Devotion is Not a Path – Osho

What is the path of devotion and does it have a place in your vision of the rebel?

Rafia, devotion is not a path. You don’t have to travel it. Devotion is a way of merging and melting into existence. It is not a pilgrimage; it is simply losing all the boundaries that divide you from existence – it is a love affair.

Love is not a path. Love is a merger with an individual, a deep intimacy of two hearts – so deep that the two hearts start dancing in the same harmony. Although the hearts are two, the harmony is one, the music is one, the dance is one.

What love is between individuals, devotion is between one rebel and the whole existence. He dances in the waves of the ocean, he dances in the dancing trees in the sun, he dances with the stars. His heart responds to the fragrance of the flowers, to the song of the birds, to the silences of the night.

Devotion is not a path. Devotion is the death of the personality. That which is mortal in you, you drop of your own accord; only the immortal remains, the eternal remains, the deathless remains. And naturally the deathless cannot be separate from existence – which is deathless, which is always ongoing, knows no beginning, no end.

Devotion is the highest form of love.

It is possible you may love one person, and love becomes so deep that slowly, slowly the very quality of love changes into devotion. Then that person becomes only a window for you to take a jump into existence. That is the situation of the master, as far as the rebel is concerned.

For my people I am not a savior, I am not a messiah. I am just a door, a bridge to pass on into the infinite.

India has a very strange city – perhaps there is no other city like it in the world – Fateh-pur Sikri. It was made by the great emperor Akbar. He wanted to make a special city for his capital. The whole city had to be totally fresh, a piece of art; and he was going to shift the whole capital from Delhi [Agra] to Fateh-pur Sikri. He was a very demanding man, and it had to be not an ordinary city; every house had to be a palace.

For forty years continuously the city was being built – it is surrounded by a beautiful lake – but it was never inhabited. This is the only city in the whole world which has such beautiful palaces, but nobody ever lived there because Akbar died before he could complete the project. The project was too big – to make a whole capital, absolutely fresh and new, out of a special stone; and all the houses, all the roads in a certain pattern with a certain meaning…. Thousands of artists from all over the world were called to work – stone-cutters, masons, architects.

Akbar had perhaps the greatest empire in the whole world in those days. Under Akbar, India was the greatest land; there was immense money available, but Akbar spent everything.

He wanted the capital to be complete before his death. But seeing that it seemed to be impossible, that the capital would take at least forty years more to be absolutely complete, he decided, “At least while I am alive, half of the capital – particularly the offices of the government and the special people – should move.”

A beautiful bridge was made across the lake to join it with the main road; the city was almost a small island inside the lake. Akbar asked his wise people to find a beautiful sentence to be engraved on the main gate of the bridge, to welcome any visitor to the city.

They searched and searched in all the scriptures, in all the literature of the world. It is strange that, although they were Mohammedans, they could find a sentence which was absolutely suitable only in the sayings of Jesus, as if it was being said specially to be engraved on the capital of Fateh-pur Sikri. The sentence is, “It is only a bridge. Remember, don’t make your house on it – it is a place to pass on.” It is a statement about life. Life is a bridge. Don’t make your house on it – it is a place to pass on.

Akbar loved the sentence. It is engraved on Fateh-pur Sikri’s main gate. But before any move could happen, he died. His son had been against the idea from the very beginning, for the simple reason that the whole treasury had been destroyed. Nothing else had been done, only a dead capital had been made – and Delhi [Agra] was doing perfectly well. There was no need, and in fact he had no money left to continue the project for forty more years, so the project was dropped; nobody ever moved. It became a monument, a great memory of the dream of a great king. But to me the most important thing is the sentence on the bridge.

That’s what a master is, for a rebel. That’s what love is, for a rebel. For a rebel, love and the master are synonymous. When his love becomes so deep with the master that he cannot think of himself as separate in any way, love has transformed itself into a new height. That height has been known as devotion.

Devotion is not a path. Devotion is only a love affair, purified to its ultimate state. Then whomsoever you love becomes a door, a bridge to the universal organic unity, the experience of your small identity dissolving in the ocean just like a dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf.

-Osho

From The Rebel, Chapter 20

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Love is the Earth Where One Needs to be Rooted – Osho

If you are rooted in love, you are rooted. There is no other way to be rooted. You can have money, you can have a house, you can have security, you can have a bank balance; that will not give you rootedness. That is just a substitute, a poor substitute for love. It may increase your anxiety even more, because once you have physical securities, money, a social status, you become more and more afraid that these things may be taken from you, or you become more and more worried about having more and more of these things, because discontent knows no limit, and your basic need was of being rooted.

Love is the earth where one needs to be rooted. Just as trees are rooted in the earth, man is rooted in love.

Man’s roots are invisible, so anything visible is not going to help. Money is very visible, a house is very visible, social status is very visible. Man’s roots are invisible. Man is a tree with invisible roots. You will have to find some invisible earth – call it love, call it God, prayer – but it is going to be something like that…invisible, intangible, elusive, mysterious. You cannot catch hold of it. On the contrary, you will have to allow it to catch hold of you. You cannot have any grip on it.

On money you can have your grip; you can catch it in your hands – but then it cannot become your earth. That which you can possess will never become your earth. Only that which possesses you can become your earth.

Love possesses you. That is the attraction and that is the repulsion also. That is the paradox of love. It possesses you. It gives you life on the one hand, on another it kills you completely, utterly; it destroys you. On one hand there is the cross and on the other it gives you resurrection. But first one has to face the cross, then only is one reborn.

Love is your need as it is everybody’s need, and nobody can avoid it. Everybody has to come to settle accounts with the energy called love. So remember it. You can misinterpret it and can think, ‘If I have some bank balance, some security in the world, some physical way to live comfortably, no fear of the future…. Then you will be misinterpreting it. And if you waste a few years in this misinterpretation, those years are gone; you cannot get them back. And with those years, many possibilities of love, many opportunities of love, disappear.

-Osho

Excerpt from A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose, Chapter 23

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

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.

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To Be One Again – Osho

Man is not an island; nothing is. All is interrelated, all is interdependent. Independence – the very word – is false, so is dependence. The reality is interdependence.

Everything is so deeply connected with everything else that nothing can exist apart. If you can understand a small rose flower in its totality, root and all, you will have understood the whole cosmos, because the whole cosmos is involved in that small rose flower. In the smallest leaf of grass all is contained.

But remember, as Fa Tsang said to the Empress: All illustrations, all descriptions are static, and existence is a dynamic flux. It is a river. Each thing goes on moving into each other thing. It is impossible to draw lines where one thing ends and another begins; there are no demarcating lines – there cannot be. So all distinctions are only for practical purposes, they have no existential value.

This is the first thing to be understood. This is very fundamental to the Taoist alchemy. Once this is understood, then the whole alchemy of Taoism becomes comprehensible. Then the lower can be transformed into the higher, because the lower contains the higher already. The baser metal can be transformed into gold because nothing is separate – the baser contains the gold already. As above, so below; as below, so above.

The very idea that all is interconnected makes transformation possible. If things are not interconnected then there is no possibility of any transformation. If the world consists of the philosopher Liebnitz’s monads – windowless, separate, atomic individuals, not connecting with each other at all because they are windowless – then there is no possibility of any transformation.

Transformation is conceivable only because you are me, I am you; we interpenetrate. Can you think of yourself as separate even for a single moment? You cannot even imagine yourself as separate. The flower cannot be separated from the tree; the moment it is separated it dies. The tree cannot be separated from the earth. The earth cannot be separated from the sun. The sun cannot be separated from other stars, and so on and so forth. You separate the leaf, and the leaf dies. You separate the flower, the flower dies. You separate the tree from the earth, the tree dies. You separate the earth from the sun, and the earth dies.

Death means separation. Life means no separation. Hence the ego is bound to die because that is your idea of separation. To think of one’s self in terms of ego is the only cause of death – because the ego is already dead. You can go on flogging the dead horse, but for how long? It is going to die; it is already dead, that’s why it is going to die. That which is alive in you cannot die; life is eternal. But life is not yours, you cannot possess it. Life belongs to all. Life has a vastness, infinity. Death is tiny, death is individual; life is universal. So when you live, you are part of the universe, and when you die you die only because you think you are separate.

The more you feel part of the whole, the more life you will have.

Jesus says, ‘Come to me and I will give you life abundant.’ What is the secret of life abundant?

The secret is: die as the ego, disappear as a separate entity, and the whole universe and all that it contains is yours. Stop possessing, and all is yours. Possess, and you are tiny and limited, and you are going to die. The secret of becoming more alive consists of a single phenomenon of dropping the idea of separation. And whenever it happens, you feel life becoming aflame in you.

Even if it happens in small measures… If you fall in love with somebody, life is aflame in you. And it is not that much has happened, just two persons are feeling one. Learn the lesson from love. Just two persons feeling one, and what joy, and what ecstasy! Think. If you fall in love with the whole then how much ecstasy and how much joy is going to happen! That is life abundant, life infinite.

Separate yourself… There are a few people who live so egoistically that they cannot love; they are the most miserable people in the world. My definition of hell is; to live in separation is hell. To live in non-separation is heaven. To disappear completely, utterly into the whole, is moksha, nirvana. It is ultimate freedom.

The second thing to be understood: that life is polar. That is also very fundamental to the Taoist approach. But the polarity is not that of opposition. The polarity means that the opposites are complementary to each other, they support each other. Life cannot exist without death, hence death is not the enemy. How can death be the enemy of life if life cannot exist without it? It has to be the friend. It prepares the ground for life: it helps life, it provokes life, it challenges life.

Just think. If your body were going to live for eternity, you would not live at all, you would have an infinity to postpone everything. ’Why love today if there is tomorrow? And if tomorrow is infinite, then why bother? Why dance today? We will see tomorrow.’ Just imagine. If your bodily life were going to be eternal, your postponement would become eternal.

You cannot postpone because you are not certain whether there is going to be any tomorrow or not. Nobody knows whether the next breath will come in or not, hence only foolish people postpone. The wise man lives, and the wise man lives here-now. He cannot afford postponement because he knows ‘Only this moment is mine, only this very moment is mine. The next moment may be, may not be. How can I postpone? How can I say “tomorrow”?’

The foolish man postpones until tomorrow, the wise man lives now. The wise man knows no other time than now and no other space than here, and the foolish man goes into things which could have been postponed for eternity – he lives them right now. If he is angry, he lives it right now. If he is loving, he says, ‘We will see tomorrow.’ All that is stupid he goes on living, and all that is luminous he goes on postponing. The wise man also postpones, but he only postpones stupid things.

Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, ‘When my grandfather died I was only nine years old. He called me close to his death-bed and whispered in my ear.’ He had tremendous love for this small boy. He must have seen the potential of the boy. He whispered in the ears of the boy, ’I have nothing to give to you except a simple piece of advice, and I don’t know whether you will be able to understand it right now or not. But remember it! Some day you may become capable enough, mature enough to understand it. Just remember it. And it is simple advice. If you want to do anything wrong, postpone it for twenty-four hours. And if you want to do something right, never postpone it even for a single moment. If you want to be angry, violent, aggressive, postpone it for twenty-four hours. If you want to be loving, sharing, do not postpone it even for a single moment. Just live it right now, immediately!’

And Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, ‘That simple advice transformed my whole life.’ How can you be angry if you can postpone it for twenty-four hours? It is impossible. To be so calm and quiet as to postpone it for twenty-four hours is enough guarantee that you are not going to be angry. And who can be angry if he can postpone it for twenty-four hours? Twenty-four hours of contemplation, and the whole absurdity will be plain to you: the whole thing will look ridiculous.

And Gurdjieff was really transformed by this simple message. Sometimes very simple messages can transform you, but you have to live them.

Life exists because there is death. Death gives intensity to life. Death challenges life, it provokes you to live, and to live to the maximum, at the optimum, because – who knows – there may be no tomorrow. Death is always provoking you, goading you to live, and to live totally. Then death is not against life but a friend.

So is the case with all the polarities: the negative and the positive, love and hate, beauty and ugliness, day and night, summer and winter. And so is the case with man and woman. Man cannot be without the woman, and the woman cannot be without the man. They are part of one dialectical process. Between these two poles there is both attraction and repulsion, because attraction and repulsion cannot be separated. Hence you feel attracted towards the woman or towards the man and repulsed at the same time. A part of you wants to be with the woman, a part of you wants to be alone.

You are always hesitating. If you are with the woman or with the man, you start longing for the freedom to be on your own, to be alone. Suddenly you become very interested in being alone and free, and you don’t know where this desire to be free is coming from. The woman or the man, the other, is provoking it. The moment you have left the other, this desire, this longing, this great longing to be alone will disappear. And then you are surprised, really surprised. When you are alone you simply feel lonely. You don’t feel that joy that you had contemplated, you don’t see any freedom; you simply see loneliness surrounding you. And your whole existence becomes cold, frozen, dark. Again the desire arises to be with the other. Now you hanker for love, for togetherness.

This is the problem between man and woman. They are attracted and repulsed together, simultaneously. They want to come to be together and they want to be separate and alone, on their own. Hence the constant conflict between man and woman.

Marriage is a love-hate affair, an attraction-repulsion affair. If the marriage lasts long, it can only last if there are mini-divorces happening every day – only then can it last long. If the man and the woman have decided not to fight, then it is a plastic marriage. They will be together, they will manage to be together, but they will never be together in reality; they will never know those moments of unity. They are only pretending. They are being polite, but not true, not authentic.

Marriage is a kind of intimate enmity. It is an intimate enmity, it is a friendly fight, it is a war. Yes, between two wars there are peaceful moments too, and they are beautiful because of the two wars.

Couples go on fighting – that’s how they keep alive the flame of love. Once they fight, they go away from each other. When they are far away from each other, in their psychologies, they start hankering for the other, they start missing the other. Then they start seeking and groping for the other. Then they come close, and very close, because they have tasted something of loneliness. Now they want to be very close. Once they have tasted of closeness they want to be separate again.

So don’t be worried about it. It is a fundamental phenomenon. You cannot escape it. The only way to escape is to have a pretend marriage, which is not a true marriage. ‘Remain polite to each other.’ It is a kind of contract, that ‘I need you and you need me,’ that ‘I will scratch your back and you scratch my back’ – that’s all – ‘because I need you and you need me. You are my security, I will be your security.’ It is a legal contract but not marriage.

This is the second fundamental to be understood before you can enter into the sutras.

And the third and the most important thing: the third fundamental is that no man is only man and no woman is only woman. Man is both, woman is both; both are both. Man contains a woman within him, and so is the case with a woman: the woman contains a man within her. So it is not only a question of the outside man or outside woman, it is also an inner phenomenon, because the outer and the inner correspond. Just as I said ‘as below, so above’, I can say ‘as outer, so inner’.

Your inner reality is also the same as your outer reality: they correspond, they balance. Now more complexity arises because each man has a woman within him, and he has to come to terms with her. It is not just a question of having a woman outside that you love; otherwise things would have been less complicated.

Whenever two persons are in love, there are really four persons – in each bed there are four persons. Complexity you can understand. Whenever two persons make love, there are four persons making love. It is always group sex, because the man has a woman inside him, and the woman has a man inside her. And it is bound to be so because each is born out of the marriage of a man and a woman. Something of the father will be in you – fifty percent; something of the mother will be in you – fifty percent. To each person the father contributes and the mother contributes. You may be biologically a man – that simply shows that physically you have the mechanism of the man – but deep in your psyche you are neither man nor woman, you are both. That’s why I say if we have to use one word for both man and woman…

Up to now we have been using ‘man’ – that means it contains both. It is only because man has been very dominant in the past. But in the future the pendulum may swing to the other pole, and that will be far more true, because the word ‘man’ does not contain woman, the word ‘woman’ contains man. It will be better to use ‘woman’ as a general word for both.

And so is the case with ‘he’ and ‘she’. ‘She’ contains ‘he’, but ‘he’ does not contain ‘she’. It will be better to use ‘she’ for both, ‘woman’ for both. It will be better to use ‘she’ for God than ‘he’. But both contain each other. Because of this there is a possibility of homosexuality – because of this fundamental duality inside. You may be a man on the outside, and you may become attuned to your inner woman inside. There is no problem in it. Your spirit remains free. Inside it can either become identified with the inner man or it can become identified with the inner woman.

If you are physically a man and you become identified with the woman inside, homosexuality will be the consequence. It can happen in many ways, it can happen for many reasons. So homosexuality is possible because of this inner duality.

And now science is even capable of changing your physical sex. That too is possible, because the Taoist finding has been found to be scientifically true, too. Now just by changing the hormones and your chemistry a little bit, the man can become a woman and the woman can become a man – even physiologically. That simply shows that you are both. Even the difference in the body is only of emphasis.

And sometimes it happens of its own accord too. It has been found that a woman becomes a man or a man becomes a woman. The difference must not have been much – may have been very, very slight: fifty-one percent man, forty-nine percent woman; the balance is just a little more on the side of being a man. It can change in the course of life – new hormones, new food, new climate, new atmosphere, new emotions, illnesses, or anything, can change the balance and the man can become a woman or the woman can become a man. And now science knows that it can be done very easily.

There is every possibility that in future people will change their sex more often, because if you can live both the polarities in one life, then why not? If you can enjoy both visions, then why not? You will have more freedom. You have lived as a man for thirty-five years, and enough is enough. And you would like to see how it is from the other side, because there is no other way to know how it is from the other side than to be on that side.

My own observation of thousands of people has been this: that if a person is a man in this life, in the next life he is born as a woman, and vice versa. And the reason is simple: he becomes tired of being a man, or becomes tired of being a woman, and starts hankering deep down for the other pole. And, naturally, in the next life, because of this great desire to be the other, he is born as the other.

These are the three fundamentals. First: everything is interdependent. Second: life is polar and the polarities are not opposites but complementaries. And third: that each is double inside, no one is single.

In India we have the concept of Ardhanarishwar. That corresponds to the Taoist approach.

Shiva has been sculpted, painted as both – half man, half woman. Half of his body is that of a man and half of his body is that of a woman. When for the first time those statues were discovered by the West, the West laughed – it looked so absurd. What is the point of it? Now they have understood what the point of it is. It is one of the most fundamental things of life.

So are you, just like Shiva, half-half.

These sutras are concerned with this inner polarity, and unless you transcend this inner polarity you will not attain to the One, you will remain two. Meditation is a way to transcend this polarity within you. Meditation takes you away from all dualisms.

In ordinary life you remain dual. And in the space of twenty-four hours you change many times from one pole to the other. Watch. You may be a man, but sometimes you are very feminine, very vulnerable. You may be a woman, but sometimes in the daytime you are very masculine. When the woman is masculine she becomes very very aggressive – more aggressive than any man can ever be, because her aggressiveness is very fresh, unused, just like unused land is very fertile. And so is the case with man. If a man is tender, he is very tender – more than the woman, because that is unused soil, that part of his being has not been used; it is fresh, very alive. So this strange phenomenon is observed again and again if you become a little watchful.

Woman is generally loving; man is not generally loving. Woman is only sometimes quarrelsome, but when she is, then she really is. Man is only sometimes loving, but when he is he really is. Those are the unused parts of their being. When they are used they have a freshness.

This inner polarity keeps you in a kind of anguish, conflict; without it you cannot exist. The One remains invisible – that’s why God is invisible. To become visible the One has to become two. You have to write with white chalk on a blackboard, only then can those words be seen.

To exist, one needs contrast. That is why in the daytime you cannot see stars, in the nighttime you can see – the darkness of the night becomes the background. The stars are there as much as in the night – they don’t go anywhere, they can’t go anywhere; they are where they are. They don’t start coming in the night, they don’t start hiding somewhere in the day. They are where they are, but in the day the contrast is missing. You cannot see them, they are invisible.

God is invisible. If he wants to become man and woman, he will have to become two, he will have to become matter and spirit, he will have to become body and soul, he will have to become this and that. Only the two are visible. The world consists of the ’two’. The world is dual. And the moment you can manage to make this duality disappear in oneness, you will become invisible. It has great significance, but it is a metaphor. It does not mean that you cannot see Lao Tzu or you cannot see me. You are seeing me already, but still you are not seeing me. That part has become invisible. The polarity has disappeared inside, the duality is no more there. Only the dual can be seen, the non-dual becomes unseen.

God has to become two, only then the game, the play, is possible. Ancient Indian scriptures say he felt very lonely. ‘He’ means God. He felt very lonely. He longed for the other, that’s why he became two. He became man and woman, cow and bull, and so on and so forth. The whole existence is sexual. By ‘sexual’ I mean dual. The whole existence is sexual. Sooner or later science is going to discover that there are planets which are male and there are planets which are female. It has to be so. Ancient astrology says so, and I perfectly agree with it – everything is dual. That’s why the sun is represented as being male and the moon as being female. It is not poetry, it is fact. Science may not yet have discovered it, but it has to be so. If everything is dual, then there cannot be any exceptions.

Your attraction for the woman or for the man keeps you in manifestation. Now you will be able to understand why the great mystics down the ages have been teaching you how to go beyond sex – because unless you go beyond sex, you will not go into God. Unless you go beyond sex, you will never go beyond the two, you will remain tethered to the duality of the world. The ‘world’ means God manifest, and ‘God’ means the world disappearing into un-manifestation again. That too is a duality: manifestation, non-manifestation.

In Christian theology things are not so deep, they are very superficial. In Christian theology you have only creation. What about de-creation? How can there be creation without de-creation? In the Eastern theology they are both together: Srushti means creation; pralaya means de-creation. There is a moment when God becomes manifest, and then there is a moment when God becomes unmanifest again – all disappears into nothingness, zero follows, just like you, as I told you in the beginning.

You are with your beloved, you become tired, you want to meditate, you want to go to the Himalayas. God also becomes tired of the world – naturally so. Then he wants to go into retirement. Then he disappears into oneness. Dissolution follows. All disappears. But again, how long can you sit in a Himalayan cave? Even God becomes tired of it. He starts seeking and searching and creating the other again.

And exactly so it happens in each individual soul. You live life, then you become tired, then you want to go beyond life. You have lived your body, and you are tired. Now you want to go beyond the body. And then you can understand my insistence, why I say don’t be afraid of the world and don’t escape from the world, because the world is the very place where renunciation happens. It is one of the poles. That’s why I don’t say escape from the woman or the man. If you escape you may remain interested. Don’t escape. Live it through and through. Indulge in the world, and the very indulgence will become renunciation. Out of that very indulgence you will start feeling that now it is time to disappear into absolute aloneness. And if you are really tired, only then can you go into that absolute aloneness.

People are bound to misunderstand me. In India I am one of the most misunderstood men. They think I am teaching people indulgence. I am teaching renunciation. They think I am teaching a worldly kind of sannyas. They don’t understand. I am teaching real sannyas, because real sannyas arises only out of worldly experience. Real sannyas is not possible in a cave in the Himalayas. It will be unreal, imposed, and deep down you will remain worldly and you will continue to hanker and dream of the world.

Live in the world. Really live in it so you get tired, wearied, finished with it – so much so that one day suddenly it loses all meaning for you, and the renunciation has happened.

To me, the real renunciation happens in the market-place and only in the market-place.

-Osho

From The Secret of Secrets, V.1, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Secret of Secrets

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.

Speak to us of Love – Osho

Then said Almitra, speak to us of love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
into the season less world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. 

The people who have realized the meaning of life have only spoken to those who can understand love, because love is the meaning of life. Very few people have realized that love is your very flame. It is not food that keeps you alive, it is love – which keeps you not only alive but gives you a life of beauty, truth, silence, and millions of other priceless things.

The world can be divided in two parts: the world where everything has a price and the world where price is meaningless. Where prices are no longer relevant, values arise. Prices are for things, for dead things.

Life does not recognize that which is dead. But such a simple truth, man goes on missing. He even tries to purchase love; otherwise there would not have been prostitutes. And it is not only a question of prostitutes. What are your marriages? – a permanent institution of prostitution.

Remember, only when you enter into the world of values – where no money, no power, no respectability is of any help – are you entering into authentic life. And the flavor of that life is love.

Because man is so much accustomed to purchasing everything, he forgets that the very effort to purchase something that cannot be purchased is a murder. A husband demands love from his wife because he has purchased her, and the same is true about the wife. But they are unaware that they are assassinating each other. They do not know: the moment price enters into love, love dies.

Love is very delicate, very sacred. In all of our relationships, we are trying to reduce the other person to a thing. A wife is a thing. If you have any intelligence, let her remain just a woman. A husband is no more alive. Allow him to remain in freedom because only in freedom can love flower.

But man, in his utter stupidity, has destroyed everything that is valuable. You even try to purchase God. How deep is your blindness? People who can afford it – remember the word “afford” – have temples in their houses. Statues can be purchased but whatever you do with those statues is sheer nonsense; a purchased statue can never become a living God. And not only do they purchase the statue, they also purchase a priest to do the worship.

I have seen priests running from one house to another house because they have to worship in at least ten or twelve temples; only then they can feed themselves. And the people who are purchasing even prayer, worship, think they are doing great virtuous acts. These are the sinners!

Your life will not have any flowers if it does not have something which is priceless. Do you have something in your life which is priceless?

People are selling even their lives. What are your soldiers? – And their number must be millions all around the earth. They have sold themselves. Their only function is to kill and be killed. But as far as I can see, that is not important; they have killed themselves the day they sold themselves. They may be still breathing, but just to breathe is not life. Trees breathe, vegetables breathe. Cabbages and cauliflowers breathe, but they are not alive and they know nothing of love. They have prices attached to them. Perhaps cabbages are cheaper, cauliflowers a little costly – because cauliflowers are nothing but cabbages with university degrees. But don’t do this to any human being.

And if you cannot purchase a thing you cannot possess it either. In your deep sleep, you even possess your children without ever becoming aware that the very possession – “This is my child” – is a murder. Children come through you, but they belong to the universe. You are just a passage.

But you make every effort that your child should have your family name, your religion, your political ideology. He should be just an obedient object.

When I was a student in the university, the government of India passed a resolution that unless you participate in the training for the army, your postgraduate degree could not be given to you. It was compulsory. I approached the vice-chancellor and I said, “I would love to remain without any postgraduate degree. I am not willing to participate in a training which is nothing but a very psychological process of destroying your consciousness, your life, and reducing you to just a number.”

In the army, when somebody dies, on the notice board it is declared, “Number Sixteen has fallen.” When you read this, that “Number Sixteen has fallen,” nothing happens to your heart because Number Sixteen has no wife, no children, no old mother, no old father to be taken care of. Numbers don’t produce children. This is a strategy. But if you see a name, you will suddenly feel sad. What will happen to the children, to the wife, to the old mother, to the old father who is just living to see his son coming back home? But he does not know that his son exists no more. He has become Number Sixteen. Number Sixteen can be replaced and will be replaced. Somebody else will become Number Sixteen.

You cannot replace a living human being… but a dead number? But it is not only the soldiers; if you look at yourself, in many ways you have allowed the crowd around you to make you a number. Even the people who say that they love you simply want to possess you, to exploit you. You are an object of their longings, of their desires.

Love is not available in the marketplace. For love, you will have to understand that existence is not a dead existence. It is full of light, overflowing with love but to experience that love, you have to be attuned with the world of values.

Almustafa did not answer some people. Perhaps they were not worth answering. They have lost their souls: somebody has become a governor, somebody has become a president. The presidents and the governors and the prime ministers – they don’t have any souls; otherwise it is impossible for a man like Josef Stalin to kill one million Russians. And these were not capitalists – Russia has never been so rich – these were poor people, but they wanted not to be possessed by anyone and they were rebelling against slavery. First the czars were killing them for centuries, but Stalin outdid all the czars.

But sometimes I think perhaps he killed only dead people. Adolf Hitler killed six million human beings – but perhaps it is not right to condemn him, because these six million people had lost their souls long before. Somebody had become a husband, somebody had become a wife, somebody had become a father, somebody had become a mother.

In the world of nature, a woman is just a woman – not a lady. A lady is a woman who is living a posthumous life. In nature, there are authentic men – raw, rooted in the earth – but you will not find your gentlemen. They are the hypocrites who have died long ago and are now just breathing, eating, dragging themselves from the cradle to the grave. If they were really alive, they would have known the secret that exists between birth and death.

Almustafa simply refused to answer those people – who may have been knowledgeable, who may have been rich, but their questions were phony. Their questions were American.

I must remind you: the word “phony” comes from America. It is derived from “telephone.”

When you are talking to someone on the telephone, have you observed the change? The voice is not the same, the tone is not the same, and no one knows whether on the other side there is another American or a ghost.

I have heard…. One great psychoanalyst was treating a super-rich billionaire. Although his fee was beyond the capacity of millions of people, for the super-rich it was nothing.

The rich man continued. A year passed and he would lie down on the psychoanalyst’s couch and would talk all kinds of absurd things… which are filled in your heads too; it is another thing that you keep them within, but in psychoanalysis you have to bring them out.

The psychoanalyst was getting bored but he could not get rid of the super-rich man because he was getting so much money from him. Finally, he found an American solution to it: He said to the rich man, “I have so many other patients and sometimes your session takes three hours, four hours, five hours. You have time, you have money. I have a humble suggestion to make. I will keep a tape recorder which will listen to you. My four or five hours will be saved and at night when I have time, I can listen to the tape.”

The rich man said, “Great!” 

The next day when the psychoanalyst was entering his office, he saw the rich man coming out. He said, “So quick? Are you finished?”

He said, “No, I have also brought my tape recorder. My tape recorder is talking to your tape recorder. Why should I waste five hours? When tape recorders can do it, what is the need of me coming every day?”

This is how, slowly, slowly, man becomes more and more mechanical. He says things, he lives a life, but it is all like a robot.

Dale Carnegie, one of America’s most famous philosophers – he would not be recognized as a philosopher anywhere else except in America – but his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold second only to The Bible. And it is full of crap. He suggests that every husband, at least three or four times a day, should say to his wife, “Darling, I love you so much, I cannot live without you. I cannot conceive of myself without you.” Whether you mean it or not does not matter.

Do you see the phoniness? If you are in love, it is so difficult to say ”I love you,” because words fall short. And to repeat three, four times a mechanical routine… you don’t mean anything, you are just a grammaphone record. Perhaps the needle on the record is stuck: “Darling, I love you.” And the darling also answers, and deep inside both hate each other: “This is the woman who has destroyed my freedom. This is the man who has put me into a prison.”

Love is the highest value. That’s why Jesus could say, “God is love.” But his statement is two thousand years old. It needs some refinement; it needs to be made up-to-date. God is not love.

I say unto you: Love is god. And there is a vast difference between the two, although the same words are used. If God is love that simply means it is only one of the qualities of God. He may have many other qualities: he may be wise, he may be just, fair. He may be forgiveness.

But when you say “Love is god,” the statement is totally different. Then god itself becomes a quality of those who know how to love. Then there is no need to believe in God… because it is only a hypothesis. And it is up to you what to make of the hypothesis.

The Jewish God in the Old Testament says, “I am a very angry God, I’m very jealous. I am not nice! Remember, I am not your uncle! I cannot tolerate another God.” The Mohammedans have inherited the Jewish conception of God. That’s why they have been destroying statues and temples, beautiful pieces of art: because there is only one God and one holy book and one messenger, Mohammed. This is a fascist attitude, ugly, inhuman. What is the problem if there are millions of gods? The world will be far richer. Why are you stuck with one god?

Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, all such religions which believe in one god believe in dictatorship, not in democracy. What is the problem?

Gautam Buddha is perhaps the first democratic religious person, who says that every man is a potential god and finally, all are going to blossom into godhood. This has a beauty.

Almustafa did not answer those people. Instead he cried, wept, tears came to his eyes because their questions were phony. They were asking simply to show others that they were knowledgeable. You know perfectly well the distinction between a knowledgeable question and an authentic quest. When you want to exhibit your knowledge, there is no quest in your heart. You are asking to show that you are not ignorant.

In fact, before asking the question, you already know the answer – not by your own experience, but borrowed….

A great philosopher in Gautam Buddha’s time came to see him. He brought his five hundred disciples with him. Buddha never refused anybody. Even at the last moment when he was dying, he asked if anybody had a question because “Now, I am going, my ship has arrived. And I don’t want it to be said by future generations that Gautam Buddha was alive and yet he did not answer an authentic question.”

Buddha asked the philosopher, “Is it your question or a quest?”

The philosopher said, “What is the difference?”

Buddha said, “The difference is unbridgeable, of the earth and the sky. A quest is a thirst. A question is a mind game. If you have a quest, I am ready to answer. But if it is only a question, don’t waste my time.”

Almustafa did not answer those people amongst whom he had lived for twelve years and who had never asked anything. But when Almitra, the woman who had recognized him on the first day in the city of Orphalese, asked – he answered. And he answered with such beauty, with such poetry, with such truth. Perhaps nobody else has answered that way – not even a person like Krishna, who answered his disciple Arjuna’s questions after questions.

Perhaps Arjuna’s questions are authentic, but Krishna’s answers are not. He is not concerned with the quest. His whole concern is political – somehow to persuade Arjuna to participate in the war. So he goes on answering in different ways which contradict each other and finally, when he finds that his answers are not convincing to Arjuna, he resorts to the last thing which any dictator is bound to fall upon.

Finally, he says, “It is God’s will that you should participate in the war.” It is strange that God is speaking to him and not to Arjuna directly. If I had been in the place of Arjuna, I would have said, “It may be God’s will for you – fight! But as far as I am concerned, it is God’s will not to fight but to renounce this whole nonsense of destroying and killing people and move deeper into the Himalayas to meditate.”

But he became afraid. If it is God’s will, he has to fight. He forgot a simple thing – why does God always need mediators? Why can’t he speak directly?

In fact, there is no God. These mediators are the most cunning people in the world. In the name of God, they are forcing their own ideas. Because they cannot force through their arguments, their final strategy is to bring God in.

I have wondered always: Is God your real question? Anybody’s? It is philosophical, intellectual, hypothetical – but what will you do if you meet God? And what is the point of meeting God? No, that is not the real quest of man.

Almitra does not ask Almustafa, “Speak to us of God.” No, she asks:

Speak to us of love.

It has to be noted that only a woman can ask about love. Man wants to know God or to become God. These are power trips. Love is not a power trip. Love is the only experience in which you become humble, simple, innocent.

And what does Almustafa say? Meditate over it. Each single word is of immense significance:

And he raised his head and looked upon the people…

Before answering, you have to look into the hearts of people – to see whether there is any stirring, whether love is their quest. Almitra has asked a very fundamental question; the most fundamental question. But what about the people, the crowd who have gathered there?

And there fell a stillness upon them. 

A great silence, because those were simple people, and as Almustafa looked around into their eyes, into their faces, there was a great silence. Those simple people really wanted to know what Almitra had asked about. Perhaps they were not articulate enough to ask the question; Almitra had become their voice. She represents their hearts. Seeing that….

And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him… 

Do not doubt, do not be skeptical, because love is beckoning you towards something you have not known. Although you have the seed… but the seed has not known its own flower. When love beckons to you, you are blessed; Follow him.

Though his ways are hard and steep.

Love is not just a bed of roses.

And when his winds enfold you yield to him…

Do not resist, do not be reluctant, do not go half-hearted. Don’t be wishy-washy.

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And love certainly wounds people, but that wound is something like a surgical operation. You are carrying so much hate – that hate has to be destroyed. For a time you may feel a wound, an empty space where hate used to be.

And when he speaks to you believe in him…

He’s not saying believe in what he speaks, remember. He is saying when he speaks, believe in him. There is a very subtle distinction. If I am speaking to you, you can believe in what I am speaking – that will be from the head, and that is not going to help in any way because tomorrow somebody may speak against it, with better arguments, with more logic. Then you will shift.

Almustafa is saying believe in him, not what he is saying. This is a tremendously potential statement: Whenever a master speaks, do not be too much bothered about his words. If the words can only help you to believe in the authenticity of the master, they have done their work. When you believe in a person, it is from the heart. It is not an argument. When you believe in words, it is from the head. It is just an argument.

Life is not an argument, and love is not an argument. It is a meeting of two hearts, two beings – two bodies become one. That is what Almustafa is saying:

Though his voice may shatter your dreams…

It is going to shatter your dreams. It is going to shatter your sleep; it is going to shatter you.
Just believing in words will not shatter anything in you. On the contrary, you will become more
knowledgeable, your ego more decorated.

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Never before has anybody spoken, in a single sentence, the whole alchemy of man’s transformation. Love will crown you but it will also crucify you. It will crucify you as you have been, your past, and it will crown you as you should be, your future. Love is both: a crowning and a crucifixion. Because of this, millions of people miss the glory of love. The crucifixion makes them afraid… and what is the point of being crowned if you are going to be crucified?

But you are not one, you are many. The real you will be crowned and the false personalities will be crucified, and these processes are going to happen simultaneously. On the one hand, death; on the other hand, a resurrection.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for pruning.

You have grown so many ugly things in your life. They have to be pruned – and that pruning is not against your growth. In fact, those ugly things that you have gathered around yourself – jealousy, domination, continuous effort to have the upper hand – will not allow you to experience love.

When I read that sentence, I remember my gardener, Mukta. She goes on pruning my trees. I know what she’s doing is right, because unless you prune them, they will not grow. But whenever she sees me – once in a while I come out of the room and she hides her garden scissors. Mukta, from today, there is no need to hide. But only prune that which is against the growth of the tree. Don’t prune according to your ideas of how the tree should be. Let the tree be itself. Give it freedom… and if a gardener cannot love his own trees, who is going to love? Prune whenever you see that this will help to bring more foliage, more growth, more leaves, more flowers.

I am not against pruning. I had told her not to do this because there was, six years ago, a beautiful creeper on the back fence of my garden. But it was wild, and Mukta is a Greek. Just to prune it, she named it “The Monster.” This is one of the strategies of human mind. Whenever you want to destroy something, first you give it a name – that becomes the argument for you. That poor creeper was not a monster. Yes, it was wild, but to be wild is not to be a monster. I am wild… but do you think you can prune me? I have not even cut a single hair of my beard – they are the originals. You all have unoriginal beards. I have never cut a single hair of my mustache. Just a few days ago, there was a question: “Osho, everything you say reaches my heart but one question remains: how do you manage to eat?”

I can understand his question – an unpruned mustache has almost covered my lips. That’s why I never come to eat with you. I always eat alone just to protect my original hair. It is a little difficult.

Even as he ascend to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun..

You will enjoy it when love reaches to your heights with tenderness, caressing your branches dancing in the wind and in the sun and in the rain. But that is only the half of it.

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the Earth.

And you cannot choose one and avoid the other. Love is a solid phenomenon, it cannot be cut into fragments. Just as your heights need to be showered by love, your roots which are clinging to the earth have to be shaken, because every clinging is an imprisonment. Love would like to give you wings to fly – and with a clinging mind, with attachment, it is impossible to fly in the open sky. Just to cling to the earth, you have grown great roots going deep down so that nobody can shake you. It is out of fear, but fear is just the opposite pole of freedom.

Don’t cling to anything – not even to the person you love. Clinging will destroy the very love to which you were clinging. Don’t become a bondage.

I have heard….

A great freedom fighter had gone for a holiday in the hills. On the way, he stopped for a night’s rest in a small caravanserai. The owner of the serai had a beautiful parrot, and in accordance with his beauty, he had made a golden cage studded with diamonds. The owner also loved freedom, so he had taught the parrot only one word: “Freedom.” The whole day long the parrot used to call, “Freedom! Freedom!” and his voice would echo and re-echo in the valleys.

This freedom fighter thought, “This is strange. I know the owner; he’s my friend. I know his love for freedom – that’s why he has taught his parrot only one word, “Freedom.” But this is very contradictory. If he loves freedom, let the parrot be free. Even the golden cage studded with diamonds is not freedom.” So he waited. In the middle of the night the parrot again shouted, “Freedom! Freedom!” and in the silences around, the voice of the parrot echoed far and wide in the silences around.

The man came out. It was night and the owner was asleep. No one was around. He opened the door of the cage and waited… such a freedom-loving parrot, seeing the door open, will immediately fly into the sky. But instead of flying into the sky, the parrot clung hard to his golden cage.

But the freedom fighter was not a man to be defeated by a parrot. He put his hand inside the cage, pulled the parrot out… and while he was pulling the parrot out, the parrot was hitting his hand, scratching his hand and still shouting, “Freedom! Freedom!” His whole hand was full of blood, but he threw the parrot into the open sky on a full moon night. The hand was wounded, but he felt deeply contented that the parrot was free.

He went to sleep. In the morning he was awakened again by the same voice: “Freedom!” He said, “My god, he has come back!” He looked out. The door was still open and the parrot was inside.

Love will caress you. But it will also go deep down to your roots and shake them to make you free.

It is something to be remembered: most of us go on living in a contradiction. On the one hand we want freedom; on the other hand, we go on clinging to something. Freedom is a risk. In the cage, the parrot is safe, secure. In freedom, although he gains the whole existence, the whole sky, he loses the safety and the security.

But freedom is such a value; anything can be sacrificed for it. And love needs absolute freedom to grow. Only then can you make the whole sky your home. People afraid of insecurity, unsafety, choose just the word love but never experience it.

If you want to experience love, you will have to risk everything and all – all your clingings, all your future safeties. But instead of sacrificing clingings and safeties and securities, man in his deep sleep has sacrificed love and saved the security.

That is what your marriage is – love is sacrificed; security is there. Of course in marriage there is security, there is safety; there is a guarantee that tomorrow also the wife will be available to you, the husband will be taking care of you. But what about love? Then love becomes an empty word.

Be aware of empty words, and particularly words like love, which are higher than God – God is only a quality of love. Don’t go on carrying an empty container with no content in it. This is your misery, the misery of the whole humanity. Nobody loves.

Love is risky. I teach you to take all the risks, because even a single moment of love is equal to the whole eternity.

And a life without love may be immortal, but will be just a graveyard. Nothing will blossom. You will be secure – but what will you do with your security?

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

But if you are clinging to something else, how can existence, or God, or love, gather you unto himself?

He threshes you to make you naked… 

because you are covered with so many fake personalities. Your face is not your original face. There are so many masks.

He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.

The word “whiteness” has to be understood – it is not a color. The whole rainbow you can have, but you will miss two colors which you have become accustomed to – black and white. And why have all the mystics condemned the black and praised the white?

White is not a color but all the colors. If you mix all the colors of the rainbow, whiteness arises. So whiteness is basically a great synthesis of all the colors of life. And if you remove all the colors, then there is blackness. Blackness is negativity, blackness is no. Blackness is death.

Whiteness is positivity, whiteness is yes, whiteness is God. Whiteness is love. 

He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All the religions of the world had been teaching people to fast. Almustafa is talking about the feast. Against all the religions, I am in agreement with Almustafa. Life is not a fasting, it is a continuous feast – a celebration, a festival of lights.

Love transforms your life into a festival of lights.

And unless your life becomes a feast and a festival, remember: you have not done the thing you have come for on this earth.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor…

People want love but they don’t want to be prepared for all the threshing, the fire that they have to pass through. They think love is just pleasure. It is not. Love is far more: it is blissfulness, it is the ultimate benediction. But you will have to drop the fear.

The man who is full of fear will never know the sweet taste of love. And if you have not known love, you have not known anything: all your knowledge is useless, all your treasures are useless. All your respectabilities are useless.

Almustafa says rightly:

Then… Cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears..

You will never know anything in its wholeness, in its totality. You will laugh but your laughter will be superficial. You will weep but your tears will be crocodile tears. Your life will always remain just a potentiality, it will never become a reality. And you will live your life in sleep – unconscious.

-Osho

From Speak to us of Love (Reflections on Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet), Chapter One

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Speak to us of Love

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.

Love is Very Unearthly – Osho

Love is always thankful. If love complains, then it is not love. Love basically is gratitude. Complaints arise when there are desires and they are not fulfilled; gratitude arises because all that is needed is already fulfilled. So much is given that more cannot be asked, then there is gratitude. Complaints arise because this has to be there and it is not and that has to be there and it is not. The desiring mind complains; the loving mind thanks.

That’s why one very fundamental thing has to be understood: love is not a desire, because desire is complaint, desire is ungratefulness. Love cannot be a desire; it is fulfillment. It has no demands, it does not ask for anything. It only gives, and gives out of thankfulness. Love is a sharing, not a desire. And people who think love is a desire go on missing; they will never know what love is. They will know passion but they will never know love. They will know lust but they will never know love.

Love is very unearthly. It is of the sky! Love exists in time but does not belong to time; it comes from eternity. Learn to become more and more grateful for small things. Just for the sheer joy of breathing, feel grateful to God . . . just for the sheer joy that you can see rainbows and flowers and the clouds. What more is needed? Just for the sheer joy that you can love and that you can be loved, be thankful, and out of that thankfulness a person becomes religious.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Open Door, Chapter 28

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.