Seek out the way.
Pause and consider awhile. Is it the way you desire, or is it that there is a dim perspective in your visions of great heights to be scaled by yourself, of a great future for you to compass? Be warned. The way is to be sought for its own sake, not with regard to your feet that shall tread it.
Seek out the way. The way is not known. It cannot be made known to you by others; it cannot be given to you. The way cannot be shown, it cannot be transferred. You have to seek it.
Ordinarily, we think that we have to seek the goal, but the way is already given. There are so many ways that people go on talking about and they all reach the same goal. The goal has to be discovered, the goal has to be reached, but the way? The way is available. In fact, it is too available, there are too many ways.
But it is not so, because the goal and the way are not two things. The way itself becomes the goal. The first step is also the last because the way and the goal are not two things. The way as you proceed on it, transforms itself into the goal. The real thing is not to think about the goal. The basic thinking has to be about the way. Discover the way: Seek out the way.
But our minds are so conditioned that everyone thinks he has been given a way by birth. Someone is a Christian, someone is a Hindu, someone is a Mohammedan. They think that the way has been given to them by society, by the culture, by their education.
No, the way cannot be given by anyone.
Neither the society nor the culture nor the education can give you the way. You will have to seek it because, through seeking, you will be transformed.
A borrowed way is a dead way. You cannot travel on it; it will not lead you anywhere. You can believe in it, you can have consolation in it, you can postpone your journey because of it – because you know the way, you can travel on it any day – but the moment you start travelling, the way that is borrowed, given, will be of no help.
You will have to seek your own way.
It is difficult to seek it; many errors are possible. But nothing is gained without errors, so be courageous enough to err. You may move on the wrong path, but it is better to move on the wrong path than not to move at all, because at least you will learn movement, at least you will learn what a wrong path is. That too is good, because elimination will help. You will move on this path and find out what is wrong. You will move on another path and find out what is wrong. And through knowing what is wrong, you will come to understand what is right.
So don’t be afraid to err. don’t be afraid to move on the wrong path. Those who are too afraid of being in error and of moving on the wrong path become paralyzed. Then they remain where they are; they never move.
Be courageous and seek out your own path. And don’t imitate anyone else’s path. Imitation will not lead you to freedom. It is not a question of following one path or another; it is a question of seeking. Be a seeker and not a follower. And know the distinction well.
A follower is an imitator. A seeker also follows, but he is not an imitator. A seeker also follows, but he follows in order to seek, to discover. He remains alert, he remains aware.
A follower becomes blind, he becomes dependent – spiritually a slave. He throws his responsibility on someone else’s shoulders and then hangs on. A seeker is responsible for himself. He’s alert, responsible – discovering something new every day, experimenting with something new every day. He’s unafraid, vulnerable, open to any new light, ready to move into any dimension that comes to his vision. If he feels the path he is on is wrong, he will not say, “But I have invested so much on this path. Now I cannot change.” He will throw the path, throw his whole investment in it, move back to where he was before and start learning again from A-B-C.
A seeker is always ready to change, but a follower is stubborn. He will close his eyes rather than see the light because he has invested so much.
A Jain monk came to me and he said, “I have been a Jain monk for thirty years and I know well that I have chosen a path that is not for me, but now I cannot leave it because if I leave, what will I do? I have no education. I was initiated into monkhood when I was just a child. These thirty years of monkhood have made me totally dependent on others. I cannot do anything; I cannot do any physical labor.
“And I am so respected! Even big capitalists come to me and bow down their heads. If I leave the monkhood – and I know now that this is not for me – these same people who touch my feet now will not employ me even as a peon. So what am I to do?” There is much investment. The whole prestige. respect. honor is at stake now.
So I told him, “If you are really a seeker, throw it all out. Be a beggar or be a fool, but don’t be false. When you know this path is not for you then throw everything that comes to you through this path. Don’t be false, don’t be inauthentic.”
He said, “I will think about it. But it seems difficult.”
He has been thinking about it for three years. He has not come back to see me. He won’t come. He is a follower. not a seeker. A seeker can throw everything the moment he comes to realize that something is not for him. There is no hesitation.
This sutra says Seek out the way. Be a seeker; don’t be a believer.
The fourteenth sutra:
Seek the way by retreating within.
Whenever you find something that appeals to you, to your reason, to your logic, to your mind – something that looks rational, looks to be true – it is not enough. Your reason may say it is true, but it may not be true. Unless you experiment with it, unless you experience something through it, nothing has been discovered. Through logic, nothing is discovered. Logic is a help, but don’t make it the ultimate criterion. The ultimate criterion is always within. Experiment and experience. And unless you experience something, don’t believe that you have found it, that the way has become revealed to you. Only through experience do theories become truth.
Seek the way by retreating within. Whenever you have found a technique, a way – retreat within, go within. Experiment with it there: in your subjectivity, in your heart. Experience it. Don’t just go on thinking about what meditation is. Do it! Only then will you know what it is. One technique may not work for you. Then throw it and try another. There are hundreds of meditation techniques. One technique is bound to work for you.
Humanity has been struggling to be liberated for thousands of years, and every type of man has attained liberation. Every type of technique has been found. You are not new; you have been before. Many like you have been before and they have travelled the path. Many techniques have been discovered. Try. But be authentic, be serious when you try. And try with your total energy. If nothing comes out of a particular technique, then throw it and move to another.
In the old days, when a disciple came to a teacher, the first thing the teacher would try to observe would be whether the disciple suited him and whether he suited the disciple. If the teacher thought the disciple was not meant to be with him, if he felt that the disciple would be helped more by someone else – even by someone who was against him – he would tell the disciple, “Go to that master!”
The disciple would say, “But I have heard that he is against you. He says that what you are doing is wrong.”
The teacher would say, “Don’t bother about what he says. He will suit you; his way will suit you. Go to him. Try there.”
Go on trying different techniques, but try with your total heart. Otherwise, you may throw a technique that was right for you. So try with your total heart. If something happens, good. Move on it, move deeply. But if you have tried with your total mind and total energy and nothing happens, then throw the technique; it is not for you. But don’t throw it before you have tried it – before you have tried it with your totality. Seek the way by retreating within.
And the fifteenth sutra:
Seek the way by advancing boldly without.
Even if you experiment with a technique, and experience something within, there is every possibility that it may be just a delusion. It may be just a projection of the mind, it may be just a dream, a wish fulfillment. Don’t think that you have achieved the way. Now, whatsoever you have achieved within, try it without. Whatsoever you know within your heart, now transform it in your character; now live it. You have experienced it. Now live it, make it your life.
If you feel that silence has occurred to you through this experience, allow the silence to move, allow the ripples of the silence around you to move beyond you. Let your silence reach to others. Let others also feel that you have become silent. If you go on being angry outwardly and still you say, “I am a great meditator,” you are just deluding yourself. Don’t delude, don’t deceive, because only you will be the loser, no one else. Whatsoever has happened within you – if you feel that you have experienced the inner light . . . What is the criterion to know whether it is a delusion or a reality? The criterion is that your outer life will change accordingly.
If you have really experienced the inner light, sex will disappear. Love will happen to you, but sex will disappear; sexuality will disappear. Love, a very loving personality, will take its place. There will be no desire for sex. If the desire for sex remains, you have not experienced the inner light. Then the inner light is just a projection of the mind.
And so on and so forth. Whatsoever you have experienced within must come out. It must be allowed to move into your life because that is the real test, the real criterion. If you have come to a deep silence, hatred will go. If it remains, and it has not become transformed totally into love, then you have not felt the inner silence. With hatred, inner silence is impossible. You may have felt something cultivated, you may have cultivated a stillness . . .
If you go on repeating a mantra, you will create a stillness that is cultivated, false, but your outer life will remain the same. If the inner changes, the outer must change, but the reverse is not true. You can change the outer and there is no necessity for the inner to change. That’s what hypocrisy means. You can change the outer – you can be very loving outwardly – and filled with hatred within. You change the outer, you create a false mask. a facade.
You can see it everywhere, particularly in this country where so much religion has been taught. The only end result is this: a hypocritical society. Masks, not real faces. Look at any face and you will find that it is unreal. Something else is hidden behind it, something quite the contrary.
You can change the outer and there is no necessity for the inner to change. But if the inner changes, it is inevitable that the outer must change. When the inner changes, the outer changes automatically.
If it is not changing, then your inner change is just a delusion.
These three sutras are very meaningful:
Seek out the way.
Seek the way by retreating within.
Seek the way by advancing boldly without.
From The New Alchemy: To Turn You On, Discourse #7
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One thought on “Seeking the Way – Osho”
Really great discourse by Osho. All the three sutras mentioned demand deep understanding of the ways mind functions and its traps. Much clarity is required to choose the way that is suitable to each one and its subsequent testing in the real life.
I always read with interst the selected articles by Osho through your website. Thank you very much. Looking forward for your next post.