Why Doesn’t the Ego Remain Dead – Osho

Many times I feel so merged in you that it is as if I have died and only you are. But this feeling doesn’t remain constant, and always the ego returns. This happens whenever I have to again communicate with others or return to activity. Why doesn’t the ego remain dead?

If you make it a goal – egolessness – then you will always remain with the ego. Don’t make it a goal, because all goals belong to the ego. If you think that you should remain egoless, who is this “you” who should remain egoless? This is the ego. So the first thing, don’t make it a goal. Any goal will feed the ego – even the goal of egolessness.

When you are egoless enjoy it; when you feel the ego again, be alert – but don’t expect the contrary. If you start expecting you will be more entangled with the same thing. Whenever egolessness is there enjoy it, feel grateful, thank God, and when the ego comes again, be alert. Soon more and more egolessness will happen to you, less and less ego will return. And the moment will come when ego will disappear, but don’t make it a goal. All goals belong to the ego.

Secondly, don’t expect anything, because when you start expecting you have moved from the here and now into the future. When you start expecting something you have started to bring your memory, your past, into the present. This very moment you feel egoless – it is okay. Then it goes, the ego comes. You want to repeat the past again – you must be egoless. You project the past in the future and you miss the present.

And remember, egolessness is possible only if you are here and now. If you move into the past, if you move into the future, the ego will persist. So don’t ask for any constancy because constancy means you want to continue the past into the future. Remain with the moment and don’t expect anything. The ego will drop by itself, no other effort is needed. If the ego has moved it means you are not in the present. So don’t fight with the ego, simply move into the present and ego will drop.

And this is what is happening.

You say: “Many times I feel so merged in you that it is as if I have died and only you are.”

I am here and I am now. I have no past and no future. If you really relate with me you relate with my nowness and here-ness, because there is no other thing with which to relate. If you feel a love, a trust, flowing towards me, that love and trust can flow only in the present. That’s why you feel you have died. It is not because of me that your ego is dying, it is because you have moved with me in the present. Then your past is forgotten, your future is no more. You are here, totally here.

So don’t think that it is something that I am doing to you, it is something that you are doing to yourself – I am just the excuse. Try to understand this because otherwise it will become a clinging. The same can happen anywhere. Remember the secret. If you love me, if you listen to me deeply, if you are here present with me, receptive, open, you are in the present. That’s why for a few seconds the ego will disappear. Then you are not. If you can be in the present anywhere, you will not be.

You can be only either in the past or in the future – you cannot be in the present. Just think about it, how can you be in the present? There is no need. The past accumulates, becomes crystallized, and you feel ‘I’. Then the past projects in the future and says, “This should be, this should not be. I desire this, I don’t desire that.” This is your past desiring – all the bad experiences you don’t want to repeat and all the good trips you want to repeat in the future. This is past asking for something in the future – and you are missing the present, which is the only existence.

Past is no more, it is already dead; future is not yet, it is yet unborn. Both are not. And ego can exist only in non-existence, it is the most false thing possible. The present moment is, it is the only is-ness; nothing else exists. If you relate with the present you cannot exist as an ego, because the present is the real and the real never creates anything false. Out of the real nothing false is created; only out of the false, false comes.

So it can happen… it may be happening to you that for a few moments you disappear. While listening to me, while just sitting with me, you disappear. But I am not doing anything to you. If you think I am doing something then you will cling to me, you will become attached to me; a new attachment will be formed. And then through that attachment you will ask again and again for the same.

Just try to understand the basic law. Then move into the forest, sit under a tree, and be in the here and now. Then be with your friends, remain silent, and remain in the here-and-now. Listen to music, forget the past, forget the future, and be here and now. And if you can be in the present anywhere, suddenly the ego will not be found. And if you ask that this should happen again, ego has come again, because now you are asking for the future, planning for the future. This is the mechanism.

“But this feeling does not remain constant, and always the ego returns.” It will remain constant only when you don’t ask that it should remain constant. It will happen again and again every moment, it will be continued, but don’t ask for its constancy. Rather, enjoy it moment to moment and don’t project it. It will arise again and again every moment, but remember, it is never the old, it is always the new arising, every moment being born again and again. It is not the past continuing, it is the new being born every moment.

“This happens whenever I again have to communicate with others or return to activity.” Why does it happen when you communicate with others? Really you don’t communicate, that’s why. If you communicate it will not happen. While you are here with me, this is a communication. You relate with me, you become silent, you drop your past. You listen so attentively that thinking stops. This is communication.

When you communicate with somebody else you are not communicating, you are just throwing out your inner talk. You are thinking of many things. You may be saying something and thinking something else, meaning something else, doing something else. You are many while you communicate with others – then the ego enters.

In activity also the ego can enter because you become the doer. While I am speaking you are not doing anything at all, you are simply here listening. Listening is not a doing, listening is passive, it is a non-act. You need not do anything; you simply be there and it will happen. If you do something you won’t be able to listen, if you go on doing something you will only appear to be listening but you won’t be listening. When you don’t do anything, listening happens. It is a passive thing. You need not do anything to create this capacity, it is always there.

But when you return to activity the ego can return, because again the doer has come. So what is to be done? When you return to activity remain the witness and don’t become the doer. Go on doing things but remain the witness. Or if it is difficult then just leave everything to the divine and say that the divine is doing everything, you are just a vehicle, a passage, an agent. That’s what Krishna says to Arjuna in the Gita: “You leave everything to me, surrender everything to me. You become just a medium and let things happen. Don’t you be the doer, God is the doer.”

Or if you cannot think of any God then there is another technique, and that is destiny or fate, that everything that is happening is destined. You are not doing it, it was bound to be so, it was going to happen, it was predestined. These are simple things, but you feel these simple things are difficult because they have become difficult in this age.

In the past these simple techniques helped millions to attain silence, peace, egolessness, because they could trust. Fate, or what Sufis call kismet, helped millions… because then simply you say, “I am not the doer. The whole existence has predetermined everything in me and I am just following.” This is the whole secret of astrology. Astrology is not a science but a technique of religion. If a person can believe that things are settled already and one cannot change anything, then the doer cannot arise. But simple faith is needed for that.

If you feel this is difficult – and this is difficult for the modern mind – then only one thing remains, and that is, be alert and move again and again to the present. No faith, no God is needed. But then the path is very arduous because every moment you will have to pull yourself back to the present. 

It is such an old habit to move ahead, it has become such a fixation that you will have to constantly struggle.

Remember not to move in the past and not to move in the future. Then every moment egolessness will arise, it will become a continuous flow. And the more egoless you are the more moments of egolessness, the more glimpses in the divine. The more you are the less the divine is for you, the less you are the more the divine.

-Osho

From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter 17

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Hurry Slowly – Osho

Jesus said:  Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.

Exactly the same words are in the Upanishads. They say that there are two birds on a tree, one sitting on a lower branch, another sitting on a higher branch. The bird on the lower branch thinks, gets worried, desires, demands, accumulates, fights, competes; it remains in anguish, tension, jumps from this branch to that, always moving, never in repose. The other bird, who is sitting on a higher branch, is in repose. He is so silent, as if he is not. He has no desires, no dreams happen to him. He has no needs to fulfill, as if everything is fulfilled, as if he has attained, nowhere to go. He simply sits, enjoying himself, and he watches the bird who is on the lower branch.

These are the two dimensions in you. You are the tree. And the lower is always disturbed. The lower is your body and the bodily needs and the bodily desires, and if you forget yourself completely into it then you become one with it. On the higher branch, at the top of the tree, sits the other bird who is a witness, who simply looks down at this foolish bird jumping, moving in anguish, anxiety, anger, sex. Everything happens to it; this other bird is simply a witness, he simply looks on and on, he is just a spectator. You are the tree.

Jesus says the same thing with a different symbol: Jesus said:  Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.

Now the whole question is to whom the attention should be paid. Towards whom should you move, towards whom should your whole energy flow? Who should become your goal?

Ordinarily, that one who is going to die is your goal. That’s why you are always in anxiety, because you are building a house on sands. It is going to fall – even before it is built it will fall and become a ruin. You are always trembling because you are making your signature on water – before you have completed it, it is gone. Your anxiety is because you are concerned with the realm of death and you have not looked towards life. And on each bed two are sleeping – the other is just a witness.

Pay more attention to it, turn towards it more and more – that’s what conversion means. Conversion doesn’t mean a Hindu becoming a Christian, or a Christian becoming a Hindu. This is foolishness, you simply change labels. Nothing is changed because the inner man remains the same, the old pattern. Conversion means the movement of attention from the death realm to the life realm. It is an about-turn: looking at the witness, becoming one with the witness, losing yourself into the witness, into awareness, and then you know that which is going to die will die. It makes no trouble, no problem, and you know you are not going to die so there is no fear.

Jesus said:  Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.

And it is up to you. If you want to remain in trouble, never pay attention to the inner one; if you want to remain always in anguish then remain on the periphery, don’t look within. But if you want repose, a peaceful eternity, truth, the doors of heaven open for you, then look within. It is difficult – it is difficult because it is very subtle. Where the invisible and the visible meet, where matter and spirit meet, it is very subtle. You can see matter, you cannot see spirit, it cannot be seen. You can see where the visible ends, you cannot see the invisible, it cannot be seen.

Then what is to be done? Just remain at the boundary of the visible, and don’t look at the visible, look in the opposite direction. Gradually the invisible can be felt. It is a feeling, it is not an understanding; you cannot see it, you can only feel it. It is just like a breeze: it comes, you feel it, but you cannot see it. It is just like the sky: it is there, but you cannot say where, you cannot pinpoint it, you cannot touch it. It is always there, you are in it but you cannot touch it.

Remain at the boundary of the visible looking in the opposite direction. This is what all meditation is about. Whenever you can find a peaceful moment close your eyes, leave the body behind and the bodily affairs and the world of death; the market, the office, the wife, the children – leave them all. The first time you will not feel anything inside.

Hume has said, “Many people have talked about going in and looking there. Whenever I look, I find nothing – just thoughts, desires, dreams, floating here and there – just a chaos.” You will also feel the same. And if you conclude that there is nothing worthwhile in going again and again to see this chaos, then you will miss.

In the beginning you will see this, because your eyes can only see this – they need a tuning. Just remain there looking at the floating dreams. They float like clouds in the sky, but between two clouds, sometimes you will see the blueness; between two dreams, two thoughts, sometimes there will be a glimpse of the sky behind. Just don’t be in a hurry. That’s why they say that if you hurry you will miss.

There is one Zen saying which says, “Hurry slowly.” That’s right! Hurry, that’s right, because you are going to die – in that sense hurry. But inside, if you are in too much of a hurry you will miss, because you will conclude too soon, before your eyes have become attuned. Don’t conclude too soon.

Hurry slowly. Just wait! Go there and sit and wait. By and by, a new world of the invisible becomes clear, comes to you. You become attuned to it, then you can hear the harmony, the melody; the silence starts its own music. It is always there, but it is so silent that very trained ears are needed. It is not like a noise, it is like silence. The sound within is like silence, the form within is like the formless. There is no time and no space within, and all that you know is either in space or in time. Things are in space, events are in time, and now physicists say these two things are not two; even time is just a fourth dimension of space.

You know only time and space, the world of things and events. You don’t know the world of the witnessing self. It is beyond both, it is not confined to any space and it is not confined to any time. There is duration without time, there is space but without any height, length, breadth – it is a totally different world. You will need to become attuned to it, so don’t be impatient – impatience is the greatest barrier. I have come to feel that when people start working towards the inner one, impatience is the greatest barrier. Infinite patience is needed. It can happen the next moment, but infinite patience is needed.

If you are impatient it may not happen for lives, because the very impatience will not allow you the repose that Jesus talks about, the tranquility. Even if you are expecting, that will be a disturbance. If you are thinking something is going to happen, something extraordinary, then nothing will happen. If you are waiting, expecting that some enlightenment is going to happen, you will miss it. Don’t expect. All expectations belong to the world of death, the dimension of time and space.

No goal belongs to the inner. There is no way to it except by waiting, infinite patience.

Jesus has said, “Watch and be patient.” And one day, suddenly you are illumined. One day, when the right tuning happens, when you are ready, suddenly you are illumined. All darkness disappears, you are filled with life, eternal life, which never dies.

Enough for today.

-Osho

From The Mustard Seed, Chapter Fourteen

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Sakshi, the Witness – Osho

What does sakshi mean? Sakshi means the seer, the witness. Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the body?” Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the mind?” Who is this who goes on denying that “I am not this, I am not this?” There is an element of seeing, of watching, of the watcher within us which sees, which observes everything.

This seer is the sakshi, the witness. What is seen is the world. The one who is seeing is who I am, and what is being seen is the world. Adhyas, the illusion, means that the one who is seeing misunderstands himself to be all that is seen. This is the illusion.

There is a diamond in my hand: I am seeing it. If I start saying that I am the diamond, that is an illusion. This illusion has to be broken and one has to come, finally, to that pure element which is always the seer and is never the seen. This is a little difficult. The one who is the seer can never be seen, because by whom will it be seen? You can see everything in the world except yourself. How will you see yourself? – Because two will be needed for seeing, one who sees and the other who is seen. We can grab everything with a pair of tongs except the tongs themselves. That effort will fail. We may find it puzzling that when the tongs grab everything, why can they not grab themselves?

We see everything, but we are not able to see ourselves. And we will never be able to. Whatsoever you can see, know well that that is not you. Thus take one thing to be certain, that whatsoever you are able to see is not you. If you are able to see God, then one thing has become certain, that you are not God. If you have seen light within you, one thing is conclusive, that you are not light. If you have an experience of bliss within you, one thing is determined, that you are not bliss. Whatsoever has been experienced, you are not that. You are that which experiences.

So whatsoever becomes your experience, you are beyond it. Therefore it will be useful to understand one difficult point here, that spirituality is not an experience. Everything in the world is an experience, but not spirituality. Spirituality is reaching towards that which experiences all, but which itself never becomes an experience. It always remains the experiencer, the witness, the seer.

I see you: you are on one side; I am on the other side. You are there, the one who is being seen; I am here, the one who is seeing. These are two entities.

There is no way of dividing oneself into two so that one part sees and the other part is seen. Even if it was possible to divide, then the part that would be seeing is myself, the part that would be seen would not be myself. The matter is finished.

This is the whole process or methodology of the Upanishads: neti, neti – neither this nor that. Whatsoever can be seen, say that you are not that. Whatsoever can be experienced, say that you are not that. You can go on stepping backwards, until nothing remains that can be denied or eliminated. A moment comes when all scenes are lost. A moment comes when all experiences are dropped – all!

Remember, all! The experience of sex is of course dropped; the experiences of meditation are also dropped. The experiences of the world, of love and hate are dropped; the experiences of bliss and enlightenment are also dropped. Only the pure seer remains. Nothing is there to be seen; only emptiness remains all around, only the watcher remains and the empty sky all around. In the middle stands the seer, the watcher, who sees nothing because everything has been denied and eliminated that could be seen. Now he experiences nothing. He has removed all experiences from his way. Now he remains alone, the one who was experiencing.

When there is no experience, there is no seeing; there is nothing seen and there is no object to be seen, and the witness alone remains. It becomes very difficult to express in language what really happens because we have no other word except ‘experience’ in our language, therefore we call it ‘self-experience’ or ‘self-realization’. The word experience is not right. We say “experience of consciousness” or “experience of the Brahma, the absolute,” but none of these expressions are right, because the word experience belongs to that same world which we have eliminated. The word experience does have a meaning in the world of duality, where there was ‘the other’ too. Here it has no meaning at all. Here only the experiencer remains, the witness remains.

The search for this witness is spirituality.

-Osho

From Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter Three

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The Goal Comes to You – Osho

What is Joshu’s single note? This is the single note – emptiness. This is the lotus flower that Buddha transmitted to Mahakashyap. And this is what all of the Buddhas have been teaching through the ages – be empty. The ego wants to be All. The All happens, but it happens through emptiness, and therein lies the difficulty, the impossibility of it. You can become perfect, but if perfection is the ideal, then you will miss it. You can become perfect through being totally empty. That seems inconceivable for the mind, because the mind says: To be perfect one has to make much effort, to be perfect one has to create an ideal in the future, and one has to make effort to reach the goal. The goal happens.

Perfection comes to man, man need not go there. The goal comes to you. Nobody has ever gone to the goal. It has always been otherwise; the goal comes to you when you are empty. And to be empty is just the opposite, just the opposite of all efforts towards perfection, because perfection means you would like to be God himself. Perfection means you would like yourself eternally, infinitely, spread all over. Emptiness is just the opposite – you have to destroy yourself utterly. Not even a trace should be left behind. When your house is empty, the guest comes. When you are no more, the goal has been attained.

So don’t make perfection your goal, the goal happens indirectly. You be empty, and you have created the situation for it to come. Because nature abhors emptiness, nothing can remain empty. If you empty yourself completely, you will be filled by the Unknown. Suddenly, from all directions the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation; it has to be filled. When you are not, God is.

So remember, there cannot be any meeting between you and God. There has never been, and there will never be. When you are not, God is; when you are, God is not. They both cannot be together.

Here you disappear, and suddenly the Total, the Perfect, the Whole appears. It has always been there. But you were filled by yourself so much that there was no space for it to come in. It was all around, but you were not empty.

You are just like a house without doors – just walls and walls and layers and layers of walls. And remember, a house is in fact not the walls but the doors. Lao Tzu says: What is a door? – A door is nothing, it is an emptiness; and from the door you enter. The wall is something, the door is nothing.

And have you observed that the house is not the walls but the emptiness within? The very word ‘room’ means emptiness, space. You don’t live in the walls, you live in the space, in the emptiness.

All that exists, exists in emptiness. All that lives, lives in emptiness.

You are not your body. Within your body, just like within your house, space exists. That space is you. Your body is just the walls. Think of a person who has no eyes, no ears, no nose, no windows, no doors in the body – he will be dead. Eyes and ears and nose and mouth, they are the doors, they are emptinesses. And through that emptiness, existence enters into you. The outer and the inner meet, because the outer space and the inner space are not two things, they are one. And the division is not a real division.

It is just like, you can go to the river, and you can fill an earthen pot with water. When the water is moving in the earthen pot, the river outside and the water inside the pot are the same. Only an earthen wall exists, and even that earthen wall is porous; water is continuously flowing out and in.

Your body is also porous; existence is continuously flowing in and out. What is your breathing? – It is existence coming in and going out. And scientists say, millions of holes in the skin are continuously breathing in and out. You are porous. If your whole body is painted thickly, and only the nose is allowed to remain open, you can go on breathing, but within three hours you will be dead. Because the whole body breathes – it is porous. Existence continuously renews you.

And inside who are you? Inside is an emptiness. When one realizes this emptiness, the ego simply disappears – it is a myth, it is a dream, it is a fallacy. Because you have never looked within, you have created a false ego.

There is a necessity, because no man can live without a center. And you don’t know your own center. So the mind creates a false center; that false center is the ego. When you move inwards and look for the ego, you will never find it there. The deeper you go, the more you will laugh because the ego is not there. You are not there. Sometimes, just close your eyes and look for the ego. Where are you? Who are you? And emptiness surrounds you from everywhere; nobody is there inside. And this moment is the most beautiful and ecstatic moment possible when you feel that there is no ego.

When there is no ego, you are empty. And when you are empty, the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation.

-Osho

From Returning to the Source, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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God is Seeking Himself – Jean Klein

There may come a moment in life when the world no longer stimulates us and we feel deeply apathetic, even abandoned. This can motivate us towards the search for our real nature beyond appearances. When we no longer find interest in activities and states, when we no longer feel much pleasure in objects and human relationships, we may find ourselves asking: “Is there something wrong with this world or with my attitude towards it?” This serious doubt can lead us to ask: “What is the meaning of existence? What is life? Who am I? What is my true nature?” Sooner or later any intelligent person asks these questions.

As we live with these questions, look at them closely, we become aware that the “me” always seems to be at the center of things playing several roles: “I am cold. I am tired. I am working.” With a more open-minded alertness it becomes apparent that the body feels cold, tired, or is working, not “I.” In the same way when we look at states: “I wish. I am depressed. I remember. I am bored,” we see that we have identified ourselves with the thought or feeling. In looking at this relation between the “I” and its qualifications it becomes obvious that we have taken it for granted and believe ourselves to be this “me.”

This “me” has therefore no continual reality. It is a false appropriation. It lives only in relation to its qualifications, its objects. It is fundamentally unstable. But because we have mistaken our real self for this imposter we feel an insecurity, a doubt, a lack, a sensation of isolation. The “me” can only live in relation to objects so we spend all our energy trying to fulfill the insatiable insecurity of this me. We live in anxiety, fear and desire trying at one and the same time to be as individualistic as possible and to overcome this separateness. The “me” which appears occasionally is taken as a continuum. Actually it is only a crystallization of data and experience held together by memory. Being fractional, its viewpoint is fractional functioning through like and dislike. Its contact with its surroundings is based on this arbitrary choosing. Living in this way is miserable. The loneliness of such an existence may be temporarily camouflaged by compensatory activity but sooner or later, as we said, our real nature will make itself felt and our questioning will become more urgent. We will begin to feel that what we take for the body and mind is not the actual state of things. In deeper inquiry we feel a certain distancing between the inquirer and his environment, activities and opinions. For a time we may feel like an observer of our life, the spectator of the spectacle. Our body and mind are instruments to be used. We observe the changes of the psychosomatic structure as we grow older. We become aware that many, if not most, of our actions are mechanical reactions. All these happenings are seen from the impersonal observer. We begin to feel closer to the knower of these changes and less identified, lost in, the changing. In the end, the seeker is found to be what was sought.

Q: “What do you mean by that last statement, “the seeker is found to be what was sought?”

A: You are seeking your real nature. What you are looking for is what you are, not what you will become. What you already are is the answer and the source of the question. In this lies its power of transformation. It is reality, a present actual fact. Looking for something to become is completely conceptual, on the level of ideas. It has no reality and no effective power. The seeker will discover that he is what he seeks and what he seeks is the source of the inquiry.

Q: It seems to me that not everyone who is a seeker has experienced this deep feeling of unfulfillment or abandonment that you talk about.”

A:  It’s true. There are those who, because of their past, sense the divine anchored deep within them. In these cases there is no motivation. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is seeking himself.”

-Jean Klein

From I Am, pp.67-68

Listening Arises from Wonderment – Jean Klein

Could you talk about listening and its origin?

To discover your innermost being you must start from where you are at this very moment, wherever that is. You cannot begin anywhere else. Whatever appears before you‌—‌your body, sensations, feelings, thoughts, etc.‌—‌must be accepted, listened to as a whole. This does not mean you should analyze, interpret, understand or look for an inner meaning. What is important is to discover listening itself, which sooner or later will be revealed to you. At first the accent is on what is listened to, the sensation, feeling or thought. But the more the listening is sustained the more the emphasis is shifted to this listening itself without a listened to. Then you are at the threshold of the source from which the listening derives. That very instant listening will become a living reality.

Real listening can be neither improved nor perfected, for it is perfection itself. It reveals itself when the mind is struck by wonder, when it no longer refers to the slightest object. This fulfillment is later erroneously attributed to an object but one who is aware of the true perspective knows that the cause of this peacefulness is not to be found in an object, but is a pure reflection of silence, of what Is.

Listening arises from wonderment, to which it also points‌—‌a state where there is no projection, where nothing appears. It is as if you had suddenly opened the windows of a dark room full of objects, and in streams daylight. Everything becomes clear in an instant.

– Jean Klein

From I Am

The Guest is Found in the Host – Osho

Friedrich Nietzsche declared that God is dead and hence man is free. That has been one of the most ancient arguments: if God is, man cannot be free. How can man be free if God is? Then God is the master and man is the slave. Then God decides, man has only to follow. Then God has will and man has no will; man is only a plaything in the hands of God. So either God is, or man is free. If man is free, there can be no God at all.

Charvakas in ancient India, Epicurus in Greece, and then Nietzsche, Marx, Diderot, Freud, Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, they all have been repeating the same argument again and again in different words. The argument seems to be very appealing. The argument proposes freedom for man: man can be free only if God is removed. Then there is nobody above man. Then there is nobody to dominate man, nobody to decide for man. If there is nothing higher than man, then freedom is absolute. But howsoever appealing the argument, it is fundamentally wrong; it is based on wrong premises.

The declaration that God is dead is in a sense true: the false god, the man-made God, is certainly dead. The god of the temples and the churches and the synagogues and the mosques and the gurudwaras is certainly dead. The god that man has imagined in his own image, the god that man has made according to his own wishes, the god that is nothing but a projection of man’s mind and desires, that god certainly is dead.

But that god had really never existed; it is dead because it has never existed in the first place. And it is good that the man-made god is dead, because when the artificial is removed the natural can sprout. When the false ceases the true can explode. The untrue MUST cease for the truth to be.

I look at atheism with great respect, because it removes the false. It has a great work to do. Its work is not against God; its work really is for God, because it destroys all man-made idols of God. And then, in that emptiness, the time God can become manifest, can be revealed.

All the great saints have been against the false god. They will agree perfectly with Nietzsche, Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre. Of course, they will agree for a totally different reason: not that the true God is dead, not that the true God can ever be dead. To say that God is dead is a contradiction in terms if by God you mean the true God, the God ‘that which is’. It is a contradiction in terms because God is nothing but life, and how can life be dead? It goes on and on, it is an unending process. Life is a pilgrimage with no beginning and no end; God is another name for life.

Those who know, they know God as the fragrance of life, the perfume of existence, the very ground of being. For them, God is not a concept, not a theory, not a hypothesis. For them, God is an existential experience. For them God is not separate from man, for them God is man’s innermost core.

Hence how can man’s freedom and God be antagonistic? Without God there would be no freedom, because without God there would be no man. Without God there would be no inner core to your being. Without God you would be hollow; you wouldn’t have any meaning, any significance. Without God you would be just accidental, a plaything of circumstances. With God you have a certain significance, some meaning, some poetry.

With God you are free because God is your freedom. God gives you space to grow; God is the space to grow in. Because there is something higher, you can grow, you can reach for it, but the higher is not separate from you. The higher is nothing but your own depth trying to manifest itself. The higher is not something like a goal to be achieved. It is more like something which is already there and has only to be recognized. The height and the depth are one and the same. Your innermost core is also the innermost core of the whole existence.

To think of God and man is wrong. God is man fulfilled, man is God on the way. Man is the journey, God is the reaching, the arrival. Man is like a seed and God is like a flower… one chain of growth.

God is not to be worshiped but realized. There is no need to make temples for God. You have to learn how to look within you. The temple is already there: your body is the temple! That’s what Kabir goes on saying again and again: your body is the temple. God has already chosen it as its abode.

God is already in you, God exists as you. Hence there is no question of any conflict between you and God; there cannot be. Without God you would be just a flower without fragrance. Without God you would be a temple without any deity, empty. Without God you would be just pure accident, with no significance at all. It is only with God that you become part of the great symphony of existence, that you become something which is needed, utterly needed; that without you existence will miss something, that without you existence will be less.

God is not an ideal as we have been thinking down the ages. And it is good that that God is dead; now we can declare the birth of a new God. Now we can declare the true God. The true God is always your interiority, your subjectivity.

Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most important atheists of this age, says that we cannot allow God to exist because His existence reduces us to objects. He becomes the subject – He is omniscient, He goes on looking at us, and because He looks at us and we cannot look at Him, we are reduced to objects, things, commodities. Whenever you look at a thing you cannot look at its interiority, you can look only at its outer core. By looking, you reduce everything to a thing.

That’s why in all the cultures, in all the societies down the ages, looking at somebody for a certain period is thought to be unmannerly. For almost two or three seconds you can look and there will be no objection, that is casual; you are passing by and you look at a person, just a casual look, a glance. But if you stare it is offensive. Why? Why is looking at a person for too long offensive? It reduces him into an object: you become the seer and he becomes the seen. And who are you to reduce him into an object? It is offensive!

Jean-Paul Sartre also says that that is one of the reasons why lovers always go on fighting, because they both go on looking at each other, reducing each other into things, and nobody likes it. The man does not like to be reduced into a thing, neither does the woman like it. And they are lovers so they stare at each other – it is offensive; even in love it is offensive. Deep down somewhere your being revolts against it.

Women are far more sensitive, naturally. They are more graceful. When they are making love they close their eyes; they don’t reduce the man who is making love to them into an object. Man is a little crude: he likes to see while he is making love. Even while he is making love he wants to see, he would like to keep the light on. And there are extremists also who would like it to be photographed, so they can make an album and later on they can look at it.

But the woman feels offended. Certainly she is more sensitive, and her sense of propriety is far more refined than the sense of man. You kiss a woman, she immediately closes her eyes – she gives you the freedom of being a subject.

Jean-Paul Sartre has some truth in his statement that lovers are always in conflict because they reduce each other into things, and nobody wants to be a thing. Then what to say about God? – He reduces the whole humanity, all beings, into things. He is the eternal subject and we are objects. Hence Sartre says we cannot allow God to exist. Even if He is, He has to be killed, He has to be destroyed.

There have been thinkers like Immanuel Kant, Schiller, Hegel, who say: If there is no God He has to be invented, because without God man will lose all significance. And they are also right: even if there is no God he has to be invented, for man’s sake. It is better to have an invented God than not to have any. At least He will give an appearance of significance to life, a certain rhythm. The noise will start looking at least like music. The accidental will not be accidental any more, some meaning will arise. Hence they say if there is no God, He has to be invented.

And on the other pole, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud say: Even if there is God, He has to be killed, because if He remains man is reduced into an object. Man loses all freedom, man loses all will. But both are wrong, because both are thinking in terms of God as if God is the other.

Kabir says – just as all the mystics of all the ages have been saying – God is not the other. He is you. He is your inside. He is your subjectivity, so how can He reduce you into an object? He is not separate, so how can He take your freedom away? He need not be invented because He is already there. And He need not be killed, because in killing Him you will be simply committing suicide – and that is impossible; nobody can commit suicide. You can drop one body, you will immediately enter into another womb. Suicide is impossible. You can pretend the game of committing suicide but you can never succeed in it, because nothing can be destroyed. Not even a grain of sand can be destroyed.

Physicists say there is no possibility of destroying anything. Neither can something new be created nor can something existent be destroyed. If this is so even about a grain of sand, what to say about the being of man?’ – that is the highest flowering – how can it be destroyed?

Life is eternal. Life is immortal. It changes forms, certainly, just like the waves in the ocean go on changing but the ocean remains. Bodies come and go, minds come and go, but your innermost witness remains always there. And that witness is God.

Hegel, Kant, Schiller, are wrong; so is Freud, so is Nietzsche, so is Jean-Paul Sartre. They both accept the same premise: that God is the other. And God is not the other. God is your very soul.

God is already in you… just a little alertness.

Wake up and see! You need not wait for the Guest. The Guest has already arrived in the very being of the host. The Guest is found in the host.

-Osho

From The Guest, Chapter 13

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