Man’s evolution is from innocence to innocence.
The first innocence is ignorant, the second innocence is luminous. The first innocence is a kind of sleep; the second innocence is an awakening. The first innocence is a gift of God, the second innocence is man’s own effort, his earning, his work upon himself. The first can be lost, the second cannot be lost. The first has to go – in the very nature of it, it cannot be eternal; but the second, once it comes, remains forever – it is eternal.
Remember, whatsoever you attain consciously, only that can you possess, only that. Whatsoever is given to you, and you receive it unconsciously, will be taken away. Only that really happens to you for which you work hard. Only that belongs to you which you create in your being. You become Master of it.
The first innocence in Christian terms is called Adam. And the second innocence is called Christ.
And Jesus is just in-between the two. Jesus is the bridge between the first innocence and the second innocence. Hindus call the second innocence ‘rebirth’: one becomes twice-born, dwija. And that’s what Jesus also said to one of the famous professors and theologians of his time, Nicodemus: Unless you are born again, you will not attain to the kingdom of God.
Unless you are born again…
The first birth has happened; the second birth has to happen. The first has happened without cooperation, the second cannot happen without your cooperation. The first birth was almost like an accident – it happened to you unawares. The second birth can only be in immense consciousness; it cannot happen unawares, it can happen only in deep meditation.
Jesus is a bridge between Adam and Christ. That’s why the story of virgin birth has a metaphoric meaning. Jesus is born innocent. Everybody is born innocent – there is no other way to be born.
Every child is born in innocence. But then that innocence is lost sooner or later, and the more intelligent the child, the sooner it will be lost. If the child is stupid, imbecilic, idiotic, then it may go on lingering for a long time; it may not be lost. If you are intelligent, you will start moving away from it. You will start exploring the world. You will start adventuring into the world, into the unknown; you will become a wanderer. And the more intelligent you are, the more is the possibility that you will not follow the crowd, you will find your own way – you would like to do your ‘own thing’. You will not move on the superhighway, you will move on small footpaths into the jungle; because intelligence wants to take risks. Intelligence wants to dare, intelligence wants to go into the unknown and the dangerous, because it is only in danger that intelligence comes to its peak. It is only when you dare that your intelligence becomes a crystallization. It is only when you risk that you are. The more you risk, the more you are. Risk brings being. A man who never risks remains without a being.
George Gurdjieff used to say that not everybody has got a soul. Because you have never dared, how can you get a soul? The soul comes only through daring. The only right way to attain a soul is to go into dangers, to risk all, to be a gambler, to go into the dark unknown.
The first innocence is going to go, has to go. And it is good that it goes. If it continues, you will not really be a man; you will be a vegetable or a cow or a buffalo, but you will not be a man. That is where man is different from the whole of nature. Nature lives in the first innocence; only man is capable of losing it. It is great dignity, it is glory – only man is capable of sin, no other animal can commit sin. You cannot call a dog a sinner, you cannot call a lion a sinner and you cannot call a tree a sinner. Only man can sin, and because man can sin, only man can go beyond sin. Only man can go astray – that means only man can come back home. Except for man, all the animals, birds and trees still exist in the Garden of Eden – they never left it. That’s why nature has such beauty, such peace, such silence.
The Himalayas still exist in the Garden of Eden. So exists the rose bush of your garden, so exist the birds that come in the morning and sing songs around you. Nature is still there; it never left home, it never went astray, it never committed anything against God, it never disobeyed. It never dared; it is completely satisfied with the first birth.
To be satisfied with the first birth is to remain unconscious. It is only through sin that you become conscious. It is only by going wrong that consciousness arises. This has to be understood. So going wrong is not really going wrong, because only through it does the consciousness arise. All has to be lost. One has to come to the point where all is lost, God is lost, heaven is lost – one cannot believe in paradise, and one cannot believe that innocence is possible. Only from that peak of frustration, anguish, anxiety is there a possibility of a one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn.
Adam is perfectly at ease, so is Christ. The problem is with Jesus. Jesus is troubled. Zen people are right when they say for a man who has never heard of meditation; mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. He is happy; he is in a kind of natural state. He has no anxiety, because God has not yet become a challenge to him. He has no future goals, he has no destination. He eats drinks and is happy – the first hedonism I was talking about the other day: ‘Eat, drink and be merry.’ He lives in the body, he IS the body; he knows nothing more than that. With the body there is a kind of peace and health that surrounds him. You can always see that happiness around a child. The child is the first kind of hedonist. He believes only in eating, drinking and being merry. He simply lives the moment. He is completely abandoned in the moment – no anxiety, no clouds yet – his sky is clear.
The people who have not heard of meditation and enlightenment and Nirvana and God, who have never pondered over these great problems – for them things are clean; they are not confused.
‘Mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.’ But once a man has become interested in meditation, in growth, in spirituality, in the other shore, in the other reality – problems bubble up in thousands, problems crowd. Mountains are no more mountains now, and rivers are no more rivers; everything becomes confused, everything becomes topsy-turvy. Man goes into a chaos. The old cosmos, the old innocence, simply falls into pieces; not even a trace is left.
This is the meaning of the Christian parable of Adam’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. He became interested in higher things; he became interested in knowing things. He ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, he started becoming more conscious. He started trying to understand what this reality is. He moves into knowing, and suddenly the doors of the Garden are closed for him.
Suddenly he finds himself outside the Garden, and he does not know where the way back is. He has to go farther and farther away.
This is what Zen people say: Mountains are no more mountains, rivers are no more rivers. Then one has to go on a long journey. Tedious is the journey, full of miseries and nightmares. It is a wandering in a desert where oases are only dreams; they exist not. And then after a long, long journey – it may continue for many, many lives – one can come back. This time, coming back has a totally different meaning. Now one comes as a knowing consciousness. One is again innocent, but this innocence is no more ignorant, it is luminous, it is full of light. This is Jesus turning into Christ.
Adam finds himself outside the Garden. Jesus wanders in the world. Christ suddenly finds himself back in the Garden one day.
Adam, Jesus, and Christ – these are the three stages of human consciousness. Adam is absolutely unconscious. Jesus is half-conscious, half-unconscious – hence the conflict, the confusion, the division, the tension. And Christ is absolute consciousness.
Before we enter into the sutras, this has to be understood. because these sutras belong to the last night of Jesus’ earthly life – the departing message to his disciples. He is leaving them. He is going out of the world into God. He is going to die to the world, and will be reborn into God. He is going to become twice-born: the resurrection after the crucifixion. And the resurrection can only be after the crucifixion.
Adam dies to God and is born to the world. Christ dies to the world and is born into God again. And Jesus remains in the limbo – half-half, divided, split. Something he knows and something he does not know; something he understands and something he does not understand. It is kind of cloudy
there in the Jesus-consciousness. Adam is clear but fast asleep. Jesus is half awake; his eyes are full of dreams. Yes, he can see a little bit because he is half awake. Just like in the morning when you are half awake and half asleep, and you can hear the milkman knocking on the door, and you
can hear children getting ready for their school, and you can hear the neighbor’s radio. But you are not yet fully alert. Yes, these things go on like ripples, enter into you – you kind of hear, and yet you don’t hear. You go on swinging between sleep and wakefulness. Sometimes you hear something
and again you are drowned in sleep. You cannot figure out what is happening. Then you are fully awake.
Adam dies to God, is born into the world. Jesus lives in the world. Christ dies to the world and is born into God again. And these sutras belong to his last night, the departing message to his disciples.
Before we enter into these sutras, a few things will be of great help.
Teilhard de Chardin believes that ‘the evolution of consciousness depends on three steps.’ And Chardin is one of the most important Christian thinkers of this century. But still he remains confined to Christianity; he cannot soar higher than Christian boundaries. These are the three steps that he talks about. Ordinarily, consciousness is simple, innocent. After that there are three steps. First he talks about complexity. He says ‘Consciousness grows through complexity.’
That is true. The original mind is absolutely simple, its taste is one, it has no duality. And because there is no duality there is no possibility of dialogue, argument. And because there is no possibility of argument and dialogue, there is no possibility of understanding. With the conflict, with friction,
one evolves. So from one, man becomes dual; from unity, duplicity: from duplicity, triplicity: from triplicity, multiplicity. That’s how man goes on growing – complication.
Man’s consciousness is one in the original state, then it becomes many. Through the many… the growth; that is the Hegelian concept of growth, and Marxian too. Hegel calls it ‘the dialectical process’: thesis creates its antithesis, antithesis and thesis join into a synthesis, and the synthesis
becomes a thesis and creates its antithesis. And this is how it goes on.
You cannot grow if your consciousness is unitary. It has to create a conflict in itself. With the conflict, energy is created. Conflict creates energy, friction creates energy. You strike two stones and fire is born. You strike two dry woods and fire is possible. You rub your hands and electricity is born. All
energy is created through friction. So the original human consciousness has to become divided, has to become split, has to become dual. And the more evolved a mind man has, the more fragments he will have. So a thinker is almost a crowd. He is not one, he is not two, he is not three, he is many.
The second state Chardin calls ‘concentration’, because once the unity is lost and man has become many, there arises chaos and one loses one’s identity. One does not know who one is, then an identity is needed, a self is needed, an ego is needed to hold all these fragments together. Otherwise
they will start falling apart and you will not be able to survive – hence the ego.
Ego is an effort to create a kind of unity inside yourself. The natural unity is lost. Now you have to create an unnatural, synthetic unity. The ego is a synthetic self, a created self, a managed self. One part of your being becomes the master and forces other parts to be slaves. A kind of government arises inside you.
Complexity creates energy. Concentration creates a possibility to use that energy; otherwise there will be no use for it. Energy will be there, and energy will kill you. It will be too much and it will be in so many directions. All those directions have to be focused in one direction, the whole energy has to be channelized into one. This is what Chardin calls ‘concentration’; unification around a center; a self is born, ego is born, discipline is born.
And the third he calls ‘direction’. Once the ego is there, once you have a kind of self, a kind of unity – although managed, but still a unity – then the goal is possible. You can become an arrow, you can have a target in the future.
These three steps Chardin thinks are enough to explain human consciousness. They are not. They are important but not complete.
The Hindu vision of life is far more complete. Chardin’s vision is linear: unity, then complexity, then concentration, then direction. And the direction goes on and on, the arrow goes on and on and on, and there is no end to it. It is linear. The arrow goes on for infinity, it never comes back. This is not true. This is logical, but not natural.
The Hindu vision is circular. Hindus say everything moves in a circle not in a line. Nature moves in a circle, seasons move in a circle, stars move in a circle, man’s life moves in a circle. Everything natural moves in a circle. The circle is the way of nature. The linear is just a concept of the mind.
The line does not exist in nature. If you are aware of non-Euclidean geometry then you will know. Euclid believes in line; non-Euclidean geometry says there is nothing like line in existence. The line also is part of a bigger circle, that’s all. No line is straight, and no line can be straight – you cannot draw a straight line. If you draw a straight line, that simply means you are sitting on a circular earth and drawing a straight line. Go on drawing the line from both ends, go on drawing it, and you will find one day that the line has become a circle around the earth. So that small straight line was just a part of a big circle.
Hindus say it is circular. To me, the Hindu concept is far more true than the Christian concept of linear progress. But still, my own suggestion is a little different to both. My suggestion is: spiral – neither linear nor circular; evolution is a spiral. In that way both are joined together. In a spiral the
progress moves as if it is moving in a line, because it never comes to exactly the same point again.
Christ never becomes Adam again, because Adam was ignorant and innocent, and Christ is innocent and fully aware. He never comes back to Adam, exactly to Adam. So the Hindu concept misses something. But in another sense he becomes Adam again because the innocence is the
same, just that now it is fully aware. Then it was not aware, then it was asleep, now it is alert. In a sense Christ becomes Adam again because it is the same innocence. So Hindus are right. And in a sense Christ never becomes Adam again, because it is luminous innocence. In that sense
Christians are right. But they are only half-half right.
To have the vision of the full truth, I would like to call evolution a spiral. It comes back to the original point but never on the same plane – on a higher plane. It comes again and again but always on a higher plane. If you have been trekking in the mountains you know what I mean. You go on a path;
the path moves around the mountain. Again you come to the same point, the same rocks, the same valley, the same trees, but a little higher. it is a spiral.
To make it a spiral, I would like to add three more steps to it. Chardin says: complexity, concentration, direction. These three more steps have to be added. The first is: awareness, meditation. Concentration is just the beginning. Concentration is not relaxed, it is tense. One cannot concentrate
twenty-four hours a day; one will go mad. So concentration can never become natural, but one can meditate twenty-four hours a day. One can live in meditation. It can become natural, it can become like breathing. It can be relaxed.
Concentration is focused consciousness. Meditation is just aware consciousness. For example, if you are listening to me, you can listen in a concentrated way. That will tire you, that will exhaust you. If you are listening very very tensely so that you don’t miss a single word, then it will be tiring. But you can listen in a meditative way. That means you are relaxed and open, vulnerable, that’s all. You will not be tired. Listening ,for one and a half hours, rather than being tired, you will be enriched, rejuvenated. You will feel more energy afterwards than before, and you will feel more flow in your being. So the fourth thing has to be awareness, meditativeness, openness.
Concentration is directional, meditation is non-directional. Concentration has an object, a content. Meditation has no object, no content; it is just an opening. You are listening to me, a bird starts singing – that too you listen to, a train passes by – that too you listen to. You are not listening to me exclusively. All is included. You are open from all the sides, not only open to me. This is a higher stage of evolution than concentration is: it is de-concentration.
And the fifth I call playfulness. Christianity has no idea of playfulness, and Chardin has no idea of playfulness. ‘Direction’, ‘goal’, ‘purpose’ – that is very business-like, tiring, and makes man sad and serious. Something like playfulness has to be added, because a really grown-up person is capable
of play. A really grown-up person is sincere but not serious. Seriousness is a kind of illness because seriousness will create tension in you; it will never allow you to celebrate. Only playfulness can become celebration and joy.
And there seems to be no space for joy in Chardin’s chart – nothing of playfulness. Complexity, concentration, direction – good as far as they go, but they don’t go far enough. And they don’t go into creating a happy, celebrating human being . And without celebration what is the purpose?
All purpose leads to a purposeless play. You work, but you work finally to relax. You work hard, just so that you are able to play. You work five days, so that at the weekend you can rest on the beach. All purpose leads to purposeless play. So the fifth I call playfulness, non-seriousness, non-purposiveness, celebration, joy.
And sixth I call egolessness. Ego is needed – because one falls into a chaos, and a synthetic self is needed. But that self is synthetic, plastic, it is not real. It has to be dropped one day. Use it, go beyond it, and throw it! One has to come to egolessness, one has to forget that one exists separately from existence. In that forgetfulness, in that dropping of the ego, one becomes Adam again in a totally new way. One becomes Christ – again unity, again simplicity, again innocence, but now luminous this time. You are twice-born.
This way one again comes back to the original simplicity, the original face. But it is higher than the first originality, hence I call it spiral. It is primal innocence, but not just primal innocence. It has immense light in it, it is not dark. It is not primitive, it is the highest point of consciousness. It is
divine innocence. What Plotinus calls ‘the One’ – this is the One. First the One was not aware of itself, now the One is aware of itself. God is born in you.
In Adam God was a seed, in Christ God has become a flowering. The seed has come to its full manifestation.
From I Say Unto You, Vol. 2, Discourse #9
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Three Stages of Human Consciousness.
Also see I AM is the Way.