The Circle is Complete – Osho

There are three ordinary states of consciousness. One is waking, jagrut, the second is swabha, dreaming, and the third is sushupti, dreamless deep sleep.

Man ordinarily lives in these three states, sometimes waking, sometimes dreaming, sometimes fast asleep; this is the wheel man moves in. And because of these three states of mind many things have arisen into human consciousness and in human culture, civilization.

The first kind of consciousness, waking, creates its own culture, its own civilization; the West represents it. The second kind of culture is created by the second kind of consciousness, dreaming; the East represents it. That’s why you find it very difficult to communicate; the Western mind finds it almost impossible to communicate with the Eastern mind. It is not only a question of language – language you may understand – the question is of the orientation.

The waking consciousness is objective: it thinks of the object, of the reality there outside; it is a kind of concentration. The Western mind has evolved powers of concentration hence the birth of science; out of the powers of concentration, science is born. The East could not give birth to science, and the reason is that the East has not paid much attention to the first kind of consciousness.

The East thinks in terms of dreams. The East thinks in terms of the inner. The East thinks in terms of the subjective. The East thinks with closed eyes; the West thinks with open eyes. The West concentrates; the Eastern mind meditates, that’s why in the East you will find visionaries, poets – people who have experienced great revelations inside. But they cannot prove it; the experiences remain individual, private. The Western emphasis is on the objective, the public: when you are wakeful, whatsoever you see others can also see. You are seeing me here, everybody can see me – one who has eyes can see – there is no need for any proof. The sun rises, and you know: the proof exists in the very experience. And everybody is experiencing it – there can be a collective consensus about it. But when I say I have seen the sun rise in the evening it is no more a collective experience; it is no more objective, it becomes subjective.

In the East you will find people who have experienced kundalini rising in them, great light exploding as if thousands and thousands of suns have suddenly risen on the horizon; you will find people who have seen lotuses blooming inside – and to the Western mind it looks all nonsense. The Western mind has developed technology, science – objectivity. It lives in the first, the waking, state; the visionary is rejected. In the West the visionary is a marginal phenomenon, he exists on the outskirts of civilization. He is at most tolerated; he is harmless, he can be tolerated. But he has no roots in the culture at large, he is not the main current. In the East the scientist lives in the same way – on the margin; he is not the main current. He can be tolerated, he can be used, but the respect goes to the visionary, to the dreamer, to the poet who dreams great dreams.

These are the two ordinary states; the third state happens to both, but you cannot catch hold of it, the mind dissolves. In sushupti, in dreamless sleep, you disappear as an ego, and you disappear so utterly that you cannot even remember in the morning what happened. You can remember your dreams, you cannot remember your dreamless sleep, at most it can be remembered as gaps. You can say ‘I slept so deeply that there were not even dreams.’ But that is guess-work; there is no direct experience of sushupti.

No culture has evolved out of sushupti because there is no possibility to catch hold of it directly. But that is the deepest ordinary state of mind. It is out of sushupti, dreamless sleep, that you get rejuvenated every day. You go to the source, you move to the source, you are again in contact with the primal consciousness, you are again in contact with your ground. You are no more human, you are no more Hindu, no more Christian, you are no more a man or a woman, black or white, you are no more Eastern, Western; all disappears – all distinctions. You are, but there is no identity, that’s why out of dreamless sleep great peace is felt.

If you move into deeper meditation, you will come to the third state where one can become aware of dreamless sleep too. And many have stopped there; because it is so blissful, many religions have stopped there, they don’t go beyond it.

There is a fourth state also, and unless you reach to the fourth, go on remembering that the third is very alluring, the third is very beautiful, very blissful, but still you have not arrived home. The fourth is the home; the Eastern mystics have called it turiya, turiya means the fourth.

Waking is objective, outer; it is a kind of concentration. Dreaming is between the outer and the inner, a link between waking and deep sleep, and deep sleep is the inner. Then what is the fourth, the turiya? It is both and neither. It is both inner and outer, and because it is both, that’s why it is neither. It transcends both, it is non-dual, it is total. Now nothing is outer, nothing is inner. Objects disappear and, simultaneously, the subject too; there is no experience and no experiencer. This fourth state is called samadhi, satori. And the beauty of the fourth is that you can live in the world and yet be not of it.

Zen believes in the fourth. Those who believe in the third have to leave the world, they have to go to the Himalayan caves. Only there is it possible that they can fall into continuous deep dreamless sleep. It is falling into a beautiful coma. Its spiritual worth is nothing, although there is no misery, no anxiety, because the mind is put aside. But it is a state of coma, it is escapist. And the man has not known yet what the truth is. He has chosen one thing: escaping.

The Western mind moves deeper and deeper into the world, into activity, and the Eastern mind moves out of activity, more and more out of the world.

Now, here both kinds of people have gathered. When the Western mind comes to me he always asks how to relate with people – that is his basic question – how to be more loving, caring, how to grow deeper into relationship. No Indian, no Easterner, ever asks this – that is not his question at all, his question is how to get out of relationship, how to forget all this misery – birth and death, and reincarnation, and the whole wheel – how to stop it, how to jump out of it. You can watch it, it is very apparent. The Western mind is clear-cut, logical, rational, mathematical, alert. The Eastern mind is dreaming and, according to Western standards, lousy, sloppy, messy, because in a dream you cannot be very clear-cut, otherwise the dream will disappear. To the Eastern mind the Western mind is worldly, calculating, cunning, clever.

The third kind has happened both in the East and the West very rarely. In the West monasteries have existed, and people have renounced the world and moved – in the East too. One who becomes interested in dreamless sleep — and it is greatly satisfying – no doubt about it, there is great pleasure in it, it is very tranquil, undisturbed, but it is a kind of death, not life. And there is fear that it can be disturbed – any small thing can disturb it – a small thought can move, and all is lost. A small dream is enough to destroy it.

Zen people have worked for the fourth. The fourth means: live in the world like a lotus leaf in water, be awake and yet remain centred. So all that is needed to be done, be in the cyclone and yet remain in the centre of it, unaffected by it. Naturally, the Zen man creates the most alive, living, streaming, pulsating life. The Zen man creates action in inaction, or inaction through action. Polarities meet and merge, and wherever polarities meet and merge there is God.

The fourth is the primal state, the very basic and fundamental state out of which these three have arisen. These three are branches, the fourth is the root.

The sutras of today you will be able to understand only if you understand this approach, the approach through the fourth, through totality. One has not to escape, one has to go into the deepest world but is not to be lost there. One has to remain conscious, one has to remain alert, and one has to go deep into the world. The meeting of the extremes will bring you the richest crop of life.

It happened…

Vivekananda once told his Master, Ramakrishna, that his highest spiritual aspiration was to remain immersed for days on end in nirvikalpa samadhi, the disappearance of all forms into absolute Godhead. He sincerely longed for what he then considered to be the ultimate spiritual experience. But Ramakrishna, who had once spent six months in unbroken nirvikalpa, his body kept alive only by force feeding, relied ‘You are a fool. There is a realization higher than nirvikalpa samadhi.’ Vivekananda was at that time dedicated to the third dimension of contemplation, and Ramakrishna was attempting to turn him toward the fourth dimension, or turiya.

Nirvikalpa samadhi is a state of deep sleep. All has disappeared; it is absent, it is negative. The cup is empty, utterly empty; ready to be filled, but not yet filled. The empty cup is not the goal – cannot be the goal; emptying is only the method so that one day the cup can be filled with the presence of God. But God exists as the world – there is no other God. God has appeared as the world; God is not somewhere else. The world is God manifest. One has to empty oneself to prepare, but one has to remain in close contact with the world otherwise one becomes disconnected.

This is my approach to sannyas too. That’s why I don’t say leave the world, I say live in the world, accept the challenge of it because behind it, behind the screen of it, is God himself. If you accept the challenge and if you live the challenge totally, you will find that all that is needed is here. It has to be discovered. Become more and more alert and conscious.

So don’t get too much into the objects – don’t become a Westerner, and don’t get too much into the dreams – don’t become an Easterner. Don’t get too obsessed with kundalini and experiences like that because those are all mind things. Remain alert while moving with people, while moving in the world, remain alert while moving in dreams. And there are beautiful dreams too, spiritual dreams too – remain alert, don’t get distracted by them. And when you are able to be alert in the objective world and then alert in the dreaming world, slowly, slowly you will become alert in the dreamless deep sleep too. And then you are at the gate of the fourth. And when you enter the fourth, you are back into the world; the circle is complete. But now you are the centre of the cyclone.


From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter Seven

It is a ‘Releasement’ – Osho

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmost centre in us all,

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross flesh, hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error; and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

Yes, these words of Robert Browning are right, absolutely right. Truth is not something outside. Truth is not an object that you have to find, search for, seek. Truth is your subjectivity: truth is the one who is seeking; truth is not the sought, but the seeker himself. To think of truth as something outside is to miss from the very beginning; and once you take a wrong step, you go on taking more and more wrong steps because one step leads to another. It is a chain.

The first step is the most important step. In fact, it is almost half the journey. If the first step is right, you have already arrived; you have moved in the right direction.

Truth is not without but within. And everybody has been seeking it without, hence everybody is missing it. And it is not only true about truth but about all search as such. Bliss is within, so is beauty, so is love, so is joy. All the values that one wants to attain to are within one’s own being.

These words of Robert Browning are of immense significance: 

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

And man has believed down the ages in some truth which is somewhere in heaven far away. And one has to travel to it, and one has to go on a long, long pilgrimage. There is bound to be great effort – practicing, cultivating, preparing – and truth is all the time waiting for you within yourself.

All the beliefs mislead you because all the beliefs are based on the false idea that truth is an object. People come to me and they ask ‘Where is God?’ And they think that they are asking a very relevant question – as if God can be somewhere. They have not looked into the problem deeply. First they have to search into this questioning itself.  Who is the one asking for God? Who is this one searching for God? One should start from the very start. ‘Who am I?’ is the only significant question one can ask. And once this question is solved, all other questions are solved because God is found.

Raman Maharshi used to give only one meditation to everyone, whosoever would come to him: just to go on and on pondering, observing, watching, witnessing one thing – to let this question become so utterly your existence that it persists even when you are asleep – Who am I? And it has not to be repeated like a mantra. If you repeat it like a mantra you will have missed the point; it is not a mantra, it is an inquiry, and the greatest inquiry there is. It has not to be used as a meditation technique; it has to become your very life. Walking, let the inquiry be there – ‘Who is walking?’ Listening right now, let the inquiry be there – ‘Who is listening?’ And finally the inquiry has to penetrate to such profound depths that when you ask ‘Who am I?’ the inquiry is there – ‘Who is asking this question?’

Move to the innermost centre of your being. This inquiry is a movement withinwards. And this single question can solve all the problems; it is a master key: it unlocks all the locks.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

Your belief is not going to change the nature of things. You can believe that a rose flower is a lotus – and you can believe stubbornly, you can believe blindly and madly – but the rose remains a rose; just by your belief it is not transformed into a lotus. Yes, you can remain in a kind of illusion, you can remain hallucinating, you can even start seeing it as a lotus. Belief creates dreams, but it cannot create reality. Belief cannot deliver reality to you because all belief is a hindrance. Belief basically means that you have believed before knowing; you are deceiving yourself. All believers are deceivers: they have lied to themselves. They have not known God, and they have started believing in a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Hindu God. They know nothing; they have not experienced anything.

Once a man came to me. He had listened for ten days, and then he came to me. He was crying, and he was an old man. And he said ‘You have destroyed all that I have believed, and now I am at a loss. For almost thirty-five years I have practiced a certain kind of life. I have done all that possibly can be done. And I was living in a beautiful dream, and you have shattered it all. I was thinking that I had started seeing God. I had great visions of God, and now they all have disappeared.’ And he was crying like a small child whose toys have been taken away, he said ‘Now, help me to start again!’  And I had to laugh even though he was crying, I said ’Start again? Then you will be getting trapped into another illusion. What do you mean by starting again?’ He said ‘My old beliefs are destroyed; now, give me new beliefs. That’s what I mean.’

People go on changing beliefs, but that never brings a radical revolution; it cannot bring. A Hindu can become a Mohammedan – nothing changes; just you have changed your dream. A Christian becomes a Buddhist – nothing changes; deep down everything remains the same. Unless you drop believing nothing is going to change, because belief is a deception. Belief means that you don’t know and yet you think you know. And the less you know, the more stubbornly you believe – naturally, you have to complement it. The less you know, the more arrogant, the more dogmatic, more violent you are in your belief – ready to fight, kill and be killed because you are afraid. If somebody brings light to you, and you come to SEE that your belief is just a belief and nothing else, then all that you have invested in it has gone down the drain, then your life has been a stupid life. The life of a believer is a stupid life, it is unintelligent.

Robert Browning is right. He says ‘whate’er you may believe.’ Your beliefs cannot make any change. Truth is as it is. Truth is not an object; you cannot believe in it, you cannot worship it, you cannot pray to it. Truth is your hidden reality. You are part of it, it is part of you; there is no separation between you and truth. And the first door to be opened has to open within you, then all the doors open. I am not saying that truth is not there without, but once it is known within, then you will know it without. There is no other way. Once you have seen it within yourself, then you will see it in a tree, in a mountain, in a star – in everything. Because now you have tasted the centre; now the centre is everywhere. Now you have known the inside of things. God is the inside of things.

But the first approach, the first acquaintance, has to happen within you because that inside which exists within you is the closest inside. How can you penetrate into the inside of a tree? It is very, very far away. You have not even penetrated your own inside – where you already are.

It happened…

Leo Tolstoy had gone for a morning walk with Chekhov. They came across a beautiful horse in the woods, and Tolstoy started talking about the horse. And he talked in such a way that Chekhov could not believe it. He said “What are you saying? You are talking as if you know the very inside of the horse!” – because Tolstoy was talking about ‘this morning, these birds, these trees, this sun, this sky, these clouds…’ and how the horse was feeling about the clouds, and how he was feeling about the trees and the smell of the wet earth; how the horse was feeling about the grass and the flowers and the sun. And he was saying it as if it were directly from the horse’s mouth. Checkhov himself was a great artist, a great novelist, a great genius, but he had never visualized how the horse would feel. And Tolstoy was saying it so deeply, profoundly, that he said “Leo Tolstoy, I feel as if you had once been a horse in your past lives!” Tolstoy started laughing, and said “No, but the day I came across my own inside, I came across everybody’s inside. Before that, I knew myself as the body – I knew myself as if from the outside.”

Have you any acquaintance with yourself from the inside, or do you only know that which the mirror says about you? That is as if you were standing outside yourself and looking from there. You know all that people say about you. Somebody says that you are beautiful, and you think you are beautiful; and somebody says that you are ugly, and you start feeling miserable; and somebody says that you are intelligent, and you are flying high; and somebody says that you are stupid, and you are shattered. Again, this is nothing but a mirror: others’ opinions cannot be more than mirrors. But have you never seen yourself from the inside? And there you are; there you have always been, you are abiding there. And if you cannot know this space that you are abiding in, how can you know the inner reality of a tree or a mountain or a star? And how can you know the inner reality of the totality?

God is inside of totality. But to enter into that, one has to enter within one’s own door.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmost centre in us all

Where truth abides in fullness… 

True, absolutely true. And sometimes it happens that poets come very close to the mystics. Poetry comes closer to religion than anything else. Poetry is a glimpse into truth; mysticism is living there. Poetry is like the Himalayas seen from far away – those sunlit peaks, those virgin snows; religion is living there as those sunlit peaks, as that virgin snow. Poetry is a distant vision of truth; mysticism, or religion, is becoming one with it, knowing it as one’s innermost centre. But poetry comes closest. 

Where truth abides in fullness…

Nothing is lacking in you, nothing has to be added to you. You are born perfect, because you are born of perfection. You are perfect, because the perfect is breathing within you, living in you. You are an extension of perfection. If God is perfect, then nothing can be imperfect, because all is his expression. How can it be imperfect? So, there is no need to seek perfection, there is no need to improve upon yourself. All that is needed is to know who you are, and in that very knowing one comes to feel the completion, the perfection. One has not to become perfect; one already is. And because we are trying to become perfect we are becoming more and more ridiculous.

Down the ages man has tried to become more and more perfect, and the only result is that man has become more and more ugly. The very effort is absurd. In trying to become perfect people have become guilty. In trying to become perfect they have become pathological.

In trying to become perfect, and failing again and again – and they have to fail because they are already perfect… You cannot attain to that which you already have, so the effort is doomed to fail. And when you fail again and again and again,, naturally, a great sadness settles; one feels utterly depressed. All hope disappears, and all joy with it. Life becomes an ugly evil; one has to bear it somehow. Life becomes sin. If you are trying to become perfect, life will become sin, because you will fail, you will condemn yourself, you will hate yourself – and a man who hates himself has gone as far away from himself as it is possible to go. 

There is an inmost centre in us all

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross Flesh hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

Truth is not a thing but the clarity of perception. It is not that you will have to see something; it is only the clarity of seeing that is truth. All objects disappear, all content disappears, only a clarity remains. Everything becomes transparent – you can see, you can see totally; nothing is hidden from you. That perception is truth.

Truth is not an object but an awakening in you. Let me emphasize it again and again that truth is within not without; it is an awakening within you; it is an awareness within you; it is intelligence functioning at its optimum. You cannot see truth; it is not a thing. You cannot grasp truth; it is not a thing. You cannot give or take truth; it is not a thing. It is your inner eye, your inner perception – what the Hindus call the third eye.

To be alert and awake is to be true. So, let us define. Untruth is unconsciousness, and truth is consciousness. Untruth is living like a somnambulist; truth is living like a Buddha, alert, watchful, witnessing.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error; and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without. 

The splendor is within you. It is just like a fountain hidden behind a rock, and because of the rock it cannot flow. Remove the rock, and the fountain starts flowing. This insight is also of tremendous significance. And I say ‘hidden behind a rock’ not ‘behind rocks’ because there is only one rock. Somebody thinks it is because of greed that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce greed. Somebody else thinks it is because of anger, violence that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce anger, violence. Somebody else thinks it is because of money, possessions, so one has to renounce all possessions. Somebody else thinks it is because of sex, love, attachment, so one has to renounce that. And people think that there are so many rocks: anger, sex, sadness, possessiveness, greed, etcetera, etcetera. No, there are not rocks; there is only one rock, and that rock is unawareness. Everything else is a by-product of that unawareness. It becomes greed, it becomes sex, it becomes anger; it can take many forms. But basically it is only one thing: forgetfulness, unawareness.

We have become completely oblivious of who we are.

… and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

Don’t search for any light outside. The last words of Buddha were “Be a light unto yourself. Be a lamp unto yourself.” Don’t search for light anywhere else; the light is already there, the fire is already there. Just probe a little deeper into your being, enquire. Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire… just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again. And once you have found a single spark inside yourself, you will become a flame soon, you will be a fire – a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms, a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.

It is because of this that Martin Heidegger uses the word ‘releasement’ instead of ‘enlightenment’. His word is beautiful. It is a releasement: something is already there; it has only to be released. Just like the seed sprouting, becoming a big tree, and then comes the spring… and there is great joy, and the tree bursts forth into thousands of flowers. But they were all hidden in the seed, the small seed. The seed has been carrying the blueprint for all that: the colour, the shape, the fragrance – all was hidden in the seed. The tree is not anything new. The seed was unmanifest; the tree is its manifestation. It is a releasement.

I like Heidegger’s word, it is beautiful. It is a releasement: enlightenment is a releasement.

You are already that. You have never been other than that. Remember, remind yourself, shake yourself into awareness. Use all the opportunities of life as triggering points, as occasions, so that you can become alert and aware of who you are.

These words of one of the great Greek mystics, Plotinus, will be of help. ‘You do not really go away from It, for It is there; you do not “go” anywhere but remain present to It, yet you turn your back on It.’ Or as Raman Maharshi used to say ‘Enlightenment is simply to admit that you are already enlightened.’

Just to admit… Yes, Raman is stating the simple fact: it is only admitting. You are enlightened; you consist of it. You are made of light; light is the stuff’ that you are made of. Then why can’t you admit it? Why can’t you recognize it? And rather than recognizing it, you do a thousand and one other things: you search for God, you go to the Himalayas, you move to the monasteries, you torture yourselves, you become masochists in the name of religion, you destroy yourselves, you slowly, slowly commit suicide. You do everything, but just a simple thing you never do: you don’t admit. Why can’t you admit it? And nothing is being taken away from you. In recognizing the fact, all is gained, nothing is lost. But you have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your misery – you have started thinking that this is you.

It is like an emperor who has fallen asleep and dreams that he has become a beggar. And in his dream he has a begging bowl and rotten rags, and somebody is trying to snatch the begging bowl from him. And he will fight; he will fight to the very bitter end. It is a question of life and death – somebody trying to snatch his begging bowl? He will give a great fight; he is not going to give it easily – that’s all that he has.

That’s what has happened. Misery is all that you have. You cannot admit that you are enlightened because then you will not be able to afford misery any more. So, many times you come to the brink, many times the recognition is very close by – you see the point – but you withdraw, you immediately start getting as far away from it as possible. You withdraw, you turn back. You have become too attached to your misery: that looks as if that is your kingdom.

This is my observation: listening to thousands of sannyasins, one thing seems to be absolutely certain: that nobody wants to renounce his misery. People are even ready to renounce their little bits of happiness; they are ready. This is strange, but this is how it is. If I say to them ‘Renounce your wife, renounce your children, renounce your home’ they are ready, they say ‘We are ready to go with you, Osho, wherever you say. We can renounce.’ But if I say ‘Renounce your misery, renounce your chains’ then immediately I see that they cannot gather that much courage. They cling to it, they will fight for it.

Raman is simply saying that all that is needed for enlightenment is to admit that you are enlightened. Just think of it. Just for a moment meditate over it. Can you admit that you are enlightened? And immediately you will see that it is difficult, because if you admit that you are enlightened then there will be trouble. And the trouble will be: you cannot be angry, and you cannot be sad, and you cannot fight with your wife or with your husband, and you cannot be possessive. All is lost, and that has been your whole life. Now, this is too much, you will say ‘How can one become enlightened so suddenly? First I will have to practise.’ That is only a way of postponing. You are saying ‘I cannot deny the truth of what you say, but I cannot admit it right now either. Yes, you are right, you must be right; but I have to prepare myself for it.’ And this is how you have been preparing for so many lives.

You missed Buddha, you missed Yoka – you can miss me too.

And you are always preparing, and you are always postponing, and you say ‘Yes, we understand what you are saying.’

Many times you are almost enlightened, and then immediately you shrink back. I say ‘almost’ because you can still shrink back, that’s why I say ‘almost’. Just one step more… but then fear grips you, you become so frightened. Then what will happen to your whole past and all your investments?

You will think that this should not be so – what investment can there be in misery? There is; people remain miserable because through misery they gain sympathy, at least sympathy. If they cannot get love, they can get sympathy, they can get attention.

And you are too attached to attention. Things are complicated then. You are too attached to attention – people should pay attention to you – and you don’t know what else to do. If you are miserable, they pay attention. If you are ill, they take care of you. If you go mad, everybody is kind to you. Just see the point why so many people go mad and when they go mad. There is a perfect timing to it. Whenever they are passing into some crisis, through some crisis, and they need attention, love, sympathy, care, they immediately choose madness. It is a choice – unconscious, but still a choice.

If they remain sane, everybody is hard. If they remain sane then the world is too much; then the wife is hard, the children are hard, the boss is hard – everything is hard. And they are tired. But if they are insane, if they have a certificate to say that they are mad, if the psychiatrist says that they are not in a position that anything should be expected from them, they can relax. Now nobody expects anything from them, and they can expect everything from everybody else.

Thousands of people who live in madhouses have only learned a trick; this is their way of life; they have learned a style. They are not all mad; they have just found a beautiful way of life where care has to be taken of them by others – they need not worry.

Just look into all the investments that you have put into your misery. You hanker for love, and your husband never sits by your side. You hanker for love, and your wife never comes and massages you. Now, you have a headache, and she comes and she is all love. Just see the point: the headache has become a need; because love is not freely available so you start paying for love with your headache. Whenever you need love, when there is starvation, when you feel that love will be nourishing, suddenly your mind triggers the mechanism – the headache comes.

And I am not saying that you are just pretending, I am not saying that you are pretending – a real headache comes; there is no pretension in it. I am not saying that you are just deceiving your wife, no; you are deceiving your wife and yourself too. The headache is real, but you have learned a trick.

Whenever love is starved, a mechanism triggers itself; it is autonomous. It immediately brings some illness to you, and with illness, love comes. Your wife becomes your mother – you always wanted her to be your mother. You have been in search of a mother not in search of a wife. Every man is in search of a mother. Every woman is in search of a father.

It is difficult to accept it, but it must be so because people’s mental age remains hanging somewhere near about thirteen – nobody grows psychologically more than that. Now, what more can you expect of a thirteen-year-old boy or girl? Psychologically that is the average age, so even the man who is seventy or eighty remains interested in the breasts of women – why? For what? He is still childish. Those breasts symbolize the mother; they are symbols. He is still hankering for a mother, for a warm womb – somebody to encompass him. But the only way seems to be to be ill, to be miserable, to be sad. And it seems that the prize is worth it; that’s why you can’t agree with Raman Maharshi that all that is needed for enlightenment is just a recognition. One has to admit that ‘I am enlightened.’ But from that admission your life will never be the same again; you cannot afford those toys you have been playing with.


From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter Three

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You Are the Cause – Osho

Why am I not getting enlightened soon? Why is there so much delay?

Sagaram, the cause must be in you. In fact, YOU ARE the cause. You are not trying to understand what I am saying. Now enlightenment has become an object of your desire—a and enlightenment happens only when there is no desire left. And when I say no desire I exactly mean no desire—absolutely no desire. The desire for enlightenment is still a desire. If you go on desiring enlightenment it is not going to happen, neither sooner nor later. It is never going to happen. You will have to drop the desire.

See the point, because mind is so cunning and so stupid too that it can go on being clever. You can even say, “Okay, then I will drop the desire—but is it guaranteed that when I drop all the desires, the desire for enlightenment included, is it guaranteed that I will become enlightened?” You miss the point again: it can’t be guaranteed. And dropping desire to attain enlightenment is not dropping at all—the desire is coming from the back door again. You are not getting enlightened because you WANT to get enlightened, and it is not something that can be wanted, can be desired. You can’t be ambitious for it.

Then what is to be done? Try to understand the futility of desire. Try to see that desire is the culprit, that desire goes on taking you away from the present moment. It is desire that is not allowing you to be meditative. It is desire that goes on creating the mind and goes on creating hindrances for meditation. Mind is a hindrance for meditation. It is desire that goes on creating time and time prevents eternity, becomes a rock between you and eternity.

See the point—simply see it! It is not a question of having to drop it. Just see the point, that desire is your hell. Seeing it, desiring disappears, because if you see it clearly, totally, one hundred percent, how can you go on desiring anymore? It will slip out of your hands on its own accord. And in that very moment is enlightenment. That moment is enlightenment.

Enlightenment is not something that is going to come to you from somewhere else. Desire dropped, and you are a buddha. The only difference between you and a buddha is desire.

It happened to Gautam Siddhartha exactly the same way. For six years he was also, Sagaram, continuously hankering for enlightenment and could not attain it. For six years he tried hard, harder than any man has ever done. He risked all. He was a warrior, a Kshatriya—a man who knew only how to fight. He fought with God, with existence. He wanted to conquer truth; he wanted to become a conqueror. And after six years of arduous effort he was reaching nowhere, not even a single inch closer to truth than when he started.

One full-moon night sitting under the tree, he started looking backwards. Six years have passed since he renounced his family, his palace, his kingdom. All that is written in the scriptures he has done and all that the teachers he came across told him to do he has done—and he has done it with totality. Now there is nothing more to do. This whole project has failed.

Then suddenly he became aware that “Although I was searching for truth, I was searching for God, I was still the same person—the same ego, the same desire, the same ambition: the ambition to conquer, to be victorious. I was the same old man; these six years nothing has changed. Objects of desires have changed—they are no longer worldly, they are otherworldly—but what difference does it make? Desire is desire, worldly or otherworldly, it doesn’t matter. Desire is desire; its nature is the same.”

Seeing it and seeing the futility of it, that evening he dropped… or it will be better to say, desire dropped itself. That evening as the moon rose, a totally new being arose in him: a desireless consciousness, a non-ambitious being, not asking for anything. His eyes were clear for the first time, unclouded, no smoke of desire. His flame was burning bright. That night he slept for the first time in his life without dreams, because once desires disappear, dreams disappear. Dreams are reflections of your desires.

And early morning just before the sun was to rise, he opened his eyes. There was nothing to do that day, all is finished. He is no longer interested in the world; he is no longer interested in the other world. He remained in the moment; there were no projects to do. He was utterly empty. He looked at the rising sun… and that was the moment when he became enlightened.

What is enlightenment?—The insight that desire is futile, that ambition is illness. Then suddenly you are thrown back to the present moment. To be in the present is to be enlightened. To be now and to be here is to be enlightened.

You are all buddhas—dreaming, desiring. Understand the desire and let it go.

Enough for today.


From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.7, Chapter Two

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Is This Enlightenment – Osho

When the internal talking stops, is this enlightenment?

Parivesh, when the internal talking stops, who cares? Who is there to care? Who is there to raise the question ‘Is this enlightenment’? If you can still ask the question, then it is internal talking continuing.

If you can still see that this is enlightenment, then nothing has happened; then the mind is back from the back door. It has jumped upon your enlightenment too, and it has destroyed it.  Enlightenment is not an experience, that’s why nothing can be said about it. Enlightenment is not one of the series of experiences that you have lived through. Enlightenment is not something that happens to you like a content in the mind. When the mind is not there you don’t say ‘This is enlightenment’, you don’t feel it as an experience; rather, on the contrary, you see it as your nature.

It has always been so – just because of that internal talk you were too occupied and you could not see it. It is not a realization; it is only a recognition, a remembrance. It has always been so from the very beginning – just you had got lost into thoughts, fantasies. Now the fantasy is no more there, you are back home. It is your home.

Enlightenment is not an experience; it is your interiority, it is you. One does not become enlightened; one comes to know that one is enlightenment, one is light, one is consciousness. But, Parivesh, your question is philosophical. When the internal talking stops, you ask, Is this enlightenment?

Don’t be philosophical about these things – these are not philosophical things. You cannot think about them; you can only be, and know; be still, and know. If I say ‘Yes, this is enlightenment’ I will only be giving you an idea. That will burden your mind more, that will become part of your internal talk. Then you will not talk much about money, and women, and you may start talking about enlightenment, God, Buddhahood. But it is the same. The object of thinking does not matter much – you can give any object, and the thinking can weave and spin around it. The question is that the thinking should disappear, evaporate.

So, don’t make enlightenment in any way a goal. Enlightenment is the very source, the very ground, of your being. You consist of enlightenment; you are made of this stuff called enlightenment. So, naturally, when you are silent and there is no distraction – thought means distraction, thought means going away from yourself, thought means something has come between you and yourself, thought means you have moved into the future or into the past, thought means you are not here, you are not now: all this is implied in thought – when there is no distraction, you relax into your source. Slowly, slowly you rest into your being.

Martin Heidegger has called this resting into yourself ‘the releasement’. He has also called it ‘the enchanted regioning’. There is a region inside you, the enchanted region, a space where you are still God, where you have not fallen at all – where you cannot fall in the very nature of things; where you still live in the Garden of Eden, where the fall has not happened – cannot happen. One cannot fall from God and God’s paradise; one can only fall asleep. This is my interpretation of the biblical story. Adam has not been driven out of the Garden of Eden, he has fallen asleep. By eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge he has fallen in dreams, he has started thinking. That is the meaning of the whole parable. That is the meaning of the symbol of the Tree of Knowledge: he has started thinking. Thinking, he has gone away – in thinking only; otherwise, he lives in the same place. But he is no more available to God; he has moved into fictions, imaginations.

Wake up, and you have always been enlightened. Just wake up. Open your eyes. Don’t let enlightenment become an idea in you, otherwise you will think about it, and that will be a distraction.


From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter Four

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What is Satori – Osho

What is satori and how to attain it?

Pratima, satori is exactly your ordinary nature; it is not anything special. Hence there is no question of attaining it – it is already the case. You are in it, you have just forgotten. You have become too occupied with the outside world. You have forgotten your own kingdom, you have forgotten your own treasure, you have forgotten yourself. You have become too concerned with others. You are too much in the world and you don’t give any time, any space for your inner nature to have a dialogue with you, to whisper a few things to you. You have become artificial.

You have created a false ego because nobody can live without a center. You have forgotten your real center, and nobody can live without a center, so you have created a false center as a substitute. That’s the ego. Ego simply means living with a false center.

Satori is dropping the false, entering into the real; just being yourself, your natural self, your ordinary self.

The word “ordinary” has to be remembered because the mind is not interested in the ordinary at all; it wants to be extraordinary, it wants to be special. It is through being special that the ego survives.

It is constantly striving to be more special, more special. It wants to be more rich, more powerful, more respectable; it is ambitious. Hence the word “ordinary” has no appeal for the mind. And that is the beauty of the word “ordinary” – because it has no appeal for the mind.

Mind is an achiever and the ordinary need not be achieved; it is already the case. The extraordinary has to be achieved, the extraordinary becomes the goal. It is far away; you have to make all kinds of efforts, you have to struggle for it, you have to fight for it because there are so many competitors.

To be ordinary… and there is no competition at all. You can just be ordinary, nobody has any objection. People will simply feel sorry for you that you have dropped out of the competitive race.

One competitor less – they will feel good but sorry for you. They will say, “Poor fellow! What happened to him? Why did he have to drop out?” The dropouts are not respectable people. Buddha is a dropout. All real Masters are dropouts. To be a sannyasin means to be a dropout. To drop out of the rat race is to drop in, because when you are in the race you cannot enter in. When you are no longer in the race there is nowhere to go. You start moving inwards because life is a flow: if there is no outer direction it takes the inner direction. If the goal is not there far away in the future, then you start moving into your nature in the present. That is satori.

Satori is very ordinary. Satori means your nature. You have come with it; it is your original face – all other faces are masks.

Yoka says:

A disciple speaks in accordance with the ultimate, the absolute truth.

Remember that one should cut the root and not the branches and the leaves.

What is the root of your misery? The root is your ambition, desiring. One wants to be this and that, one wants to possess this and that, one wants to be somebody, one wants to be significant.

Yoka says: Cut the root… only then are you a disciple. And the moment you cut the root – not the branches, not the leaves – you attain the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is not far away; it is the immediate truth, it is your truth, it is your very being.

Most people do not recognize the perfect jewel, the jewel of supreme wisdom, satori. It is hidden in the secret place of Tathagata, awaiting its discovery.

It is to live in your suchness; it is hidden in your suchness. Whatsoever you are, live in it. Don’t create any conflict, don’t live through the ideal. Don’t be an idealist, just be natural.

But everybody is being taught to be an idealist: “Become a Jesus” or “Become a Buddha” or “Become a Krishna.” Nobody tells you just to be yourself! Why should you be a Jesus? One Jesus is enough and one Jesus is beautiful – he enriches the existence. Many Jesuses just carrying crosses, and wherever you go you meet them… It won’t look beautiful, it won’t add to the beauty of existence; it will make the whole world ugly. Wherever you go you meet a Mahavira standing naked…. It is because of this that God never creates the same person again. He never repeats; he is original.

He always creates a new person. You have never been before, and there is no one who is like you, and there will never be anybody else like you again. In the whole of eternity you alone are just like you. Look at the beauty of it and the glory of it and the respect that God has shown to you! What more respectability do you need? See the uniqueness of yourself. There is no need to be unique; you are already unique, just as everybody else is unique. You are unique in your ordinariness, in your suchness.

Satori is hidden, says Yoka, in the secret place of your suchness, awaiting its discovery.

It has not to be created, it is already there; you just have to discover it. Go in and discover it! It is waiting and waiting. And centuries have passed and many, many lives have passed, and you have become addicted to extroversion. You never move in.

The first step towards satori is meditation. Satori is the ultimate experience of meditation when meditation is fulfilled, when meditation has reached to its ultimate flowering.

Yoka says:

The world is complete illusion, yet nothing exists which might be called illusion.

The world that you have created through your mind is illusory, but there is another world which is not your creation. When your mind disappears you discover that world: the world of suchness. That is a totally different experience. No words can describe it. Thousands of mystics have tried to describe it, but nobody has ever been able and nobody will ever be able to describe it. It is so mysterious; it is so beautiful that all words fall short. No poetry reaches to its level, no music even touches its feet.

The perfect light of this wisdom enlightens one.

The moment you have put your mind aside – mind means ambition, the ego trip of being this and that – the moment you have put the whole mind aside, a great light explodes in you and you are enlightened. This is satori. It does not come from the outside: you are not delivered by somebody else; you are delivered by your own being, by your own nature.

That is possible only by practicing zazen beyond speculation. You can see clouds naturally in the mirror but to hold on to the reflection is impossible.

That is possible only by practicing zazen… Satori is possible only by practicing zazen. Zazen means:

Just sitting, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

You are simply relaxing into your own being, not doing anything at all. It is not a question of doing; it is simply a question of being. You go on relaxing into your being. A moment comes when you are in your utter purity, in your utter simplicity, in your utter innocence. That is satori.

Zazen is a beautiful word. It simply means just sitting – not even doing meditation. In fact, you cannot do meditation. Meditation is just sitting silently; it is not a question of doing. If you are doing something you are disturbing your meditation.

Somebody is chanting a mantra; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is focusing on something; he is disturbing his meditation. Somebody is concentrating, somebody is praying, somebody is thinking of God: they are disturbing their meditation. All these are the doings of the mind, and if the doing continues the mind continues. Stop doing, and where is the mind? When the doing disappears, mind disappears. And the disappearance of the mind is satori.

It is beyond speculation, says Yoka. You cannot think about it, you can only experience it. It is the ultimate experience, and the immediate experience, too, of truth, of beauty, of love, of bliss, of God, of nirvana.


From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Four

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Samadhi Without Seeds – Osho

In yesterday’s sutra, Buddha says ‘someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that “I must lead all the beings to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind.”’ What is this realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind?

Buddha has talked about two kinds of nirvana. One he calls nirvana with substratum. The tree has disappeared, the tree of desires. The foliage, the leaves, the flowers, the fruits—everything has disappeared. But the roots are still there underground, hidden in the dark soil. From the outside the tree has been removed, but the tree is still capable of renewing itself again. The substratum is still there, the seed has not been burnt yet. This he calls ‘nirvana with substratum.

This is exactly the same that Patanjali calls nirbeej samadhi —samadhi with seed. It is very difficult from the outside. The tree has been completely removed, but underneath the soil the roots are still alive, waiting for the right moment to sprout again. Rains will come and they will sprout. They are waiting for their season, for the moment again to assert.

This is the state when many times you have come to the point where mind disappears, no-mind is felt, but again mind comes back, again it sprouts. You reach to a peak. That moment of that peak experience, you think all is finished—now you will never be falling back to the valley of darkness. You think that you will never go back into those ugly and miserable days—that the dark night of the soul is over, that the morning has arrived, that the sun has arisen.

But again one day you suddenly find you are slipping back into the darkness—again the valley, again light is no more, again that peak experience is just a memory. And one starts becoming doubtful whether it has happened or not. “Have I been just imagining? Or maybe I was just dreaming.” Because if it had happened then where has it gone?

Where is that sunlit peak? Where are those moments of ecstasy? And misery is back and anger is back and agony is back—you have fallen into hell again. This happens many times.

This Buddha calls nirvana with substratum; sabeej samadhi in Patanjali’s words. Manifestation of the world is gone but the unmanifested seed remains.

The second nirvana Buddha calls the nirvana without substratum—in Patanjali’s words nirbeej samadhi—seedless samadhi. Not only the tree has been destroyed, but the seed also burned. A burned seed cannot sprout again, all substratum is gone. Then you remain on the peak forever, then there is no falling back.

That’s what Buddha says in yesterday’s sutra: ‘Someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that “I must lead all being to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind…”‘ which leaves no substratum, no roots, no seeds behind.


From The Diamond Sutra, Chapter Two

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Without Ripples – Osho

Anything I see happening in myself is false, illusory, and a mind trip, right? And my recognition of the mind trip is a mind trip too?

RIGHT. As far as thoughts go, everything is a mind trip. When thoughts cease and you see without any thoughts crowding in your mind, when you see clearly with no smoke of the thoughts surrounding you, when your look is simple, innocent, uncorrupted by thoughts, then it is not a mind trip. Only meditation is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. Or, love is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. If love or meditation has happened to you, you will know what I am indicating towards. In a deep moment of love, thinking stops. The moment is so intriguing, the moment is so tremendously powerful, the moment is so intensely alive, that thinking stops. You are simply in awe, a great wonder surrounds you. Or in deep meditation, when the moment of silence has come and you are absolutely silent, still—no flickering, no wavering, no trembling, the flame of your consciousness is straight—then thinking stops. Then you are outside the grip of the mind. Otherwise, everything is a mind trip.

Remember it: one has to go beyond the mind because the mind is samsar, the mind is the world. It is because of your thinking that you are missing the truth. Once thinking is stopped you are face to face with the reality. It is the continuous screen of thinking that is distorting reality. It is as if you are looking in a lake full of ripples. It is a full moon night, and the lake is reflecting the beautiful moon—but it is full of ripples. You cannot gather it together; the moon goes on splitting into a thousand fragments. The whole lake seems to be spread over by the moon, silvery, many fragments of the moon all around. Then the wind stops, the ripples disappear: those fragments start falling into one moon. The silver that was spread all over the lake becomes more concentrated in one place. When the lake is completely without ripples, the moon is reflected perfectly.

When the mind is with thoughts, the lake is with ripples; when the mind is without thoughts, the lake is without ripples. God is reflected perfectly when there is no ripple in you. Forget all about God—the only thing to be done is how to become ripple-less, how to become thoughtless, how to drop this constant obsession with thinking. It can be dropped—it is because of your cooperation that it continues. It is your energy that you go on giving to it that keeps it alive. It is just like a man on a bicycle: he goes on pedaling—it is his energy that keeps the cycle going on. Once he stops pedaling, the cycle may go a little further because of the past momentum, but then it has to stop.

Don’t give energy to your thoughts. Become a witness—indifferent, aloof, distant. Just see the thoughts, and don’t be in any way involved in them. Note the fact: the thoughts are there; but don’t choose this way or that, don’t be for or against, don’t be pro or con. Just be a watcher. Let the mind-traffic move, just stand by the side and look at it, unaffected by it, as if it has nothing to do with you.

Sometimes try it: go on the busiest street where the traffic rush is too much. Stand by the side of the road and see the traffic—so many people going hither and thither, and cars and bicycles and trucks and buses. You just stand by the side and look, and do the same inside: close your eyes and see—the mind is a traffic of thoughts, thoughts rushing here and there. You watch, you just be a watcher. By and by, you will see that the traffic is becoming less and less. By and by, you will see that the road is empty, nobody is passing. In those rare moments, first glimpses of samadhi will enter in you.

There are three stages of samadhi. First, when you achieve glimpses through gaps—one thought comes, then it has gone and another has not come for the time being. There may even be a gap for a few seconds; in that interval reality penetrates you—the moon becomes one. The reflection is there only for a single moment, but you will see the first glimpse.

This is what in Zen they call satori. By and by, the gaps will become bigger, and when the gaps become bigger and you can see reality more clearly, that vision of reality changes you. Then you cannot be the same because your vision becomes your reality also. Whatsoever you are seeing affects your being. Your vision, by and by, is absorbed, digested. That is the second stage of samadhi.

And then comes the last stage: when suddenly the whole traffic disappears, as if you were fast asleep and dreaming and somebody has shaken you and awakened you, and the whole traffic of dreaming has stopped. In that third stage you become one with reality, because there is nothing to divide. The fence that was dividing you has disappeared. The wall is no more there. The wall is made of the bricks of thoughts, desires, feelings, emotions; once it disappears—it is a China wall, very ancient, and every strong—but once it disappears, there is no fence between you and God. When for the first time the third stage happens, that is where the Upanishads announced, “Aham Brahamasi“—I am God, I am the Brahma. It is where the Sufi mystic, Mansur, declares, “Ana’l Haq“—I am the truth. It is there when Jesus declares, “I and my God are one, I and my Father are one.”


From The Beloved, Chapter Ten

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