Before I start asking questions; I wish your forgiveness for asking you very personal questions. I am only asking because I feel these are the questions which are burning in the hearts of many people. So I am asking not just for myself but for many. Who are you, Osho?
It makes no difference whether these questions are personal or not because to me the person does not exist. You cannot ask any personal questions because there is no one to be related to as a person. In fact, it is not presumptuous to ask personal questions, but to assume that a person is, is certainly presumptuous. The person is non-existent, a non-entity. In fact, there is no person, or there is only one person. Only God can be said to have a personality, because only God can have a centre. We have no centres at all. The centre is non-existent. But we assume a centre. The centre is hypothetical, illusory. We feel that without a centre life is not possible. This assumed centre is the ego.
You can think that this question is personal. As far as the question is arrowed toward me, it is arrowed toward a non-entity. As far as I am concerned, I do not feel at all to be a person.The deeper one goes the lesser one is. And once someone reaches to the ultimate core of himself, there is no self at all.
Secondly, you ask, “Who am I?” I say, “I am not.” I always ask seekers to ask, “Who amI?” not in order that they will come to know who they are, but only in order that a moment will come when the question is asked so intensely that the questioner is not there; only the question remains. A moment is bound to come when the question is absolutely intense, as deep as it can go; then the absurdity of it is revealed. You come to know that there is no one who can ask “Who am I?” or who can be asked “Who are you?” The question is asked not to get any answer, but to transcend the question.
There is no one inside; in fact, there is no inside at all. The moment the inside falls, there is also no outside. The moment you are not inwardly, then there is no outwardness. Then the whole world becomes one whole. Then the existence is one whole, not divided into the dichotomy of “I” and “thou”. So, to me, the question “Who are you?” makes no sense at all.Rather, “What is?” is the only relevant question — not “Who?” but “What?” because the“What” can be the whole. It can be asked about the totality, about all that exists.
The question “What is?” is existential, and there is no dichotomy in it. It does not divide.But the question “Who?” divides from the very start. It accepts the duality, the multiplicity, the duality of beings; there is only being, not beings. When I say there is only being it means there is only beingness, because one cannot exist apart from the other. If there is no other, then to say that one exists is meaningless.
So there is not really being, but beingness. I always say that there is no God, in fact, but divineness, because the very word “being” carries a limitation around it. The very word “God” carries a finitude; it cannot be infinite. But beingness or divineness becomes infnite; it comprehends all that is. It is all inclusive. Nothing is excluded. So when you ask, “Who are you?” the question to me means “What is?” To me it cannot mean anything else except that.
You have asked through me a very fundamental question. “What is?” is not “me”, but the very being, the very existence. And if one goes deep into a single drop, one will find the ocean. Only on the surface a drop is just a drop. Being the existence itself, the ultimate nature of the single drop of water is the same as that of the ocean. It is oceanic. So only in ignorance is one a drop of water. The moment one knows, there is an ocean.
You have asked me a question about the drop, but to me it means a question about the ocean. So when I answer it, I am not answering about myself but about you also. When I am answering, I am not answer about me, but about all that exists.
What exists? There are so many layers. If one is only aware of the surface, then matter exists. Matter is the surface of existence. So science was only on the surface, in search; to science only matter is real, and all else is not. But now science has taken a step further and says matter is not, but energy is. Energy is the second layer; it is deeper than matter. If one goes deep in matter, then there is no matter but energy. But that too is not yet enough, because beyond energy consciousness exists.
So when you ask, “Who are you?” I say, “I am consciousness.” And this answer is all inclusive — everything is consciousness. I answer only as a representative of all. You may not have heard that you are consciousness, you may not have known that you are consciousness; but I am answering even for you. Consciousness exists, and when I say something exists it carries for me a particular, definite meaning. When I say something exists it means it will never be in non-existence. If something can go into non-existence, it would mean that it never really existed. It was only phenomenal; it just appeared to exist.
So all that changes is phenomenal. It is not really existential. All that changes is only the surface. The innermost, the ultimate core, never changes. It is and is always in the present. You can never say it was; you can never say it will be. Whenever it is, it is. Only the present is applicable to it.
There is no past and no future, because the past and future become relevant only when something changes. When something “is”, then there is no past and future, but only the present. Of course, the meaning of present will be different, quite different. For us, present means something which exists between the past and the future. But if there is no past and no future, then the present will be something very different. It is not something in between the past and future. The present is just a moment — a moment between two nonexistentials: the past that has gone and is no more and the future that has not yet come. Between these two nonexistentials, one present moment exists. That is impossible. Between two nonexistentials there can be no existence. It only appears so.
When I say consciousness exists I do not mean something of the past and future, but something eternal — not everlasting, because this word “everlasting” carries the sense of time.
When I say it always exists in the present I mean it is non-temporal; existence means it is non-temporal. It is beyond time and, simultaneously, beyond space because all that is in space will become nonexistential. Similarly, all that is in time will become nonexistential. And time and space are not two things. That is why I relate them. They are one. Time is only a dimension of space. The movement in space is time; non-moving time is space. Existence is non-temporal and non-spatial.
So I think you will understand when I say I am someone who is non-temporal and non-spatial. But my “I” is all-inclusive. You are included. The questioner is included. Nothing is excluded. Then it will be easier to answer your inquiry. All that changes is purposive. There is something to be done. It exists for a purpose. The moment the purpose is fulfilled, it goes into non-existence. But all that is really existential is non-purposive, because there is no purpose which can be fulfilled. And if there is any purpose and it is fulfilled, then existence will become meaningless. So only temporal things have purposes. They are meant for something. You can say it in this way: they are means to some end. That is what is meant by purposive. They exist for something to be fulfilled. The moment it is fulfilled, they go. But “I” will be needed always, and when I say “I” that is all inclusive. There is no purpose in it.
Existence is non-purposive. That is why it is called a leela, a play. The existence itself has no purpose to fulfill. It is not going somewhere. There is no end to it. But still it is going. Still much is going. So it must be a leela, a play: only outflowing energy. This can be related to me. I am not to be anything at all. Even then, I talk of doing things.
Once you have known that you are a part of the cosmic consciousness, you will also realize there is no purpose. You just exist as a play. Of course, the play becomes cosmic, multi-dimensional. You do much, and still there is no doer and there is no purpose. Two things are not there. It then becomes a play.
And this must be noted: that a doer cannot exist without a purpose, and a purpose cannot exist without a doer. They are two polarites of one ego, and ego feels very uncomfortable if there is no purpose. Ego is fulfilled through purposes. Something is to be done. One is to succeed in doing that. One is to reach somewhere. One is to make something. One has to make a signature. Thus the ego is purposive. Existence, on the other hand, is not purposive. And unless you know that which is beyond the ego, you have not known at all.
So to me, everything is just a play. Neither I am nor is there any purpose. Yet things are going. So it can be asked, “Why are they going?” They are going because there is no purpose in stopping, and there is no one to stop them. You understand me? There is no one to stop, and there is no purpose to stop. So it is there in nature to go. You become a passage. Of course, otherwise you cannot be a passage. Actively, you cannot be a passage; you can never be a medium. Only passivity makes you a medium. And passivity means that you are not. Otherwise, you are verbally passive. The ego is always active. The moment you are passive, the ego is not. Passivity means egolessness.
So I am totally passive. Whatever happens, happens. I never question “Why?” because there is no one to be asked. And even if you find somewhere God himself, he will just laugh. Even he cannot answer it. He cannot answer it because the concept of causality. The concept of “why” is meaningful only in a divided flux. If you take a beginning and an end, then causality becomes meaningful. If you understand the whole flux as endless, beginningless, then all things go into other things and all things come from other things. Just like waves in the ocean, every wave has some wave behind and every wave has something in front, something ahead — a wave. And the whole ocean has waves. The waves are eternal. But no one asks except human beings, so no one else is in any anxiety at all.
When the human mind becomes anxious, it creates questions and then supplies the answers. The questions are meaningless, hence the answers are more so. But because we fabricate questions we cannot be at ease unless we find the answers. Therefore, we go on finding answers and creating questions. If you see this whole nonsense of asking questions and answering them, you may find that you are carrying on a monologue with yourself. Even if you are asking and I am answering, it is the human mind asking and the human mind answering. It is just a hide-and-seek of the same mind. It makes no difference who is asking and who is answering.
The human mind questions and the human mind answers, and we have created such a great mess of answers and questions, but not a single question has been answered. The questions remain where they were always. If you can see this whole procession of questions and answers, this meaningless, fruitless effort leading nowhere — if you become aware of this whole nonsense as if in a flash of lightning — then you can laugh at the absurdity of the human mind. And the moment there is laughter you transcend the human mind completely. Then there is no question and then there is no answer. Then you love. There is no purpose and there is no cause. Then living itself is enough.
You ask and I answer you, but I myself cannot ask any questions. As far as I am concerned there is no answer and there is no question. I go on living just like the waves in the ocean or just like leaves of the tree or just like clouds in the sky, without any question and without any answer. And the moment I became aware of this whole absurdity of questions, something fell down completely, totally. It was a resurrection. I was reborn, reborn in a cosmic dimension — not as an “I”, but as cosmic consciousness itself.
In this cosmic dimension, everything is a play. Once you understand — not only understand but realize that all is a play; you are at ease completely, absolutely. Then there is no tension. You are relaxed. There is no ego.
The ego cannot relax. It lives on tensions. It feeds on tensions. When there is no ego, then there is no tension, then there you are — all inclusive. Then there is no past and then there is no future: you are eternity. Then anything that happens is a happening. It is not that you are doing it. It is not that something is to be fulfilled through you. These are all illusory notions. And even a religious person will think in these terms — of doing something. Then the ego has become settled, pious and more dangerous. If the ego is there, then both the doer and the doings are there. Only the objects have changed, but the process is the same.
To me, (and when I refer to “me”, there is no one who is being referred to; it is only a linguistic device in order that you may understand what I said); to me, in fact, there is no one who can be referred to as “me” or “you”. But then language will be impossible. That is why truth cannot be expressed in language. It cannot take on any linguistic form because language is created by those who are not — by untrue ones — nonexistential ones. The mythical ego has created the language. It comes out of ego. It can never transcend it. So even if you know that there is no one who can be referred to as “me” you have to use it in language. And I make you remember that there is no one.
As far as this “me” is concerned, nothing is to be done, because things happen by themselves. We ourselves happen. We are happenings. The whole existence is a happening, not a doing. So it would be better if I say that the old concept of God as creator is not meaningful to me. I will not say “God the creator” because the expression reflects our egoistic conceptions of creation, of doing. As we do something, so has God “made” the world. We have projected ourselves onto the cosmic plane, so there is creation and the creator. The dichotomy is there.
To me, God is that which happens — not the creator, but that which goes on happening. God means that which goes on happening eternally. So anything that happens is God. You and everyone are happenings. This eternal happening is God. There is no creator and no creation.
The very dichotomy is egoistic — our projections onto the cosmic plane. Once you know that in yourself there is no dichotomy of doing and the doer, then you know that there is no doer and no doing — only happenings. And once there is this revelation of eternal happening there is no burden, there is no tension. Your birth is a happening, and your death will be a happening. Your being here is a happening. Your not being here will be a happening. You are nowhere.
But why this? From where comes this ego which thinks “I am; I am doing”? It comes through memory. Your memory goes on recording happenings. You are born. You are a child. Then youth comes. Then you are old. Then things happen. Love happens, hatred happens, and the memory goes on recording. When you look at the past, the whole accumulated memory becomes “I”. “I” loved someone. It would be better and more exact to say that somewhere love happened; “I” was not the doer. But the memory that “I loved” has happened just like birth, just like death. If a person can remember this only for twenty-four hours, that things are happening and there is no doer, he will not be the same again. But it is very arduous to remember even for a single moment.
It is the most arduous thing to remember that events are happening and you are not the doer. For example, I am speaking. If I say, “I am speaking” and mean that “I” am speaking, then I have misinterpreted the phenomenon. I do not know what the next sentence will be. When it comes, you will know it and I will know it. It is a happening. So I cannot relate myself to it. Something comes through me. I am not at all a doer. Something happens in me. This is what is meant when we say the Vedas are impersonal. We say they are not created by persons. We mean by this that those who compiled the Vedas know this fact — the fact that something is a happening. They are not doers. Something is coming to them. They are only the passage, the medium, the vehicle, and even this being a vehicle is a happening. It is not their doing that they have become vehicles. Otherwise, the same fallacy will be there on another level.
So go deep in any of your acts, and you will find happenings there. There will be no act because there is no actor. So how can one ask “Why?” Who can answer this? No one can answer this because no one is there to answer. The house is vacant. The owner is not. Let things go on happening. The house itself without the owner is capable of happenings. Try to understand it more clearly. Buddha had said so many times, “When we walk there is no walker, only the walk.” How can this be understood? If I am not, how can “I” walk? But walk, and find where you are. You will find only the walk. We cannot understand how someone can say there is speaking and no speaker. But as you go deep in the act of speaking, you will find no speaker but just speaking. In fact, there have been no poets. Only poetry happened. There have been no painters, only painting has been happening. But the vehicle becomes the owner.
The memory creates the fallacy. But to me the fallacy is not. The memory cannot trap me.
It has lost its grip on me. So everything happens, but there is no doer. And all that will happen, will happen. I will not be the primer; I will not be the master. And once you know that you are not, you become a master in a very different sense. If you are not, then you cannot be made a slave, negatively.
Now your freedom is total. Now no one can make you a slave. Now neither can there be any slavery nor any possibility of it. Although a paradoxical situation, yet it is a fact. One who tries to be a master is always in danger of becoming a slave. One who loses himself, his mastery, his efforts, his doer, is now beyond any slavery. He is free — as free as the sky. He is freedom itself — not even free, because when one is free the agent is there. He is freedom. So if you like I will say, I am freedom. And there is no reason, because if there is any reason then you are not free. You are bound to it, tethered to the reason. If there is anything which you are to do, then you are tethered. Then you are not free.
I am absolute freedom in the sense that nothing is to be done. I am an “awaiting”. Things will happen, and I will accept them. And if they do not happen, then I will accept the non-happening. And I go on waiting. This waiting makes one a medium for the divine forces of existence. Much is done through you when the doer is not, and nothing is done through you when the doer is there. When the doer is there, you are. You are doing something which is impossible because the doer is impossible. Therefore, the doing cannot be possible. You are engaged in an absurd effort, and only frustration will be the result. When you are not, you always succeed. There can be no failure because you have never thought of being anything; and even if failure happens, it is a happening. And if success happens, it is a happening. And when these both are happening, you become indifferent. It makes no difference. Either one will do.
So I may conclude that when I say “I”, everyone is included. I am consciousness and I am freedom. I use two words, “consciousness” and “freedom”, only to make the mystery more understandable for you. Otherwise both have the same meaning. Consciousness is freedom.
Freedom is consciousness. The less the freedom, the more there is matter. The more there is freedom, the more there is consciousness. When we say “This table is material”, we mean to say that it is not free to move. When we say you are a conscious being, you are free to some extent. But if you become consciousness itself, as you go deep and know the source, I know that you are consciousness itself, not the conscious being. Consciousness is not a quality attached to you, you are consciousness. You are totally free.
So proceed from anywhere. Either be more free or be more conscious, and the other will result automatically. Be more free and you will be more conscious. You cannot be more free unless you are more conscious. Be more conscious, and you will be more free. You cannot be otherwise because consciousness creates freedom. And when you are absolutely conscious, you are absolutely free. Then there is no cause and no purpose for you to exist. Then everything is a happening and a happening is a leela.
Excerpted from I Am the Gate, Chapter One – I am consciousness, I am freedom.
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