Enlightenment is Not an Experience – Osho

The other night when you talked about the false and the real, I came to a place inside of me that could for the first time really understand you. It was as if I was looking at myself from the outside, as a body that was given to me but was not really “me”; then a layer of my personality that was also just a layer of falseness and not really “me”. And even further inside was a space that was very silent and beautiful, but that couldn’t be me either, because it was neither masculine nor feminine, nor could it understand any language of words—it was just a nothingness. Beloved Osho, if none of those three things are me, then where am I?

Anand Disha, one of the most fundamental things to be remembered not only by you but by everyone is that whatever you come across in your inner journey, you are not it.

You are the one who is witnessing it. It may be nothingness, it may be blissfulness, it may be silence, but one thing has to be remembered: however beautiful and however enchanting an experience you come across, you are not it. You are the one who is experiencing it. And if you go on and on and on, the ultimate in the journey is the point when there is no experience left—neither silence, nor blissfulness, nor nothingness. There is nothing as an object for you, but only your subjectivity.

The mirror is empty; it is not reflecting anything.

It is you.

Even great travelers of the inner world have got stuck in beautiful experiences, and have become identified with those experiences, thinking, “I have found myself.” They have stopped before reaching the final stage where all experiences disappear.

Enlightenment is not an experience.

It is the state where you are left absolutely alone, nothing to know. No object, howsoever beautiful, is present. Only in that moment does your consciousness, unobstructed by any object, take a turn and move back to the source. It becomes self-realization, it becomes enlightenment.

I must remind you about the word “object.” Every object means a hindrance – the very meaning of the word is “hindrance,” objection.

So the objects can be outside you, in the material world; the objects can be inside you, in your psychological world; the objects can be in your heart, feelings, emotions, sentiments, moods. The objects can be even in your spiritual world. And they are so ecstatic that one cannot imagine there can be more. Many mystics of the world have stopped at ecstasy. It is a beautiful spot, a scenic spot, but they have not arrived home yet.

When you come to a point when all experiences are absent, when there is no object, then consciousness without obstruction moves in a circle in existence everything moves in a circle, if not obstructed, it comes from the same source of your being, goes around. Finding no obstacle to it, no experience, no object, it moves back, and the subject itself becomes the object.

That’s what J. Krishnamurti, for his whole life, continued to say: that when the observer becomes the observed, know that you have arrived.

Before that, there are thousands of things in the way. The body gives its own experiences, which have become known as the experiences of the centers of kundalini; seven centers become seven lotus flowers. Each is bigger than the other and higher, and the fragrance is intoxicating. The mind gives you great spaces, unlimited, infinite. But remember the fundamental maxim that still, the home has not come.

Enjoy the journey and enjoy all the scenes that come on the journey, the trees, the mountains, the flowers, the rivers, the sun and the moon and the stars—but don’t stop anywhere unless your very subjectivity becomes its own object. When the observer is the observed, when the knower is the known, when the seer is the seen, the home has arrived.

This home is the real temple we have been searching for, for lives together, but we always go astray. We become satisfied with beautiful experiences. A courageous seeker has to leave all those beautiful experiences behind, and go on moving. When all experiences are exhausted and only he himself remains in his aloneness… no ecstasy is bigger than that, no blissfulness is more blissful, no truth is truer. You have entered what I call godliness; you have become a god. […]


From The Hidden Splendor, Discourse #10, Q2


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.


2 thoughts on “Enlightenment is Not an Experience – Osho”

  1. The pull is too heavy and the push too strong – The nature is so craving and mind is out of control. Behold… Behold… Both young and old, for the days are numbered and surely death is to be told. It’s the force of Nature that got this on track – To be born, to live, to love, to hate, and to die, and be a breeding stock. I feel that the world has become too shallow and out of place and not even the Gods have the intelligence to stop from this darn play… I have lived a thousand lives – I have experienced the world over in thousand ways – I have died as many times – and now I am just too tired to play this game over again. Now I would like to die my last death – shake off the dust of the world – reduce sensuality and craving and remain as void and empty space… THE NON/ARISING… THE NON/DUAL…. ETERNAL REST. True happiness comes about when you have arisen beyond conditions – beyond form – beyond sensuality – beyond recognition… The path that leads to Nirvana must be pierced through and through until the burden of becoming gets over you…


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