Sakshi Means the Witness – Osho

That which is aware of the creation and dissolution of the knower, the known and the knowable, but is itself beyond creation and dissolution is called the sakshi or the witnessing self.

That which dwells in the minds of all beings, from brahma(the creator) down to an ant, and which lives everlastingly even after the destruction of their gross and subtle bodies is called the kutastha or the crest indweller.

From among the kutastha and its different forms, the self, for the sake of the realization of its nature, permeates the body like a thread threading a necklace, and it is called antaryami or the imminent.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now, two more diseases, two more complexes, two more illusions. We discussed three in the night: mind, lust for life, and desiring. Now the fourth is sattva – it means virtue. It means an inner accumulation of being good.

This feeling of being good is also a disease – for so many reasons. One is: you cannot feel you are good, unless you feel others are bad. Mm? that’s impossible. You cannot feel you are good unless you feel others are bad, and the feeling that others are bad is a disease; the feeling of good is just a relative term. So a person who wants to feel good is bound to condemn others as bad; and the more you condemn others as bad, the more you can feel you are good. So these so-called good men go on condemning everyone.

Bertrand Russell has criticized Jesus for this reason. He says, “Everything is divine, everything looks holy, except one thing: why Jesus condemns the sinners so much – that they should be thrown into hell, and they should be condemned? Jesus cannot feel good unless he condemns.” I don’t think that Jesus ever condemned – a person like Jesus cannot condemn. The condemnation has come through the tradition; it is really St. Paul who speaks through Jesus, and he is one of the most deeply involved personalities who feels himself to be good. But whosoever it may be – whether Jesus says so, or St. Paul puts is in Jesus’ mouth – the criticism is valid.

A good man can never be good if he is condemning others as bad, but you can never feel good unless you condemn. So a good man must be unaware of his goodness; only then it is not a disease. He must not be aware at all that he is good; only then is he not aware that others are bad. No religion other than Hinduism has condemned even goodness – even goodness becomes a sin, because it is ego-strengthening. It feeds your ego – of course with very pure food. But sometimes poisons can also be pure, so purity in itself is not something to be hailed. Poisons can also be pure, and when the ego becomes strengthened by purity, by virtue, by being good, it is pure poison – it is dangerous. That’s why you can never feel at ease with any so-called good man. Around him there is always restlessness; no one can feel at ease. and unless you can feel at ease, the man is not good, not good at all.

So around mahatmas you cannot feel at ease – never. There is a very strained atmosphere, because their feeling of goodness can exist only if they create a very tense atmosphere around them. Everyone is bad, and they are on the high pedestal. Only they are good; everyone is bad.

That’s why two mahatmas condemn the other. They have always condemned. So only confirmed sinners, only persons who feel themselves inferior, who are suffering from an inferiority complex, can be around them. Two mahatmas cannot meet, because that is the meeting of two diseases, two strong egos – purified, poisonous. These are the pious sinners.

This disease must cease. Not that goodness is bad, but to feel good is bad, because to feel good is comparative; it is always in relation to someone else. And anything that is related to someone else is not of any worth for the inner journey. And man is so cunning and so deceptive that he can go on being cunning, he can go on being deceptive. He may change methods, he may change devices, but the basic disease remains the same.

For example, one can even boast of one’s humility. This is the deceptiveness: one can boast even of one’s humility, one can say, “There is no one more humble than me!” Now, through humility, ego is strengthened – I am again asserting my superiority in humility! But the contradiction is never seen. You can even say, “I am just a sinner,” and feel good about it.

Tolstoy remembers that once he went to a church early in the morning. The streets were dark and there was no one in the church, only Tolstoy. Then the richest person of the city came. He didn’t know that Tolstoy was there; Tolstoy was praying. This rich man began to pray and confess. He began to say, ‘I am one of the most fallen, deeply fallen, from the right path. I am a sinner. Forgive me” – and he began to relate his sins.

Tolstoy was just bewildered, because this man was known as one of the most virtuous. He listened silently; then the darkness withered away, and the rich man felt someone’s presence. He looked around and he saw that Tolstoy was there. So he said, “Were you here when I was confessing?” Tolstoy said, “I was already here. When you came, I was here; I was praying.” So the man said, “Look, I must make you aware of the fact that I have confessed to God, not to you. So please forget whatsoever I have said! And don’t talk about it in the city, because this was a dialogue between me and my God.”

This is the deceptiveness of the mind. Really, he is confessing so as to feel good. He is not authentic – he is not feeling that he is a sinner. By confessing his sins he is now feeling a very holy man. This is a disease.

The fifth disease is punya – the feeling of holiness, the feeling of serving others, the feeling of doing good to others. And there is a difference: To be good is one thing, and to feel that one is doing good to others, is another. Punya means doing good to others. There are so many do-gooders. Really, the world would be less confused and in less conflict if there were less do-gooders, because their do-gooding just creates more mischievousness in the world. They are not concerned with good at all, really. They are concerned to be doers of good – so anyhow they must do good.

Kirkpatrick has written a book; a very strange statement is in it. He says, “If there will be no poverty, then what will we do service to others?” So poverty must remain, because when you cannot do Service . . . And without service, these scriptures say, you cannot go to heaven. So if poverty is completely destroyed on the earth, then there is no bridge from the earth to the heaven. Kirkpatrick is a good man, and whatsoever he is saying, he means it. It is not just a statement, he means it. He feels it, that if there is no poverty, then how can you serve others? And service is such a necessary thing, that even poverty is needed for service to remain, it must remain.

This is a disease. Then service itself becomes the end, not the served one – he is irrelevant. There are social workers, servants of the people; and psychologists say, “It is their need really – not the need of the people. They cannot remain without doing good to someone else; they cannot remain without serving others. This is an occupation for them.” What will happen to them if a society is really there which needs no service? This has happened so many times.

Revolutionaries are chronic revolutionaries. By “chronic” I mean, if they succeed and their revolution succeeds, they become anti-revolutionary. Stalin had to face these revolutionaries, and he killed all of them. The phenomenon was that those revolutionaries were just chronic revolutionaries. A Trotskyite is a chronic revolutionary; he cannot be without a revolution around him. The revolution must be there; otherwise, where will the revolutionary be?

So there are only two possibilities; whenever there is a revolution, a social revolution, there are two possibilities. If the revolution succeeds, then there are two possibilities: either the revolutionary has to turn traditionalist and orthodox and anti-revolution, or he has to continue his revolution. Stalin chose the first alternative; he became one of the most orthodox minds possible. Not even a czar was such as Stalin was – he became a czar.

Trotsky chose the other, or was forced to choose the other. He continued to be a revolutionary. And how then can you be a revolutionary? You have to go against your own revolution. Trotsky made endeavors for this revolution, and then he was against it. He was trying for a proletarian dictatorship, and then he was against it. And Stalin was doing the same. Stalin, in a way, is more consistent; but he himself turned anti-revolutionary. He was for the revolution he had started, but then he became anti-revolutionary, because no revolution could now be allowed. So Russia, after the great revolution, has been the country without revolutions. So the chronic revolutionaries had to escape and they continued there.

If really, there is a society where no one needs your help and your do-gooding, your service and your revolution and reformation, then all these do-gooders will be just mad, insane – they cannot do anything.

This fifth disease doesn’t mean don’t do good to others – it doesn’t mean that – but don’t be a do-gooder. Let it be just a spontaneous thing. Don’t make it a plan, don’t seek it, don’t go for it; let it be just your spontaneous behavior. Whenever there is a situation, do whatsoever you feel; but don’t plan it, don’t make it a scheme. Don’t sacrifice yourself, because persons who sacrifice themselves are very dangerous: when they sacrifice themselves they begin to sacrifice others. And they have a right because they can say, “We have sacrificed ourselves, so now we have the right to sacrifice others.” They become violent. Persons who have been violent to themselves in doing good to others, ultimately turn to being violent to others. But now they have the credit of being good, and their violence can continue in the garb of being good. And when someone is good and violent, it is the most criminal, the deepest criminal combination.

If the father is good, then he can be a criminal to his son. If the mother is good, then she can be a criminal. This happens daily. Women are more good than men; not that there is any inner necessity, but they are more fearful of being bad, more suppressed. That’s why wives become dictatorial, because the husband feels a bit inferior. He is bad in many ways: he smokes, he drinks, he looks all around at other beautiful faces.

Then the wife becomes dictatorial; she becomes a do-gooder. Now she can sacrifice her husband; now she can virtually kill. And because she is good, the husband is just helpless – he cannot argue. Smoking is bad – of course; and he is smoking, so he is bad. And really, to smoke is not so bad as to feel good on account of someone smoking. It is deeply criminal . . . it is deeply criminal; it is very violent. This is the disease.

Don’t feel good on account of others, and don’t try to be a do-gooder. Be good, simply naturally. That is completely different. If someone feels restless around you, know that you are not a good man, just a do-gooder.

I have read somewhere about a Tibetan mystic, Milarepa. It is written that Milarepa was a saint, because sinners could feel at ease with him – at ease, totally at ease. There was no condemnation in his eyes, in his words, in his behavior. Really, a saint means this: one with whom sinners can feel at ease, friendly; otherwise, the do-gooder is there. That is the ego, and the ego is always destructive of others. And you can destroy in such good ways that you may not even be aware what you are doing. A good mother can destroy the whole life of the child, just by being good – too good.

This, the rishi says, is the fifth disease. And if one is identified with these five diseases, there comes into existence a personality which is not your being. That personality is known a lingasharir – the subtle personality.

This word “personality” is very meaningful. It is a Greek word; it is derived form “persona.” Persona means a mask. Actors use masks in Greek drama; that mask of the actors is known as persona. You are not that, but you use a mask and become that. Mm? You are not a lion, but you use a mask of a lion and you behave like a lion.

Personality is not your being, it is a mask. This mask is very subtle, and this mask is created by being identified with these five diseases. If you become totally identified, and feel that you are this – this disease of the mind, this disease of desiring, this disease of being good, this disease of being virtuous – if you begin to feel that you are a combination of all these five, these five classifications, then you create a persona, a personality. That personality is known as lingasharir – the subtle body. And behind this subtle body, lingasharir – behind this identification, behind this barrier – is the knower.

So to dissolve the personality, to withdraw yourself from the personality, to renounce the personality, is the essential renunciation. That is what is sannyas: to renounce . . . not the world, because how can you renounce the world? – It has never belonged to you. Mm? What nonsense talking about renouncing the world. When? When you are master of it? – it has never belonged to you. Really, again the trick of the ego: one says, “I renounce the world,” and feels very good that one has renounced the world. A beggar renouncing the empire, renouncing the throne, the palace – renouncing everything . . .  It has never belonged to him, so how can he renounce it?

So really, a sannyasin doesn’t mean a person who renounces the world. A sannyasin means a person who renounces the personality – that belongs to you! You are the creator of it, so you can renounce it. Nothing else! You cannot renounce anything that doesn’t belong to you. The personality belongs to you; you can renounce it, but you can renounce only when you begin to be aware that you are not the personality. This is known as kshetragya, the knower of the field. The field is personality, and the knower, the center which becomes aware of this personality. If you become aware of the center, of the knower, then there is not difficulty in renouncing the personality. It is just a clothing, just a clothing, and very dirty and very diseased.

Now, three situational dimensions of the being: We discussed personalities; we discussed bodies; we discussed complexes of diseases. Now the enquiry into the being itself. What is the being? Behind all, beyond all, transcending all – what is the being itself? Three definitions have been given. One is called sakshi; sakshi means the witness. Another is called kutastha; kutastha means the eternal, the indestructible, the immortal. And the third is named antaryami: the innermost, the inner one. It is good and helpful for the seeker to understand these three definitions. They define the one and the same, but they define indifferent contexts.

First is the witness. This is the essential character, the essence, the very essence of the being. Whatsoever is named is never the knower; whatsoever is objectified is never the subject. The moment we know something, we are different form the known, from the object, because the knower cannot be the known, the observer cannot be the observed. A distance is created by knowledge, by knowing. Knowing is the bridge between the known and the knower.

The being is not, and never is the known; it is always the knower – always and always the knower. Whatsoever you know, remember one thing certainly – that you are not that. This much is certain, that whatsoever you have known and experienced, you are not that. That’s why the Upanishads say, “Neti, neti – not this not that.” Whatsoever you say, the Upanishads say, “No, not this, not that – never!” This is the nature of the being; it always transcends objects. It is pure subjectivity, and this pure subjectivity can never be turned into any object. So in a way, you can never know yourself in the same way as you have known all else. So “self-knowledge” is in a way, a very contradictory word, because really the self cannot be made an object of knowledge. But still, self-knowledge exists. But that knowledge has to be defined and guarded, and defined in a specific way. Self-knowledge means: where all knowledge stops. Self-knowledge means: where there is no self.

Self-knowledge means: the knower is not, the known is not, the knowledge is not. But when I say that you are never the known, then one thing must be understood: if you are not the known, how can you be the knower – because the knower is just in reference to the known. The knower is just in reference to the known. If you are never the object, how can you be called a subject? – because subject means in relation to object; it means the other end of the object. That’s why the Upanishads say, “It is just a witness – not even a knower.”

It witnesses all the three: the known, knowledge, the knower. They come up, they dissolve, and the witnesser remains. It will be better not to call it even a “witnesser,” but a witnessing, because when we say “witnesser,” a subtle crystallization comes into the world, a subtle feeling of the ego and “I.” So it is better to say “witnessing.” Then there is simply a process of knowledge without any ego, without any “I” crystallizing it.

And then in the world, there are not things, but processes. This is the difference between a materialist and a spiritualist. This! – a materialist sees in the world, and a spiritualist sees in the world events – not things. The difference is not whether matter is or not; the difference is not whether mind is or not. The difference is basically this: a spiritualist sees in the world energy, processes – energy processes, events, alive events – not dead things.

Now physicists are ready to accept this as far as matter is concerned. They say now, “There is no matter. Matter is dead; matter is not there – only energy waves, only quanta, only processes.” Even a stone is just a process, it is not static; it is dynamic, it is moving. Not only is a river moving, the Himalayas also.

A Zen fakir, Bankei, has said, “I have not seen only rivers moving, I have seen bridges also moving. And once it happened that the river was not moving, and the bridge was moving.” He means by this that there are not things – static, dead – but movement, continuous processes, waves and waves and waves; and each wave is turning into the other. This is what is meant by a spiritual attitude.

So matter is energy, waves. Inside also there is no knower as fixed, as “I,” because the ego is a thing – dead. So it is better to call it not the witnesser, but witnessing – with no center really, just a process.

Buddha says, “There is rebirth, but you are not.” So how can rebirth be? Ordinary logic will say, “How can rebirth be? If you are not, if there is no ego to be reborn, then how is rebirth possible?” Buddha says, it is just a process – a process just like a flamelike process. In the evening you see the flame: the lamp is burning and there is a flame. In the morning you blow it out. You say, “I am blowing out the same flame.” Buddha says not, because the flame is constantly changing. It is a process, it is not a thing, so it cannot be the same. In the evening you saw one thing; this is something else – flame has been constantly changing and going into nothingness, and new flames are being  replaced continuously.

It is continuity. The flame is not a thing, it is a continuity. Every moment the flame is changing, so whatsoever you are blowing out is not the same flame you saw in the night. It is the same continuity – a continuum.

Witnessing is there just like a flame.

It is a continuum.

This is the first situational definition. The rishi talks about it first, because it can be made a means; it can be used as a device; it can become a vehicle towards your being, your center.

The second is kutastha; it means: the eternal, the immortal, that which cannot be destroyed, indestructible. What can be destroyed really? What is destructible? – only the form and the name, namrup. Within these two words is the whole Eastern standpoint: namrup – name and form – can be destroyed, are destructible. Your name can be changed and your form – nothing else.

The ice is transforming itself into water, and the water is evaporating. What changes? – not the essence, but only the form and the name. Now it is ice; now it is water; now it is vapor. What is changing? The essence remains the same, but the name and form change.

This whole world is just name and form. Everything is changing: the child becoming the adult; the adult becoming the old man; life turning into death; birth turning into death; health turning into disease; disease turning into health – everything is changing. Even opposites are not really opposites, because they can change into one another. The north becomes the south, the south becomes the north. The east is also the west, and the west is also the east. It depends. It depends on where you are looking.

Someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, “Where is your house on the road? On the left or on the right?” He said, “It depends: sometimes it is on the left, and sometimes it is on the right. It depends from where you are coming.”

Life is a movement, but name and form change; the essence remains the same. But when I say the essence remains the same, I don’t mean it is a static thing. I mean it is a dynamic force, but still the same. Dynamic and the same must be remembered; otherwise, God becomes just a static phenomenon – dead, with no opening.

Kutastha doesn’t mean a dead thing, it means a dynamic force, essentially remaining the same, but changing its name and form all the time. Beyond name and form, the essential one is known as the kutastha. If you destroy everything – every form and every name – the remaining is the kutastha. If all my five bodies are destroyed, if all my five diseases are destroyed, then the remaining will be the kutastha – that is the essential being which cannot be destroyed. This always is.

This is the end definition; the first one was a means definition. If you proceed by being a witness, you will reach the kutastha, the eternal, but both are far away. Neither we are using witnessing, nor are we standing in the eternal. Then it is, therefore, the third definition: it is called antaryami, the innermost.

This definition belongs to us here and now, as we are. A link must exist between the kutastha, the eternal, and us; otherwise, there can be no traveling towards it, no journey towards it. Somehow, we must be linked in all these bodies, in all these diseases, in all these ignorances. Still the innermost being is here; it is just hidden. it is hidden just like the thread of the beads: the beads are apparent, but the thread is hidden. You cannot see directly, immediately; you have to make a gap between two beads, and then suddenly in the gap is the thread – the innermost running force, the innermost running energy.

So whenever one has to go deep into oneself, one has to make a gap between two diseases or between two bodies or between two thoughts. Wherever you can create a gap between two things inside you, suddenly you become aware of the thread.

For example, there are thoughts in the mind – continuously one thought is followed by another. Bring a gap between two thoughts. There IS a gap, because two thoughts cannot exist without a gap: an interval is a basic necessity. One thought is followed by another, but there is a subtle gap. Be aware of the gap.

We are aware only of the thoughts. From one thought we jump to another, and the gap is lost. Remain in the gap, stand in the interval, slow down your thought process and you will feel a gap. One thought has gone, another has yet to come – there is a gap, a sudden silence. In this silence you will become aware of the thread; that thread is known as antaryami. It is here and now, and we cannot proceed otherwise; we have to proceed from here and now.

So antaryami is the definition for us. Then sakshi, witnessing is the method; then kutastha, the eternal one is the end.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #10

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The Complexity of Life – Vimala Thakar

Life is a complex phenomenon. I would like to go into the issue of this complexity this morning as it seems that you would prefer to have a talk.

Man is born in the midst of duality, duality that seems to have two poles, having an opposition or a contradiction between them. We are born in the midst of life where there is birth and death. To be born and to die. The event of birth gives an impression that the form, with a shape, with a color, with some contents has come into existence. And the event of death gives an impression that something is being destroyed. And in the midst of the events of birth and death, which no one can avoid, man has to live. He has to live in the midst of pleasure and pain that seem to be exclusive of each other, opposed to one another, contradictory to one another, pleasure being an agreeable sensation and pain being a disagreeable one. You can’t avoid either of these.

We have got the physical structure with the sense organs, the inner senses, and whenever the sense organs or the senses receive an impression, it is registered as either agreeable or disagreeable. So, you can’t avoid pleasure, you can’t avoid pain, if you want to live. And in the midst of these contradictory things, there seems to be a tension between the pleasure and pain. There seems to be a tension between birth and death. And man has the responsibility to live in the midst of that. Joy and sorrow. He has to live in the midst of sound and silence. And you can’t escape either the sound or the silence. We have to live in the midst of light and darkness. Light and shadow. The day and the night. And the day with the glorious light, and the night with the deep darkness around it seem to be exclusory of each other.

It is not necessary to elaborate upon this point, but if you look at human life, you will see the panorama of these apparently contradictory, apparently mutually exclusive points having a tension between them. And it is the responsibility of man to live in this duality without getting stuck up either in pain or pleasure, without getting attached either to birth or death, to the day or the night, to the light or the darkness. He has to live in the so-called waking consciousness during the day, and during the night he enters the sleep consciousness, the dream consciousness, the sleep consciousness. And both are necessary and both are inevitable. You can’t avoid.

And it seems to me that man gets stuck up either in pain or in pleasure. Either he hunts pleasure, and his whole life and living becomes a game of hunting pleasure, pleasurable situations, individuals that will give the pleasure. Or, he becomes obsessed with the idea of pain, and his whole life becomes a game of finding out situations, places, where he will have no pain. Either he hunts pleasure, or obsessed with the idea of pain, he becomes busy trying to avoid pain. That doesn’t happen anyway.

Pleasure and pain go together, one is the shadow of the other. Joy and sorrow accompany each other. Birth and death cannot be isolated. Birth is the beginning of death and death is the beginning of a new birth. The day is the beginning of the evening and the darkness, and the darkness of the night is the indication of a new dawn coming towards you.

So, to live is to be aware of both ends of the duality. Not to ignore either of these. To be aware that there is this duality, that you are born in the midst of duality, and you have to walk through the corridors of duality, in each field. He has to move through relationships where he has to act, where he has to respond, and he has to live with the relaxation. Relationship and relaxation. If he ignores either of these, if he does not get acquainted with either of these, or if he gets stuck up in either of these, then he misses the beauty of living. Or if he creates a philosophy out of pleasure or out of pain, and tries to find out a direction where he will find only pleasure and no pain, only joy and no sorrow, only the waking consciousness and no sleep, or only sleep and no waking consciousness, then he is going astray.

To live is to be vulnerable to the tension between these two poles of duality and yet to move through that in a simple, innocent, relaxed way. That is really the crux of the whole issue. To be religious is to be able to move through the duality in a non-dual approach. And a nondual approach for me implies an awareness of the two. As soon as you are aware of the two, you do not get bogged down in any one of them. So, the non-dual approach, the non-dual attitude, or the perception born of non-duality implies the content of this non-duality is the awareness of the two forms of duality – their nature and the inevitability of their existence.

Another duality comes to my mind, knowledge and innocency. You can’t escape knowledge because you are born with it; you have inherited it. But if you do not get acquainted with innocency, that is freedom from knowledge and the known, then the very burden of knowledge crushes you down. If you do not get acquainted with relaxation, the dimension of total abandonment, then relationships, instead of being opportunities for expressing your own being, become such a great burden that the mind begins to crumble under the burden of relationships.

So this morning, as we shall be parting from one another tomorrow, I would like to share with you this very fundamental issue. Meditation is a way of living where you are aware of this duality. You are not afraid of the tension between the duality. It’s a way of living in which you move into relationships with relaxation. Where you move into sound and speech with the substance of silence with you. Where you wake up in the morning with the freshness of profound sleep, and where you enter the profound sleep with the humility and innocence of a child, sleeping in the lap of his mother.

So, meditation is a new way of living. It’s a new state of being. And let us look at this and let us find out how one sets about it. The perspective of total life goes a very far way to determine the quality of your inner being, and determine the quality, the texture, the caliber of your relationship with other people. So, am I aware that I have to live between the two points of birth and death? Does the word death frighten me? Am I attached to the event of birth as if it is something auspicious, and have I been conditioned to look at death as something inauspicious? Something to weep over? To shed tears?

I hope you will see that the word death does not imply the killing that man indulges in, where one human being kills another human being, in the name of religion, in the name of ideology, in the name of country, in the name of race, under any name. But where man indulges in killing the other, it is not death; it is a murder. It may result in the fact of death but it is not. It hasn’t got the beauty and the grandeur of natural death.

I was twelve years old when I saw my grandfather die. He was a religious man. And six months before he died, he wrote letters to all his relatives that on such and such a day he will be departing, that has been ordained. He has to depart from the world. Would they come to share the festivity of his departure?

He was a prince in one of the States in central India. So, all his daughters and sons-in-law and sons, daughters-in-law and cousins, you know, an Indian family, and being a prince – all his friends, about 500 people went there. And there was a big feast. And I am not going into the details, just one incident that introduced me to the beauty and grandeur of death.

So, there was a big feast and he was serving all people, standing there with folded hands, receiving everyone, joyous like anything, no sickness, nothing. And he gave presents to all the 501 persons. And then he said, “May I take your leave?” And he went to his room, where he used to sit down for meditation, sitting cross-legged like this, and he departed, with a smile on his lips.

Of course, the grandmother and others really did not believe, they thought it was the whim of an old man, so they were humoring him. After half an hour, my father and maternal uncle, they entered the room, tried to find out, but he was gone. They invited the doctors. They thought he might be in samadhi so let us wait for another hour or two. Nothing. He had just departed. So, when I entered the room and looked at that figure, I said, “Ah, can death be that beautiful? Is this the way to die?” As a leaf drops from the tree, the dry leaf dropping away through the air to the earth, have you seen it? In the autumn? How the leaves take leave of the tree, the branches, the trunk. Death is as beautiful as birth. It has its own divinity and ecstasy, if one can enter into it, not succumbing to it out of fear, not shrinking, not trying to cling to life, resenting the act of death, then it becomes ugly.

So, am I aware that everything that is born, everything that has a form, has to go through the event of death? This awareness will bring new passion, new depth, to the event of living because you don’t know when you are going to die. There are certain things beyond the logical mathematics of man and that is why life is worth living. Love, for example, incalculable, unpredictable. The moment that it will dawn upon your heart and transform your whole being, you cannot mathematically work it out. Death, beauty, you do not know where and how you will come upon beauty.

So, the awareness of the fact of death, not somewhere there out, far away from me, but here with me, as I inhale and exhale breath. Birth-and-death is the inhaling and exhaling of life because it is included in the whole complexity of life. So not knowing when one is going to die, one is very alert and on one’s toes, very attentive to live the day or the moment that he has before him and with him. When postponement of anything becomes simply impossible. You don’t have to take a vow that I shall not postpone. It is the awareness of death, that brings about an alertness and sensitivity and you live and you go through what has to be done this moment, you go through it this moment, not out of a compulsion, not out of a vow, a discipline, that is intellectually imposed upon you, but the awareness gives a new dimension to your life. Either you say, “One day man has to die and so we don’t know when, so why not live any way, any how. Why does there have to be order, beauty, and efficiency, an aesthetical keenness? Why not live any way.” That is one approach that takes away all the charm and grace and grandeur of this opportunity of living. To live is an ecstasy. Or one can say that because I do not know when I am going to be confronted with death, why don’t I make the most of what I have, why don’t I make the best of this moment because what you call the now, the here, the “this moment” is the only eternity that you can meet. You cannot meet eternity in future, because future is only in the human mind, not in reality.

The division of life into past, present, and future is the creation of human mind, and it may be very convenient for arranging collective relationships, but out of human mind there is no reality. Tomorrows, or futures, or yesterdays, have no factual reality. What has factual reality is the isness of life, this moment, here and now. Even the words here, now, present moment are very defective because the here has no meaning unless you presuppose the there. The “this moment” becomes meaningless unless you postulate the “other moment.” The today, the now, all these are relative words. You know human languages are relative. So, these words are not really satisfactory words but one has to use them for a verbal communication.

So, the awareness of death brings a new vitality and a sense of urgency in living. I have this day, the now, the moment, these circumstances before me, and I have to live with them. Either I live it or I miss it. There is no third alternative. Either you live it or you miss it. And because death is inevitable, one doesn’t become sadistic, doesn’t want to pursue pain, or want to bring the death nearer. There are people trying to use death as an escape. Goodness me. As an escape from the responsibility of living. But once you know that both these two are inevitable facts, and if you recognize that life doesn’t begin with the birth and doesn’t end with the death, it’s a much bigger whole.

But man is born between these two points, as he is born between time and space, he’s born between these two points of birth and death. He has to live a kind of framework that is there. Being aware of the timelessness, he has to live in the midst of the calculated psychological time because he is living with human beings. And he has to converse with them. He has to have relationships with them.

So on the canvas of eternity, you have the paintings of time and space. But if you are not aware of the timelessness of life, if you are not aware that time is a symbol created by man for the convenience of collective life, then you will become a prisoner of the concept of time. Then you will worry so much about the tomorrow, the future, the next moment, that you will never open your eyes and look at this moment because you are concerned with the next.

You meet a person and you are concerned with how to meet this person in such a way that he is pleased with me and the relationship of friendship, or recognition and appreciation will continue. So, you are busy and concerned with the continuity part of relationships rather than the fact of this moment. So, you try to project an image before that person that will please him. There comes another person of a different temperament and then you are busy projecting another image to him or her so that that person is pleased. You are trying to convert relationships into investment for the future, so you don’t live them at this moment.

So, if one is not aware of the timelessness then he becomes a prisoner of the concept and idea of time, and he either worries about the future, or he is brooding about the past. And the factual reality slips out of his grip. So, one has to use time, being aware of the timelessness.

I hope you see that how there can be an approach where the apparent contradiction, or the apparent mutual exclusiveness, melts away into the two poles of duality becoming complimentary to one another, complementary to each other. Birth and death becoming intrinsic parts of one’s whole life, complimentary to each other. Time and timelessness being complimentary to each other. The appearance of contradiction and opposition withers away. The appearance of tension withers away when you look at these poles of duality, these two points of duality, and get acquainted with them, discover their nature.

To live is to be related, we have seen the other day. To be related with the nature, with the animals, with the birds, with the human beings, with the things that you use, with the houses that you build, the cars that you use, the machines that you use. It’s a relationship. And no one can escape relationships because in isolation there is only existence, not life. Life vibrates in and through relationships, as peace can live and vibrate only in movements. If there are no movements, there will be dead peace. Peace for living and operating requires the field of movement.

Relaxation requires the field of relationships to move and operate. Life requires the field of relationship to express itself. When I talk with another person, when I live with other people and react or respond to their behavior, then their behavior affects me, then only I know what I am, what kind of mind I have. What kind of feelings, sentiments, lusts or desires, or anger, or violence I have. You cannot hide it in relationships. Relationships are the mirror. You may believe yourself to be a very holy person, a very pure person, a very peaceful person, and you move into relationships either at the house, or in the office, or with friends, and the slightest thing that does not please you, and there you are disturbed, perturbed. Peace is shattered. You look upon yourself as a very loving, kind person, and then in relationships, something happens and anger bursts out, through the eyes, through a glance, through a gesture, through a word. Relationships reflect your inner being because you have to be there in a relationship. You have to react; you have to respond.

Now to live is to be related. To be related is to move with the things and beings around me without losing my inner equipoise, peace, sanity. That is the challenge of relationship. And I would like to go into this issue a little bit more.

Why do relationships disturb us? Why do relationships become a problem? They are a challenge but a challenge is not a problem. Challenges are like the ripples on the waters. Relationships bring up challenge. If I do not learn how to move into relationships then I will divide life into a period of relationship and a period of solitude. A period of relationship and a period of retreat. I say, “I am tired of being with the people so let me go now to a retreat. Let me go, let me withdraw.” We divide life then, fragment, separate it, but if I learn to move through relationships without losing my inner relaxation, without losing my inner sense of freedom and equipoise, then obviously relationships would not tire me. In the midst of relationships, I would be relaxing. A relaxed relationship will become a movement of relaxation.

This can happen if I can be with people without converting them into my means of security. When I get attached to you then I am converting you as a security. I feel that I need security so I want to depend upon you. I expect things from you. I expect agreement from you, recognition from you. There is no relaxation in a relationship when I get attached. There will be no relaxation in a relationship if I want to dominate over you and try to make out of you a carbon copy of myself.

This may sound simple but this is a very fundamental and serious issue, that in relationship we want to own and to possess the other people. Not only the husband, the wife, or the boyfriend, or the girlfriend, we want to own and possess even friends. To own them to possess them as you own a car. As you own a house or a tape recorder. So that you can play the tape recorder or drive the car whenever you get into a mood of doing that; whenever you get bored, you go to the tape recorder and play it. Or you feel bored and you get into a car and you just go out for a drive. In the same way, we want to utilize the human beings, to own them, to possess them, to feel satisfied that you have them. Secondly, to escape into those human beings whenever you feel bored with life, and thirdly, to dominate over them so that the ego, the self, the me gets gratified. These are the things that spoil, pollute or contaminate the relationship. Otherwise, relationships are not a bondage at all. Whether it is the relationship of husband, wife, children, parents, or it’s a relationship of friends, colleagues, working in an office or business, it is we who create the bondage out of the relationships.

There is no life without a relationship, but when I move into it, I say, “Now is this a nice person?” I wonder if I can have him or her as a friend. This is a nice person, there seems to be some similarity between us, now if we marry or if we live together then he or she belongs to me, and I belong to him. So, the attachment begins, not love, but attachment for the sake of security. An attachment makes you very suspicious. If the other person is talking to someone then you begin to suspect. Has he more affection for her? Has she more concern for him? Is he turning away from me? Attachment makes you very suspicious because you want to keep the person to whom you are attached bound to yourself with the chains of attachment. You want to keep the person, bind him to you, as you keep the things under a lock. You want to keep the person under the lock of relationship, and feel secure. Attachment, then the fear that you may lose the person; then fear making you suspicious; suspicion bringing in jealousy; jealousy bringing in anger. The chain reaction is there.

Can I move into relationships without being attached? Without expecting attachment from the other person? That is really the challenge. The crisis in human relationships is the lack of love – that keeps both the individuals in a relationship free. The crisis in the total human life today is the crisis in society, where the person wants freedom for himself, but by being attached to the other, he wants to keep the other person under his thumb, under his domination. Denying the freedom to the other, expecting every freedom for themselves. Expecting every protection for themself, denying that protection to the other, and this goes on in family or outside family. In an individual’s life and the life of society.

So relationships by themselves are not the bondage, but we create bondage out of them and then having lived a life of lust, of attachment, of domination, jealousy, suspicion, we say, “All these are worldly relationships. Now let me go and find out an ashram, a guru, and those disciples will be my gurubais and gurubhens, and so I will create a new atmosphere, a new circle of relationships which will be unworldly, non-worldly.” If I am attached to the father, to the husband, to the mother, to the wife, to the sister, it’s a worldly relationship, and if you get attached to a guru, a master, a teacher, that is a spiritual attachment. You see the silliness of it? You create them, leaving the home, giving up the house, and the property and everything. One moves and creates a field of new relationships where the same game of attachment, suspicion, jealousy, domination begins.

Mind you, the friend who is talking to you, is born and brought up in a country which is cluttered with so-called spiritual ashrams. You can’t visit a town, a city, or a village without so-called ashrams, where the monks, or the sannyasis, or the yogis are as ambitious as any worldly man. They have their competitions. They have their jealousies. They have their fights. And the means that they use for those fights are as foul as the means of the politicians whether they profess with antara or this yoga or that yoga. And these are not words spoken out of criticism for anyone. I have gone round the whole of India three times. There is not a district out of the 316 districts of India that I have not visited. Not that I would have done it, but I was working in a movement where it was necessary for me to travel. So, three times I have gone round the whole of India, the land of religions, visited the ashrams, gone up to the Himalayas. Up to the height of 16,000 feet I have climbed.

The search began at the age of five, you know. So, whatever I am talking, please don’t think that I am trying to criticize anyone. These are words written in the ink of blood. There may be exceptions; exceptions are everywhere. I am talking about giving up one form of relationship, running away from one field of relationship, and creating another field of attachment, jealousy, suspicion. That is what happens. So by giving it the name of a religious or spiritual relationship, the essence of attachment or jealousy or suspicion, that doesn’t change. The I and the me trying to capture what is mine. The attitude of ownership towards the relationship doesn’t change. Then we can fight over whether my teacher is superior or your teacher is superior. My God or your God. The organized religions have done it on a very large scale; individuals do it on a small scale. And the field of relationships has become a field of misery and suffering unnecessarily, unwarranted. In isolation there is no life so we have to discover the secret of getting related with other people, where one can live in freedom and let the other person live in freedom.

The mystery of relationship has to be uncovered. The secret of relationship is to be uncovered, and we shall go into it this morning, and I hope you will have patience and keep pace with me.

If I can move into a relationship of any kind whatsoever, if I can move into it in the simplicity of my being, without trying to project an image upon the other person, then the relationship does not become a problem. I am what I am. Let me get acquainted with myself and then talk to other people, live with them as I am. You know what it implies? Not to compare oneself with other people. A non-comparative approach is always a non-ambitious approach. But if I look at myself and I say, “Well, I am ugly and the other person is beautiful,” then I create a hurt, a wound in my mind maybe on the conscious level, maybe on the subconscious level. I say, “I am ugly and the other person is beautiful or handsome. I am brown and the other person is fair. I am short and the other is tall. I am dull and the other is brilliant.” If my perception of other human beings is polluted by this comparative approach then I will always compare myself with others. And I would like to pretend that I am as clever as the other person, so I will try to gather ideas, thoughts from books, from talks, from individuals, decorate my brain with it and show it off because I would like to show that I am clever, knowing full well that I am stupid. Knowing full well that I am not clever. But I would like to profess then I make an effort, a struggle for gathering, for collecting, storing it in memory, then the effort to produce it whenever I am with people, show it off. And you can’t deceive all people, cheat all people for all of the time, so you are afraid. Will he find out that I know only a little and I do not know about the other aspect? Will they find it out? Then you are always very tense lest people find out the shallowness of knowledge. Lest people find out the pettiness of the mind.

So if there is a comparative approach, if you are constantly comparing yourself with other people and trying to become like them, then you as you have no scope to live, to breath freely, to breath without any pressure and burden that you have imposed upon yourself. Then you will not be able to be in the beauty of your being because you are trying to shrink somewhere to look like someone else. You are trying to blow air into yourself to look like and behave like some other person. All the time you are playing the game of becoming someone else, trying to imitate the other person’s experiences, other person’s ways of living, other person’s types of living. You go on doing that.

Whether the boys, the girls in India try to imitate the styles of the occidentals or the occidental youths, the American, the European, tries to imitate the Indian, the oriental. It’s just the same. If you try to graft upon yourselves, because of a comparison, mind you, not out of understanding. When you understand something, and the value of it, and the understanding brings about an inner change in you that is a different matter. We are talking about a comparative approach, an ambitious approach, trying always to measure oneself according to other people. According to their judgements. That way lies fear in relationship. That way lies all the tension, and shyness, and embarrassment, and hesitation in relationship. You can never sing your song like a bird, perched upon a branch of a tree, and singing into the vast space of the skies. You’ll never sing your note in the vast space of freedom because you will always be on the defensive. So, to grow into a non-comparative approach to life is vitally necessary to be what I am, not measure myself in the terms of other people.

Secondly, when I have expressed myself as I am, and I find that it has displeased the other person, the person doesn’t like it, or when I express myself and something has gone wrong, that is the opportunity for me to learn. Something has gone wrong. When you are driving the car and the pressure on the accelerator is not enough, the nerves in the feet are not educated enough, so the pressure on the brake, the foot brake or the hand brake, or the accelerator, that is not sufficient; you can find the car wobbling. And don’t you say, “I can’t drive the car,” and so here I step out of it and I go. Or you have not taken care of the choke part, or the hands are not sensitive to handle the steering. One has to investigate nerves so that the movement of the body and the mind can be in such a way that it doesn’t hurt the other people, and it doesn’t do any damage or harm to the other person. If you can’t move into a relationship without doing harm to the other, obviously you have not learned how to be related. That is to say, how to live. Without friction, causing friction. If the other person is psychologically ill or sick, or hypersensitive, and he creates a harm or a hurt out of your simple behavior, you can’t help it but otherwise, a person has to find out a sensitive way of speaking and behaving in his own simplicity. And if his expression, his uncovering of the inner being, has done some harm, then that is the moment to learn. But as soon as we find out that something has gone wrong, the first desire is to find out the fault with the other person, throw the responsibility on the other person, and feel justified in what one has done. So one goes on the defensive, trying to justify one’s mistakes, defend one’s mistakes. This is the content of bondage, the temptation to defend your own mistakes that even your own intelligence can point out to you.

The moment you try to defend, to justify, to interpret to protect yourself, then relationships become a problem. What is wrong if I commit a mistake in a relationship? I am learning, I am living, I am growing. There might be a mistake. If you are terribly concerned that you always must do the right things, in the correct way, and you get very nervous and embarrassed, then there will be a paralysis of movement. You will always hesitate to move. So, there should be the humility and the simplicity to say to oneself, “Maybe there will be a mistake. Maybe something goes wrong. Doesn’t matter. I’ll find out. I’ll learn.”

To live is to learn, you know. If you don’t learn, you become stale. If you stop learning by the age of 25 or 30 and you feel that you know everything about life, and you have just to repeat certain patterns of behavior, day after day, then the behavior becomes mechanical and the persons become stale. There is no freshness about the person.

So, a non-comparative approach, and then the simplicity and the innocence to say to oneself, “Really, I don’t know how to live. I am learning. I don’t know how to live so there might be mistakes. And I will learn from the mistakes.” One can learn from failures, from successes, from mistakes. So, there is no fear when I am willing to learn. When I am willing to be exposed in a relationship as I am, so that I find out the factual reality of myself. I get acquainted with myself, then there is no fear.

And thirdly, if I do not want to dominate upon other people through expectations. There are many ways of dominating. One way is asking the people, “Do this. Do not do this. You must do this. You must not do this.” That is an overt and an obvious and very gross way of dictating things, dictating terms. The second way is of expecting agreement, acceptance, recognition, and appreciation. All the time one is expecting these things. And the moment you find that the other people do not agree or do not accept, or do not appreciate or recognize you, you feel hurt. People misunderstand you, misinterpret you, and you feel hurt.

People born in different cultures, having different temperaments, having different constitutional and psychological idiosyncracies, they are bound to behave in so many different ways. So, if one can act or respond in a relationship, without looking for a guarantee, looking for a security of appreciation, recognition, or the security of being interpreted correctly, then the relationships become a problem. You express yourself; you move into a relationship you do what you can and there is an end to it. It is up to the other person to respond, to receive, to understand, to misunderstand, to interpret, to misinterpret. It is up to the other person.

So, if one can feel the joy of expressing oneself in a relationship, enjoy doing it, if you can enjoy moving into a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship and expressing yourself, then you express spontaneously, fearlessly, with all the humility, whatever you are, and then it is finished for you. If the other person understands, there will be a slight smile on your lips, and if the other person does not understand, for a split second, the fact that it has not been understood may bring about a breath of sadness. That is the fact and the impact of the fact being sensitive to others. But you do not make an issue out of it. You do not make a grudge out of it. You do not nurse that he did not understand, she did this, he misunderstood, he cheated, she deceived. You know, you do not go on creating issues and grudges out of it. You do not nurse the hurt within and thereby carry the wounds, ever running wounds in the heart. And on the other hand, you do not create a grudge against the other person. If you create the grudge against the other person, you meet the other person after half an hour, or after two days, and you can’t look at him, because the memory of that incident of humiliation, or insult, or the hurt, or other misinterpretation, works like a screen. It is not you but the memory that looks at the other person, and naturally there is no relationship.

So it seems to me, the mystery of relationship is having a non-comparative, non-ambitious approach, realizing that a person can’t do anything more than expressing what he is and to have the humility to express that without any hypocrisy, without any pretensions, without trying to hide something that there is and pretend to show things that are not there. You cannot borrow the act of living, you know? The movement of living cannot be borrowed. Knowledge can be bought and borrowed, but like wisdom and understanding, this act of living, you cannot pretend the style, the experience of another person and feel satisfied that you have lived. It has got to be your original act of spontaneity. So, a non-comparative, non-ambitious approach, simplicity and innocency to face the mistakes if there be any, and the consequences if there be any, to shoulder the responsibility of what is, and, my dear friends, we don’t like it. In a relationship you get angry, but you like to feel that you are not an angry person. You are not an angry person. The other person is stupid, and he has made you angry. I hope you have noticed this. You know, I am not angry by nature, you know, but when those other people, they behave in such a stupid way, they make me angry. But my dear fellow, if there was no anger in you, how could anything on the Earth, cause it at all?

They are not the originators. Those occurrences, those events, those behaviors, those words are only instruments in bringing out what is there. But a person feels very pious, very religious, and he says, “No, I am not an angry person. I am a very peaceful person. But the circumstances, the situation, made me angry.” He wants to put the blame upon the other. And nowadays, it is very easy to throw the blame upon other people with the help of theories of psychoanalysis. I won’t go into it. But you throw the responsibility upon everyone else in the world and feel “poor me.” Then this “poor me” complex, martyr complex, self-pity, always leads to depressive psychosis, melancholia.

So, to have the robustness to shoulder the responsibility whenever mistakes take place, and say, “Yes, something went wrong. I wasn’t aware. I wasn’t alert.” To shoulder the responsibility of one’s own mistake and the consequences thereof, to have that robustness, then even the mistakes that you commit make your life glorified. But if you are afraid of committing mistakes, then you hesitate from living, shrink away from the act of living. Well, I can’t go into more details, but when you thus move in daily relationships, then a non-comparative, simple, humble approach keeps you relaxed. Then there is no dichotomy between the relationship here and the relaxation there. You move into relationships and through relationships in a relaxed way. With all the relaxation you move. Spontaneity is relaxation. You know the content of relaxation is humility, innocency, and spontaneity. So, there is no dichotomy between the two. There is no opposition or contradiction between the two.

And let me take one more point before we conclude the session. It is the same with speech and silence. Silence is a dimension of life as speech is. As sound is a dimension of life, silence also is a dimension. Out of silence, sound is born. Out of the emptiness of space, movement is born. We are always with the word, with the sound, chattering with others or with ourselves, and we never spend time in the dimension of silence.

So, the words in our mouth are worn out. They are hollow, shallow. They lose the vitality to have any effect upon the heart of the person to whom you speak, because the words are not nourished. On the nutrition of silence, the speech has only one nutrition and that is silence. It is not a negative something. It is not the rigidity of saying, “I won’t speak,” and take a vow of silence. Not that, but just to gather all the words, the speech, unto yourself, binding them up, you spend some time where there is no word, no activity, but only the isness of life.

With the silence, let me connect profound sleep. We are covering some points of duality, at least some points. We work in the day and we go to sleep in the night. In the sleep, there may be either the dream consciousness or profound sleep. Now in profound sleep, the body is totally relaxed, unconditionally relaxed, every limb, every fiber, nerve, neurone, neuron all relaxed. And the mind is relaxed. In profound sleep, you are not the man or the woman, the Indian, the Swedish, the Norwegian, the Hindu, the Catholic. In profound sleep, the maleness, the femaleness, the whole identification goes into abeyance. All your identifications go into abeyance in the phenomenon of profound sleep.

The breathing continues, the blood circulation continues, the involuntary activities continue. But they are not from the center of the I, the me, the ego. You don’t know what happens in profound sleep. But when you wake up, you find yourself refreshed, rejuvenated. It is a different energy, unconditioned energy, non-personal energy that operates in profound sleep. Not the energy of the me, the I, the energy of the thought, or the emotion, but it’s an entirely different energy which is neither personal or collective, individual or collective. And without profound sleep, you can’t work in the day. If you don’t get profound sleep, you consult a doctor and you take medicines for it. Because without profound sleep, the sanity, the order, the health cannot be sustained, cannot be retained. So as in profound sleep, though you do not know what is happening, and you are not doing anything at all, you are in the state of non-doing. You are in the state of non-action in profound sleep, but the growth takes place, the transformation, the change takes place. It is a field of happening. In waking hours is the field of doing. You do. You act. You move. There is a field of happening; there is this duality of doing and happening. If you say, “I am going to remain awake to find out what happens in profound sleep,” then there is no sleep. In profound sleep, it is not you who do something or you who act, but you are in a state of total vulnerability for the happening of growth to take place.

Profound sleep is a state of total vulnerability. In the same way, when you dive into, you plunge into, the waters of silence, once you are there, then you are in the field of happening, not doing. What shall I do when I sit silently? Don’t sit silently if you want to do something. Silence is an area where you are totally, wholly vulnerable to the life and the life forces that surround you, that are within you, and that are around you. You are vulnerable to them. You are vulnerable to the happenings. Vulnerable to the movement of the unconditioned, uninherited, non-personal energy which is beyond your control. You may call it intelligence; you may call it sensitivity, but it is an energy which you do not inherit which is the very nature of motion, life.

So in silence, a person is in the realm of happening. But the ego is so rigid, the me, the self, the ego is used to acting, reacting, doing, rejecting, having, not having, all this business throughout the waking hours, it doesn’t want to leave. It says, “I would like to experience what happens in silence.” So, it wants to stick to the center, and as long as there is a center there will be a circumference. If you take a piece of paper and put a point upon it, you have already created an invisible circumference around that point. So when you stick to the point of the ego, the self, the me, the circumference of your knowledge and inheritance is already there, and the whole thing moves. You are back in the trap of the mind.

So, in silence is when one can be in total abandonment, vulnerability, and it requires humility. If man feels that he is the doer of everything in his life, then he shall never understand what life is, because life is a mystery. There is doing of course, but there is happening, and as he has to move efficiently and competently in the area of doing with the help of knowledge, the mind, the brain, and the senses, he has to be with full abandonment, openness, vulnerability in the field of happening. When these two are balanced then there is a harmony in life. Then there is an equipoise in life.

A person who doesn’t know how to relax in silence is not very good at words, or speaking, because he doesn’t have the precision, the accuracy, the beauty, the music of sound and speech. His words are born of friction, of tension. They stink. They have an odor of frustration, or depression, or vanity, or pride. To have a pure chaste word like a dew drop of the morning. But if you are introduced to silence, when you are introduced to silence, then silence extends itself into speech as sleep extends itself into waking hours. So, if we remember the fact of sleep, the sleeping hours are as important, if not more, as the waking hours. What happens in profound sleep is as much a part of your total life as what you do. Life is not all doing. More happens to us than we can ever do, or we shall ever do to ourselves, because we are organically related to the universal life.

But I think I should stop now. It’s more than an hour and a quarter. I was trying to share with you the simple fact that man is born in the field of duality. This duality has been looked upon as having a tension. Duality has two poles, or two points, and man has looked upon these two points as mutually exclusive and contradictory to each other. And I question the validity of such a traditional approach. It seems to me that they are neither mutually exclusive nor are they contradictory but the two together make the whole life. The wholeness of life will be damaged if we have an attitude of carelessness, or contempt, or fear of death. If we have fear of death, we have polluted the whole issue of life and living because death and birth together make the life. If we are afraid of pain and attached to pleasure, then we have missed the whole beauty of life because with every pleasure there is pain. And as long as there are senses, you have to go through pleasure and pain, but if in the moment of pleasure, you can enter the state of joy and leave the pleasure of thought behind, then you are free from the duality of pleasure and pain.

So, we were saying this morning that these two points of duality are complimentary and supplementary to each other. They together make the whole life, and the awareness of the two poles of duality, the two points of duality, awareness of their nature and how they supplement and complement each other, that gives you a new vitality, a new passion from within. Then one is not obsessed with the tomorrow or one does not get bogged down in yesterdays. One is not bogged down in the past and not carried away by the future, but then one can remain with the expression of eternity which is the present moment here and now. The moment before you is condensed eternity. If you can uncover that moment and meet it there, and live there, the situation, the challenge, the relationship that is here and now — if you can live it, you have lived. If you say, “No, this is a difficult situation. Let me postpone.” If you go on postponing living to tomorrows, the tomorrow never comes.

So the awareness of the duality is the content of non-duality. Non-duality is not something separate that here is it duality and there it is non-duality. Our awareness of duality itself is the content of non-duality, as the awareness of the known, the limitations, the frontiers of the known, awareness of the mechanistic nature of the movement of the known, is already being with the unknown. There are not two categories that here it is the known and then you leave and give it up and go somewhere else to the unknown. It is the piercing through the known that brings out the quality of unknown. It is living through the time, being aware of the intrinsic limitations, that time is a concept. Living in time, being aware of the conceptual reality of time and factual reality of timelessness frees you from fear.

So, life is one indivisible whole. It’s a very complex one, and if we do not look at the complexity, investigate the nature of complexity, then we find that everything is complicated. It is not complicated. It is only complex, and we cannot turn back from the complexity of life into the so-called simplicity of primitivity. Understanding of complexity brings us into simplicity. The maturity of understanding is simplicity.

-Vimala Thakar

A talk given by Vimala Thakkar in 1974

Here you can listen to Vimala Thakar’s talk The Complexity of Life.

For more posts on Vimala Thakar look here.

This Very Place the Lotus Paradise – Osho

Man lives in illusion. Man lives through illusion. Man lives for illusion. In short, man lives because of illusion. Hence the fear of truth. Nobody wants truth, although everybody goes on seeking for it. That seeking is a deception, that seeking is an avoidance. To seek truth means to avoid truth.

It has to be understood – how the seeker goes on avoiding truth. To seek means to look far away, to seek means to look somewhere else, to seek means to go on a trip. To seek means to postpone – to seek means it will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is not happening right now. It is not here, it is there. It is not this, it is that.

Man goes on living in illusion. But to live in illusion one needs to avoid truth, because if truth comes it will shatter all your illusions and all your so-called life and all your so-called love. Truth looks like a calamity. And Friedrich Nietzsche is right in a sense when he says: Please don’t give truth to humanity. Otherwise, you will destroy people’s joy, you will destroy their enthusiasm, you will destroy their gusto. Don’t give truth to humanity, otherwise all that they have will disappear. Because all that they have is a kind of dream. Don’t wake humanity, otherwise the dreams will be shattered. And they may be seeing beautiful dreams – or hoping to see, somewhere, sometime.

That’s why Christ is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Buddha is stoned. They bring truth to people who have become almost illusory. They bring light to people who live in darkness and dream in darkness. And their dreams depend on darkness – when somebody brings light into the darkness the darkness disappears and the dreams and the desires.

One feels hurt by a Buddha or a Christ. The Christ looks not like the saviour but like the enemy. Otherwise, why should you crucify Christ? There is no other reason. The basic reason is: he uproots you, he shatters you. This has to be understood very deeply. And when you live in illusion, you search for truth. That is a double deception, so that you can go on telling yourself and consoling yourself that ‘I am searching. Look what great efforts I am making, how much I am putting my energy into the search – look!’

The search for truth arises out of your lie. It is the lie that puts you on the search for truth. It is a protection for the lie, it is the way of the lie to survive. It says: Go and search for truth. It is there far away in some distant land. You will have to travel, and the travel is long and the travel is not going to be finished soon. It will take lives and lives, it will take millennia, but go! Go on searching, one day you will find it. The lie gives you hope, it gives you a future, it gives you future dreams. Your God is somewhere far away. It has to be far away, because close by He will be dangerous. […]

But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth. You have to die first to be reborn. […]

But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes. You will disappear.

But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are, you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away, it is just hiding within you. And you are clinging to the lie. Your personality is the lie. And because of the personality you cannot move towards the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile. And the smile is a lie – because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates relationship, the other man starts smiling.

If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person starts revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart your beloved will leave you and your lover will leave you.

You go on keeping it in the heart, and you go on playing something which is not really there – you do something else, just the opposite. You may be angry but you smile. You may be hurt but you smile. You may be boiling within but you smile. You may want to scream but you go on singing. You may want to do something else but it is not feasible, it is not practical, it is not the right thing to do.

The society creates this persona, this mask around you, this personality.

There are three you’s in you. You-1 – that is the personality. The word personality comes from a Greek root ’persona’. In the Greek drama they used to use masks, and the voice would come from the mask. ’Sona’ means voice, sound, and ’per’ means through the mask. The real face you don’t know – who the real actor is. There is a mask, and through the mask comes the voice. It appears as if it is coming from the mask, and you don’t know the real face. The word ’personality’ is beautiful, it comes from Greek drama.

And that’s what has happened. In the Greek drama they had only one mask. You have many. Masks upon masks, like layers of an onion. If you put one mask away there is another, if you put that away there is another. And you can go on digging and digging and you will be surprised how many faces you are carrying. How many! For lives you have been collecting them. And they are all useful, because you have to change many times. You are talking to your servant, you cannot have the same face that you have when you talk to your boss. And they may be both present in the room: when you look at the servant you have to use one mask and when you look at your boss you have to use another mask. You continuously change. It has almost become automatic – you need not change, it changes itself. You look at the boss and you are smiling. And you look at the servant and the smile disappears and you are hard – as hard as the boss is to you. When he looks at his boss, he smiles.

In a single moment you may be changing your face many times. One has to be very, very alert to know how many faces one has. Innumerable. They cannot be counted.

This is your first you, the false you. Or call it the ego. It has been given to you by the society, it is a gift from the society – from the politician and the priest and the parent and the pedagogue. They have given you many faces just to make your life smooth. They have taken away your truth, they have given you a substitute. And because of these substitute faces you don’t know who you are. You can’t know, because the faces change so fast and they are so many, you cannot trust yourself. You don’t know exactly which face is yours. In fact none of these faces is yours.

And the Zen people say: Unless you know your original face you will not know what Buddha is. Because Buddha is your original face. You were born as a Buddha and you are living a lie.

This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation. You are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, that face has to be dropped. Because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others, you have been conditioned for it. And you have not even been asked, you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.

All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent. Because they don’t take any note of you. They have a-priori ideas, they already know what is right. And they put the ‘right’ on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate, he can be molded in any way. And that’s what the society does. Before the child becomes strong enough it is already crippled in a thousand and one ways. Paralyzed, poisoned.

The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burnt.

That’s why Zen has been defined as: ‘Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.’ A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you. And if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.

Truth is in you. It has to be encountered there. ‘Seeing the nature and becoming Buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.’ You are not to go anywhere. And wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything. You will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone. The teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you crowding you. And you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. And you will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change. […]

Wherever you go you will be yourself. Even in Heaven or in the Himalayas. You cannot be otherwise. The world is not outside you; you are the world. So wherever you go you take your world with you.

The real change has not to be of place, the real change has not to be outside, the real change has to be inner. And what do I mean by real change? I don’t mean that you have to improve upon yourself, because improvement is again a lie. Improvement means you will go on polishing your personality. You can make it immensely beautiful – but remember, the more beautiful it is, the more dangerous, because the more difficult it will be to drop it.

That’s why it happens that sometimes a sinner becomes a saint. But your so-called respectable people never become. They cannot become – they have such valuable person-alities, so much decorated, polished, and they have put so much investment in the personality, their whole life has been a kind of polishing. Now it is too costly to drop those beautiful personalities. A sinner can drop it, he has no investment in it. In fact he is fed-up with it, it is so ugly. But how can a respectable person drop it so easily? It has been paying him so well, it has been such a profit. It has been making him more and more respected, he is going higher and higher, he is reaching the pinnacle of success. It is very difficult for him to stop going on this ladder of success. It is a non-ending ladder, you can go on and on for ever. […]

When you are succeeding in the world it is difficult to stop. When you are becoming richer it is difficult to stop, when you are becoming famous it is difficult to stop. The more refined personality you have, the more it clings to you.

So I am not saying that you have to improve upon yourself. All the great masters, from Buddha to Hakuin, nobody has said to improve. Beware of the so-called ’improvement books’. The American market is full of those books: beware. Because improvement is not going to lead you anywhere. It is not a question of improvement, because by improvement the lie will be improved. The personality will be improved – will become more polished, will become more subtle, will become more valuable, will become more precious – but that is not the transformation. The transformation comes not by improvement but by dropping the personality utterly.

The lie cannot become the truth. There is no way to improve upon the lie so that it becomes the truth. It will remain the lie. It will look more and more like the truth but it will remain the lie. And the more it looks like the truth, the more you will be engrossed in it, rooted in it. The lie can look so much like the truth that you can even become oblivious of the fact that it is a lie.

The lie tells you: Search for the truth. Improve your character, your personality. Search for the truth, become this, become that. The lie goes on giving you new programs: Do this, and then everything will be good and you will be happy for ever. Do this, do that. This has failed? Don’t be worried, I have other plans for you. The lie goes on giving you plans, and you go on moving in those plans and wasting your life.

In fact the search for truth also comes out of the lie. That will be hard to understand but it has to be understood. The search for truth comes from the lie itself. It is the lie’s way to protect itself – it gives you even the search for truth, now how can you be angry with your personality? And how can you call it a lie? It propels you, it enforces you, it pushes you to search for truth.

But the search means going away. And truth is here, and the lie pushes you to go there. And truth is now, and the lie says ‘then’ and ‘there’. The lie always speaks either of the past or of the future, it never speaks of the present. And the truth is the present. This very moment! It is herenow. That’s what Hakuin means when he says:

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

So the first ‘you’ is the lie, the act. The pseudo-personality that surrounds you. The public face, the phoniness. It is a fraud. The society has imposed it upon you and you have become a cooperator with it. You have to drop your cooperation with the social lie. Because only when you are utterly nude are you yourself. All clothes are social. All ideas and all identities that you think you are, are social – given by others. They have their motives to give those ideas to you. It is subtle exploitation.

The real exploitation is not economic or political, the real exploitation is psychological. That’s why all the revolutions up to now have been failures. Hitherto, no revolution has succeeded. The reason? Because they have not looked at the deepest exploitation which is psychological. They only go on changing superficial things. A capitalist society becomes communist, but it makes no difference. A democracy becomes dictatorial, a dictatorial society becomes democratic, it makes no difference. These are just superficial changes, like a whitewash, but the structure remains deep down the same.

What is the psychological exploitation? The psychological exploitation is that nobody is allowed to be himself. That nobody is accepted as himself or herself. That nobody is respected. How can you respect people if you don’t accept them as they are? If you impose things upon them and then you respect, you respect your own impositions. You don’t respect them as they are, you don’t respect their nudity. You don’t respect their naturalness, you don’t respect their spontaneity, you don’t respect their real smiles and real tears. You respect only phoniness, pretensions, actions. Their actings you respect.

This you-1 has to be utterly dropped. Freud helped much to make humanity aware of the pseudoness of personality, of the conscious mind. His revolution ii far deeper than the revolution of Marx, his revolution is far deeper than any other revolution. It goes deep, although it does not go far enough. It reaches to the second you, you-2. It is the repressed you, instinctive you, unconscious you. It is all that the society has not allowed, it is all that the society has forced inside your being and locked in there. It comes only in your dreams, it comes only in metaphors, it comes only when you are drunk, it comes only when you are no more in control. Otherwise, it remains far away from you. And it is more authentic, it is not phony.

Freud has done much to make man aware of it. And the humanistic psychologies and particularly growth groups, encounter and others, have helped tremendously to make you aware of all that is screaming inside you, all that has been repressed, crushed. And that is your vital part. That is your real life, natural life. Religions have condemned it as your animal part, they have condemned it as the source of sin. It is not the source of sin; it is the source of life. And it is not lower than the conscious. It is deeper than the conscious, certainly, but not lower than the conscious.

And nothing is wrong if it is animal. Animals are beautiful, so are trees. They still live naked in their utter simplicity. They have not yet been destroyed by the priests and the politicians, they are yet part of God. Only man has gone astray. Man is the only abnormal animal on the earth – otherwise all animals are simply normal. Hence the joy, the beauty, the health. Hence the vitality. Have you not seen it? When a bird is on the wing have you not felt jealous? Have you not seen it in a deer running fast into the forest? Have you not felt jealous of the vitality, of the sheer joy of energy?

Children: have you not felt jealous? Maybe because you feel so jealous, that’s why you go on condemning childishness. You go on condemning. Montague is right when he says that instead of telling people ‘Don’t be childish’ we should start telling people ‘Don’t be adultish’. He is right, I agree. A child is beautiful, the adult is what ugliness is. He is no more a flow; he is blocked in many ways. He is frozen, he is dull and dead. He has lost zest, he has lost enthusiasm, he is simply dragging. He is bored, he has no sense of mystery. He never feels surprised, he has forgotten the language of wonder. Mystery has disappeared for him. He has explanations, mystery is no more there. Hence he has lost poetry and the dance and all that is valuable and all that gives meaning and significance to life, all that gives flavor to life.

This second ‘you’ is far more valuable than the first. That is where I am against all the religions, that is where I am against all the priests, because they cling to the first, the superficial most. Go to the second. But the second is not the end – that is where Freud falls short. And that is where humanistic psychology also falls short – goes a little deeper than Freud but still does not go deep enough to find the third.

There is a third ‘you’, you-3. The real you, the original face, which is beyond you-1 and you-2, both. The transcendental. The Buddhahood. It is undivided pure consciousness. The first you is social, the second you is natural, the third you is divine. Or, if you want to use Hakuin’s terms, the first you is the physical body, the second you is the bliss body, and the third you is the essential body. These are the three bodies of Buddha.

And remember, I am not saying that the first is not at all useful. If the third exists then the first can be used beautifully. If the third exists, the second can be used beautifully. But only if the third exists. If the center functions well then the periphery too is okay, then the circumference too is okay. But without the center, only the circumference, is a kind of death.

That’s what has happened to man. That’s why in the West so many thinkers think that life is meaningless. It is not. It is only because you have lost touch with your source from where meaning arises.

It is as if a tree has lost its contact with its own roots. Now no flowers come. Now the foliage starts disappearing, the leaves fall and no new leaves arrive. And the juice stops flowing, the sap no more exists. The tree becomes dead, the tree is dying.

And the tree may start philosophizing, the tree may become existentialist, a Sartre or somebody else, and the tree may start saying that there are no flowers in life. That life has no flowers, that there is no fragrance, that there are no more any birds. And the tree may even start saying that it has been always so, and the ancients were only befooling themselves that there are flowers – they were imagining. ‘It has always been so, the spring has never come, people have only been fantasizing. These Buddhas and these Jinas, they have been simply imagining, fantasizing, that flowers bloom and there is great joy and birds come and sunlight. There is nothing. All is darkness, all is accidental, and there is no meaning.’ The tree can say it.

And the real thing is not that there is no meaning, not that there are no more flowers, not that flowers don’t exist, not that fragrance is fantasy, but simply that the tree has lost contact with its own roots.

Unless you are rooted in your Buddhahood you will not bloom. You will not sing, you will not know what celebration is. And how can you know God if you don’t know celebration? If you have forgotten how to dance how can you pray? If you have forgotten how to sing and how to love then God is dead. Not that God is dead. God is dead in you, only in you. Your tree is dry, the sap has disappeared. You will have to find roots again. Where to find these roots? Roots have to be found here and now. That is the whole message of Hakuin’s song of meditation. Before we enter into the song, a few things.

A man can seem to be the sum total of his days, of all that he does from the beginning to the end. But this is not the true man. What you do is just on the periphery. What you feel goes a little deeper. What you are is really at the roots. A man is not the sum total of his acts. A politician IS the sum total of his acts, because he lives only on the circumference. That’s why it is easy to write history about the politicians. It is difficult to write history about Buddhas, because they live at such depth where we cannot reach them. They live in such eternity that time takes no record of them. They exist in such a transcendental way that they leave no traces on the earth. They are like birds in the sky: they fly but no footprints are left.

Politicians leave footprints. They live in the mud, in the dirt, they drag themselves in the mundane reality. They leave many footprints; they leave much bloodshed behind them. A Buddha exists as if he has never existed. He exists so absently, he exists like a space, empty space.

Remember, a man is not a sum total of his actions. And if he is, he is not yet a man; he is just a fiction, he is living in illusion. You are not what you do. So don’t be too much concerned with your doing, start going deeper into being. That’s why all meditations are basically a way to sit silently – so silently that all action stops. On the physical plane, on the mental plane, action stops, thought stops. Because thought is also action on the mental plane – you are doing something. When all doing disappears and you are simply there, just there, a presence, then the meditation has happened.

Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

That is the meaning of the word ‘zazen’. ‘Za’ means sitting doing nothing. And ‘zen’ means: in that sitting when you are not doing anything you fall upon yourself, you encounter yourself, you see yourself. That is zen, dhyana, meditation. The word ‘zazen’ is beautiful. ’Sitting and looking into yourself’ – that is the meaning of it.

Man is more than the sum total of his acts, his thoughts, his feelings. Behind the acts, thoughts and feelings there is another man – that which is, that which essentially IS. But many seldom if ever show themselves in their essential being. Very few ever reach to that point of their essential being-hood, to their very ground of being. Those who reach, only they know that life is a benediction. A sheer joy, eternal celebration.

But if you remain on the surface, you know only misery, nothing else. Agony, nothing else. Let me say it in this way: You-1 knows only misery and agony. You-3 knows ecstasy of being and joy of being. And You-2 neither knows ecstasy nor knows agony. It knows pleasure/pain, it is just in the middle. Ecstasy is exceeding joy without any bounds to it, infinite joy. Agony is infinite misery, no bounds to it. Just between the two exists the animal and the child. It knows play, it knows pleasure/pain. It knows neither agony nor ecstasy. It does not know infinity.

If the child moves towards the first, which society forces him to do, he will know agony. If he finds somebody who can help to move him towards the third, he will know ecstasy. To find a master is nothing but to find a man who has known his essential being, so that he can help you to go towards your own essential being.

A master is not to be followed, a master is not to be imitated, a master is only to be understood. In that very understanding is the revolution.

A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the non-essential the essential. The non-essential remains non-essential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion. The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped.

All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated, by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide. See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth – there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears and what is left is the truth.

To see the lie of striving after truth is to fall into an eternal silence. A stillness comes when you see the lie of your personality. There is nothing more to do. Hence the stillness – what can you do?

Just the other night, a sannyasin was saying ‘What can I do? Whatsoever I do, I fail. What can I do?’ There is nothing really to be done. Doing is not going to help, doing will be again the same rut. Only being is going to transform you, not doing. So when one fails again and again and again, only then the insight arises that ‘Doing is never going to lead me anywhere.’ The day that sword has hit you – that ‘Doing is not going to lead me anywhere’ – what will you do? Nothing is left to do.

In your utter helplessness, the surrender. And silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms – not the silence that somehow you impose upon yourself by repeating a mantra or doing TM; that is not the real silence, that is a created silence. Any silence that you manage to create will belong to the personality. It will not be of much use, it will not go deeper than that – how can your doing go deeper than you? When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no more spins any thoughts.

And in that very moment the door opens. And that silence is being, that silence is Buddha.

This stillness is not the opposite of action, it is not brought about by will or by withdrawal from the world. One cannot withdraw from the world; one is the world. The want to escape keeps us imprisoned – because the wish to be without desire is still desire, and the will to be still is disturbance. You cannot will your silence, will is the base of all disturbance. Will has to disappear. You can only see into the futility of it. Doing, willing, improving, bettering yourself, achieving, reaching – all these words are just projections of the lie.

When the lie has been seen in its totality . . . the illumination, the enlightenment.

Now Hakuin’s sutras.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Zen people call the state of no-mind ‘the pure land paradise’. So please don’t interpret it in Christian ways. Paradise, to a Christian, is somewhere there in the sky. For a Buddhist, particularly for a man like Hakuin, it is the state of no-mind.

The pure land paradise is not far.

Stop thinking and you are there. And in fact that is the Biblical meaning of the parable of Adam’s expulsion. He has not been expelled, there is nobody to expel him. He has only eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he has become a mind. The more knowledge you accumulate, the more of a mind you become. Adam has become knowledgeable, he has become a mind, and that is the expulsion from the paradise. If he can drop his mind he will suddenly find himself again in the paradise, and he will also find that he has been always there. Even when he was thinking he had lost it, it was not lost. It was only forgotten. He became too much obsessed with knowledge, that’s why it was forgotten.

The day the child starts becoming knowledgeable he loses paradise. Each Adam loses it again and again. And don’t think that it happened once in history, and we are suffering for that ancient Adam. No. It has happened to our life – to each life, to each child. For a few months the child lives in the Garden of Eden. He knows nothing. Without knowing, he is a no-mind – he simply exists moment to moment, he has no worries. When he feels hungry, he cries, when he feels satisfied, he falls asleep. When he is happy, he smiles, when he is angry he screams. But he has no ideas about anything. He neither praises a smile nor condemns screaming. He neither feels shy about crying and weeping nor feels very good that he has been a good boy today. He knows nothing about all this nonsense. He knows nothing good, nothing bad, he makes no distinctions. He lives utterly one with reality. And whatsoever happens, happens; there is no rejection.

But by and by he will become knowledgeable, he will start learning things. The day he starts learning things he is trapped by the snake. Now he has started eating the fruit of the tree, sooner or later the paradise will disappear. Beaches will be there but no more beautiful. Butterflies will be still floating in the wind but for the child they don’t exist anymore. What exists is arithmetic, geography, history. Flowers still bloom but they don’t bloom for the child any more, he is too much into his homework. Once in a while still he hears the bird singing on the window, but only once in a while. And the whole society tries to drag him away from that.

The teacher will say ‘Look here at the blackboard! What are you doing there? Concentrate on me!’ The child was concentrating. The birdcall was so beautiful outside the window, the child was in concentration, utter concentration. This teacher has distracted him; now he has to look at the blackboard. And there is nothing to look at it, just a blackboard. But by and by we will manage to distract the child.

The expulsion is not by God but by the society. The society drags each Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And once you have become too much of the head it is very difficult to enter back into that purity, that pure land paradise. Zen masters say, just like Jesus said: Unless you are like small children you will not enter into the kingdom of God.

A Christian missionary went to a Zen master and started reading the Sermon on the Mount. The Zen master listened and he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ The Zen master had never heard about Christ, he had never read the Bible, but he said ‘Whosoever has said it must be very close to Buddhahood.’ And when the missionary read ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God’ the Zen master said ‘Now stop. Now there is no more to read. Now there is no need to read any more. Whosoever has said it is a Buddha.’

‘Poor in spirit’ means empty of mind. ‘Poor in spirit’ means empty – all thoughts have disappeared. Then you are again back in paradise.

The pure land paradise is not far.

It is just there! Beating in your heart. Your each breath goes and touches the pure land paradise, each moment. You live from it. Every night when you fall asleep and dreams disappear, you are in it again. That’s why in the morning you feel so fresh, again young, rejuvenated. You have been on a short trip to the pure land paradise.

When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
He who praises it and gladly embraces it
Has merit without end.

Hakuin says ‘When in reverence this truth is heard even once.’ The question is not of hearing the truth many times. If you hear even once, if you have understood it even for a single moment in deep trust and reverence, it is yours forever. Doubt distracts. Doubt does not allow you to understand, doubt does not allow you to see it. Listen in reverence, in love. Be en rapport.

That is the way to be with a master – be en rapport, be bridged. But small things, very small things, distract you. Very small things which mean nothing – but you are distracted by those small things, and doubt arises. And doubt becomes a cloud and you become blind.

. . . In reverence this truth is heard even once,

It is enough.

How much more he who turns within . . .

Even hearing the truth is a deliverance. ‘How much more he who turns within’ – who not only hears it but looks within and sees it . . .

And confirms directly his own nature,
That his own nature is no-nature . . .

When you look deep into yourself you will not find anything there obstructing your vision. It is pure space. Your nature is no-nature. It is emptiness, sunyata.

Such has transcended vain words.

Only when you look into your nature . . . and find nothing. You only find an empty infinity there. Words will not have any meaning any more, you have transcended words. You have looked into your nature and now you know no word can explain it, no word can define it, no word can even indicate it. All scriptures become meaningless.

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one . . .

When you look inside yourself and there is no content, and the no-nature has been felt and you have seen your inner sky . . .

The gate opens, and cause and effect are one.

And the source and the goal are one. Now you are not to go anywhere, you have come to your source. And to be at the source is to be at the goal. To be at the beginning is to be at the end.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
Going or returning, he is ever at home.

And once you have seen the form of no-form, once you have seen the thought of no-thought, once you have seen the nature of no-nature, you are a totally new being. What happens . . .

Going or returning, he is ever at home.

Then wherever you are, you are at home. In the prison you are at home, in the temple you are at home, in the shop you are at home, in the Himalayas you are at home, in the marketplace you are at home. You are simply at home. once you have seen your center, your essential being, your Buddhahood, has been glimpsed. Then wherever you are you are at home, because all is your home. Then there is no need to leave the world.

Zen people are not against the world. They say: To be against the world is still to be attached to the world. To go to the opposite extreme is not transformation. When you no more choose between two extremes, you settle in the middle. And the middle is the way.

Straight runs the way – not two, not three.

It is a simple way – one.

Going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.

Then whatsoever you do, you express truth. Whatsoever. Eating, you express truth. Walking, you express truth. When a Zen master hits a disciple he is expressing truth. When Kabir sings he is expressing truth, when Meera dances she is expressing truth. Jesus expresses truth dying on the cross, and Krishna expresses truth singing on his flute. Whatsoever you do, there is no way to avoid expressing truth. You are truth. The lie has been dropped.

Singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought?
Nirvana is clear before him,
This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Remember the word ‘This’.

This very place the lotus paradise

And once you have known your source, wherever you are, you are in the lotus paradise.

This very place the lotus paradise,
And this very body the buddha.

And whatsoever you do – whatsoever, without any conditions – is the expression of truth.

I have heard a beautiful story about Roshi Taji, a great Zen master.

As Roshi Taji approached death, his senior disciples assembled at his bedside. One of them, remembering the roshi was fond of a certain kind of cake, had spent half a day searching the pastry shops of Tokyo for this confection which he now presented to Roshi Taji. With a wan smile the dying roshi accepted a piece of the cake and slowly began munching it. As the roshi grew weaker, his disciples leaned close and inquired whether he had any final words for them.

‘Yes’ the roshi replied.

The disciples leaned forward eagerly. ‘Please tell us!’

‘My, but this cake is delicious!’ And with that he died.

Meditate over it. What a man! What manner of man! A Buddha. Each act and each word and each gesture becomes the expression of truth. In that moment only that was true, the taste of the cake. In that moment anything else would have been false, untrue. If he had talked about God, that would not have been true. If he had talked about nirvana, that would not have been true. In that moment the taste on his tongue was still alive. In that moment that was his authentic gesture.

He said ‘My, but this cake is delicious.’ This cake.

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

Zen people talk about four wisdoms.

Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
Radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.

The first wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of the mirror’. When there is no thought you become a mirror. This is the first wisdom, becoming like a mirror. The second wisdom is called ‘the wisdom of sameness’. When you become a mirror without any thought, all distinctions in the world disappear. Then it is all one. Then the rose and the bird and the earth and the sky and the sea and the sand and the sun are all one, it is one energy.

When you are a mirror – the first wisdom – the second wisdom arises out of the first: the wisdom of sameness. Duality disappears. And out of the second arises the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. When you have seen that all over the world it is one energy, then only can you see inside yourself that you are also that energy. Then the seer and the seen become one, the observer and the observed become one. That is the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. Buddha has a special word for it, he calls it dhamma chakkhu – the eye for truth, or the truth-eye. The spiritual vision opens – what yogis call ‘the third eye’. What Christ also calls ‘the one eye’, when two eyes become one. Dhamma chakkhu opens, the wisdom of spiritual vision is attained.

And out of the third arises the fourth, the wisdom of perfection. When you have seen that all is the same, and when you have looked within and seen that without and within are also the same, you have become perfect. In fact, to say that you have become perfect is not true, you have always been perfect. Now it is revealed to you – it is only a revelation. In that moment one knows . . .

This very place the lotus paradise,
This very body the buddha.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #6

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.

All Moons in the One Moon

I cannot understand the philosophy of Zen. What should I do to understand it?

Baula, Zen is not a philosophy at all. To approach Zen as if it were a philosophy is to start in a wrong way from the very beginning. A philosophy is something of the mind; Zen is totally beyond the mind. Zen is the process of going above the mind, far away from the mind; it is the process of transcendence, of surpassing the mind. You cannot understand it by the mind; mind has no function in it.

Zen is a state of no-mind; that has to be remembered. It is not Vedanta. Vedanta is a philosophy; you can understand it perfectly well. Zen is not even Buddhism; Buddhism is also a philosophy.

Zen is a very rare flowering – it is one of the strangest things that has happened in the history of consciousness – it is the meeting of Buddha’s experience and Lao Tzu’s experience. Buddha, after all, was part of the Indian heritage: he spoke the language of philosophy; he is perfectly clear, you can understand him. In fact, he avoided all metaphysical questions; he was very simple, clear, logical. But his experience was not of the mind. He was trying to destroy your philosophy by providing you with a negative philosophy. Just as you can take out a thorn from your foot with another thorn, Buddha’s effort was to take out the philosophy from your mind with another philosophy. Once the first thorn has been taken out both thorns can be thrown away and you will be beyond mind.

But when Buddha’s teachings reached China a tremendously beautiful thing happened: a crossbreeding happened. In China, Lao Tzu has given his experience of Tao in a totally non-philosophical way, in a very absurd way, in a very illogical way. But when the Buddhist meditators, Buddhist mystics, met the Taoist mystics they immediately could understand each other heart to heart, not mind to mind. They could feel the same vibe they could see that the same inner world had opened they could smell the same fragrance. And they came closer, and by their coming closer, by their meetings and mergings with each other, something new started growing up; that is Zen. It has both the beauty of Buddha and the beauty of Lao Tzu; it is the child of both. Such a meeting has never happened before or since.

Zen is neither Taoist nor Buddhist; it is both and neither. Hence the traditional Buddhists reject Zen and the traditional Taoists also reject Zen. For the traditional Buddhist it is absurd, for the traditional Taoist it is too philosophical, but to those who are really interested in meditation, Zen is an experience. It is neither absurd nor philosophical because both are terms of the mind; it is something transcendental.

The word “zen” comes from dhyan. Buddha used a certain language, a local language of his times, Pali. In Pali dhyan is pronounced “jhan”; it is from jhan that “zen” has arisen. The word comes from jhan; jhan comes from the Sanskrit dhyan.

To understand Zen you need not make a philosophical effort; you have to go deep into meditation. And what is meditation all about? Meditation is a jump from the mind into no-mind, from thoughts to no-thought. Mind means thinking, no-mind means pure awareness. One simply is aware. Only then, Baula, will you be able to understand Zen – through experience, not through any intellectual effort.

Yoka says:

There is one nature, perfect and penetrative, present in all natures, one reality which includes all, comprising all realities in itself. The one moon is reflected wherever there is water. And all moons in water are comprised in the one moon.

The moment you move beyond the mind, suddenly you have moved from the many to the one. Minds are many, consciousness is one. On the circumference we are different, at the center we are one. That one can be called Brahma, can be called God, the absolute, the truth, nirvana.

Zen calls it no-mind for a particular reason. If you call it God, then people start thinking in terms of a person, they start imagining a person – of course the supreme most person, but their idea of personality is derived from human personality; it is a projection, it is not truth.

The Bible says God created man in his own image; that is not true. Man has created God in his own image; that is far more true. The God that we have created is our idea, it is anthropocentric. If horses were philosophers, then God could not be a man, then God would be a supreme horse.

If donkeys were philosophers – and who knows? – they may be; they look very serious, always brooding, as if in deep contemplation, thinking of great things . . .  Watch a donkey and you will be certainly aware of this simple fact that donkeys are great thinkers. They are constantly somewhere else far away, involved in great esoteric things; that’s why people think they are fools. They are not fools; they are philosophers. If donkeys think, if they are theologians, theosophists, philosophers, then God will be a supreme donkey. God cannot be a man, that’s impossible. They cannot imagine God to be a man.

Hence Zen avoids any anthropocentric terminologies, any words that can become associated with our circumference. It does not call God Brahma because that is a philosophical term; maybe the best philosophical term, but even the best philosophical term is still philosophy, and philosophy is something of the mind – you can think about Brahma.

In India we have been thinking about Brahma for centuries and there are as many interpretations of Brahma as there have been philosophers. Shankara interprets it in one way, Nimbarka in another, Ramanuja still in a different way, and so on and so forth. Not even two philosophers agree and the dispute still continues. Philosophers go on quarreling. They never come to any conclusions, they cannot, because mind has no capacity to conclude about the One.

Even Shankara, the greatest non-dualist, remains a dualist deep down. He talks about Brahma, the One, but to talk about the One he has to bring in maya, illusion; then One becomes two. If you want to talk about the real you will have to talk about the unreal; that is a necessity, an absolute necessity. Without talking about the unreal you cannot talk about the real; without the unreal the real loses all meaning. Human languages are dualistic, hence Shankara got into trouble, great trouble. He tried to sort it out but he could not, and for one thousand years many philosophers who have followed Shankara have tried to find a way out, but they have not been able to. Even if you say that maya means illusion, maya means that which does not exist, you have to talk about it. To define Brahma, you have to use illusion as a support, otherwise who will define it? How will you define it? The One remains indefinable; the One needs something else to define it. So, although the philosophy of Shankara is thought to be non-dualist, it is not. No philosophy can be non-dualist.

Zen is neither dualist nor non-dualist; it is not a philosophy at all. It simply says, “Move from the mind into the no-mind and see.” It believes in seeing.

Yoka says:

The spirit operates naturally through the organs of sense. Thus, the objective world is perceived. This dualism mists the mirror. But when the haze is removed, the light shines forth. Thus, when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all words are gone, your mirror has no more dust on it, no more mist on it. When you look at things you collect impressions; that is the dust – that’s what you call thinking. When you see a rose flower, the rose flower is outside you but it makes a reflection inside you. The rose flower will fade away by the evening, the petals will fall and disappear, but the inner rose flower, the rose that has become imprinted in your memory will continue. It will remain forever with you, you can always remember it. And if you are a sensitive, aesthetic, artistic person you can visualize it again and again; you can imagine it as if it is true. In fact, if you try you will be surprised: you can even experience the fragrance of the rose again. If you create the whole situation in your imagination: the garden, the green grass, the dew on the grass, and you are walking with naked feet on the grass . . . and the sweet smell of the earth and the cool air and the birds singing; you just create the whole atmosphere… and then suddenly you discover a beautiful rose flower hidden behind a bush . . . and the fragrance! And then suddenly you will see: the fragrance has come back to you; the imprint is there. The outer rose is gone, but the inner rose is alive.

Now scientists, particularly brain experts, have discovered that if certain spots in the brain are touched by electrodes, certain memories become immediately active. Those memories are Lying there deep frozen; touched by the electrode they start becoming alive. A very strange experience. If your brain is touched by an electrode at the point where the rose memory is lying deep, suddenly you will forget the present; you will be again in the same garden. Maybe twenty years have passed, but it will be again as real as if you were in the garden again: the same smell, the same wind, the same coolness, the same flower. And if the electrode is taken out, the memory disappears. Put the electrode back again in the same spot and again the memory starts revealing itself.

And one thing more has been discovered: you can do it thousands of times. Again and again the same memory comes, and again and again the memory repeats itself from the very beginning. The moment you remove the electrode it seems that there is an automatic rewinding; the memory coils back into the same original state. Touch it again with the electrode and as the electricity starts flowing the memory begins from the beginning: you are entering the garden again . . . and the same sequence of events. And this can be done thousands of times. In fact, scientists say there is no limit to it; it can be done millions of times.

The outer reality goes on changing, but the mind goes on collecting dust. Your consciousness is a mirror, and you are carrying so much dust from this life and from other lives – such a thick layer of dust! That’s why you cannot understand Zen: because you cannot understand yourself, because you cannot understand life, because you cannot understand existence. Zen is not philosophy; it is existential, not philosophical.

 . . . When the haze is removed, says Yoka, the light shines forth. Thus when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all is emptied – you have forgotten all the memories, you have forgotten even your individual existence, your separate existence; you are no more an island, you have melted into the whole; you are not like an ice cube floating in the water, you have become water itself – this is what Zen is. Then suddenly truth is revealed.

Vision is clear, says Yoka.

These four lines are of tremendous importance.

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

This is the ultimate declaration of Zen. This is the lion’s roar!

Vision is clear.

This is a strange phenomenon. When there are objects to see, your vision is not clear because those objects are making impressions on you. Your vision cannot be clear; it is full of mist. When vision is clear, there are no objects at all, just clarity, just pure consciousness with no content, just seeing and nothing to see, just watchfulness and nothing to watch. A pure observer, a pure witness and nothing to witness.

There is no person.

And when there is nothing to witness, nothing to see, you cannot exist as a separate entity. The “In can exist only with the “thou”; if the “thou” disappears, the “I” disappears. They are part of each other, they are always together like two sides of a coin; you cannot say ”one.” This is what many stupid religious people go on doing: they go on saying to God, “I am not. Thou art.” That is sheer stupidity. In the very saying you are, otherwise who is saying “Thou art”?

There is a famous poem of Jalaluddin Rumi; I agree with him up to a point and then my disagreement starts. On the really essential point I cannot agree with him. My feeling is he must have written that poem before he became enlightened. He was an enlightened man, but the poem is decisive – it must have been written before he became enlightened. The poem is beautiful, because sometimes poets say things almost like seers, but remember they are almost like seers. There is bound to be some flaw, it can’t be flawless. You may not be able to find the flaw.

Listen to the story of the poem.

Jalaluddin says:

A lover comes to his beloved’s home, knocks on the door.

The beloved asks, “Who is there?”

And the lover says, “I am – your lover.”

The beloved says, “The house of love is so small, it cannot contain two, so please go back. When you are no more, then come again. The house of love cannot contain two, it can only contain one.”

So far so good!

The lover goes to the forest, he becomes an ascetic. He meditates, he prays to God. His prayer is only one: “Dissolve me!” Many moons come and go, months pass, years pass, and one day he comes back. He knocks again on the door, and the beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?”

And he says, “Now I am no more, only you are.”

And Rumi says:

The doors open and the lover is received in the home of love.

There I don’t agree – it is too early! Then who is the person who is saying “I am no more”? Even to say that “I am no more,” you are needed. It is as foolish as if you went and knocked at somebody’s house and he leaned out of the window and said, “I am not at home.” That is self-contradictory; you cannot say that. To say it is to prove that you are.

Jalaluddin must have written this poem before he became enlightened. He should have corrected it. But these enlightened people are crazy people. He may have forgotten all about the poem, but it needs correction. I can do the correction. I would like to say that the beloved says, “Go back again because you are still there. First you were positively there, now you are negatively there, but it makes no difference.”

The lover goes back. Now there is no point in praying because prayer has not helped. In fact, prayer cannot help: in prayer the duality persists. You are praying to somebody; God becomes your “thou.” God cannot help. Now he becomes a Zen monk – not a devotee but a real meditator. He simply goes deep within himself, searching and seeking. “Where is this ‘I’?” He tries to find out where it is. And anybody who goes in is bound not to find it because it is not there; it is non-existential; it is only a belief. So he searches and searches and finds it nowhere.

So he comes back, knocks on the door. The beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?” And there is no answer because there is nobody to answer. Just silence. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence deepens. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence is absolute. She opens the door. Now the lover has come, but he is no more; there is nobody to answer. He has to be taken inside the home, taken by the hand. He is completely, utterly empty.

This is what Zen people call “emptied suchness.”

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

Everything has disappeared. Zen has achieved the ultimate peak of enlightenment; hence it can say that there is no enlightenment either because if the enlightened person goes on thinking, “I am enlightened,” he is not enlightened. If he claims enlightenment then he is not enlightened, because every claim is an ego claim. Enlightenment is not a claim, it is a silent presence.

Baula, don’t try to understand Zen. Go within yourself to find out who you are, where you are. You will not find anybody there, just pure emptiness. And then vision is clear. No person, no Buddha. All is silent, utterly silent. There is nothing to say. In that silence one becomes truth. Not only that one knows truth, one becomes truth. That is the only way to know it.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Discourse #16

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.

The Unity of Emptiness – Osho

The world is there because of you – you create it, you are a creator. Every single being creates a world around himself, it depends on his mind. The mind may be illusory, but it is creative – it creates dreams. And it is up to you to create a hell or heaven.

If you leave this world you will not be able to leave it. Wherever you go you will create the same world again, because the world is constantly coming out of you just as leaves are coming out of the tree.

You don’t live in the same world, you cannot because you don’t have similar minds. Just by the side of you somebody may be living in heaven, and you may be living in hell – and you feel that you are living in the same world? How can you live in the same world when minds differ?

So, the first thing to be understood is that you cannot leave the world unless the mind disappears. They are related, they depend on each other, they make a vicious circle. If the mind is there . . . And a mind is always a particular mind. When the mind is no more a particular mind, when it becomes a Mind with a capital M it is no more mind, it has become consciousness. A mind is always a particular mind and it carries a particular aroma around it – that is your world.

The mind creates the world and then the world creates the mind, helps the mind to remain the same. This is the vicious circle. But the source is in the mind; the world is just a by-product. The mind is substantial; the world is just the shadow of it. And you cannot destroy the shadow, but everybody tries to destroy it.

If this wife doesn’t suit you, you think another wife will. You are trying to change the world, and you are the same. You will just turn the next wife into an exact replica of the old. You will again create, because the wife will be just a screen.

And you will be surprised: people who have married many times, their experience is really strange. A person who has been married ten times recognizes the fact that “How does it happen? In such a wide and big world, I always stumble upon the same type of woman? Even by accident it seems impossible! Again, and again!”

The problem is not the woman, the problem is the mind. The mind is again attracted to the same type of woman, again creates the same relationship, again finds the same mess and the same hell.

And the same happens in everything you do. Do you think you will live happily in a palace? You are wrong! Who is going to live in the palace? You will live there. If you are not happy in your hut, you will not be happy in your palace. Who will live in the palace? Palaces don’t exist outside you.

If you can live happily in a hut, you can live happily in a palace, because you create the world around you. Otherwise, as the hut pinches you the palace will pinch – even more so because it is a bigger thing. It will be a hell, just the same – more decorated, but a decorated hell is not a heaven. And even if you are forcibly thrown into heaven you will try to find an exit, or you will create your hell there.

I have heard about one man, a great businessman, a dress manufacturer. He died. Somehow, by some technical mistake, he entered heaven. He met his old partner there. The old partner was as sad as he was on this earth. So the businessman said, “What does it mean? You are in heaven, and so unhappy?”

The partner said, “It is okay, but personally I prefer Miami.”

And the other also came to the same conclusion within days. They again became partners there, and they wanted to start a business firm to manufacture dresses.

The same is going to happen wherever you go, because you are the world. You create a world around you, then the world helps the mind which has created it. The son helps the father, the son helps the mother, your shadow helps the substance – then the mind is strengthened more, then again you create the same world on the same lines. From where to start a transformation? How to change?

If you look, the first look will say to change the world, because it is so apparent around you. Change it! And that’s what you have been doing for many lives: continuously changing the world, changing this and that, changing houses, bodies, wives, husbands, friends – changing, but never looking to the fact that you remain the same, so how can you change the world?

That’s why a false tradition of renunciation came into existence all over the world. Escape from the house and go to the monastery. Escape from the market, go to the Himalayas. Escape from the world! To the Himalayas you can go easily, but how can you escape from yourself? You will create the same world there – the same! It may be a miniature world, it may not be so vast, but you will do the same. You are the same – how can you do anything else?

Deeper insight reveals that: change the mind, then the world changes. Then wherever you are a different world is revealed. You go deeper, and then you understand that if you want to be really without the world around you . . . Because howsoever beautiful the world is, sooner or later it will become a boredom and you will be fed up. Even if it is a heaven you will start longing for the hell, because the mind needs change. It cannot live in the eternal, it cannot live in the non-changing, because the mind hankers for some new curiosity, some new sensation, some new excitement. It is not possible for the mind to stop time and to remain timelessly.

That’s why the mind cannot live in the now, the here, because now is not a part of time. It never changes, it is eternal. You cannot say it is unchanging, it is not permanent, it eternal. It is simply as it is. Nothing happens there. It is emptiness.

Buddha has called it sunyata – absolutely empty. Nothing happens there, nobody comes, nobody goes. There is nobody, because if somebody is there then something or other will happen.

Mind cannot live in the eternal now. Mind wants change and goes on hoping, and goes on hoping against all hope. The whole situation is hopeless, but mind goes on hoping.

I have heard:

Mulla Nasruddin remained unemployed for many, many years because he wanted to be an actor and he had no talent. But every day, religiously, he would go to the agent. Hopefully he would knock at the door, enter the office, and inquire, “Has something happened? Am I booked somewhere?”

And the agent would say always the same: “I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Days passed, weeks passed, then years passed and the Mulla’s knocking became a routine. Whatsoever the season, the climate, good or bad, but one thing was certain for the agent – that Mulla would come. And he would again ask hopefully, and the man would again say the same thing: “Nasruddin, I cannot do anything, nothing is possible.”

Then one day the knock was different, a little sad. And when Mulla came in, even the agent was surprised: “Why is he so sad?”

Mulla said, “Listen, for two weeks don’t book me anywhere because I’m going for a vacation.”

This is how mind functions – goes on hoping, not for many years; but for many lives! You knock on the same door with the same inquiry and desire, and it is always no. What have you gained through mind except nos?

Yes has never come that way, it cannot come. Mind is a futile effort. It is desert like, nothing grows on it, nothing can grow. But it goes on hoping. Even a desert dreams, and dreams of beautiful gardens, rivers flowing, brooks and waterfalls. Even a desert dreams . . . and that is the dream of the mind.

One has to be alert. There is no need to waste any more time – no need to knock on the agent’s door. Enough you have lived with the mind. Nothing have you achieved through it. Is it not the right time to be alert and aware?

Of course, you have gathered many miseries and many hells – if you call them achievements then it is okay – anguish, frustration. And wherever you move with the mind something goes wrong, because mind is the mechanism of the wrong. You look: something goes wrong.

Mulla Nasruddin’s son was entered into the school. The teacher was talking about geography and she talked and explained the shape of the earth and everything. And then she asked Mulla Nasruddin’s son, “What is the shape of the earth?”

He remained silent, so just to provoke his answer she said, “Is it flat?”

The son said, “No.”

She became more hopeful; she said, “Then is it a globe, round-shaped?”

Nasruddin’s son said, “No.”

Then she was surprised. She said, “Only two are the possibilities: either it is flat or it is global, and you say no to both. So what is your idea?”

The son said, “My Dad said it is crooked!”

For the mind everything is crooked, not because everything is crooked – the way the mind looks, anything that penetrates the medium of the mind becomes crooked. Just as you put a straight thing into water, a straight staff, and suddenly you see the medium of the water has done something; it is no more straight. You bring it out of the water; it is again straight. Put it in again . . .

And you know that the staff remains straight even in water, but your eyes still say that it is not straight. A hundred times you can bring it out and put it in. Even if you know well that the staff remains straight, the medium will again give you the false information that it is no more straight.

You have known many many times that the misery is created by the mind, but again you fall a victim. Mind creates misery. It cannot create anything else because it cannot encounter reality. It can only dream – that is the only capacity for the mind. It can only dream. And dreams cannot fulfill, because
whenever they come against the reality they are shattered.

You live in a house of glass, you cannot face reality. Whenever reality comes your house is shattered, and many houses you have lived in are shattered. You carry their ruins in the mind, the anguish that resulted. And that has made you very sour, very bitter.

Taste anybody and you will taste him bitter. And that is the experience of others about you also: everybody tastes bitter. Come closer and everything goes bitter; remain distant, everything looks beautiful. Come closer, everything goes bitter – because when you come closer, minds penetrate
each other and everything is crooked, then nothing is straight.

This has to be realized as your experience, not as a theory from me or Sosan. Sosan can’t help, neither can I. It MUST become your own experienced phenomenon. Experienced, it becomes a truth – and then many things start changing, then you drop the mind.

And when the mind drops, all worlds disappear. When the mind drops, objects disappear; then they are no more objects. Then you don’t know where you end and where things start, then there are no boundaries. Boundaries disappear.

In the beginning you feel as if everything has gone blurred, but by and by you settle in the new phenomenon which is of no-mind. Then stars are there, but they are part of you, no more objects. Flowers and trees are there but they flower in YOU, no more outside. Then you live with the totality.

The barrier is broken – the barrier was your mind. Then for the first time there is no world, because world means the totality of objects. For the first time there is a universe, and universe means one. Remember the word ’uni.’ This you call a universe? Wrongly. Don’t call it a universe, for you it is a multiverse. Many worlds, no more one, it is not yet.

But when the mind drops, worlds disappear. There are no objects. Boundaries mingle and meet into each other. The tree becomes the rock, the rock becomes the sun, the sun becomes the star, the star becomes the woman you love, and everything is meeting and mingling into each other. And you are not there, separate. You are in it throbbing at the very heart, pulsating. Then it is a universe.

Mind drops, objects disappear – the source of dream has disappeared. What have you been doing? You have been trying to get a better dream, to no avail of course. But the whole effort of the mind is to get a better dream. Don’t think that mind can give you a better dream – a dream is a dream. Even if better, it will not be a satisfactory thing, it cannot give you a deep contentment. A dream is a dream.

If you are feeling thirsty you need real water, not dream water. If you are hungry you need real, substantial bread, not dream bread. For a few moments you may be able to deceive yourself, but how long?

Every night it happens: you are hungry, the mind creates a dream – you are eating, you are eating delicious things. For a few minutes it is okay even for a few hours it is okay, but how long? Can you stay in this dream forever and ever? It helps sleep, you don’t get disturbed. Otherwise hunger will disturb you, you will have to get up and go to the fridge. It helps: you can go on sleeping, feeling that you are eating; there is no need to go anywhere. But by the morning you will know that your mind deceived you.

Your whole life is just like a dream, and you are substituting dream objects for the reality. So every day everything is shattered, every day you are shocked into reality, because the reality goes on bumping from here and there. You cannot avoid it! A dream is a very fragile thing; the reality goes on bumping in and breaking.

And it is good, it is for your good, that the reality breaks your dreams, shatters them to pieces. But you again start collecting those pieces and creating other dreams. Drop it! Enough you have done that. Nothing has been achieved. Now no more of it!

Once you understand that dreaming has to be stopped, the world of objects disappears. The world will be there, but not of objects. Then everything becomes alive, everything becomes subjective.

That is the meaning of religious people who say that everything is God. What are they saying? God is just a metaphor. There is nobody sitting somewhere in heaven, controlling, managing, engineering. God is just a metaphor – the metaphor that the things in the world are not like things, they are persons. Deep inside a subjectivity is there. Everything is alive and throbbing. And this throbbing is not a fragmented process, this throbbing is a WHOLE throbbing.

Of course you feel the beat of the heart near the heart, at the heart. But you think it is only in the heart? Then you are wrong – the whole body is throbbing. The heart only indicates, the whole body is throbbing. That’s why when the heart stops, the body is dead. It was not the heart really that was throbbing, the whole body was throbbing through the heart; the heart was just an indicator.

You are throbbing, but the whole is throbbing through you – you are just an indicator, a heart. The universe throbs and beats through you. You are not, the universe is.

And the universe is not a totality of objects, it is a subjectivity. It exists as a person. It is alive, conscious. It is not a mechanical arrangement. It is an organic unity.

Now try to understand these words of Sosan:

When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

Things are objects because of the subject; the mind is such because of things.

Things are there around you because of you. You attract them. If you feel hell around you, it is you who has attracted it. Don’t be angry about it and don’t start fighting with it; it is useless. You attracted, you invited – you have done it! And now your desires are fulfilled: whatsoever you needed is around you. And then you start fighting and getting angry. You have succeeded!

Remember always that whatsoever is happening around you is rooted in the mind. Mind is always the cause. It is the projector, and outside there are only screens – you project yourself. If you feel it is ugly then change the mind. If you feel whatsoever comes from the mind is hellish and nightmarish, then drop the mind. Work with the mind, don’t work with the screen don’t go on painting it and changing it. Work with the mind.

But there is one problem, because you think you are the mind. So how can you drop it? So you feel you can drop everything, change everything, repaint, redecorate, rearrange, but how can you drop yourself That is the root of all trouble. You are not the mind; you are beyond mind. You have become identified, that’s true, but you are not the mind.

And this is the purpose of meditation: to give you small glimpses that you are not the mind. Even for a few moments the mind stops… you are still there! On the contrary, you are more, overflowing with being. When the mind stops it is as if a drainage which was continuously draining you has stopped. Suddenly you are overflooded with energy. You feel more!

If even for a single moment you become aware that the mind is not there but “I am,” you have reached a deep core of truth. Then it will be easy to drop the mind. You are not the mind, otherwise how can you drop yourself? The identification has to be dropped first, then the mind can be dropped.

The whole Gurdjieff method is how to get unidentified. When next time when a desire comes, look at it. Say within yourself, “Okay, I will watch where this mind is moving.” And you will feel a distance, you are looking at it. Who is this looker, the spectator? And the desire moves and creates dreams.

Sometimes you may forget, sometimes you may become one with the desire. Pull yourself together again, look at the desire again: the desire is moving on its own. It is as if a cloud has entered, a thought has come into the sky of your being. Just look at it, watch it. And remember, if you can be unidentified even for a fragment of a second – the desire is there and you are here and there is a distance – suddenly there is illumination, a light has happened to you.

Now you know that the mind works on its own, it is a mechanism. You can drop it! You may not use it, you may use it; you are the master. Now the slave, the mechanism, is put in its place; it is no more the master. Then dropping is possible. When you are different from it, only then is dropping possible.

Meditation, witnessing, silently sitting and looking at the mind, will be of much help. Not forcing, simply sitting and looking. Not doing much, just watching as one watches birds flying in the sky. Just Lying down on the ground and watching, nothing to do, indifferent. Not your concern really, where they are going; they are going on their own.

Remember, thoughts are also just like birds: they are moving on their own. And sometimes it happens that people who are around you, their thoughts enter into your sky, your thoughts go on entering into their sky. That’s why sometimes you feel that with some man suddenly you become sad; with some other man suddenly you feel an upsurge of energy and happiness and delight. Just looking at somebody, being near to him, something changes in your mood.

It happens even with places. You go into a house and suddenly a gloom settles on you. You go in another house, and suddenly you feel light as if wings have come to you, you can fly, you are weightless. You enter a crowd and you are no more yourself, something has changed. You enter another crowd, again something has changed.

This is the base of satsang: being with a Master who has no thoughts. Just being with him, sometimes his no-thought, his no-mind, will knock at your door. In some moments . . . it cannot be manipulated, one has to wait, one has just to pray and wait and watch. It cannot be forced because it is not a thought. A thought is a thing; it can be thrown at you. No-thought is not a thing, it cannot be thrown.

A thought has its own movement and propulsion. Whenever you are near a person who has too many thoughts, he will fill you with his thoughts. Just being near he will go on pouring his mind in you – whether he speaks or not, that is not the point. Continuously, thoughts, like sparks, are falling from his head all around – you catch them.

And sometimes you are even aware that this is not your thought. But when it comes you become filled with it, you become identified even with that. This is not your anger; somebody else was angry and you felt something within you. Somebody was hateful and the hate hit you. Everything is infectious, and mind is the most infectious disease in the world. No flu can compete with it, it goes on infecting people all around.

If you can see, you can see just sparks falling from the head of a person. They have different colors. That’s why so many mystics became aware of auras, because if a gloomy person comes he brings a gloomy aura. You can see it if your eyes are clear. You can see when a happy person comes around you. Even if you have not seen him – he is coming from behind you, you have not seen him – but suddenly you feel something happy is happening around.

Thoughts are not your own, they are not you. When you die your thoughts are scattered all around. It has happened, and next time you go near a dying man, watch – it is an experience in itself. When a man is dying, just sit and watch what happens to your mind. You will be surprised; thoughts which have never been there, thoughts you are not accustomed to, thoughts which are unknown, suddenly bubble up in you – pop! The man is dying and he is throwing his thoughts all around, like a dying tree throwing its seeds. It is in a panic; before the tree dies it should throw seeds so other trees come up.

Never go near a man who is dying if you are not aware, because then the dead will influence you. Basically, never be near a man where you feel gloomy, sad, unless you are aware. If you are aware then there is no problem. Then the gloom comes and passes; you never get identified with it.

Have you ever felt, going in a church, people praying, you feel immediately different. So much prayer, even not very real, just a Sunday prayer, but still they are doing it, even for a few moments the windows open – they are different. A fire catches you, you feel sudden changes within you.

Be aware! And then see how thoughts enter in the mind, how you get identified and become one with them. And they are moving so fast, the speed is so great, because there is nothing faster than thought. It is not possible to create anything faster than thought. It takes no time to reach anywhere. It jumps from one infinity to another; space doesn’t exist for it.

Thoughts are there, moving with fast speed. Because of the fast speed you cannot see two thoughts separately. Sit, close your eyes, slow down all processes of the body. Breathing slows, heartbeat slows, blood pressure slows. You slow down everything; you relax, because if everything slows, thought has to slow down, because it is a compact whole. When everything is slow, thought has to get slow.

That’s why in deep sleep thought stops; because everything is so slow and thought is so speedy a thing that there comes a breaking – the process cannot continue. The man is so slow and thought is so speedy, they cannot get together. Thought disappears. In deep sleep, only for a few hours, two hours at the most in the night, thought stops, because you are completely relaxed.

Relax and just watch: as the thought process slows you will be able to see gaps. Between two thoughts there is an interval – in that interval is consciousness. Between two clouds there is an interval – in that interval is the blue sky.

Slow down the thought process and look in the intervals, and pay more attention to the intervals than to the clouds. Shift the attention, change the gestalt. Don’t look at the figure, look at the background.

If I put a blackboard, a big blackboard the size of this wall here, and mark it with a white point and ask you what you see, ninety-nine percent the possibility is you will not see the blackboard, you will see the white dot – because we see the figure, not the background.

Such a big blackboard, but if I ask you, “What do you see there?” you will say, “I see a little white spot.” Such a big blackboard is not seen and only a little white spot, which is almost invisible, is seen? Why? Because this is the fixed pattern of the mind: to look at the figure, not at the background; to look at the cloud, not at the sky; to look at the thought, not at the consciousness.

This gestalt has to be changed. Pay more attention to the background and less attention to the figure. You will be nearer reality. In meditation this has to be done continuously. The mind, because of old habit, will look at the figure. You just shift again… Look at the background.

You are here, I am here. We can look at each other in two ways. I can look at the background; in the background are the trees, plants, greenery, the sky – the vast universe is your background. Or I can look at you, you are the figure. But mind always looks at the figure.

That’s why it happens if you go to a person like Sosan, Jesus or Buddha, you feel that their eyes are not looking at you. You are just the figure and they are looking at the background. Their gestalt is different. You may feel that their eyes are cold because they are not paying attention to you.

You are just a cloud. Persons like Buddha, when they look; you are there, but just as a small part of the background. And vast is the background, and you are just a dot. But you would like somebody to look at you, at the small dot, as if you are the universe, as if nothing exists beyond you.

Buddha’s love will look cold. You need a hot love, eyes which look at you and forget the whole. That is not possible for a Buddha. You have your place, but you are still a small dot. Howsoever beautiful, you are just part of a vast background – whole attention cannot be given to you.

That’s why the ego feels very much hurt near a Buddha, because the ego wants the whole attention: “Look at me, I am the center of the world.” But you are not the center of the world. Really there is no center in the world, because the center is possible only if the world is limited. If it is a finite circle then the center is possible – and it is an infinite circle.

It is absurd to think of a center. There is no center in the world; the world exists without any center. And it is beautiful. That’s why everybody can think, “I am the center.” If there is a center then it is impossible.

That’s why Mohammedans and Christians and Jews will not allow Hindu assertions that “I am God – Aham Brahmasmi.” They say, “This is heresy. What are you saying? Only God is the center. Nobody else is the center.” But Hindus can assert playfully that “I am God,” because they say there is no center, or everybody is the center.

But when you ask that the whole attention should come to you, this is the mind, the old habit of the mind, not to look at the background, just to look at the figure.

In meditation you have to shift from the figure to the background, from the star to the sky. The more this shift happens, the more you will feel you are not the mind, the more you will feel easily it can be dropped . . .

It is just like dropping a dress. You have made it so tight that it feels like a skin. It is not, it is just like a dress you can drop it easily. But one has to understand that one is the background, not the figure. And when this mind drops, says Sosan, then the objective world simply vanishes.

What does he mean? Does he mean that if you are in deep meditation, if you have reached the goal of no-mind, then these trees will disappear, vanish? Then this house will no more be here? Then you will not be sitting here? If I have attained, will this chair I am sitting on vanish?

No. Objects disappear as objects; not this chair, not that tree – they remain, but they are no more limited. Now they have no boundaries. Then this chair is meeting with the sun and with the sky, then the figure and the background has become one. There is no figure separate from the background, their identities are lost. And they are no more objects, because you are no more a subject there.

Krishnamurti goes on saying something very beautiful: that in deep meditation the observer becomes the observed. This is true, but you will feel that this looks absurd. If you are looking at a flower, does Krishnamurti mean that you become the flower? Then how will you get back home? And somebody may pluck you and you will be in trouble.

“The observer becomes the observed.” Does it mean that you become the flower? No – but still, in a sense, yes. You don’t become the flower in the sense that you can be plucked and somebody can carry you and you are no more a man. No, not in that sense. But when there is no mind, there is no boundary to you which separates you from the flower, no boundary to the flower which separates it from you. You have both become a subjective pool, you are merging and meeting. You remain you, the flower remains the flower, nobody can mistakenly pluck you – but there is a merging.

It happens only in your life sometimes in a few moments when you love a person. That too is rare, because man’s mind never leaves him even in love. It goes on creating its own nonsense, creating its own world. And the lover is no more allowed such closeness that he reaches to the background. The figure, the ego, always stands in between. But a few times it happens.

Of course, it must be happening in spite of you. It is so natural that even if you have made all the arrangements, sometimes the reality bumps into you. With all your arrangements, with all your dreams, sometimes it penetrates you; sometimes you are not on guard. Sometimes you forget, or you are so much occupied in a certain thing that a window opens and you are not looking at that window and the reality enters in.

A few moments, in love, this happens, when the observer has become the observed. This is a beautiful meditation: if you love a person then sit with the person and look into each other’s eyes – not thinking anything, not thinking who he is, not creating a thinking process, just looking into each other’s eyes.

There may be a few glimpses when the observer will become the observed, when you will be lost and you will not know who you are – whether you have become the beloved or the beloved has become you. Eyes are beautiful doors to enter into each other.

And why do I say only in love it is possible? Because only in love are you not on guard. You relax. You are not afraid of the other, you can be vulnerable, you can afford it. Otherwise, you are always on guard, because you don’t know what the other will do; you don’t know whether he will hurt you. And if you are not on guard the hurt can go very deep.

In love you can look into each other’s eyes. There will be some glimpses when the background and the figure dissolve into each other. You will be shaken to your very foundations. Suddenly you will have a glimpse: you are not, still you are. Somewhere deep there has been a meeting.

This happens to a real meditator with the universe itself – not that he becomes a tree, but still he becomes a tree. When he is with a tree, boundaries are not there. And when he becomes tuned to this no-boundary land, then he moves without boundaries..

This is what the meaning of Sosan is. When the mind disappears, objects vanish. When the objects vanish, you vanish, the ego vanishes. They are related.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: The unity of Emptiness.

You exist because of your objects around you. Your boundary exists because of the boundaries of other things around you. When their boundaries are lost, your boundary is lost – you are relative to each other, you are together.

Your mind and your objects outside are joined together, they have a bridge. If the one bank disappears the bridge falls. And with the bridge the other bank also disappears, because there is no possibility for one bank to exist without the other. This is the meaning of relativity.

And then there is a unity – unity of emptiness. You are empty and the flower is empty, because there is no boundary to the flower, then how can there be a center? This is one of the deepest realizations of Buddha, and only Buddhists have asserted this so beautifully. They say there is no atma, no self.

And this was very much misunderstood, because Hindus say that their whole religion is based on atma, the self, the supreme self. And Buddha says, “When there is no boundary, how can the self exist?” When there is no boundary and the mind has become totally silent, how can the ‘I’ exist? Because the ‘I’ is a noise. How can you say “I am” when the whole is? When the figure and the background have become one, how can you say “I am”?

This is the emptiness of Buddha – anatta. This word is beautiful – anatta, no-selfness. You are no more and still you are. Really, for the first time you are as the whole, but not as the individual, not as the defined, demarcated, fenced. You are as the whole, but you are not as an individual, as a marked, defined separateness. You are no more an island; you are the vast expanse of emptiness.

And the same is with the flower, and the same is with the tree, and the same is with the bird and with the animal, and the same is with the rock, stars and the sun. When your self disappears, the self disappears from everywhere, because it was your self-reflected, it was your self-resounded by the universe, it was your madness reflected. Now it is no more there.

Sosan is saying that when there is emptiness there is unity. If you are, how can there by any unity? Your very being separate creates the disunity.

Mohammedans say that they love Hindus, they are brothers; Christians say they love Jews, they are brothers. Everybody is a brother, but how can you be a brother when you are a Christian? How can you be a brother when you are a Hindu? Your demarcation, your boundary, carries the enmity in it. At the most you can tolerate the other, but you cannot be one with the other. And just saying ’brother’ doesn’t help, because nobody can fight as dangerously as brothers.

Saying that I am a Hindu, I am making myself separate from the whole. Saying that I am powerful, I am separating myself from the universe. Saying that I am extraordinary, I am separating myself from the universe. This is what Chuang Tzu says: Be just the ordinary. That means don’t separate in any way, don’t make clear-cut definitions about yourself. Live with liquid boundaries, which are always ready to meet and melt.

Understand the relativity of these two, and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this emptiness the two are indistiguishable . . .

They cannot be distinguished; they cannot be felt as separate – separate from the other. They are separate, but this separateness is totally different. You can distinguish, but this separateness is not of the ego.

It is just like a wave in the ocean. You can distinguish. The wave is the wave, not the ocean – still it is the ocean. The wave cannot exist without the ocean. The ocean is waving in it, the ocean is pulsating in it. It is separate as a form, and still not separate as existence. You remain separate, and still, you are not separate. This is the most fundamental paradox a man comes to experience when he experiences no-selfness, anatta.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

Not separate, you don’t lose anything, you gain the whole. And you are always afraid of losing. You always think, “If I lose myself then I am no more. What am I going to gain?” You lose, and you gain the whole. And you lose nothing but your misery, your anxiety, anguish. What have you got to lose?! You don’t have anything to lose – only your suffering, your bondage.

. . .  And each contains in himself the whole world.

When you lose, you become the whole world. All is yours. You are beggars because of yourselves; you can be emperors. Mind is the begging bowl.

I have heard one Sufi story. It is one of the oldest Sufi teachings.

A beggar came to an emperor’s palace. The emperor was just in the garden so he heard the beggar. The man on the gate was going to give something, but the beggar said, “I have one condition. I always take from the master, never from servants.”

The emperor heard. He was taking a walk so he came to look at this beggar, because beggars don’t have conditions. If you are a beggar, how can you have conditions? “Seems to be a rare beggar.” So, he came to look – and he was a rare beggar. The emperor had never seen such an emperor-like man before; he was nothing. This man had some glory around him, a grace. Tattered his dress was, almost naked, but the begging bowl was very, very precious.

The emperor said, “Why this condition?”

The beggar said, “Because servants are themselves beggars and I don’t want to be rude to anybody. Only masters can give. How can servants give? So if you are ready, you can give and I will accept it. But then too I have a condition, and that is: my begging bowl has to be completely filled.”

A small begging bowl! The emperor started laughing. He said, “You seem to be mad. Do you think I cannot fill your begging bowl?” And then he ordered his ministers to bring precious stones, incomparable, unique, and fill the begging bowl with them.

But they got into a difficulty, because the more they filled the begging bowl, the stones would fall in it and they would not even make a sound, they would simply disappear. And the begging bowl remained empty.

Then the emperor was in a fix, his whole ego was at stake. He, a great emperor who ruled the whole earth, could not fill a begging bowl! He ordered, “Bring everything, but this begging bowl has to be filled!”

His treasures . . . for days together all his treasuries were emptied, but the begging bowl remained empty. There was no more left. The emperor had become a beggar, all was lost. The emperor fell to the beggar’s feet and said, “Now I am also a beggar and I beg only one thing. Tell me the secret of this bowl, it seems to be magical!”

The beggar said, “Nothing. It is made of human mind, nothing magical.”

Every human mind is just this begging bowl. You go on filling it, it remains empty. You throw the whole world, worlds together, and they simply disappear without making any sound. You go on giving and it is always begging.

Give love, and the begging bowl is there, your love has disappeared. Give your whole life, and the begging bowl is there, looking at you with complaining eyes. “You have not given anything. I am still empty.” And the only proof that you have given is if the begging bowl is full – and it is never full. Of course, the logic is clear: you have not given.

You have achieved many, many things – they have all disappeared in the begging bowl. The mind is a self-destructive process. Before the mind disappears, you will remain a beggar. Whatsoever you can gain will be in vain; you will remain empty.

And if you dissolve this mind, through emptiness you become filled for the first time. You are no more, but you have become the whole. If you are, you will remain a beggar. If you are not, you become the emperor.

That’s why in India we have been calling beggars swamis. Swami means a master, an emperor. You cannot find a better word for sannyasins. When I was thinking what name to give to the new sannyasins, I couldn’t improve on it. Swami seems to be the best.

It means one who has thrown himself so completely he is no more; he has become the whole world, the master of all. Otherwise even emperors remain beggars; they go on desiring, asking and suffering.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fin you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

If you don’t distinguish between coarse and fine, good and bad, beauty and ugliness, this and that – if you don’t distinguish, if you don’t discriminate, you simply accept the whole as it is. You don’t put your mind in it, you don’t become a judge. You simply say, “It is so.”

The thorn is there, you say, “It is so.” The rose is there, you say, “It is so.” A saint is there, you say, “It is so.” A sinner is there, you say, “It is so.” And the whole knows; nobody else can know why a sinner exists. There must be some reason, but that is a mystery for the whole, not for you to bother about.

The whole gives birth to saints and sinners, thorns and roses – only the whole knows why. You simply fall into the whole and you don’t make any discriminations. You will also know why, but only when you have become the whole.

The mystery is solved when you have become the mystery itself. You cannot solve it remaining yourself. If you remain yourself, you will become a great philosopher. You will have many answers and no answer; you will have many theories but no truth. But if you become the mystery itself, you will know. But that knowledge is so delicate it cannot be put into words. That knowledge is so paradoxical it defies all language. That knowledge is so contradictory – because opposites lose boundaries, they become one – no word can say it.

The figure means the word and the background means the silence. In that knowledge the figure and the background have become one, the silence and the word have become one. How can you say it? But still it has to be said, because there are many who are thirsty for it. Even hearing about it, it may be that somebody’s heart starts on a journey. That’s why Sosan is saying these things.

Sosan knows they cannot be said, because whenever you say it you have to make discrimination. Whenever you say something, you have to choose a word. Whenever you have to say something, you prefer this to that and the mind enters.

But nobody has tried better than Sosan. He is incomparable. You cannot find another man who has put that silence into words so beautifully. Even a Buddha will feel jealous. This Sosan is really a Master – Master of silence and Master of words. He has put something into this world which doesn’t belong to this world. He has penetrated into words a deep silence of his experience.

Listen to his words – not only listen, imbibe. Let them melt into your heart. Don’t memorize them. Let them move into your bloodstream and become your blood and bones. Imbibe, eat them, digest them, and forget them. And they have tremendous power to transform.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Discourse #5

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.

By Itself Nothing has Existence – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: As I listen to you, I find that it is useless to ask you questions. Whatever the question, you invariably turn it upon itself and bring me to the basic fact that I am living in an illusion of my own making and that reality is inexpressible in words. Words merely add to the confusion and the only wise course is the silent search within.

Maharaj: After all, it is the mind that creates illusion and it is the mind that gets free of it. Words may aggravate illusion; words may also help dispel it. There is nothing wrong in repeating the same truth again and again until it becomes reality. Mother’s work is not over with the birth of the child. She feeds it day after day, year after year until it needs her no longer. People need hearing words, until facts speak to them louder than words.

Q: So we are children to be fed on words?

M: As long as you give importance to words, you are children.

Q: All right, then be our mother.

M: Where was the child before it was born? Was it not with the mother? Because it was already with the mother it could be born.

Q: Surely, the mother did not carry the child when she was a child herself.

M: Potentially, she was the mother. Go beyond the illusion of time.

Q: Your answer is always the same. A kind of clockwork which strikes the same hours again and again.

M: It can not be helped. Just like the one sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated. When l repeat: ‘I am, I am’, I merely assert and re-assert an ever-present fact. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence — both.

Q: You say that the little girl is already the mother of her future child. Potentially — yes. Actually — no.

M: The potential becomes actual by thinking. The body and its affairs exist in the mind.

Q: And the mind is consciousness in motion and consciousness is the conditioned (saguna) aspect of the Self. The unconditioned (nirguna) is another aspect and beyond lies the abyss of the absolute (paramartha).

M: Quite right — you have put it beautifully.

Q: But these are mere words to me. Hearing and repeating them is not enough, they must be experienced.

M: Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer which prevents you from focussing the inner. It cannot be helped; you cannot skip your sadhana. You have to turn away from the world and go within, until the inner and the outer merge and you can go beyond the conditioned, whether inner or outer.

Q: Surely, the unconditioned is merely an idea in the conditioned mind. By itself it has no existence.

M: By itself nothing has existence. Everything needs its own absence. To be, is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there, to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise. Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything determined by conditions (gunas). As water remains water regardless of the vessels, as light remains itself regardless of the colours it brings out, so does the real remain real, regardless of conditions in which it is reflected. Why keep the reflection only in the focus of consciousness? Why not the real itself?

Q: Consciousness itself is a reflection. How can it hold the real?

M: To know that consciousness and its content are but reflections, changeful and transient, is the focussing of the real. The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.

Q: Only necessary, or also sufficient?

M: One must also know that a rope exists and looks like a snake. Similarly, one must know that the real exists and is of the nature of witness-consciousness. Of course it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realise the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned.

Q: Can the unconditioned be experienced?

M: To know the conditioned as conditioned is all that can be said about the unconditioned. Positive terms are mere hints and misleading.

Q: Can we talk of witnessing the real?

M: How can we? We can talk only of the unreal, the illusory, the transient, the conditioned. To go beyond, we must pass through total negation of everything as having independent existence. All things depend.

Q: On what do they depend?

M: On consciousness. And consciousness depends on the witness.

Q: And the witness depends on the real?

M: The witness is the reflection of the real in all its purity. It depends on the condition of the mind. Where clarity and detachment predominate, the witness-consciousness comes into being. It is just like saying that where the water is clear and quiet, the image of the moon appears. Or like daylight that appears as sparkle in the diamond.

Q: Can there be consciousness without the witness?

M: Without the witness it becomes unconsciousness, just living. The witness is latent in every state of consciousness, just like light in every colour. There can be no knowledge without the knower and no knower without his witness. Not only you know, but you know that you know.

Q: If the unconditioned cannot be experienced, for all experience is conditioned, then why talk of it at all?

M: How can there be knowledge of the conditioned without the unconditioned? There must be a source from which all this flows, a foundation on which all stands. Self-realisation is primarily the knowledge of one’s conditioning and the awareness that the infinite variety of conditions depends on our infinite ability to be conditioned and to give rise to variety. To the conditioned mind the unconditioned appears as the totality as well as the absence of everything. Neither can be directly experienced, but this does not make it not-existent.

Q: Is it not a feeling?

M: A feeling too is a state of mind. Just like a healthy body does not call for attention, so is the unconditioned free from experience. Take the experience of death. The ordinary man is afraid to die, because he is afraid of change. The jnani is not afraid because his mind is dead already. He does not think: ‘I live’. He knows: ‘There is life’. There is no change in it and no death. Death appears to be a change in time and space. Where there is neither time nor space, how can there be death? The jnani is already dead to name and shape. How can their loss affect him? The man in the train travels from place to place, but the man off the train goes nowhere, for he is not bound for a destination. He has nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to become. Those who make plans will be born to carry them out. Those who make no plans need not be born.

Q: What is the purpose of pain and pleasure?

M: Do they exist by themselves, or only in the mind?

Q: Still, they exist. Never mind the mind.

M: Pain and pleasure are merely symptoms, the results of wrong knowledge and wrong feeling. A result cannot have a purpose of its own.

Q: In God’s economy everything must have a purpose.

M: Do you know God that you talk of him so freely? What is God to you? A sound, a word on paper, an idea in the mind?

Q: By his power I am born and kept alive.

M: And suffer, and die. Are you glad?

Q: It may be my own fault that I suffer and die. I was created unto life eternal.

M: Why eternal in the future and not in the past. What has a beginning must have an end. Only the beginningless is endless.

Q: God may be a mere concept, a working theory. A very useful concept all the same!

M: For this it must be free of inner contradictions, which is not the case. Why not work on the theory that you are your own creation and creator. At least there will be no external God to battle with.

Q: This world is so rich and complex — how could I create it?

M: Do you know yourself enough to know what you can do and what you cannot? You do not know your own powers. You never investigated. Begin with yourself now.

Q: Everybody believes in God.

M: To me you are your own God. But if you think otherwise, think to the end. If there be God, then all is God’s and all is for the best. Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful heart. And love all creatures. This too will take you to your Self.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From I Am That, Chapter #39, By Itself Nothing has Existence.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.

You can read more from U.G. Krishnamurti here.

Negative Projection, a Technique of Visualization – Osho

Mind itself means projection, so unless you transcend the mind, whatever you come to experience is projection. Mind is the projecting mechanism. If you experience any visions of light, of bliss, even of the divine, these are all projections. Unless you come to a total stopping of the mind you are not beyond projections; you are projecting. When mind ceases, only then are you beyond the danger. When there is no experience, no visions, nothing objective – the consciousness remaining as a pure mirror with nothing reflected in it – only then are you beyond the danger of projections.

Projections are of two types. One type of projection will lead you to more and more projection. It is a positive projection; you can never go beyond it. The other type of projection is negative. It is a projection, but it helps you to go beyond projections.

In meditation, you use the projecting faculty of the mind as a negative effort. Negative projections are good: it is just like one thorn being pulled out by another thorn or one poison being destroyed by another poison. But you must be constantly aware that the danger remains until everything ceases, even these negative projections, even these visions. If you are experiencing something, I will not say it is meditation; it is still contemplation, it is still a thought process. However subtle, it is still thinking. When only consciousness remains with no thought – just an unclouded, open sky – when you cannot say what “I” am experiencing, this much can be said: I am.

The famous maxim of Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum – I think; therefore, I am,” in meditation becomes “Sum ergo sum – I am; therefore, I am.” This “I am-ness” precedes all thinking; you are before you think. Thinking comes later on; your being precedes it, so being cannot be inferred from thinking. You can be without thinking, but thinking cannot be without you, so thinking cannot be the basis upon which your existence can be proved.

Experiences, visions, anything felt objectively is part of thinking. Meditation means total cessation of the mind, of thinking, but not of consciousness. If consciousness also ceases, you are not in meditation but in deep sleep; that is the difference between deep sleep and meditation.

In deep sleep projection also ceases. Thinking will not be there, but simultaneously, consciousness will also be absent. In meditation projections cease, thinking ceases, thoughts are no more there – just like in deep sleep – but there is consciousness. You are aware of this phenomenon: of total absence around you, of no objects around you. And when there are no objects to be known, felt and experienced, for the first time you begin to feel yourself. This is a nonobjective experience. It is not something that you experience; it is something you are.

So even if you feel the divine existence, it is a projection. These are negative projections. They help – they help, in a way, to transcend – but you must be aware that they are still projections, otherwise you will not go beyond them. That is why I say that if you feel you are encountering bliss, you are still in the mind because duality is there: the duality of the divine and the nondivine, the duality of bliss and nonbliss. When you really reach to the ultimate, you cannot feel bliss, because nonbliss is impossible; you cannot feel the divine as divine because the nondivine is no more.

So remember this: mind is projection, and whatever you do with the mind is going to be a projection. You cannot do anything with the mind. The only thing is how to negate the mind, how to drop it totally, how to be mindlessly conscious. That is meditation. Only then can you know, can you come to know, that which is other than projection.

Whatever you know is projected by you. The object is just a screen: you go on projecting your ideas, your mind, upon it. So any method of meditation begins with projection – with negative projection –and ends with nonprojection. That is the nature of all meditation techniques, because you have to begin with the mind.

Even if you are going toward a state of no mind, you have to begin with the mind. If I am to go out of this room, I have to start by going into the room; the first step must be taken in the room. This creates confusion. If I am just going in a circle in the room, then I am walking in the room. If I am going out of the room, then again I have to walk in the room – but in a different way. My eyes must be on the door and I must travel in a straight line, not in a circle.

Negative projection means walking straight out of the mind. But first, you have to take some steps within the mind.

For example, when I say “light,” you have never really seen light. You have only seen lighted objects. Have you ever seen light itself? No one has seen it; no one can see it. You see a lighted house, a lighted chair, a lighted person, but you have not seen light itself. Even when you see the sun you are not seeing light. You are seeing the light returned.

You cannot see light itself. When light strikes something, comes back, is reflected, only then do you see the lighted object and because you can see the lighted object, you say there is light. When you do not see the lighted object, you say it is dark.

You cannot see pure light, so in meditation I use it as a first step – as a negative projection. I tell you to begin to feel light without any object. Objects are dropped, there is just light. Begin to feel light without any objects . . . One thing has been dropped, the object, and without the object you cannot continue to see light for a long time. Sooner or later the light will drop, because you have to be focused on some object.

Then I tell you to feel bliss. You have never felt bliss without any object; whatever you know as happiness, bliss, is concerned with something. You have never known any moment of bliss that is unconcerned with anything. You may love someone and then feel blissful, but that someone is the object. You feel blissful when you listen to some music, but then that music is the object. Have you ever felt a blissful moment without any object? Never! So when I say to feel blissful without any object, it seems to be an impossibility. If you try to feel blissful without any object, sooner or later the bliss will stop, because it cannot exist by itself.

Then I say to feel divine presence. I never say, “Feel God,” because then God becomes an object. Have you ever felt presence without someone being present there? It is always concerned with someone: if someone is there, then you begin to feel the presence.

I drop that someone totally. I simply say, feel the divine presence. This is a negative projection. It cannot continue for long because there is no ground to support it; sooner or later it will drop. First I drop objects, and then, by and by, projection itself will drop. That is the difference between positive and negative projection.

In positive projection, the object is significant and the feeling follows, while in negative projection the feeling is important and the object is simply forgotten, as if I am taking the whole ground from under your feet. From within you, below you, from everywhere, the ground has been taken and you are left alone with your feeling. Now that feeling cannot exist; it will drop. If objects are not there, then the feelings that are directly connected to objects cannot continue any longer. For a while you can project them, then they will drop. And when they drop you alone remain there – in your total aloneness. That point is the point of meditation; from there meditation begins. Now you are out of the room.

So meditation has a beginning in the mind, but that is not real meditation. Begin in the mind, so that you can move toward meditation, and when mind ceases and you are beyond it, then real meditation begins. We have to begin with the mind because we are in the mind. Even to go beyond it, one has to use it. So use the mind negatively, never positively, and then you will achieve meditation.

If you use the mind positively, then you will only create more and more projections. So whatever is known as “positive thinking” is absolutely anti-meditative. Negative thinking is meditative; negation is the method for meditation. Go on negating to the point where nothing remains to be negated, and only the negator remains; then you are in your purity, and then you know what is. Everything that is known before that is just the mind’s imaginings, dreamings, projections.

-Osho

From Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Appendix 1

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.

Beyond Duality – Osho

You said that existence is a wholeness, that everything is related, that things are melting into each other, that the tree cannot be without the sun and the sun also cannot exist without the tree. In reference to the above, please explain how ignorance and enlightenment are related to each other.

They are related. Enlightenment and ignorance are two polar opposites. Enlightenment can exist only because there is ignorance. If ignorance disappeared from the world, enlightenment would disappear simultaneously. But because of our dualistic thinking we always think that opposites are opposites. They are complementary, they are not really opposite. They are complementary because one cannot exist without the other. So they are not enemies. Birth and death are not enemies because death cannot exist if there is no birth. Birth creates the base for death to exist but if there were no death, birth could not exist.

Death creates the base – so whenever someone is dying, someone else is being born. At one point there is death, at the next point immediately there is birth. They look opposite, they work in opposition as far as the surface is concerned, but deep down they are friends helping each other. It is easy to understand about ignorance and enlightenment because we think that when a man becomes enlightened, ignorance has disappeared completely. This is the ordinary standpoint about enlightenment – that ignorance has disappeared completely. No. That is not right. Rather, on the contrary, when a person becomes enlightened, enlightenment and ignorance have both disappeared. Because if one is there the other is bound to be there; one cannot exist without the other. They exist together or they disappear together. They are aspects of one thing, two faces of one coin. You cannot make one face of the coin disappear and retain the other.

So when a person becomes a Buddha, really, at that moment both have disappeared – ignorance and enlightenment both. Just consciousness is left, pure being is left, and the conflicting, opposing, helping opposites have disappeared. That is why when Buddha is asked what happens to an enlightened man, he remains silent many times. He says, “Don’t ask this because whatsoever I say will be untrue. Whatsoever I say will be untrue. If I say that he has become silent it means the opposite of silence must exist there, otherwise how can you feel silence? If I say he has become blissful, then anguish must exist side by side. How can you feel bliss without anguish?” Buddha says, “Whatsoever I say will be untrue.” So he remains consistently silent about the state of an enlightened person, because all our terms are dual. If you say light, and if someone insists, “Define it,” how are you going to define it? You will have to bring darkness in, only then can you define it. You will say that light is where darkness is not – or something like that.

One of the greatest thinkers of the world, Voltaire, used to say that you can communicate only if you define your terms first. But that is impossible. If you have to define light, you will have to bring darkness in. And then if it is asked what darkness is, you will have to define it by light, which is undefined. All definitions are circular. They used to say, “What is mind?” and the definition was, “Not matter.” And, “What is matter?” and the definition was, “Not mind.” Both terms are undefined and you are playing a trick with yourself. You define one term by another term which itself needs definition. The whole language is circular and the opposite is necessary.

So Buddha says, “I will not even say that the enlightened person exists.” Because existence is possible only if non-existence is also present. So, he will not even say that you exist after enlightenment, because existence has to be defined by non-existence. Nothing can be said then because all language consists of the polar opposite. That is why in the Upanishads it is said that if someone says that he is enlightened, know well that he is not. Because how can he feel that he is enlightened? Some ignorance must have remained because a contrast is needed.

If you write on a blackboard with white chalk – the blacker the board the whiter will be the writing. You cannot write on a white board with white chalk. If you do, there will be no writing. The contrast is needed. If you feel that you are enlightened that shows that the blackboard is right there – only then could you feel it. If the blackboard has really disappeared, the writing would have also disappeared. It happens simultaneously. So a Buddha is neither ignorant nor wise, he simply is. You cannot put him on any pole of any duality. Both the poles have disappeared.

When they disappear how does it happen? When both poles meet they negate each other and disappear. In another way you can say Buddha is both the most ignorant person and the most enlightened. The polarity has come to its extreme point, there has been a meeting, and the meeting has cancelled both. The minus and plus have come together. Now there is neither minus nor plus, because they cancel each other. The minus has cancelled the plus and the plus has cancelled the minus, they have both disappeared and a pure being, an innocent being is left. You cannot say it is wise, you cannot say it is ignorant – or, you can say it is both.

Enlightenment means the point from where you take a jump into the non-dual. Before that point is duality. Everything is divided.

Someone asked Buddha, “Who are you?” He laughed and said, “It is difficult to say.” But the man insisted. He said something can be said because you are. Something meaningful can be asserted because you are. But Buddha said, “Nothing can be said. I am, but even to say this leads me into untruth.” Then the man took another route. He asked “Are you a man or a woman?” Buddha said, “It is difficult to say. Once I was a man, but then my whole being was attracted towards women. When I was a man, my mind was filled with women, and when women disappeared from my mind, my man also disappeared with them. Now I cannot say. I don’t know who I am and it is difficult to define.”

When duality is no more, nothing can be defined. So if you are aware that you have become wise it means that foolishness persists. If you think that you have become blissful, it means that you are still in the world, in the realm of anguish. If you say that you feel a very deep well-being, a health, that means that disease is still possible. The opposite will follow you; if you carry one the other will follow. You have to drop both. And the dropping happens when both meet. So the basic science of all religion is how to allow your inner opposites to meet so that they disappear and not a trace is left. You will disappear with the disappearance of the opposite. You as you are will no longer be there and something totally new and unknown, something unimaginable, will come into being. That something is called Brahma, you can call it God. Buddha prefers the term “nirvana”. The word “nirvana” simply means cessation of all that was, total cessation of the past. And you cannot use your past experience and knowledge to define this new. This new is indefinable.

Ignorance and enlightenment are also part of duality. For us Buddha looks enlightened because we are in ignorance. For Buddha himself he is neither. It is impossible for him to think in terms of duality.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #76, Q2

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.

Existence Is Advaita – Osho

The nature of consciousness is to be just a mirror. The mirror has no choice of its own.

Whatsoever comes in front of it is reflected – good or bad, beautiful or ugly – whatsoever. The mirror does not prefer, it does not judge, it has no condemnation. The nature of consciousness, at the source, is just mirror-like.

A child is born; he reflects whatsoever comes before him. He does not say anything, he does not interpret. The moment interpretation enters; the mirror has lost its mirror-likeness. Now it is no more pure. Now it is filled with opinions, disturbed, many fragments, divided, split. It has become schizophrenic.

When the consciousness is divided, not mirror-like, it becomes the mind. Mind is a broken mirror.

In the root, mind is consciousness. If you stop making discriminations, if you stop making dual division – choosing this against that, liking this, disliking that – if you drop out of these divisions the mind again becomes a mirror, a pure consciousness.

So the whole effort for a seeker is how to drop opinions, philosophies, preferences, judgments, choices. And this should not become a choice in itself – that’s the problem.

So try to understand the basic problem, otherwise you can make this a choice “I will not choose, I will remain choiceless. Now choice is not for me, now I am for choiceless awareness.” This has again become the same thing – you have chosen. Now you are against choice and for choicelessness.

You have missed. Nobody can be for choicelessness, because the being for IS choice.

So what is to be done? Simple understanding is needed, nothing is to be done. The ultimate is achieved not through effort but through understanding.

No effort will lead you towards that, because effort will always be from the dual mind. Then you dislike the world and you like God; then bondage is not your preference, freedom is your preference; then you seek the moksha, the ultimate liberation. But again the mind has entered, and the mind goes on entering. And you cannot do anything – you have to simply be alert to the whole situation.

If you are alert, in a sudden illumination the mind falls. Suddenly you are one with the mirror-like consciousness; you have fallen to your base, to your root. And when you have fallen deep within to the root, the whole existence falls to the root.

Existence appears to you as you are. This is one of the fundamental laws. Whatsoever you see depends from where you see. If you are a mind, divided, then the whole life is divided. Existence re-echos your being. If you have a mind, split, then the whole world will be seen as split, then day is against night. They are not, because the day turns into night, the night turns into day – they make a complete circle. They are not against, they are complementaries. Without the night there cannot be any day, and without the day there cannot exist any night. So they cannot be opposites; they are deep down one.

Life and death appear as opposites because YOU are divided. Otherwise life becomes death, death becomes life. You are born, and that very day you have started to die. And the moment you die a new life has come into being. It is a circle – the yin and yang circle of the Chinese.

That circle has to be remembered again and again. It is one of the most basic symbols ever discovered. No other symbol can be compared to it – the cross, the swastika, the aum – no, no comparison with the Chinese yin and yang, because yin and yang comprehends the whole oppositeness of existence: the dark night and the bright day, life and death, love and hate.

All opposites are together in existence. Inside you are divided, outside they are divided. When you fall to your source and you become one, the whole existence suddenly falls into line and becomes one. When you are one, the Brahma appears, the ultimate appears, because to the one only one can appear; to the two, the two; to the many, the many. And you are many, you are a crowd – not even two. You have many, many selves within you.

Gurdjieff used to say that you are a house where nobody knows who the host is. Many people are there, everybody is a guest – but because nobody knows who the host is, everybody thinks he is the host. So whosoever becomes powerful in any moment plays the role of the host.

When anger becomes powerful, anger becomes the host. When love becomes powerful, love becomes the host. When jealousy becomes powerful, jealousy becomes the host. But it is a constant fight, because many are the guests and everybody would like to be the host, the owner of the house. And nobody knows who the owner is. Either the owner has gone for a long journey and has not come back, or the owner is fast asleep.

Your self is fast asleep. Hence the insistence of all Jesuses, Krishnas, Buddhas: “Awake!” Jesus goes on using the word ‘awake’ many, many times: “Awake, watch, be alert.” Buddha goes on saying, “Become more conscious.”

The meaning is one: that if you become aware the host will appear. And the moment – and this is the beauty of it – the host appears, the guests disappear. The moment the master comes into being, the servants simply fall into line and they become servants. They don’t claim that they are the masters. So the real problem is not to fight with anger, jealousy, hate. The real problem is to bring the master, make him aware. Once he is aware everything is set right. But this awareness is possible only if you fall to the source.

Mind is bound to remain divided, it cannot become one – the very nature of the mind is such. Try to understand the nature of the mind, then these sutras of Sosan will become clear, transparent. The nature of the mind is to look at a thing in such a way that the opposite has to be brought in. Without the opposite the mind cannot understand. If I say, “What is light?” how will the mind understand? Immediately darkness has to be brought in.

If you go to the dictionary – the dictionary is a vicious circle – if you look for what light is the dictionary says: that which is not darkness. To destroy light, darkness has to be brought in. What nonsense! And when you go to the definition of darkness, you will be surprised – then the light has to be brought in. What is darkness? – then they say: that which is not light.

You have not defined either, because both remain indefinable. And from one indefinable how can you define the other which is undefined? The whole game of the dictionary is that you never look at the whole thing.

If you ask linguists, “What is mind?” they say, “Not matter.” And, “What is matter?” they say, “Not mind.” Neither is defined. How can one undefined term define something? If I ask you where you live you say, “I am a neighbor of A.” And if I ask you where this A lives, you say, “He is my neighbor.” How am I to find the place where you live? Because neither A is defined nor you; A lives near B and B lives near A. But this is how things go on.

Mind cannot understand anything unless the opposite is brought in, because through contrast mind becomes capable of seeing. Life cannot be understood if there is no death, and happiness is impossible to feel if there is no unhappiness. How will you feel healthy if you have never known illness? You may be healthy but you cannot feel it. To be healthy is possible without illness but the mind cannot check it, the mind cannot know it. You have to fall ill.

For the mind, to be a saint one needs to be a sinner first, and to be healthy you have to be ill, and to be in love you have to hate. If you love and there is no hate you will not be able to know, your mind will not in any way detect it. And nobody else will be able to know it.

That is the problem with a Buddha or a Jesus. Buddha is full of love, but we cannot detect his love – he has no contrasting background, no hate. We have never seen hate in his eyes, and we have never seen anger in his eyes. How can we know that he loves? His love becomes incomprehensible.

For the mind, anything is comprehensible if the opposite is brought in. But the moment you bring the opposite you falsify existence, because in existence there is nothing like ‘opposite.’

Mind moves through the opposite and existence is unitary. Existence is advaita, existence is nondual – there is no problem. Where is the boundary of the day, when the day stops, ceases to be, and the night starts? Is there a gap between the two? Only if there is a gap then the boundary is possible. But there is no boundary! The day simply melts into the night, it merges into the night, and the night again merges into the day. Life is one, existence is one – mind is dual. So if you go on choosing you will never come to the source. Then you will cling to life and you will be afraid of death. Then you will cling to love and you will be afraid of hate. Then you will cling to the good and you will be afraid of the bad. Then you will cling to God and you will be afraid of the Devil.

Life is one. God, Devil – one. There is no division where God ends and where Devil begins; there cannot be. In life, Ram and Ravan are one, but for the mind they are the enemies, they are fighting.

For the mind everything is a conflict, it is a war.

And if you choose then you remain part of the game. And how not to choose is the whole art of religion, how to drop into a choicelessness.

But remember, don’t choose choicelessness! Otherwise, listening to me or to Sosan or Krishnamurti you will become enchanted by the word ‘choicelessness.’ Your mind will say, “This is very good. Then ecstasy is possible and much bliss will happen to you if you become choicelessness. Then the door of the mysteries of life will be opened.” The mind feels greedy. The mind says, “Okay, so I will choose choicelessness.” The door is closed, only the label is changed, but you have become a victim of the old trick.

-Osho

From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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For Such a Mind, Self-inquiry will Become Easy – Ramana Maharshi

11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought ‘Who am I?’

R.M. When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they arise?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, “To whom has this thought arisen?”. The answer that would emerge would be “To me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?”, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness” (antarmukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation” (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity “I”. If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).

12. Are there no other means for making the mind quiescent?

R.M. Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought “I” is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).

Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.

Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed.  The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.

13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?

R.M. As the meditation on the Self rises higher and higher, the thoughts will get destroyed.

14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?

R.M. Without yielding to the doubt “Is it possible, or not?”, one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep “O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?”; one should completely renounce the thought “I am a sinner”; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds – one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds – auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.

The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one’s self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one’s self arises all arises; when one’s self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.

15. How long should inquiry be practised?

R.M. As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry “Who am I?” is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.

-Ramana Maharshi

From Who Am I?

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