A Dream Within a Dream – Osho

You do not exist even in dream. You must sometimes have dreamed a dream within a dream. You dream that you are going to bed, you have fallen asleep and you are dreaming a dream.

There is an old Chinese story: A woodcutter was cutting wood in a jungle. He was tired, so he came down from the tree and fell asleep. He dreamed that nearby lay buried a great treasure of diamonds and gold in huge pots that were lightly covered with dirt. In his dream he thought that he would come at night and remove the treasure quietly. If he removed it in the daytime he might be caught. He was a poor man and the treasure was worth millions. When he awoke, he buried a stick to mark the place and returned home.

When it became dark, he went back to the spot. He found the stick in place but the pots had been removed. He went back and told his wife, “I don’t understand whether I dreamed about the treasure or actually saw it. The stick is there all right, and there are holes where the pots were, so it is certainly not just a dream. But someone has removed the pots.”

His wife replied, “It must be a dream. You must also have dreamed that you went out at night and saw the stick in the ground, and that there was an empty place where the pots were supposed to be. So go back to sleep and sleep in peace.”

But it happened that another man also dreamed that he saw these very pots buried in the same place, and that a woodcutter had buried a stick to mark the place. When he got up from his sleep he ran to the place. He found the stick in the ground and also the vessels underneath! He removed the pots and brought them home. He told his wife, “I cannot understand whether I dreamed a dream or I actually saw a vision.  Whatever it is, I have brought the pots home. They are proof that it is not just a dream. I must actually have seen the woodcutter burying the stick and therefore I knew where the treasure was.”

His wife said, “The pots are here. That much is clear. But if you actually saw the woodcutter marking the spot, it isn’t right that we should keep this treasure. Take the pots to the king and let him decide.”

He was an honest man, so he took the pots to the king’s court where the woodcutter had already lodged a complaint. The king was perplexed. Finally he told them, “It is very difficult to decide whether you were asleep or awake, so I shall divide the treasure equally between you both, for the pots are very much there.” So he divided the treasure between them.

That night the king told his wife, “A very strange thing happened today: Two men dreamed the same dream. Now it is difficult to decide whether they dreamed or whether they really saw the treasure. But the pots of treasure were actually there, so I divided them equally between them.” The queen said, “Go to sleep, you must be dreaming.”

For thousands of years this was discussed in China – did they dream it or not? Who actually dreamed? But this is what happens by the time we reach the end of life. All of life seems like a dream. It is difficult to decide whether the stick was really there and whether the pots were really buried; whether the wife and children ever existed, or friends and foes; whether there was poverty or riches; whether there was conflict and competition; whether we really lost or won, were successful or unsuccessful. At the time of death all events pass before a man like a dream. Did we really live, or was it only a dream?

Those who have known say, “This is a dream dreamed with open eyes.” It is a dream because it has no relation to that which is. This is an intermediary state of imagination; it is merely a thought. It makes no difference whether you saw it when asleep or when awake. The characteristic of a dream is that it is here one moment and gone the next. At the time of death all is lost…

-OSHO

Excerpt from The True Name, Chapter Fifteen

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The True Name

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Repentance Becomes Forgiveness – Osho

Christianity has a tremendously beautiful concept of forgiveness. Christianity says: If you ask to be forgiven from your deepest core, you will be forgiven. Why? Is there somebody who can forgive you? No, but if you ask in intense passion to be forgiven, the very idea of repentance becomes forgiveness. If you have really asked, realized that you have done something wrong; if it has been a total realization and you accept the responsibility that it was wrong and that you are ready to repent for it and you repent wholeheartedly, the very repentance becomes the forgiveness. Then there is no need to do anything else, because all sins are nothing but unconscious acts. Repentance makes you conscious, alert. Sin is like darkness. You bring a light, a lamp into darkness and darkness disappears. Sin is because you are asleep.

If you repent, you awake yourself. Because there is no other way to repent unless you awake yourself, unless you come to realize and see what you have been doing, how you have been living, how you have been wasting, how you have been hurting. When you come to realize it, a flame starts burning in you, an awareness; and in that awareness, in that light, darkness disappears. It is not that there is a God personified sitting somewhere on a throne in heaven who goes on forgiving you. There is nobody to forgive you. But if you repent, you will be forgiven.

God is not a person; God is the totality. God is existence, the totality of being. It is not that you have to pray to Him so that He can forgive, no. In your praying you are forgiven. The very prayer, the very recognition that you have been wrong and you recognize it and you repent, is enough. All that you have been up to then is wiped, washed. You are cleansed of it. The old is gone, the new is born. This is resurrection.

-OSHO

Excerpt from Come Follow To You, V. 4, Chapter Eleven (previously titled Come Follow Me)

come-follow-me-v-4

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He is the Breath Inside the Breath – Osho

Kabir says, ‘Student, tell me, what is God?

He is the breath inside the breath.’

Whenever you ask about God you ask as if God is there like a problem to be encountered. You ask as if you are standing outside God and speculating, observing Him. You ask as if God is an object. God is not an object, God is your subjectivity. God is not there outside, God is your interiority, your innerness. That is the meaning when Kabir says:

He is the breath inside the breath. 

Watch your breath and you will come to know what he means – you will see one thing which cannot be seen unless you watch your breath. Buddha made it a great technique for meditation, watching the breath, because through watching it you will come to know the breath inside the breath.

The word ’breath’ means life. In Sanskrit the word for breath is prana: prana means life. In Hebrew the word for breath means spirit. In all the languages of the world, breath is thought to be synonymous with life or spirit or soul. But breath is not the real soul – you will come to this experience only when you watch.

Try a small experiment: sitting silently, just start watching your breath. The easiest way to watch is from the entrance of the nose. When the breath comes in, feel the touch of the breath at the entrance of the nose – watch it there. The touch will be easier to watch, breath will be too subtle; in the beginning just watch the touch. The breath goes in, and you feel it going in: watch it. And then follow it, go with it. You will find there comes a point where it stops. Just somewhere near your navel it stops – for a tiny, tiny moment, for a pal, it stops. Then it moves outwards again; then follow it – again feel the touch, the breath going out of the nose. Follow it, go with it outside – again you will come to a point, the breath stops for a very tiny moment. Then again the cycle starts.

Inhalation, gap, exhalation, gap, inhalation, gap. That gap is the most mysterious phenomenon inside you. When the breath comes in and stops and there is no movement, that is the point where one can meet God. Or when the breath goes out and stops and there is no movement.

Remember, you are not to stop it; it stops on its own. If you stop it you will miss the whole point, because the doer will come in and witnessing will disappear. You are not to do anything about it. You are not to change the breath pattern, you are neither to inhale nor to exhale. It is not like pranayama of yoga, where you start manipulating the breath; it is not that. You don’t touch the breath at all – you allow its naturalness, its natural flow. When it goes out you follow it, when it comes in you follow it.

And soon you will become aware that there are two gaps. In those two gaps is the door. And in those two gaps you will understand, you will see, that breath itself is not life – maybe a food for life, just like other foods, but not life itself. Because when the breathing stops you are there, perfectly there – you are perfectly conscious, utterly conscious. And the breath has stopped, breathing is no more there, and you are there.

And once you continue this watching of the breath – what Buddha calls vipassana or anapanasati you – if you go on watching it, watching it, watching it, slowly, slowly you will see the gap is increasing and becoming bigger. Finally it happens that for minutes together the gap remains. One breath goes in, and the gap… and for minutes the breath does not go out. All has stopped. The world has stopped, time has stopped, thinking has stopped. Because when the breath stops, thinking is not possible. And when the breath stops for minutes together, thinking is impossible, absolutely impossible – because the thought process needs continuous oxygen, and your thought process and your breathing are very deeply related.

When you are angry your breath has a different rhythm, when you are sexually stimulated you have a different breath rhythm, when you are silent a different breath rhythm again. When you are happy a different breath rhythm, when you are sad a different rhythm again. Your breathing goes on changing with the moods of the mind. The vice versa is also true – when the breath changes, the moods of the mind change. And when breath stops, mind stops.

In that stopping of the mind the whole world stops – because the mind is the world. And in that stopping you come to know for the first time what is the breath inside the breath: life inside life. That experience is liberating. That experience makes you alert of God – and God is not a person but the experience of life itself.

-OSHO

From The Revolution, Chapter Three

The Revolution

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Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt He is the Breath Inside the Breath.

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Awareness is a Pure Presence – Osho

The essence of the religion of Buddha is awareness. There is no prayer in it, there cannot be — because there is no God. And there cannot be any prayer in it because prayer is always motivated. Prayer is a form of desire, a form of lust.

Prayer has deep down hidden in it the very cause of misery. The cause of misery is that we are not contented as we are. The cause of misery is that we would like a different type of life, a different situation, a different world, and the world that is before us pales down before our imagination. The cause of misery is imagination, desire, hope. And in prayer all the causes are present, so there is no possibility for prayer in Buddha’s religion. Only awareness is the key. So we have to understand what awareness is.

When you pray, you ask for something. When you meditate, you meditate upon something. But when you are aware, you are simply centred in your being. The other is not important at all.  The other is irrelevant. You are simply aware.

Awareness has no object to it. It is pure subjectivity. It is a grounding in your being, it is a centering in your being. Standing there inside your being, you burn bright. Your flame is without any smoke. In your light the whole life becomes clear.

In that clarity is silence. In that clarity, time ceases to be. In that clarity, the world disappears. Because in that clarity there is no desire, no motivation. You simply are… not wanting anything whatever. Not wanting any future. Not wanting any better world. Not wanting heaven, moksha. Not wanting God. Not wanting knowledge, liberation. You simply are.

Awareness is a pure presence, a centered consciousness. Buddha’s whole effort is how to make you centered, grounded, a flame without smoke, a flame which knows no wavering. In that light, everything becomes clear and all illusions disappear and all dreams become non-existential. And when the dreaming mind stops, there is truth.

-Osho

From The Buddha Said, Chapter Thirteen

The Buddha Said

Also published in The Discipline of Transcendence V.3, Chapter Three

The Discipline of Transcendence, V.3

 

 

 

 

 

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All Methods are Postponements – Osho

If the divine is right here and now, then what prevents us from seeing Him? Why do we cling to our dream life, even though it has become a misery for us? 

No, it has not become a misery for you yet; otherwise you could not cling to it. No one can cling to misery. You still have hopes; you have not yet become totally hopeless. Even in your misery you are hoping. You are thinking that today is misery but tomorrow the doors of paradise will open, and this misery is just a means to reach that paradise tomorrow. Unless the tomorrow dies completely, unless the tomorrow drops completely, unless you become totally hopeless, no hope… only then will you see what misery is there where you are living. And once you become aware of the misery that you are living, you will drop it – there will be no need for me to tell you.

Somebody came to Buddha and asked him, “You go on saying that life is suffering, dukkha; you go on saying that the house is on fire, and I realize that this is so, but how should we come out of that house which is on fire?”

Buddha said, “You are not seeing that the house is on fire. If the house is on fire you will not come to ask me, you will simply jump out of that house.” You won’t go to find a master to learn techniques; you won’t consult The Bible and Koran to find out how to get out of the house which is on fire. When the house is on fire, you will leave your Koran and Bible inside, and you will jump out. And even if a Buddha is sitting there, you will remember only when you are out of the house that Buddha has been left inside; the master has been left inside. When you realize the house is on fire, you simply jump out of it; there is no method.

All methods are postponements. You are in search of a method so that you can postpone, because a method will need time, so you can say to yourself, “How can I jump right now? It will take three years, six years, lives, to practice. It is such a difficult thing, so I will first practice how to jump, and then I will jump. But unless I practice, I cannot jump.”

And you have been doing this practice, this rehearsal, for many lives. You are not here for the first time to ask me – you have asked many times. The same questions you have been asking in every life, but you never do anything, because Buddha may be saying that the house is on fire, but you look… it is a palace, nothing is on fire. Just out of consideration for Buddha you don’t deny him. Otherwise you know he is crazy; the house is not on fire. Or he may be talking in symbols; he may be meaning something else. Or he is such a great man that you cannot understand what he is saying, so just out of respect you don’t deny him, you say yes. Your yes doesn’t mean any more than your no. Your yes, your no are meaningless.

I have heard that Mulla Nasruddin was in love with a woman, but very worried, depressed, always sad, so one friend asked, “What is the matter?”

He said, “Everything is finished, and I am contemplating suicide.”

The friend said, “But you have been contemplating so long. Tell me what the matter is – maybe I can help you.”

Nasruddin said, “I asked the woman to get married to me.”

The friend said, “Yes, no need to say anything more, I have understood. She must have said no. But you are a fool. Don’t believe it when a woman says no; she always means yes.”

Nasruddin said, “I know that wisdom, and if she had said no, then there would have been no problem. But when I proposed she said, ‘Rats.’ So now what to understand? She said, ’Rats’; she never said no. Had she said no, then yes could be understood.”

Everybody’s mind is just like that woman. When you say no, the yes is hidden behind it. If somebody has slightly penetrating eyes, he can see your yes hidden behind the no. When you say yes it is just skin-deep, the no is hidden behind. And your yes can be turned into no without any effort. Your no can be turned into yes without much effort. Your yes and no are only different in degrees, not in quality. They can be changed, they continuously go on changing.

Even a small child knows this. The father says, “No, you are not going to the movie today.” But even a small child knows that yes is hidden behind it. He starts a tantrum, he starts crying, and within minutes the father says, “Go, go! Go away from here.” The child knows the yes is hidden behind the no. It can be brought out immediately, a little effort is needed. And no child believes in your yes or no because you can change so easily; no child trusts you. But this is how the human mind is.

So the first thing: you are not in misery. Buddha has said so, I may be saying so, but you know that you are not in misery. You go on feeling, hoping, that tomorrow something is going to happen. And tomorrow is the drug; through the tomorrow you intoxicate yourself, and then the day which is present, today, you can suffer it. It is not much, only a question of a few hours and then the tomorrow will be there; it is coming nearer and nearer. Because of the misery on this earth, we conceive of heaven as somewhere in the other life; that heaven is our tomorrow extended. Just to carry on anyhow this misery that is around us, we look somewhere ahead. We never look right now, here.

You are not in misery. I may be saying so; you go on believing that happiness is just near, you are just on the verge of it. The goal is so near, so why leave? Just continue a little more, be patient. If you realize that you are in misery, then there is no need to ask how to drop it. Then masters will be needed to teach you how to cling to it, and even then you will not listen to them. 

Once you know that your life is misery, even a buddha cannot persuade you to cling to it. But the penetration is not there. It is not your realization. This knowing is not your knowledge; this wisdom has not been achieved through your own efforts. It is borrowed, it is cheap. You have heard that life is misery, but you have not realized it. And you say, “Why do we go on clinging to this dream life?” It is not a dream life to you; it is real. When you see a dream the dream is real. Somebody who has awakened from sleep may go on saying that whatsoever you are seeing is just a dream, but the person who is dreaming, he is dreaming a reality, not a dream. In a dream, howsoever absurd, you cannot feel it as a dream. You believe in it, because once you feel it is a dream the dream disappears. The dream cannot remain there, your cooperation is withdrawn. You can cooperate only with reality, not with dreams; and if you cooperate dreams become reality – it is through your cooperation.

In the night, deep in sleep, you dream that you have become a king. You may be a beggar, or vice versa: you may be a king and you dream that you have become a beggar. But in that dream you are so identified you cannot think that it could be a dream. If you can think that it could be a dream, the dream will stop immediately. It will be broken; you will come out of it.

Try this. Try this with ordinary dreams. While going to sleep at night, every day just go on thinking only one thought: “When I dream, I must remember that this is a dream.” It will take many months for this thought to drop down into the unconscious, but it will reach there. After three weeks to three months it will reach if you persist, if you don’t forget. Every night while falling into sleep, you go on thinking that when a dream starts you will immediately recognize that it is a dream. After three weeks to three months this will happen; suddenly one day you will start dreaming and you will have the realization, “This is a dream.” Immediately the dream will disappear and your eyes will be open.

If you realize in dream that it is a dream the dream is broken, the dream cannot exist. It exists through your cooperation, your identification is needed. If you are committed to it, if you get involved in it, only then can it continue. And the same happens with the greater dream which is life. When you realize this is a dream, immediately you have become a buddha, you are enlightened. But this enlightenment cannot happen to you by others’ knowing, others’ wisdom.

Buddha may go on calling to you that this is a dream you are living, but you will only feel that this man is a disturbance, a constant nuisance, he is disturbing your life. That’s why we kill such persons. Socrates – we poisoned him because he was a great disturber. Jesus – we crucified him because he was a nuisance. Everybody is dreaming such beautiful dreams, and these persons unnecessarily, and without being invited, go on disturbing people and saying to them, “Wake up! You are dreaming. This is a dream.” And the man may have been dreaming such a beautiful thing that he could throw away all life for that dream.

Now psychologists say that for the ordinary mind, for the normal mind, dreaming is a must. If you cannot dream, if you are not allowed to dream, you will go mad. Previously it was thought that sleep is a necessity, now the new research says a totally different thing. The new research says that sleep is not a must; it is not sleep which gives you rest, it is dreaming which gives you rest. And if you are allowed to dream you will remain happy, if you are not allowed to dream you will go insane.

The whole night there is a rhythm: sleep period, then dream period, then sleep period, then dream period, of almost the same duration. If you sleep for eight hours, at least for four hours you are dreaming: forty minutes dreaming, then forty minutes sleep, then forty minutes dream, then forty minutes sleep – just like day and night, a rhythm.

They have tried many experiments, because now it can be known from the outside whether you are dreaming or not. Not many devices are needed. When a person is sleeping you can simply go on looking at his eyes. When he dreams the eyes move fast. He is looking at the dream, so the eyes move fast. When he is fast asleep the eyes stop and become dead. So just sitting by a person who is asleep, you can note down when he is dreaming and when he is asleep.

They have tried to disturb persons while they are asleep, in their sleep periods of forty minutes. When they are dreaming they don’t disturb them; when they start sleeping they disturb them. Many nights you can disturb a person while he is asleep but allow the dream period, and he will be happy and okay, no problem; he will not feel tired in the morning. But do otherwise: when he is asleep let him sleep; when he starts dreaming wake him. If continuously the whole night, for only three nights, you don’t allow a person to dream, then he will go insane. Why? It is so much needed. Your ordinary mind feeds on dreams, and if a person is not allowed for three days to dream he will start dreaming while awake. It is such a great need. He will be awake, sitting in his chair, and dreaming. He will have to fulfill the quota, in the day he will have to dream.

And if you insist for many weeks, if for at least three weeks a person is not allowed to dream, he will become hallucinatory. He will be awake and talking to a man who is not present. He will become just like madmen. Now psychologists say that these madmen whom we have pushed into madhouses may be simply persons who have been starved as far as dream food is concerned. They need more dreams to be readjusted to normal life. What is the problem? Why are dreams needed so much? Why can’t you live without dreams? Because your life is so miserable that only through dreams can you exist. If you come to know life as it is, in its nudity, without any dreams, you will commit suicide.

Albert Camus has written that the only philosophical problem is whether to commit suicide or not, and that is the big problem. If you come to realize that the whole life is just nonsense…. What are you doing? What is happening? Nothing is happening, and you continue in suffering. If you are reasonable, you will start thinking of committing suicide.

Dreams help you to not commit suicide. They help you to create worlds of your own in which you can be happy, in which you can enjoy, in which you can become emperors, in which you can become conquerors, in which you can fly and reach the planets, in which you can do anything. You are free only in your dreams. The whole life is a slavery, only in your dreams can you destroy the whole world and create a new one.

You can have a beautiful woman in your dreams, a beautiful man. Life is not so beautiful. And howsoever beautiful a woman, you come closer and the flowers disappear and only thorns are left. Howsoever beautiful a man, a person, if you are far away the beauty is there, but the closer you come, the more the beauty starts evaporating. Sartre says, “Hell is other people – the other is the hell.” The closer you come to the other, the more a hell is created. Only in your dreams can you be in paradise.

So don’t say that you know that your life is suffering and dreamlike – it is real to you. To you I say it is real; to a buddha it is unreal. But you are not a buddha yet, so remain with your reality, and remain with your real mind. Don’t move with borrowed things, because once you move on borrowed things you will never come to the reality again.

”If the divine is right here and now, then what prevents us from seeing him? Why do we cling to our dream life even though it has become a misery for us?”

Think again. Contemplate on it. If it is a misery for you – for you I insist again and again, not for me – if it is a misery for you, don’t do anything. Remain with the fact that your life has become a misery to you, because if you start doing something about it you may again create hope in the tomorrow. Just remain with the fact. If it is hell, remain in hell, don’t do anything. Just remain alert that this is hell. And if you can be patient and alert and wait, just through waiting the hell will disappear, it will fall down. It needs your cooperation. It is just like dreams.

That’s why Shankara and Buddha say your life is a dream life – because it can be just dropped like dreams. If you become alert a dream disappears; if you become alert of your misery, the misery disappears. You cling to it because you think it is not misery, or some happiness is hidden somewhere in it. It may be misery outwardly, but a deep treasure is hidden behind it, so you have to cling to it for that treasure. Your life is misery – but not for you. Realize its misery, it falls down. The very truth transforms you. And the moment misery falls the divine is revealed. To a miserable mind the divine cannot be revealed. To a celebrating mind the divine is revealed.

Remember, only to a celebrating mind, to a mind which is happy, blissful, enjoying moment to moment, ecstatic, is the divine revealed. To a miserable mind the divine cannot be revealed, because a miserable mind is closed. The divine is here and now, but you are not here and now. If you are also here and now then the divine will be revealed to you. The whole of my effort is to bring you here and now. This very moment, if you can be here, then nothing is hidden.

-OSHO

From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter Three

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Vedanta-Seven Steps to Samadhi

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Meher Baba Attained Through Staring – Osho

Or stare without moving an eyelash. 

This or stare without moving an eyelash was the method of Meher Baba. For years together he was staring just at the ceiling of his room. For years together he was just lying dead on the floor, staring at the ceiling without moving an eyelash, without moving his eyes. He would lie down for hours together, just staring, not doing anything.

Staring with the eyes is good, because you become fixed again in the third eye. And once you are fixed in the third eye, even if you want to move the eyelids you cannot; they become fixed.

Meher Baba attained through this staring, and you say, “How with these small exercises…?” But for three years he was staring at the ceiling not doing anything. Three years is a long time. Do it for three minutes and you will feel as if you have been lying there for three years. Three minutes will become very, very long. It will look as if time is not passing and as if the clock has stopped.

Meher Baba stared and stared and stared. By and by thoughts ceased, movement ceased, and he became just a consciousness, he became just a staring. Then he remained silent for his whole life. He became so silent inside by this staring that it became impossible for him to formulate words again.

Meher Baba was in America. There was one man who could read others’ thoughts, who could do mind readings, and he was really one of the rarest mind readers. He would close his eyes, sit before you, and within a few minutes he would become attuned with you and he would begin to write what you are thinking. Thousands and thousands of times he was examined, and he was always right, always correct. So someone brought him to Meher Baba. He sat there, and this was the only failure of his life – the only failure. But then again we cannot say it was a failure. He tried and tried, and he began to perspire, but he couldn’t catch a single word.

Pen in his hand, he remained there and said, “What type of man is this? I cannot read because there is nothing to read. This man is absolutely vacant. I even forget that someone is sitting there. After closing my eyes, I have to open them again and look to see whether that man is there or whether he has escaped. So it is difficult to concentrate, because the moment I close my eyes I feel I am being deceived – as if that man has escaped and there is no one before me. I have to open my eyes again, and I find that this man is there. And he is not thinking at all.” That staring, that constant staring had stopped his mind completely.

-OSHO

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

The Book of Secrets

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God Is Dead – Osho

Why did Friedrich Nietzsche declare that God is dead?

Narayana, he had to declare it, because God was dead. The God that had been worshipped for thousands of years was dead; not the real God, but the God that the human mind had created – the God that was in the temples and the mosques and the churches and the synagogues, the God of the Old Testament, the God of the Vedas. Man has outgrown those concepts.

Nietzsche simply declared a fact. Of course, he was as shocked by it as everybody else was. He himself was not ready to accept it. In fact, for his whole life he struggled to accept it. He tried to convince himself by arguing that God is really dead, but it was difficult for the poor man. It would have been difficult for anybody. And he was a man of steel; he was no ordinary man, he was really a strong man, but still it was too much. He had to suffer tremendously because he was the first to declare it, and to be a pioneer is always dangerous. He went through a nervous breakdown. The last part of his life was a state of madness. He risked much for this declaration.

In his great book, Thus Spake Zarathustra, this parable appears….

‘God is dead’ is now almost a cliché. But when Nietzsche used that phrase it was like an earthquake, a thunderbolt from the skies – it shattered man’s illusions. But it is only half of his message, remember; the other half has been almost forgotten. He declared ’God is dead’ because he wanted to declare the coming of a new man. He called that new man ‘overman’ or ‘superman’. He said: If God continues to live the old way, man cannot assert himself in total freedom. Man cannot grow, man cannot mature. He will always remain dependent on the father-figure. God as the great father is dead: this is half of the message.

The other half is: now be on your own, stand on your own. Now become mature. Enough of this dependence! Enough of this stupid praying! Enough of your rituals! Stop these games!

Man has been playing many, many games in the name of God, and priests have been exploiting man in the name of God. Nietzsche put an end to all that; the world has never been the same again.

Although Nietzsche suffered much for his declaration, he has served humanity in a tremendous way: he heralded a new age.

The old God is dead – that is a very basic requirement for the new God to appear, a new vision of God, more in harmony with the modern, contemporary consciousness. The God of the Old Testament was perfectly right for the people who invented it. It was perfectly right for the people Moses was talking to; it was a language that they understood. Now thousands of years have passed; God needs new garments, and you go on and on putting the old, rotten garments on Him.

God is not dead. God cannot be dead! But the old concept is dead.

Zarathustra is entrusted by Nietzsche with the task of conveying the news of God’s death to the world.

As he starts on his journey he meets an old hermit, a saint. The saint tells Zarathustra that he himself loves God but not man, because man is too imperfect. Zarathustra replies that he loves man, and then he asks the saint what he is doing in the forest. The saint replies, “I make songs and sing them; and when I make songs I laugh, cry, and hum: thus I praise God.”

The two separate, laughing like young boys. But when Zarathustra is alone again he wonders to himself, “Could it be possible? This old saint in the forest has not yet heard anything of this, that God is dead!”

The old saint says he loves God, not man because man is imperfect, and Zarathustra says he loves man, and God is dead….

This is going to be the new religion. It has not yet become a reality, although a hundred years have passed since Nietzsche’s declaration, although the declaration has spread all over the world like wildfire. But the destructive part has happened; the creative part has not happened yet: Nietzsche declares the superman.

Man has to be loved, because it is only through the nourishment of love that man can grow. Man has to know that he is alone, and he has to know that he has to depend on his own resources and not on some heavenly father. Once man takes responsibility, total responsibility on his own shoulders, a great revolution is bound to happen, because man has infinite potential to grow. Remaining dependent on some God, he has completely become oblivious to his potential, to his future, to his growth.

It is good that God has been discarded. Now man has to take his life in his own hands. And the beauty is, if you become responsible, responsible for yourself, if you declare your freedom – you have to declare it because God is dead; there is nobody higher than you – if you accept that now you have to seek and search your way, you have to grope for it on your own, life will take a new plunge into the depths of the unknown. Life will become again an adventure. Life will again be an ecstatic discovery of new facts, new truths, of new territories, of new peaks of joy.

And it is only by becoming an adventurer that you will come upon the new face of God – which will be far more true than the old, because it will be far more mature than the old.

Nietzsche remained in difficulty: on the one hand he continued to fight with the old God; on the other hand, in moments when he was not so strong, he became scared too.

Zarathustra says,

Away!

He himself fled

My last, only companion,

My great enemy,

My unknown,

My hangman-god.

No! Do come back

With all thy tortures!

To the last of all that are lonely

Oh, come back!

All my tear-streams run

Their course to thee;

And my heart’s final flame –

Flares up for thee!

Oh, come back,

My unknown god! My pain!

My last – happiness!

These words look almost insane: “My unknown god! My pain! My last happiness! Ah, come back!”

Nietzsche remained divided, split, schizophrenic. One part of him was still afraid: “Maybe God IS alive”; maybe he was wrong. Who knows? How could one be certain about such profound matters? And he was the first to say it, so naturally he was scared. He wanted to get rid of the enemy. He called God ‘the enemy’, enemy of man, because God had been like a rock on the chest of man – your so-called God. I am not talking about the God of Buddha and Mahavir and Zarathustra and Jesus and Moses, no. I am talking about the God of the common masses, of the mob. Nietzsche is also talking about the mob.

The God of the crowds is an ugly concept: it shows much about your weaknesses, but shows nothing about the truth of existence. When you pray on your knees you simply show your weakness, not that you know what prayer is. When you go to the temple you go to demand something, to beg for something. You simply show your beggarliness but nothing about God. Very few people have known the truth of God.

If Nietzsche had met Buddha, Buddha would have perfectly agreed, and yet disagreed. He would have said, “You are right: God is dead, the God of the crowds. But there is another vision, the vision of the enlightened ones. Their God is not a person; their God is life in its essence. And how can life be dead? Trees are still green, birds are still singing, the sun is still there, the night still becomes poetry, love still happens. How can God be dead?”

God as existence can never be dead; God as a concept has to die many times. Each time man grows, the old concept has to be dropped. The old has been dropped.

The problem with the contemporary mind is: the old has been dropped, half the purpose of

Nietzsche’s declaration is fulfilled. The other half is missing: man has not yet become rooted in his own being; hence there is great meaninglessness all over the world. Everybody is feeling a kind of dullness, sadness, frustration. Everybody is living nothing but a kind of long, drawn-out misery, anxiety, anguish. Life has become synonymous with a kind of agony. All that you can do is use pain killers, tranquilizers, somehow go on pulling yourself together till death comes and you can rest forever.

Sigmund Freud says that man can never be happy. At the most we can reduce his unhappiness a little bit. At the most we can make him normally unhappy. That is the goal of psychoanalysis: to make people normally unhappy, to help them not to become abnormally unhappy. What kind of goal is this? But this has happened, and Freud was simply stating a fact. Looking at the modern man, looking into the unconscious of the modern man – and he was the one man who had looked deepest into the conscious and the unconscious mind – how could he lie? He had to say the truth.

He came to understand that it is impossible for happiness to happen. How can man ever be happy? – when God is dead, and when man has not searched for another vision, for another goal, for another star so that the journey can start again, the journey of meaning and significance. Without God, man can at the most be normally unhappy.

Freud’s conclusion is part of Nietzsche’s declaration.

My work here consists in doing the other half; hence I don’t talk much about God. Hence even if atheists come and want to become sannyasins, I accept them with an open heart. Even they are a little suspicious of why I am accepting them. They say, “We are atheists. We don’t believe in God. Are you still ready to accept us as sannyasins? Can we still meditate?”

And I say to them: you are the persons who can meditate! The person who believes in the old God cannot meditate: he depends too much on God; he is never a grown-up person. Meditation needs a certain growth. You can meditate; God is not needed. God is not a prerequisite for meditation, but when you meditate, slowly, slowly you become aware of God.

God is the ultimate revelation, not the prerequisite. God is not a condition to become a sannyasin; God is the ultimate realization of sannyas.

But then you will not be angry with Nietzsche, remember, because you will know that what he was saying is also true. He was talking about the concept of God.

Moses’s concept of God is certainly dead. When Moses died, his concept of God died. In fact, it lived too long; for three thousand years it continued to prevail. That simply shows the stupidity of humanity. Otherwise the moment an enlightened person leaves the world, his concept of God will also disappear. If we have learned anything from the enlightened person, we will go ahead, further ahead. We will stand on the shoulders of the enlightened person and we will be able to look further ahead than him. We will create better visions of God, beautiful visions of God. We will come closer and closer to the truth.

And remember, one can only come closer and closer to the truth. The moment you come absolutely to the truth, you disappear. Then only truth is.

Nietzsche says, “God is dead.” I say: I am dead and God is alive, very alive.

That’s what happens if you go on meditating: one day suddenly you find you are not, only God is.

-OSHO

From The Guest, Chapter Fourteen

The Guest

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