If the divine is right here and now, then what prevents us from seeing Him? Why do we cling to our dream life, even though it has become a misery for us?
No, it has not become a misery for you yet; otherwise you could not cling to it. No one can cling to misery. You still have hopes; you have not yet become totally hopeless. Even in your misery you are hoping. You are thinking that today is misery but tomorrow the doors of paradise will open, and this misery is just a means to reach that paradise tomorrow. Unless the tomorrow dies completely, unless the tomorrow drops completely, unless you become totally hopeless, no hope… only then will you see what misery is there where you are living. And once you become aware of the misery that you are living, you will drop it – there will be no need for me to tell you.
Somebody came to Buddha and asked him, “You go on saying that life is suffering, dukkha; you go on saying that the house is on fire, and I realize that this is so, but how should we come out of that house which is on fire?”
Buddha said, “You are not seeing that the house is on fire. If the house is on fire you will not come to ask me, you will simply jump out of that house.” You won’t go to find a master to learn techniques; you won’t consult The Bible and Koran to find out how to get out of the house which is on fire. When the house is on fire, you will leave your Koran and Bible inside, and you will jump out. And even if a Buddha is sitting there, you will remember only when you are out of the house that Buddha has been left inside; the master has been left inside. When you realize the house is on fire, you simply jump out of it; there is no method.
All methods are postponements. You are in search of a method so that you can postpone, because a method will need time, so you can say to yourself, “How can I jump right now? It will take three years, six years, lives, to practice. It is such a difficult thing, so I will first practice how to jump, and then I will jump. But unless I practice, I cannot jump.”
And you have been doing this practice, this rehearsal, for many lives. You are not here for the first time to ask me – you have asked many times. The same questions you have been asking in every life, but you never do anything, because Buddha may be saying that the house is on fire, but you look… it is a palace, nothing is on fire. Just out of consideration for Buddha you don’t deny him. Otherwise you know he is crazy; the house is not on fire. Or he may be talking in symbols; he may be meaning something else. Or he is such a great man that you cannot understand what he is saying, so just out of respect you don’t deny him, you say yes. Your yes doesn’t mean any more than your no. Your yes, your no are meaningless.
I have heard that Mulla Nasruddin was in love with a woman, but very worried, depressed, always sad, so one friend asked, “What is the matter?”
He said, “Everything is finished, and I am contemplating suicide.”
The friend said, “But you have been contemplating so long. Tell me what the matter is – maybe I can help you.”
Nasruddin said, “I asked the woman to get married to me.”
The friend said, “Yes, no need to say anything more, I have understood. She must have said no. But you are a fool. Don’t believe it when a woman says no; she always means yes.”
Nasruddin said, “I know that wisdom, and if she had said no, then there would have been no problem. But when I proposed she said, ‘Rats.’ So now what to understand? She said, ‘Rats’; she never said no. Had she said no, then yes could be understood.”
Everybody’s mind is just like that woman. When you say no, the yes is hidden behind it. If somebody has slightly penetrating eyes, he can see your yes hidden behind the no. When you say yes it is just skin-deep, the no is hidden behind. And your yes can be turned into no without any effort. Your no can be turned into yes without much effort. Your yes and no are only different in degrees, not in quality. They can be changed, they continuously go on changing.
Even a small child knows this. The father says, “No, you are not going to the movie today.” But even a small child knows that yes is hidden behind it. He starts a tantrum, he starts crying, and within minutes the father says, “Go, go! Go away from here.” The child knows the yes is hidden behind the no. It can be brought out immediately, a little effort is needed. And no child believes in your yes or no because you can change so easily; no child trusts you. But this is how the human mind is.
So the first thing: you are not in misery. Buddha has said so, I may be saying so, but you know that you are not in misery. You go on feeling, hoping, that tomorrow something is going to happen. And tomorrow is the drug; through the tomorrow you intoxicate yourself, and then the day which is present, today, you can suffer it. It is not much, only a question of a few hours and then the tomorrow will be there; it is coming nearer and nearer. Because of the misery on this earth, we conceive of heaven as somewhere in the other life; that heaven is our tomorrow extended. Just to carry on anyhow this misery that is around us, we look somewhere ahead. We never look right now, here.
You are not in misery. I may be saying so; you go on believing that happiness is just near, you are just on the verge of it. The goal is so near, so why leave? Just continue a little more, be patient. If you realize that you are in misery, then there is no need to ask how to drop it. Then masters will be needed to teach you how to cling to it, and even then you will not listen to them.
Once you know that your life is misery, even a buddha cannot persuade you to cling to it. But the penetration is not there. It is not your realization. This knowing is not your knowledge; this wisdom has not been achieved through your own efforts. It is borrowed, it is cheap. You have heard that life is misery, but you have not realized it. And you say, “Why do we go on clinging to this dream life?” It is not a dream life to you; it is real. When you see a dream the dream is real. Somebody who has awakened from sleep may go on saying that whatsoever you are seeing is just a dream, but the person who is dreaming, he is dreaming a reality, not a dream. In a dream, howsoever absurd, you cannot feel it as a dream. You believe in it, because once you feel it is a dream the dream disappears. The dream cannot remain there, your cooperation is withdrawn. You can cooperate only with reality, not with dreams; and if you cooperate dreams become reality – it is through your cooperation.
In the night, deep in sleep, you dream that you have become a king. You may be a beggar, or vice versa: you may be a king and you dream that you have become a beggar. But in that dream you are so identified you cannot think that it could be a dream. If you can think that it could be a dream, the dream will stop immediately. It will be broken; you will come out of it.
Try this. Try this with ordinary dreams. While going to sleep at night, every day just go on thinking only one thought: “When I dream, I must remember that this is a dream.” It will take many months for this thought to drop down into the unconscious, but it will reach there. After three weeks to three months it will reach if you persist, if you don’t forget. Every night while falling into sleep, you go on thinking that when a dream starts you will immediately recognize that it is a dream. After three weeks to three months this will happen; suddenly one day you will start dreaming and you will have the realization, “This is a dream.” Immediately the dream will disappear and your eyes will be open.
If you realize in dream that it is a dream the dream is broken, the dream cannot exist. It exists through your cooperation, your identification is needed. If you are committed to it, if you get involved in it, only then can it continue. And the same happens with the greater dream which is life. When you realize this is a dream, immediately you have become a buddha, you are enlightened. But this enlightenment cannot happen to you by others’ knowing, others’ wisdom.
Buddha may go on calling to you that this is a dream you are living, but you will only feel that this man is a disturbance, a constant nuisance, he is disturbing your life. That’s why we kill such persons. Socrates – we poisoned him because he was a great disturber. Jesus – we crucified him because he was a nuisance. Everybody is dreaming such beautiful dreams, and these persons unnecessarily, and without being invited, go on disturbing people and saying to them, “Wake up! You are dreaming. This is a dream.” And the man may have been dreaming such a beautiful thing that he could throw away all life for that dream.
Now psychologists say that for the ordinary mind, for the normal mind, dreaming is a must. If you cannot dream, if you are not allowed to dream, you will go mad. Previously it was thought that sleep is a necessity, now the new research says a totally different thing. The new research says that sleep is not a must; it is not sleep which gives you rest, it is dreaming which gives you rest. And if you are allowed to dream you will remain happy, if you are not allowed to dream you will go insane.
The whole night there is a rhythm: sleep period, then dream period, then sleep period, then dream period, of almost the same duration. If you sleep for eight hours, at least for four hours you are dreaming: forty minutes dreaming, then forty minutes sleep, then forty minutes dream, then forty minutes sleep – just like day and night, a rhythm.
They have tried many experiments, because now it can be known from the outside whether you are dreaming or not. Not many devices are needed. When a person is sleeping you can simply go on looking at his eyes. When he dreams the eyes move fast. He is looking at the dream, so the eyes move fast. When he is fast asleep the eyes stop and become dead. So just sitting by a person who is asleep, you can note down when he is dreaming and when he is asleep.
They have tried to disturb persons while they are asleep, in their sleep periods of forty minutes. When they are dreaming they don’t disturb them; when they start sleeping they disturb them. Many nights you can disturb a person while he is asleep but allow the dream period, and he will be happy and okay, no problem; he will not feel tired in the morning. But do otherwise: when he is asleep let him sleep; when he starts dreaming wake him. If continuously the whole night, for only three nights, you don’t allow a person to dream, then he will go insane. Why? It is so much needed. Your ordinary mind feeds on dreams, and if a person is not allowed for three days to dream he will start dreaming while awake. It is such a great need. He will be awake, sitting in his chair, and dreaming. He will have to fulfill the quota, in the day he will have to dream.
And if you insist for many weeks, if for at least three weeks a person is not allowed to dream, he will become hallucinatory. He will be awake and talking to a man who is not present. He will become just like madmen. Now psychologists say that these madmen whom we have pushed into madhouses may be simply persons who have been starved as far as dream food is concerned. They need more dreams to be readjusted to normal life. What is the problem? Why are dreams needed so much? Why can’t you live without dreams? Because your life is so miserable that only through dreams can you exist. If you come to know life as it is, in its nudity, without any dreams, you will commit suicide.
Albert Camus has written that the only philosophical problem is whether to commit suicide or not, and that is the big problem. If you come to realize that the whole life is just nonsense…. What are you doing? What is happening? Nothing is happening, and you continue in suffering. If you are reasonable, you will start thinking of committing suicide.
Dreams help you to not commit suicide. They help you to create worlds of your own in which you can be happy, in which you can enjoy, in which you can become emperors, in which you can become conquerors, in which you can fly and reach the planets, in which you can do anything. You are free only in your dreams. The whole life is a slavery, only in your dreams can you destroy the whole world and create a new one.
You can have a beautiful woman in your dreams, a beautiful man. Life is not so beautiful. And howsoever beautiful a woman, you come closer and the flowers disappear and only thorns are left. Howsoever beautiful a man, a person, if you are far away the beauty is there, but the closer you come, the more the beauty starts evaporating. Sartre says, “Hell is other people – the other is the hell.” The closer you come to the other, the more a hell is created. Only in your dreams can you be in paradise.
So don’t say that you know that your life is suffering and dreamlike – it is real to you. To you I say it is real; to a buddha it is unreal. But you are not a buddha yet, so remain with your reality, and remain with your real mind. Don’t move with borrowed things, because once you move on borrowed things you will never come to the reality again.
“If the divine is right here and now, then what prevents us from seeing him? Why do we cling to our dream life even though it has become a misery for us?”
Think again. Contemplate on it. If it is a misery for you – for you I insist again and again, not for me – if it is a misery for you, don’t do anything. Remain with the fact that your life has become a misery to you, because if you start doing something about it you may again create hope in the tomorrow. Just remain with the fact. If it is hell, remain in hell, don’t do anything. Just remain alert that this is hell. And if you can be patient and alert and wait, just through waiting the hell will disappear, it will fall down. It needs your cooperation. It is just like dreams.
That’s why Shankara and Buddha say your life is a dream life – because it can be just dropped like dreams. If you become alert a dream disappears; if you become alert of your misery, the misery disappears. You cling to it because you think it is not misery, or some happiness is hidden somewhere in it. It may be misery outwardly, but a deep treasure is hidden behind it, so you have to cling to it for that treasure. Your life is misery – but not for you. Realize its misery, it falls down. The very truth transforms you. And the moment misery falls the divine is revealed. To a miserable mind the divine cannot be revealed. To a celebrating mind the divine is revealed.
Remember, only to a celebrating mind, to a mind which is happy, blissful, enjoying moment to moment, ecstatic, is the divine revealed. To a miserable mind the divine cannot be revealed, because a miserable mind is closed. The divine is here and now, but you are not here and now. If you are also here and now then the divine will be revealed to you. The whole of my effort is to bring you here and now. This very moment, if you can be here, then nothing is hidden.
From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Discourse #3
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