Four Types of Samadhis – Osho

In which body is that obtained which you refer to as samadhi?

Actually there are many types of samadhi. One samadhi will take place between the fourth and the fifth body. Remember, samadhi is not a happening of one plane; it always happens between two planes, it is the twilight period. One may just as well ask whether twilight belongs to the day or the night. Twilight belongs neither to the day nor the night, it is a happening between day and night. So is samadhi.

The first samadhi occurs between the fourth and the fifth planes. This samadhi leads to self-realization, atma gyan. One samadhi occurs between the fifth and the sixth planes; this in turn leads to brahma gyan – cosmic knowing. The samadhi that occurs between the sixth and the seventh planes is the samadhi that leads to nirvana. So generally speaking there are these three samadhis that occur between the last three shariras, the last three bodies.

There is one false samadhi that has to be recognized also. It occurs in the fourth body, but is not samadhi though it seems like it. In Japan the Zen Buddhist term for it is satori. It is false samadhi. It is that state which a painter or a sculptor or a musician reaches when he is completely immersed in his art; he experiences a great bliss. This is a happening on the fourth – the psychic plane. If when looking at the morning sun or listening to a melody or looking at a dance or looking at the opening of a flower the mind is completely drowned in the happening, a false samadhi takes place. Such a false samadhi can be brought about by hypnosis or false shaktipat. Such a false samadhi can be brought about by alcohol and drugs like marijuana, LSD, mescaline, hashish.

So there are four types of samadhi. Actually there are three authentic samadhis and they happen in a sequence. The fourth is an absolutely false experience that appears like samadhi. In this there is no actual experience – only a feeling of samadhi that is misleading. Many people are misled by satori. This false samadhi occurs in the fourth – the psychic plane. It is not the transitional process between the fourth and the fifth plane; it happens well within the fourth body. The three authentic samadhis occur outside the bodies in a transitional period when we pass on from one plane to another. One samadhi is a door, a passage.

Between the fourth and the fifth bodies happens the first authentic samadhi. One attains self-relaxation.

We can get stuck here. Usually people stop at the false samadhi in the fourth body because it is so easy. We have to spend very little energy, making no effort at all, and it is obtained just like that. The majority of meditators, therefore, stagnate here. The first real samadhi, which takes place on the journey from the fourth to the fifth body, is very difficult; and the third, from the sixth to the seventh, is the most difficult of all. The name chosen for the third samadhi is vajrabhed– piercing of the thunderbolt. It is the most difficult one because it is a transition from being into non-being; it is a jump from life into death; it is a plunge from existence into nonexistence.

So there are actually three samadhis. The first you may call atma samadhi, the second brahma samadhi, and the last nirvana samadhi. The very first and false samadhi you may call satori. This is the one you should guard against, because it is very easily attainable.

Another method to test the validity of the samadhi is that if it takes place within the plane it is false; it must take place between the planes. It is the door; it has no business to be inside the room. It must be outside the room, adjoining the next room.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #20, Q4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

Man is an Opportunity – Osho

Man is not a meaning but an opportunity. The meaning is possible, but is not given. The meaning can be created, but it is not already there. It is a task not a gift. Life is a gift, but life is open opportunity. Meaning is not a gift, meaning is a search. Those who seek will certainly find it. But those who simply wait will go on missing. The meaning, the logos, has to be created by man. Man has to transform himself into that meaning. It cannot be something exterior to man, it can only be something interior.

Man’s inner being has to become illumined.

Before we enter into these sutras, a few things will be helpful to understand about man, because only then is the work possible.

The first thing to be understood is that man is a four-dimensional space-time continuum, just as the whole existence is. Three dimensions are of space, one dimension is of time. They are not separate: the dimension of time is but the fourth dimension of space. The three dimensions of space are static; the fourth dimension of time brings movement, makes life a process. Then existence is not a thing, but becomes an event.

And so is man. Man is the miniature universe. If you could understand man in his totality, you would have understood the whole existence. Man contains all – in seed. Man is a condensed universe. And these are the four dimensions of man.

The first dimension is what Patanjali calls sushupti, deep sleep, where not even a dream exists. One is utterly silent, not even a thought stirring, no wind blowing. All is absent. That absence, in deep sleep, is the first dimension. It is from that that we start. And we have to understand our sleep, only then can we go through a transformation. Only then can we build our house on a rock, otherwise not. But very few people are there who understand their sleep.

You sleep every day, you live one-third of your life in deep sleep, but you don’t understand what it is. You go into it every night, and you also gain much out of it. But it is all unconscious: you don’t know exactly where it leads you. It leads you to the simplest dimension of your life – the first dimension. It is very simple because there is no duality. It is very simple because there is no complexity. It is very simple because there is only oneness. You have not yet arisen as an ego, you have not yet become divided – but the unity is unconscious.

If this unity becomes conscious you will have samadhi instead of sushupti. If this unity becomes conscious, illumined, then you will have attained God. That’s why Patanjali says: Deep sleep and samadhi, the ultimate state of consciousness, are very much alike.  Alike, because they are simple. Alike, because in both there is no duality. Alike, because in both the ego exists not.

In the first, the ego has not arisen yet; in the second, the ego has been dissolved – but there is a great difference too. The difference is that in samadhi you know what sleep is. Even while asleep your consciousness is there, your awareness is there. Your awareness goes on burning like a small light inside you.

A Zen Master was asked… It is a very famous saying in Zen:

Thus we are told that before we study Zen the mountains are mountains and the rivers are rivers. While we are studying Zen, however, the mountains are no longer mountains and the rivers are no longer rivers. But then when our study of Zen is completed, the mountains are once again mountains and the rivers are once again rivers.

‘What is meant by this?’ a disciple asked a great Master.

The Master explained this: ‘It simply means that the first and the last states are alike. Only just in the middle… the disturbance. First the mountains are mountains. and again in the end the mountains are again mountains. But in the middle the mountains are no more mountains and rivers are no more rivers – everything is disturbed and confused and clouded. That clouding, that confusion, that chaos, exists only in the middle. In sushupti everything is as it should be; in samadhi, again everything is as it should be. Between the two is the problem, is the world, is the mind, is the ego, is the whole complex of misery, hell.

When the Master explained this, the disciple exclaimed ‘Well, if that’s true, then there is no difference between the ordinary man and the enlightened man.’

‘That’s true’ replied the Master. ‘There is no difference really. The only thing is, the enlightened man is six inches off the ground.’

But those six inches make all the difference. Why is the Master six inches off the ground? He lives in the world and is yet not in it – those are the six inches, the difference. He eats, and yet he is not the eater; he remains a witness – those six inches. He is ill, he knows the pain of illness but still he is not in pain; that difference – those six inches. He dies, he knows death is happening, and yet he is not dying: that difference – those six inches. He is asleep and yet he is not asleep, he is alert too.

The first state is of sushupti. We will call it ‘the first dimension’. It is dreamless undividedness, it is unconscious unity, it is ignorance, but very blissful. But the bliss too is unconscious. Only in the morning when you are awake again do you start feeling that there has been a good sleep in the night, that you have been in some faraway land, that you are feeling rejuvenated, that you are feeling very fresh, again young and alive. But only in the morning – not exactly at the time when you are in the sleep, only later on. Just some fragrance remains lingering in the memory. It reminds you that you have been to some inner depth, but where? what? – you cannot figure it out. You cannot give any account of it. Just a vague memory, a faint remembrance that somewhere you have been in a good space. There is no ego yet, so there is no misery possible, because misery is not possible without the ego.

This is the state where the rocks and the mountains and the rivers and the trees are existing. That’s why trees look so beautiful – an unconscious bliss surrounds them. That’s why mountains look so silent: they are in sushupti, they are in deep sleep, they are continuously in deep sleep. That’s why when you go to the Himalayas an eternal silence is felt – virgin silence. Nobody has ever been able to disturb it. Just think of a mountain, and suddenly you start feeling silent. Think of trees and you feel life flowing in. The whole of nature exists in the first state, that’s why nature is so simple.

The second dimension is that of dream – what Patanjali calls swabha. The first disturbance in the sleep is dream. Now you are not one anymore; the second dimension has arisen. Images have started floating in you: the beginning of the world. Now you are two: the dreamer and the dreamed.

Now you are seeing the dream and you are the dream too. Now you are divided. That silence of the deep sleep is no more there, disturbance has entered because division has entered.

Division, duality, disturbance – that is the meaning of the dream. Although the duality is still unconscious it is there; but not very consciously – not that you know about it. The turmoil is there, the world is born, but things are still undefined. They are just coming out of the smoke; things are taking shape. The form is not yet clear, the form has not yet become concrete, but because of the dualism – even though it is unconscious – misery has entered in. The nightmare is not very far away. The dream will turn into a nightmare.

This is where anima]s and birds exist. They also have a beauty, because they are very close to sushupti. Birds sitting on a tree are just dreams sitting in sleep. Birds making their nests on a tree are just dreams making their nests in sleep. There is a kind of affinity between the birds and the trees. If trees disappear, birds will disappear; and if birds disappear, trees will not be so beautiful any more. There is a deep relationship; it is one family. When you see parrots screeching and flying around a tree, it almost looks as if the leaves of the tree have got wings. They are not separate… very close. Birds and animals are more silent than man, happier than man. Birds don’t go mad. They don’t need psychiatrists; they don’t need any Freud, any Jung, any Adler. They are utterly healthy.

If you go into the forest and you see the animals, you will be surprised – they are all alike! And all healthy. You will not find a single fat animal in the natural state. I am not talking about the zoo. In the zoo things go wrong, because the zoo is no more natural. Zoo animals start following man; they even start going mad and committing suicide. Zoo animals even turn into homosexuals. The state of the zoo is not natural, it is man-created. In nature they are very, very silent, happy, healthy, but that health too is unconscious – they don’t know what is happening.

This is the second state: when you are in a dream. This is the second dimension. First: dreamless sleep, sushupti – simple one-dimensional; there is no ‘other’. Second: dream, swabha; there are two dimensions: the dreamer and the dreamed, the content and the consciousness – the division has arisen – the looker and the looked at, the observer and the observed. Duality has entered. This is the second dimension.

In the first dimension there is only the present tense. Sleep knows no past, no future. Of course because it knows no past, no future, it cannot know the present either, because the present exists only in the middle. You have to be aware of the past and the future, only then can you be aware of the present. Because there is no past and no future, sleep exists only in the present. It is pure present, but unconscious.

With the dream, the division enters. With the dream, the past becomes very, very important. Dream is past-oriented; all dreams come from the past. They are fragments of the past floating in the mind, dust from the past which has not settled yet.

It’s her old man I feel sorry for. He was in bed the other night fast asleep. Suddenly she noticed he had a smile on his face. She thought ‘Hello, he’s having one of those dreams again.’ So she put down her crisps and her bottle of stout and woke him up.

He said ‘Blimey, you would, wouldn’t you! I was having a lovely dream then! I was at this auction where they were selling mouths. They had small rosebud ones for a quid. Pert little pursed ones for two quid, and little smiling ones for a fiver.’

She said ‘Ooh! Did they have a mouth my size?’

‘Yes. They were holding the auction in it.’

Whatsoever you dream has something to say about your past. It may be that you see an auction – little smiling rosebud mouths are being sold – but the auction is being held in your wife’s mouth. Maybe you have never said to your wife ‘Shut up, and keep your big mouth closed!’ Maybe you have not said it so clearly, but you have been thinking that so many times. It is lingering in the mind. It is there. Maybe you have never been so true in your waking state as you are when you are asleep. And you can be! You can afford to be true. All dreams float from the past. With the dream past becomes existential. So the present is there, and the past.

With the third, the third dimension, waking state what Patanjali calls jagrut – multiplicity enters. The first is unity, the second is duality, the third is multiplicity. Great complexity arises. The whole world is born. In sleep you are deep inside you; in dream you are no more that deep inside you and yet you are not out either – just in the middle, on the threshold. With waking consciousness you are outside yourself, you have gone into the world.

You can understand the biblical story of Adam’s expulsion in these three dimensions. When Adam was there in the Garden of Eden and had not yet eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge it was deep sleep, unconscious – unconscious bliss it was. There was no disturbance, everything was simply beautiful. He had not known of any misery. Then he eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Knowledge arises, images start floating, dreams have started functioning. He is no more the same. He is still in the Garden of Eden but no more part of it – alien, stranger, an outsider. He has not yet been expelled, but in a subtle way he is no more centered there. He is uprooted. This is the state of the dream – the first taste of knowledge, because of the first taste of duality, the distinction of observer and the observed. And then he is being expelled from the Garden of Eden, thrown out – that is the third state, the waking state. Now he cannot even go back; there is no way back. He has forgotten that he has an inside too.

In deep sleep you are inside. In wakefulness you are outside. In dream you are just in the middle, hanging, not settled yet where to go, still indecisive, in doubt, uncertain. With the waking state, the ego enters in. In the dream state there are just rudimentary fragments of the ego arising, but they settle in the third. The ego becomes the most concrete, most solid, most decisive phenomenon. Then whatsoever you do, you do because of the ego.

The third state brings a little consciousness – just one per cent, not much of it, just a flickering consciousness, momentary consciousness. The first was absolutely unconscious, the second was unconsciousness disturbed, the third is the first glimpse of consciousness. And because of that – the momentary glimpse of consciousness – that one per cent of consciousness coming in creates the ego. Now the future also enters in.

First there is only the present unconscious, then there is the past unconscious, now there is future. Past, present, future, and the whole complexity of time revolves around you. This is the state where people are stuck, where you are stuck, where everybody is stuck. And if you go on building your house with these three dimensions, you will be building it on sand, because your whole effort will be unconscious.

To do something in unconsciousness is futile – it is shooting arrows in the dark not knowing where the target is. It is not going to bring much result. First, light is needed. The target has to be looked for, searched for. And enough light is needed so you can move towards the target consciously. That is possible only when the fourth dimension starts functioning. It rarely happens; but whenever it happens, then meaning is really born, logos is born.

You will live a meaningless life if you live only with these three. You will live a meaningless life because you will not be able to create yourself. How can you create in such unawareness?

The fourth dimension is of awareness, witnessing – what Patanjali calls turiya. And in the Gospels Jesus goes on saying again and again to his disciples: Awake! Beware! Watch! All these words indicate turiya. And it is one of the misfortunes of history that Christianity has not been able to bring this message clearly to the world. It has failed utterly.

Rarely has a religion failed so utterly as Christianity. Jesus was not very fortunate, because the disciples that he found turned out to be very ordinary, and the religion became almost a political organization. The church became not a follower of Jesus but deep down really antagonistic to Jesus. The church has been doing things against Jesus in the name of Jesus.

Buddha was more fortunate. The followers never became a church, they never became so organized politically and they never became so worldly. They carried little bits of Buddha’s message down the ages.

This fourth dimension has to be understood as deeply as possible, because this is the goal. It is pure consciousness, simplicity again. The first was simple but unconscious; the fourth is simple but conscious. Unity again, bliss again – with only one difference: now everything is conscious, the inner light is burning bright. You are fully alert. It is not a dark night inside you but a full-moon night, moonlit. That is the meaning of enlightenment: the inner illumination.

Again there is only one time left – present, but now it is conscious present. Past is no more hanging around. A man who is aware cannot move in the past, because it is no more. A man who is aware cannot move in the future, because it is not yet. A man who is aware lives in the present, here-now. HERE is his only space and NOW is his only time. And because he is only here-now, time as such disappears. Eternity is born, timelessness is born. And when one is totally alert, ego cannot exist.

Ego is a shadow cast in unawareness. When all is light, the ego cannot exist. You will be able to see the falsity of it, the pseudo-ness of it. And in that very seeing is its disappearance.

These are the four dimensions of human consciousness. And people live only in the first three. The fourth carries the meaning; hence the people who live only in the three live a meaningless life. They know it. You know it! If you look into your life you will not find any meaning there, just a haphazard, accidental progression of things. One thing is followed by another, but with no particular consistency, with no particular relevance. One thing is followed by another just accidentally.

That’s what Jean-Paul Sartre means when he says ‘Man is a useless passion’: man is accidental. Yes, he is true if he is talking about the three dimensions: first, second and third; but he is not true about the fourth. And he cannot say anything about the fourth because he has not experienced anything of it. Only a Christ or a Buddha can say something about the fourth.

Christ-consciousness is of the fourth, so is Buddha-consciousness. To remain confined in the three is to be in the world. To enter into the fourth is to enter into nirvana, or call it the ‘kingdom of God’. These are only different expressions for the same thing.

A few things more: The second dimension is a shadow of the first: sleep and dream. Dreams cannot exist without sleep, sleep is a must. Sleep can exist without dreams. So sleep is primary, dreams are secondary – just a shadow. And so is the case with the third and the fourth. The third is the shadow of the fourth, because the third can exist only if there is some consciousness. A little bit of consciousness has to be there, only then can the third exist. The third cannot exist without little bit of consciousness in it – a ray of light. It is not much of a light, but a ray of light is needed. The fourth can exist without the third, but the third cannot exist without the fourth. The fourth is awareness, absolute awareness; and the third is just a small ray of light in the dark night. But it exists because of that small ray of light. If that ray of light disappears, it will become the second; it will not be the third any more.

And your life looks like a shadow-life because you are living with the third. And the third is the shadow of the fourth. Only with the fourth do you come home. Only with the fourth are you grounded in existence.

The first is absolute darkness, the fourth is absolute light. Between these two are their two shadows. Those two shadows have become so important to us that we think that is our whole life. That’s why Hindus have been calling the world maya, illusion, because of these two dimensions which have become predominant – the second and the third. We have lost track of the first, and we have not yet searched for the fourth.

And one thing more: If you find the fourth you will find the first. Only one who has found the fourth will be able to know about the first, because once you have come to the fourth you can be asleep and remain alert. Krishna defines the yogi in the Gita as ‘one who is awake while asleep’. That’s his definition for the yogi. A strange definition: who is awake while asleep.

And just the reverse is the situation with you. You are asleep while awake. That is the definition of a non-yogi: asleep while awake. You look awake, and you are not.

It is just an idea, this awake state. Ninety-nine per cent consists of sleep – only one per cent of wakefulness. And that one per cent also goes on changing. Sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not there at all. It was there; somebody insults you – and it is not there. You have become angry, and you have lost even that small awareness. Somebody treads on your feet – and it is gone. It is very delicate. Anybody can take it and destroy it, and very easily. You were perfectly okay; a letter comes and something is written in the letter, and suddenly you are no more okay. All is disturbed. A single word can create such a disturbance! Your awareness is not very much.

And you are awake only in rare moments: in danger you are awake, because in danger you have to be awake. But when there is no danger, you start snoring. You can hear people snoring – walking down the road, they are snoring. And they are caged in their own unconsciousness.

A drunk bumped into a stop sign. Dazed and disoriented, he stepped back and then advanced in the same direction. Once more he hit the sign. He retreated a few steps, waited awhile, and then marched forward. Colliding with the post again, he embraced it in defeat and said ‘It is no use. I am fenced in. I am stopped in every direction.’

And he has not moved in any other direction. He has been moving again and again to the post. And being hit, naturally he concludes that he has been fenced in from every direction.

And that is the situation of the ordinary human consciousness. You go on moving in the same unconscious way, in the same unconscious direction. And again and again you are hit, and you think ‘Why is there so much misery? Why? Why did God create such a miserable world in the first place? Is God a kind of sadist? Does he want to torture people? Why has he created a life which is almost like a prison, and in which there is no freedom?’

Life is absolutely free. But to see that freedom, first you will have to free your consciousness. Remember it as a criterion: the more conscious you are, the more free; the less conscious you are, the less free. The more conscious you are, the more blissful; the less conscious you are, the less blissful. It depends on how conscious you are. And there are people who will go on looking into the scriptures to find out ways to become more free, to become more blissful, to attain to truth. That is not going to help, because it is not a question of the scriptures. If you are unconscious and you go on reading the Bible and the Koran and the Vedas and the Gita, it is not going to help, because your unconsciousness cannot be changed by your studies. In fact the scripture cannot change your consciousness, but your unconsciousness will change the scripture – the meaning of the scriptures. You will find your own meanings there. You will interpret in such a way that the Bible, the Veda, the Koran, will start functioning as imprisonments. that’s how Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans are – all imprisoned.

I have heard…

After booking into a large hotel, a self-styled evangelist read in his room for an hour or two – and he was reading the Bible – then went down to the bar, and after a couple of drinks, he struck up a conversation with the red-headed barmaid. He stayed up until closing time and after the girl had cleared up, they both went up to the evangelist’s room.

When he started to interfere with her clothing, the barmaid seemed to have second thoughts. ‘Are you sure this is alright?’ she said ‘after all you are a holy man.’

‘My dear’ he replied ‘it’s written in the Bible.’

She took him at his word, and they spent a very pleasant night together. The next morning, however, as the girl was preparing to leave, she said ‘You know, I don’t remember the part of the Bible you spoke about last night.’

The evangelist picked up the Gideon’s Bible from the bedside table, opened the cover, and showed her the flyleaf, on which was inscribed ‘The redheaded barmaid screws.’

Reading the whole Bible for one hour, and this was his finding. Somebody had inscribed on the flyleaf…

If you read the Bible, you read it, remember. And the meaning that you give it will be yours, the interpretation will be yours. It cannot help you, because it cannot even protect itself from you. How can it help you? The only way to have any change in life is to change consciousness. And to change consciousness you will not have to go into the Bible and the Vedas. You will have to go inwards, you will have to go into meditation. Scholarship won’t help.

A blind man was invited to a festivity and there he ate some delicious pudding. He was so enchanted by its taste that he asked someone sitting next him to tell what it looked like.

‘White’ the man said.

‘What is white?’ the blind man asked.

‘White? – like a duck,’ came the answer.

‘How does a duck look?’ persisted the blind man.

Puzzled for a moment, the man finally said ‘Here, feel this’ and took the blind man’s hand in his hand and guided it along his other hand and arm, which he bent at the elbow and wrist to resemble the shape of a duck.

At this, the blind man exclaimed ‘Oh, the pudding is crooked!’

That’s what is going to happen. You cannot help the blind man to know what is white, or what is color, or what is light. All your help is going to give him something wrong. There is no way to help the blind man by definitions, by explanations, by theories, by dogmas, by scriptures. The only way to help him is to heal his eyes.

Buddha has said ‘I am a physician. I don’t give you definitions of light, I simply heal your eyes.’ And that’s what Jesus is, and all the miracles that are reported in the Bible are not miracles but parables – that a blind man came to him and he touched his eyes, and the blind man was healed and he could see immediately. If it is just about the physical eye, this is not much. Then Jesus is already out of date, because medical science can do it. Sooner or later, Jesus will have to be completely forgotten. If he was simply curing physical eyes, then it is not going to mean much in the future. This can be done by science. And that which can be done by science should be done by science; religion should not enter into it – there is no need. Religion has far higher things to do.

So I insist again and again that these stories are not miracles but parables. People are blind, and the Jesus-touch is a magic touch. He helps them to see, he helps them to become aware, he helps them to become more conscious. He brings the fourth.

To go into the fourth, work is needed. Work in the sense that Gurdjieff used to use that word. Work means a great effort to transform your being, a great effort to center your being, a great effort to drop all that which creates darkness and to bring all that which can help a little light come in. If a door has to be opened, then open the door and let the light come in. If a wall has to be broken, then break the wall and let the light come in. Work means a conscious effort to search, to inquire to explore into the dimension of the fourth – into light, into awareness – and a conscious effort to drop all that which helps you remain unconscious, to drop all that which keeps you mechanical.

A man bought a farm and a sow. He asked his wife to watch the sow, explaining that if she saw it eating grass it was ready for mating and could be taken to the next farm. A couple of days later his wife told him that the sow had started to eat grass. So the farmer put it on a barrow and took it to the next farm to be mated. When he came back, he told his wife to watch the sow again. ‘If the sow eats grass again, it has not taken’ he explained.

A few days later, his wife reported that the sow was eating grass again. So it was put on the barrow and taken for mating again. The farmer brought it back and again asked his wife to watch it closely. Two days later he asked his wife if it had been eating grass again.

‘No’ she said ‘but it’s sitting in the barrow.’

The mechanical mind, the instinctive mind, the repetitive mind – that has to be broken and dropped. Work means an alchemical change. Great effort is needed. Hard and arduous is the path. It is an uphill task.

-Osho

From I Say Unto You, Vol. 1, Discourse #7

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.

Meditation is Not Interference – Osho

You say that millions of lives and millions of years of natural evolution can be avoided through reaching total awareness and total freedom. Can it not be argued that karma, with its natural forces of cause and effect, should not be interfered with by any shortcuts. Or is it also the way of divinity to bring such a possibility within the reach of the evolving world, the evolving soul? 

Everything can be argued, but argument leads nowhere. You can argue, but how is that argument going to help you? You can argue that the natural process of karma should not be interfered with – don’t interfere then. But then be happy in your misery – and you are not. You want to interfere. If you can rely on the natural process; it is just wonderful – but then don’t make any complaint. Don’t ask, ‘Why is this so?’ It is so because of the natural process of karma. You are suffering? – you are suffering because of the natural process of karma, and otherwise is not possible; don’t interfere.

This is what the doctrine of fate, of kismat is – the doctrine of believing in fate. Then you are not to do anything: whatsoever is happening is happening, and you have to accept it. Then too it becomes a surrender, and you need not do anything. But the total acceptability is needed. Really there is no need to interfere, but can you be in such a state where you don’t interfere? You are constantly interfering with everything. You cannot leave it to nature. If you can leave it, then nothing else is needed and everything will happen to you. But if you cannot leave it, then interfere. And you can interfere, but the process has to be understood.

Really, meditating is not interfering in the process of karma; rather, it is taking a jump out of it. Exactly it is not interfering; it is taking a jump out of the vicious wheel, out of the vicious circle. The circle will go on, and the process will come to an end by itself. You cannot put an end to it, but you can be out of it, and once you are out of it, it becomes illusory.

For example, Raman died of cancer. His disciples tried to persuade him to go for treatment. He said, ‘Okay. If you like it and if it will make you happy, then treat me. But as far as I am concerned it is okay.’ The doctors were surprised, because his body was suffering, it was in deep pain, but his eyes were without any pain. His body was suffering deeply, but he was not suffering.

The body is part of the karma, it is part of the mechanical circle of cause and effect, but the consciousness can be beyond it, it can transcend it. He was just a witness. He was seeing that the body was suffering, that the body was going to die, but he was a witness. He was not interfering with it, not interfering at all. He was just watching whatsoever was happening, but he was not in the vicious circle, he was not identified, he was not within it then.

Meditation is not an interference. Really, without meditation you are interfering every moment. With meditation you go beyond; you become a watcher on the hill. Deep down in the valley things go on, they continue, but they don’t belong to you. You are just an onlooker. It is as if they are happening to somebody else, or as if they are happening in a dream, or in a film on the screen. You are not interfering. You are just not within the drama itself – you have come out. Now you are not an actor, you have become a spectator. This is the only change.

And when you are just a witness, the body will complete immediately whatsoever, has to be completed. If you have many karmas for suffering, and now that you have become a witness you are not going to be reborn again, the body will have to suffer in this life all the suffering that would have been in many lives. So it happens many times that an enlightened man has to suffer many bodily ills, because now there is no future birth, no future life. This is going to be the last body, so all the karmas and the whole process has to be completed, finished.

So it happens that if we look at Jesus’ life through eastern eyes, then the crucifixion is a different phenomenon. To the western mind there is no succession of lives, no rebirth, no reincarnation, so they don’t really have a very deep analysis of the crucifixion. They have a myth that Jesus suffered for us, his suffering was a salvation for us. But this is absurd; and this is not true to the facts also, because if Jesus’ suffering has become a salvation for you, then why is humanity still suffering? It is suffering more than it ever suffered before.

After Jesus’ crucifixion humanity has not entered into the kingdom of God. If he suffered for us, if his crucifixion was a repentance of our guilt and sin, then he is a failure, because the guilt continues, the sin continues, the suffering continues. Then his suffering was in vain, then the crucifixion didn’t succeed.

Christianity has simply a myth. But the eastern analysis of human life has a different attitude. Jesus’ crucifixion was all his suffering accumulated through his own karmas. And this was his last life, he would not enter the body again, so the whole suffering had to be crystallized, concentrated, in a single point. That single point became the crucifixion.

He did not suffer for anyone else – no one can suffer for anyone else. He suffered for himself, for his past karmas. No one can make you free, because you are in the bondage because of your karmas, so how can Jesus make you free? He can make himself a slave, he can make himself a free man, he can liberate himself. Through the crucifixion the account of his own karmas closed. He was finished, the chain had come to an end. Cause and effect – they had come to an ed. This body would not be born again; he would not enter into another womb. If he was not an enlightened person, then he would have had to suffer all this for many lives. It became concentrated in one point, in one life.

You cannot interfere, and if you interfere you will create more misery for yourself. Don’t interfere with karmas, but go beyond, be a witness to them Take them as a dream, not real; just look at them and be indifferent. Don’t get involved. Your body suffers – look at the suffering. Your body is happy – look at the happiness. Don’t get identified – that’s all that meditation means.

And don’t find alibis, don’t find excuses. Don’t say that this can be argued. You can argue anything, you are free to, but remember that your argument may be suicidal. You can argue against yourself, and you can create an argument which is not going to help you, which is not going to transform you, rather, which is going to become a hindrance. We go on arguing.

Just today one girl came to meet me. She asked me, ‘Tell me, is there really a God?’ She was ready to argue that there is no God. I looked at her face, her eyes. She was tense, filled with argument; she wanted to fight about the point. Really deep down she wanted that there is no God, because if there is God you are in trouble. If there is God then you cannot remain whatsoever you are; then a challenge comes. God is a challenge. It means you cannot be satisfied with yourself; something higher than you is possible. A higher state, an absolute state of consciousness is possible. That’s what God means.

So she was ready to argue, and she said, ‘I am an atheist and I don’t believe in God.’

I told her, ‘If there is no God, how can you not believe in him? And God is irrelevant. Your belief and your disbelief, your argument for and your argument against is related to you; it is not related to God. Why are you concerned? If there is no God, why have you travelled so long, and why have you come to me to argue about something which is not? Forget and forgive him. Go to your home, don’t waste your time. If he is not, then why are you worried? Why this effort to prove that he is not? This effort shows something about you. You are afraid. If God is, then it is a challenge. If God is not, then you can remain whatsoever you are; there is no challenge to life.’

A person who is afraid of challenges, risks, dangers, of changing himself, of mutation, will always deny that there is God. The denial is his mind; the denial shows something about him, not about God.

I told her that God is not a thing which can be proved or disproved. God is not an object about which we can take some opinion for or against. God is a possibility within you. It is not something without; it is a possibility within you. If you travel to that possibility, he becomes real. If you don’t travel up to that point, he is unreal. And if you argue against him then there is no point in travelling; you remain the same. And this becomes a vicious circle.

You argue that God is not, and because of it you never travel towards him – because it is an inner travel, an inner journey. You never travel, because how can you travel towards the point which is not? So you remain the same. And when you remain the same you never meet, you never encounter God. You never come to any feeling, to any vibration from him. Then it is proved more for you that he is not. And the more it is proved, the more you are far away, the more you are falling, the more the gap increases.

So it is not a question of whether God is nor not, I told her. It is a question of whether you want to grow or not. If you grow, your total growth will be the meeting, your total growth will be the communion, your total growth will be the encounter. I told her one anecdote.

One windy morning, just as the spring was ending, a snail started travelling upwards on a cherry tree. Some sparrows which were just on a neighboring oak started laughing, because it was not the season and there were no cherries on the tree, and this poor snail was making so much effort to reach the top. They laughed at his expense.

Then one sparrow flew down, came near to the snail and said, ‘Darling, where are you going? There are no cherries yet on the tree.’

But the snail never even paused; she continued her upward journey. Without pausing, the snail said, ‘But they will be there when I reach. They will be there when I reach there. It will take a long time for me to reach to the top, and by that time cherries will be there.’

God is not, but he will be there by the time you reach. It is not something which is already there – it is never there. It is a growth. It is your own growth. When you reach to a point where you are totally conscious, God is. But don’t argue. Rather than wasting your energy in arguing, use your energy in transforming yourself.

And energy is not much. If you divert your energy into argument you can become a genius in arguing. But then you are wasting, it is at a great cost, because the same energy can become meditation. You can become a logician: you can make very logical arguments, you can find very convincing proofs or disproofs, but you will remain the same. Your arguments are not going to change you.

Remember one thing: whatsoever changes you is good. Whatsoever gives you growth, expansion, increase in consciousness, is good. Whatsoever makes you static and whatsoever protects your status quo is not good; it is fatal, suicidal.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets #58, 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.

Enter Into the Mysterium – Osho

Life is not a problem but a mystery. For science life is a problem, but for religion it is a mystery. A problem can be solved, a mystery cannot be solved – it can be lived but it cannot be solved. Religion offers no solutions, no answers. Science offers answers; religion has none.

This is the basic difference, and before you make any effort to understand what religion is, this basic difference in the very approach of a religious mind and a scientific mind is to be deeply understood.

When I say that science looks at life as a problem, as something which can be solved, the whole approach becomes intellectual. Then the mind is involved, not you. You are out of it. The mind manipulates, the mind tackles, the mind penetrates and analyses. The mind argues, doubts, experiments, but you as a totality are out of it. Hence this very puzzling phenomenon: a scientist may be a very keen intellectual as far as his own department of research is concerned, but in ordinary life he will be just as ordinary a human being as anyone else – nothing special, just ordinary. In his own branch of knowledge he may be a genius, but in life he is just ordinary.

Science includes only your intellect, not your totality. An intellect has a violence, it is aggressive. That is why very few women can be scientists – aggression is not natural to them. Intellect is male, aggressive, violent: that is why men are more scientific and women are more religious. Intellect tries to dissect, divide, analyze, and whenever you dissect an alive thing, the life disappears. Only dead parts are left in your hands.

That is why science never touches life. Really, whatsoever it touches becomes dead. When science says there is no soul or there is no God it is meaningful, not because there is no soul or no God, but because this shows that the very approach of the scientific mind is such that you cannot touch life anywhere. Wherever science touches, death happens. In the very method, in the very way, in the very approach of division, analysis, dissection, life is bracketed out.

One thing: intellect is violent and aggressive, so the ultimate outcome through intellect can only be death, not life. It is partial, not total, and parts are dead. Life is an organic unity. You can know life through synthesis, not through analysis. The greater the synthesis the higher the forms of life that evolve. God is the ultimate synthesis, the total unity, the wholeness of existence. God is not a puzzle but the ultimate synthesis of all that is – matter is the ultimate analysis of all that is.

So science comes to atomic materiality and religion comes to cosmic consciousness. Science moves downwards to the last, lowest denominator and religion moves upwards to the highest denominator. They move in opposite dimensions. So science transforms everything into a problem, because if you have to tackle it scientifically, you first have to decide whether it is a problem or not. Religion takes mystery as the base. There is no problem, life is not a problem. The emphasis is that it cannot be solved. A problem means something solvable, something which can be known, something knowable. It may not be known right now, but it is not unknowable. At the most it may be unknown, but that unknownness will disappear and it will be transformed into a known thing.

So really, religion cannot ask a question like, “What is life?” This is absurd. Religion cannot ask such a question as, “What is God?” This is nonsense. The very approach of religion is not to create problems. Religion can ask how to be more alive, how to be in the very current of life, how to live abundantly; religion can ask how to be a God – but it cannot ask what God is.

We can live mysteries, we can become one with them, we can lose ourselves in them, we can have a totally difference existence, the very quality changes – but nothing is solved, because nothing can be solved. And all that appears to be solvable, all that appears to be knowable, is only because we are taking it in fragments. If we look at the whole then nothing is knowable, we just go on pushing the mystery backwards. All our questions are temporary, they appear to be answers only to lazy minds. If you have a penetrating mind you will come again upon the same mystery, only it has been pushed back, a step back. Just behind the answers the question is hidden. You have simply created a facade of an answer, just a curtain over the mystery.

If you can feel the distinction, then from the very beginning religion takes on a different shape, a different color and a different view. The whole perspective changes. These techniques that we are discussing here are not to solve anything – they don’t take life as a problem. Life is there. It has been a mystery and will remain a mystery. Whatsoever we do we cannot demystify it, because to be mysterious is the very quality of it. That life is mysterious is not something accidental, it is not something which can be separated, it is the very life itself. So to me, the more you enter into the mysterium, into the mysterious, the more religious you become.

A really religious man will not say that he believes in God; he will not say that God exists. These things seem to be very superficial, they seem to be like answers given to certain questions. A religious man cannot utter such profanities – that God is. It is such a profound phenomenon, such a mysterious thing, that to say anything will be profane. So whenever someone asked Buddha whether God existed or not, he remained silent. You are asking a thing which cannot be answered. Not that there is no God, but to answer such a thing will make it answerable. Then life will become a problem which can be answered. Then the mystery disappears. So Buddha said, “Don’t ask me any metaphysical questions.”

Questions can only be physical. Physics can answer them. Metaphysical questions are not there, they cannot be, because metaphysics means the mystery.

These techniques are to help you to move more deeply into mystery, not into knowledge.

Or you can look at it in a different way: these techniques are to help you to be unburdened of your knowledge. They are not to help you to increase your ‘knowledgeability’, because ‘knowledgeability’ is the barrier. The door is then closed for the mystery. The more you know, the less you are capable of penetrating deep into life. The original wonder must be recaptured, because in a childlike sense of wonder nothing is known and everything becomes a mystery. And if you move into the mystery, the deeper you move, the deeper the mystery becomes. Then a moment comes when you can say that you don’t know anything. That is the right moment.

Now you have become meditative. When you can feel a deep ignorance, when you become aware that you don’t know anything, you have come to the right balancing point from where the door of the mystery can open. If you know, then the door is closed; if you are ignorant, fully alert that you don’t know anything, the door suddenly opens. The very feeling that you don’t know opens the door.

So take these techniques not as knowledge, but as a help to make you more innocent. Ignorance is innocent, knowledge is always a sort of cunningness, cleverness. If you can use your knowledge to be ignorant again, then you have used it rightly. This is the only use of all the scriptures, of all the knowledge, of all the Vedas – to make you childlike again.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #65

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.

Beware of Thinking! – Osho

Once a doctor, a very well-known historian and an eminent scholar, was staying in a village. The postmaster, the old postmaster of the village, became curious about this old man, this doctor. He was curious to know what kind of doctor he is, so one day he asked, ‘What kind of doctor are you sir?’

The man said, ‘Doctor of Philosophy.’

The old man had never heard about it. He was puzzled and he said, ‘I have never heard of any case of this disease here.’

Don’t laugh about it, because that old postmaster was right in a way – philosophy is a kind of disease. Of course, doctors of philosophy are not doctors; rather, they are the perfect victims of a disease.

Philosophy is not a specific disease, so you cannot think of it in terms of cases. It is born with the human being. It is as old as humanity or the human mind. And every human being is a victim, more or less – because thinking leads nowhere; or, it leads you in circles, vicious circles. You move much, and if you are expert you can move fast, but you reach nowhere.

This has to be understood very deeply, because if you cannot understand and feel this, you cannot take a jump into meditation. Meditation means the very anti approach – anti to philosophy. Philosophy means thinking and meditation means a state of non-thinking. They are polar opposites.

This is just human – to think about questions and to try to find out answers. But philosophy comes to no answers. Science comes to certain answers, religion comes to certain answers, but philosophy comes to no answers. And all the answers that philosophy appears to come to are just facades: if you dig deep in them you will find more questions and nothing else. So every answer leads to more questions – and this goes on and on.

Science comes to certain answers, because science depends not on thinking but on experimentation. Thinking is used as a help only, but the base is experimentation. That’s why science has given some answers. Philosophers, known and unknown, have been working and working for centuries, but not a single answer, not a single conclusion has been achieved. It cannot be achieved. The very nature of thinking is such that if you use thinking as a help towards experimentation, something can be achieved; that’s why science comes to certain answers.

But religion also comes to certain answers, because religion is also experimentation. Science experiments with the object, religion experiments with the subject, but both are experimentations and both depend on experiment. Between these two is philosophy – just pure thinking, abstract thinking, with no experiment. You can go on, you can go on, but you reach nowhere. Abstract thinking, speculative thinking, is thinking ad infinitum. You can enjoy, you can enjoy the journey, but there is no goal.

Religion and science are similar in a way – both believe in experiment. Religious experiment is of course deeper than scientific, because in science the experimenter himself is not involved. He is working with tools, working with things, working with objects; he remains aloof, he remains out of the experiment. Religion is a deeper science, because the experimenter himself becomes the experiment. There are no tools which are apart from him, no objects which are outside him. He is both – his tools, his objects, his method; he is everything. And he has to work upon himself.

It is arduous. Because you are involved, it is arduous. And because you are involved, the experiment will become experience. In science, the experiment will remain an experiment will remain an experiment. The scientist will not be touched by it, will not be transformed by it. The scientist will remain the same. But in religion, passing through the experiment, you will be a different man altogether. You cannot come out the same; you are bound to change. That’s why religious experiment becomes experience.

Remember this: you can go on thinking about God, about soul, about the other world, and you may make believe that you know something about God just by thinking ‘about’. That will be false. You cannot know anything about God – the word ‘about’ is absurd. You can know God, but you cannot know ‘about’ – that ‘about’ creates philosophy.

How can you know about God? Or, for example, how can you know about love? You can know love, you cannot about love, because ‘about’ means someone else knows and you believe in his knowledge. You collect and gather opinions. You say, ‘I know something about God.’ All knowledge which is ‘about’ is false, dangerous, because you can be deluded by it.

You can know God, you can know love, you can know yourself, but forget that ‘about’. That ‘about’ is philosophy. The Upanishads say something, the Vedas say something, the Bible says something, the Koran says something, but for you, all that will become ‘about’. Unless it becomes your experience it is futile, wasted.

This point must go deep within you, because you can go on thinking, and the mind is such that you can start thinking about meditation. You can make anything an object for meditation, for thinking. Even about meditation you can think, and you can go on thinking about it – nothing will happen.

I am talking about so many methods. There is a danger: you may start thinking about these methods, you may become knowledgeable. That won’t do, that is of no use. Not only is it of no use, it is dangerous – because meditation is experience, knowing ‘about’ is worthless.

Remember this word ‘experience’. Life’s problems, all the problems of life, are existential, they are not speculative. You cannot solve them by thinking; you can solve them only by living them. Through living the future opens. Through thinking the future never opens. On the contrary, even the present closes.

You may not have observed: whenever you think, what happen? Whenever you think, you are closed. All that is present drops. You move on a dream-path in your mind. One word creates another, one thought creates another, and you go on moving. The more you move in thinking, the further away you go from existence. Thinking is a way to go away. It is a dream-way; it is dreaming in concepts. Come back to the earth. Religion is very earthly in this sense; not worldly but very earthly, substantial. Come back to existence.

Life’s problems can be solved only when you become deeply rooted in existence. Flying in thoughts you move away from the roots, and the further away you are, the less is the possibility of solving anything. Rather, you will confuse everything, and everything will become more entangled. And the more entangled, the more you will think, and the further away you will move. Beware of thinking!

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #51

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.

Death is Not the Enemy – Osho

Death is not the enemy. It appears to be so because we cling too much to life. The fear of death arises out of the clinging. And because of this clinging we are unable to know what death is. Not only that, we are unable to know what life is too.

The man who is not able to know death will not be able to know life either, because deep down they are two branches of the same tree, If you are afraid of death, basically you will remain – because it is life that brings death. It is through living that you come to dying.

You would like to become stagnant frozen, so that you don’t flow, so that death never happens. You would like to get stuck somewhere on the way, so that you never come to the ocean and disappear.

A man who is afraid of death clings to life too much; but the irony is that even if he clings too much to life, he is not able to see what life is. His clinging to life becomes a barrier to understanding life too. He cannot understand death, he cannot understand life; he remains in a deep misunderstanding, in a great ignorance.

So this is one of the most fundamental things to see: that death is not the enemy. Death cannot be the enemy. In fact, the enemy exists not. The whole existence is one. All is friendly. All is yours, it belongs to you and you belong to it. You are not strangers here.

Existence has given birth to you; existence has mothered you. So when you die, you simply go back to the original source to rest and to be born again.

Death is like a rest. Life is activity: death is rest. And without rest activity is not possible. Life is like the day and death is like the night. And without the night, the day cannot exist on its own. It is night that prepares you for the day, it is night that rejuvenates you, gives you energy back. You move in your deep sleep to the very point where death will lead you.

Every night you go into death – it is a small death – hence in the morning you feel so alive. Unfortunate are those people who don’t die every night. In the morning they are more tired than they were when they went to bed. They were dreaming, they were still clinging to life in their dreams. They didn’t go in a let-go. They didn’t allow death to take possession of them and mend many things and give rest, relaxation, new energy. These are the unfortunate people. The fortunate people are those who go into a tremendously deep sleep, a dreamless sleep. In the morning they are again alive, ready to face life in its manifold forms, full of joy, full of response, ready to take any challenge that life proposes.

Death is like the night. Life is yang and death is yin. Life is male, death is female. Life is aggression, ambition – a great effort to conquer many things. And death is relaxation from all aggression – an inward journey. One relaxes into oneself. Zen people call it ‘the asylum of rest’.

Life is an adventure; you go away from yourself; you go farther and farther away. The farther away you are, the more miserable you become. You go in search of happiness, but the more you search for happiness, the farther you are from it. And you can see it in your own life. This is not a philosophy; this is a simple statement of fact. Everybody goes in search of happiness. But the farther away you go, the more miserable you become.

Life is a search for happiness – but brings misery. One day you are fed up and tired and bored. That adventure no longer appeals. You relax into yourself, you come back. The closer you come to yourself, the happier you become. The more you forget about happiness, the happier you become. The day you stop seeking and searching for happiness, you are happy.

Life is a promise for happiness, but only a promise. It never fulfills. Death fulfills it. Hence, I repeat: death is not the enemy. Death is your home where you come after many, many journeys – tired, frustrated, exhausted – to seek shelter, to seek rest, to gain again the lost vitality. One thing.

Second thing: life and death are not so much apart as we think. You think life happened the day you were born, and death will happen the day you die. So there is a seventy or eighty or one hundred years’ gap. It is not so. Birthing and dying go on together your whole life. The moment you start breathing you start dying too. Each moment there is life and there is death – two wheels of the same cart. They go together. They are simultaneous. You cannot put them so far apart – seventy years is too much distance. You cannot put them so far apart – they are there every moment. Every moment something is being born in you and something is dying.

Dying and living are together. In seventy years’ time you are finished with this dying and living. You are tired of the game. You would like to go home. You have played with sand castles. You have argued, fought for your sand castles: This is mine and that is thine, and enough is enough! Evening has come and the sun is setting and you want to come home. After seventy years you slip into deep rest. But dying and living continue together. To see it in that light will bring great insight to you. Each moment both are there.

So there is no need to be afraid. It is not that death is going to happen somewhere in the future. The future creates problems: It is going to happen somewhere in the future – how to protect yourself? How to create Great China Walls against it? What arrangements should be made so it doesn’t happen to you, or at least so it can be postponed a little more?

But it is already happening! It is not a question in the future. It has been happening since you have been here. You cannot postpone it; you cannot do anything about it! There is no way to do anything about it. It is the very process of life – dying is part of the very process of life.

For example, it comes very, very prominent and loud and bold when you make love. Naturally, because love gives you the feeling of life. But have you watched? After each love act you become depressed. Relaxed, silent, but a kind of frustration is also there. At the peak of your love you are at the peak of life, and then suddenly you fall into death. Each love act brings life to a peak, and, naturally, gives you a glimpse into the abyss of death that is surrounding it. The valley of death is very clear when the peak of life is very high.

Out of this experience, two types of culture have arisen in the world. One is sex-against, and one is death-against.

The sex-against culture emphasizes more the frustration that follows the sex act. It is more concerned with the valley. It says, “Look, nothing is achieved, only frustration. That was all illusion; that peak, that orgasm, was just illusory, momentary. See what really comes in the end – just frustration. Again, you are flat on the ground. So it was a kind of illusion that you have created, but this is reality.”

After each sex act, everybody starts thinking of how to become celibate, how to drop this whole miserable wheel, how to get out of this vicious wheel. The idea of celibacy and Brahmacharya has arisen because of that second part. It is there! People who are sex-against see only it. People who are death-against don’t see it. People who are death-against, they simply see the peak, they don’t look into the valley. Once the peak is there, they close their eyes and go into sleep. They don’t think about the valley. The valley is there, but they have chosen only the peak.

But see, there is a corollary to it. If you only see the peak then you will be very much afraid of death, because you will not have any experience of it. Then death will remain unknown forever. Only when you are dying, then you will come across it. Then it will be too much and too new, and too unfamiliar and unknown, and it will shock you very much.

So the people who are death-against and only see the peak of life, the orgasmic peak of the sex act, will avoid the valley, they will not look into it. Then ultimately, one day, that valley is there. They are very afraid. Hence, in the West, where sex has become more free and people are less sex-against, hey are more death-against. They are fighting against death. Somehow death has to be destroyed.

In the East, people are sex-against. They look only into the valley. They don’t look at the peak; they say the peak is just illusory. Because they look into the valley, they have become more and more death-prone, ready to die. In fact, waiting to die; in fact, hoping to die, desiring to die, dreaming to die. In the East the greatest ideal is how to die so utterly that you are never born again. That is the ultimate death.

In the West the idea is how to create a situation where you don’t die at all; you go on living – on and on and on. Both attitudes are lop-sided. Both attitudes create a kind of imbalance in you, and that imbalance is the misery of man.

A real man, an authentic man, will face all; he will not choose. He will not say, “I will see only the valley and I will be oblivious of the peak,” or “I will only see the peak and I will remain oblivious of the valley.” He will see both as they are. He will not choose.

Not to choose is Zen. To be choiceless is Zen: to see things as they are in their totality – good and bad, heaven and hell, life and death, day and night, summer and winter – to see them as they are. Zen is not an either/or philosophy. It does not give you a choice because it says, “If you choose, you will always be afraid of the one that you have not chosen.”

See into it: if you choose something, you will remain constantly trapped with that which you have not chosen, because the not-chosen is the rejected, the not-chosen is the repressed. The not-chosen is a hankering to take revenge. The not-chosen is getting ready – someday, in a weaker moment, it will explode with a vengeance.

So the man who is sex-against is always afraid of the vengeance of sex – it can explode any moment. And the man who is afraid of death, death-against, is naturally always trembling death is coming. He knows, there is a tacit understanding. Whether you see it or not, it makes no difference. Just not seeing it will not make it disappear. It is there. You know it is there and it is coming. And it is coming closer every moment.

The man who is sex-against will be afraid of sexuality erupting any moment in his consciousness. And the man who is death-against will be afraid of death coming any day and possessing him and destroying him.

Both kinds of people remain fear-oriented; and both kinds of people remain in a fighting state, continuously conflicting. They never come to a calm tranquility, an equilibrium. Equilibrium is when you don’t choose, when you see the fact as it is. Life is not an either/or question, there is nothing to choose. It is all together. By your choice, nothing is changed. By your choice, only you get into a kind of ignorance. That which you choose is part, and that which you are not choosing is also part of reality. The unchosen part of reality will remain hanging around you, waiting to be accepted. It cannot disappear, there is no way for it to disappear. If you love life too much and you don’t want to see the fact of death… death is there hanging around like a shadow.

Zen says: See both – they are one piece, they are together. Seeing them together, without any choice, without any prejudice, you transcend them. Seeing them together, you are no more identified with life and no more identified with death. When you are not identified, you are free, you are liberated.

Identification is what imprisonment is. Let this be understood perfectly, because that is the root cause of all our misery, slavery.

Identification – this word is very significant. It means you get identified with a part. You become one with one part of life, that part you start thinking of as if it is the whole. Nothing is wrong with the part as such, but the part is the part; it is not the whole. When you start thinking of the part as the whole, partiality arises. When you start claiming for the part as if it is the whole, you are becoming blind to the whole. Now you will be in conflict with reality. And you cannot win against reality, remember it. You cannot win against reality. It is impossible. It does not happen, it cannot happen. You can win only with reality, never against reality. Victory is with reality. That’s why all the great Masters have put so much emphasis on surrender. Surrender means to be with reality. Then victory is certain – because reality is going to win. It is always the reality that wins. If you are with it, you will be a winner; if you are against it, you are going to be a loser. And we are all losers, we have been fighting.

We choose a small part and claim that this is the whole. We choose life, we take life out of its basic context – death – and we say, “This is me. I am life.” Now you are getting into trouble. You will be encaged in this identification. How will you manage death then? – and it is there, and it is happening every moment, and it is going to take you unawares one day.

You get identified with the body, “I am the body,” then there is trouble. You get identified with the mind, “I am the mind,” then there is trouble. Getting identified is getting into trouble. Identification is the very stuff ignorance is made of. Once identification is dropped, once you don’t get identified with anything, you simply remain a witness – not saying, “This I am” or “that I am.” You simply remain a witness. You see life as passing, you see death as passing, you see sex as passing, you see frustration, joy, success, failure. You go on seeing; you remain a pure seer. You don’t get hooked with anything; you don’t claim “I am this.” Without claiming, who are you? Without confining and defining yourself, without giving a limitation to yourself, if you can remain flowing, just seeing, there is liberation. There is great liberation.

Unidentified one is free. Identified, one is encaged.

Zen says: Don’t be identified with anything whatsoever. And then, naturally, transcendence happens. You see misery coming and you remain a watcher. You see misery arising, engulfing you, surrounding you like great dark smoke, but you remain a watcher. You see it, you don’t judge. You don’t say, “This is me,” or “This is not me.” You don’t say anything at all, you remain non-judgemental. You simply see this is the fact, that there is misery. 

Then as it had come one day, one day it starts disappearing. Clouds had gathered and now they are disappearing, and there is great sunshine and happiness. You don’t get identified with that either. You just see that sunshine has come back; clouds have disappeared. You don’t say, “This is me,” you don’t say, “This is not me.” You don’t make any statement at all about yourself. You simply go on watching.

Many times, it will happen – misery will come, happiness will come – many times you will succeed, many times you will fail. Many times, you will be depressed, and many times you will feel very high. Watching all this duality, by and by you will see that you are beyond all these dual pairs of things.

And so is a pair – life and death. And so is a pair – mind and body. And so is a pair – the world and nirvana. All are dual pairs. When you can see thoroughly, when you can see transparently, and you don’t choose, you are something transcendental – the witness. That witness is never born and never dies.

Death and life come into that witness’ vision, but that witness is eternal. It was there before you were born, and it will be there when you are gone. You have been coming into the world millions of times, and you may yet be coming – and still you have never come. The world appears in you just like a reflection appears in a mirror. Nothing, in fact, happens to the mirror. Or do you think something happens to the mirror?

You are standing before a mirror and the mirror reflects your face. Do you think something is happening to the mirror? Nothing is happening. You are gone, the mirror is empty. Somebody else comes before the mirror, the mirror reflects that face – beautiful or ugly – it has no choice, it is choiceless. You bring a beautiful rose-flower, it reflects; you bring an ugly thorn, it reflects. You bring a beautiful face, it reflects; you bring an ugly face, it reflects. It has no choice. it does not say, “This is not good and I am not going to reflect,” and, “This is very good and I will cling to it. Please don’t go away from here. remain here. I am you; you are me.” No, the mirror simply reflects.

This mirror-like quality is what is meant by witnessing. And that’s why the mirror remains clean of all impressions. It goes on reflecting, but no impressions are collected on it. This is the state of awareness. This is what meditation is all about.

Watch, see, be alert, but don’t choose. And don’t get into any part. The part is not the whole. The part is part, and sooner or later the part will go, because the part cannot stay long enough. And when it goes you will be miserable because you will not be willing to leave it; you will cling to it, because you got identified with it. But it will have to go, and you will feel miserable and you will cry and you will weep – but that is your creation. If you had remained like a mirror there would be no problem. Whatsoever happens, happens. You remain undis-turbed and undistracted.

This is the very essential core of all religions. It is not a question of practice, it is not a question of learning concepts, dogmas. It is not a question of reciting sutras. It is a question of insight! And this insight is available to you. There is no need to go to anybody for this insight. You have been carrying it all along. From the very beginning it has been so. It is there, the mirror is there. Just start using it.

Try sometimes and you will be surprised! The same thing that has been disturbing you in the past no more disturbs. Somebody insults you – you simply watch, you don’t get identified with it. You don’t say, “He has insulted me.” How can he insult you? You don’t know yourself who you are, how can he know who you are? He cannot insult you. He may have been insulting some image that he carries of you, but that is not you. He may be having some idea about you, and that idea he is insulting. How can he insult you? He cannot see you at all.

If you remain alert and watchful, you will be surprised – the insult came and went and nothing happened inside you, nothing was stirred, The calmness was radiant. No vibration, no wave, not even a ripple arose in you. And you will be tremendously blissful knowing this mirror like quality. Then you are becoming integrated.

Then somebody comes and praises you. Try it again. Be watchful. Don’t think he is praising you. He may be praising somebody he thinks you are. He may be praising you for some ulterior motives of his own. That is none of your business. You simply see the fact that “this man is praising me.” But remain a mirror. Don’t swallow it! Don’t cling to it! If you swallow it you will be in difficulty. Then ego arises – with identification, ego.

And then you start expecting that everybody should praise you like this man. Nobody’s going to praise you like that. Then there is hurt and misery. And tomorrow this man may not praise you again. His motive may have been fulfilled. Or tomorrow he may start thinking that he was wrong, or tomorrow he may take revenge. Whenever somebody praises you, some day he is going to insult you too – because he has to take revenge, he has to put things right.

An imbalance arises. When somebody is praising you, he is not feeling really very good; it hurts him to praise you. He has to show you that you are higher than him – that hurts. He may not show it right now, but he will keep the hurt, the wound, inside. And some day if the opportunity arises, he will show you who you are; he will put you in your right place. And then you will be very much hurt. This man has been praising you so much, and now he hurts you. But he has not done anything. It is you – you started clinging to the idea that he had put in your mind.

Not getting identified with anything, watching, keeping the mirror-like quality is what brings one, by and by, closer to enlightenment.

Rinzai was giving a lecture one day on the ‘True Man of No Title’. That’s what I mean when I say the mirror-like quality – the ‘True Man of No Title’. There is inside you a True Man of No Title. It is neither man nor woman, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan, neither good nor bad – it has no titles – neither educated nor uneducated, neither Eastern nor Western, it has no titles – neither a saint nor a sinner, it has no titles. And that is the true man inside you.

Rinzai was giving a lecture one day on the ‘True Man of No Title’. This was the title of his lecture:

A monk, quite perplexed, went up to him and asked, “What is this True Man of No Title?” Rinzai grabbed him by the neck and yelled, “Speak! Speak!” The monk was dumbfounded and could say nothing. Rinzai let go of him and exclaimed: “What worthless stuff is this True Man of No Title!”

What Rinzai did was to create a situation. The man asked, “What is this True Man of No Title?” Rinzai grabbed him by the neck and shouted, “Speak! Speak!” He has shocked him. In that shock all titles have disappeared. In that shock he is nobody, simply nobody, a mirror. In that shock the mind is no more spinning. In that shock he is simply dumbfounded. Rinzai has created a situation for him to look into this real man of no title, this mirrorlike quality.

But the man missed, he started thinking how to answer. “What is my Master doing to me? Is this the right thing to do to a questioner?” He must have got into thoughts like that. He missed the point. That’s why Rinzai exclaimed: “What worthless stuff is this True Man of No Title!”

The moment your mirror starts clinging to something, you become worthless. The moment your mirror is covered and attached to something; it is collecting dust – you become worthless. The moment the mirror collects no dust, you have immense worth – you are a god. The only difference between a Buddha and you is this much: that your mirror has collected much dust and Buddha’s mirror has become completely clean of all dust. Your thoughts are nothing but dust.

But sometimes you value dust very much. You say, “This is golden dust, this is no ordinary dust. This is pure gold! I have to hold it. I should not allow anybody to rob me of it; it is very valuable.”

That’s how you have become attached to life. You think it is very valuable. And because you become attached, you think of death as the enemy, the robber. Death is coming and it will rob you of all your gold, of all the precious stones that you have carried all along. It will take all the dust off your mirror – and that’s all you have been thinking is your life. Hence, you are afraid.

If you see the point, death is a friend. In fact, a far greater friend than life itself. Why do I say so?

I say so because in life you get attached, you collect dust. Death takes all your attachments and all your dust away. If you can see the point, you will feel tremendously grateful to death. What you cannot do, death does for you. That’s why if you can do it, then there is no death for you; then there is no need for death. If a man can clean his consciousness through meditation, then he will never die.

I’m not saying that he will not die in the body – that is a natural thing. But he will never come across death. Death happens only to the dust that collects on the mirror. The mirror never dies! The mirror itself is undying. This witnessing is an undying process, it is eternal. The traveler continues; only the clothes become torn and rotten, and they have to be changed. The traveler continues; only dust gathers on the body and you have to take a bath.

But if you start thinking that your dust is you, you will not take any bath. There are people who are very much afraid of taking a shower – as if they will lose something, something valuable. There are people who are afraid of meditation because meditation is a shower. It takes all the nonsense thoughts that you have collected, accumulated – all the junk that you go on carrying in your head.

And your head is suffering, is very heavy, and you are miserable, but still you go on carrying it thinking that it is valuable.

Death is a great friend, it unburdens you. It unburdens you of all that you have accumulated. Once this unburdening is allowed voluntarily, death becomes samadhi. If you don’t allow it voluntarily, then death is not a samadhi, it is a pain. Now see the point. The same thing can be utter pain, and the same thing can be utter joy. It depends on your interpretation – how you look at things, how you penetrate a certain experience, how deep you go into it. 

If you are a clinger, very possessive, then death will be very painful and will be a great anguish. You will suffer. You will not suffer because of death, you will suffer because of your clinging, because of your possessiveness, because of your attachments, because of your greed, and all that.

But if you are not a clinger, you are not very possessive, you are not greedy, you are not egoistic, you are not aggressive, suddenly death’s quality has changed. It comes like a fresh breeze of God. It comes and cleanses you. It gives you a great rest much needed. It purifies you. It takes you into the eternal source from where you will rise again. If you go voluntarily into it you will rise in a better form, because you have learned something from the last form. If you don’t go voluntarily, then too death will throw you into the furnace, will burn you, but forcibly, and you will come back again into the same form because you have not learned anything.

The student who has not learned anything has to be sent to the same class again and again and again. A Buddha is a person who has learned all the possibilities of all forms. He has been a rock, and he learned it. He has been a tree, and he learned it. He has been a tiger, and he learned it. He has been a man and a woman, he learned it. He has been a god and he learned it. And he went on learning and learning and learning…. And one day he has finished all forms. He has gone through all forms – watching, choicelessly alert, keeping his mirror bright, un-clouded, he has come through all the forms. And he has now come to a point where no more learning is needed. He has learned the lesson. Then he disappears. Then death becomes nirvana. Then he spreads all over existence, then he becomes a fragrance. Then he enters the cosmic form. Now small forms are no more needed. He has learned all that was there in those small forms. All that was contained in those small forms he has decoded. He has become a grown-up. Now there is no need for him to go back to school. He becomes part of the whole. He spreads over the whole. Then he is a song in the heart of the cosmic mind, a blessing, a peace. He does not come any more, he has gone beyond the point of return.

This is the ultimate learning. But one has to go through all the forms. And death brings a great lesson, far greater than life. And death brings a very intense possibility to understand, because life is spread long range – death comes in a very, very potential way in a very short time. In a single moment it shakes you. If you are not alert you will miss that moment, the moment is very tiny. If you are alert, then that very moment becomes a door into the divine.

Once you are not attached to death, once you are not afraid of death, death becomes a game, a play.

Listen to this beautiful story:

Almost blind at the age of ninety-six and no longer able to teach or work about the monastery, Zen Master Yamamoto decided it was time to die, so he stopped eating. When asked by his monks why he refused his food, he replied that he had out-lived his usefulness and was only a bother to everybody.

Now ninety-six… it is enough. And the old man thinks that now it is time to die, so he stops eating food. Death is just a rest. It is time to rest. He starts preparing to retire. This is the understanding that is needed. 

The disciples told him, “If you die now” – it was January and very cold – “when it is so cold, everybody will be uncomfortable at your funeral and you will be an even greater nuisance, so please eat!”

Those were also great people. Mm? – the reason they give: “Please just think of the cold. You will be dying, it is January and much too cold, and you will be a greater nuisance to all of us. We will have to go to your funeral – so start eating.”

This can happen only in a Zen monastery with a Zen Master and Zen disciples. Nobody is worried about the death. Death is okay. The Master is ready to die, but look at the disciples. Those disciples are also very close to enlightenment. They say, “Stop your nonsense! Right now it is not a good time. Why do you want to create trouble for us? Yes, you are a bother – ninety-six years old – but that will be even more bothersome, dying in the middle of January. Please eat!”

So the old man laughed, he resumed eating, but when it became warm again he stopped, and not long after quietly toppled over and died.

Death, too, is then a game, something to be played with. Then you are not afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of. Then you are not even serious. Look at the non-seriousness of the whole thing. Can you think of something like this happening in the West? Impossible! It can only happen in the East where people have accepted life and death both, as they are.

And this can happen only when you know that nobody is going to die – that’s why they could joke with the old man, and the old man laughed. He was not offended. Just think of the disciples saying, “This will be a nuisance, sir, dying in the middle of January. It is so cold and it will be a great bother for all of us to go to the funeral.” Just see the point of it, the humor of it – as if life and death are nothing but jokes, as if the old man is just going to play an act, as if it is not truth!

That’s how it is. Simply as if he is going to play an act. “Please don’t play it right now, later on you can do it when the days are warmer.” The old man laughed; he didn’t feel offended. He must have enjoyed it tremendously. This was a great insight in his disciples. Now they even take death humorously. When you start taking death also humorously, you are a man of under-standing. You are, by and by, turning into The Man of No Title, the real Man of No Title. When you take death also with humor, you have already gone beyond it. And to go beyond life and death is to go into your reality.

Another anecdote:

When Tozan was dying a monk said to him, “Master, your four elements are out of harmony, but is there anyone who is never ill?”

“There is,” said Tozan.

He was very ill. The whole body was just disintegrating. The four elements were no more together. It was a kind of riot inside his body, Elements were trying to get free of each other. Tozan was old and dying, and the disciple asks, “Your four elements are out of harmony, but is there anyone who is never ill?”

“There is,” said Tozan.

“Does this one look at you?” asked the monk.

“It is my function to look at him,” answered Tozan.

“How about when you yourself look at him?” asked the monk.

“At that moment I see no illness,” replied Tozan.

In you there are two worlds: the world of birth and death, and the world that is transcendental. Yes, the body can be very ill, and yet there may be no illness in you – if you don’t get attached to illness, if you don’t get identified with illness, if you don’t start thinking “I am ill.” It is only a kind of hypnosis. It has to be learned through many many doors.

When you feel hungry, what do you say? You say, “I am hungry.” You are not – the body is hungry; the organism is hungry. You are just a watcher, you are just seeing that the body is hungry. Then you eat and you fed satisfied, and you say, “Now I am satisfied, fully satisfied.” You are not satisfied, because you were not hungry in the first place! First you had seen hunger in the body, now you feel satisfaction in the body – but you are just a witness. First your mirror was reflecting the hungry man standing in front of you, and now your mirror reflects the satisfied man standing before you – but the mirror was never hungry and the mirror is not satisfied either.

One day you are healthy, another day you are ill – the mirror reflects! One day you are young, another day you are old. One day you are loved, another day you are hated. One day appreciated, another day condemned. The mirror goes on reflecting. The function of the mirror is just to reflect whatsoever is the case. But each time you get identified.

Stop this identifying yourself with things that are standing in front of you, and suddenly you will see you have never been ill and never been hungry and never been born, and never are you going to die. You are the very source of eternity. You are eternal.

-Osho

From Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.3, Discourse #7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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A Noah’s Ark of Consciousness – Osho

Rocks easily destroy flowers. The politicians and religions sense that enlightenment, freedom and individuality threaten their power. Is it fear alone that is the basis of the dark use of intelligence to crush man’s finest blossoms? Or is there an unconscious urge for “endarkenment” too? 

Devageet, there is an unconscious urge for endarkenment too. It was only a hundred years ago that Sigmund Freud stumbled, in the unconsciousness of man, on a very strange instinct.

Man has been, for almost ten thousand years, working on himself, on his consciousness, but it was left to Freud to find a totally new idea. He himself was shocked, but when he came across it again and again, in different patients, he had to give it recognition. And the idea was, that just as there is a lust for life, to balance it in the unconscious of the human mind, there is an instinct for death. Perhaps this was one of the great contributions of Sigmund Freud to human knowledge, and for the future transformation of man.

Slowly, slowly, then he started gathering facts, and now it is almost an established thing that in life, everything exists with its opposite balancing it. If there is a lust for life — that one wants to live — somewhere hidden, there is bound to be a lust for death. In certain situations, it may get a grip on you — that’s why so many people commit suicide. Otherwise, suicide has no explanation.

Devageet is asking: “Rocks easily destroy flowers. The politicians and religions sense that enlightenment, freedom and individuality threaten their power. Is it fear alone that is the basis of the dark use of intelligence to crush man’s finest blossoms? or is there an unconscious urge for ‘endarkenment’ too?”

There is; there has to be. Just as there is a longing for enlightenment, to reach to the highest peak of consciousness, there is certainly, parallel to it in the unconscious of human mind, a deep urge to drown oneself into darkness, into death.

It has been observed, although never made clear, by all the physicians of all the ages, that there are people who can be helped by medicine but it seems impossible to help them because they have completely lost the willpower, the will to live, — completely. They don’t support the medicine. But none of the physicians found the thing that Sigmund Freud discovered. Perhaps this had some sense in it: a man who loses the will to live is bound to replace it by something of its opposite: the will to die.

And now medicine accepts that the physician can only help by his medicines and other things, if the person wants to live. If the person has dropped the idea of living, then all those medicines are useless. Medicines don’t cure you. Your will to live cures you — medicines are only a secondary help, a support. But if somebody has moved to the opposite pole – the instinct for death, for darkness — then no medicine can pull him out.

As I was reading the question, I thought about AIDS. Perhaps someday it may be found that AIDS is nothing but an unconscious desire to die; that’s why scientists are unable to find any cure for it.

At this moment in history, Devageet’s question becomes even more pertinent, because one wonders that seventy-five percent of the budget of the whole of humanity is being devoted to create destructive weapons — nuclear weapons, and half of humanity is starving. Thousands of people are dying without medicine, and millions of children are dying because they cannot get very inexpensive vaccines.

On the one hand, humanity is on the verge, just because of overpopulation, of dying of starvation; and on the other hand, all politicians in the world have only one desire: to become nuclear powers. Five countries are already nuclear powers, and by the end of this century, twenty-five more countries will be nuclear powers. Already, we have enough nuclear weapons to destroy humanity seven times.

It seems absolutely ridiculous now to go on piling up nuclear weapons. Billions of dollars are wasted on nuclear weapons while children are dying because they cannot get medicine, they cannot get food. By the end of this century, half of the population of the world will die from starvation; and the other half, perhaps, will die through nuclear warfare.

It seems it is not only one individual, but perhaps the whole of humanity that has lost the will to live, the will to be more conscious, the will to be more aware, the will to reach to the highest peak of enlightenment, to be a Gautam Buddha.

On the contrary, people are waiting to disappear into darkness, into death, because life is so meaningless and so futile. There seems to be no reason to go on living. For the first time, on a tremendous scale, millions of people are feeling meaninglessness. It is creating tremendous anxiety, and it seems death is the only cure. With death, everything will subside. There will be no problem, no anxiety, no struggle, no jealousy, no tension.

Perhaps, Devageet, your word “endarkenment” may become a contribution to our language, as the opposite of enlightenment. People have always lived unconsciously, but today, the unconsciousness has reached to such a point that even death is preferable to unconsciousness.

A Scotsman named Angus needed a new kilt. When he went to pick out some material at the store, he decided to purchase two extra yards of fabric to make a matching scarf for his girlfriend.

He then went home and made such a beautiful kilt that when he tried it on, and looked in the mirror, he forgot all about the scarf and thought, “I shall go right now and show this to my lady.”

As he ran out of the door, a thread of the new kilt caught on the doorway, unraveling the garment. Eventually, Angus was running across the heather with his jewels dangling in the dew. He got to his girlfriend’s house and knocked on the door.

As his girlfriend opened the door and looked him up and down, she said, “Hello Angus, so nice of you to drop in.”

“Hello my bonny lass. And what do you think of this?” Angus said, pointing down to where he thought his new kilt was.

She said, “Ah Angus, it is just lovely.”

Angus said, “That’s right my pretty lass, and I have got two more yards at home to wrap around your neck.”

Man has always lived in unconsciousness, but the darkness was never as much as it is today. There have been nights, but always the dawn has come. This time it seems to be doubtful whether the dawn will come or not.

I am not a pessimist, but I am no longer an optimist either. I used to be — now, I am simply a realist. And the reality is: perhaps we are very close to the end of this beautiful planet, with all its beauty, all its life, and all its great achievements. There seems to be no ray of hope from anywhere. And perhaps when I am saying this, it is not me who is saying it; perhaps it is existence itself who has lost hope about humanity and its future.

The only thing that I still go on dreaming for is my people. Perhaps the planet will not be saved, but those who have come to me, if they make a little effort to become conscious, to create a longing for enlightenment, at least they can be saved. But if you go on behaving like the masses of the world, you are also a lost case.

Immense responsibility rests on you because nowhere else in the whole world are people trying, even in small groups, to achieve enlightenment, to be meditative, to be loving, to be rejoicing. We are a very small island in the ocean of the world, but it does not matter. If these few people can be saved, the whole heritage of humanity, the heritage of all the mystics, of all the awakened people, can be saved through you.

If this planet dies, perhaps on another planet… There are fifty thousand planets which can sustain life; perhaps civilization has to begin from ABC on some other planet. But who will be the pioneers? These dark masses, utterly unconscious, cannot be. Only a few chosen ones who have striven hard to make themselves deserving of light, of eternal life, of some experience of godliness — perhaps they will be the ones who will be starting a new civilization somewhere in the universe, on some new planet.

I have never said this before but, going around the world, I have felt such a wound in my heart that the people who need to be saved are the people who are creating every kind of barrier to being saved. Even to approach them has become impossible. And seeing the whole world, I started feeling that there is now only one possibility, and that is to create in the consciousness of those few who have come close to me, a Noah’s Ark. It will not be a physical thing, but a Noah’s Ark of consciousness which moves a small group of conscious people to another planet. That seems to be the only possibility to save the great heritage of humanity.

You cannot depend any longer on the politicians and on the priests, and on the masses who seem to be willing, deeply desiring, to die. Death seems to be the greatest desire in the world today, and because I have been talking about life and love and laughter, I have been condemned from every corner.

I can understand the reason: to spread the message of life, love and laughter amongst people who, deep down, are getting ready to commit a global suicide… this is very contradictory to them.

Perhaps we will have to meet on some other planet — this planet seems to be spent. And it is not new: planets are born, planets die; stars are born, stars die — so it is not something strange. And the preparations are going so well that it seems almost an impossibility for life to survive here on this earth. The whole blame goes on those vested interests which have kept humanity unconscious, and don’t want man to become intelligent and conscious, alert and aware. Anyway, it seems too late.

The police were investigating the death of Markowitz, the dress manufacturer who had jumped from the window of his office. The detective decided to query Marilyn, his lovely young secretary.

“Well, after working for Mr. Markowitz one month,” she began, “I got a forty-dollar-a-week raise. At the end of the second month, he gave me a beautiful black necklace. At the end of the third month, he gave me a new Thunderbird, and a stunning Persian lamb coat. Then he asked me if I would be willing to make love, and how much I would charge him. I told him that he had been so nice to me, I would charge him only ten dollars, even though I was getting twenty from the other guys in the office. And that is when he jumped out of the window.”

-Osho

From The Hidden Splendor, Discourse #11, Q3

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 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

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