Walk Without Feet – Osho

What exactly, in simple words, are you trying to teach? What is your exact message to humanity at large? – Again in simple language that I can understand.

Walk without feet,

fly without wings and

think without mind.

That’s my teaching. It cannot be made more exact than that. Life is so mysterious that you cannot reduce it to exact formulas. That is not possible. That will be unjust and unfair to life. A mystery has to remain a mystery.

If you reduce the mystery to a formula, you are being violent to reality. No explanation can explain away life. No fact can contain its truth.

You ask me: What exactly, in simple words, are you trying to teach?

Only some negative things can be said – that I am trying to destroy the mind; that I have come to destroy, not to fulfill… because unless the old mind is destroyed utterly, the new will not be born. It is out of destruction that creativity arises. It is out of death that life blooms.

My whole work here consists in destroying the mind, its hold upon you; in destroying the roots of the mind so that you can be free in each moment of your life, so that you can be without a past. To be with a past is to be in a prison. The bigger the past, the more you are burdened with it. The more you are burdened with the past, the more you become in-capable of living in the present. Then the present is only a word – you don’t experience it. And truth is always in the present. Past is only memory, and future imagination. One is no more; one has yet to be. Between the two is this small precious moment.

And you can be in contact with this precious moment only if there is no mind. Mind means past and future. Either the mind thinks of that which has gone, or of that which is to come; either of yesterdays or of tomorrows.

Jesus says to his disciples: Look at the lilies in the field – how beautiful they are! Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these. And they spin not, they weave not, they work not. They don’t think of the morrow… What is the beauty of the lilies in the field? They live in the present.

Except for man, the existence knows no past, no future. Except for man, there is no misery. Except for man, there is no hell.

By destroying your mind and your past, I am bringing you back home so Adam can enter again into the Garden of Eden.

But don’t ask me to be exact – that I cannot do. I cannot do it because I respect life so much. And I cannot be untrue to life. How can I be exact about a rose flower? And how can I be exact about the innocent eyes of a child? And how can I be exact about the beautiful form of a woman? How can I be exact about the clouds in the sky, and the rivers and the mountains and the stars? Life is so elusive, so mysterious, and life is such flux… everything continuously changing. If you become too exact, you start losing contact with life. You have to be as inexact as life is. You have to be as volatile as life is. You have to be continuously on the move! Life is not a noun – it is a verb. You have to be as much of a verb as life is… it is a process.

About dead things you can be exact, because they are no longer growing. All their potential is exhausted; there is no more to them. Definition is possible. You can be exact about a corpse, but you cannot be exact about a child. He may be here this moment and the next moment he may be outside in the courtyard. You cannot be exact! But if a corpse is lying there in the room, you can be exact that it will be lying there in the morning too. Life is dynamic. Life is a dynamism. And I teach life itself, so I cannot be exact.

That’s where I differ – I differ from theologians, theoreticians, philosophers. They are exact. Their very exactness destroys their beauty and their truth. If they are so exact, they can only be wrong, they cannot be true. How can you define something which is growing? Here you define… and the thing has moved beyond your definition. While you are defining, the thing has been moving beyond your definition. How can you demark something which is expanding? There is no way.

And if you demark, then you will start looking at your demarcation and you will start forgetting life – because life will be very disturbing to you. That’s why philosophers don’t look at life; they are never existential. Even the philosophers who call them-selves existentialists, even they are not existential. They are speculative. They weave theories in their minds. And they force life to conform to their theories. Life becomes crippled and paralyzed.

That’s what Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians have done to truth – they have ALL paralyzed it. And they feel very sorry: “Why has truth died in the world?” They are the murderers! Who has killed God? Not the atheists, certainly. How can they kill? – They don’t even believe. How can they kill? – They cannot find Him. To kill the God, you will need to find Him first. Who has killed the God? – These theoreticians, these people who are very exact, these clever and cunning and calculating people, these mathematicians, these systematizers. Their theory is more valuable than life itself. They become obsessed with the theory.

I have no theories. I am like a mirror. If it is morning, I say it is morning. If it is no more morning, I don’t say it is morning – then it is no more morning! Each moment I reflect whatsoever is the case. I live in suchness.

And you ask me: What exactly, in simple words, are you trying to teach?

Why do you ask this question? You would like to cling to some theory. You cannot get hold of me – that is your trouble. You want to catch hold of me.

One day, a professor came to see me and he said, “Why don’t you write a small book in which all that you want to say is contained? – like the Christian catechism.”

That is ugly. To me, that is ridiculous. He wants me to say how many gods there are – one, two or three? When God created the world – four thou-sand years before Jesus? On what day, in how many days He created the world. Whether He rested on Sunday or not. How many souls there are in the world. Whether there is rebirth or not. What the virtues are and what the sins are. He wants me to be very definite and clear.

It is not possible – because the thing that is virtue in the morning may become sin in the evening.

And the thing that was sin in the morning may become virtue in the afternoon – one never knows. Something is true in one context and becomes untrue in another context. Something is beautiful one moment, and the next moment it turns ugly, sour, bitter.

Life is not a thing! Things can be defined. Matter can be defined. That’s why science is exact and religion can never be exact. The day religion is exact, it is dead. Don’t ask me to be exact. How can one be exact? You can be exact about water, that it evaporates at a hundred degrees heat – you cannot be exact about man.

Man is unpredictable. The higher you go, the more unpredictable you become. A Buddha is absolutely unpredictable. You cannot catch hold of him; you cannot have him in your fist. He is like the vast sky. And there are so many nuances and so many colours and so many songs! And there is such variety! How can one be exact? And there is so much contradiction and there is so much paradox – how can one be exact?

No, I cannot be disrespectful to life – just to provide you with an exact answer? So that you can cling to it, so that you can become knowledgeable? So that you can go back home and say to your people that this is the teaching, this I have learnt?

The question is asked by Dr. B. P. Arya, from Nairobi. He must be in a hurry to catch hold of what my teaching is and go to Nairobi and tell people that “This is his teaching!” No, I will not allow you that knowledgeability. I destroy knowledge! I don’t help you to become knowledgeable – I help you to be-come more ignorant, more innocent, because life happens when you are innocent. When you don’t know, you are available: when you know, you are closed.

So this is my teaching:

Walk without feet,

Fly without wings and

Think without mind.

Mind means knowledgeability. Who is asking this question about exact teaching? – The mind.

The mind cannot tackle the elusive, the mysterious. The mind can only tackle the arithmetic, the logical. The mind is incapable of understanding a song. The mind can only understand a syllogism. It is the mind that is asking… and I am the enemy of the mind.

And you ask: in simple words…

No word can contain it. There exists no word that can contain life. There exists no word that can contain love! There exists no word that can contain God!

Sufis have ninety-nine names for God. One wonders: Why not a hundred? Ninety-nine? One more they could have created. But there is a great message in it. They say: The real name is left blank, the hundredth, because God cannot be contained in any word. Ninety-nine are just toys to play with – because you ask, because you cannot be at ease with a nameless God, because you feel uncomfortable. You want some name for God so that you can address Him. If God is nameless, you feel impotent – what to do then? How to address…? Where to look for…? What name to repeat?

So ninety-nine names are given, but even those ninety-nine names do not indicate anything. They indicate the hundredth, and the hundredth is just no word, emptiness. These ninety-nine names are nothing but ninety-nine names of nothingness, and the hundredth is nothingness itself. Those are toys for children to play with. But they are dangerous toys, because children have forgotten the hundredth completely and they have become engrossed in the ninety-nine.

Once a Sufi was staying with me and he used to repeat God’s names, chanting morning, evening, in the night…. And I would ask him again and again “When will you remember God?” And he was a little worried why I asked – he was remembering continuously, morning, evening, night. Two, three days and I was asking again and again, “When will you remember God?”

He said, “What do you mean? I go on remembering Him. Can’t you see my lips moving continuously? Can’t you see my rosary? I am moving the beads!”

I said, “These are ninety-nine names, but when will you remember God? When will you throw these beads? When will you stop your movement of the lips? When will you stop your inner chattering, inner talk, this constant repetition of those ninety-nine names? They have to go – only then does silence descend. And silence is mysterious. And silence cannot be contained in any sound. Truth cannot be forced into a word; the word is so small.”

And you ask me in simple words – simple or difficult, it makes no difference. All words are equally inadequate. There are not a few words which are less inadequate and a few which are more adequate – all are absolutely inadequate. If you want to know what truth is, you will have to listen to my silence, you will have to listen to my being.

And you ask: What exactly, in simple words, are you trying to teach?

I am not trying – I am simply teaching! Why should I try? But I know from where the question comes:  you are always trying. People are trying to love, trying to pray, trying to meditate, and because they are trying, they never love. How can you love when you are trying to love? If you are trying to pray, you cannot pray, because your energy will be moving in your trying. When you are trying to meditate, who will meditate? You are involved in the trying.

A Zen Master dropped his handkerchief on the floor, and a disciple was there and the Master said, “Try to pick it up and give it back to me. Try!”

And the disciple immediately took the handkerchief from the ground and gave it to the Master, but the Master dropped it again and he said, “I am saying try to get it!”

Six times the Master goes on dropping, and the disciple is puzzled as to what he means. Then suddenly the idea struck him: “The Master is saying try to get it.” He said, “But how can I try? Either I pick it up or I don’t. How can I try?”

And the Master said, “That’s what you have been doing for three years – trying to meditate. Either you meditate or you don’t! How can you try?”

Trying is a device. Trying is a trick. When you don’t want to do a thing, you try. When you want to do a thing, you simply do it!

Your house is on fire – do you try to get out? You simply get out! You don’t try – you don’t consult maps, you don’t look into the scriptures. You don’t think, “From where and how should I get out? Whom to ask? Where to find a Master who knows how to get out?” You don’t think whether it is right to jump from the window, whether the book of etiquette allows it or not. Should one go from the front door or from the back door? You may even escape from the toilet! It doesn’t matter – when the house is on fire, these things are immaterial, irrelevant. And you don’t try… you simply get out! In fact, you don’t even think; you will think when you are out. Then you will stand under a tree and you will take a good breath and you will say, “Thank God that I managed to get out!” But in fact you were not even thinking when you were getting out of the house. It was so immediate.

When you come across a snake on the path, what do you do? Do you try to think how to jump, from where, how to escape? You simply jump! That action is total and that action is not of the mind.

That s what I mean:

Think without mind,

walk without feet,

fly without wings.

Move into the immediacy of life.

I am not trying to teach: I am my teaching. The way I am, the way I look at you, the way I talk to you, the way I say something or I don’t say something – all that is part. It is not that I am separate from my teaching and trying to teach you. I am my teaching. And if you want to learn, you will have to be in tune with me.

Don’t ask such foolish questions.

And you ask: What is your exact message to humanity at large?

Where is humanity? Have you ever come across humanity? You always come across human beings, never humanity. Humanity is an abstraction, just an empty word. The concrete and the real is the human being, not humanity. Don’t be befooled by such great words.

People are befooled. I know a man: he was a colleague; while I was teaching in a university he was also a professor there. He is incapable of love, but he loves humanity. He is incapable of love, but he can-not accept that incapacity. It hurts. He cannot love any human being because his expectations are too great. He asks perfection. Now, you cannot find a perfect human being. This is a trick to protect yourself from love. This is a way to avoid: ask the impossible – it will never be fulfilled and you will never come to know your impotence.

He cannot love a woman, he cannot love a man – he cannot love. He is simply cold. And naturally so: he is a professor of logic – very cold. His heart has stopped beating; only his head is becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. He is becoming top-heavy. Any day he will topple. And he will say always that he loves humanity.

I asked him, “How do you manage to love humanity? Just give me a few instances. I would like you to be in love with humanity, but where do you find humanity? I would like to see you holding hands with humanity, embracing humanity, kissing humanity – I would like to see it.”

He said, “What are you talking about? – humanity is not a person.”

Then what is humanity? Has anybody ever seen humanity? ‘Humanity at large’ means nothing; it is just an abstraction. It is the idea of Plato. It is like you have seen one horse, another horse, another horse, and then you start thinking of the idea of ‘horseness’. Have you ever come across a person who loves horseness? That will look foolish. Either you love horses or you don’t – but horseness? What is that thing?

It is the same with ’humanity’. You come across this woman, this man, this saint, this sinner, but you never come across humanity. Humanity is just an idea created by the philosophers. But you can become obsessed with the idea and that can function like a protection. It protects that man from falling in love with an ordinary human being. And still he can go on thinking that he is a great lover – he loves humanity at large.

I am not concerned with humanity at all. I am not concerned with abstractions. I love human beings. And I have no expectations from them. I simply love them as they are. I don’t ask for perfection. I don’t ask that they should fulfill any conditions. As they are they are beautiful.

The moment you ask anybody to fulfill a condition, you are destroying, you are violent. You are not respecting the person. You are degrading him; you are insulting, humiliating him. If you say, “Be such and then I will love you,” then you don’t know what love is. Love is unconditional.

My love is for human beings, and my message too is for human beings. I have nothing to do with abstractions like humanity. I deal with the concrete, with the real.

You ask: What is your exact message to humanity at large?

No message for humanity, but for human beings:

Walk without feet,

fly without wings and

think without mind.

For human beings, for you, for him, for her – but not for humanity. Not for Hinduism, not for

Mohammedanism, not for Christianity, but for concrete human beings.

My message is: Drop the mind and you will become available to God. Become innocent and you will be bridged with God. Drop this ego, drop this idea that you are somebody special, and suddenly you will become somebody special. Be ordinary and you will become extraordinary. Be true to your inner being and an religions are fulfilled.

And when you don’t have a mind, then you have a heart. When you don’t have a mind, only then does your heart start pulsating, then you have love. No mind means love. Love is my message.

-Osho

From Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Chapter One  

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An 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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

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