Witnessing Without a Center

Perhaps this can be helpful to someone. I have noticed recently that when I watch thoughts (content) there is a container (me). But when I watch the activity (not content), there is only witnessing.

This is important because that means that as long as I am engaging in the content the “me” remains. And if I take one step back and watch the movement, witnessing is, without a center. And this witnessing without a center is delicious.

This “take one step back” is really a misnomer. It is not a question of doing anything but simply “not doing.” Engaging in the content is “doing.” To watch without either grasping or rejecting is not doing and it is by watching without engagement that one finds oneself first witnessing the movement without content and when that movement is also witnessed without engagement, then one is Not, and only awareness Is.

-purushottama

The Essence of Buddha Dharma – Osho

What is the essence of Buddha Dharma – The religion of the Buddha? 

Mouna,

Yoka says:

If you reach the Zen of Buddha, at that very moment you accomplish everything. 

In your dream there are many pathways, but when you wake up, they are reduced to nothing. Neither error, nor happiness, nor loss, nor gain. 

Do not try to find anything in the essence of your being. It is a long time since you wiped the dust from your mirror, now it is time for you to see its brilliancy perfectly. 

Who can not-think, all is his. If you practice charity in order to become Buddha when will you succeed? Never – A thousand times never. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature. All things in the universe are impermanent, and therefore all existence is void. That is the whole understanding of Buddha.

This is the essence of Buddha Dharma, the religion of the Buddha. First: it is not a philosophy that you can understand intellectually; you have to become a Buddha to know it. Hence Yoka says: 

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of the Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

Nothing is missing when you reach the ultimate state of awakening; all is fulfilled, you are utterly contented. Life is known for the first time as a great significance, as a great dance, a celebration. Life is known for the first time as absolutely perfect. There is no complaint, no desire, no hankering for things to be other than they are. One is simply contented, totally contented. All desiring disappears.

And what is the state of Buddha? What is this “Zen of Buddha” Yoka is talking about? It is the state of no-mind. Hence Yoka says:

Who can not-think, all is his.

The greatest thing in life to experience is a state of no-thought. The greatest art of life is to be able to be without mind. Even if it happens for a single moment – just a glimpse – you have reached the beyond and you have crossed the point of no-return.

Don’t go on thinking about it – what it is. By thinking you will go on missing it. Thinking is the sure way of missing the Buddha Dharma; non-thinking is the way to achieve it. It is your own nature!

Buddha does not talk about some great mysteries, hidden secrets, esoteric knowledge. He does not believe in mythology; he is not an occultist. He is a very simple man, very ordinary. He believes in the ordinary existence. He says your day-to-day life is all there is. If you can live it joyfully, silently, understandingly, watchfully, there is nothing else to be done. Your very ordinary life starts becoming extraordinary. 

Drink and eat according to your true nature.

Just remember: don’t distort your nature, remain true to your nature. Listen to your own nature and follow it. Don’t follow anybody else.

Buddha says, “Even if you meet me on the way, kill me immediately.” He is saying: Don’t follow me, just take the hints. Try to understand, imbibe the spirit. Feel my presence and then go on your way. Live according to your own light, howsoever small it is; but if it is yours and you live according to it, it will go on growing.

Buddha says, “Be a light unto yourself.” That is his greatest message. Nobody else in the whole world, in the whole history of humanity, has been so respectful towards others as Gautam the Buddha. “Be a light unto yourself.”

Buddhas only point the way – fingers pointing to the moon. You have to follow, and you have to follow according to your nature. You have to be silent, quiet, so you can listen to the still small voice within you, and then follow it. Wherever it leads it is good. Go in deep trust, following your own voice.  Be spontaneous, natural, ordinary. This is the way of being extraordinary. Be ordinary but aware, and the ordinary becomes the sacred. 

All things in the universe are impermanent

So don’t be worried. All things are impermanent: pleasure and pain, friendship and enmity, poverty and richness, success and failure, birth and death. All is in a flux, all is impermanent, so why be worried? Everything goes on changing. Don’t cling – clinging brings misery, clinging shows your misunderstanding. The moment you cling to something you are living with the idea that it can be permanent. Nothing can be permanent, and nothing can be done about it. It is just the nature of things to be impermanent.

You are trying to catch hold of rainbows. They are beautiful, but you cannot catch hold of them – one moment they are there and another moment they are gone. So don’t cling to anything because everything is impermanent. And don’t desire anything because even if you get it, you will lose it. If you don’t get it, you will be frustrated. If you get it and lose it, you will be frustrated. Either way you will be in misery, you are inviting misery. So don’t desire anything and don’t cling to anything.

Whatsoever comes, accept it. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness. Just accept it, live through it silently, without being disturbed by it. Misery comes, it will go. Happiness comes, it will go. Everything passes away, nothing abides, so there is nothing to worry about.

Go on passing through all kinds of experiences, and then you will know that one can pass through the world uncontaminated, uncorrupted. One can live in the palaces without clinging, then he is a sannyasin; and one can live in a hut and can cling to the hut, then he is not a sannyasin.

That’s why I don’t tell you to renounce the world, I simply say: Be watchful. That is the essence of Buddha’s message.

People ask me, “But Buddha renounced the world. Why did he renounce?” He renounced when he was not a Buddha. He renounced when he was as ignorant as anybody else. He renounced in ignorance.

When he attained the truth, when he experienced the truth and came back home, his wife asked him only one question. “Just tell me one thing,” she asked. ”Whatsoever you have attained… I can see you are a transformed being. You have become luminous, you are no longer the same person. The old is gone, you are reborn. It is so clear to me – even a blind person like me can see it. But just answer me one question. Whatsoever you have attained, was it not possible to attain it living here with me in this palace?”

And the story is: Buddha remained silent, looking downwards. The wife was right. He didn’t say anything.

In the East, not saying anything is thought to be a sign of agreement: Mounam sammati lakshanam. ”To be silent means I agree with you.” It says more than Buddha saying yes. His silence says more, it is more pregnant with meaning.

He immediately felt it: “She is right.” Whatsoever he had attained could have been attained anywhere. There was no need to go into the jungle.

There is no need for you to go anywhere. Wherever you are you can assert your Buddhahood, you can become awakened.

The essence is to slip out of the mind, to get out of the mind. The mind is the world. The mind is full of desires, full of clingings, attachments, longings. Get out of the mind! Create a little distance between you and the mind. Be a watcher, a watcher on the hills, and you will be surprised: as you watch the mind, the distance becomes bigger and bigger. As you watch the mind, as you become more and more established in watching, the mind recedes farther and farther away. One day it happens: you cannot hear the chatter of the mind; it is no longer there. It is simply, absolutely silent. In that silence, truth descends in you. In that silence, you encounter yourself, you encounter your innermost core. And that is the innermost core of the whole existence. Your being is the being of all.

We are separate as minds, as bodies, but not as consciousness. In consciousness we meet, we are one. That consciousness is God. That meeting, that oneness where all differences dissolve, where we are no longer separate ice cubes, where we have melted and disappeared into the universal, Buddha calls nirvana. The word is beautiful; it means cessation of the ego. When the ego ceases you are God, you are a Buddha, you are a Christ. It is the ego that is giving you a limitation. It is the ego that is making you live in a prison. Get out of the ego! And nobody is preventing you – it is your own clinging, it is your own attachment. You have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your prison cell. You think it is your home, and it is not. Come out of it! Wake up!

To be awake is to be a Buddha. And Yoka is right.

If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

-Osho

Excerpt from Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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See the False as False and Follow Your Nature – Osho

Truth is. It needs no effort on your part to invent it. Truth has to be discovered, not invented. And what is hindering us from discovering it? We have been taught many lies, mountains of lies. Those are the barriers which go on falsifying the truth, which do not allow our hearts to reflect that which is.

Truth is not a logical conclusion. Truth is existence, reality. It is already here — it has always been here. Only truth exists. Then why cannot we find it? How do we manage not to find it? Because from the very childhood we are taught falsities, prejudices, ideologies, religions, philosophies…all lead you astray.

Truth is not an idea. You need not be a Hindu to know it, or a Mohammedan, or a Christian. If you are a Hindu you will never know it; your very being a Hindu will keep you blind. What do we mean when we say, “I am a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jew”? We mean, “I have already got ideas about truth — ideas from the Bible or the Koran or the Gita, but I have got ideas already. I don’t know the truth, but I know much about it.” And that knowing much about it is the only problem that has to be solved.

Once you drop your ideas about truth you will be confronting it, within and without both. You will be facing it — because there is nothing else!

But the parents, the society, the state, the church, the educational system, they all depend on lies. As the child is born they start trapping it into lies. And the child is helpless. He cannot escape his parents, he is utterly dependent. You can exploit his dependence…and it has been exploited down the ages.

Nobody has been exploited so much as children — neither the proletariat nor women, nobody has been exploited so much and so deeply and so destructively as the innocent children. Because they are helpless and dependent they have to learn whatsoever you teach them. They have to imbibe all the falsehoods that you go on forcing upon them. It is a question of survival for them — they cannot survive without you. It is a question of life and death! They have to be Hindus, they have to be Mohammedans, they have to be Jainas, they have to be Buddhists, they have to be communists. Whatsoever you are interested in putting into their minds, you go on putting it in.

Instead of making them more alert, more aware, more alive, more reflective, instead of making them more mirror like, pure, you make them full of ideas…layers and layers of dust. And then it becomes impossible for them to see that which is. They start seeing that which is not and they stop seeing that which is.

Hence, to be really religious means a rebirth: again becoming like a child, dropping all that the society has given to you.

Religion is a rebellion — a rebellion against all that has been forced upon you, a rebellion against being reduced to a computer. Just look inside! Whatsoever you know, you have been told; it is not your knowing, it is not authentic. How can it be authentic if it is not yours? You are not a witness to it, you are just a victim — a victim of circumstances.  It is just an accident to be born in India or to be born in England. It is just an accident to be born in a Hindu family or in a Christian family. Because of these accidents your essential nature has been lost — you have been forced to lose it. If you want to regain it you will have to be reborn.

That’s precisely what the meaning is when Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into the Kingdom of God.” He does not mean that you actually have to die, commit suicide, and then be born again. That won’t help, because again you will be born to some parents in a certain society, within a certain church, and again the same stupidity is going to be done to you.

Jesus means by ‘rebirth’ that deliberately, consciously, now you are capable of dropping all that has been taught to you. Drop your knowledge and become innocent. And that is the only way to become innocent. Knowledge is a contamination. To be in a state of not-knowing is innocence, and to function from that state is the only way to know the truth.

Meditate over these tremendously significant sutras of Gautama the Buddha. He says:

Mistaking the false for the true

and the true for the false,

you overlook the heart

and fill yourself with desire.

Mind is nothing but desire. The heart knows no desire. You will be surprised to hear it, that all desires belong to the head. The heart lives in the present; it pulsates, beats, in the here-now. It knows nothing of the past and it knows nothing of the future. It is always now, here.

And I am not talking about a certain philosophy. I am simply stating a fact so simple you can observe it within yourself: your heart is beating now. It cannot beat in the past, it cannot beat in the future. The heart only knows the present, hence it is utterly pure. It is not polluted by the past memories, by knowledge, by experience, by all that you have been told and taught, by the scriptures, by the traditions. It knows nothing of all that nonsense! And it knows nothing of the future, of the morrow. For it, past exists no more, the future not yet. It is utterly here. It is immediate.

But the mind is just the opposite of the heart: the mind is never now, here. Either it thinks of beautiful experiences of the past or it desires the same beautiful experiences in the future. It goes on shuttling between past and future, it never stops at the present. It is utterly unaware of the present. For the mind, the present exists not. See the point: the present is the only thing that exists, but for the mind the present is the only thing that exists not. Past is nonexistential, future is nonexistential, but those are the things which are existential for the mind.

The head is the problem… and the heart is the solution. The child functions from the heart. As you start growing, you start moving from the heart to the head. When you graduate from the university you have completely forgotten about the heart. You are hung up in the head, your whole energy has moved to the head. Now you don’t know anything of reality. You are full of garbage — scholarly garbage, academic nonsense. You may be a Ph.D., a D.Litt. You know much, knowing nothing at all! — because real knowing happens in the heart, not in the head. And the universities exist to distract your energies from the heart to the head.

All the universities in the world up to now have been enemies of humanity. Their whole function is to serve the state and the church. They are agents of the status quo, they are agents of the vested interests. They don’t serve you, they serve the powers, the masters, the oppressors, the exploiters. Whosoever happens to be in power the universities serve. They are not in the service of humanity yet.

If they were really in the service of humanity, then the university would be the place to learn rebellion. The university would create revolutionaries. The university would not create conventionalists, conformists; the university would create nonconformists, nonconventional people. It would create rebels — adventurous, ready to risk their lives for truth. That has not happened yet.

It is a sad fact that in the name of education something ugly is continued, something very ugly. Behind a facade, something very criminal continues. And this is the crime: that they divert your energies from the heart to the head, they destroy your capacity to love and they force you to learn logic. Logic is more important than love for them, thinking is more important than sensitivity. This is just putting the bullocks behind the cart. It is totally topsy-turvy.

That’s why humanity is in such a mess: the untrue seems to be true and the true seems to be untrue. They have succeeded in distorting your vision. The buddhas have been fighting against all these vested interests.

Buddha says:

Mistaking the false for the true

and true for the false,

you overlook the heart

and fill yourself with desire.

Mind is desire, and you go on filling yourself with more and more desire, more and more ambition, more and more longing for power, prestige, wealth. And you completely forget that there is a heart beating within you which already lives in God, which is already part of the ultimate law — Aes Dhammo Sanantano — which is already part of the inexhaustible, eternal law. You are joined from the heart to God. Your hearts are the roots in the soil of God.

Your hearts are still being nourished by God, by truth, but you are not there. You have vacated the place. You live in your head. Day in, day out, you live in your head; you never descend from there. Even in the night while asleep you go on rumbling in the head… dreams, and dreams upon dreams. In the day thoughts, in the night dreams. They are not different.

The dream is only a translation of thinking in the language of sleep, and vice versa: thinking is nothing but a translation of dreaming in the language of the day. You go on moving between these two: dreaming and thinking. Both are desiring. What do you think? What is there to think except desire? And what do you dream except desire?

Buddha says the false appears to be true because you have become false to your own truth, to your own heart. Come back to the heart, and then you will be able to know the truth as the truth and the false as the false. That is enlightenment, that is coming home.

See the false as false.

But from where to begin? Begin from seeing the false as the false. That’s why all the buddhas appear to be negative, all buddhas appear to be destructive. They negate. Jesus negates. He says again and again: It has been told to you in the past, but I say to you…. And he changes the whole standpoint.

For example, he says: It has been told to you in the past that tit for tat is the law. If somebody throws a brick at you, react by throwing a rock. But I say unto you, if somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too. And if somebody takes away your coat, give him your shirt too. And if somebody forces you to go one mile with him, go two miles.

Mohammed is against all kinds of images of God, because his people were worshipping for centuries; they had three hundred and sixty-five gods — one god for every day of the year. The Kaaba of Mohammed’s days was one of the greatest temples on the earth — dedicated to three hundred and sixty-five gods! Mohammed destroyed all those idols. It looks negative….

Buddha says: There is no truth in the Vedas, in the Upanishads. Beware of beautiful words, beware of philosophic speculation. Don’t waste your time with hairsplitting, with logic. Be silent! Throw the Vedas out of your head, only then can you be silent. He looks negative, he looks nihilistic, he look dangerous, but that is the only way you can be helped.

You have to be told the false is false. You have to begin with this: neti, neti — neither this nor that. The master has to say to you, “This is false, that is false.” He has to go on pointing out to you whatsoever is false first, because when you have known all that is false, suddenly a transformation happens in your consciousness. When you have become aware of the false, you start becoming aware of the true.

You cannot be taught what is truth, but you can certainly be taught what is not truth. You have been conditioned, you can be unconditioned. You have been hypnotized — as Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, Jainas…. The function of a master is to dehypnotize you. Once you are dehypnotized, suddenly you will be able to see the truth. The truth need not be taught.

See the false as false, the true as true.

Look into your heart.

Follow your nature.

One of the most significant statements ever: Look into your heart. Follow your nature. He is not saying follow scriptures. He is not saying follow me. He is not saying follow certain rules of conduct. He is not teaching you any morality. He is not trying to create a certain character around you, because all characters are beautiful prison cells. He is not giving you a certain way of life. Rather he is giving you courage, encouragement, to follow your own nature. He wants you to be brave enough to listen to your own heart and go accordingly.

“Follow your nature” means flow with yourself. You are the scripture… and hidden deep down within you is a still, small voice. If you become silent you will be guided from there.

The master has only to make you aware of your inner master. Then his function is fulfilled. Then he can leave you to yourself; he can throw you back upon yourself. A master is not to enslave the disciple; a master is to free him, to give him total freedom. And this is the only possibility of attaining total freedom: Follow your nature. By “nature” Buddha means dhamma. Just as it is the nature of water to flow downwards and it is the nature of fire to rise upwards, so there is a certain nature hidden in you. If all the conditionings that have been put around you by the society are removed, suddenly you will discover your nature. Your nature has become God. Aes dhammo sanantano — this is the eternal, inexhaustible law: your nature is to become God.

Man is a potential god — a bodhisattva. Man is meant to become a god. Less than that won’t satisfy you, less than that is of no use. You can have all the money in the world, all the power, all the prestige possible, and still you will remain empty — unless your divine nature flowers, opens its buds, unless you become a lotus, a one-thousand-petaled lotus, unless your divinity is revealed to you, you can never be contented.

The ordinary religious person is told to remain satisfied, contented, with whatsoever is the case. The so-called religious saints go on teaching people: Be satisfied. Satisfaction is one of their fundamental teachings. That is not the way of the true masters.

The true master creates discontent in you — and such a discontent that nothing of this world can ever satisfy it. He creates such a longing in you, that unless you attain to the ultimate you will remain aflame, afire. He creates pain in your heart, he creates anguish… because life is slipping by every moment, and each moment gone is gone forever, and you have not attained to God yet, and one day is over.

He creates such a deep longing in you, such pain in the heart! He creates tears in your eyes, because only through such divine discontent will you move, will you take the quantum leap, the ultimate jump into the unknown. It is only through such divine discontent that you will gather together all your energies, and you will risk, and you will go on the ultimate adventure of finding who you are.

Follow your own nature. Your nature is consciousness. But you have been told by the priests: follow certain rules of conduct, the Ten Commandments, follow certain principles — not your nature. Priests are very much afraid of your nature, because if you follow your nature you will get out of their grip, you will be a slave no more. You won’t go to the churches and the temples and the mosques, and you won’t listen to your stupid priests, politicians, the so-called leaders. I call them “so-called leaders” because what is actually happening is that blind people are leading other blind people.

You won’t listen to them anymore if you listen to your own nature. If you know your own inner voice you will become free. Your inner voice has to be crushed, destroyed, utterly destroyed — at least distorted so much that even if you hear it you can’t understand it. And they have succeeded. Unless you struggle hard against them there is no possibility of succeeding. Their exploitation is so old, their oppression is so ancient, their strategies are so cunning… and they have infinite power in their hands. And what are you against them as an individual?

But if you go in, if you listen to your heart, you will attain to such power that no power on the earth can enslave you again.

Follow your nature.… But how to follow your nature if you don’t know what it is? And you are not allowed to know it! You are given precise instructions as to what to do: what to eat, when to get up in the morning, when to go to bed. You have been given precise instructions. Those instructions, if followed, make you a slave. If not followed, they make you a criminal. If followed, you become a saint —but a slave. People will worship you, respect you, but all that respect is a mutual understanding: “If you follow our instructions, we will respect you. If you don’t follow, you will be thrown into jail.”

Either you are made a slave spiritually or a prisoner physically: these are the two alternatives the society gives to you. And it never lets you become aware that there is a source of infinite guidance within you, from where God speaks.

God still speaks, he has not stopped speaking. He is not partial — it is not that he spoke to Mohammed and to Moses and he does not speak to you. He is speaking to you as much as he was speaking to Mohammed. The only difference is, Mohammed was ready to listen and you are not ready to listen. Mohammed was available and you are not available.

To become available to your inner nature is what I call meditation.

Remember these two words. ‘Character’ is an invention of the politicians and the priests; it is a conspiracy against you. Consciousness is your nature. Yes, a man of consciousness has a certain character, but that character follows his consciousness. It is not imposed by anybody else on him; it is his own decision. And he is not encaged in it; he is totally free to change it any moment. As circumstances change, his consciousness gives him different directions and he changes his character.

The man of character — the so-called man of character — is encaged. Even if circumstances change he goes on repeating the same character, although it is no longer relevant, it does not fit. The context in which it was meaningful has disappeared, but he goes on repeating the same nonsense. He is like a parrot. He is a machine: he does not respond, he only reacts.

A man of consciousness responds, and his responses are spontaneous. He is mirror like: he reflects whatsoever confronts him. And out of this spontaneity, out of this consciousness, a new kind of action is born. That action never creates any bondage, any karma. That action frees you. You remain a freedom if you listen to your nature.

But this simple advice seems to be very difficult for people. It should be the simplest thing in the world. Each child is born following his nature, but as you grow up, slowly you lose contact with it — you are forced to lose contact with it. The contact can be regained, it can be rediscovered. Later on, when you become very knowledgeable, encaged in a certain character, utterly blind to your own heart and nature, you start asking such questions.

Just the other day Prem Vijen asked:

“Beloved Master, what do you mean when you say ‘Go in’?” Such a simple statement — “Go in” — and you ask me, “What do you mean?” Can’t you understand these simple words, ‘go in’? I know you understand the words, but going in has become so difficult because you have been taught only how to go out. You can only go out, you only know how to go out. Your consciousness has been turned towards others; it has forgotten the way to itself. You go on knocking on others’ doors, and whenever it is said to you, “Go home,” you say, “What do you mean by ‘going home’?” You know only others’ houses, but you don’t know your own home. And you are carrying it within yourself. You have been forced to become extroverts. One has to learn again ways of inwardness.

Soren Kierkegaard has said: Religion means inwardness — going into your own interiority. But the simple words, ‘go in’, have become so difficult to understand. Mind only knows how to go out; it has no reverse gear in it.

I have heard that when Ford made his first cars they had no reverse gear. It was a later addition. Without a reverse gear it was really a problem: whenever you wanted to come back you had to go miles unnecessarily, you had to go round. Even if you wanted to go a few feet back, you might have to take a journey of miles. Then Ford became aware that a reverse gear was needed.

I am teaching you here that the reverse gear is there, built in, you have just forgotten about it. You know how to go out. Nobody asks, “What does it mean when you say ‘Go out’?” But everybody wants to ask, “What do you mean when you say ‘Go in’?” Simple words!

Thinking is going out: non-thinking is going in. Think, and you have started moving away from yourself. Thought is the way leading you farther away. Thought is a project. No-thought… and suddenly you are in. Without thought you cannot go out, without desire you cannot go out. You need the fuel of desire and the vehicle of thought to go out.

Sitting silently, doing nothing… not even thinking, not even desiring… and where will you be?

Going in is not really going in. It is simply stopping going out… and suddenly you find yourself in.

Prem Vijen, you need not go in because if you go you will always go out. Going means going out. Stop going! Stop going anywhere! Can’t you sit silently without going anywhere? Yes, physically you can sit, that is not very difficult. You can learn a yoga posture and you can make your body almost a statue, but the problem is — what are you doing inside? Desires, thoughts, memories, imagination, all kinds of projects? — stop them too.

How to stop them? Just become indifferent to them, unconcerned. Even if they are there, don’t pay attention to them. Even if they are there, don’t give them any importance. Even if they are there, let them be. You sit silently inside — watching. Remember that word ‘watching’ — witnessing, just being alert.

.

Don’t start looking in the dictionaries or in the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is not a question of words! Words are simple to understand; when I say “Go in,” that’s exactly what I mean — go in! Don’t start asking about the words — listen to the hidden message; otherwise you will miss the train.[…]

If you become too much interested in words —”What does it mean to go in? What does it mean, verbally, linguistically?” — Vijen, you are going to miss the train. Don’t waste time with words!

And it is a particularly new kind of disease that has gripped the intellectuals of the world. For at least fifty years the philosophical world has become too much interested in words, linguistic analysis. They don’t ask anymore what God is. They don’t ask anymore whether God exists or not. The contemporary philosophers ask, “What does it mean when you use the word ‘God’?” It is not a question of whether God exists or not. It is not a question of what God is. It is not a question of how to attain God. Now the question has taken a very new turn: “What do you mean when you use the word ‘God’?”

What do you mean when you use the word ‘rose’? Now it is easy: you can take hold of the philosopher, force him to go to the garden, and you can show him the rose: “This is what I mean when I use the word ‘rose’.” But this cannot be done with the word ‘God’ — and this cannot be done with the word ‘meditation’ and this cannot be done with the words ‘going in’. These are subtle phenomena. Don’t become linguistically interested. I am not here to teach you linguistic analysis.

My whole approach is existential. If you really want to know what it means to go in, go in! And the way is: watch your thoughts and don’t get identified with them. Just remain a watcher, utterly indifferent, neither for nor against. Don’t judge, because every judgment brings identification. Don’t say, “These thoughts are wrong,” and don’t say, “These thoughts are good.” Don’t comment on the thoughts. Just let them pass as if it is just traffic passing by, and you are standing by the side of the road unconcerned, looking at the traffic.

It does not matter what is passing by — a bus, a truck, a bicycle. If you can watch the thought process of your mind with such unconcern, with such detachment, that moment is not very far away when one day the whole traffic disappears… because the traffic can exist only if you go on giving energy to it. If you stop giving energy to it….  And that’s what watching is: stopping giving energy to it, stopping energy moving into the traffic. It is your energy that makes those thoughts move. When your energy is not coming they start falling; they cannot stand on their own.

And when the road of the mind is utterly empty, you are in. That’s what I mean, Vijen, when I say “Go in.” And that’s what Buddha means when he says: Follow your nature.

-Osho

From Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha V.1, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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My Approach is Individual – Osho

Many small groups of sannyasins are forming around the world. Would you comment on Gurdjeff’s words, that people who want to wake up, and who are living together in a group, can function as alarm clocks for each other?

George Gurdjieff is right, but right only about his own system. It is true: if you are following Gurdjieff’s ideology and his methods, then a group is an absolute necessity; you cannot work alone.

Then people can function as alarm clocks to each other. If somebody starts falling asleep, somebody can shake him up. When you are starting to fall asleep, somebody else can shake you up and wake you.

Gurdjieff’s method is a school method. He himself was trained in different schools of the Sufis. They are all school methods. School methods have a difficulty – that you have to depend on the group, that if the group is not the right group they can function in just the opposite way: rather than being alarm clocks, they can all become drugs for each other. You may have watched it: if one person starts falling asleep, immediately something in you also starts falling asleep.

Sleep is contagious.

Awakening is not.

It is possible that twenty people may remain asleep and one person awake, but his awakening is not going to be contagious. Most probably, seeing twenty people asleep he will himself fall asleep. So unless you have a very awakened master, the group method is not going to help much.

But in Gurdjieff’s system the group is absolutely necessary; alone you cannot do it. For example, he had his school near Paris…. He told one of the new disciples to dig a trench. The whole day, from the morning – from sunrise to sunset – he was not allowed to go to eat or leave for anything; he had to dig the trench. That was the most important thing.

Now, it needs somebody to watch; otherwise the man may rest sometimes. The whole day is a long time, a hot day… he may go to have a drink or to eat something; or under the tree there is such beautiful shade and coolness… he may fall asleep.

Gurdjieff himself walked continuously the whole day, just by the side of the man. Now, when Gurdjieff himself was walking by his side continuously, the whole day, of course the man could not leave. By sunset he had made the big trench. And Gurdjieff said, “This is only half the work: now you fill it, and then you can go and sleep.”

This was too much. Through great effort the whole day, against all temptations to leave it, he managed, because of Gurdjieff’s presence, to continue, knowing one thing, that it could not kill him: “I cannot die by just not eating for one day or not drinking water. I cannot die – that much is certain. So let us try.”

Now Gurdjieff says, “It is only half the work – you have now to fill it completely, as it was before you started digging. Then you can go and do whatsoever you want.” And Gurdjieff remained there. It took a few hours for the man again to fill the trench – by midnight he was freed.

That new disciple remembers that that night was the most precious in his life; and only after that night could he understand Gurdjieff’s methods.

Man’s energy has layers. The first layer is for day-to-day work. It is soon exhausted, and you start feeling tired. If you don’t listen to this tiredness, and you continue, then the second layer of energy – which is an emergency reservoir of energy – starts functioning. Suddenly you will feel an onrush of new energy becoming available to you, which refreshes you continuously. You cannot believe what has happened: all tiredness is gone. You are more fresh than you were before you started the work.

But the emergency reservoir also is not very big; it is only for emergency situations which don’t last for long. So for one hour or two hours you will be full of energy, more than ever; then again the tiredness comes – and this is a greater tiredness than the first one. 

If you don’t listen to this tiredness… it is really difficult not to listen to it, almost impossible. But if you manage not to listen – and that’s what Gurdjieff wants, that you continue – then you touch the third layer, which is vast, which is universal. And once that layer becomes available to you, you are a new man. Just within a day Gurdjieff could take you to the emergence of the basic power, of the basic energy, the universal energy in you.

But for this kind of method you need a group. If twelve persons are working, then everyone is watching you. Then each person is watched by eleven persons; you cannot escape easily. Alone, it is impossible; you will stop after your day-to-day energy is finished, and you will feel immensely tired, hungry…. That will be the stoppage because there is nobody who can prevent you or whose presence can prevent you; nobody is watching you. So for Gurdjieff’s methods it is perfectly true that groups are needed.

My method can be used in a group, but the group is not necessary; you can use it alone. Any group can become a dependence – so that you can work only in the group. Out of the group, you are back to your usual self. When you are in the group you are a certain person; when you leave the group you are a different person.

I don’t want my sannyasins to be dependent.

It is perfectly good to have small groups, but the methods I have given to you are individual; you can work alone. You don’t need anybody to watch you, because my method is that you have to be the watcher.

Under somebody’s watching eye, out of fear of somebody – and of course when Gurdjieff himself is watching you, you cannot escape – but it is something like slavery. Although he is taking you towards deeper layers of your energy, there is some kind of violence, some kind of enforcement, enslavement.

It is possible for you to do almost the impossible in such a situation. But once Gurdjieff is not there, you will become an ordinary person as you have been before. That has happened to almost all his disciples. Even though they have small groups, they are all mediocre, the same.

Rather than helping each other to be awake, they help each other to fall asleep. When one starts snoring, rather than being an alarm clock, he helps you to snore too.

It can function both ways. The group can be a space where you can become more alert; it can be a space where you can become more asleep. And because people started becoming more asleep in Gurdjieff’s groups after Gurdjieff’s death, those groups have disappeared. People have moved alone. But alone you cannot do those methods.

This is a very spiritual kind of slavery.

The master cannot guarantee to be with you forever; sometime he will be leaving. Then you should not be left in a space where you cannot function without him. And for that, a preparation is needed: from the very beginning you work alone. Even if you are working in a group, you are not dependent on the group; your work, your method, is basically individual.

So my approach is individual.

I am not giving you school methods:

I am giving you individual methods, which can be done together with friends, which can be done alone. So you have freedom.

But there is nothing wrong if sannyasins are making small groups, because those small groups cannot hinder the methods that I have given to you or the work that you have to do upon yourself. It is available in both situations – alone or in groups.

But Gurdjieff had no idea – because he was trained always in schools. Sufis don’t have individual methods; all the methods are group methods. He was trained by Sufis, and he went from one school to another; he learned much from those schools, and he developed and polished many methods which had become old and were not contemporary.

But he could not help many people, for the simple reason that he was the only person who was really awake. All the persons were working under him, under pressure – not out of freedom and joy – working with the motivation that someday they will become awakened like Gurdjieff.

He was certainly a very strange and powerful man. When he was dying, he got up from his bed and started walking in the corridor. His disciples said, “What are you doing? You are so sick – it is better to rest.”

He said, “It is not sickness, it is death – and I don’t want death to find me a weak person. I want to meet death not lying on the bed, but walking on the verandah.”

He died walking. To the last moment he was still working. And he was certainly very awake because he could see death, he could see it was very imminent. But he was a very proud man – he did not like to die like every ordinary man, in the bed, he wanted to die in his own way.

Whenever he was sick, he would go driving, and he would drive as fast as the car could manage. And everybody in the car was just freaking out, afraid that, “Now there is going to be an accident; now it is going to be…” because he never cared about any rules, the lights on the crossroads or anything. He would just drive in a mad way.

Just ten years before he died, he had a very great crash. To avoid a truck, he crashed against a rock by the side of the road. He had so many fractures that it was an impossibility… doctors could not believe that a man with so many fractures could walk home. He came out of the car and walked miles with so many fractures. The doctors could not believe that a man could move even a few feet – and within fifteen days all those fractures were settled. He had immense power.

All his methods are to bring you to the basic source of power. If that basic source of power becomes available to you continuously, it will transform your whole being. But it was not continuously available even to him.

One of his disciples, Bennett, after the Second World War, went to him very tired. He was coming from the war, utterly tired, almost ready to die, willing to die.

Gurdjieff was very old, and it was just five years before he died. He asked Bennett to come close to him, and he took hold of both his hands. Bennett remembers in his biography that it was almost as if Gurdjieff was charging a battery from an electric source.

“I could feel the energy rushing through me, but I also could see that Gurdjieff was becoming pale. I was feeling full of energy, all my tiredness gone, as if I had never been to the war. And there was a great desire to live and a great desire to achieve the ultimate – within seconds. And then Gurdjieff staggered, pale, as if he was going to fall, and went into the bathroom. After ten minutes he came back. He was okay. He was back to his usual health.”

Bennett asked him, “What happened? You have given so much to me.”

Gurdjieff said, “I can give you energy, but I am not yet continuously in touch with the original source, so I gave my own energy to you. And then I had to do a certain exercise in the bathroom to get in touch with the original source; otherwise you can live – I will die!”

This is a totally different path than what I am teaching to you. It is a path of power.

What I am teaching to you is the path of awareness.

… Because the path of power has great dangers in it. It can crystallize your ego. It can make you feel very egoistic because you have so much power – you can do this, you can do that. And that is a danger.

To avoid the ego even in ordinary life is so difficult. If you get in touch with extraordinary sources of power, it will become more and more difficult to get rid of the ego, because the ego will take possession of all your powers.

My work is totally different: you have to be aware. And awareness is not a power. You have to be aware even of your powers. If you come across them, you have to be aware, and you have to remain detached, only a watcher.

That’s where Gurdjieff and I use different words. His methods can be described as “self-remembering.” That’s what he uses – the word “self-remembering.” I do not want to use that word. It is dangerous because the self can be just the ego – it is playing with fire. I simply use the word “witnessing,” with no place for self, ego, or even a faraway cousin.

Just to avoid the most probable possibility, you have just to be a witness. It may not lead you to power – there is no need – but it will lead you to understanding. That is what is needed.

Gurdjieff’s disciples became power-oriented and forgot completely about just being watchful. But he was not telling them to be just watchful. There is a possibility of somebody becoming enlightened through his path also, but it goes in a very zigzag way, with more possibility of being lost than of reaching.

What I have been telling you is something which cannot be misused in any way by you.

And witnessing is a purely individual phenomenon.

-Osho

From Light on the Path, Chapter 29

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Meditation: An Experience of Death in Life – Osho

There is nothing comparable to the death experience in life, except deep meditation.

So those who know meditation, they know something of death—that’s the only way to know before dying.

If I am saying there is no more significant experience in life than death, I am saying it, not because I have died and come back to tell you, but because I know that in meditation you move into the same space as death—because in meditation you are no more your physiology, no more your biology, no more your chemistry, no more your psychology. All those are left far away.

You come to your innermost center where there is only pure awareness. That pure awareness will be with you when you die because that cannot be taken away. All these other things which can be taken away, we take away with our own hands in meditation.

So meditation is an experience of death in life.

And it is so beautiful, so indescibably beautiful that only one thing can be said about death: it must be that experience multiplied by millions.

The experience of meditation multiplied by millions is the experience of death.

And when you pass on you simply leave your form behind. You are absolutely intact, and for the first time out of the prison of physiology, biology, psychology.

All the walls are broken and you are free.

For the first time you can open your wings to the existential.

-Osho

From Ignorance to Innocence, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

The Doctrine of Sameness – Osho

I consider the doctrine of sameness as the absolute ground of reality.

Buddha says: Things are not different, they are the same; they only look different, they only appear different. The tree there, and the rock, and you, and the animals and the stars, are not different. At the innermost core, reality is one and the same. Substance is one and the same, there are no distinctions. Distinctions are dreams.

Physicists call that one reality ‘electricity’ or ‘energy’. Materialists, Marxists, communists, call that reality ‘matter’. idealists call that reality ‘mind’. Yogis call that reality ‘consciousness’. Buddha calls that reality ‘nothingness’.

Now, this word ‘nothingness’ is very important. ‘Nothingness’ means: no-thing-ness. No thing is. All things are just forms, dreams. We are different only in form, and forms are just dreams. It is as if out of gold you can make many sorts of ornaments. Those forms, different ornaments, are just dreams, because the gold is the reality. Behind all the forms is gold; behind all the forms is one reality. Buddha says: That sameness is the absolute ground of reality.

If you go in, you leave the form. First you leave the form of the body. Have you observed it? — people who are close to me and meditating, come again and again to that insight — and these sayings can be understood only if you have certain insights of your own. Otherwise, it is impossible to understand them. When you are meditating, many times it happens that you forget your form, your body; you don’t know who you are and how you look. You forget your face. In fact, in deep meditation, you completely become oblivious of your body. When you close your eyes, you are formless. Your mind also has form. You are a Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, Jain, Buddhist; then you have a form of the mind: you think in terms of being a Christian, you have a certain identity, dogma defines you. But if you go still deeper, mind also disappears. Then you are no more a Christian.

At the deepest core you are neither a body nor a mind. Then what are you?

Buddha says: Nothingness, no-thing-ness: now you are not a thing, now you are universal. Now you are not confined in any idea, you are infinite. You are that which has always been there and will remain always. You are eternal. Then there is no birth to you and there is no death to you. You are like the sky: clouds come and go and the sky remains untouched by them. Millions of times clouds have come and gone, and the sky has remained pure and virgin. It has not been corrupted or polluted by them. You are the inner sky. And when all forms disappear, the inner and the outer also disappear — because they are also forms. Then there is nothing inner and nothing outer… oneness, sameness.

Buddha does not call it ‘God’ — because to call it ‘God’ you may start thinking again of form. But that’s exactly what the word ‘God’ means, or should mean — God is that sameness that exists in all. ‘God’ means existence, isness. The tree is, the rock is, the cloud is, the man is — forms are different but isness is the same. As far as isness is concerned, a tree and you are the same. The form is different: the tree is green and you are not green, and the tree has flowers and you don’t have any flowers, and the bird can fly into the sky and you cannot fly; but these are differences of the form. But isness is the same. To look into that isness is what meditation is all about. And to come to realize that isness is nirvana.

This is the last message, the last sutra of this Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters. This is the forty-second sutra, Buddha’s ultimate message. I don’t think you will be able to understand it right now. Intellectually of course you can understand it, but the real understanding has to be existential. That will come only if you follow the path of inner discipline to the point where you can drop it. If you follow the path of meditation to the point where even meditation becomes a hindrance, and you drop it…. It is as if you move on a staircase from one floor to another, but when you have reached to the next floor you get off the staircase. You don’t cling to it. All methods are staircases — or in Buddha’s terminology: All methods are like boats; you cross the river, then you leave the boat, and you forget all about it.

Methods have to be used and then dropped. It has to be remembered from the very beginning — because there is every possibility that you may become too attached to the method. You become so attached that the method becomes a clinging: you start possessing it and it starts possessing you. Then the medicine has become a disease.

It happens: you are ill, you take medicine. Then illness goes but you cannot leave the medicine now. You have become accustomed to the medicine, to the drug. When the illness has gone, throw the medicine immediately.

Meditation is a medicine — because you are ill you have to use it. When wellness has come, then drop it immediately.

All devices have to be dropped one day, and all scriptures have to be dropped one day. This is the greatness of Buddha: that he says that even his teachings, his methods, have to be dropped.

When Zarathustra was saying goodbye to his disciples, the last thing that he said to his disciples has to be remembered. Keep it in your heart. This is what Buddha is saying in the last sutra. Said Zarathustra to his disciples, “Now I am going and this is my last message: Beware of Zarathustra!” And he left.

Beware of Zarathustra? Beware of the Master… because you can fall in love too much. You can become too much attached. The real Master is one who helps you to fall in love, and then helps you to stand on your own so that you can leave the Master. A real Master never becomes a crutch for you. Never! Before he sees that you are clinging too much, he starts getting out of your life — because the ultimate goal is freedom —freedom from all crutches, freedom from all props, freedom from every discipline, doctrine, method. Freedom from all: that’s the goal.

Always remember that goal. Remembering that goal will help you not to go astray.

A small story and I will finish this discourse. It is a Hassid story: The Three Prisoners.

After the death of Rabbi Uri of Istalisk, who was called ‘The Seraph’, one of the Hassidim came to Rabbi Birnham and wanted to become his disciple. Rabbi Birnham asked, “What was your teacher’s way of instructing you to serve?”

“His way,” said the Hassid, “was to plant humanity in our hearts. That was why everyone who came to him, whether he was a nobleman or a scholar, had first to fill two large buckets at the well in the marketplace, or to do some other hard and menial labor in the street.”

Rabbi Birnham said, “I shall tell you a story….

“Three men, two of them wise and one foolish, were once put in a dungeon black as night, and every day food and eating utensils were lowered down to them. The darkness and the misery of the imprisonment had deprived the fool of his last bit of sense, so that he no longer knew how to use the utensils; he could not see. One of his companions showed him, but the next day he had forgotten again. And so his wise companion had to teach him continually. But the third prisoner sat in silence and did not bother about the fool.

“Once the second prisoner asked him why he never offered his help. ‘Look,’ said the other, ‘you take infinite trouble and yet you never reach the goal because every day destroys your work. But I, sitting here, am not just sitting. I am trying to bore a hole in the wall so that the light and sun can enter, and all three of us can see everything.’ ”

Now, there are two types of Masters in the world. The first type I call the teacher. He teaches you things: disciplines. virtue, character, but next day you forget. Again he teaches you the same, and next day you forget again. The second I call the Master. He does not teach you virtue, he does not teach you character, he does not teach you ordinary humility, humbleness, poverty — no. He bores a hole into your being so that light can penetrate, and you can see yourself. He tries to make you aware, full of light. That’s the real Master. In the East we call him Satguru, the right Master. Teachers are many; Satgurus are very few and far between. Remember this distinction.

If you are with a teacher you may become a good man, but you cannot become enlightened. And your goodness will always remain on a volcano; it can erupt any moment. If you are with a teacher he will teach you outward things — how to discipline yourself, how to be good, how to be a servant, how to serve people, how to be non-violent, how to be loving, kind, compassionate. He will teach you a thousand and one things.

If you come to a Master, he teaches only one thing — that is: how to become aware, how to bore a hole into your being so light can enter into your imprisonment. And in that light, everything starts happening of its own accord.

And when things happen of their own accord, they have a beauty to them. Then there is great benediction.

-Osho

From The Buddha Said…, Chapter 22

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also published as The Discipline of Transcendence V. 4, Chapter Eleven

 

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

Suddenly there are No More Wounds – Osho

Why is it so difficult to forgive, to stop clinging to hurts long since past?

Anand Katyayani, the ego exists on misery – the more misery the more nourishment for it. In blissful moments the ego totally disappears, and vice versa: if the ego disappears, bliss starts showering on you. If you want the ego, you cannot forgive, you cannot forget – particularly the hurts, the wounds, the insults, the humiliations, the nightmares. Not only that you cannot forget, you will go on exaggerating them, you will emphasize them. You will tend to forget all that has been beautiful in your life, you will not remember joyous moments; they serve no purpose as far as the ego is concerned. Joy is like poison to the ego, and misery is like vitamins.

You will have to understand the whole mechanism of the ego. If you try to forgive, that is not real forgiveness. With effort, you will only repress. You can forgive only when you understand the stupidity of the whole game that goes on within your mind. The total absurdity of it all has to be seen through and through, otherwise you will repress from one side and it will start coming from another side. You will repress in one form; it will assert in another form – sometimes so subtle that it is almost impossible to recognize it, that it is the same old structure, so renovated, refurnished, redecorated, that it looks almost new.

The ego lives on the negative, because the ego is basically a negative phenomenon; it exists on saying no. No is the soul of the ego. And how can you say no to bliss? You can say no to misery, you can say no to the agony of life. How can you say no to the flowers and the stars and the sunsets and all that is beautiful, divine? And the whole existence is full of it – it is full of roses – but you go on picking the thorns; you have a great investment in those thorns. On the one hand you go on saying, “No, I don’t want this misery,” and on the other hand you go on clinging to it. And for centuries you have been told to forgive.

But the ego can live through forgiving, it can start having a new nourishment through the idea that, “I have forgiven. I have even forgiven my enemies. I am no ordinary person.” And, remember perfectly well, one of the fundamentals of life is that the ordinary person is one who thinks that he is not; the average person is one who thinks that he is not. The moment you accept your ordinariness, you become extraordinary. The moment you accept your ignorance, the first ray of light has entered in your being, the first flower has bloomed. The spring is not far away.

Jesus says: Forgive your enemies, love your enemies. And he is right, because if you can forgive your enemies you will be free of them, otherwise they will go on haunting you. Enmity is a kind of relationship; it goes deeper than your so-called love.

Savita has asked a question that, “Osho, why a harmonious love affair seems to be dull and dying?”

For the simple reason because it is harmonious; it loses all attraction for the ego; it seems as if it is not. If it is absolutely harmonious you will completely forget about it. Some conflict is needed, some struggle is needed, some violence is needed, some hatred is needed. Love – your so-called love – does not go very deep; it is only skin-deep, or maybe not even so deep. But your hate goes very deep; it goes as deep as your ego.

Jesus is right when he says, “Forgive,” but he has been misunderstood for centuries. Buddha says the same thing – all the awakened ones are bound to say the same thing. Their languages can differ, naturally – different ages, different times, different people – they have to speak different languages, but the essential core cannot be different. If you cannot forgive, that means you will live with your enemies, with your hurts, with your pains.

So on the one hand you want to forget and forgive, because the only way to forget is to forgive – if you do not forgive you cannot forget – but on the other hand there is a deeper involvement.

Unless you see that involvement, Jesus and Buddha is not going to help. Their beautiful statements will be remembered by you, but they will not become part of your lifestyle, they will not circulate in your blood, in your bones, in your marrow. They will not be part of your spiritual climate; they will remain alien, something imposed from the outside; beautiful, at least it appeals intellectually, but existentially you will go on living the same old way.

The first thing to remember is: ego is the most negative phenomenon in existence. It is like darkness.

Darkness has no positive existence; it is simply absence of light. Light has a positive existence; that’s why you cannot do anything directly with darkness. If your room is full of darkness, you cannot put the darkness out of the room, you cannot throw it out, you cannot destroy it by any means directly.

If you try to fight with it, you will be defeated. Darkness cannot be defeated by fighting. You may be a great wrestler but you will be surprised to know that you cannot defeat darkness. It is impossible, for the simple reason that darkness does not exist. If you want to do anything with darkness you will have to go via light. If you don’t want darkness, bring light in. If you want darkness, then put the light off. But do something with light; nothing can be done with darkness directly. The negative does not exist – so is the ego.

That’s why I don’t say to you: Forgive. I don’t say to you: Don’t hate; love. I don’t say to you that drop all your sins and become virtuous. Man has tried all that and it has failed completely. My work is totally different. I say: Bring light into your being. Don’t be bothered by all these fragments of darkness.

And at the very center of darkness is ego. Ego is the center of darkness. You bring light – the method is meditation – you become more aware, you become more alert. Otherwise you will go on repressing, and whatsoever is repressed has to be repressed again and again and again. And it is an exercise in futility, utter futility. It will start coming up from somewhere else. It will find some other, weaker point in you.

I come across every day so many questions which show how negativity asserts, in how many subtle ways. Just the other day I was joking that Mukta has asked me: Can she bring a 1939 model Rolls Royce for me? I said, “I am no more interested in anything old and rotten. You can call it a vintage car, you can call it antique, and you can call it beautiful names, but the truth is: for forty years so many rotten people have used it… I don’t want to use it anymore.”

Yatra immediately wrote a question to me: “Osho, don’t you have any taste? Old things also have their beauty.” Yatra may not be knowing, may not be aware that this is a form of negativity. I was simply joking, otherwise why I should be speaking on Ko Hsuan? Twenty-five centuries old… But immediately… A chance cannot be missed. If you can say something against me, you will not miss the chance.

Just today I have received another question from Atta, that “You use so many times the word ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘my sannyasins’. You seem to be the greatest ego around.”

I can stop using “I”, “me”, “my”, “my sannyasins” – that won’t help. These are just words, and perfectly utilitarian. I also use the word “darkness”, although it does not exist. It has never existed, it cannot exist. Just by using the word “darkness”, darkness does not start existing. But Atta must be waiting for some opportunity to say something aggressive to me, to be in some way violent to me.

This is natural, because sannyas means surrender, and when you surrender then more often than not you are repressing your ego. It will find its way from somewhere to assert.

It is not just a coincidence that Buddha’s own brother, Devadatta, tried many times to kill him. His own cousin-brother… Why? Why he was so antagonistic to him? And he was also his disciple. But they were contemporaries, of the same age. They were brought up in the same palace, educated by the same teachers in the same academy, played together. And then Buddha became enlightened, and there was deep jealousy in Devadatta. First he tried on his own to become enlightened; he could not. So, unwillingly, reluctantly, he surrendered to Buddha. He must have said with deep resistance, “Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami; I take shelter into the Buddha, into your feet.”

But deep down somewhere he must be thinking that, “We belong to the same royal family, the same blood, the same education. We have played together. So why I should surrender to this man?” And then, once he started going a little into meditation, just a little, few experiences of meditation, and he started gathering a following around himself He started to spread the rumor that he has also become enlightened.

Buddha called him, that “You WILL become enlightened; there is no problem about it. But right now you are just on the way. Don’t miss this opportunity.” This offended him very much. Immediately all repressed resistance asserted – he revolted. He took away few people those who had become his friends and followers, away from Buddha. And their whole effort was: How to kill this man? Judas was the cause of Jesus’ death, and Judas was the most intellectual disciple of Jesus.

Remember it. Never forget it, that he was the most sophisticated disciple of Jesus. All others were very unsophisticated, simple people, almost primitive people: villagers, fishermen, carpenters, potters, weavers; except Judas nobody was educated. Judas was really far more educated than Jesus himself, far more informed. And he was waiting that sooner or later, he will be the head. Once Jesus is removed from the scene, he will be the head of the whole commune. And there seemed to be no possibility of Jesus ever dying before him. Finally he decided that it is time that this man should be removed forcibly.

Judas was the culprit, the real murderer. He sold Jesus only in thirty silver coins. He was thinking that this is the only way to remove Jesus from the scene, then he can take over the leadership of the group, of the commune. There must have been deep down a hurt ego.

It has always happened that way. Mahavira’s own disciple, Makkhali Ghosal, revolted against him and he started spreading the rumor that “Mahavira is not the true enlightened person, I am the true enlightened person.” When Mahavira heard it he laughed. When Mahavira came to the place where Ghosal was staying, he went to see him and he said, “Makkhali Ghosal, have you gone mad? What are you doing?”

And the man must have been immensely cunning. He said, “I am not your disciple, remember; the man who used to be your disciple is dead. The body is of Makkhali Ghosal, but a great spirit has entered into the body. The spirit of Makkhali Ghosal has left. I am a totally different person, can’t you see?”

Mahavira laughed and he said, “I can see perfectly well. You are the same stupid fellow, and you are still doing stupid things. Don’t waste time! Put your energies in becoming enlightened yourself. Why be worried about me – whether I am truly enlightened or not. If you are not my disciple, Makkhali Ghosal, if you are a totally different spirit who has entered, I accept. If you say, I accept it. But then why you are concerned with me? Twenty-four hours you are speaking against me. That simply shows that you are still carrying some grudge against me.”

It is very essential to understand because you are all disciples here, and you all will be carrying some grudge or other against me, for the simple reason because I am trying to destroy your ego. That I have to do; that’s the function of the Master, to destroy your ego. And you can become very revengeful, and you can carry deep wounds through it.

Katyayani, you ask me: Why is it so difficult to forgive, to stop clinging to hurts long since past?

For the simple reason that they are all that you have got. And you go on playing with your old wounds so that they keep fresh in your memory. You never allow them to heal.

A man was sitting in a compartment in a train. Across from him was sitting a Catholic priest who had a picnic basket beside him. The man had nothing else to do so he just watched the priest.

After a while the priest opened the picnic basket and took out a small cloth which he placed carefully on his knees. Then he took out a glass bowl and placed it on the cloth. Then he took out a knife and an apple, peeled the apple, cut it up, put the pieces of apple in the bowl. Then he picked up the bowl, leaned over and tipped the apple out of the window.

Then he took out a banana, peeled it, cut it up, put it in the bowl, and tipped it out of the window. The same with a pear and a little tin of cherries and a pineapple, and a pot of cream – he tipped them all out of the window after carefully preparing them. Then he cleaned the bowl dusted off the cloth, and put them back in the picnic basket.

The man who had been watching the priest in amazement, finally asked, “Excuse me, Father, but what are you doing there?”

To which the priest replied coolly, “making fruit salad.”

“But you are tipping it all out of the window,” said the man.

“Yes,” said the priest. “I hate fruit salad.”

People go on carrying things that they hate. They live in their hatred. They go on fingering their wounds so they don’t heal; they don’t ALLOW them to heal – their whole life depends on their past. Unless you start living in the present, you will not be able, Katyayani, to forget and forgive the past. I don’t say to you: Forget and forgive all that has happened in the past; that is not my approach. I say: Live in the present that is the positive way to approach existence. Live in the present. That is another way of saying: Be more meditative, more aware, more alert, because when you are alert, aware, you are in the present.

Awareness cannot be in the past and cannot be in the future. Awareness knows only the present.

Awareness knows no past, no future; it has only one tense, the present. Be aware, and as you will start enjoying the present more and more, as you will feel the bliss of being in the present, you will stop doing this stupid thing that everybody goes on doing. You will stop going into the past. You will not have to forget and forgive, it will simply disappear on its own accord. You will be surprised – where it has gone? And once the past is no more there, future also disappears because future is only a projection of the past. To be free from past and future is to taste freedom for the first time, is to taste God. And in that experience one becomes whole, healthy; all wounds are healed. Suddenly there are no more any wounds; you start feeling a deep well-being arising in you. That well-being is the beginning of transformation.

-Osho

From Tao: The Golden Gate, V.1, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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