How to see what is?
Akam, there is no how to see what is, because if you are carrying a how you will distort it. That which is, needs no method, technique, to see it — just silence, a transparent stillness, no thought in the mind, not even the thought of a certain method. No strategy, because all strategies are bound to distort.
In fact, no mind is needed to see that which is. Mind means thoughts. And if there is a traffic of thoughts, you will never be able to see what is, you will see something else. You will see what your thoughts allow you to see. Your thoughts prevent much reaching you.
You will be surprised to know what modern psychological researchers have come to know: ninety-eight percent of the reality is not allowed to enter in your being; the mind only allows two percent. So whatsoever you see is only two percent of the reality. And because the mind allows only two percent of the reality in and then gives you the feeling that this is the whole, you live in a false world. You think the part is the whole. And you live accordingly –your whole life becomes a falsification.
The mind is a judge; it allows only that which suits it, which fits with it, which nourishes it, strengthens it. It does not allow anything that goes against it. For example, you are listening to me: your mind will allow only that which helps to strengthen your opinions, your ideologies. If you are a Christian, you will hear one thing; and if you are a Buddhist, you will hear something totally different. If you have come here with a prejudice, for or against, you will hear different things. I am saying the same thing, but a Christian will interpret it in his own way and the Buddhist in his own way and the communist in his own way. One who has come with a determined idea that I am wrong will find all the arguments that help his prejudice. Each prejudice tries to get support for itself. So if you think any methodology is needed to see that which is, then you are starting from the very beginning in a wrong way.
That which is, is already there — you be silent, without any prejudice, without any ideology, atheist, theist, without any concept, without any a priori. You simply remain available, open, like a child who knows nothing. Function from the state of not knowing and you will be able to see what is.
Let me repeat: function from the state of not knowing. If you know, you will distort — knowledge is mind. The state of not knowing means you have put the mind aside; now your eyes are without dust, your mirror is clean. It will reflect! It will reflect that which is.
This is the way one comes to encounter reality — and the encounter is going to be shattering. It is not going to help your ideas about it. It will destroy all that you have been always thinking is right. It is going to surprise you. It is going to show you that you have lived up to now in a dream, that you have lived up to now in your own projections, that you have not allowed reality to penetrate you — on the contrary, you have created a world of your own ideas around yourself You have lived in a capsule, without any windows. That’s how people are living.
A Christian cannot know reality, a Hindu cannot know reality, a Mohammedan cannot know reality. Only a man who is courageous enough to drop all this garbage, who can simply be, who can simply be innocent … Jesus says to his disciples, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God.” He is saying: Function from the state of not knowing.
The Upanishads say: Those who claim to know, beware — they know nothing. Those who say they know not, surrender to them — because there is a possibility of some transformation happening around them, with them, in communion with them. Socrates at his ultimate peak of wisdom said, “I know only one thing, that I know nothing.”
Function from the state of not knowing, and it will bring you immense, ecstatic experiences, because the person who is without knowledge is capable of wondering. The person who is without knowledge is capable of awe. He can dance seeing a rose flower, he can sing because the sky is full of stars. He can be in tune with existence. Seeing a sunset, he can go into wild ecstasy — because he knows nothing. Life is a mystery to him. Knowledge demystifies life. Because he knows nothing, everything, the most ordinary too, becomes absolutely extraordinary, luminous, because everything is mysterious.
Everything Is mysterious! Your knowledge simply hides your ignorance and destroys your capacity to be mystified. Knowledge is destructive of mysticism. Hence all the mystics of all the ages have been saying one single thing: Drop knowledge — all knowledge is rubbish. Be in a state of not knowing; function from that state. Look at trees like a child, look at the moon like a poet, look at the sky like a madman!
Akam, don’t ask HOW to see what is, because that question ‘how?’ simply means you want some methodology, some knowledge, some information, so that you can interpret reality. But reality is uninterpretable. You want something so that you can explain to yourself what it is all about — but reality is unexplainable. You would like to define reality, but it is indefinable.
Be ready to be surprised. I have heard:
Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was getting tired of lying on his back and in rolling over noticed that an Italian woman was praying down in the chapel.
The great artist decided to play a little prank.
He sat at the edge of the scaffold and shouted, “I am Jesus Christ! I am Jesus Christ! Listen to me and I will perform miracles!”
The Italian lady looked up, clasping her rosary and answered back, “Shut upa your mouth! I’ma talka to your mother!”
Just think of Michelangelo … Life is like that. It brings surprises each moment. You go on missing — you go on missing because you can’t see those surprises. You are so full of expectations, you are so full of ready-made answers, you go on interpreting it according to your own mind. You pass through a miraculous world, dull, dead, dragging. This world is nothing but miracles and miracles, and each moment they are happening. And not in a miserly way is the existence miraculous — it is overflowing with miracles! But you have to be again a little child, you have to be again innocent.
It is not a question of method, not a question of how. It is more a question of understanding the very process of how the mind functions. And when you have understood how the mind functions, you will put it aside. Then there is no barrier between you and reality. And when there is no barrier, there is no separation either — because it is the barrier that separates. When there is no barrier, you are one with reality. In that oneness, the reality reveals its secrets to you.
Taken from The Fish in the Sea Is Not Thirsty, Chapter 2
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt How to See What Is.