those twelve cowards who left the master hanging on the cross have become the twelve great prophets of Christianity.

A whole religion is created on the words of those twelve cowards. Jesus cannot save anyone – he could not save himself. At the last moment on the cross, in deep frustration, he shouted at the sky because he was waiting for some miracle to happen, and nothing was happening. And people were laughing, joking, making a fool of him: “This is the only begotten son of God. Now call your father to save you.”

Finally, he shouted, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”

Even his trust was not total, even he was full of doubt that perhaps God had forsaken him and that’s why no miracle was happening.

Miracles don’t happen.

Nature knows no exceptions.

But on this poor man Jesus, for two thousand years, millions of people have been depending. Just a hope, but that hope is dangerous because it prevents you from changing you; it prevents you from doing something yourself; it prevents you from your own potential, from your own powers, from your own intelligence, from your own inner being that is always present there.

No Jesus, no Krishna – everybody has to be alert, aware, drop all false hopes. Nobody can save you, and nobody has ever saved anybody. Masters have only shown the way. Because they have traveled on the path, they can save you unnecessary wandering, they can show you the straight way. But nobody can walk for you. And it is good that nobody can walk for you. It would have been dangerous if somebody was capable of saving you, because then he becomes your owner, you become a slave.

Even in your kingdom of God you will be a slave. The man who has brought you there – you bribed him by surrender, you bribed him by following him, you bribed him by massaging his ego as much as you could – can kick you out of the gate at any time.

It happened…

I was sitting in my village by the bank of the river. It was evening, and just getting a little dark, and one man started shouting, “Save me, save me!” He was drowning.

I don’t believe in saving anybody, so I looked all around – if somebody else saves… it is good. But there was nobody so, unwillingly, I jumped into the river, and somehow carried the man.

He said, “What have you done? I was trying to commit suicide!”

I said, “This is something! Then why were you shouting ‘save me’?”

He said, “I became afraid!”

I said, “Don’t worry.”

I pushed him back – if I can save him, I can push him back.

And again, he started shouting, “Please save me!”

I said, “No more. Now you do it yourself.”

Do not depend; every dependence is slavery. That’s why I cannot say to you, “Just follow me.” I can say to you, “Try to understand.” In trying to understand me, perhaps you may be able to see the path yourself.

I can help you to see the path, I can help you to open your eyes; I can throw cold water in your eyes – that’s what I am doing every day. And sometimes you get irritated, you get annoyed, because nobody wants cold water in the early morning to be thrown into their eyes. I can shake you; I can wake you; I can drag you out of your bed. I can make you a little alert and give you the full details of how to become more aware, more meditative – and then there is nothing else to be done. Your meditation will take you.

I cannot take you anywhere.

And you will be grateful to me that I did not ask you cheap things – surrender to me, just trust in me and everything will be okay. All that is sheer nonsense. You like it because it is cheap, you like it because you have not to do anything. I am asking you something arduous. You will have to do it; you will have to work hard at it. You will have to sharpen your intelligence, your consciousness, and as it is sharpened the way becomes more and more clear. You are nobody’s shadow, nobody’s follower.

Everybody reaches to the truth alone, not by following anybody. And it is beautiful to reach alone because then it is your earning. Then you deserve it.

-Osho

From The Sword and the Lotus, Discourse #11

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.

I Have Taken All Those Props from You – Osho

When you wiped out temples and worship and gachchhamis, I got a sinking feeling that maybe you had given up on us. The most shocking revelation of the past month has been the gross stupidity we have shown with our petty grievances and demands. We have been like a bunch of Bolshevik mice, acting like we want a revolution all by ourselves. We are not the mature, responsible people you are encouraging us to be, and I fear we are destroying the commune ourselves with our tinpot fantasies of freedom.

 Please provide some guidance about the order or discipline we need to keep the commune together and please, don’t give up on us.

 Even without your asking, even if I want to give up, I cannot. My love does not allow it. Order and discipline you have to find. I would not like you to depend on anybody to give you order and discipline. Just make a little effort – and it is not difficult.

If you go on depending on something, somebody, then any day there will be disorder. One day I may not be in my body. Then you will find yourself completely helpless. You don’t have even a father figure in God to pray to. I have taken all those props from you. I want you to be responsible of your own accord.

I had said yesterday that I will withdraw the buddhafield. I cannot do it. Whatever you are, I have loved you unconditionally, and I will love you to the very end, without expecting anything from your side.

The buddhafield remains. It was just to give you a shock, so that you can wake up a little and see that freedom does not mean disorder, freedom does not mean no discipline. Freedom means more order, more discipline, because now you are the master of yourself; nobody is dictating to you.

I have destroyed all dependence. Dependence keeps you helpless, and I want you to be independent, absolutely independent.

So just a little awareness – and whenever I find that you are missing that awareness, I am going to give you bigger shocks. I will not hesitate even to give you an electric shock. I am determined to wake you up. But it will be a joy if you wake up yourself.

So, don’t be worried about that. I know there are stupid people – it is not their fault; they have been brought up in a stupid society, educated by stupid teachers, professors, priests, churches. They are victims. They need all the compassion possible.

I know you can start taking advantage of freedom. But while I am here, it is not possible to take advantage. I will hit you directly on the head. That you will remember even after your enlightenment!

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #25

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.

A Truly Remarkable Woman, Worth Remembering – Robert Rabbin

I think it’s important to honor the lives and legacies of people who have touched our hearts in some way, who have touched the lives of others in uplifting and inspiring ways.

It’s important to celebrate the qualities we admire and respect and want to pass on to our children by shining a light of gratitude on those who embody those qualities. And so I want to remember Jean Dunne, a truly remarkable woman worth remembering.

I lived in Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco, from the late ’80s through the mid-’90s. At some point during those years—I can’t remember precisely—I heard that Jean Dunn lived not too far away, in Vacaville, about half way between San Francisco and Sacramento, on I-80.

Jean had lived in India for many years, first as a disciple of Ramana Maharishi, and later as a disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj—both popular, if misunderstood, gurus from India. Nisargadatta had acknowledged that Jean had realized her true nature and was to carry on his work after he passed from this world, which he did in 1981.

I, too, had lived in India with a guru, though to the best of my knowledge he never publicly said I had realized my true nature. (Inasmuch as he passed from this world in 1982, I’ll have to say that on my own behalf. But not here, not know. Later. Stay tuned lovers.)

With our mutual back-story of living in India with gurus, and being mindful of her standing in the non-duality culture, I wanted to speak with her.

I held her in high regard based on her years of study and service. I contacted Jean and asked if I could come for a visit. She was most welcoming. I set off with two friends, Monika and Norman. We were full of expectant good cheer for the prospects of a great adventure.

It didn’t take long to drive the 45 miles from Marin County to Vacaville. Once there, we had to locate the trailer park Jean lived in, which was situated right behind a cement factory. We found the park, then her single-wide mobile home—standard issue it seemed to me. I remember pausing for a moment, trying to take this in. I could see bits of the cement factory sticking up nearby, and could see and smell the dust of it, which I knew so well as I worked as a mason’s apprentice for a year in 1969.

It seemed odd that someone with the quiet notoriety of being a realized being would end up living in a mobile home park behind a cement factory. Jean was around 68, maybe 70, years old when we knocked on the door that day.

This tiny little thing, couldn’t have been bigger than a bird, weighing 75 pounds, but bright and energetic as all get out, opened the door and enthusiastically welcomed us in to her home. She was thrilled we came and said she had baked some brownies for us and had made come coffee. Did we drink coffee? Yes, of course. (Actually, Monika and Norman didn’t, but how could they refuse her home-brewed coffee?)

She took us to the kitchen area, where she asked us to sit around a card table, on which was a plate stacked high with brownies, a pot of coffee, and a carton—not a pack, a carton—of Marlboro cigarettes. Next to the table was an oxygen tank and mask, as Jean was suffering from emphysema at that time.

As she served us coffee and we helped ourselves to the brownies, she asked, “Would you like a cigarette?” Well, Monika and Norman said no, very politely. While I didn’t smoke, I just felt that I should accept. It felt to me as if the cigarettes were a kind of sacred thing, a ritual thing, such that if I didn’t smoke I would have somehow spurned her heartfelt hospitality.

So I said, “I’d love to have a cigarette with you, thanks.” Well, I don’t believe I’ve ever made anyone so happy in my life. She just beamed and offered me a pack. Well, for the next hour or so, we sat around the table talking, eating brownies, drinking coffee, and smoking up a storm.

At one point, Norman asked about the paradox of taking a drag on a cigarette and then a drag on the oxygen mask. (He later said to us he was afraid she’d blow us all up, smoking right next to the tank.) Norman and, to a slightly lesser extent, Monika, were keenly and religiously health-conscious. They just nibbled on their brownie and barely touched their coffee. They kept shushing and waving the cigarette smoke away. I was, let’s say, not as concerned with my health. I seem to recall gulping down brownies and cups of coffee. I probably went through half a pack of Marlboros, too.

Well, it was quite a scene: here is this lovely, dear, sweet-as-sugar woman, reputedly self-realized, having lived and worked with one of the great non-dual masters of the last century, sitting at a card table in a mobile home behind a cement factory eating brownies and drinking coffee and smoking Marlboros, all the while taking great gulps of oxygen from a tank to help her breathe in the face of her emphysema.

When Norman (I’m sure it was Norman) asked, politely, she just broke out one of her best smiles and chirped, “Well, dearie, what can I do? The body seems to like smoking. I don’t interfere.” (All these years later, I can’t swear this is a direct quote, but it reflects the spirit of what she said.)

And that was that. After about an hour or so, we could see that Jean was getting tired, so we thanked her, and we left.

I don’t remember anything from our conversation. Not a word, except those words of wonderful welcome and offers of brownies and coffee and cigarettes. I do remember her beautiful sweet smile and gentle eyes. I met her once, maybe 25 years ago. I am telling this story now for the first time. I don’t know why it’s popped into my consciousness, but it has.

I have no idea if dear Jean had realized her true nature. I tend to scoff at those terms and claims these days. But I can say that she was completely, utterly gracious and charming and sweet and vulnerable and transparent and loving—I can say those things based on my experience. I haven’t met many like her. I don’t think I’ve met anyone like her. She was a beauty. A rare, authentic beauty.

She passed from this world in 1996, at 75 years of age. Her legacy? Insofar as I see it, her legacy is the fragrance she emitted, the fragrance of authenticity, the smell and scent of deep beauty, peace, kindness, humor, self-acceptance and loving nature. All this seemed, in her, to be the most natural thing in the world. Oh, yes, that’s what a real human being looks like. Simple, basic, natural, original-self kind of beauty. A child. A true child. An embodiment of simple kindness, open-hearted, friendly, welcoming, respectful, joyful. I’ll take those as meaning she was self-realized.

-Robert Rabbin

Thank you to Parvati Devi for pointing me towords this article which was first published in Elephant Journal.

You can read more on Jean Dunn here.

Here you can download Jean Dunn Journals – Being with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

 

Energy and Understanding – Osho

Is there any relationship between understanding and energy? 

Santosh, yes. There is great relationship. In fact, to call it relationship is not right – because energy is understanding. They are not two things.

What kind of energy is understanding? When the energy is unoccupied, it becomes understanding. When energy is occupied, it remains ignorance, it remains unconsciousness.

For example, your sex energy is occupied with a woman or with a man. It will remain ignorance – because the energy is focused on the object, it is going outward, it is extrovert. If the energy is freed from the object, where will it go? It will start falling into the subject, into your inner source. And energy falling back into the source becomes understanding, becomes awareness.

And I am not saying be against sex. No. But let sex be more a subjective phenomenon than an objective phenomenon. And that is the difference between sex and love. Love is subjective, sex is objective.

You become interested in a woman or in a man as an object. And sooner or later the interest will be finished, because once you have explored the object, then nothing is left. Then you are ready to move to somebody else. Yes, the woman looks beautiful but how long can she look beautiful?

An object is an object. She is not yet a person to you. She is just a beautiful object. It is insulting. You are reducing a soul into an object, a subjectivity into an object. You are trying to exploit, you are turning her into a means. Your energy will remain ignorant. And you will go on moving from one woman to another, and your energy will go on remaining in a circle. It will never come back home.

Love means you are not interested in the woman or the man as an object. In fact, you are not there to exploit her. You are not there to get something from her. On the contrary, you are so full of energy, you would like to give some energy to her. Love gives. Sex only wants to get.

And when love gives, it remains subjective, it remains rooted into oneself. Lovers help each other to be more and more themselves. Lovers help each other not to disappear, but to become authentically individual. Lovers help each other to be centered. Love is respect, reverence, worship. It is not exploitation. Love is understanding. Because energy is unoccupied with the object, it remains free, untethered to anything. And that brings the transformation. It accumulates inside you.

And remember: just as it happens in the world of physics, so it happens in the world of metaphysics.

After a certain quantity of energy… the qualitative change happens. The qualitative change is nothing but quantitative change.

For example, if you heat water up to a hundred degrees it evaporates. Up to ninety-nine it has not evaporated; it is still water – hot, but still water. But beyond a hundred, it evaporates – it is no more water. It has changed its form. The transformation has happened.

Just like that, when your energy accumulates and you don’t go on wasting it on objects…. And people are wasting it on objects. Somebody is interested in money – he puts his whole energy on the money. Of course, he accumulates much money, but in accumulating it he dies, dissipates, becomes empty, becomes a beggar. Money goes on accumulating and he goes on becoming more and more beggarly. Somebody puts his energy into politics, into power. He becomes a prime minister, but deep down he is a beggar. He may be the greatest beggar in the country….

If you put your energy into objects, you will live a life of non-understanding, unawareness. Don’t put your energy into objects. Let energy fall into your being. Let it accumulate. Let your life become a great reservoir. Let your energy just be there without any occupation. And at a certain point… the jump, the quantum leap, the transformation. And energy becomes luminous, turns into awareness becomes understanding.

You ask, Santosh: Is there any relationship between understanding and energy?

Yes, there is. It is energy that becomes understanding. So when you are depleted of energy, you start losing your understanding. When you are tired, your intelligence is less. You have observed it. In the morning your intelligence is more fresh than in the evening. In the morning you are more understanding, more compassionate, more loving, than in the evening.

Have you observed? – beggars come in the morning to beg. They understand the psychology. In the evening, who is going to give to them? People are so angry by that time, so frustrated with life. In the morning, they have rested the whole night, a deep sleep, the energy is fresh – eight hours accumulation of energy. They have more understanding, more compassion, more love, more sympathy. It is possible to persuade them to give something to you. They have, so they can give. By the evening, they don’t have; they have lost all they had. They are dead tired.

Children are more understanding – have you observed it or not? – than the old people. Old people become very, very hard, cruel, cunning. Their whole life they have remained occupied with objects. All old people become Machiavellian. Young children are innocent, trusting, closer to Buddhas. Why? – the energy is overflowing.

Young children learn things so fast. Why? The energy is there, hence the intelligence. The older you become, the more difficult it becomes to learn a thing. They say it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. Why? It should not be so, because the dog knows so many tricks, he can learn a few more. It should be easier for him because he has learnt so much. He has practiced learning so much that he can learn a few more easily. But that is not so.

Children learn fast. If a child is born in a town where five languages are spoken, he starts learning all five; he becomes efficient in all five languages. They all become his mother languages. A child has infinite capacity to learn. And the reason is only one: his energy is still overflowing. Soon it will be dissipated in life.

The man of meditation becomes the man of understanding because his energy accumulates. He is not wasting it. He is not interested in trivia; he does not put any energy at all into petty things. So whenever the time arises to give, he has to give.

Energy is understanding. Be conscious of it and use your energy very consciously, and use your energy in such a way that you don’t simply go on wasting it.

-Osho

From The Perfect Master, V.2, Discourse #8

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.

 

Witnessing is Real Meditation

Real meditation is Zen, Vipassana. Real meditation is nothing but to sit silently, doing nothing. Just doing nothing, sitting silently, that is real meditation. There is no other technique, no technique at all in it. No mantra has to be repeated. No prayer has to be done, no God’s name to be pronounced.

You simply sit… but that is the hardest thing to do in the world. Looks so simple!

When I say again and again:

Sitting silently,
Doing nothing,
And the Spring comes
And the grass grows by itself

You think it is very easy: “We can sit and the spring will come and the grass will grow by itself.” This is the hardest and the most difficult and the most arduous thing in the world: to sit silently, doing nothing. And this is the greatest meditation. […]

Real meditation is not a technique. Real meditation is just relaxing, sitting silently, letting it happen, whatsoever it is. Allowing the whole anxiety to come up, to surface. And watching it, watching it. And doing nothing to change it. Witnessing it is real meditation.

In that witnessing your Buddhahood will become more and more powerful. Witnessing is the nourishment for your Buddhahood. And the more powerful your Buddhahood is, the less anxiety there is. The day your Buddhahood is complete, all anxiety is gone.

-Osho

From The Perfect Master, V.1, Discourse #8

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 Energy Body – Jean Klein

When we emphasize the observer, our consciousness, there is no longer a doer who manipulates the body, who moves the body. There is a completely impersonal approach to the body. All tensions, reactions, even those deeply rooted in the body, have no more hold, and sooner or later this tension is eliminated and we become more aware of the energy body which underlies our physical body. We become familiar with the deep layers of sensitivity of the body and we come to know our original body. But knowing our original body is still more or less a by-product, because what is emphasized is consciousness, our presence.

When we emphasize the feeling sensation, we use our muscles in a different way. Our muscle is in antagonistic function. This means that in this movement there is an agonist and antagonist. In other words, there is one part of the muscle which contracts and the other which expands. When the muscle is wrongly used, there is an over-contraction and an over-stretching, but when we use our muscles with aware feeling, these over-activities are reduced and the muscles, in a certain way, come together and function harmoniously. Then you feel no more hindrance. So the body must become an object of our awareness. When it is felt—allowed to be feeling—it comes to life. This coming to life begins on the level of the skin with tactile sensation. I would say there is a resurrection of the flesh.

-Jean Klein

From  Living Truth, page 91-92

Here you can read more from Jean Klein.

 

Live in the Perceived Not the Conceived – Jean Klein

Questioner: For many years I have given all my time, energy, knowledge and power to my family and to my business. My life was completely oriented towards bringing up and giving advice to my children and earning my living. Now my children are grown up and no longer need me and I am retired from business, and I feel a certain loss of orientation and an emptiness that was previously filled with all kinds of activities.

How can my life have meaning and fulfillment? 

Jean Klein: See things how they are now, not as you wish them to be. See only the facts, free from all psychology. Look at your feelings of lack, boredom, loneliness, desire, confusion. See how all these feelings of confusion and absence are related to the fact that you have taken yourself for a parent and a worker. Now these self-images have no more role to play. Your colleagues no longer need you and your children no longer look to you for advice. See how you still take yourself for a parent, for somebody, and this is a fraction. Become free from the self-image. Then you can have a non-objective relationship with your children and your surroundings. When there is no longer any reference to being a parent you are open to the facts, what actually is.

Live in the perceived not the conceived. Only the perception is right. The concept is wrong because it is memory. So give no more place to the concept. In the absence of psychological behavior there is no reference to old brain patterns and only then is there intelligence which is the awakening of all your resources. Then you will have a new relation to your surroundings. It is no longer one of object to object, but of love. There is no longer an “I” and a “You” but only oneness. When there is no superimposition on your children and surroundings, every moment is joy. Life is joyful and in the absence of any patterns of behavior there is only friendly togetherness.

-Jean Klein

From The Book of Listening, p. 182.

Here you can find more about Jean Klein.

The Fire of Awareness – Osho

When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware. Please explain how this feeling can be dissolved into an egoless state of just awareness. 

This is again a supposed question. When I become more and more aware, my attention develops and there remains a feeling that I exist, I am present, I am aware.

This never happens, because as awareness grows, the I decreases. In full awareness, you are, but there is no sense that I am. In words, at the most, this can be said – that you feel a subtle amness, but there is no I.

You feel existence, and you feel it in abundance, a fulfilled moment, but the I is not there. You cannot feel I exist; you cannot feel I am present; you cannot feel I am aware. That I is part of unawareness, inattention; part of your sleeping state. It cannot exist. It cannot exist when you are really alert and aware and conscious.

This is how supposed questions can arise. You can go on thinking about them, and nothing will be solved. If this happens – that you feel I am; I am aware – then you only have to note one thing, and that is that you are not alert, you are not aware. Then these feelings – I am aware, I am conscious, I exist – these are thoughts, you are thinking them. They are not realized moments. You can think I am aware; you can go on repeating I am aware – that will not do. Awareness is not this repetition. And when you are aware, there is no need to repeat I am aware. You are simply aware; the I is no more.

Try awareness. Right now, be alert. Where is the I? You are – rather, you are more intensely – but where is the I, the ego? In the very intensity of consciousness, the ego is no more. Later on, when you lose awareness and thinking starts, you can feel I am, but in the moment of awareness there is no I. Right now, experience it. Silently you are here, you can feel your presence, but where is the I? The I never arises. It arises only when retrospectively you think. When you lose awareness the I arises immediately.

Even if for a single moment you can experience simple awareness, you are, and the I is not there. When you lose awareness, when the moment has slipped, gone, and you are thinking, the I comes back immediately. It is part of the thought process. The very concept of I is a thought, it belongs to thinking. I am is a thought.

When you are alert and there is no thought, how can you feel that I am? The amness is there – but that too is not a thought, it is not thinking. It is there existentially; it is a fact. But you can turn the fact into thinking immediately, and you can think about this gap that existed where there was no I. And the moment you think, the I has come back. With thinking, the ego enters – thinking is the ego. With no-thinking, the ego is not. 

So, whenever you want to ask a question, first make it existential. Before giving me the question, test whether whatsoever you are asking is relevant or not. Such questions look relevant, just verbally, but they are like this: I say that the light has been put on, and then I ask, ‘The light has been put on and still the darkness remains, so what is to be done with darkness?’ The only thing is that the light is still off, it has not been put on, otherwise how can the darkness remain? And if the darkness is there, then the light is not there. And if the light is there, then the darkness is not there. They cannot be both together.

Awareness and the ego cannot be together. If awareness has come on, if it is there, the ego has disappeared. This is simultaneous; there is not even a single second’s gap. The light is on and the darkness has disappeared. It is not that it disappears by and by, in steps, gradually. You cannot see it going outside; you cannot say that now the darkness is going out.

The light is there, and the darkness is immediately not there. There is not a single moment’s gap, because if there is a gap then you can see darkness moving out. And if there is a single moment’s gap, then there is no reason why there can’t be a gap of one hour. There is no gap. The act is simultaneous. Really, the coming of the light and the going out of the darkness are two aspects of one phenomenon.

The same happens with awareness: when you are aware, the ego is not. But the ego can go on playing tricks, and the ego can say, ‘I am aware.’ The ego can say, ‘I am aware,’ and can befoul you. Then the question will arise. And the ego wants to accumulate everything, even awareness. The ego not only wants wealth, power, and prestige; it wants meditation also, it wants samadhi also, it wants enlightenment also.

The ego wants everything. That which is possible must be possessed. The ego wants to possess everything – even meditation, samadhi, nirvana. So, the ego can say, ‘Now I have achieved meditation,’ and then the question will arise. The meditation has been achieved, the awareness has come, but the ego remains, the misery remains. The whole burden of the past remains. Nothing changes.

The ego is a very subtle braggart. Be aware of it. It can deceive you. And it can use words, it can verbalize things. It can verbalize anything, even nirvana.

I have heard that once it happened that two butterflies were winging their way through the canyons of New York. Just passing near the Empire State Building, the male butterfly said to the female, ‘You know, if I wanted to, just with one blow I could cause this Empire State Building to collapse.’

One wise man happened to be there who heard this remark, so he called that male butterfly and asked, ‘What were you saying? You know very well that you cannot cause that Empire State Building to collapse with a single blow. You know it well, there is no need to tell you, so why did you say such a thing?’

The male butterfly said, ‘Excuse me, sir. I am very sorry. I was just trying to influence my girlfriend.’

The wise man said, ‘Don’t do it,’ and dismissed the butterfly. 

The male butterfly went back to his girlfriend. Of course, the girl friend asked, ‘What was the wise guy saying to you?’

So, the male braggart said, ‘He begged me and said, “Don’t do it!” He was so afraid, trembling, nervous. He had heard that I was going to cause this Empire State Building to collapse, so he said, “Don’t do it.”’

The same is happening continuously. Those words were uttered by the wise man with a very different meaning. He meant, ‘Don’t say such things,’ but the ego exploited him. Your ego can exploit anything, it is deeply cunning. And it is so experienced in cunning – experiences of millennia – that you cannot even detect where the cunning enters.

People come to me and they say, ‘The meditation has happened. Now what to do about my worries?’ This is how the ego goes on playing tricks – and they are not even aware of what they are saying. ‘The meditation has happened; the kundalini has arisen – so what to do? The worries still continue.’

Your mind wants to believe things, so without doing anything you go on believing, deceiving – wish fulfillments. But the reality doesn’t change by your wish-fulfillments: the worries continue. You can deceive yourself; you cannot deceive the worries. They will not just disappear because you say, ‘The meditation has happened and the kundalini has arisen, and now I have entered the fifth body.’ Those worries will not even hear what you are saying. But if meditation really happens, where are the worries? How can they exist in a meditative mind?

So, remember this: that when you are aware, you are, but you are not the ego. Then you are unlimited, then you are infinite expanse, but with no center. There is no focused feeling of I; just unfocused existence, beginning nowhere, ending nowhere – just infinite sky. And when this I disappears, automatically the you disappears, because the you can exist only in reference to the I. I am here; that’s why you are there. If this I disappears from me, you are no more there. You cannot be. How can you exist?

I don’t mean that you will not be there bodily, that you will not be there physically. You will be there as you are, but for me, you cannot be you. The you is meaningful in reference to my I; my I creates the you. One part disappears; the other disappears for me. Then simple existence is there; all the barriers have dissolved. With the ego disappearing, the whole existence becomes one. The ego is the divider – and the ego exists because you are inattentive. The fire of awareness will destroy it.

Try it more and more. Suddenly become alert. Walking on the street, immediately stop, take a deep breath, become alert for a moment. And when I say alert, I mean simply alert of whatsoever is happening – the traffic noise, people passing and talking, everything that is all around. Simply become alert. You are not there in that moment: existence is and the beauty of it.

Then the traffic noise doesn’t appear to be noise, it doesn’t look like a disturbance, because there is no one to resist it and fight it. It simply comes to you and passes; it is heard and heard no more. It comes and passes. There is no barrier against which it can strike. It cannot make a wound in you, because all wounds are made in the ego. It will pass. There will be no barrier to it on which it can strike; there will be no fight, no disturbance.

Remember this: the noise on the street is not the disturbance. When the noise of the street struggles against you, when you have a fixed notion that it is a disturbance, it becomes disturbance. When you accept it, it comes and passes. And you are simply bathed by it; you come out of it more fresh. And nothing tires you then. The only tiring thing, that which goes on dissipating your energy, is this resistance which we call the ego.

But we never look at it in this way. The ego has become our life, the very gist of it. Really, there is no ego. If I say to someone…. Many times, it happens. If I say to someone to dissolve this ego, immediately he stares at me as if with the question, the nude question, that ‘If ego is dissolved, then where is life? Then I am no more’.

I have heard that one very great politician, a big leader of a country, was asked, ‘You must be getting tired. The whole day, wherever you move, there is a crowd of autograph seekers.’

That politician, that leader said, ‘It almost kills me – but this is only half of the truth.’ He must have been a very rare, honest man. He said, ‘It almost kills me – but almost. If there was no one seeking my autograph, it would kill me completely. This continuous crowd almost kills me, but the other thing would be more dangerous. It would kill me completely if there was no one to ask for my autograph.’

So howsoever tiring the ego, howsoever wearing, you still feel it is life, and if the ego is not there, you feel life will disappear from your mind. You cannot conceive how life can exist without you, without there always being a reference point of I. It is logical in a way, because we have never lived without it. We have lived through it, we have lived around it; we know only one type of life, which is based on ego. We don’t know any other life.

And because we have lived through it, we have not been really able to live. We are simply struggling to live, and the life never happens to us, it just by-passes us. It is always just in the reach, in the hope – just tomorrow, the next moment, and we will be living. But it never comes, it is never achieved. It always remains a hope and a dream – but we go on moving. And because it is not coming, we move fast. That too is logical: if life is not happening to us, the mind can think only one thing – that we are not moving fast enough. So, make hurry, be in a speed.

Once it happened that one of the great scientists, T.H. Huxley, was going to deliver a talk somewhere in London. He came to the station, to the suburban station, but the train was late, so he jumped into a cab and told the driver, ‘Hurry! Go at top speed!’

They were racing fast, when suddenly he realized that he had not given the address. But then he also remembered that he had himself forgotten the address. So he asked the driver, ‘Cabby, do you know where I am supposed to be going?’

He said, ‘No, sir. But I am going as fast as possible.’

This is happening. You are going as fast as possible. Where are you moving? Why are you moving? What is the destination? – the hope that someday life will happen to you. And why is it not happening right now? You are alive – why is it not happening right now? Why is the nirvana always in the future, always in the tomorrow? Why is it not today? And the tomorrow never comes – or whenever it comes it will always be the today and you will miss again. But we have lived only in this way. We know only one dimension of living – this so-called living we are already living – just dead, not alive at all, just pulling together anyhow, just waiting.

With the ego it will always remain a waiting – and a hopeless waiting. You can do it fast, you can make haste, but you will never reach anywhere: just by hurrying you will dissipate energy and you will die. And you have done that so many times. You have always been in a hurry, and in that hurry dissipating energy, and then only death comes and nothing else. You are hurrying for life, and only death comes and nothing else. But the mind, because it is accustomed to only one dimension, because it has known only one way – which is not even a way, but just appears to be a way – will say that if there is no ego, where is life?

But I say to you, if there is ego, there is no possibility of life, only promises. The ego is a perfect promise-maker. It goes on promising you. And you are so unaware – no promise is ever fulfilled, but again you believe. When the new promises are given, you again believe.

Look back! The ego promised many things, and nothing has been achieved through it. All the promises have fallen down. But you never look back, you never compare. When you were a child there were promises for youth: life will be there when you are young. Everyone was saying it, and you also were hoping that when you become young, all that was to happen would happen. Now those days have passed, the promise remains unfulfilled, but you have forgotten. You have forgotten the promise, you have forgotten that is has not been fulfilled. It is so painful to look at it that you never look at it.

Now you hope for the old age – that in old age the sannyas will flower, the meditation will happen to you. Then the worries will be over: your children will have gone to the college, and everything will have become established. Then there will be no responsibility on you. Then you will be able to seek the divine. Then, in the old age, the miracle is going to happen. And you will die unfulfilled.

It is not going to happen, because it never happens in the hope, it never happens with the hope. It never happens with the promise of the ego. It can happen right now. It can only happen right now. But then a very intense awareness is needed, so that you can throw all the promises, and all the hopes, and all the future programs, and all the dreams, and look directly here and now at what you are.

In that returning to yourself – your consciousness not moving somewhere ahead but returning to yourself – you become a circle of consciousness. This moment becomes eternal. You are alert and aware. In that alertness, in that awareness, there is no I; simple existence, simple being. And simplicity comes out of that awareness.

Simplicity is not a loin-cloth, simplicity is not living in poverty, simplicity is not becoming a beggar. Those are very complex and very cunning things, very calculated. Simplicity is born when you have achieved a simple existence where no I exists. Out of that, simplicity arises; you become humble. Not that you practice it, because a practiced simplicity can never be simplicity. A practiced humbleness is just a hidden ego.

It happens: if you can be aware, it starts flowing through you. You become humble; not against the ego, because a humbleness against the ego is again a different sort of ego – a more subtle ego and more dangerous, more poisonous. It is humbleness as the absence of ego; not as the opposite of the ego, just the absence. The ego has disappeared. You have come to yourself and known that there is no ego: simplicity arises, humbleness arises – they simply flow. You have not done anything for them; they are by-products – by-products of intense awareness.

So, this type of question is foolish. If you feel that you are aware and still the I remains, know well that you are not aware. Make effort to be aware. And this is the criterion: when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not; when you are aware, the I is not found there. This is the only criterion.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #54, Q2

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