A Direct Apperception – Jean Klein

Presence, the now, refers to our eternity. We can never think of it, represent it, because we are it. It is an instantaneous apperception that it refers to our totality. Every step undertaken to find it is going away. It is the ultimate goal in every human being to know it, to be it. It is everlasting peace and joy.

Jean:  Any questions?

Q:        You’ve said that it is only through inquiry, by asking the question, “Who am I?” that we come to know our real nature, ourselves. At what point in a life time does the question really come up? When do we really feel the question?

Jean:  It needs a certain maturity to come to this question. By maturity I mean that you know, in a certain way already, what you are not. This knowing what you are not brings you to the fore feeling what you are. The moment you know what you are not, you are free from all directions, and you are brought back to the starting point which means, “Who am I?” And in this moment, there is no more reference to anything, anything known. And then, I would say, you are taken by reality. There is no more a knower and something known. There is only being the known.

Q:        But how can I ask the question so that it doesn’t remain mental? So that it has real transformative power to change my life? Otherwise, it remains mental repetition, or a mental inquiry. How do I make it a really existential question, living question?

Jean:  When you ask the question, you don’t know the answer. So automatically you find yourself in a state of not knowing. In this state of not knowing, your mind is completely unfurnished. You are free from all representation. It is only in this state of not knowing, in this openness of not knowing, waiting for the eventual known. When the waiting becomes free from what it is waiting for – in this waiting without waiting – there is the living answer.

Q:        What does it mean to be enlightened?

Jean:  It supposes that there is somebody to be enlightened. As long as you take yourself for somebody, you live in darkness. When you realize that the somebody is a mental image, and it is when you think of it and you produce it. Then you give it up. This image has no more a role to play. And in this instantaneous giving up, it gives you up. It produces, I would say, a great laughing. In this laughing, it’s like you will feel yourself free from all representation. You function in daily life and all functions refer to you.

Q:        Many teachers teach different forms of meditation practice. If a person sincerely follows a meditation practice, will that lead him to the consciousness or the non-state that you have referred to?

Jean:  Going to meditation means to find yourself in a laboratory. The entity which looks for peace, joy, security, in other words God, will never find it because our cerebrality can never know what truth really is. So, as long you can find the meditator, meditation is an illusion. And this giving up the meditator and even the meditation, then what remains, I would say, is a current of love. There is not another, only the love.

Q:        But the conditioning to take ourself as a person runs so deeply, don’t we need some kind of technique or process to break ourselves of this identification, to decondition the mind and the body?

Jean:  Every state, every object refers to the now. It appears in the now, and it vanishes in the now. Every technique remains [keeps] you in the realm of the mind, but that can never free yourself from the mind, free from memory. So I would say, see really what is next to you, what is the near to you, look at your nearness. It can never be an object. It can never be a state. You are your nearness. Otherwise, there is conditioning and conditioning. To see it really clearly means wisdom.

Q:        Jean, isn’t this rather confusing for someone who would come to one of your seminars and find that there is meditation. There is bodywork, an advaita yoga you might say, where we are working with sensation and feeling the energy body. All of which ultimately have to be objects. All of which are existent and not eternal. What do they have to do with this nearness, this presence you are speaking of?

Jean:  We are working with objects, sensation, feelings, but really, we don’t know this original perceptions, original feelings. We know only a certain pattern. In this session, you become familiar with listening, listening to your sensation, to your feelings, your reactions, resistance. In this listening, you give the feeling, the sensations, the opportunity to unfold itself in the observation. It comes to a new reorchestration of your feelings and sensations. This unfolding is only possible because you are open to it, you welcome it. Now welcoming is an idea, but really with your whole being being open to it, what refers to your totality. You realize that it isn’t you, that you are not in the body, in the perception, in the feeling.

Sometimes we use certain techniques, which generally are used in a progressive way, but it is only occasionally. It is the idea behind that which we are looking for – we are it fundamentally – because in the end all things appear in the now, and it has its reality in the now. It is the now which gives the perceptions, the apperceivings, its reality. I would say, only then we have a certain reality. We have an expanded reality, but at the end, it belongs to the now, to the present. All what appears is a prolongation, an expansion, of the now, of consciousness, of awareness.

So, it brings you back, in other words, to your real nature, because all that is done emphasizes not on the object part but on the ultimate subject part, consciousness.

Q:        This listening that you speak of, is this an integral part of being or is it an attribute, a way toward being?

Jean:  The listening of which you are speaking is free from all memory. There are no expectations. There is no goal. In this listening we are looking away from the goal, looking away from the target. So it is unconditioned listening. In listening, the listening is open to itself. It refers to itself. And at the end, it knows itself by itself.

Q:        You said that all objects point to our true nature or the background, do some objects point more directly, and just what do you mean by this?

Jean:  All objects point where [toward] your real nature, but then? When? you see nearer an object the smallest sense perceptions. It belongs to our five senses. So generally, when the mind is not informed that you are behind all sense perceptions, then you are more or less fixed to the sense perceptions. So your question, is there other form of objects which reveals your real nature, I would say these are objects which point directly to beauty. This means these are objects which have been conceived, produced in beauty, and these objects, the artist which offers it to you in a certain way, don’t emphasize the object part what is producing. It is why he produced it in a very economic way. He frees the object of its objectivity. So the listener, or the person who looks at it, may be free from the senses and brought back to real beauty.

The artist has from time to time, this feeling of absolute beauty, free from the person. And then this state, free from the person, the artist likes, I would say, to thank – thanking to be allowed to be. And this thanking brings him to offering. He offers it. And the object which he offers is free from any anecdotic part, and free from keeping it for the senses. So in a certain way, he shares his inner beauty. His beauty is your own beauty and oneness. It is so in listening to music, and it is also looking at any art objects – sculpture, painting, architecture, and so on.

Q:        In this enlightened non-state, what about feelings and emotions? Do you feel anger or happiness and joy in the same way or is there a difference?

Jean:  When you are established in the now, the present, there is no place for somebody who reacts, who resists. All what appears to you, appears to your totality. All counterparts – positive, negative – are, I would say, abolished. You may say certain things appearing in your life are not completely appropriate. That is sure, but there would not be a reaction. When you qualify it, it is more or less; it is not functional, but you are not more psychologically involved in it.

Q:        Jean, I would like to ask a question about relationships. When two people come together, like a man and a woman, and live with each other, and one of them is interested in this kind of approach to life and the other perhaps isn’t, it is often a lot of ground for conflict, which has led me to feel sometimes that it might be better if I were living alone. It might be somehow easier to accomplish this kind of awakening. And I wondered what you had to say about that?

Jean:  It is love which brought both together. And it is in this oneness that the personality of each unfolds, but both personalities refer to oneness, to love. When the personality of the woman, of the man don’t refer to the oneness, to love, you can be sure there is a kind of degeneration because the personality, the character, or what you call the individual, has its reality in this oneness, in love. It is so on every level. Every activity in its own level refers to this oneness. Otherwise, there is a moment, there is no more stimulation. It is this oneness which gives life to all activities. The moment we believe in this restricted being, of personality to personality, of man and woman, then you can be sure there is not only a kind of degeneration in its form of energy, but there is constant comparison because the personality is completely insecure, looks for security, for the moment that doesn’t refer to the oneness. There is only asking, demanding. So, you must refer to the original encounter, you as a man with a woman which means love.

Q:        Jean, you just mentioned referring to the oneness. I notice that when I experience fear, I identify almost totally with my body and biological survival. How can I break that restricted identification when I am in that state?

Jean:  Fear is first a perception. You feel fear. And then feeling, you qualify it. You name it; you say “fear”. But the word fear is memory refers to a certain pattern that you have, the notion that you mean by fear. So the idea of fear doesn’t refer to the actual fear, the actual perception. So pedagogically I would say, free yourself from the concept fear then you face really the perception which is localized in your body.

See in this moment how you function. You try to change the fear. You try to escape. You try by all means to refuse it. In the refusing, in the escaping, you give more or less fuel to the fear. When you see it really, there is a moment natural that you allow the fear to be fear. And it becomes energy – really energy alive. You accept it completely. It is not psychological acceptance, but it is functional acceptance – accepted to know it more and more deeply. Then the perception refers completely to your accepting. It is in this accepting position that what you accept frees itself; and it dissolves in you, in your presence. It reveals really what you are profoundly.

Live with the fear more and more deeply. Accept it. Even love it. You are not more bound it. When you are not more bound to it, when you are not more involved in it, it frees itself. It is a reaction. But in accepting it you will come completely through the fear. You remain completely a witness to it. It vanishes in your witnessing. It means intimate living. You are able to do it.

Q:        Jean, this question has probably come up many, many times, but it is the issue of money and our desire for it, and how we use it, and our feeling that it is going to provide security for us. Could you speak about the issue of money and our proper relationship to it.

Jean:  I have observed that many people have a wrong relationship with money. First, I would say that you are not the owner of your money. You are the administrator. And being an administrator of your money, you are detached in a certain way. You have a non-relation with your money because an ownership is avidity, a striving, a coming. An administrator is only functioning. Try functioning with your money and spending it and then earning it.

The first thing what I think is that you are completely emotional, psychologically involved with your money. It is generally when you take your money for [as] yourself, an expansion of yourself, belonging to yourself, that you will have a bad death. You will only dying [die] but never really dying [die]. It is your money which keeps you from dying. Many people take risk with your [their] body and mind, but they would never take risk with the money, for money is something which keeps you. Owns you. Lets you never go. Because there is a moment in life that they have to go. But what is important [is] that when you be really [are] an administrator of your money, the distribution and the earning become really functional. It’s been coming to you because somebody has spent it.

Apparently, I don’t see that you spending money [is] an augury. The question may be more or less the mind. (Soft laughter.)

Q:        Thank you.

(More laughter.)

Jean:  I think in daily life you should come often back to the starting point and the starting point you can never think of it because the moment you think of the starting point the point is already in the past. The starting point is the presence, the eternal now. All flows out from the now, and all appears and disappears in the now. And the now is a kind of original perception. It is a direct apperception; you know yourself in your totality. There is not a knower there is only known.

-Jean Klein

From Dialogues with Jean Klein, Part 1

Here you can read more from Jean Klein.

Here you can listen to A Direct Apperception (Dialogues with Jean Klean part 1).

Here you can listen to Dialogues with Jean Klein part 2.

Here you can watch the videos of the Dialogues with Jean Klein on YouTube.

Here Ends this Upanishad – Osho

By listening to these above teachings, the disciple attained knowledge and he exclaimed, “Whither has that world gone? Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Who did it take away? And in what way has it dissolved? Is it not immensely astonishing that it is not?

What have I now to renounce in this great oceanlike brahman, which is whole and full of a nectar of bliss? What is the other? What is more unique? Here, I do not even see anything. I do not even hear anything, and I do not even know anything, because I am the ever-blissful self.

I am unique.
I can be compared to none.
I can be compared only to myself.
I am absolutely alone, without body.
I cannot be indicated.
No symbol can represent me.
I am the supreme god Hari.
I am immeasurably silent.
I am the infinite, absolute, and the most ancient.
I am not the doer.
I am not the one who indulges.
I am without growth.
I am the imperishable.
I am already pure and knowledge itself.
I am the Sadashiv, the eternally good.”

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity.

This is the teaching of nirvana, of knowledge, Veda. It is ordained by the Veda itself.

Here ends this Upanishad.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

By listening to these above teachings, the disciple attained knowledge and he exclaimed, “Whither has that world gone? Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Who did it take away? And in what way has it dissolved? Is it not immensely astonishing that it is not?

This is a very unique happening. The teacher was saying that this world is just a dream, and unless this dream ceases, the world of reality, the world of truth cannot be attained. “Cease dreaming and enter the world of reality,” he was teaching. And he would never have imagined that just by listening to this, the disciple attained to knowledge. How can it happen? It is not happening to us. We have heard it also; it has not happened to us. Why? And why could this happen to that disciple? What is the difference? You are listening, but that listening is not of the heart.

You are listening, but that listening is not total.

You are listening, but you go on standing outside.

Only the mechanical part of your ears hears it. Or at the most, the mechanical part of your mind thinks about it, but the heart remains untouched. You go on protecting your heart from the teaching. You are afraid that if this teaching goes deep into your heart, you will not be the same again. And then you will be thrown into insecurity; you will be thrown into the unknown – and everyone is afraid of the unknown. That fear becomes a barrier.

Unless you are ready to go into the unknown, to move into the unchartered, to move in a world where you do not know anything . . . insecurity will be there, you will be vulnerable; danger will be there, even death. Unless you are ready to take a jump into the unknown, this teaching cannot become a deep happening for you.

But to this disciple it happened. He heard it; he must have heard it through his heart. He must have heard it through his total being; he must have become one while the teaching was being delivered. The teacher and the taught must have felt a deep communion. The teacher must have gone deep into the disciple’s heart through his teaching.

The disciple was ready and receptive. He never doubted; he simply believed – there was no question.

The whole Upanishad is without a question, there is no question, no questioning at all. The disciple remains completely silent through the whole discourse. Only in the end do we suddenly become aware that there has been a disciple present. The teacher was talking, the teacher was giving his message, but we were never aware that a disciple was there. Suddenly we become aware in this last part of the Upanishad, when the disciple says, “Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Where is that world? When I came to you, there was a world around me. Now I look and there is no world to be found. Where has it gone? It is immensely astonishing. You were teaching me that the world is not, and now I see that it is not!”

What has happened to the disciple? Now he is looking from a new standpoint; now he is looking from a deeper center. Now he is looking really, from his being. When you look from your being, the world of becoming disappears like a dream.

That’s how I started this commentary on the Upanishad. When we live on the circumference, then the world is real. When we move towards the center, the world becomes more and more unreal. When you stand at your center, when you are centered in yourself, the world completely disappears. What have I now to renounce in this great oceanlike brahman, which is whole and full of nectar of bliss? What is the other? What is more unique?

The disciple is just shocked – what has happened to the world? When for the first time one explodes into that realm of the divine, the first thing is a shock – the world disappears.

And when the world disappears suddenly, you cannot face, you cannot see the other world that arises. The curtain falls, the barriers fall, but your mind has been always attuned to this world of ignorance, of dream. When this dissolves suddenly, you cannot become aware of the other world that is now before you.

Your eyes will need a new attunement; your consciousness will need a new way of looking. Now you will need a new dimension, a new opening in you. Only then you will feel that although the world has disappeared, a new existence has come up and has appeared: Here, I do not even see anything. I do not even hear anything, and I do not even know anything . . .

All old knowledge has become futile. All old ways of seeing have become futile. All the senses have become futile, because they were meaningful only when the world was there – but the world of senses has disappeared, senses have become useless: “I cannot see, I cannot hear, I do not know; because all my knowledge was concerned with the world.”

Whatsoever you know is concerned with the world If the world disappears, what will be the difference between a learned man and one who is ignorant? What will be the difference? No difference – if the world disappears, then the learned will be just like any ignorant man, because all your learning is concerned with the world. So the disciple says: I do not even know anything . . . only this much I know: I am the ever-blissful self . . . unique. I can be compared to none. I can be compared only to myself . . . I am like myself; only this much I know.

The knowledge of a Mahavira, the knowledge of a Buddha, or a Jesus, or a Krishna, is not the knowledge of a learned man. They do not know anything about the world; they know only about their own selves.

Mahavira has said that if you can know your own self, you have known all; and if you know everything except yourself, you know nothing.

They know about their own central force, energy, life. They know about their own inner being, and they do not know anything about the world, because the whole world has disappeared. They know only one thing, that I am the ever-blissful self.

When you know about the world, you know many, many anxieties, you know anguish, you know tensions, you know misery. When you know many things about the world, the misery goes on growing with your knowledge. The more you know, the more miserable you are. We can observe this all over the world. Now, for the first time, we have gathered great knowledge – not only have we gathered, we have dispersed it to everyone through universal teaching, education. And now every man is miserable, and the misery keeps growing. On the one hand, knowledge grows, on the other hand, misery grows.

What is happening? This seems quite inconceivable, because if with knowledge misery grows, then for what is this knowledge? Knowledge of the without goes deeper and deeper, but then misery also goes deeper and deeper.

There is another knowledge also, that this Upanishad is talking about – the knowledge of the inner self. With the knowledge of the inner self, blissfulness grows. So this is just an indication: if you are becoming more and more blissful, know that you are growing in inner knowledge. If you are becoming more and more miserable, know that you are growing in outer knowledge.

The biblical story is beautiful:

Adam was expelled from Eden because he disobeyed God. And what was the disobedience? The disobedience was this: God has forbidden Adam and Eve . . . he has said to them that they are not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. In the Garden of Eden in heaven, there was a tree, the tree of knowledge, and God has forbidden Adam and Eve to touch that tree, to eat the fruit of that tree. But because of this, Adam and Eve must have become attracted to the tree.

The garden was big and there was only one tree of knowledge. But because of this order, they rebelled. And when they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge they were expelled from Eden.

This story is beautiful. They were expelled because of knowledge, and man is continuously being expelled from Eden because of knowledge. The more you know, the more heaven becomes just impossible, and hell the only possibility. But there is another tree also in the Garden of Eden. It is not mentioned in The Bible, but I will tell you about it. That tree is the tree of inner knowledge, and unless you eat the fruit of that tree you can never enter again into heaven.

There are two types of knowledge: knowledge of things and knowledge of self. The devil tempted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge – and the Upanishads tempt you to eat the fruit of the other tree of knowledge. Unless you enter yourself, and eat the fruit of inner knowledge, you cannot be redeemed; you cannot be liberated, you cannot become free. And you can never be blissful.

I am absolutely alone, without body.
I cannot be indicated.
No symbol can represent me.
I am the supreme god Hari.
I am immeasurably silent.
I am the infinite, absolute, and the most ancient.
I am not the doer.
I am not the one who indulges.
I am without growth.
I am the imperishable.
I am already pure and knowledge itself.
I am the Sadashiv, the eternally good.

The disciple tells his teacher his own experience now. The teacher was telling the disciple his experience; the disciple is not saying, “I am convinced now that whatsoever you say is true,” or “I am convinced a little bit, and later on I will think more about it”; nor “Whatsoever you say must be true, because you are a reliable man.” No, he simply tells his own experience. He has not even mentioned it, that “Whatsoever you have taught me is true.” No reference is made to the teaching at all. He simply says, “Now this is my experience: I am the divine, I am Hari. I am immeasurably silent. I am absolute, infinite.” He has attained to experience. This is not a conversion, intellectual; it is a transformation.

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity. This is the teaching of nirvan, of knowledge, of the Veda. It is ordained by the Veda itself.

Here ends this Upanishad.

This last paragraph, last sutra, has to be understood:

Knowledge of the absolute is eternal.

It is never new, never old.

It is not a growing body of knowledge.

Science grows; religion is eternal.

Science goes on growing, increasing. No scientific truth is absolute; it is relative. And no scientific truth can be called really a truth, because it is always more or less approximate. Time will change it, time always changes it. Whatsoever Newton said is no longer true; even what Einstein said is now doubtful.

Time changes science, but time never changes religion. Why? – because the religious experience is attained only when you enter a timeless moment. When you enter in yourself and time stops completely – no flow of time is there . . . no past, no present, no future; time stops completely – you are here and now. Only this moment remains, and this moment becomes eternal. In timelessness, religious experience is attained; that’s why time never alters it.

This sutra says that whatsoever is taught in this Upanishad is not something new, it is not original. Our modern world is too obsessed with originality. People go on saying, and trying, and proving that whatsoever is said is original. Particularly in the West, every thinker tries to prove that he is original, that whatsoever he is saying, no one has ever said before. Unless a theory can be proved original it is never appreciated in the West. If someone else has already said it then what is the use? Then what are you doing wasting your time? So everyone tries to be original.

But originality is impossible as far as religion is concerned. As far as science is concerned, originality is possible. In science there are old truths dying, new truths being born. Science is relative, growing. But in religion there can be nothing original. In religion everything is eternal. Whatsoever a buddha says will be said always by anyone who becomes enlightened, who becomes a buddha. Language may differ, terminology may be different, but the experience can never be different.

So in the old India, in the East, it was a tradition always: whenever someone would say something, he would say, “I am not the originator of it. I have also attained to it, but before me it was given by A to B, by B to C, by C to D – it is an eternal message.” When one thinks and says, “I am original,” this is an egoistic standpoint. The ego always tries to be original; only then it feels strengthened. But these teachings are not ego teachings, ego oriented; they are egoless teachings. Those who had attained to egolessness have said them. That’s why this sutra:

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity.

Here ends this Upanishad.

The scripture ends here but not the journey. For you, really, now begins the journey. The Upanishad ends, your journey begins.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #51

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Jivanmukta Lives in this Silence – Osho

One who does not ever discriminate through intellect between the individual self and the supreme self on the one hand, and between the supreme and the universe on the other, is called a jivanmukta.

One who treats equally both the noble person who does him honor and the ignoble who offends him is called a jivanmukta.

The world does not remain the same as before for one who has known the supreme; therefore, if one sees the world as the same, he should be taken for one who has not attained the knowledge, and who is still extrovert.

So far as the experience of happiness, sorrow, et cetera, is concerned, it is assumed to be due to prabdhakarma – that is the predestined cause-effect chain – because every effect flows from the cause of action. There is no effect anyway without the cause. As upon waking, the effect of dreaming ends, so also upon the attainment of knowledge that “I am the supreme,” the accumulated karmas, conditionings of millions of births, become extinct.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

One who does not ever discriminate through intellect between the individual self and the supreme self, and between the supreme and the universe, is called a jivanmukta.

Some more qualities of a jivanmukta; something more about the state of mind of a jivanmukta, of the state of consciousness.

The first: there is no division. He sees the whole world as an organic unity, there is no division. Things are not divided; the whole universe is one. He sees the unity. The diversity is there, but the diversity is just on the surface; a jivanmukta sees the unity behind it. Every diversity is just a hidden unity. Why? Why do we divide? – and a jivanmukta never divides.

It is because of the intellect, the medium of intellect. If you look through the intellect, everything is divided immediately. Intellect is the instrument to divide, to analyze. For example, you see light, you see darkness, you see birth, you see death. Birth and death in existence are one; birth is death, two poles of one process. If you are born you are on the journey to die. The whole of your life is nothing but a gradual process of dying. But the mind divides; mind says birth is good, death is bad. Mind says life is good, death is bad. But death is part of life, life is part of death – they cannot be divided.

Have you ever seen anything alive which is not also dying simultaneously? A flower has come up, has opened its petals. This opening of the petals – can you see it as a process of death? The flower is alive, young, but it is dying already. The evening will come and the petals will wither away. And the withering of petals is really nothing but the conclusion; in the morning the process began, the petals opened. The very opening in the morning will become withering in the evening; the petals will wither away.

So where do you divide? Where is the line where you can say that the flower was alive, and when the flower started to die? Is there any distinction? Can we mark a boundary that up to this point the flower was alive, in the process of more and more life, and from this point the flower started to die? No, there is no possibility of division.

Birth and death is a continuous process. One pole is birth, another pole is death. But mind, intellect, thinking, divides. Mind says birth is good, celebrate it; death is bad, weep over it. And the same goes on; the whole of life becomes a division between things which are not divided. Because of this division we live in a false world, a mind-created world. You say this is love and this is hate, and this is religion and that is irreligion, and this is sin and that is virtue – all divisions, on all layers, on all planes, are through the mind.

Put aside the mind and look at life, and then everything is one: then life and death are one, then darkness and light are one, then love and hate are one.

A jivanmukta never divides because a jivanmukta looks at life without the mind coming in, interfering. Can you look without the mind, even for a single moment? Try it. It is one of the most arduous things, but if possible, the most beautiful. Look at a flower and don’t allow the mind to come in between you and the flower. But the mind comes immediately – you have not even seen really, and the mind says, “This is a rose – beautiful, red,” and the desire to possess it, to pluck it, arises. The mind starts functioning. The flower is there and the cloud of mind comes in, and you look through the mind. Don’t allow this.

Look at the flower. Don’t let your mind say, “This is a flower. This is a rose.” Just look.

Stop the mind and just look.

Don’t allow the mind. Don’t move, and don’t allow the mind any movement; just look. Become a stare. Let your whole consciousness flow from your eyes, and don’t allow the mind to create any cloud between you and the flower. Then what happens? If you go on trying . . .

This is a meditation – a meditation based on non-verbalization. Don’t verbalize, let the flower be there. Observe it, be a witness to it, but don’t verbalize the experience. Don’t translate it into language. The rose is there – red, alive. Feel it, see it, remain with it. But don’t allow the mind to come in and say something – “This is beautiful,” or something else. It is difficult in the beginning, but if you go on trying, sometimes for seconds there will be no language. The flower will be there in all its beauty, in all its aliveness, youngness, but with no name, with no linguistic concept attached to it. The rose has never known that it is a rose; it is you who have called it a rose.

A rose is a rose without ever being aware of being a rose. The name is given by your mind. The rose is simply a rose without knowing whether it is beautiful or ugly – you have called it so. If there is no mind in the world, the rose will be there but it will not be a rose, it will not be a beautiful flower; it will be just existence flowering with no name attached to it – no verbalization, no language, no valuation. It will flower. It will be just the same, simple existence. If you don’t verbalize you will come to be acquainted with the flower as it is, without human interpretation. And when the mind is not there, for a single moment there is a breakthrough. The rose is there, you are here; and if the mind is not there to divide you, if the mind has dropped, suddenly you become one with the rose.

I don’t mean that you become a rose. It will be very difficult then to become a human being again. I don’t mean that you become a rose. You remain whatsoever you are, and the rose remains whatsoever the rose is – but suddenly there is a communion, a meeting. Your consciousness moves directly, with no hindrance, and the rose also moves, comes nearer. You become close and intimate, and the flower enters you; the doors are open, and you enter the flower. The doors of the flower are always open, there is no mind to close them – but when your doors open, the flower moves in you, and you move in the flower, and there is a constant harmony. The flower contributes, you also contribute, and there is a meeting.

That meeting can become a glimpse into the cosmos, because a flower is not just a flower. It is the whole cosmos grown into a flower, the whole cosmos becomes a flower. You are also not just a human being – the whole cosmos has become consciousness in you; that too is a flowering. And when these two flowerings meet, that meeting is ecstatic, blissful. And through that meeting you for the first time become aware of a non-verbal existence.

Man has created verbalization, man has created language, man has created mental concepts. They all drop, and the whole of existence becomes a deep silence, a no-music.

The jivanmukta lives in this no-music. The jivanmukta lives in this silence. The jivanmukta lives without mind. It seems absurd – how can one live without mind? Then he will go mad . . .

So the last point to be remembered is never think that a madman has no mind. Really, a madman has a very fixed mind, solid. A madman has really more mind than you, that’s why he has gone mad; too much mind has created the whole mess.

A madman and a jivanmukta are poles apart. The madman is too much mind; a jivanmukta is no mind, and we are in between somewhere. And we go on moving – sometimes we reach the madman, sometimes we have the glimpse of a jivanmukta. At any moment you can become mad. In anger you become temporarily mad, in sex you become temporarily mad – any moment you can become a madman, but fortunately you can come back. If you cannot come back, and become fixed in the extreme, you become mad.

So the madman is not without a mind; rather, he is with too much or with many minds – multi-minds. He is a crowd of minds. And a jivanmukta is just the opposite pole: no mind. That doesn’t mean that he cannot think. Really, on the contrary, only a jivanmukta can think; you cannot think. What is the difference? Thoughts go on in you, thinking is an obsession with you. You are not the master. Thoughts go on and on, you cannot stop them. You cannot say, “Don’t come,” you cannot say, “Now I want to relax, no more thoughts.” Whatsoever you say they are not going to listen to you; rather, if you disturb them they become more mad. If you say, “Don’t come,” they come more.

Try with a single thought: try to forget it, and you cannot forget it. Try to stop it, and it will haunt you. It will go on and on, and it will defeat you; you are not the master. You cannot think; just this mad crowd of thoughts, and you think that you think – you cannot think. Only a jivanmukta can think, because thoughts are not his masters. He uses thoughts just like you use your legs. When you want to walk, you use them; when you don’t want to walk, the legs are relaxed, non-moving. But think of a man who says to his legs, “Please, now stop,” and they go on moving! They say, “We cannot stop. Who are you to stop us?” Then we will say that the legs have gone mad. Your mind is like that. You say, “Stop and it never stops. You say, “Think over this,” and it goes on to think of something else. Try, and you will know your mind is not your slave.

So it is better to say that your mind thinks you, not that you think with your mind. Your mind possesses you, it is not you who are in possession of the mind. A jivanmukta uses his mind just like you use your legs: when he wants to, he thinks – and he thinks whatsoever he wants. If he never wants to think he remains quiet, silent; there is no mind inside.

When this mind is not there constantly, you come into contact with brahman, and then you know tat twamasithat art thou Without the mind there is no division; then the self inside becomes the supreme. When there is no division, the self and the supreme are one, one wave of existence.

Your self is nothing but the supreme come down to your body, resting in you – your body has been taken as an abode. Your body is just a host and the supreme has become a guest in you.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #47

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.

Samyak Smriti, Right Remembering – Osho

Prarbdhakarma fulfills itself only when one identifies the self with the body, but it is no good identifying with the body. Who wants to sever this identification and free himself of prarbdhakarma, illusion of the body, is the basis for the projection of prarbdhakarma.

But that which is projected or imagined by illusion can never be real. And how can it arise or manifest if it is not real? And how can it be destroyed if it is not manifested? How can the false, the unreal have the bondage of conditioning?

-Adhyatma Upanishad

This body is the result of ignorance and knowledge destroys it fully. Ignorance then raises doubt as to how this body exists even after realization. To remove this doubt of the ignorant, the scriptures have ordained the concept of prarbdha externally.

In reality there is neither body nor prarbdha.

This sutra is very strange, but very true. To understand this sutra is to understand many, many things about scriptures, about teachers, about masters, methods, techniques, doctrines.

This sutra says that in reality there is no world, in reality there is no suffering; in reality, whatsoever you feel and know is not – but in reality, remember. As far as you are concerned, it is real.

As far as you are concerned, it is real.

We should try to understand it through dream, because the Eastern mind has been very much fascinated by the reality of dream. And this sutra can be understood only through dream.

You are dreaming. While dreaming you can never doubt that the dream is a dream. While dreaming, the dream is true, real, as real as any reality – even more real. Why do I say even more real? I say this because when you get up in the morning, you can remember your dream – but when you go into sleep you cannot remember what has happened, what was happening when you were awake. This is a rare phenomenon. In dream you forget your so-called reality completely.

You cannot remember that you are a doctor in the day while you are awake, or an engineer, or a minister. You cannot remember in your dream the facts of the day, when you were awake. The whole reality, the so-called reality of the day is completely washed away by the dream – it seems more powerful. But in the morning when you get up, when sleep has gone, you can remember your dream. It means the reality of your day is not strong enough to completely wash away the reality of the dream. In dream you forget your day completely, but in your day, in your waking state of mind, you can remember your dreams. Dreams appear to be more real – that’s why I say “even more real.”

In dream you can never doubt that whatsoever you are seeing is unreal or real; it IS real, it is felt to be authentically real. Why? Why does dream appear so real? – and this is not your first experience. You have been dreaming for your whole life, and every day in the morning you have come to know that the dream was unreal. Yet, when you go to sleep tonight and dream, you will not remember your whole life’s experience, that dreams are unreal. Again, you will fall into the illusion, and you will feel the dreams as real. In the morning again you will repeat that “it was just a dream, nothing real.” What is happening? So much experience of dreaming, still the dream remains real. Why? – because really, anything becomes real if you are absent.

Your absence gives reality to false things.

In the dream you cannot remember yourself – so whatsoever passes in front of your eyes becomes real because you are not. You are so unreal that anything can be felt as real. If you can remember yourself in the dream, the dream will drop; it will cease immediately.

Gurdjieff used to give this technique to his disciples: to remember themselves continuously. In the day go on remembering “I am, I am.” Do whatsoever you are doing but continuously make it a point to remember “I am” – not verbally, feel it – “I am.” Eating, go on eating, and simultaneously feel “I am.” Remember “I am.” You are walking, go on walking; remember “I am.” This Gurdjieff called “self-remembering.” Buddha has called it “right remembering” – samyak smriti.

Go on remembering – “I am.” If this feeling of “I am” goes deep, it will follow you in sleep also. And when there is a dream, you will remember – “I am.” Suddenly the dream will stop: if you are, then there can be no dream.

This is just to explain to you a greater truth: in this life, the world is because we are not. This is the Upanishad’s basic teaching. In this world, the world is, everything is – you are not. Only you are not; everything is.

That’s why you cannot feel whether it is real or unreal. Remember yourself, be centered in yourself, be conscious, aware. And as you become more intensely aware, you will feel simultaneously that the world is dropping its reality and is changing into a dream. When you become aware totally, the world becomes a dream. This means, if you are real, then whatsoever you experience is a dream – whatsoever, I say – if you are authentically real, conscious, alert, then all your experiences are dreams.

If you are unaware of yourself, then your own reality is projected onto the dreams, then your own reality is transferred to the dreams. Your own existence is transferred to dreams and experiences and thoughts, and they become real. They have a borrowed reality; your own reality has gone to them. They are not real.

For example, look in a mirror. Your face is there in the mirror; it looks real – it is not. It is just a borrowed reality; it is not real at all. You are real, the mirror reflection is just a dream. Forget yourself completely – as it happens particularly with women; they forget themselves completely – and the mirror figure becomes more real. Look at a woman looking into the mirror, observe her. What happens? She is no more – only the mirror is, and the mirror-woman has become real. She has completely forgotten herself. The mind is doing the same.

The world is just a mirror.

You have forgotten yourself, and the reflection has become real.

This is a borrowed reality.

Remember yourself!

Do it with a mirror and you will come to a deep realization. Do it with a mirror: gaze constantly into the mirror, gaze in your eyes reflected in the mirror continuously, for thirty minutes, forty minutes. Go on staring, and constantly go on remembering, “I am real. This is a reflection. This which is mirrored is reflection. I am real, not this reflection.” Go on remembering inside, “I am, I am, I am,” and go on staring into the eyes of the reflected figure – your own figure. Suddenly – any moment this can happen – the reflection will disappear. Suddenly the mirror will be vacant. It is a very strange experience when suddenly you are in front of the mirror, and the face has disappeared and the mirror is vacant. Why does it happen? If you go on remembering “I am, I am,” and this remembering becomes authentic, then the borrowed reality comes back to you and the mirror becomes vacant.

Even for a single moment if you can see the mirror as vacant – no face, nothing reflected – you will feel a sudden upsurge of reality in you. For the first time you may become aware that you are.

This same thing happens with the world when someone becomes a witnessing self. One day, this explosion comes to him – the whole world disappears, the whole world becomes just vacant; only I am, and the whole world has disappeared as if it was never there. This experience is the ultimate. Again, the mirror will reflect your face, but now you know it is just a reflection. Again, the world will come – for one moment you will see the world has disappeared, and again the world will be there – but now it will never be real again. It will be just a dream world, and all the figures will be dream figures. It will be a great drama.

But when you know it as a drama, a pseudo phenomenon, you are freed from it. Then there is no clinging, and then there is no slavery, no bondage.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #49

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.


It Remains in its Suchness – Osho

The yogi, being alone and indifferent like the sky, does not even in the least attach himself with the future.

Even as the ether inside a wine jar remains untouched by the smell of wine, so the self, even in association with its covering, remains uncontaminated by its nature.

As the arrow aimed at its target cannot but hit it after it has left the bow, so the karmas performed before the advent of knowledge will yield its fruit, even after one has attained knowledge. It implies that the fruits of karma done before realization have to be lived out.

As the arrow shot at a tiger cannot be stopped upon learning that it is a cow and not a tiger, but rather goes forth and hits its object just as forcefully.

So the action performed yields its fruits even after knowledge has been attained. One who knows his self as ever young and deathless also remains so.

How could he even have an imagination of the bondage due to past conditions? It means that there is no relationship between the sage and his past conditionings.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Some very significant and beautiful definitions about the ultimate experience . . .

The first thing to know about the ultimate experience is that it cannot be called an experience, because experience implies the experiencer and the experienced – the subject and the object. But the ultimate experience is absolutely undifferentiated, undivided. The experiencer is the experienced, the observer is the observed, the knower is the known, the lover is the beloved – there are not two; only one remains.

About this one who remains, this sutra says that one is like space, like sky – vacant, empty, yet full, fulfilled; yet whole.

Look at the sky: Sky is just emptiness, but everything exists in the sky. It cannot exist otherwise because to exist you need space, emptiness. So emptiness surrounds the whole existence. Existence comes out of this emptiness and again drops this emptiness – and this emptiness remains untouched, unaffected.

Observe the sky in the rainy days: Clouds come; the whole sky just disappears behind the clouds. You cannot even imagine where the sky has gone. It has gone nowhere; the clouds will rain and disappear, and the same sky will be there. It was always there; even when there were clouds the sky was there in its total emptiness. Clouds cannot disturb it, and clouds cannot affect it – they come and go and the sky remains the same.

It remains in its suchness, in its tathata.

This word “suchness” is to be understood deeply. What do I mean when I say the sky remains in its suchness? It remains in its nature, unchanged by anything that happens in it. It is just like a mirror: The mirror remains untouched in its suchness, in its mirroring – fresh, young, never old. Whatsoever happens before the mirror, whatsoever is reflected in the mirror, comes and goes; the mirror remains unscarred, the mirror remains eternally virgin. This is what is meant by sky. Sky is the eternal virgin. The virginity is never broken, the sky remains unmarried to anything, untouched. Everything happens in it and yet nothing happens to it.

The same sky is within you also. Without, there is space; within also, there is space. Space is everywhere. The space within is known as your self, and the space without is known as the supreme self. The body is just a material barrier – and it is porous, so the outer sky goes on coming in and the inner sky goes on coming out. There is a constant meeting. Your body is just like an earthen pot, porous. You have an earthen pot of the body, it divides, but it cannot divide totally; the space is not broken by it.

To know this inner space is the ultimate experience, because once you know this inner space you have known all; the quality of the inner space is the quality of the outer space. Inner and outer are not really two things; inner and outer are just two terms – because of this earthen pot, this body, we call it the inner space and the outer space. When the body drops, the inner becomes the outer and the outer becomes the inner; they become one.

In and out are false terms. You can put an earthen pot in the ocean; then the ocean is divided by the earthen pot – the ocean without, and the ocean within. But the earthen pot is porous, and some drops will escape from the within to the without, and some drops will go on coming in, from the without to the within. But then the earthen pot melts, and drops, and in and out become one.

When one comes to know this inner space as just an extension of the outer space – or vice versa: when one comes to know this outer space as just as an extension of the inner space, then inner and outer become meaningless. They are.

To know this while in the body is called the state of jivanmukta – while the body is there, the earthen pot is there, you have realized the inner space and the quality of space. Now there is no inner and outer. Of course the body is there, but now you know that the body never divides – the division is false. But the body will continue for a while . . .

The Upanishads say that even when you become a knower of the inner, a knower of the space – and you have come to realize that nothing can disturb you, nothing can scar you, nothing can touch you, your virginity is absolute – even then your past karmas will continue to have their effects. The body will continue; the body will continue to feel pleasure and pain, the body will become old, diseased, the body will die – this will continue.

Knowledge of the inner self is not the cessation of all karmas. The past karmas will drop only when they have reached their target. But now, no new karmas will be accumulated. When you attain to this knowing, past karmas will continue for a while, unless and until their momentum is finished – but new karmas will not be accumulated. And secondly, while these old karmas are going on in their continuity, you will know that they are not related to you. You will remain in your unrelatedness.

So a jivanmukta never says, “This is my body.” He says, “This is my past karma’s body.” He never says, “I am ill and I am suffering.” He only says, “This is a long procession of karmas and their effect; my past karmas reaching to their target – past reaching into the future. I am just a witness to it, unrelated.” Because of this, because of this experience, observation, this realization that all the past karmas of all the past millions of lives have not affected my inner space – it has remained pure, crystal pure, innocent – this realization means cessation of the future.

Then you cannot long for happiness, you cannot long for success, you cannot long for riches, this or that. You cannot be for and against – this should be and this should not be – because now you know that nothing has ever happened to you, and nothing can happen to you. This knowing that the past has been absolutely futile to you – you have been just space, just like sky – like space, you have remained pure, simple, innocent . . . the future drops.

The future is just the past reflected again and again. Desiring something which was pleasant in the past, not desiring something which was unpleasant in the past, is the projection of the future. The future is just the past reflected again and again – modified, a little bit of change here and there, rearranged, re-structured, but all the elements belong to the past.

When the past appears unrelated to you, and you appear just like empty space… clouds have come and gone, lives have come and gone; birth, death, you were this and that – a beggar in one life, an emperor in another, unsuccessful in one, successful in another, educated, uneducated, good and bad, sometimes a thief and sometimes a saint – everything has come and gone, and the inner point has remained untouched. Nothing has happened to it; everything happened around it, near it, in the vicinity, but nothing has happened to it itself – knowing this, the whole future drops completely. Now you cannot project the whole nonsense that you were projecting in the past. Future drops. With future, time drops. With time, cessation of time – you enter the eternal.

But the past will have its fulfillment. Now you can watch the past moving into the future without you. You remain in the present; the past goes on moving into the future until the whole momentum gained in the past is finished.

A jivanmukta means one who has attained to the inner sky, inner space, but still he will have to live in the body. He will have to be a witness to all the past karmas and their consequences. When all the consequences are finished, and the past karmas have dropped, the body will drop. Then a jivanmukta becomes a mukta; then moksha, total freedom is attained.

A jivanmukta attains freedom from the past, freedom from the future – but he cannot attain freedom from the consequences of the past. They will have to be fulfilled . . . but he remains a witness.

One who knows his self as ever-young and deathless also remains so.

How could he even have an imagination of the bondage due to past conditions? It means that there is no relationship between the sage and his past conditionings.

The conditionings go on flowing but there is no relationship; you remain a witness.

If you can become a witness this very moment, you are severed from you past and from your future. Then the mechanism goes on moving, just like you are on a bicycle pedaling. You stop pedaling but the cycle will have some movement still, because of the momentum of the past. You are not pedaling it, but it is not going to stop just now. It will move into the future without you pedaling it. It will go a little while and then it will drop.

The same happens with your body, your mind. It is just a cycle, just a mechanism. It will move, but without you it cannot move far. Unless it is fed continually, fueled continually, it cannot move very far; it will drop.

Buddha was dying. Ananda asked him, “Cannot you be with us a little more? Cannot we have you a little more? I have not yet attained and you are dying, and you are leaving us.” Buddha had said that morning that he was going to die. “So if you have to ask anything,” he had told his disciples, “you can ask. This is my last day. This evening will not come for me. This morning is the last; in the noontime I will drop. When the sun comes to its peak, I will drop.”

So his disciples gathered and they began to weep and cry. And Ananda asked him, “Cannot you stay a little while more?” Buddha said, “That is impossible, because all the past karmas are finished. This is the last day, the last momentum; I feel it can last up to noon. The energy is gone, everything has ceased, and now the mechanism is just going to stop. And nothing can be done, because as far as I am concerned, I stopped pedaling long before – forty years.

Really, I have been dead for forty years as far as I am concerned. I have not been in the body for these forty years; it was only for you that it has appeared I have been in this body. For me, I have been beyond; I have gone out of it long before. But the body had to continue, and now this is impossible. The momentum is just in its last flicker, the flame is just about to go, the oil is completely finished. And I cannot pour more oil into it because the man who could pour is dead for forty years – who could pour more oil into it? So ask, don’t wait. The noon is coming soon – if you have anything to ask, you can ask. The noon is coming very soon.”

This happens – Buddha was a jivanmukta for forty years. A jivanmukta means one who is already dead – of course, the body is alive, and then moksha is attained and body also falls.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #48

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.

This Oneness is That Art Thou – Osho

The enquiry about the oneness of the soul and the brahman to the great saying like “That Art Thou” is known as the right listening. And thinking in the right way on the meaning of what has been listened to is known as right contemplation.

And to harmonize and center one’s mind with the meaning, shorn of all doubts – that which is derived from right listening and right contemplation is what is known as meditation.

And finally, when the meditator and meditation are eliminated, and only you are fixed, meditating upon the means, then the mind becomes unwavering and settled like a flame in a place without air. And that is called samadhi.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

This sutra uses four words as four steps – four steps towards the unknown. The first is shravan. Shravan means right listening – not just listening, but right listening.

We listen, everyone listens, but right listening is a rare achievement. So what is the difference between listening and right listening, shravan?

Right listening means not just a fragmentary listening. I am saying something, you are listening to it there. Your ears are being used; you may not be just behind your ears at all; you may have gone somewhere else. You may not be present there. If you are not present there in your totality, then it cannot be right listening.

Right listening means you have become just your ears – the whole being is listening. No thinking inside, no thoughts, no thought process, only listening. Try it sometimes; it is a deep meditation in itself. Some birds are singing – the crows – just become listening, forget everything – just be the ears. The wind is passing through the trees, the leaves are rustling; just become the ears, forget everything – no thought process, just listen. Become the ears. Then it is right listening, then your whole being is absorbed into it, then you are totally present.

And the Upanishads say that the esoteric, ultimate formulas of spiritual alchemy cannot be given to you unless you are in a moment of right listening. These spiritual formulas – ultimate, secret keys – cannot be handed over to you as you are: unconscious of yourself, fragmentary, partial, listening but not present there. These keys can be handed to you only when your total being has become receptive to take them in. They are seeds, and the seeds are powerful; they will explode in you. And they will begin to grow in you, but one has to become just a womb to receive them. If your ears have become just wombs to receive, and your total presence is there; if your whole body is listening – every fiber, every cell of the body is listening – only then these “great sentences” as they are called, mahavakyas, can be delivered to you.

So it has been a tradition in India, in the old India of ancient days, not to write down these mahavakyas, these great secret formulas – because if they are written, anyone can read them. He may not be ready. He may not be reading, he may not be listening, but he can become acquainted and that acquaintance becomes a barrier. When he begins to feel that he knows – and these secrets are not to be known through words, they can be known only through experience . . .

So the rishis, the writers of these Upanishads insisted for centuries not to write at all. These secrets were given from one individual to another, and not in an ordinary way – in a very extraordinary process. A teacher, a master would give these secrets to a disciple. And the disciple must wait, sometimes for years; just being near the master, forgetting himself completely; just becoming attention, just being attentive – whatsoever the master says, to listen; whatsoever he orders, to do. He had just to be obedient, serve, and remain there – constantly remaining in the presence of the master and waiting for the right moment. And the disciple cannot decide when the right moment is, so leaving it to the master, remaining in a let-go and waiting . . . and suddenly one day, any moment, the master will say it. When the master finds that now you can listen with your total being, that now you have become a womb, just receptivity, and now the secrets can be handed to you – then he will tell you.

And he will tell you very simple things; this sentence is very simple, the simplest, but the most difficult to realize: That Art Thou – Tat Twamasi.

We discussed last night that the Upanishads call the ultimate, “that.” So “that” is there; you are here. What is the relationship? What is the bridge between the two? This sentence says: That Art Thou.

“That” is not far away from you, it is just within you.

It is a within beyond.

It looks, it appears very far away because you have not recognized it; otherwise, it is just here and now within you. You are that.

This is a very simple sentence; even a small child can understand it and learn it. But it takes lives and lives to realize it. That Art Thou, I am That. To realize this, that my being is one with the universal being, to realize that my being and the universal being are not two things, but one . . . how to realize it?

The first step is right listening – listen to the master in a right way. And the right way means, listen to the master with your total being, with your total receptivity. Become just ears; only then you can understand it.

The second step is right thinking. You can think in two ways: you can think negatively, then it is wrong; you can think positively, then it is right. Negative thinking starts with denial, negating. Negative thinking starts with a no, the no is the starting point. Observe within yourself whether you start with no. Whenever something is said, what is the first feeling arising in you? – no or yes? And you will find ninety-nine percent of the time a no arising in you. You may not have observed it. Even for futile things where no “no” is needed, “no” arises. A Child asking his mother, “Can I play outside?” Immediately – “No!” She may not even be aware why she is saying no.

No is our basic attitude. Why? – because with “no” you feel you are somebody. The mother feels she is somebody – she can say no. The child is negated, the child’s ego is hurt and the mother’s ego is fulfilled. “No” is ego-fulfilling; it is food for the ego, that’s why we train ourselves in saying no.

Move anywhere in life and you will find no-sayers everywhere, because with no you feel authority – you are someone, you can say no. To say “yessir” makes you feel inferior; you feel that you are someone’s subordinate, nobody. Only then do you say “Yessir.” Yes is positive and no is negative. Remember this: no is ego-fulfilling; yes is the method to discover the self. No is strengthening the ego; yes is destroying it.

Right thinking means yes-saying. First find out whether you can say yes – if you cannot say yes, if it is impossible to say yes, only then say no. But our method is first to say no; if it is impossible to say no, only then, defeatedly, say yes. And wait for the moment when you can say no. No-oriented mind and yes-oriented mind . . .

In a religious search, no-saying is just undoing yourself because there, no-saying will not help. You are not there to strengthen your egos. Yes-saying . . . try it someday. Take it as a vow, that for twenty-four hours you will try in every situation to start with yes. And look what a deep relaxation it gives to you. Just ordinary things! – the child asking to go to the cinema… he will go; your no means nothing. On the contrary, your no becomes inviting, your no becomes attractive, because when you are strengthening your ego, the child is also trying to strengthen his. He will try to go against your no, and he knows ways to make your no a yes, he knows how to transform it. He knows it needs just a little effort, insistence, and your no becomes yes.

For twenty-four hours try in every way to start with yes. You will feel much difficulty, because then you will become aware: immediately, the no comes first! In anything, the no comes first – that has become the habit. Don’t use it; use yes, and then see how the yes relaxed you. And particularly in the spiritual search, if you are working with a master, yes-saying saves much time, much energy. You become a total receptivity, and then in that total receptivity things begin to flower.

Right thinking means to start thinking with yes! It doesn’t mean that you cannot use no; it only means to start with yes. Look with a yes-saying mind. And then if it is impossible, say no. You will not find many points to say no if you start with yes. If you start with no, you will not find many points to say yes. The starting means ninety percent is done – your start is ninety percent, done. Your start colors everything, even the end.

Right thinking means think, but think with a sympathetic mind. Think with a yes-saying mind. Use logic, use reason, but use reason and logic to find out how to say yes. I will repeat: use reason, use logic, but use them as instruments to find out how to say yes. We go on using reason, logic, to find out how to say no. Our whole logic is just a structure to find no. It should be otherwise; then it is right thinking.

The third is right contemplation.

If you find something with right thinking to be true, then contemplate it, then meditate on it. Then try to find some harmony between you and it. Because a truth no lived is not a truth – sometimes it is even more dangerous than an untruth. A truth unlived is a burden. A truth unlived divides your mind. A truth unlived becomes a haunting – it is a nightmare. So it is good not to think about truth if you not going to transform yourself accordingly. Because if you are not going to transform yourself accordingly, the truth will haunt you, disturb your sleep. You will become more uneasy; you will have to suffer much unnecessarily.

So if you are ready to change yourself according to the truth, only then contemplate it; otherwise, it is dangerous. And don’t play with dangers; it is playing with fire. It is better to be unaware of truths, because then you are blissfully ignorant. Ignorance has a certain bliss. The moment you begin to contemplate, that bliss will be destroyed. Uneasiness will come to you; you will feel nowhere, strange, an outsider. Now you cannot go back; there is no going back, there is no movement backwards. You cannot fall again into your blissful ignorance; you can only move forward.

And the third step is right meditation. Right listening, first; right thinking, second; right meditation, third. Now, whatsoever you have found – whatsoever you have encountered in right thinking – meditate on it. Try to create a bridge between you and it. Try to be like it yourself, transform yourself accordingly. Become a shadow to it, and follow it. Unless you do this, the truth will remain just intellectual. It will not become your bones, it will not become your blood, it will not become your heartbeats, it will not be your being. Contemplate, meditate, go on meditating. Remember this: that you become that upon which you meditate.

If you constantly meditate upon anything, by and by you will be transformed by your meditation; you will become like that. Meditation transforms you. Remember, the truth found in right thinking – meditate upon it. Create some harmony between you and the truth. Don’t go on carrying it in your head; let it go deep – so deep that you begin to feel a certain oneness with it. I say, “certain oneness.” You cannot feel totally one with it at the third step, but a certain oneness, a similarity, a certain attunement – not total oneness, That total oneness comes at the fourth step.

That fourth is samadhi, right ecstasy. If the third step is attained and you have begun to feel a certain harmony, attunement, an opening, a bridge with the truth, now immerse yourself in it.

Samadhi means the remaining of only one. In meditation there are three points. Meditation is divided into three: the meditator, the meditated upon, and the relationship – meditation. So meditation has three things in it, three divisions: meditator, meditated upon, and the relationship – meditation. When these three dissolve, the meditator loses himself into meditation, and the meditation drops into the meditated upon. Anyway one remains, and the three are lost. What does it mean? Simple consciousness remains; simple knowing remains; simple awareness remains. You are not aware of anything, just aware. You are not aware; there is no you, just awareness – it is better to say, only awareness remains. Or, you can choose any point among the three – one remains.

There are different sets of seekers. One set says the object of meditation remains, another says the subject of meditation remains; another says object and subject both are lost; only meditation remains. But there is no conflict; this is just a difference in names.

Three are no more; three are lost into oneness.

This oneness is That Art Thou.

This oneness is to come to realize I Am That:

Or That I am – tat twamasi.

Step by step, move into the unknown and become the unknown.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #44

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

This Oneness is That Art Thou is from the morning talk, Then Only You will be Able to Know is from the evening talk of the same day.

 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.


Know it as the State of Vairagya – Osho

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desireless ness. And when the ego ceases to rise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

When the moods that have become extinct do not arise again, that state is known as one of the indifference.

And the sage whose wisdom has become steady attains eternal bliss. One whose mind has dissolved into the supreme becomes innocent and inactive. And the moods of the mind then dissolve in the unity of the supreme self, and the purified individual self remains choiceless and in a state of pure consciousness.

This state is called wisdom, or pragya and one who has attained this wisdom throughout is called jivanmukta – one free in life itself.

One who has no egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness. And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

Definitions about certain states of inner search, “in-search,” are helpful, because when you enter yourself, you are alone. You will need certain definitions, certain criteria so that you can feel inside what is happening – where you are.

In the in-search one is always alone. One needs certain criteria to feel where one is. And the inner world is uncharted, no map exists which can be given to you. And even if some maps exist, they don’t belong to you; they cannot be applicable to you. Buddha says something – that is about his own inner journey; that may not be your route at all. Really, it cannot be your route. Every individual enters into the inner world differently, uniquely, because every individual stands on a certain spot where no one else stands; every individual is unique. Buddha stands somewhere – you cannot stand on that spot. He starts his journey from there; every journey starts from where you are. So we have different routes to move on, no map can be helpful.

So this sutra is not going to give you a certain map, no. Just certain liquid definitions – you can feel your own path – and certain happenings inside, so that you know where you are, where you are moving, whether you are moving or not, whether you are nearing your goal or not.

First the definition of vairagya – because that is the entrance. Unless you are non-attached to the world you cannot enter inwards. Your back must be towards the world; only then your face is towards the inner center. So vairagya is the door – non-attachment to the world. What is the definition?

You can force yourself to be non-attached, you can force yourself in the about-turn. You can face the inner world forcibly, you can stand with your back to the world, but just your back to the world is not enough. Your mind may be still moving in the world.

It is not very difficult to go away, to leave, to renounce – it is not very difficult. You can escape to the Himalayas and the world is left far behind – but your mind will still be moving in the world. Non-attachment, vairagya means: When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment.

You can close your eyes; you don’t see anything. That is not vairagya, because with closed eyes you can continue desiring. Really, with closed eyes desires become stronger. With closed eyes the world is more charming than with open eyes. Really, if your eyes are open, sooner or later the world loses its charm. The more you penetrate it, the more you know it and see it, the attraction disappears. The attraction is in ignorance; with closed eyes it is more.

Non-attachment is authentic if your eyes are open and objects of enjoyment are there, and no desire arises in you. A naked, beautiful woman is before you and no desire arises. Tantra has used this sutra. Tantra is based on this sutra. Tantra says: Do not escape, because you cannot escape your mind. And the real problem is not the world of objects; the real problem is the mind. So wherever you go, you will be there, and you are the problem! How can you escape from yourself? Go anywhere, the mind will be there. You can escape from the world, but not from the mind, and mind is the real world. So tantra says, “Do not move away; rather go deep in the world, fully conscious, with open eyes, aware of the desires moving in you. Look at the world deeply.” Tantra has developed its own techniques. The tantra technique is that if someone feels sexual desire, then just enforcing brahmacharya, celibacy, will not do. If you force celibacy on someone, if he takes a vow that now he will remain celibate, he will simply suppress sexuality and nothing else. And suppressed sex is dangerous – more dangerous than ordinary sex. Then the whole mind will become sexual. The suppressed energy will move inside; it cannot go out, so it moves more inside. It creates grooves, it becomes cerebral; the whole mind becomes sexual. The sex center gathers more and more energy, and ultimately the whole body becomes a sex center.

Tantra says this is not the way to go beyond sex; this is stupid. Tantra has its own scientific techniques. Tantra says, “Okay, there is desire, there is sex – then move into sex, but move fully conscious.” That is the only condition: If you want to touch a beautiful body, touch, but remain conscious, alert that you are touching the beautiful body. And then when you are touching, analyze your touch – what is happening? Observe your touch – what is happening? If you can observe your touch, the touch becomes futile, absurd, stupid; nothing is happening. Nothing is happening.

So tantra has techniques . . . Look at a beautiful naked body; observe it, and observe what is happening inside you. The desire arises: observe the desire, and observe the naked body. And really with a naked body, with a full alert mind, sex is neither suppressed nor indulged; it simply disappears. It may look contradictory – but bodies have become so important only because of clothes. Clothes are deeply sexual. They give the bodies a charm, a hidden charm, a secret attraction which is not there at all. Bodies are just bodies. You hide them and the very hiding creates a desire to look at them, to see. Humanity has become so body-conscious only because of clothes. The clothes create a secret desire to unclothe, to undress. […]

Any desire becomes futile if you observe it, if you know it in its totality. Tantra says do not escape; rather, be aware and move into the objects of enjoyment, and one day suddenly all the objects lose their charm.

This sutra says this is the definition of vairagya:

When desires do not arise even in the face of the objects of enjoyment, know it as the state of vairagya – non-attachment, desirelessness.

And when the ego ceases to arise, know it as the highest state of knowledge.

This is the criterion for knowledge, wisdom – when there is no ego, when ego doesn’t arise.

Ego can arise in any situation. The ego is very subtle and its ways are very mysterious. On anything, ego can feed itself. You meditate and through your meditation your ego can be strengthened: “I am a meditator.” And the whole point is lost, the whole meditation is lost. “I am a religious man. I go to church every Sunday, never miss.” The ego has arisen. It has taken a religious shape, but the shape doesn’t matter. “I fast,” or “I take a certain food,” or “I do this or that” – any ritual. “I do yoga” – whatsoever. If you feel that your “I” is strengthened, know that you are not on the path of knowing, you are falling down into ignorance.

Go on observing whatsoever you are doing. Do one thing continuously: go on observing whether your ego is strengthened by it. If you continuously observe, observation is a poison to the ego, it cannot arise. It arises only when you are not observing, when you are unconscious, unaware, unattentive. Go on observing, and wherever the ego arises just be a witness to it. Know well that the ego is arising: “I am meditating, certain experiences are happening, and the ego feels good.” And the ego says, “Now you are on the path. Now you have known the inner light. Now the kundalini has arisen. Now you are extraordinary. Soon you are going to be a siddha – one who has achieved. The goal is now nearer.” Know well: with this feeling of the goal being nearer, you are missing the goal. This ego feeling good is a fatal disease.

This sutra says, when the ego doesn’t arise, it is the highest state of knowledge. When the feeling of “I” doesn’t arise, you are but there is no “I.”

We go on saying, “I am.” The man of knowledge rarely feels only “am,” not “I” – just “amness,” existence, being, with no “I” attached to it. “Amness” is vast, infinite; “I” is finite. “Amness” is brahman.

When there is no “I,” when there is only simple “amness,” when the “I” is dead, this state is known as the state of a jivanmukta – one who has achieved freedom in life, one who has achieved freedom while in the body, one who has known the infinite while alive.

You can also become a jivanmukta. The only problem is you. Throw it out, and you are. Nothing new is to be gained; the freedom is there hidden in you, but you are attached to the ego. That creates a boundary, a limitation. Look beyond the ego, and suddenly you enter another world. And it was always there, just to be seen, but our eyes have become fixed; we cannot move our eyes. We go on looking in one direction – the direction of the ego. The reverse is the dimension of the non-ego, and non-ego is the path.

One who has egoistic feeling in respect of his body and the senses, and besides has ceased to think in terms of “me” and “mine” in respect to other objects, is called a jivanmukta.

Egolessness is a great death. When you die only your body dies; when you attain mukti, freedom, your mind dies.

In the old scriptures the master, the guru, is known also as death: acharyo mrityu. The teacher is death, great death. He is, because through him your ego dies; he kills you. In a way he is death, and in a way eternal life, because when the ego is no more, for the first time you are.

Die to be reborn.

Jesus says, “Whosoever loses himself, attains, and whosoever clings to himself loses.”


From That Art Thou, Discourse #46

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.

Meditation is Objectless – Osho

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is object-less. If you use any object, then it is not meditation; it becomes thinking. It becomes contemplation; it becomes reflection, but not meditation.

This is the most essential point to be understood. This is the essence of a meditative state: that it is object-less. Only consciousness is there, but not conscious about anything.

Consciousness without being conscious of anything – this is the nature of meditation. But this may create a very depressed mood; this may create pessimism in the mind. It is so difficult to throw even a single thought out of the mind – how can one conceive of being totally thoughtless? It is so difficult to get rid of one object of the mind, that it is inconceivable how to be totally object-less; how to be just a mirror, how to be just conscious without being conscious of anything.

We are never conscious without being conscious of anything – something is always there. And there are some psychologists, some schools of psychology, who say that it is impossible to be conscious without any object. Consciousness to them means consciousness of something. Something must be there; otherwise, we will go to sleep; otherwise, we will become unconscious. But yoga says that ordinarily this is right: as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, if there is no object the mind will go down into sleep, slip down into unconsciousness.

We also are aware of it. If you are thinking something in the night, then sleep becomes impossible, because if some object is present in the mind then you cannot drop into sleep, into unconsciousness. So if you are thinking, then you cannot go to sleep; you go to sleep only when thinking has ceased. When thinking has ceased but there is no sleep, only then will you understand what is meant by meditation – but we never know any moment like that. When thoughts cease, thinking ceases, sleep takes over. You are not even aware when sleep has come; you become unconscious.

This is what hypnosis uses as a technique. Hypnosis – any method of hypnotism, any method – uses only this technique: to fix the mind somewhere on one object so intensely that the mind becomes bored of one object. This is the tendency of the mind – mind needs novelty; something new every moment, then it feels alert. If you are in a situation where you have to be aware of only one thing repeatedly then the mind feels bored, and boredom becomes the gate to sleep. So hypnotism uses it. It will give you any object to concentrate on, to concentrate your total consciousness on; then you will feel bored, by and by sleepy, and then sleep will take over. The very word hypnosis means induced sleep. So sleep can be induced if mind is devoid of thoughts.

But yoga says that this is right as far as the ordinary mind is concerned, but this is not right for a meditative mind. Through meditation, mind takes on a new quality, and it becomes possible to be conscious without thoughts. But it is difficult, and to take the jump is arduous.

In Zen there are two schools: one is known as the sudden enlightenment school, and another as the gradual enlightenment school. The sudden school says that any enlightenment is sudden. You have to take a jump from thought to no-thought, from ignorance to knowledge, from sleep to enlightenment. You have to take a sudden jump. But there are very few followers of the sudden school; there cannot be, because it is inconceivable.

There is another school which is known as the gradual enlightenment school. There are many, many followers of it, because the moment one says “gradual,” we are at ease – now we can do something. And in steps, gradually, in degrees we can proceed. In a sudden phenomenon there is no time, so you cannot postpone – you cannot say tomorrow. If the phenomenon can happen suddenly, this very moment, then your mind cannot excuse itself; there is no basis to postpone it. With a gradual school you can say, “Okay, we will try in this life, and if not in this life, then in another life. Gradually we will reach the peak. One step, second step – by steps we will reach to the ultimate.” Then you have to divide.

But this Upanishad belongs to neither. This is neither sudden nor gradual. This Upanishad takes a middle way. It says: It is difficult to take a sudden jump, and it is tedious and long to think in terms of degrees. Then you can go on thinking in infinite degrees. So this Upanishad says: Only one step is enough – neither sudden nor gradual. Only one step – only one step in between. To be object-less, to be thought-less and conscious is the goal. Only take one step: from many thoughts to one thought, and from one thought to no-thought. This one thought is suggested in this sutra.

This sutra says:

By meditating upon the lord Parameshwar, consorted by mother Uma, the highest lord, the all-powerful, the three-eyed, and the ever silent, the meditator reaches Him who is the source of all manifestation, the witness of all, and who is beyond ignorance.

From the world to the ultimate, take any image of God as a single step. This will look strange because we think of God as the ultimate. But the Upanishads never think of God as the ultimate. They say,

“God is a step towards the ultimate.” And they always use for the ultimate the term brahman, the absolute. God, Ishwara, Parameshwara, is just a step towards the ultimate. God is not the ultimate end. God is just to be used as a technical help for the jump into the ultimate abyss.

Use God as a jumping board from the worldly mind to the ultimate abyss.

This image of God used as a technical help is very typical and strange, because ordinarily the religious mind feels that God is to be achieved. But yoga says, “God is also just a technical help.” That’s why there are systems of yoga which are godless – for example even Buddha’s system. Buddha never talks about God – he discarded God. He created other steps; he discarded God. Mahavira never, never uses the word “God.” He discarded it – he used other techniques as jumping boards. But the ultimate remains the same: Hindus call it brahman, Buddhists call it nirvana, Jainas call it kaivalya. The ultimate remains the same: God is used as a technical help. Any imagery, any symbolism can be used. But it must be such a symbol that when you have used it, you are capable of discarding it.

Buddha has told a parable. He says:

Some villagers crossed a stream by boat. But then they thought, “This boat has helped us so much; otherwise, to cross the stream was impossible. So we must not discard this boat.” Then they carried the boat on their heads into the town.

Then the whole village gathered and everyone began to ask, “What is the matter? Have you come to sell this boat in the town? or why are you carrying it? The boat seems so old – just a ruin. Who will purchase it? And we have never seen anyone carrying a boat on the head. Why are you carrying it?”

So they said, “This boat is not ordinary; this has helped us to cross the stream. Without this, it would have been impossible to come to this village, so we cannot be ungrateful to it. Now we will have to carry it.”

Buddha always used this parable, and he said, “Every technique, every symbol, every ritual is just a vehicle. The moment you have crossed the stream, discard it. Don’t go on carrying it; otherwise, you will be just stupid.”

We can understand that those villagers were stupid, foolish. But as far as religious vehicles, techniques, boats are concerned, everyone carries them continuously. If I give you a name “Rama” as a japa, as a repetitive method for your meditation, then one day it is bound to happen that you will come to me and say, “Now I feel very blissful with this mantra. Now I am more at peace, more relaxed. Now I am more fresh, now I am less disturbed, now I am less tense. So now what more to do?”

And if I tell you to drop this name now that you have crossed the stream . . . now that you have come to the other shore, now drop this name also, then you will feel disturbed. I have advised many, and when I say to them, “Drop this,” they say, “What are you telling us? How can we drop this? It is inconceivable. We cannot do this. And this seems profane – how can we? This is a very holy name, and this has helped us so much that we cannot discard it.”

No ordinary person – even a Ramakrishna . . . Ramakrishna used the name of Mother Kali as a mantra continually, for years. He achieved much through it, but not the ultimate. He became silent, he became purified, he became holy; he became everything that we can conceive of a religious man. He became totally a religious man – but still a discontent within, still a desire, the desire for the ultimate. He had not reached the end.

Then he met a Vedanta teacher, Totapuri. And he said to Totapuri, “I have reached a very deep silence but still something is missing; I feel it, something is missing. So what to do now?” So Totapuri said, “Now drop the name of Mother Kali. Drop it – you are carrying the vessel; you are carrying the boat. You have crossed the river; now don’t carry this boat.” Ramakrishna was absolutely disturbed. He said, “What are you telling me? – A person like you, a renowned teacher – what are you telling me? To drop the name of Mother Kali? This is simply irreligious, unholy! What are you telling me? Don’t tell me such things!” He began to perspire; he began to tremble – a person like Ramakrishna.

Totapuri laughed and he said, “I knew this. You will feel much disturbed, your whole base has to be destroyed. You have made it a foundation; hitherto this has been your base. Now this has to be destroyed; otherwise, you cannot go further.”

For three days Ramakrishna wept, because he had heard such irreligious words. He couldn’t speak to anyone; he just closed his door, wept; cried, “Mother! Mother!” and wept. And Totapuri would come and knock at the door, and would say, “Ramakrishna, come to your senses. Drop this name.”

After three days, fasting, weeping, Ramakrishna came out, and he said, “If you say, I will do it. But first let me go to the Mother and ask her permission. I cannot do it would her permission.” This is how a boat can become so meaningful . . . and don’t laugh at it; even if you are in the state of Ramakrishna, this will happen.

Ramakrishna went to ask the Mother – of course permission was given, because deep down Ramakrishna himself felt that now this name is the only obstacle. If it drops, consciousness will be totally pure; there will be no disturbance. But he couldn’t utter it, he couldn’t say it. He went to Mother – there was no one; this was his own deep-down unconscious which gave the permission. He asked the Mother . . . If one goes in a very devoted way, continuously, to feel in an image the divine presence, one’s own deep unconscious becomes projected. And even from the image, things can come which are just being put there by oneself. It was his own unconscious; it was his own deep existence which responded. So permission was given. He came back, of course, weeping, because the conscious was still clinging, clinging to the name. His own unconscious was ready. He was totally purified, and this last step was to be taken – had to be taken, it was a must!

So the unconscious allowed him, but the conscious began to feel guilty again. He came back. Totapuri said, “Don’t feel any guilt. When the Mother herself has allowed, now you drop it.” So Ramakrishna sat before Totapuri, closed his eyes, went into deep meditation. Tears were flowing. Hours pass and Totapuri goes on saying, “Now drop it! Don’t continue!” And Ramakrishna is continuing. Tears are flowing; he is weeping and trembling. He cannot stop.

He opens his eyes and says, “It seems impossible. I cannot stop. It seems it is absolutely impossible to stop! How can I myself drop the name? It is my heart of hearts. How can I drop it? This is just . . . it seems suicidal, as if I am killing myself. I cannot.” And poor Totapuri insists, “Try again, try again.”

Then Totapuri says, “This is the last, and I will not remain here for a single moment longer. I am not going to remain here; I will leave this place. So try again, only one.” And he brought a piece of glass, and he said, “When you are meditating and when I feel that the image of Kali has come into your consciousness as an object, I will cut your forehead on the third eye spot with this piece of glass. And when I cut your forehead, you cut the image inside.”

Ramakrishna said, “But how can I cut it? And with what? How can I cut it and with what? There is no weapon!”

Totapuri said, “If you can create an image, so alive, by imagination, why can you not create a sword? You have created the image of Kali so loving, so radiant, so alive, so why not create a sword? You are so capable a man – imagine a sword and then cut it! Otherwise, I am going to leave and you will not find me again.”

And Totapuri was a a rare man; to miss that man was to miss for lives. And Ramakrishna knew this, that this was the only man who could help; otherwise, one would have to wait, for lives even. And one is not certain that even after waiting for many lives, a man like Totapuri will be there. So Totapuri stood, and he said, “Now I’ll leave. You try.”

Ramakrishna closed his eyes – he was weeping, he was crying, screaming; and then Totapuri cut his head. And in a single stroke, Ramakrishna dared – this is the most daring thing – he dared: he cut the image within. The image broke into two. Tears stopped, crying stopped. And Ramakrishna began to laugh and Ramakrishna began to dance. And Totapuri said, “Now I am leaving. Just tell me in one sentence what has happened.”

So Ramakrishna opened his eyes and said, “The last barrier has dropped.” And Totapuri disappeared.

Ramakrishna tried and tried for many years to find the man again, to give him thanks, but Totapuri was not found again.

So don’t laugh. This middle step can become a barrier, or it can become a jumping board – it depends on you. Use any image, but remember continuously that this is just a technical help.

Remember continuously that this has to be dropped. If you can remember it, then you can use any method, any technique, any image, any help. It is artificial, but for our minds – which cannot take a sudden jump – it helps.


From That Art Thou, Discourse #24

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.

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.


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.

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