Be Thoroughgoing – Osho

The problem with every awakened soul has always been the same: before awakening it is the very fact of awakening that is his problem. After awakening, it is again the awakening that comes as a problem — how to express it?

To experience something is one thing, and to express it is totally another. It is possible to feel at ease with existence, in a deep suchness, but how to say it? It is possible to listen to this beautiful evening, the dance of the rain and the silent joy of the trees, but how to say it? Words are so poor, and life is so rich. Life is so vast and words are so small. Just feel this very moment, and you will be able to see its immensity, its tremendous beauty, its splendor, its silence, its song. The heart feels it. The being is showered with flowers. The whole universe is so poetic. It is always poetry; it is never prose. If you just have eyes and sensitivity, life is always a rejoicing. And the deepest source of life is within you.

The whole effort of a seeker is to be awake to the source of being within — which is eternal, immeasurable, immortal. But then the problem arises … a deep urge, an irresistible longing to share it. All the masters, all those who have become awakened, have struggled hard in different ways, rational, irrational. They have even taken recourse to absurdities, just to give you a hint.

Ta Hui is facing the same situation. He has arrived home, and now he wants to invite all those who are still wandering in the darkness. He wants to send the invitation, but where are the words? He is trying his hardest. This morning he gave you two words. One was the great affair of suchness — experiencing life as it is without bringing your mind in — and the second word was faith. Faith is a natural outcome of the experience of suchness. It certainly is a great affair.

Now he will be trying in these last sutras, for a few days more, from different angles, to approach this great affair again and again. One never knows what will penetrate to your heart. There is not much to say, but there is much to show. Every effort has been made, certainly, by different teachers in their uniqueness. Ta Hui will be describing other masters too.

This evening the sutra is, be thouroughgoing. Ordinarily people are never thoroughgoing. They are always lukewarm, just so-so, wishy-washy, half-hearted, always thinking with a divided being: To be or not to be? A person who is divided takes one step forward and immediately takes another step backward. He remains in almost the same place as he has always been, although he is making every effort to move.

I have heard about a small child … it must have been a rainy day like today. The child was always a latecomer to the school, and he was always ready with some excuse. That day the excuse was absolutely clear — it was raining hard.

The child said to the teacher, “Before you ask, I can answer the question today. At least today the excuse is absolutely clear. The muddy road to the school is so slippery that you will not believe me, teacher: I would take one step forward, and I would slip two steps back!”

The teacher said, “If this is true, then how did you manage to reach here?”

The boy said, “I started walking towards my home, then finally I managed to reach the school.”

Every man is in search. It may be better to say that every man is a search, a longing for something; he does not understand exactly what, but something is missing, something is incomplete, something is not entire. There is a gap, and that gap allows no one to remain at rest; it asks to be filled, and unless it is filled, you will never feel that you really are.

George Gurdjieff wrote a book, Meetings with Remarkable Men. One of his disciples asked him, “What is the definition of a remarkable man?”

He said, “An ordinary man is still trying to find where he is, whether he is or not; a remarkable man is one who has found.”

Everybody is a search, a hunger, an appetite, a thirst, a longing — a longing to know oneself and a longing to know through oneself the whole beautiful universe. Certainly one of the most important things should be, be thoroughgoing. Don’t run in all directions; remain one-pointed, remain crystallized.

Life is small and time is moving fast. If you go on only thinking and never taking a solid step towards transformation, towards awareness, towards crystallization, it is not going to happen on its own accord. It cannot happen in a confused mind. Even at the last moment when a person is dying, if you ask him, “Are you certain, can you tell us what you wanted to be in your life?”, ninety-nine point nine percent of people will not be able to answer it.

Gertrude Stein, a woman of tremendous genius, one of the greatest women in the whole of history was dying. Her very close, intimate friends were sitting in silence when suddenly she opened her eyes and said, “What is the answer?” The friends were shocked because the question had not been asked, so how can you say what is the answer? But to a dying woman they could not be hard. A great silence fell over them, but somebody managed to ask her, “You are asking what is the answer — Gertrude Stein laughed and said, “Okay then, tell me: What is the question?” And that was her last statement. She died.

In this small incident is contained the life of millions of people. They don’t know what is the question and they don’t know, of course, what is the answer. And still they are running all over the place in all directions.

Be thoroughgoing means, have a determination that you are going to discover yourself, whatsoever the cost. Having life without knowing it is almost equal to not having it. Living and not knowing what it is, is very humiliating. Loving and not knowing what it is, is unforgivable.

When Ta Hui says, be thoroughgoing, he means: put every iota of your energy, stake everything on a single arrow and then perhaps you may be able to come home. You may be able to discover that which is missing. In fact, the reality is that the moment you are absolutely thoroughgoing, one-pointed, single-minded, with an undivided heart, this very thoroughgoingness is the arrival. You don’t have to go anywhere. In this totality, in this intensity, the flower blossoms.

-Osho

From The Great Zen Master Ta-Hui, Discourse #30

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Only the Real Remains – Osho

If the ego is unreal, then does it not mean that the unconscious mind, the accumulation of memories in the brain cells, and the process of transformation that is the subject matter of spirituality, is also unreal, a dream process?

No. Ego is unreal; brain cells are not unreal. Ego is unreal; memories are not unreal. Ego is unreal; thought process is not unreal. Thought process is a reality. Memories are real, brain cells are real, your body is real. Your body is real, your soul is real. These are two realities. But when your soul gets identified with the body, the ego is formed – that is unreality.

It is just like this. I am standing before a mirror: I am real, the mirror is real, but the reflection in the mirror is not real. I am real, the mirror is also real, but the reflection in the mirror is a reflection, it is not a reality. Brain cells are real, consciousness is real, but when consciousness gets involved, attached, identified with the brain cells, the ego is formed. That ego is unreal.

So when you have awakened, when you have become enlightened, your memory is not going to disappear. The memory will be there. Really, it will be more crystal-clear. Then it will function more accurately because there will be no disturbance from the false ego. Your thought process will not disappear. Rather, for the first time you will be capable of thinking. Before that you were simply borrowing things. Then you will really be able to think. But then you, not the thought process, will be the master.

Before, the thought process was the master. You couldn’t do anything about it. It continued on its own; you were just a victim. You wanted to sleep and the mind continued thinking. You wanted to stop it, but it would not stop. Really, the more you tried to stop it, the more stubborn it became. It was your master. When you become enlightened it will be there, but then it will be instrumental. Whenever you need it, you will be able to use it. Whenever you don’t need it, it will not crowd your consciousness. Then it can be called and then it can also be stopped.

Mind cells will be there, the body will be there, memory will be there, thought process will be there. Only one thing will not be there – the feeling of I will not be there. This is difficult to understand.

Buddha walks, Buddha eats, Buddha sleeps, Buddha remembers. He has memory, his brain cells function beautifully. But Buddha has said, ‘I walk, but no one walks in me. I talk, but no one talks in me. I eat, but no one eats in me.’ The inner consciousness is no more the ego. So when Buddha feels hungry, he cannot feel like you. You feel, ‘I am hungry.’ When Buddha feels hungry, he feels, ‘The body is hungry. I am just the knower.’ And that knower is without any feeling of I.

The ego is the false entity, the only false entity – everything else is real. Two realities can meet, and in their meeting, a third epi-phenomenon can be created. When two realities meet, something false can happen. But the false can happen only if there is consciousness. If there is no consciousness, the false cannot happen. Oxygen and hydrogen meet: a false water cannot happen. The false can happen only when you are conscious, because only consciousness can err. Matter cannot err, matter cannot be false. Matter is always true. Matter cannot deceive and cannot be deceive – only consciousness can. With consciousness is the possibility to err.

But remember another thing: matter is always real, never false, but also never true. The matter cannot know what truth is. If you cannot err, you cannot know what truth is. Both the possibilities open simultaneously. Human consciousness can err and can know that it has erred and can move away from it. That is the beauty of it. The danger is there, but danger is bound to be there. With every growth new dangers come in. For matter, there is no danger.

Look at it in this way. Whenever a new thing grows in existence, a new thing evolves, now dangers come with it into existence. For a stone there is no danger. There are small bacteria. In those bacteria sex doesn’t exist in the way it exists in man or in animals. They simply divide their bodies. When one bacterium grows bigger and bigger, when it grows to a certain extent, its body automatically divides into two. The parent body divides into two. Now there are two bacteria. Those bacteria can live eternally – because there is no birth, so there is no death.

And the reverse process also happens. If food is not available, two bacteria will come nearer and nearer and they will become one, their bodies will become one. No birth, no death. With sex entered birth; with birth entered death; with birth entered individuality; with individuality entered ego.

Every growth has its own potential dangers, but they are beautiful. If you can understand, there is no need to fall into them, and you can transcend them. And when you transcend, you mature and you achieve a greater synthesis. If you fall a victim, the greater synthesis is not achieved.

Spirituality is the peak, the last, the ultimate synthesis of all growth. The false is transcended and the real absorbed. And only the real remains; all the false drops away. But don’t think that the body is unreal – it is real. Brain cells are real, the thought process is real. Only the relationship between the consciousness and the thought process is unreal. That is a tie. You can untie it. And the moment you untie it, you have opened the door.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #56, 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.

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Meditation Means No-Mind – Osho

You said last night that the more the mind grows, the more we know that the nature of the mind is confusion. But isn’t it true that this growth of the mind also leads to clarity?

Whatsoever I was just saying is related to this.

Yes, it leads to clarity, because only when you have a very mature mind do you become aware that you are confused. Even to become aware that mind is confusion, a very developed mind is needed. Those who are not aware that their mind is confusion are really not mature minds. They are childish, juvenile, still developing. Only a very mature mind can become aware of the quality of the mind, that it is confusion. And when you have developed the mind, only then is meditation possible, because meditation is the opposite goal.

Meditation means no-mind. But how can you achieve a no-mind if you have not achieved a mind? So, achieve a mind just to lose it. And don’t think that if ultimately one has to reach the state of no-mind, then what is the use of achieving a mind? – because if you don’t achieve a mind, the ultimate is not going to happen to you. It can happen only if the mind is there. So I am not against mind, I am not against intellect. Really, I am not against anything. I am for everything, because everything can be used to reach the opposite pole.

There is a polarity, and the opposite pole cannot be reached if the polarity is not there. A madman cannot meditate. Why? Because he has no mind. But this no-mind is not the no-mind of Buddha. No-mind can have two dimensions: below mind and above mind. The above mind is also no-mind, and the below mind is also no-mind. You can fall down from the mind: the mind is not there, but it is not meditation. You have to go beyond mind, only then is the Buddha’s no-mind achieved. And always remember it, because they are so similar you can misunderstand the whole thing. They are so similar.

For example, a child is innocent. A saint is also innocent – a Jesus or a Krishna – but their innocence is not childish. It is childlike, not childish; because a child is innocent only because he is ignorant. He is innocent only as a negative thing, just the absence. Sooner or later everything will erupt; he is a volcano waiting to erupt. The innocence is just the silence before the volcano erupts. A saint is one who has gone beyond. The eruption has happened; the volcano is silent again. But this silence is different. The first silence was very pregnant; something was present there. The silence was just on the surface; deep down that child was getting ready to be disturbed. The saint has passed the disturbance. The cyclone has gone. This silence, the innocence, appears similar, but there is a deep difference.

So sometimes an idiot can also appear to be saint-like. And idiots are saint-like. They are not cunning; to be cunning, intelligence is needed. They are not calculating; to be calculating, mind is needed. Idiots are simple, innocent, non-cunning, non-calculating. They cannot deceive anyone. Not that they would not like to; they cannot. The very capacity is not there. They look like saints, and sometimes saints look like idiots, because the same thing has happened again, in a different, altogether different, dimension.

You can fall down below the mind: then too, a no-mind happens, but it is not meditation. You have simply lost even that mind which was going to become a step towards meditation. So I am not against mind. Develop mind, develop intellect, but remember well – this is just a means, and a means which has to be forsaken, thrown away. It has to be used like a boat. You reach the other shore; you leave the boat. You forget about the boat completely.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50, 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.

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Create a Perfect Ego Just to Dissolve it – Osho

Isn’t it true that all meditation techniques are really doings which lead the seeker to his being? 

In a way, yes; and in a deeper way, no. Meditation techniques are doings, because you are advised to do something. Even to meditate is to do something, even to sit silently is to do something, even to not do anything is a sort of doing. So in a superficial way, all meditation techniques are doings.

But in a deeper way they are not, because if you succeed in them, the doing disappears.

Only in the beginning it appears like an effort. If you succeed in it, the effort disappears and the whole thing becomes spontaneous and effortless. If you succeed in it, it is not a doing. No effort on your part is needed then. It becomes just like breathing – it is there. But in the beginning the effort is bound to be, because the mind cannot do anything which is not an effort. If you tell it to be effortless, the whole thing seems absurd.

In Zen, where much emphasis is paid to effortlessness, the masters say to the disciples, ‘Just sit. Don’t do anything.’ And the disciple tries. Of course, what can you do other than trying? The disciple tries to just sit, and he tries to just sit, and he tries to not do anything, and then the master hits him on his head with his staff and he says, ‘Don’t do this! I have not told you to try to sit, because that becomes an effort. And don’t try not to do anything, because that is a sort of doing. Simply sit!’

If I tell you to simply sit, what will you do? You will do something, which will make it not a simple sitting; an effort will enter. You will be sitting with an effort; a strain will be there. You cannot simply sit. It looks strange, but the moment you try to sit simply, it has become complex. The very effort to simply sit makes it complex. So what to do?

Years pass, and the disciple goes on sitting and being blamed, condemned by the master that he is missing the point. But he simply goes on, goes on, goes on, and every day he is a failure, because the effort is there. And he cannot deceive the master. But one day, just patiently sitting, even this consciousness to sit simply disappears. One day suddenly he is sitting – like a tree or like a rock – not doing anything. And then the master says, ‘This is the right posture. Now you have attained it. Now remember this. This is the way to sit.’ But it takes patience and long effort to achieve effortlessness.

In the beginning, effort will be there, doing will be there, but only in the beginning as a necessary evil. But you have to remember constantly that you have to go beyond it. A moment must come when you are not doing anything about meditation – just being there and it happens; just sitting or standing and it happens; not doing anything, just being aware, it happens.

All these techniques are just to help you to come to an effortless moment. The inner transformation, the inner realization, cannot happen through effort, because effort is a sort of tension. With effort you cannot be relaxed totally; the effort will become a barrier. With this background in mind, if you make effort, by and by you will become capable of leaving it also.

It is just like swimming. If you know about swimming, you know that in the beginning you have to make effort – but only in the beginning. Once you know the feel of it, once you know what it is, the effort has gone; you can swim effortlessly. And even a good swimmer cannot say what swimming is, what exactly he is doing. He cannot explain to you what he is doing. Really, he is not doing anything.

He is simply allowing himself to be in a deep responsive relationship with the water, with the river. He is not doing anything really. And if he is still doing, he is still not an expert swimmer – he is still amateur, still learning.

I will tell you one anecdote. In Burma, one Buddhist monk was ordered to make a design for the new temple, particularly for the gate. So he was making many designs. He had one very talented disciple, so he told that disciple to be near him. While he made the design the disciple was simply to watch, and if he liked it he had to say that it was okay, it was right. If he didn’t like it then he had to say no. And the master said, ‘When you say yes, only then will I send the design. If you go on saying no, I will discard the design and will create a new one.’

Hundreds of designs were discarded in this way. Three months passed. Even the master became afraid, but he had given his word so he had to keep it. The disciple was there, the master would make the design, and then the disciple would say no. The master would start another one.

One day the ink was just about to be finished, so the master said, ‘Go out and find more ink.’ The disciple went out. The master forgot him, his presence, and became effortless. His presence was the problem. The idea was constantly in his mind that the disciple was there, judging. He was constantly wondering whether he was going to like it or not, whether he would discard it again. This created an inner anxiety and the master could not be spontaneous. The disciple went out. The design was completed. The disciple came in and he said ‘Wonderful! But why couldn’t you do it before?’

The master said, ‘Now I understand why – because you were here. Because of you – I was making an effort to get your approval. The effort destroyed the whole thing. I couldn’t be natural, I couldn’t flow, I couldn’t forget myself because of you.’

Whenever you are doing meditation, the very effort that you are doing it, the very idea of succeeding in it, is the barrier. Be conscious of it. Go on doing, and be conscious of it. A day will come… just through patience a day comes when effort is not there. Really, you are not there, only meditation is. It may take a long time. It cannot be predicted, no one can say when it will happen. Because if something is to be achieved by effort, it can be predicted – that if you do this much effort you will succeed – but meditation is going to succeed only when you become effortless. That’s why nothing can be predicted. Nothing can be said about when you will succeed. You may succeed this very moment, and you may not succeed for lives. The whole thing hinges on one thing – when your effort drops and you become spontaneous, when your meditation is not an act but becomes your being, when your meditation is just like love…. You cannot do anything about love, or can you? If you do anything, you falsify it. It will become artificial. It will not go deep. You will not be in it. It will become an acting. Love is– you cannot do anything about it.

You cannot do anything about meditation also. But I don’t mean don’t do anything, because then you will remain whatsoever you are. You have to do something, perfectly conscious that by only doing you will not achieve. Doing will be needed in the beginning. One cannot leave it; one has to go through it. But one has to go through it, one has to transcend it, and an effortless floating has to be achieved.

The path is arduous and very contradictory. You cannot find anything more contradictory than meditation. Contradictory because it has to be started as an effort and it has to end as effortlessness. But it happens. You may not be able to conceive logically hot it happens, but in experience it happens. A day comes when you just get fed up with your effort. It falls.

It happened to Buddha this way. For six years he was making every effort possible. No human being has been so obsessed with becoming enlightened. He did everything that he could do. He moved from one teacher to another, and whatsoever he was taught, he did it perfectly. That was the problem, because no teacher could say to him, ‘You are not doing well, that’s why you are not achieving.’ That was impossible. He was doing better than any master, so the masters had to confess. They said, ‘This much we have to teach. Beyond this we don’t know, so you go somewhere else.’

He was a dangerous disciple – and only dangerous disciples achieve. He studied everything that was possible. Whatsoever he was told, he would do it – absolutely as it was told. And then he would come to the master and say, ‘I have done it, but nothing has happened. So what next?’

The teachers would say, ‘You go somewhere else. There is one teacher in the Himalayas – go there.’ Or, ‘There is one teacher in some forest – go there. We don’t know more than this.’

He went around and around for six years. He did all that can be done, all that is humanly possible, and then he got fed up. The whole thing appeared futile, fruitless, meaningless. One night he relaxed all efforts. He was sitting under the Bodhi tree, and he said, ‘Now everything is finished. In the world there is nothing, and in this spiritual search also there is nothing. Now there is nothing for me to do. Everything is finished. Not only this world, but the other world also. Suddenly all efforts dropped. He was empty. Because when there is nothing to do, the mind cannot move. The mind moves only because there is something to do – some motivation, some goal. The mind moves because something is possible, something can be achieved, the future. If not today then tomorrow, but the possibility is there that one can achieve it – the mind moves. 

That night Buddha came to a dead point. Really, he died that very moment, because there was no future. Nothing was to be achieved, and nothing could be achieved – ‘I have done everything. The whole world is futile and this whole existence is a nightmare.’ Not only the material world became futile, but the spiritual also. He relaxed. Not that he did something to relax. This is the point to understand: there was nothing to be tense, therefore he relaxed. There was no effort on his part to relax.

Under the Bodhi tree he was not trying relaxation. There was nothing to do, nothing to be tense, nothing to desire, no future, no hope. He was absolutely hopeless that night – relaxed. Relaxation happened. You cannot relax, because something or other is still there to be achieved. That goes on stirring your mind; you go on spinning and spinning around and around. Suddenly the spinning stopped, the wheel stopped – Buddha relaxed and fell asleep.

In the morning when he awoke, the last star was setting. He looked at the last star disappear, and with that last star disappearing, he disappeared completely, he became an enlightened one. Then people started asking, ‘How did you achieve this? How? What was the method?’

Now you can understand Buddha’s difficulty. If he said that he had achieved through some methods, then he was wrong, because he achieved only when there was no method. If he said that he had achieved through effort, then he was wrong, because he achieved only when there was no effort. But if he said, ‘Don’t make any effort and you will achieve,’ then too he was wrong, because to his no-effort those six years of effort were the background. Without that effort, that six years’ arduous effort, this state of no-effort could not have been achieved. Only because of that mad effort he came to a peak and there was nowhere further to go; he relaxed and fell down in the valley.

This has to be remembered for many reasons. Spiritual effort is the most contradictory phenomenon.

Effort has to be made, with full consciousness that nothing can be achieved through effort. Effort has to be made only to achieve no-effort, only to achieve effortlessness. But don’t relax your effort, because if you relax you will never achieve that relaxation which came to Buddha. You go on doing every effort, so automatically a moment comes when just by sheer effort you reach a point where relaxation happens to you.

For example, you may take it in a different way. As I see it, in the west, ego has been the central point: the fulfillment of the ego, the development of the ego, the achievement of a strong ego, has been the whole western effort. In the east, it has been how to achieve egolessness, how to be a non-ego, how to forget, surrender, dissolve yourself completely so that you are not. The east has been trying for egolessness. The west has been trying for the perfect ego.

But this is the contradictoriness of things: if you don’t have a very developed ego, you cannot surrender. You can surrender only if you have a perfectly clear-cut ego. Otherwise you cannot surrender, because who will surrender? So to me, both are half and both are in misery – east and west both. Because the east has taken egolessness, which is the end part, and the beginning part is missing.

Who will surrender the ego? The peak is not there, so who will create the valley? The valley is created only around a peak. The greater the peak, the deeper the valley. If you don’t have an ego, or a very lukewarm one, surrender is not possible. Or, your surrender will be a lukewarm surrender, just so-so. Nothing will happen out of it; there will be no explosion.

In the west, the beginning part has been emphasized. So you can go on growing with your ego. It will create more and more anxiety. And when you have really created it, you don’t know what to do with it, because the end part is not there.

To me, the spiritual search is both. Create a very great peak, create a perfect ego, just to dissolve it.

That seems absurd – just to dissolve it, just to achieve a deep surrender, just to lose it somewhere. And you cannot lose something which you don’t have. So in my view, humanity has to be trained for these two things together: help everyone to create a perfect ego, a fulfilled ego – but this is only half the journey – and then, help them to surrender it.

The greater the peak, the deeper will be the valley. The higher the ego, the deeper you will move in your surrender. And this is for everything. On the spiritual path, remember this continuous contradictoriness. Don’t forget it even for a single moment. Become perfect egoists so that you can surrender, so that you can dissolve, melt. Do every effort that you can do, just to reach a point where effort leaves you and you are totally effortless.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50

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.

Learn Waiting, Pure Waiting – Osho

At times I feel like I can just sit silently and wait for eternity – and other times like sobbing with the futility of sitting outside a gate I cannot even see – frozen between action and inaction. Does one miss by demanding? Is impatience a lack of trust?

One misses only by demanding. Demanding means that will is still there: you would like to have things your own way, you are still deciding how things should be. Then, naturally, if things are not like that, impatience arises; and if the demands are not fulfilled… frustration, anger, rage. And if it goes on and on, sooner or later you lose interest. You start thinking ‘This is impossible. All this talk about enlightenment, nirvana is impossible.’ You start finding ways of escaping from it; of getting back into the world, into the meaningless trivia, the mundane, the mediocre; of getting occupied – at least one is occupied, one has no time to think that things are futile. Sitting and waiting, again and again the idea arises ‘What are you doing here?’ The door has not opened yet – not only that, but you don’t know whether the door exists or not. The door is there just in front of you, but because of the demanding mode of your mind you cannot see it. The demanding mode of the mind keeps you blind. The door opens only for those who are in a non-demanding mode. Demand means imposing your will on existence.

And the existence is not willing for that. And it is good that it is not willing for that; otherwise, just as you are neurotic, the whole would go neurotic. So many wills imposing themselves upon existence, and if the existence were to yield to each and everybody’s desire… Just think what would happen: the whole would start falling into parts. There would be so many contradictory demands on it that those demands would drive it mad. If God is still sane the only reason is that nobody’s demands are ever fulfilled; nobody’s demand is ever even heard.

Prayers reach to him only when they are non-demanding. If there is even a hidden demand somewhere, that very demand makes the prayer so heavy that it cannot leave the earth. When there is no demand then it is weightless, then it can rise; then the gravitation has no effect on it, then it can go to the highest, to the deepest core of existence.

Only those prayers are heard which are nothing but jubilations, ‘alleluia’, for no particular reason. Only those prayers are heard which are nothing but thanks.

And, remember it, a mind which is entangled in thinking never comes to the point where thanking can happen. Thinking becomes a bar, a hindrance, to thanking. Either you can be thinking or you can be thanking, but you cannot be both together. Thanking arises out of non-thinking, and a demanding mind cannot afford to be non-thinking. He has to think, he has to work out… He has a demand that has to be fulfilled – he is after it, he is chasing it, he is putting everything at stake.

God is absolutely deaf to the prayers which demand, but God is absolutely open to the prayers which have no demand.

Krishna Gopa, you ask: At times I feel like I can just sit silently and wait for eternity – and other times like sobbing with the futility of sitting outside a gate I cannot even see – frozen between action and inaction.

Those are the great moments, when you are frozen between action and inaction. Remain frozen. Don’t do anything, just remain in that moment. You are on the verge of a new birth. If you can wait, a new life will arise – what Taoists call wei wu wei, action without action. And that happens only when you are frozen between action and inaction, if you choose you miss that birth. If you can remain frozen, don’t choose – so what? Remain in that moment. It is arduous for the mind because the mind starts feeling suffocated, the mind says ‘Do something, something has to be done. Anything will do, but do something. Don’t remain frozen here, you will die.’ You are not dying, the mind is dying, the ego is dying. The ego says ‘Do something – at least meditate, chant the name of God, pray. Do something.’ And if you do something, you have moved into action again.

These are rare moments, Gopa, when there is no action and no inaction, and you are frozen. Not that you are lethargic, so there is no inaction; you have energy, but the energy is not going anywhere because there is no goal left. The energy is simply there like a reservoir rising higher and higher, becoming greater and greater. You are ready to explode into something, into something absolutely new, of which you cannot even dream. You are on the verge of a new mode of life: action in inaction. Then a new activity starts in which you are not the actor, in which you are only a vehicle, a passage.

But I know those moments are hard, I have passed through those moments just as you are passing. One thing only can I say to help you: that they pass. But great patience is a must. Don’t be impatient, the impatience comes from the mind. The mind starts saying ‘Do something! Become occupied with something!’ because mind cannot exist without occupation, mind IS occupation. When there is no occupation there is no mind; suddenly you are silent, suddenly you arrive at the primal awareness. That’s what Buddhists call ‘Buddha-nature’. There is nothing to do, nothing to think; you are, but your being is just a pure mirroring, watching, waiting. And not waiting for something in particular because you don’t know where the gate is, you don’t know what is going to happen. So it is not a question of waiting for something; if you wait for something, you wait for Godot.

Waiting has to be pure. Enjoy waiting for itself, for its own sake. Don’t you see the beauty of just waiting – the purity of it, the benediction of it, the innocence of it – just waiting, not even capable of answering for what? See the point of it: pure waiting, not knowing what is going to happen. If you know what is going to happen that will be supplied by your past, it will be a continuity with the past; it will not be new. Maybe modified, but it will be again the same thing, it will be a repetition. How can you know what is going to happen? You have not known it before so how can you even imagine it?

Finding that there is no way to imagine the future, no way to imagine the unknown, the known ceases, all ideas in the mind disappear – ideas about God, ideas about samadhi, enlightenment. All disappears; in that disappearance is enlightenment. Never think for a single moment that your idea of enlightenment is going to be fulfilled. How can you have any idea of enlightenment? And whatsoever idea you have is going to be wrong.

When enlightenment happens, you will be surprised. You had read all the scriptures, and it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. It can’t be mentioned. You will be surprised. You have been hearing me year in, year out, and I had never mentioned it. I am trying, but it can’t be done in the very nature of the case. I am trying to do it in a thousand and one ways, but they are only indications… But when you arrive at the reality of it, when it explodes in you, then you will know that no Buddha has ever been able to say it. And then you will know that nobody is ever going to say it. It has remained unuttered.

And it is good that it has remained unuttered; otherwise, it would never be a new phenomenon to anybody. Millions of Buddhas have happened and they have talked about it and talked about it; you already know about it – and then it happens. It may be just something known, then it will not be a break-through, it will not be a discontinuity, it can’t be utterly new and radical.

It is utterly new and utterly radical.

So, waiting has to be with no idea for what. A real waiter cannot answer the question for what he is waiting; he can only shrug his shoulders, he can say ’I don’t know.’ But one thing is certain: that waiting is infinitely beautiful, waiting is infinitely joyous. When the whole turmoil disappears and it is all silence, it has a beauty of its own.

You ask me: Does one miss by demanding?

Certainly, absolutely. Demand has to be dropped.

Is impatience a lack of trust?

Yes, certainly, absolutely. Impatience simply means you can’t trust existence, you have to do something. You can’t just sit there and trust that it will happen when you are ripe; that when spring comes, the grass will grow of its own accord. You cannot trust; you have to pull the grass from the earth. You cannot wait like a farmer who has thrown his seeds into the soil and they have disappeared, and now he does not know anymore where they are, whether they are going to grow into plants, whether they are ever going to ripen.

Think of a farmer. He has lost the seeds that he had. He waits, he silently waits; he trusts, he trusts nature. ‘Soon the clouds will be coming, soon there will be great greenery all around and the seeds will start sprouting. They will become alive, they will come out of their slumber, they will again like to see the sun and the rain – it is going to happen.’ He trusts, it is just trust.

A meditator is a farmer. And, of course, he has to trust the ultimate nature of existence. Wait. Waiting is like a seed, waiting is the seed, the seed of enlightenment. If you can wait in its time – and you cannot decide the time – in its season, and you don’t know in what season… Because it differs, it differs from individual to individual.

Mahavir became enlightened on an absolutely dark night when there was no moon; Buddha became enlightened on a full-moon night. Once a Jaina came to me and he asked ’Why this difference? Is there something in it? Why did Mahavir become enlightened on a dark night with no moon? Why did Buddha become enlightened on a full-moon night? They are polar opposites. It is not just accidental; Buddha and Mahavir are polar opposites – contemporaries, but polar opposites. Mahavir is a man who struggles, who goes as deeply as possible in the will, by the will. He surrenders only at the last moment. His whole journey is a struggle; hence he is called Mahavir; the word means ‘the great warrior’. He is a warrior: his path is that of sankalpa, that of struggle, will, war. He goes on refining his will, he goes on and on sophisticating his will, making it more subtle, more purified. He has to surrender it – finally one has to surrender it – but he surrenders it only at the last moment when he has done all that he can do. Buddha is a totally different person: the man who arrives through let-go, the man who arrives through relaxing, the man who arrives not by fighting but by yielding.

They are totally different people; they will have different seasons of ripening, different seasons of blooming, different times. And nobody can say beforehand; it is unpredictable when your season will come, when it will be spring for you. One has to wait and one has to trust. Impatience is lack of trust.

Gopa, you have a subtle ego lurking somewhere in your unconscious. You have to become aware of it – that ego creates the problem, that ego surfaces again and again and you start demanding and you become impatient. And that is not your true nature. If it were your true nature I would have told you to become a warrior. Your real nature, your intrinsic quality, is not that of a warrior but of a lover.

But people are like that: divided, split. A part of your mind wants to fight, but the major part wants to relax. That’s why it happens that at times, you say, I feel like I can just silently sit and wait for eternity… That is your true nature – listen to it, get more and more into that – that is your real space, that is where your kingdom is. You have to explore this region more and more, you have to go into it. And when you start going into it and you start enjoying it and you start feeling that you can wait for eternity, the other part becomes worried. It is an intruder, a foreigner in your being; it is not your true being. That starts intruding, interfering; it comes and creates problems for you.

… and other times like sobbing with the futility of sitting outside a gate I cannot even see – frozen between action and inaction.

Avoid the other part. When I am saying avoid it, I am not saying repress it. If you repress it, it will become more and more powerful. By avoiding it I mean neglect it, ignore it, don’t nourish it anymore, don’t care about it. If it comes, take note of it but don’t get involved in it. Keep yourself aloof. Just know that it is an intruder.

I have looked in your eyes deeply, Gopa, in your being deeply. This is my reading about you: that you will come through love not through demanding, that you will come through relaxation not through willing, that you will come through waiting not through fighting. So you have to nourish that which is really your nature and you have to stop nourishing that which is not your real nature.

And how to decide what is your real nature? Whenever you are moving into your real nature you will feel happy, you will feel blissful. That is the criterion, remember it always. So whatsoever gives you joy, serenity, calmness, coolness – whatsoever makes you more centered – is your true nature.

That has to be nourished more and more, more care has to be taken about it; you have to pour your energies into it. And whenever you feel sad, depressed, angry, restless, that is not your real nature. You have to slowly, slowly disassociate yourself from this. Keep yourself aloof – just as when an uninvited guest comes to your home. It is an uninvited guest. And if you go on feeding both, you will get more and more into a kind of split; that’s how people become schizophrenic.

Learn waiting, pure waiting.

Martin Heidegger has said that pure waiting is openness, just openness – not in a particular direction, not toward a particular object, not for something special; just opening – opening to all the sides, to the whole of existence – a multi-dimensional opening. No object is consciously sought, you are not desiring anything; you are just waiting, open, for the unknown to happen, for the indefinable to happen. That’s God: the indefinable, the unknown and the unknowable. And the secret key to invite it is just to be in an open state, waiting with a throbbing heart, certainly, waiting with great love, but not knowing for what; waiting with great poetry in your being, waiting with a song, but not knowing for whom, for what.

This is sannyas, my sannyas. This is the space I would like all of you to enter.

Openness is the absence of single-perspective perceiving and thinking. Thinking is always one-dimensional; it moves in one direction; it is concentration. Waiting is meditation, not concentration. And if you have read in books and heard the so-called religious people saying again and again that ‘meditation is concentration’ you have to uncondition yourself about it; that is utter nonsense. Concentration is thinking; it is to move systematically into a certain thought, in a certain direction; it is directed, it is addressed. Concentration can only lead you towards the known – in a more systematic way of course, in a more scientific way of course – but only to the known. It is from the known to the known, it is never a revolution, it is never a quantum leap. It is from one conclusion to another conclusion, it is a refinement of the same thing, it is continuity.

Meditation is non-dimensional or multi-dimensional; it is overflowing in all directions. It is not directed towards any object, hence there is no demand, no desire. And how can there be thinking? Being is there, certainly, presence is there; you are there, very much you are there, but just like a sky without clouds, a mirror without dust – pulsating, alive, vital, open, waiting for the unknown. You can’t have any idea of it. That’s why I say if you are a Christian you will miss, because then you have an idea of God. If you are a Hindu, you will miss – then you have already concluded how God is. If you are a theist or an atheist you will miss, because you have already decided without experiencing.

Just wait without getting into any doctrine, any sect, any scripture. Just wait without thought. And let it happen! Obviously, great trust will be needed, and that is the function of being with a Master: to imbibe trust. What are you doing here sitting with me? Imbibing trust, learning how to be open. Sometimes you may be surprised why I go on talking every day. This is just a device to help you become more receptive: when you are listening to me you become more receptive. Listening has to be a kind of receptivity. Listening, you become open, you become all ears.

Have you watched one thing? Eyes are male, ears are female, that’s why eyes can offend. Have you ever heard of anybody’s ears offending you? They cannot offend. Eyes can rape; they are male, aggressive, violent. A man can look at you in such a way that he has violated you, that he has transgressed. Eyes can be used like swords; they are not just receptive, they are projective, they project. Ears can’t project, they simply receive, they are just open.

Talking to you every day is a message. The message is not in the content of my talk, the message is in the situation that it creates. The message is: become ears, become feminine, become open. Ears are just open, and you cannot even close them – nature has not provided for it. Eyes can be open or closed. Even while you are asleep the ears remain open – there is no other way, nature has not provided for it – they are pure opening. You may have heard again and again in the Jewish scriptures, Christian scriptures, Mohammedan scriptures, in the Vedas, that God has ‘been heard’.

Mohammed heard the Koran; he couldn’t see where it was happening from, who was saying it. And the prophets in ancient Israel had been hearing – they could not see, but they could hear. If you ask the psychoanalyst, he will say that these people are just neurotic, crazy; they have gone mad. But it is a symbol, and the followers have missed the meaning of it and the antagonists are missing the meaning of it. The message is only this: that God has entered in you through the feminine part of you, the ear.

The question is valid: if nothing can be said about truth, then why talk? Nothing can be said about truth, that is true; still, Buddhas have been talking so then there must be something else in it. That something else is this: just sitting by my side for one and a half hours, slowly, slowly a radical change happens in you. And you can see the shift. If you become a little more aware you will see the shift of your consciousness from the eyes towards the ears: from men you become women. Suddenly, the moment you start listening to me, you are no more male. And only those who shift like that listen.

For one and a half hours remaining continuously with me in a listening mode – open, receptive, non-interfering, non-projective – a great transfer is happening. They are just a device, these words: you become open, and my energy starts flowing in you. Imbibe it, digest it – the taste of it is trust – and more and more trust will arise. This kind of waiting is healing, stilling, strengthening.

Martin Heidegger comes very close to the Zen approach. Once he was asked ‘Then what in the world am I to do?’ Somebody asked him – he was talking about waiting and waiting and waiting, and naturally the question arose ‘Then what am I to do?’ He said ‘We are to do nothing but wait.’ But that is the greatest thing one can d0. Waiting is the greatest art – no craft is higher than that. It needs great courage, trust, great awareness, great love; it needs many things, only then one can wait.

Look into me, feel me, and learn how to wait. And one day, when the waiting has come to its optimum, it will happen. That’s how it has always happened.

-Osho

From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

The Goose is Out!

The Goose is Out!

In 2010 a sannyasin wrote “The Final Call” which was “a call to arms” trying to galvanize support for a movement that would counter the organization of the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune.

Below is an excerpt of the response that I wrote. It seems even more relevant today.

My understanding is that Osho’s entire work was to wake us up out of the dream. When I heard that Osho had said to Jayesh “To you I leave you my dream”, initially I am sure that I also felt some tinge of jealousy. ‘You leave it to Jayesh!’ But then it became clear. His work was to bring us out of the dream. End the dream forever. He never suggested that we chase dreams, make goals, live with some intentions. In-tensions can only come out of the past. Dreams can only be an effort to improve upon the past and yet they are still tied to the past. My understanding is that Osho was pointing us to that unknown space where there is no past operating; where action is taken without intent but with complete awareness. So yes, Jayesh can have the dream, I’m opting for the End of all Dreams.

You speak about the “failure” of Rajneeshpuram. Failure means that the goal was not realized. Do you know what or even ‘if’ Osho had a goal? There were many after the Ranch who also felt that it had failed. Everyone who thought that we were creating some kind of ‘utopia’ felt that it had failed. They had grabbed onto the dream of future where things were going to be better than they were now. They were victims of “becoming”. Osho’s whole effort was to take us out of becoming and into “BEING”. All of the activities of the ranch were just an excuse to have us gathered together in some great mysterious energy. And you proclaim “Rajneeshpuram failed”. It certainly did not fail for Swami Anand Maitreya;  It certainly did not fail for Ajit Saraswati; both of which reached their ultimate enlightenment within that Buddhafield and who knows how many more.  Although I cannot testify to the degree that Maitreya and Saraswati could, I can and will say, for me, Rajneeshpuram was not a failure.

My understanding is that Osho’s work was not about a religious movement, or social movement; but rather a movement out of the collective and into individual BEINGNESS, consciousness without a second, the one true ground.

Now you want to harness sannyasins unhappiness with how things are in Pune. Now you want to be a true politician and create a movement, garnering the discontent for your cause. I hope, for your sake, that you do not proceed down that path. With every step taken it becomes increasingly difficult for you to return home. I have watched a few tread that path.

If Osho had wanted to create an organization, a collective movement, I doubt very much that he would have left his dream to Jayesh. I admit that I too was disappointed that Pune was left into his hands. But now, especially now, his wisdom becomes clear. I don’t know if Jayesh has a religious bone in his body; so, who better to ensure that Pune does not become the next Rome. Do you really believe that Osho wanted to create a new Christianity? But now we can see the jostling for position that the early Christians must have experienced. Osho said that he was dissolving into his sannyasins. Individually each is moving into their own light. We do not need a movement. We do not need to centralize the spontaneous happenings that are occurring around the globe. It is not a movement – it is life spontaneously erupting. In fact, a movement is only a distraction from the inner investigation that each of us needs to complete. It is a way to avoid, “If only Jayesh was not in power then I would be Enlightened”. Yeah, you bet. We do not need to ‘belong’ to some greater group than our own individual consciousness, because that individual consciousness Is the greater group, it is the Totality. We will not find our own fulfillment out in some movement but in our own Beingness.

So, let us not get distracted with politics or social movements or religious organization. Let us each complete the work that has been assigned. Come home to our own inner being, then whatever activities that we engage in will be right. But first we must end the tyranny of our own minds and then we will not be interested in how many people approve or how many people disapprove of our actions.  Whatever psychic experiences we have experienced let them not distract us from finishing the task. Enlightenment is not a state that we come in and out of, Enlightenment is not an experience, it is not an object that we perceive. Enlightenment is Consciousness without an object. Enlightenment is Love without an object. Enlightenment is who we BE. Our work is to become a light unto ourselves. Until we do, let our actions come out of the emerging Awareness that is awakening in each one of us individually. Whether photos of Osho are hanging in Pune or not, has nothing to do with our own BEINGNESS. Let us see that waking up out of the dream is the movement Osho left us.

The goose Is out!                                                                                                                   

In Love,

Prem Purushottama

The Outer Cannot Change the Inner – Osho

Last night you said that by changing the outer, the inner remains unchanged, untransformed. But is it not true that the right food, right labor, right sleep, right actions and behaviors are also important factors for inner transformation? Isn’t it a mistake to ignore the outer completely?

The outer cannot change the inner, but the outer can help, or it can hinder. The outer can create a situation in which the inner can explode more easily. The thing to be remembered is this: that the outer transformation is not the inner. Even if you have done everything and the situation is there, the inner is not going to explode. The situation is necessary, it is helpful, but it is not the transformation. And those who get involved with the outer….

The outer is a vast phenomenon. You can go on changing for lives and you will never be satisfied, and something or other will remain to be changed, because unless the inner changes, the outer can never be perfect. You can go on changing it and polishing it and conditioning it. You will never feel satisfied. You will never come to a situation where you can feel, ‘Now, the field is ready.’ So many have wasted their lives.

If your mind becomes obsessed with the outer – with the food, with the clothes, with the behavior… I am not saying to neglect them. No, what I am saying is, don’t get obsessed with them. They can be helpful, but they can become great hindrances if your mind becomes obsessed. Then it becomes an escape, then you are just postponing the inner change. And you can go on changing the outer. The inner is not even touched by it, the inner remains the same.

You might have heard one old Indian fable. In Panchtantra it is said that a mouse was very much afraid of a cat; constantly in fear, anxiety. He couldn’t sleep: he would dream about the cat and he would tremble. A magician, just out of pity, transformed the mouse into a cat. The outer was changed, but immediately the mouse within the cat now became afraid of a dog. The anxiety was the same; only the object had changed. Previously it was the cat, now it was the dog. The trembling continued, the anguish remained, the dreams were still of fear.

So the magician changed the cat into a dog. Immediately the dog became afraid of the tiger, because the mouse within remained the same. The mouse was not changed; only bodies, the outer. The same anxiety, the same disease, the same fear remained. The magician changed the dog into a tiger. Immediately the mouse within the tiger became afraid of a hunter. So the magician said to the mouse, ‘Now be a mouse again, because I can change your bodies, I cannot change you. You have the heart of a mouse, so what can I do?’ The heart of a mouse.

You can go on changing the outer, but the heart of the mouse remains the same. And that heart creates the problems. The shape will change, the form will change, but the substance will remain the same. And it makes no difference whether you are afraid of a cat, or of a dog, or of a tiger. The question is not of whom you are afraid; the question is that you are afraid.

The emphasis is – my emphasis is – that you must remain aware that your outer effort should not become a substitute for the inner transformation. One thing. Take every help that can be taken. It is good to have right food, but it is nonsense and madness to become obsessed with food. It is good to have right behavior, but it is neurotic to become obsessed with it. You should not become mad about anything.

In India there are many sects of sannyasins who are obsessed with food. The whole day they are thinking only of food: what to eat and what not to eat; who should prepare the food and who should not prepare the food. Once I was travelling with a sannyasin. He would take only milk, and only cow’s milk, and only from those cows which were white; otherwise, he would go without food. This man is mad.

Remember this: that the inner is important, significant. The outer is helpful, it is good, but you must not become focused with it. It must not become so important that the inner is forgotten. The inner must remain the inner and the central, and the outer, if possible, should be changed just as a help. Don’t ignore it completely. There is no need to ignore it, because really the outer is also part of the inner. It is not something opposite to it, it is not something contrary to it, it is not something imposed upon you – it is you. But the inner is the central, and the outer is the periphery. So give as much importance as a periphery needs, as a circumference needs, as a boundary needs – but the boundary is not the house. So take care of it, but don’t become mad after it.

Our mind is always trying to find escapes. If you can become involved with food, with sex, with clothes, with the body, your mind will be at ease, because now you are not going towards the inner. Now there is no need to change the mind. Now there is no need to destroy the mind, to go beyond the mind. With the change of food, the same mind can exist. You may eat this or that – the same mind can exist. Only when you move inwards… the more inner you reach, the more this mind which you have has to cease. The inward path is the path towards no-mind.

The mind becomes afraid. It will try to find some escape – something to do with the outer. Then the mind can exist as it is. Whatsoever you do makes no difference. It is irrelevant what you do – this mind can exist, and this mind can find ways for how to remain the same. And sometimes, when you struggle with the natural outlet, your mind will find some perverted outlets which are more dangerous. Rather than being a help, they will become hindrances.

I have heard that Mulla Nasrudin fell down his stairs. His leg was fractured, so it was put in a plaster cast, and he was told that for three months he was not to go up and down the stairs. After three months he came to the doctor and the plaster was removed. Mulla asked, ‘Now can I go up and down the stairs?’

The doctor said, ‘Now you can go. You are absolutely okay.’

Mulla said, ‘Now I am so happy, doctor. You cannot believe how happy I am. It was so awkward to go up and down the drain-pipe the whole day. For three months, every day going up and down the drain-pipe – it was so awkward, and the whole neighborhood was laughing at me. But you had told me not to go up and down the stairs, so I had to find a way.’

This is what everyone is doing. If one outlet is blocked, then a perversion is bound to happen. And you don’t know the ways of the mind – they are very cunning and very subtle. People come to me with their problems. The problem seems to be obvious – it is not. All problems seem to be obvious, clear – it is not so. Deep down something else is hidden, and unless that something else is known, discarded, gone beyond, the problem will remain. It will change its shape.

Someone is smoking too much and he wants to stop it. But smoking in itself is not a problem; the problem is something else. You can stop smoking, but the problem will remain, and it will have to come out in something else. When do you smoke? When you are anxious, nervous, you start smoking, and smoking helps you. You feel more confident, you feel more relaxed.

Just by stopping the smoking, your nervousness is not going to change. You will feel nervous, you will feel anxious; the anxiety will come. Then you will do something else. And you can find something which is a beautiful substitute; it looks so different. You can do anything. You can just use a mantra instead of smoking, and whenever you feel nervous you can say, Ram, Ram, Ram – anything continuously.

What are you doing with smoke? It is a mantra. You smoke in and out, you smoke in and out – it becomes a repetitive thing. Because of the repetition you feel relaxed. Repeat anything and the same will happen. But if you are using a mantra and saying, Ram, Ram, Ram, no one is going to say that you are doing something wrong. And the problem is the same.

The problem has not changed; only you have changed the trick. Previously you were doing it with smoke; now you are doing it with a word. Repetition helps; any nonsense thing will help. You just have to repeat it continuously. When you repeat a thing it gives relaxation, because it creates a sort of boredom. Boredom is relaxing. You can do anything that creates a sort of boredom. Boredom is relaxing. You can do anything that creates boredom.

If you are smoking, everyone will say that it is wrong. And if you are chanting a mantra, no one is going to say that it is wrong. But if the problem is the same, I am saying that it is also wrong – rather, more dangerous than the previous one, because with smoking you were aware that it was wrong. Now, with this chanting of the mantra you are not aware, and this disease that you are unaware is more dangerous and more harmful.

You can do anything on the surface, but unless deeper roots are changed, nothing happens. So with the outer remember this: be aware of it, and move from the surface towards the roots and find the root – why are you nervous? Someone is eating too much food. It can be stopped. You can force yourself to not eat too much. But why is one eating too much food? Why? Because this is not a bodily need, so somewhere the mind is interfering. Something has to be done with the mind; it is not a question of the body. Why do you go on stuffing yourself?

Too much obsession with food is a love need. If you are not loved well, you will eat more. If you are loved and you can love, you will eat less. Whenever someone loves you, you cannot eat more. Love fills you so much, you don’t feel empty. When there is not love, you feel empty; something has to be stuffed in – you go on forcing food.

And there are reasons, root reasons, for it, because the first encounter of the child with love and food is simultaneous. From the same breast, from the same mother, he gets food and love – food and love become associated. If the mother is loving, the child will never take too much mild. There is no need. He is always secure in his love; he knows that whenever there is a need the food will come, the milk will be there, the mother will be there. He feels secure. But if the mother is non-loving, then he is insecure. Then he doesn’t know whether, when he feels hungry, food will come, because there is no love. He will eat more. And this will continue. It will become an unconscious root.

So you can go on changing your food – eat this, eat that, don’t eat this – but it makes no difference, because the basic root remains there. Then if you stop stuffing yourself with food, you will start stuffing with something else. And there are many ways. If you stop eating too much you may start accumulating money. Then again you have to be filled by something; then you go on accumulating money.

Observe deeply, and you will see that a person who accumulates money is never in love, cannot be, because the money accumulation is really a substitute. With money he will feel secure now. When you are loved there is no insecurity; in love all fears disappear. In love there is no future, no past. This moment is enough, this very moment is eternity. You are accepted. There is no anxiety for the future, for what will happen tomorrow – there is no tomorrow in love.

But if love is not there, then the tomorrow is there. What will happen? Accumulate money, because you cannot rely on any person. So rely on things, rely on money and wealth. There are people who say, ‘Donate your money. Don’t accumulate money. Be non-attached to money.’ But these are superficial things, because the inner need will remain the same – then he will start accumulating something else.

Stop one outlet and you will have to create another – unless roots are destroyed. So don’t be too much concerned with the outer. Be aware of whatsoever your outer personality is. Be aware of it, be alert, and from the periphery always move towards the roots to find what the cause is there. Howsoever disturbing, move to the roots. Once you come to know the roots, once the roots are exposed…. Remember this law: the roots can exist only in darkness – not only the roots of trees, but the roots of anything. They can exist only in darkness. Once they are brought to light, they die.

So move with your periphery; dig it deep and go to the roots, and bring the roots to consciousness, to light. Once you have come to the root, it simply disappears. You have not to do anything about it. You have to do something only because you don’t know what the problem is. A problem rightly understood disappears. Right understanding of a problem, a root understanding of the problem, becomes the disappearance of it. The first thing.

The second thing: whatsoever you do is superficial; it is not you in your totality. So don’t judge a man by his actions, because action is very atomic. You see a person in anger, and you can judge that this man is filled with hatred, violence, vengeance. But a moment later the anger disappears; the man becomes as loving as possible, and a different perfume, a different flowering, comes to his face. The anger was atomic. Don’t judge the whole man. But this love is also atomic. Don’t judge the whole man by this love.

Whatsoever you have done is not your total sum. Your actions remain just atomic – part of you of course, but your totality transcends them. You can be different immediately. And whatsoever is known about you by your behavior, by your actions, by your doings, you can contradict. You may have been a saint: you can become a sinner this very moment. No one could imagine that you, a saint, could do this. You can do it. It is not inconceivable. You may have been a sinner up to this moment, and the next moment you can jump out of it.

What I am saying is, your inner is so vast and so great that by your outer it cannot be judged. Your outer remains superficial, accidental. I will repeat it. Your outer remains accidental, your inner is the essence. So remember to uncover the inner, and don’t get entangled with the outer. One thing more: outer is always of the past. It is always dead, because whatsoever you have done, you have done. It is always of the past, it is never alive. The inner is always alive, it is here and now, and the outer is always dead. If you know me – whatsoever I have done and said – you know my past, you don’t know me. I am here, the living. That is my inner point, and whatsoever you know about me is just the outer. It is dead, it is no more there.

Observe it in your own consciousness. Whatsoever you have done is not a bondage on you. It is no more really; it is just a memory. And you are greater than that. Your infinite possibilities are there.

It was only accidental that you are a sinner or you are a saint. It was only accidental that you are a Christian or a Hindu. But your innermost being is not accidental; it is essential.

The emphasis on the inner is the emphasis on the essential. And that inner remains free, it is freedom. The outer is a slavery, because you can know the outer only when it has happened; then you cannot do anything about it. What can you do about your past? It cannot be undone, you cannot move backwards. You cannot do anything with the past; it is a slavery.

If you understand it rightly, then you can understand the theory of karma, the theory of actions. This theory – one of the most essential parts of Hindu realization – is that unless you go beyond karmas, you are not free; unless you have gone beyond all actions, you will remain in bondage. Don’t pay much attention to the outer, don’t get obsessed with it. Use it as a help, but continuously remembering that the inner has to be discovered.

These techniques we are discussing here are for the inner, for how to discover it. I will tell you one thing. There have been traditions…. For example, one of the most important religious traditions has been Jainism. But Jainism pays too much attention to the outer; too much, so much so that they completely forget that there is anything like meditation, that there is anything like a science of yoga. They forget it completely.

They are obsessed with food, with clothes, with sleep, with everything – but with no effort towards meditation. Not that in their tradition originally there was no meditation, because no religion can be born without it, but they got obsessed somewhere with the outer. It became so important that they forgot completely that this whole situation is just a help; it is not the goal.

What you eat is not the goal. What you are is the goal. It is good if your eating habits help you to uncover the being. It is good. But if you become just obsessed with eating, continuously thinking about it, then you have missed the point. Then you are a food-addict. You are mad, neurotic.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Sudden Enlightenment and its Obstacles – Osho

You said that either one sees the world or the Brahman and that no gradually increasing perception of the Brahman is possible. But in experience we feel that as we become aware and more silent and still, the feeling of the divine presence becomes gradually clearer and clearer. What is this gradual growth and clarity if the authentic experience is never gradual, but sudden?

This has been a very ancient problem: “Is enlightenment sudden or gradual?” Many things have to be understood. There has been a tradition which says that enlightenment is gradual and that everything can be divided into degrees, everything can be divided into steps – that like anything else, knowledge can also be divided; you can become more and more wise, you can become more and more enlightened. This has been widely accepted because the human mind cannot conceive of anything sudden. Mind wants to divide, analyze. Mind is a divider. Degrees can be understood by the mind, but suddenness is non – mental-beyond mind.

If I say to you that you are ignorant and that gradually you will become wise, this is comprehensible, you can comprehend it. If I say to you, “No, there is no gradual growth. Either you are ignorant or you become enlightened, there is a sudden jump,” then the question arises of how to become enlightened. If there were no gradualness, there could be no progress. If there were no degree of growth, no degrees, then you could not make progress, you could not proceed. From where to begin? In a sudden explosion, the beginning and the end are both the same. There is no gap between the beginning and the end, so from where to begin? The beginning is the end. It becomes a puzzle for the mind, it becomes a koan. But sudden enlightenment seems to be impossible. It is not that it is impossible, but that the mind cannot conceive of it. And, remember, how can the mind conceive of enlightenment? It cannot. It has been widely accepted that this inner explosion is also gradual growth. Even many enlightened persons have conceded that to your minds, and they have said, “Yes, there is a gradual growth.”

It is not that there is. They have said it and accepted your attitude, your way of perception. They have been in a deep compassion for you. They know that if you start thinking that it is gradual, the start will be good, but there will be no gradual growth. But if you start, if you go on seeking it, someday the sudden thing will happen to you. And if it is said that enlightenment is only sudden and no gradual growth is possible, you are not even going to start and it will never happen. Many enlightened persons have said that enlightenment is a gradual thing just to help you, just to persuade you to start.

Something is possible through gradual process, but not enlightenment – not enlightenment, something else. And that something else becomes helpful. For example, if you are making water to evaporate it, heating it, evaporation will come suddenly. At a certain point, at a hundred degrees, evaporation will happen – suddenly! There will be no gradual growth between water and vapor. You cannot divide; you cannot say that this water is a little vapor and a little water. Either it is water or it is all vapor. Suddenly the water jumps into the state of vapor. There is a jump – not gradual growth. But by heating you are gradually giving heat to the water. You are helping it to reach the hundred degree point, the evaporating point. This is a natural growth. Up to the evaporating point, the water will grow in the sense of being more and more hot. Then evaporation will happen suddenly.

So there have been masters who were wise, compassionate, who used the language of the human mind which you can understand, telling you, “Yes, there is a gradual growth.” It gives you courage and confidence and hope, and a possibility that it can happen to you also. You cannot attain in a sudden explosion, but by and by, step by step, with your limitations, with your weaknesses, you can grow to it. It may take many lives, but still there is hope. You will just get heated by all your efforts.

The second thing to remember: even hot water is still water. So even if you become more clear in your mind, more pure in your perceptions, more moral, more centered, you are still man, not a buddha, not enlightened. You become more silent, more still, calmer. You feel a deep bliss, but still you are a man, and your feelings are really negative, not positive.

You feel calm because you are now less tense. You feel blissful because now you are clinging less to your miseries; you are not creating them. You feel collected. It is not that you have come to realize the one, but only because now you are less divided. Remember this: your growth is negative. You are just hot water. The possibility is there that at any moment you will come to the point where evaporation happens. When it happens, you will not feel calmness, you will not even feel blissful, you will not feel silent, because these attributes are relative to their opposites. When you are tense, you can feel silence. When you feel noise, you can feel stillness. When you are divided, fragmentary, you can feel oneness. When you are in suffering, anguish, you can feel bliss.

That is why Buddha was silent – because language cannot now express that which is beyond polarities. He cannot say, “Now I am filled with bliss,” because even this feeling that “Now I am filled with bliss” is possible only with a background of suffering and anguish. You can feel health only with a background of illness and disease; you can feel life only with a background of death. Buddha cannot say, “Now I am deathless,” because death has disappeared so completely that deathlessness cannot be felt.

If the misery has disappeared so completely, how can you feel blissful? If the noise and the anguish are so absolutely non-existent, how can you feel silence? All these experiences, feelings, are related to their opposites. Without their opposites they cannot be felt. If darkness disappears completely, how can you feel light? It is impossible.

Buddha cannot say, “I have become light!” He cannot say, “Now I am filled with light.” If he says such things, we will say he is not yet a buddha. He cannot utter such things. Darkness must be there if you want to feel light; death must be there if you want to feel deathlessness. You cannot avoid the opposite. It is a basic necessity for any experience to exist. So what is Buddha’s experience? Whatsoever we know, it is not that. It is neither negative nor positive, neither this nor that. And whatsoever can be expressed, it is not that.

That is why Lao Tzu insists so much that truth cannot be said, and the moment you say it you have falsified it. Already it is untrue. Truth cannot be said because of this: it cannot be divided into polar opposites, and language is meaningful only with polar opposites. Language becomes meaningless otherwise. Without the contrary, language loses meaning.

So there is a tradition which says that enlightenment is gradual, but that tradition is not really the truth. It is just a half-truth uttered in compassion for human minds. Enlightenment is sudden, and it cannot be otherwise. It is a jump! It is a discontinuity from your past! Try to understand: if something is gradual, the past goes on remaining in it. If something is gradual, then there is a continuity.

There is no gap. If from ignorance to knowledge there is gradual growth, the ignorance cannot completely disappear. It will remain, it will continue, because there has been no discontinuity, there has been no gap. So the ignorance may become more polished, the ignorance may become more knowledgeable. The ignorance may appear wise, but it is there. The more polished it is, then, of course, the more dangerous. The more knowledgeable it is, then the more cunning one is and the more capable of deceiving oneself.

Enlightenment and ignorance are absolutely separate, discontinuous. A jump is needed – a jump in which the past dissolves completely. The old is gone; it is no more, and the new has appeared which was never there before.

Buddha is reported to have said, “I am not that one who was seeking. The one who has appeared now never was before.” This looks absurd, illogical, but it is so. It is so! Buddha says, “I am not he who was seeking; I am not he who was desiring enlightenment; I am not he who was ignorant. The old man is dead completely. I am a new one. I never existed in that old man. There has been a gap. The old has died and the new is born.”

For the mind to conceive of this is difficult. How can you conceive of it? How can you conceive of a gap? Something must continue. How can something disappear completely and something new appear? It was absurd for logical minds, it was absurd for scientific minds, just two decades before. But now, for science, it is not absurd. Now they say that deep down in the atom electrons appear and disappear, and they take jumps. From one point the electron takes a jump to another; in between the two it is not. It appears at point A, then disappears and reappears at point B, and within the gap it is no more. It is not there. It becomes absolutely non-existent.

If this is so, it means that non-existence is also a sort of existence. It is difficult to conceive of, but it is so: non-existence is also a sort of existence. It is as if something moves from the visible to the invisible, as if something moves from form to formlessness.

When Gautam Siddharth, the old man who died in Gautam Buddha, was seeking, he was a visible form. When the enlightenment happened, that form completely dissolved into the formless. For a moment there was a gap; there was no one. Then from that formlessness a new form arose.

This was Gautam Buddha. Because the body continues in the same way, we think that there is a continuity, but the inner reality changes completely. Because the body continues in the same way, that is why we say “Gautam Buddha” – that “Gautam Siddharth has now become Gautam the awakened; he has become a buddha.” But Buddha himself says, “I am not he who was seeking. I am a totally different one.”

It is difficult for the mind to conceive of this – and for the mind many things are difficult, but they cannot be denied just because they are difficult for the mind. The mind has to yield to those impossibilities which are incomprehensible to it. Sex cannot yield to the mind; the mind has to yield to sex. This is one of the most basic inner facts – that enlightenment is a discontinuous phenomenon. The old simply disappears and the new is born.

There has been another tradition, a later tradition, of those who have been insisting all through history that Enlightenment is sudden – that it is not gradual. But those who belong to it are very few. They stick to the truth, but they are bound to be very few because no following can be created if sudden Enlightenment is the case. You simply cannot understand it, so how can you follow it? It is shocking to the logical structure and it seems absurd, impossible. But remember one thing: then you move into deeper realms. Whether of matter or of mind, you will have to encounter many things of which a superficial mind cannot conceive.

Tertullian, one of the greatest Christian mystics, has said, “I believe in God because God is the greatest absurdity. I believe in God because mind cannot believe in God.” It is impossible to believe in God; no proof, no argument, no logic can help the belief in God. Everything goes against him, against his existence, but Tertullian says, “That is why I believe – because only by believing in an absurdity can I move away from my mind.”

This is beautiful. If you want to move away from your mind, you will need something of which your mind cannot conceive. If your mind can conceive of it, it will absorb it into its own system, and then you cannot transcend your mind. That is why every religion has insisted on some point which is absurd. No religion can exist without some absurdity just as a foundation in it. From that absurdity you either turn back and say, “I cannot believe so I will go away.” Then you remain yourself – or you take a jump, you turn away from your mind. And unless your mind is killed the enlightenment cannot happen.

Your mind is the problem, your logic is the problem, your arguments are the problem.

They are on the surface. They look true, but they deceive. They are not true. For example, look how the mind’s structure functions. The mind divides everything in two, and nothing is divisible. Existence is indivisible; you cannot divide it – but mind goes on dividing it. It says that “this” is life and “this” is death. What is the actual fact? The actual fact is that both are the same. You are both alive and dying this very moment; you are doing both. Rather, you are both -death and life.

Mind divides. It says, “this” is death and “this” is life. Not only does it divide; it says that both are opposites, enemies, and that death is trying to destroy life. And it looks okay: death is “trying to destroy life.” But if you penetrate deeper, deeper than the mind, death is not trying to destroy life!

You cannot exist without death. Death is helping you to exist. It is every moment helping you to exist. If for a single moment death stops working, you will die.

Death is every moment throwing away many parts in you which have become non-functional. Many cells die; they are removed by death. When they are removed, new ones are born. You are growing: something is dying and something is being born continuously. Every moment there is death and life, and both are functioning. In language I have to call them both two. They are not two; they are two aspects of one phenomenon. Life and death are one; “life-death” is a process. But mind divides.

That division looks okay for us, but that division is false.

You say “this” is light and “that” is dark; you divide. But where does darkness start and where does light end? Can you demarcate them? You cannot demark them. Actually, whiteness and blackness are two poles of a long greyness, and that greyness is life. On one pole blackness appears and on another pole whiteness appears, but the reality is grey, and that grey contains both in itself. Mind divides and then everything looks clear-cut. Life is very confusing; that is why life is a mystery.

And because of this, mind cannot understand life. It is helpful to create clear-cut concepts. You can think easily, conveniently, but you miss the very reality of life. Life is a mystery, and mind demystifies everything. Then you have dead fragments, not the whole.

With the mind you will not be able to conceive of how enlightenment is sudden, how you will disappear and something new will be there which you had never known before. But don’t try to understand through mind. Rather, practice something which will make you more and more hot.

Rather, try to attain some fire which will make you more and more hot. And then one day suddenly you will know that the old has disappeared; the water is no more. This is a new phenomenon. You have evaporated, and everything has changed totally.

Water was always flowing downwards, and after evaporation the new phenomenon is rising upwards.

The whole law has changed. You have heard about one law, Newton’s law of gravity, which says that the earth attracts everything downwards. But the law of gravity is only one law. There is another law. You may not have heard about it because science has yet to uncover it, but yoga and tantra have known it for centuries. They call it levitation. Gravity is the pull downwards and levitation is the pull upwards.

The story of how the law of gravity was discovered is well known. Newton was sitting under a tree, under an apple tree, and then one apple fell down. Because of this he started thinking, and he felt that something is pulling the apple downwards. Tantra and yoga ask, “How did the apple reach upwards in the first place? How?” That must be explained first – how the apple reached the upward position, how the tree is growing upwards. The apple was not there; it was hidden in a seed, and then the apple traveled the whole journey. It reached the upward position and only then did it fall down. So gravity is a secondary law. Levitation was there first. Something was pulling the apple upwards. What is that?

In life we easily know gravity because we are all pulled downwards. The water flows downwards; it is under the law of gravity. When it evaporates, suddenly the law also evaporated. Now it is under levitation, it rises upwards.

Ignorance is under the law of gravity: you always move downwards, and whatsoever you do makes no difference. You have to move downwards. In every way you will have to move downwards, and struggle alone will not be of much help unless you enter a different law – the law of levitation. That is what samadhi is – the door for levitation. Once you evaporate, once you are no more water, everything changes. It is not that now you can control: there is no need to control, you simply cannot flow downwards now. As it was impossible before to rise upwards, now it is impossible to flow downwards.

It is not that a buddha tries to be non-violent; he cannot do otherwise. It is not that he tries to be loving; he cannot do otherwise. He has to be loving. That is not a choice, not an effort, not any cultivated virtue, it is simply that now this is the law: he rises upwards. Hate is under the law of gravity; love is under levitation.

This sudden transformation doesn’t mean that you are not to do anything and that you are simply to wait for the sudden transformation. Then it will never come. This is the puzzle. When I say – or someone else says – that enlightenment is sudden; we think that if it is sudden nothing can be done that we must simply wait. When it will happen, it will happen, so what can one do? If it is gradual you can do something.

But I say to you that it is not gradual, and yet you can do something. And you have to do something, but that something will not bring you enlightenment. That something will bring you near the phenomenon of enlightenment. That something will make you open for the phenomenon of enlightenment to happen. So enlightenment cannot be an outcome of your efforts; it is not. Through your efforts you simply become available for the higher law of levitation. Your availability will come through your effort, not enlightenment. You will become open, you will become non-resistant, you will become cooperative for the higher law to work. And once you are cooperative and non-resistant, the higher law starts functioning. Your efforts will yield you; your efforts will make you more receptive.

It is just like this: you are sitting in your room with closed doors. The sun is outside, but you are in darkness. You cannot do anything to bring the sun in, but if you simply open the doors your room becomes available. You cannot bring the sun in, but you can block it out. If you open your doors, the sun will enter, the waves will come; the light will come into the room.

You are not really bringing the light; you are simply removing the hindrance. The light comes by itself. Understand it deeply: you cannot do anything to reach enlightenment, but you are doing many things to hinder it – to hinder it from reaching to you. You are creating many barriers, so you can only do something negatively: you can throw the barriers; you can open the doors. The moment the doors are open, the rays will enter, the light will touch you and transform you.

All effort in this sense is to destroy the barriers, not to attain enlightenment. All effort is negative. It is just like medicine. The medicine cannot give you health; it can only destroy your diseases. Once the diseases are not there, health happens; you become available. If diseases are there, health cannot happen.

That is why medical science, Eastern or Western, has not yet been able to define what health is. They can define each disease exactly – they know thousands and thousands of diseases and they have defined them all – but they cannot define what health is. At the most they can say that when there is no disease you are healthy. But what is health? Something which goes beyond mind. It is something which is there: you can have it, you can feel it, but you cannot define it.

You have known health, but can you define it – what it is? The moment you try to define it you will have to bring disease in. You will have to talk something about disease, and you will have to say, “No-disease is health.” This is ridiculous. To define health you need disease? And disease has definite qualities. Health also has its own qualities, but they are not so definite because they are infinite. You can feel them; when health is there you know it is there. But what is it? Diseases can be treated, destroyed. Barriers are broken and the light enters. Similar is the phenomenon of enlightenment. It is a spiritual health. Mind is a spiritual disease, and meditation is nothing but medicine.

Buddha is said to have said, “I am a medicine man, a vaidya – a physician. I am not a teacher and I have not come to give you doctrines. I know a certain medicine which can cure your diseases. And don’t ask about health. Take the medicine, destroy the disease, and you will know what health is. Don’t ask about it.” Buddha says, “I am not a metaphysician, I am not a philosopher. I am not interested in what God is, in what soul is, in what kaivalya, aloneness, moksha, liberation, and nirvana is. I am not interested! I am simply interested in what disease is and in how it can be cured. I am a medicine man.” His approach is absolutely scientific. He has diagnosed human dilemma and disease. His approach is absolutely right.

Destroy the barriers. What are the barriers? Thinking is the basic barrier. When you think, a barrier of thoughts is created. Between you and the reality a wall of thoughts is created, and thoughts are more dense than any stone wall can be. And then there are many layers of thought. You cannot penetrate through them and see what the real is. You go on thinking about what the real is and you go on imagining what the real is, and the real is here and now waiting for you. If you become available to it, it will happen to you. You go on thinking about what the real is, but how can you think if you don’t know?

You cannot think about something which you don’t know; you can only think about something which you already know. Thinking is repetitious, tautological; it never reaches to anything new and unknown. Through thinking you never touch the unknown; you only touch the known, and it is meaningless because you already know it. You can go on feeling it again and again; you may enjoy the feeling, but nothing new comes out of it.

Stop thinking. Dissolve thinking, and the barrier is broken. Then your doors are open and the light can enter. And once the light enters, you know that the old is no more. You know now that that which you are is absolutely the new. It never was before; you had never known it; but you may even say that this is the “ancient-most” – it was there always, not known to you.

You can use both expressions; they mean the same. You can call it the “ancient-most” – the brahman who has always been there, and you can say that you were missing it continuously.

Or you can say that this is the newest – that which has happened only now and never was before.

That too is right because for you this is the new. If you want to speak about the truth, you will have to use paradoxical expressions. The Upanishads say, “This is the new and this is the old. This is the most ancient and this is the newest. It is the far and the near both.” But then language becomes paradoxical, contradictory.

And you ask me, “What is this gradual growth and clarity if the authentic experience is never gradual, but sudden?” This clarity is of the mind; this clarity is of a lessening of disease; this clarity is of the falling of barriers. If one barrier falls you are less burdened, your eyes are less clouded. If another barrier falls you are still more unburdened, your eyes become still more clear. But this clarity is not of enlightenment; this clarity is only of a lessening disease, not of health. When all barriers disappear, with those barriers your mind also disappears.

Then you cannot say, “Now my mind is clear, it is no more.” Then you simply say, “Now there is no mind.” When there is no mind, then the clarity is of enlightenment. Then the clarity is of enlightenment! That is absolutely different. Then another dimension has opened. But you will have to pass through clarities of mind. Remember always that no matter how clear your mind becomes; it is still a barrier.

No matter how transparent your mind becomes, even if it becomes a transparent glass and you can look to the other side, still it is a barrier and you will have to break it completely. So sometimes it happens that when one is meditating one becomes more and more clear, more sane, more still; silence is felt. Then one clings to meditation and thinks that everything is achieved. Great masters have always been emphasizing that a day comes when you have to throw your meditation also.

I will tell you one story – one Zen story. Bokuju was meditating – meditating very deeply, meditating with his whole heart. His master would come every day, and he would just laugh and go back.

Bokuju became annoyed. The master would not say anything, he would just come and look at him, laugh and go away. And Bokuju was feeling very good in meditation. His meditation was deepening, and he needed someone to appreciate him. He was waiting for the master to pat him and say, “Good, Bokuju. You did well.” But the master just laughed. The laughter felt insulting – as if Bokuju was not progressing, and he was progressing. As he progressed more, the laughter grew more and more insulting. It was impossible to tolerate it now.

One day the master came, and Bokuju was feeling absolutely silent as far as mind can go; there was no noise within, no thought. The mind was absolutely transparent; no barrier was felt. He was filled with a subtle deep happiness, joy was bubbling all over, he was in ecstasy. Thus, he thought, “Now my master will not laugh. Now the moment has come, and he is going to tell me, ‘Now Bokuju, you have become enlightened.’”

That day the master came: the master came with a brick in his hand, and he started rubbing that brick on the rock on which Bokuju was sitting. He was so silent, and the rubbing of the brick created noise. He became annoyed. At last he couldn’t tolerate it, so he opened his eyes and asked his master, “What are you doing?”

The master said, “I am trying to make this brick a mirror, and by continuously rubbing it I hope that someday this brick will become a mirror.”

Bokuju said, “You are behaving stupidly. This stone, this brick, is not going to become a mirror. No matter how much you rub it, it is not going to become a mirror.”

The master laughed and said, “Then what are you doing? This mind can never become enlightened, and you go on rubbing and rubbing it. You are polishing it, and you are feeling so good that when I laugh you feel annoyed.” And suddenly, as the master threw his brick, Bokuju became aware. When the master threw his brick, suddenly he felt that the master was right, and the mind broke. Then from that day on there was no mind and no meditation. He became enlightened.

The master said to him, “Now you can move anywhere. Go, and teach others also. First teach them meditation; then teach them non-meditation. First teach them how to make the mind clear, because only a very clear mind can understand that now even this clear mind is a barrier. Only a deeply meditative mind can understand that now even meditation has to be thrown.

You cannot understand it right now. Krishnamurti goes on saying that there is no need of any meditation, and he is right. But he is talking to wrong persons. He is right; there is no need for any meditation, but he is wrong because of to whom he is saying this. Those who cannot even understand what meditation is, how can they understand that there is no need for any meditation?

This is going to be harmful for them because they will cling to this idea. They will feel that this idea is very good, there is no need of meditation, so “We are already enlightened.”

Listening to Krishnamurti, many feel that now there is no need of meditation and that those who are meditating are foolish. They may waste their whole life because of this thought, and this thought is right. There comes a point when meditation has to be thrown; there comes a point when meditation becomes a barrier. But wait for this point to come. You cannot throw something which you don’t have. Krishnamurti says, “No need of meditation; don’t meditate.” But you have never meditated, so how can you say, “Don’t meditate”?

A rich man can renounce his riches, not a poor man. To renounce you need something to renounce in the first place. If you meditate, you can renounce it one day – and that is the last renunciation, and that is the greatest. Wealth can he renounced; it is easy. Family can be renounced; it is not difficult.

The whole world can be renounced because everything is outer and outer and outer. The last thing is meditation, the innermost wealth. And when you renounce it, you have renounced yourself. Then no self remains – not even the meditating self, the great meditator. Even that image is broken. You have fallen into nothingness. Only in this nothingness, the discontinuity. The old has disappeared and the new has happened. You become available through meditation.

Whatsoever is felt through meditation, don’t think that it is enlightenment. These are just glimpses of a lessening disease, of a dispersing disease. You feel good. The disease is less, so you feel relatively healthy. Real health is not yet there, but you are more healthy than before and it is good to be more healthy than before.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #40, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Worlds Beyond Thought – Albert Blackburn

The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Albert Blackburn  and Gabriele, his wife.

Albert Blackburn:  Can thought go beyond?

Gabriele:  How can it? And what can go beyond? How can one go beyond?

A:  A new factor must obviously be introduced in order to transcend the thought process; and once again, we should be able to go into it right from this present moment.  Does anything exist in this present moment that is not a part of thought, and that is not a part of our memory bank and ego?

G:  I would say awareness, perception, and the factual things we are surrounded by.

A:  I think that you’re right.  I feel that perception is something beyond thought, because perception is inherent in every living creature in the world.  Every living creature has perception and is able to use perception within its own particular field of consciousness.

G:  Yes.

A:  I think the problem that exists is that we have identified ourselves with perception.  We say we’re perceiving, or we’re feeling, or we’re smelling, or we’re doing.  I think these are all ideas because from a factual point of view there is only seeing, there is only doing, there is only feeling, there is only smelling, there is only hearing; it is only an idea that we are seeing, we are hearing, we are smelling, we are feeling these things.  I believe that each person has to explore this themselves, and see if it is true; does perception exist beyond our personal ideas about it?

To me, it is a very real fact that perception is outside my field of consciousness.  It is completely separate from the thought process.  When my mind is quiet, there is complete perception; there is no fragmentation due to my personal identification with one object.

G:  But the moment I say that I am aware of that beautiful sunset, I bring in my ego, or I bring in the ‘I’ of thought.  I create a memory so that tomorrow I can say, “Yesterday I saw a beautiful sunset.”

A:  That’s right; in other words, we take a mental picture of something the minute we identify it and say, “I have seen it,” or “I am seeing it.”  I must remember it because it is a beautiful picture and I want to put it into my photographic album so that tomorrow I can drag it out and compare it to something else that I have seen, or so that I can tell you about it.

G:  That’s how we generate our own personal body of knowledge. 

A:  It’s also a matter of communication. We can’t communicate with another person without using words and ideas.  Communication on the physical level has to be through the field of consciousness, doesn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  I can communicate to you things that I have experienced, or things that I’m experiencing at the present time.  I can do it through words, or I can do it through memory, but I have to use the field of human consciousness.  I have to use the values, the words, and everything else that we both understand in order to get the idea across to you.

But your perception of an idea doesn’t have to involve the field of consciousness. A sudden understanding or a sudden knowing may occur inside of you when you hear me talking about it or describing it.  And even though I’m using my conditioning to describe it, you don’t have to use your conditioning to understand it.  That’s the point.

G:  I can use now-consciousness to understand it.

A:  Right!  This is very important, because it creates an entirely new situation.  In other words, you or I or anyone else, who is endeavoring to communicate a certain idea or a certain insight has to use accepted grammatical forms in order to be understood.  But the holistic understanding of the other person has to lie outside of the field of human consciousness.  If the person who is listening is understanding or interpreting the words in a mechanical way only, then that person’s understanding is only on the verbal level; it doesn’t go any deeper and it doesn’t affect the person’s actions.  For your actions in life to be really affected at the gut level, you have to understand things outside of the field of your personal conditioning. You can’t be caught by any of the words that you hear.  You can’t bring up something from your memory bank or bring up some photograph that you have personally taken, some memory, and have understanding take place.  The minute you catch yourself interpreting something in any way at all – going back to your memory bank in any way at all – drop it.  In dropping the memory, you are open again and free of your conditioning.  Once free, understanding can take place at a deep level, and this can really change your life.

This is why Krishnaji had such difficulty in communicating with the people who listened to him; most of them were interpreting the words that he was using.  They were mired down by the ideas that were evoked in their minds by the words that he used, and they made no impression on them at a deep level.  Consequently, there was no understanding.  They would say, “I understand what Krishnamurti is talking about, it is very plain he’s talking about,” but there was no inner revolution in their understanding of life.

G:  So it became another accumulation of ideas.

A:  Exactly, there was no inner revolution.  The inner revolution can only take place outside of the field of consciousness.  There has to be a listening, not you listening, there has to be a listening without ‘you’ in the picture.  And when there is that listening, then what is heard is not being interpreted, it is not being analyzed, and it is not being filtered through your conditioning.  In that, there’s a holistic understanding which affects you at a deep level, and changes your life, and brings about this inner revolution that Krishnaji was talking about.

G:  That’s right.

A:  I think that is the whole secret of it.

G:  Yes.  So this perception, this awareness is necessary.  If one is in a state of now-consciousness, then what is beyond that?  What is beyond man’s creation, beyond man’s whole field of the known?  What happens?  Let us go into that now.

A:  Well, the world of nature is beyond; understanding, love, affection, attention, compassion, beauty, and all the so-called virtues are beyond; everything that humanity has ever dreamed about possessing, but has never really possessed except as a name or an idea, is beyond human consciousness.  And it is not something that can’t be touched at any time, because what is beyond human consciousness (as we have said before) is the present moment. Thus beauty can be touched in the present moment if I’m not in the picture, ‘I’ as an idea.  Affection can be touched in the present moment; love can be touched in the present moment; understanding can be touched.  All of the things we have just named can be touched in the present moment.

G:  Yes.

A:  It is so simple everybody passes it by, because most of us expect a complicated answer.  You have to experiment and discover for yourself the simple beauty of this approach to life.

G:  It is so direct.

A:  Absolutely direct; direct perception; direct action.

G:  So how does one wake up?  How does one stay in the now?

A:  Well, let us start in this present moment again, because this is the beginning point.  Every step, every question has to begin with this present moment.  Would you ask the question, “How can I sit in this chair?”

G:  No, I guess I know how.

A:  “How can I put my feet on the floor?”  “How can I put my two hands together?”  “How can I look at another person?”  You know, it is so simple. There’s no how to it for us.  So the question is not how to do something in a positive way, but rather what prevents us from doing it? That should be the question.  What prevents me from being aware that I’m sitting in this chair?  What prevents me from being aware that I have my hands clasped together and my thumbs are moving together against each other?  What prevents me from being aware of this?

G:  All that we’ve been talking about.

A:  Right; thought.

G:  Thought.

A:  In other words, identification with a certain object or a certain idea that was recalled through the memory process, a retrieval from our personal memory bank. That’s what prevents us from being constantly attentive and aware of what is happening in the present moment.

G:  Then without awareness there is no true love, no beauty, no compassion, no affection, none of those things that are beyond thought.

A:  They don’t exist, if I’m thinking.

G:  No.

A:  They can’t.  Each one can exist as an idea; I can name each one as an abstraction.  But it is just an idea, it is not the thing itself.  The emotions themselves, which are part of the holistic feeling about life which contains all of those so-called virtues, are there every moment.  But we’re simply not aware of them because we’re busy thinking about some picayune idea that has nothing to do with them at all.

Of course, you have to use thought in order to make plans.  If you have a certain insight into what has to be done this afternoon, or tomorrow, or whatever, you have to use thought.  You have to use the creative planning capacity of your brain in order to bring it about.  But most of the time we’re not in that situation; most of the time we could sit back and enjoy these other things that we’ve been talking about as possibilities.  We could enjoy them as facts, and not just as ideas.

G:  In other words, I don’t see nature when I’m thinking.

A:  Of course not.

G:  I can see that that’s a tree, or a bird, and so on, but I don’t really see it, feel it, or perceive it when the mind is chattering

A:  The minute you name something you don’t perceive it, either.  You perceive the tree, and the minute you name the tree, the perception is gone.  In the act of naming, the name you are giving the tree becomes superimposed between you and the tree.  The same phenomenon takes place in every phase of our life.

G:  Seeing the beauty of what we’re saying, and the necessity of it, and perhaps experiencing it – how does it come about?

A:  I think we should start once again with something that we can understand.  Obviously, thought cannot wake itself up.  I consider thinking a form of dreaming.  (People call it thinking, you know, but actually it is day-dreaming!)  Thought can’t wake itself up.  If you’re in the middle of a dream at night, you normally can’t wake yourself up immediately.  However, there are certain techniques that the occultists use to trick themselves into waking up in the middle of a dream; they then go on with the dream in a different way, objectively.

G:  They’re experimenting with this now in dream labs.

A:  There’s the possibility of doing this.  There’s also the possibility of waking yourself up and becoming aware of the fact that you have been thinking a certain train of thought.  Then, instead of continuing that particular thought (which, from your point of view, might be a negative thought), you continue in the thought process by substituting what you consider to be a more positive, more acceptable thought.

G:  That’s still the same old thing.  It is still using memory to trick yourself into thinking in another way.

A:  So both ways are really tricks of the mind, aren’t they?

G:  Yes.

A:  So, if thought cannot wake itself up, if thought cannot bring itself to an end, if thought cannot extricate itself from the field of human consciousness – which is the origin of thought in the first place – then something else has to take place, doesn’t it?  Another factor must come into play to break the impasse.  Earlier, we came to the realization that perception and awareness are outside of human consciousness.  So what is it that will wake us up?  That was the question you asked.

G:  Just now you said thought can’t achieve its own end.  What do you mean by that?  You can’t think yourself to the end of thought?

A:  No, there has to be some outside agency, doesn’t there?  There has to be some factor outside of my conditioned response.

G:  You said that thought can’t stop itself.  You can’t sit there and say, “I’m going to meditate and stop thinking?”

A:  No, because consciously stopping a negative type of thought, for instance, and turning it into a positive thought, is still continuing the thought process.  Some of the so-called New-Thought organizations do this type of mental manipulation; they tell you to think positively instead of negatively.  It is just a trick of the mind.  In other words, they continue to experience the same dream, only they’ve edited it now, and they turn it into a positive dream instead of a negative one.

But this doesn’t answer your question, and I think it is an intriguing question.  I like to use analogies, because I think analogies are really another way of talking about harmonics on another level.  For example, you yourself have thoroughly studied and used your mind and your mental capacity to its utmost to determine all of the facts concerning a certain way of living.  You’ve gone as far as you can go in creatively thinking about the subject, and have used your mental capacity to find out everything related to the healing work that you do.  Is that true?

G:  Yes, it is.

A:  Then suppose that somebody calls you this afternoon and tells you that your assistance is required tomorrow morning at 8:00, that the capacity that you’ve developed as a ‘healer’ is needed to help someone.  You realize the value of doing this, you see that life has chosen you to do this and that you have the capacity to do it, and you have a feeling that you can perhaps help this other person.  Are you going to need an alarm clock to wake you in time to be ready for your 8 o’clock appointment tomorrow morning?  Or are you going to wake up spontaneously?

G:  I’ll wake up by myself.

A:  You’ll wake up.  You won’t need an alarm clock.  You may set one just as a safety measure because you may not be completely sure you’ll wake up, but you will always awaken.  Just as I’d wake up if somebody called me and wanted to talk about my favorite subject, now-consciousness.  I would wake up; I wouldn’t need an alarm clock because I’m intensely interested in the subject, just as you are intensely interested in what you are doing, too.  We can’t say it is ‘you’ waking yourself up, or ‘me’ waking myself up.  It is the interest that we have in the things with which we are involved that wakes us up.  That interest is part of the life-force, the vitality or energy of life, that awakens us.  Isn’t that true?

G:  Yes, one can hardly wait to get started.

A:  Well, if this is true on the physical level, why doesn’t it apply on other levels as well?  Wouldn’t it apply to waking up from a thought pattern?

G:  It is part of that inner intention, that interest.

A:  Suppose that I have gone into this deeply enough to see the value and the logic of waking up.  I realize that most of the time I identify with just one fragment of each moment.  I can see the potential danger in this limited response to unforeseen challenges and am really serious in my desire to change.  I see that I will be unable to cope adequately with emergencies that may come up as long as I’m plugged into only one channel.  Suppose that you have told me all of this, and I’ve looked into it and understood logically at least that what you say must be true.  I may not have felt it deeply because I have not experienced it myself, but I see that life must be much richer; there must be a thousand things out there of which I’m unaware.

My inquiry and deep interest opens the door for insight.  There is freedom from the known, because I clearly see that thought cannot make a breakthrough.  Another factor, outside of myself, must become operative.  In other words, I can’t consciously awaken myself from sleep, nor can I consciously bring about awareness.

Perceiving the validity of these observations gives me the inner intention to wake up, and this inner incentive accomplishes what thought cannot do.  Thought can’t extricate itself from the trap it has created.  It is the sincere acknowledgement of this impasse that opens the door for insight to occur.

G:  That’s exactly it.

A:  If I’ve reached that stage mentally, and have really pushed it and am really interested, my inquiry and my interest are going to be the very things that wake me up.

G:  And then you carry that through into action.  When someone comes to you with a problem, you approach it with an attitude of ‘I’ don’t know.  For example, I can’t approach the healing process with any knowledge that I have; but if I stay away from thought and just ‘tune’ into the energy that is there, that exists in that same state of perception, the healing may occur.

A:  Exactly.

G:  And if you take that approach when someone comes to you with a question, rather than approaching it from the standpoint of what you’ve already written or thought or experienced, then real communication may occur.  Or you may at least say something important to that person; whether they can comprehend it in the same way or not is not your responsibility.

A:  You are not personally providing the answer.  If you are open, if your cup is empty, and life is pouring information into you moment by moment through the medium of insight, then you are not consciously saying something designed to engender a particular reaction in the other person.  If you have the idea that you are going to effect a certain result, it is a product of thought

G:  That’s right.  ‘I’ am not a healer, ‘I’ can’t heal anybody.

A:  You will spontaneously and intuitively say the right thing, with no idea at all as to why you are saying it.  And it is life that engenders the understanding in the other person that might change the course of that person’s life.  But you are not doing it to bring about a specific result; that is the important point

People thought that Krishnaji deliberately said certain things to them personally that were designed to elicit particular results, because specific results did occur as a consequence of what he said.  But I don’t believe that he himself had any intention of doing that; he said what he did because at that moment it was the right thing to say.  It was life that engendered an understanding in the listener.

G:  Yes, because that energy, that life, that love that comes through, is then actually working in that state beyond thought.  And that is the state of pure insight and pure compassion, and in that state, healing and understanding can take place.

What do you think Krishnaji meant by saying that you must follow a thought to its end?

A:  If I’ve suddenly awakened to the fact that my mind has been identifying with a certain train of thought, there are two directions in which I can go, aren’t there?  Usually that direction is forward; I use thought and imagination to conclude the particular thought that I had been involved in at the time I awakened.  In other words I analyze my thought, interpret the thought that I’ve just had, and follow it through to a conclusion of some kind.  That would involve the thinking process, wouldn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  In other words, it would be impossible to proceed from the point at which you have awakened without using thought.

G:  So Krishnaji couldn’t have meant that, could he?

A:  No.  Let’s go back to the analogy of sleeping.  When you wake up in the morning, there’s an immediate awareness of the fact that you are in the bed where you went to sleep (if everything is normal).  An awareness of how you went to asleep at night, of how you prepared yourself for bed, of all of the events leading up to it – all of this comes to you in a flash when you wake up in the morning.  You don’t have to think about it; in a flash you see the whole backward track.  You even picture some of the dreams that your mind was involved in during the night.

In the same way, at a different and higher harmonic level, you can wake up or suddenly become aware of the fact that you’ve been involved in thought.  Immediately, instead of proceeding, instead of analyzing and editing the thought, and all of the rest of the process, be aware of your tendency to do this, and the minute that you start doing it, drop it.  In that dropping there is a clear seeing of the whole backward path.  You see the train of thought that you were involved with and how it originated.  You see the memory that triggered it; you see the life challenge that triggered it – you see the name, or the person, or whatever it was triggered that particular train of thought.  You can then perceive where the thought originated, how it started in your mind, how you were conditioned to react to a particular thing, and how you programmed yourself to respond in a particular way.  And then the thought can even be traced back into all kinds of other little channels back to the actual origin of the memory itself.  When all of that is clearly seen, it dissipates, it withers way.  It is no more, and you will not be troubled by that particular memory again

G:  Are you saying that it diminishes, that the content goes out of it, as well as the feelings associated with it?

A:  The feelings go out of it, the life goes out of it and it shrivels up in the light of understanding.  It withers away in the light of awareness that you focus upon the backward path leading to the whole train of thought.  But if you make the mistake of going forward, you give it new energy, you give it new life, you give it new continuity; and then it keeps coming up over and over again, and there’s no end to it.  It becomes a neurotic response

G:  And there is no end to it at all.

A:  So that’s what I feel that Krishnaji meant when he spoke of following thought to an end.  He knew that if you followed it forward it would lead to a dead end, that you’d never escape it, and that you would discover for yourself that you could never escape it.

G:  Is following thought to an end different then from analysis?

A:  Oh yes, completely; analysis is going forward with thought.  Analysis is going forward, but also looking back while you’re going ahead and analyzing the thing that you thought you were thinking about.  Analysis is part of the thought process.

Now-Consciousness is the world beyond thought, where there is love compassion beauty, and a holistic unity with all of life.

-Albert Blackburn

Excerpt from Worlds Beyond Thought, Conversations on Now-Consciousness, p.102 – 117

No Question of Imagination – Osho

With the path of Sufism, the way of the heart behind us, where does the devotee fit in?

Maneesha, the devotee fits in everywhere. Of course the context becomes different.

In Sufism, the devotee is devoted to God to such an extent that al-Hillaj Mansoor started shouting, “I am God!” The devotee disappears into God. But God is a hypothesis, so the devotee in Sufism is only living in a very great hallucination. It is his mind’s projection.

But the devotee in Zen has no hypothesis, he is not devoted to any God or to any fiction. His devotion is to a living human master. It is not a fiction, it is a real being-to-being contact.

So don’t think that the devotee has no place in Zen. In fact, in Zen the devotee has a more authentic and real meaning. In Sufism it is only imagination, great imagination. It will bring many flowers, will make the person very blissful, but it is just like a person who is intoxicated.

It is not a coincidence that in Sufism they have wine, and saki – the woman who brings the wine – and God conceived of as a woman. The man who gets deeply involved in Sufi imagination almost looks mad, but you can see he is very joyful; he dances and sings, his whole energy is now being dominated by his imagination.

But if a person, by drinking alcohol or by taking marijuana, dances and sings, do you think it has any significance in the ultimate sense? It is just chemical. Soon the chemical will be out of the body and with the chemical going out of the body, the person is back down to the earth, more shattered than he was ever before. Imagination is a certain release within you of something intoxicating.

That’s why I said to Coleman yesterday, “You bring a Sufi to me, and within one hour I will bring him down to the earth. Otherwise he is flying in the sky.”

There have been cases when people under LSD thought they could fly. It was so clear for them, without any doubt, that they flew out from a seventeen story building. It was not a question of courage, it was not a question of any decision; they were so certain under the impact of LSD that they were found shattered on the earth in pieces.

Sufism is a much lower state, but very simple to be intoxicated with. But the devotee on the path of Zen does not disappear, he simply takes a new context. Now it is a question of coming closer to a living master. It is not a question of coming closer to God, which is only a hypothesis. You can come close to God only in imagination, and you don’t know the powers of imagination.

It happened that Ramakrishna tried many paths. He was the first man in the history of seekers who had tried many paths to see whether they reach to the same point or not. So whatever was available around him in Bengal, he tried. There is a sect which believes that only Krishna is the male and everybody is a female. He followed that path also. It is absolutely imagination, but the story shows the power of imagination.

For six months Ramakrishna lived like a woman, and his disciples were completely shocked to see that he started walking like a woman. Not only that, but his breasts became like a woman; not only that, but he started having periods. Even doctors could not believe it. His voice changed; and when he started having regular periods, his disciples tried to hide the fact, because if others knew they would laugh. They persuaded him to change this path: “You have gone too far!” – and it took almost six months for him to be his own self again.

Imagination is not a small thing, it has tremendous power. If you follow imagination – and all the religions have been doing that – you will see Krishna and you will see Christ. But all that seeing is just your projection. You want to see Krishna, you insist on your imagination producing Krishna, and it will produce. But you are falling into a trap of your own mind.

A devotee in any other religion is devoted to God; only in Zen is his devotion towards a living master.

There is no question of imagination. Imagination has to be avoided completely if you want to know the truth.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #4

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.