Who is the Observer, Who is the Observed – Osho

Watching the energy changes that are constantly happening in me, suddenly the question arises: What is that which is watching and what sense is it different from the observed energy?

Kosha, this is a beautiful space to enter into, when the question arises for the first time: What is the observed and who is the observer? This is a beautiful space to enter into – when the question becomes relevant.

Now, on each step, you will start losing the duality of the observer and the observed. The observer and the observed, in the ultimate sense, in reality, are one. They are two only because we have not yet been capable of seeing the One.

Remember The Secret of the Golden Flower. It says: Tao is one; then it divides itself into two, yin and yang, darkness and light, life and death. But the reality is One. It looks like two; it looks like two because we see it through the prism of the mind. The twoness of it is a creation of our minds, it is not there.

It is just like when on a full moon night you look at the moon and then press your eyelid – and suddenly you see two moons. And you know the moon is one. But go on pressing the eye – and you know perfectly well the moon is one – and now you can see two moons. That’s exactly what is happening. Mind is creating duality, because mind cannot conceive the One.

There is an intrinsic impossibility for the mind to conceive the One. Try to understand why the mind cannot conceive the One.

Mind needs distinctions; the One is distinction less. The whole purpose of the mind is to demark things. The whole purpose of the mind is to particularize things – this is a woman and that is a man, this is a friend and that is an enemy, this is food and this is just stone, this is a chair and that is a table, this is the door and this is the wall. This is the function of the mind: the whole purpose of the mind is to make distinctions. It is very utilitarian; it has to be used.

But in the ultimate sense, it becomes the barrier. That which is a help on the circumference becomes a hindrance at the center.

Mind has no truth, but only utility; just as a child is born: no child brings a label with himself, a nameplate or anything. He simply comes. You don’t ask him, “Who are you, and what is your name, and from where are you coming?” The child will simply look at you and will think you are stupid: “What nonsense you are talking!” You start giving him a name, an identity. And you know that name is false, although useful, but false; untrue, but utilitarian. He will need that name.

There are millions of people. If he falls in love with a woman and she wants to write a letter to him, how is she supposed to write a letter to a man who has no name? How can the letter be delivered to him?

It has utility in the world. We give him a name and slowly, slowly we completely forget that the name is just a utilitarian device; it has no truth about it. You can change the name. You can go to the court, declare that you drop your old name and you will be a new name. You can change as many times as you want.

Exactly like that, mind is a device, a natural device to help you function in the world, to find you things. If you drop the mind, all is blurred into one reality. Then it will not be possible to make any distinction between what is a marshmallow and what is a pillow. You may start sleeping with the marshmallow underneath your head and you may start eating the pillow.

So I am not saying mind is not useful. Mind is useful, but its very usefulness is based on creating distinctions.

But when you start moving in meditation, you are moving beyond mind. You are moving beyond utility into truth. Then you are trying to see that which is, not that which is useful. Then slowly, slowly the duality will disappear.

And, Kosha, this is just on the threshold – when the observer and the observed disappear. And I have been watching you, Kosha; you have been growing so beautifully.

Kosha is a well-educated woman. She is a PH.D., although here she just cleans the toilets. But that has been of immense help; PH.D.s need that. Otherwise they remain hung-up in the head. It has been a device. Deliberately, I have put Kosha into cleaning work, and she has proved really beautiful. She has completely forgotten her PH.D., her education, her career, her name, etcetera – completely forgotten. She has just become involved in the work that has been given to her utterly, totally.

And that utterness, that totalness, is bringing this great fruit into her being.

Now this is not a philosophical question that she is asking. Philosophy has disappeared from her mind. Now this is an experience, something existential. Now she is really faced with a problem: Who is the observer and who is the observed?

Now you will have to drop that idea also. Now the observer will be the observed. Now there will be no distinction between the two: the seer will be the seen and the knower will be the known and the lover will be the beloved. It is very strange when for the first time it starts happening – it blurs you, your whole mind structure simply shatters. It looks almost as if you are going mad – or what? Just think: seeing a bamboo, and you forget who is the bamboo and who is the seer – it will look insane.

And when you come back into your normal, utilitarian world, you will become suspicious, distrustful, doubting: “What is happening? This is dangerous! How can I be the bamboo?” But this is true. We are all part of one reality. I am in my right hand; I am in my left hand. I am in my body, but my body is joined with the earth and the sun and the moon. We are all joined together, interlinked.

Nobody is independent, we are all interdependent.

When slowly, slowly the mind takes a leap from you – you say goodbye to the mind and the no-mind opens its infinity – then you are the bamboo, then you are in the bamboo, as the bamboo.

The observer has become the observed. And the tremendous benediction of it! And the great transformation that comes through it!

And this will be happening, Kosha, more and more. You have earned it. Don’t be afraid! It will appear like insanity and the mind will condemn it like insanity.

This is the point when you have to listen to the Master, not to the mind. I say to you: go ahead. You have risked a lot; now risk a little more. Let this distinction also disappear, and with its disappearance, the satori.


From The Secret of Secrets, V. 2, Discourse #14, Q3

Secret of the Golden Flower

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.

One thought on “Who is the Observer, Who is the Observed – Osho”

  1. Dear Prem, thank you so very much for this post. Regards Kalpana

    >>> Sat Sangha Salon 8/8/2014 10:58 AM >>>

    premG posted: “Watching the energy changes that are constantly happening in me, suddenly the question arises: What is that which is watching and what sense is it different from the observed energy? Kosha, this is a beautiful space to enter into, when the question ari”


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