…The only question that occurs to me in the two years I have been here is about the dark night of the soul. You said sometimes that we have to dance and celebrate so that we can go through it easily. In the back of my mind there is a question: what is that dark night of the soul? Am I missing something?
You are not missing anything, not even the dark night of the soul: You are already in it! To be unconscious of your actions, your thoughts, your feelings creates your dark night of the soul.
The moment you are aware of all these three layers of your being…. Thought is the most superficial, feeling, a little deeper, and then being – the last thing that you have to lose into the ultimate. The process is simple, the process is the same.
Watch, witness, observe your thoughts – without any judgment, without any condemnation or evaluation…. Because the moment you make any judgment for or against, you are no longer a witness; you have already become part of the thought process. Remain silent, and just see whatsoever is passing on the screen of your mind, the way you see a film. Just remember that you are only a seer.
And the same process when you have succeeded on the first layer will make you capable of seeing your feelings which are more subtle. But the person who can see thoughts and remains silently a witness automatically becomes capable of the second step. Soon you will be able to see your feelings, sentiments, moods, emotions.
Once you are beyond the second, then the third… it is the deepest in you, the feeling of “I”, the separation of you from the universe. Actually you are not separated for a single moment, you cannot exist in separation. You are in tune in every possible way. There are thousands of bridges between you and the existence around you.
Now watch this silence, this is-ness, this feeling of am-ness; simply watch. There is nothing else to watch, just a small boundary around you.
As you watch thoughts, thoughts disappear. As you watch feelings, feelings disappear. As you watch being, you are no longer separate. Only the witness remains, which is your eternal reality. And it has nothing to do with you; it is universal.
Your witness and my witness are not separate.
Wherever witnessing happens, it is the same. It knows no distance in space and no distance in time. For the witness there is no space and no time; it has no limits.
Before you arrive at this point, all else is the dark night of the soul. Your arrival at this witnessing starts the beautiful day of the soul. It is a sunrise which never sets.
But just listening to me will not help. You will have to practice this as much as possible. And it needs no separate time – that you have to sit for one hour, or twenty minutes, and witness. If you have time you can sit silently and witness, but there is no necessity. You can go on doing your work and still be witnessing.
The whole thing is how to make your witness stronger and stronger, so that it is capable of losing all identities. Only a strong person can lose all identities.
And to be in utter silence… there is light, a light that never began and never ends. And it is yours just to claim. And the effort is not so difficult as religions have been telling you.
Walking on the road, what is the problem? Why can’t you simply watch your walking? The question is not of the object that you witness, the question is that you witness. Anything helps to strengthen your witnessing energies.
Looking at a beautiful sunset, don’t just get lost, don’t forget yourself. Remember that you are only a seer. It can go on twenty-four hours a day without anybody knowing that you are doing something.
Religion is not something that the world has to know about. It is something that you have to do within yourselves.
Start from this very moment.
This immense silence – thousands of people, but it is as if there is no one… just witness. The faraway sound of an aeroplane… You remain only a witness.
And then go on practicing the same thing whatever you are doing – eating, taking a shower, doing some work in the garden, in the field. It does not matter what you do, what matters is that your witness is always present.
In the beginning you will forget many times, because for many lives you have never been a witness, you have always been a doer. So it is just an old habit. Old habits die hard, but they certainly die.
And it all depends on you. The more you make it a process almost like breathing…. You go on doing everything, still you are breathing. You don’t stop your breathing because you are digging a hole in the earth.
Witnessing has to become just like breathing. It in fact is the breathing of the universal soul in you.
And once you have tasted just a moment of being universal, the morning has come. The dark night of the soul is over.
Excerpt from From Death to Deathlessness, Chapter 30
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt A Sunrise that Never Sets.