All Ways Are Wrong – Osho

Osho, can you clear this confusion in me? The other day at discourse you talked about the different ways and paths to God. The Christian feels his is the only way, the Moslem feels his is the only way, and so on. Now all of us here, your entire following—don’t we too believe that yours is the most appealing and therefore the only way? Then what is the difference? I cannot seem to figure it out and yet I am sure there is a difference.

GOD IS NOT A GOAL, hence there can be no way to God. All ways are wrong. God is right now, this very moment. God is always in the present, now and here, and always now and here. There can be no way to God.

The very idea of the way is fallacious. The way means you have postponed; the way leads to tomorrow, and the tomorrow never comes. The way means you have projected into the future: God is somewhere else and you have to travel. Then religion becomes a journey. And religion is not a journey, it is already the case.

God has not to happen to you. God has happened because you are alive. What is life? Who is breathing in you and who is conscious in you? God is not to be known, God is the knower. God is not the object that you have to see, God is the SEER in you. This is the most fundamental thing I would like you to remember.

What I am teaching here is not a way; it is a totally different phenomenon. Hence I am not creating a religion, I am not creating a sect — I am simply waking you up to the reality of God. Even while you are asleep God is within and without; even in your sleep you are in God.

It is like if a man is asleep and it is spring and the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing and the trees are green, celebrating — but the man is asleep. He is unaware of the spring, he is unaware of the flowers, of the birds’ songs; he is unaware of everything that is happening. But that does not mean that it is not happening. He may be unaware, he may be asleep, but the spring has come, it is there. Any moment the man can open his eyes; any situation may help him to be awake. And suddenly he will be surprised that there was no need to go anywhere — all was already here.

That’s how it happens when a man really wakes up — not that one has to travel somewhere. All traveling is dreaming, all pilgrimage is dreaming, desiring. And your so called religions have made God a goal, and your mind is perfectly satisfied with that because mind can exist only if there is a goal. The mind needs a tension, the mind needs a way to remain tense. If there is a goal then mind can remain desiring — unfulfilled, frustrated, hoping one day to get it.

This is how mind can nourish itself, and it can dream about the joys of finding God and the beauties and the blessings. It can create paradise in imagination — and all these are simply dreams of the mind. The moment you think of the future, you have slipped out of reality and fallen into the ditch of dreaming. My effort here is to bring you out of your sleep and dreaming.

Zareen, I am not teaching a way, so you cannot claim that my way is the best way — it is not a way at all. You cannot say that this is the only way, because I am saying there is no way at all. I am simply trying to make you alert to that which is already there. It is beating in your heart, it is God beating in your heart. It is pulsating in your being; every fiber of your body, of your being, is alive. That aliveness is God.

God is not a person but only the presence. Feel it now! If you can ever feel it you can only feel it now — now or never. Hence I don’t give any opportunity for your mind. You would like me to say something about how to find God, where to find God, where to go. You will be perfectly happy if I give you ways, goals, faraway, distant goals; you will be tremendously happy. Why? Because the goal helps you to remain the same as you are, the goal helps you to remain asleep and dreaming. It becomes a new dream, a new desire, a new ambition: How to attain God? It becomes a new ego trip.

I am shattering your egos, because your egos are a kind of shell that surrounds you and keeps you oblivious of the reality. It keeps you encapsulated within yourself, does not allow you to open your eyes and see what is happening.

God is this total existence happening. Be silent and know. There is nowhere to go, there is nothing to achieve, no ambition has to be fulfilled. God has already decided to be inside you; that’s why you are alive.

So don’t get unnecessarily confused. I am not proposing a way in competition with the Mohammedan and the Christian and the Hindu and the Parsi. What I am saying has nothing to do with Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. What I am saying is simply a statement, a naked, bare statement of the fact that YOU ARE GOD! Already, as you are. Nothing has to be changed at all. Only one thing has to happen and that is not a change really but just the other side of you. One side is sleep, the other side is awakening. One side of you, one aspect of your coin, is sleep, darkness, the night part; the other side is the day part. Just wake up…and you will ‘he surprised that there was no need to desire anything. God has already given it to you. He has given himself: he lives in you, he resides in you. If I can help you to remember this, that’s all.

That’s why you feel the difference but you cannot figure it out. This is the difference. All religions are ways; all religions are new directions for the ego, new projections, new desires, and sometimes far more dangerous than the ordinary desire is. A man desiring money is not in such a mess as a man who desires God, because money can be found by desiring; money can only be found by desiring, and God can never be found by desiring. God can only be found by non-desiring.

So miserable is the man, most miserable is the man who desires God. The man who is greedy for money is not in such a great mess; he is far more sane — because money can be found only if you desire and work hard for it, compete, struggle. If you desire political power, then be madly after it; that is the only way to attain it. It will not come if you go on sitting in your room waiting for it; it will never knock on your door. You can wait for millions of lives — nobody will come and knock on your door and say to you that you have been chosen to be the prime minister of the country or the president. You will have to fight for it, you will have to be very violent, aggressive; only then is it possible.

But if you go in search of God you will miss. The very search will be the cause of your missing. Where are you going? He is inside and you are going outside. All going is going outside. Go to Jerusalem or Kaaba or Kashi or Girnar or Bodh Gaya: wherever you go, it is outside. All going is extrovert. Ingoing is not a going at all.

What is ingoing? When you don’t go outside, you are in. It is not really a going at all; not even a single step has to be taken. There is no space inside where you can walk and go in. When it is said, “Go in,” it is said only metaphorically. What is actually meant is: Stop going out. Stop completely, a full point, no more going outside. Then suddenly you are in — where else can you be when you are not going outside? When you are not going to Kaaba and to Jerusalem and to Kashi, where will you be? You will simply be inside, you will find yourself inside. Your outgoing was preventing you from finding yourself.

Stop seeking: that is the only way to find God. Stop desiring: that is the only way to find God.

I am giving you an insight, not a religion. And you are not my followers, remember, Zareen. Nobody here is my follower — -friends, of course, but nobody is a follower. The orange color creates the illusion that people are following me. Just to avoid that, I cannot wear orange myself. I love the color, but if I start wearing orange then it will become a logical proof that you are following me. Certainly, you are not following me; I am a white person, you are orange people — what connection can there be? You are not my followers but friends. And because I love orange, out of your love you have accepted it. It is not a uniform; it is not that by wearing orange you become part of a certain sect or church. There is no church, no sect. Because I love orange, just out of love for me you are wearing orange. That is just a gesture of love, nothing else.

You are not my follower, nobody is. But certainly you have chosen to be with me.

That is your choice. You have fallen in love with a madman, and when you fall in love with a madman a little bit of madness is bound to enter in your heart. That’s what is happening here. I am drunk, I am making you drunk. What else can I do? But this is not a religion. Hence you can love me and you can love Jesus, and there is no conflict. In fact by loving me you are bound to love Jesus. By loving me you will find for the first time the real taste of Jesus. By being with me you can love Buddha. In fact for the first time you will have an insight of what Buddha is. By being with me, in communion with me, you will be in communion with Zarathustra, with Lao Tzu, with Mahavira, with Mohammed. But this is a totally different approach I become the door, and when you enter in me you find all the Buddhas — because it is like the ocean: you can taste it from anywhere, it is salty. If you taste me, you have tasted all the Buddhas; it is the same taste.

You cannot find Mohammed in the Koran, and you cannot find Jesus in the Bible. You cannot become really religious by becoming part of a church — Catholic, Protestant — it is impossible. These are the mischievous people who have been creating a very ugly humanity. You can be a Jew only if you hate Jesus. You can be with Moses only if you are not with Jesus; that is a condition. And if you are with Jesus then you cannot be with Buddha; that’s a condition.

That’s why they go on claiming, “This is the ONLY way” — so even the idea that there are other possible ways drops from your mind. You are conditioned in such a way by every religion that “This is the only truth THE ONLY truth, THE truth,” and the conditioning becomes so strong, steel-like, that it becomes impossible for you to think that there can be other ways, absolutely impossible. Unless you are very intelligent, alert, watchful, unless you look at your conditioning and become a witness, it is impossible.

I was born in a Jaina family and, naturally, just as everybody else is conditioned, the conditioning was imposed on me. But I was continuously watchful, continuously alert, hence I was not caught by the conditioning. And the conditioning is so subtle that once you are caught in it you become incapable of thinking, seeing; anything that goes against your conditioning, you become deaf to it.

For example, a Jaina cannot think that Jesus is enlightened — impossible. His conditioning will not allow him. And his conditioning is very logical in his mind, and you cannot argue with him. He will say, “Jesus eats meat: how can an enlightened person eat meat?” And how are you going to convince him? He has some logic there.

Jesus drinks wine. He not only drinks wine but he also turns the whole sea into wine so the whole world can become drunk. It is a beautiful story, Jesus turning the whole sea into wine. Can an enlightened person do that? Not according to the Jainas. If there was a sea full of wine the Jaina Teerthankara would come and do the miracle and turn it into water — and pure water, mind you, filtered water. And that too you are allowed to drink only in the day, not in the night. If you are really a Jaina you won’t drink it at night, not even water.

My grandmother would not even allow poor tomatoes in the house, because they look like meat — just the appearance! Only when she died could tomatoes enter into the house.

You will be surprised Jainas don’t eat potatoes. Now, what have these poor potatoes done? But their ideas: anything that grows under the earth has not to be eaten; only things that grow in the open, in the sun, because anything that grows in darkness creates darkness in you. Logic! It is tamas; it will create tamasic energy in you; it will create a certain energy that will pull you towards the earth, downwards. The potato is a secret agent of the earth — beware! Eat things that grow upwards towards the sun; they will help you to be uplifted; your energy will be sattvic, pure. You will be under the law of levitation. The potato pulls you downwards, it is heavy.

And once you are conditioned from your very childhood, that’s how it starts appearing. Then eat a potato and you will feel very heavy and pulled downwards — all these things will happen and then you will know that the teaching is right.

Up to my eighteenth year I had not eaten in the night. Then I went with a few friends to see a fort, far away in the jungles. They were all Hindus, and the fort was such a beauty that the whole day they were not interested in preparing food. I was the only Jaina, and I could not insist, because thirty people were not interested in cooking food in the day. So I kept quiet. In the night they cooked food. Now, the whole day’s wandering in the forest, in the ruins of that old ancient castle — I was tired, hungry; I had never known such hunger. But my eighteen years’ conditioning: you cannot eat in the night….

And then they started preparing beautiful food and the smell of the food and so close by…. And they all started persuading me; they said. “Nobody is here, and nobody will tell your family, your parents. Nobody will ever know.” I resisted — but the more I resisted, the more I was tempted. Finally I yielded, I ate. The food was delicious, but the whole night I suffered hell. I vomited at least seven times. That eighteen years’ conditioning is not an easy thing to get rid of. I could not digest that food; my whole body revolted. Until all the food was thrown out I could not sleep. And then it was certainly a proof that whatsoever I had been told was right.

But those thirty people, they slept well. I had only one consolation — that they would all suffer in hell. The whole night I was preparing for their hell, as bad a hell as possible. I was suffering my hell, and they were sound asleep and snoring. I was consoling myself, “It’s okay — just a few days more, then I will be in paradise and you will be in hellfire. Then you will know. The pleasures of this life are momentary,” I was telling myself.

Your so-called religions only condition you against other religions. They make you antagonistic, they create conflict. They don’t allow you to create a brotherhood, they don’t allow you to create a humanity.

Goldfarb was invited to a birthday party for the parish priest. Wanting to show his desire to be a good member of the community, he went to a jewelry store to get the good father a birthday present.

“What would you recommend?” asked Goldfarb of the store clerk.

“How about this lovely crucifix with Christ on it?”

“Do you think he would like that?”

“Absolutely.”

“How much is it?”

“One hundred and fifty dollars.”

“One hundred and fifty dollars!” exclaimed Goldfarb. “Have you got one without the acrobat on it?”

Jesus looks like an acrobat — if you are a Jew, that’s how it is. To a Jaina, Mohammed is not even worthy of being counted among the saints — what to say about the messengers of God? According to the Buddhists, even Mahavira, the Teerthankara of the Jainas, is not worthy of being counted as a holy man, not even a moral man, because he moves naked — this is utter immorality. Buddhists cannot forgive him. This is exhibitionism, this is neurosis; the man is pathological!

You have been given ideas in the name of religions. I am not giving you any idea; I am trying to take all ideas away from you.

Just the other day there was a question saying: “Osho, sometimes you give wrong information to us.” Sometimes? My whole effort here is to destroy all the information that you have. All information is wrong. So I am not interested in giving you RIGHT information, because all information has to be taken out. You have to be left without information. When you are without information, without knowledge, not knowing what is what, in that state of not-knowing you bloom. God starts opening up within your being.

I am not teaching a way, I am not giving you a system of thought, a philosophy — just the contrary. I am against all knowledge, all philosophy, all systems of thought, all theologies, all religions. And by dropping all, you can be in communion with me. It is a communion, not a following.

A communion means I respect you, I love you as equals. You are not inferior, just asleep! Your sleep does not make you inferior at all, your sleep simply gives you dreams. In fact, when Buddha became enlightened somebody asked him, “What have you gained?”

He said, “I have not gained anything, but I have lost many things. I have lost my desires, my dreams, my sleep, my anger, my greed, my ambition, my ego — I have lost so many things. And I have gained nothing, nothing at all. But by losing all those things I have come home. I have become just myself — a purity, a clarity, a cloudless sky.”

I am not giving you anything; on the contrary I am taking things away from you. In fact, if you think in terms of things, you are far superior to me, because you have many more things which I don’t have. You have a big ego…I cannot compete with you. You have great greed, possessiveness, jealousy, anger. You have a thousand and one things. I am a poor man compared to you, very poor, nothing to claim — or ONLY nothing to claim. And if you are courageous enough, you are going to become a nothing yourself sooner or later.

I am not teaching a way, I am not giving you a goal. I am taking all ways away, all goals away.

-Osho

From Be Still and Know, Chapter Six

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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