Unself Yourself – Osho

Jesus taught his followers to love thy neighbor as thyself. Could you give us your views on caring, compassion and service to the community? 

Ann, Jesus’ statement is tremendously significant but has been totally missed by his followers. Let me repeat it: Jesus says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” The fundamental question is whether you love yourself or not. You can love the neighbor only if you love yourself.

Christianity has been teaching you to love the neighbor, and the fundamental has been completely forgotten – not only forgotten, but just the opposite has been done. People are taught to condemn themselves: how can they love themselves? They are taught that they are sinners: how can you love yourself if you feel you are a sinner?

Christianity creates guilt in people, tremendous guilt. And if you are guilty you cannot love yourself; you will hate yourself, you would like to destroy yourself. That’s what the so-called Christian saints have been doing down the ages – destroying themselves. Out of guilt, only destruction can arise; out of guilt, only suicide. And they go on teaching, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” You have never loved yourself: it is impossible to love thy neighbor.

Hence I don’t say love thy neighbor as thyself. My teaching is simple: Love thyself. And my experience is this, that if you become capable of loving yourself, love for the neighbor will come of its own accord; it does not have to be brought, it does not have to be practiced. All practiced love creates hypocrisy.

So I completely drop the second part of the statement. Forget about the neighbor, simply love thyself. And you will be surprised: they day you bloom, you flower, the fragrance is bound to reach the neighbor. Where else will it go? When you are full of love for yourself, love starts overflowing. It reaches the neighbor, it reaches the farthest star.

And that happens of its own accord. You need not think about it, you need not create it, it is none of your concern. Just love yourself, be friendly to yourself, and you will be surprised: the man who loves himself cannot hate anybody.

It is reported of a great woman mystic, Rabiya al-Adabiya, that when she was reading the Koran she came across a statement that said, “Hate Satan.” She immediately crossed it out.

Another Sufi mystic, Hassan, was present, he saw it being done. He could not believe his eyes: is Rabiya correcting the Koran? Dropping a statement from the Koran? This is sacrilegious! He said, “What are you doing, Rabiya? Have you really gone mad? This cannot be done; the Koran cannot be corrected.”

Rabiya said, “But what can I do? Love has happened to me: now, even if Satan stands before me, I can do nothing but love. No hate is left in me; there is no darkness in any corner of my being. Even if I want to hate I cannot; I am utterly helpless. I have to cut this line, this statement. It is no longer relevant to me; it cannot exist, at least in my copy of the Koran.”

When you are in love with yourself you bloom. Love nourishes you, you respect yourself. You feel the grace of God, you feel grateful that you have been created, you feel uniquely benefited, you feel blessed. And then the overflowing: then the fragrance starts spreading to the winds.

I don’t teach you to love your neighbor, because for two thousand years Christians have been teaching that, and nothing has happened. On the contrary, Christians have killed their neighbors more than anybody else. And the basic thing that has been missed is love for thyself.

Jesus is perfectly right. He takes it for granted that you love yourself. He has not taken note of the priests who are going to follow him, who will interpret what he says; he had no idea of the Vatican and the pope. He has taken it for granted that you love yourself – and that is not so. It would have been so if there had not been any pollution, the pollution that the priest has created, down the ages. Man loves himself no more.

You can watch yourself. Do you have any respect for yourself? How can you respect yourself if you are a sinner? If you are condemned, how can you respect yourself? You feel unworthy.

The whole strategy of the so-called religions consists of making you feel unworthy. Once you are unworthy, shaken, you lose confidence, you lose power in yourself, you become weak. And when you are weak you surrender, you submit to the priest, the priesthood. And all kinds of exploiters are around you.

In fear you start clinging to the churches, to the mosques, to the temples; in fear you start praying. But a prayer that comes out of fear is false. Prayer is true only when it is a fragrance of love.

Ann, Jesus taught his followers to love thy neighbor as thyself.

But the first thing cannot be taken for granted. The first thing is missing: the seed is missing. So you can go on waiting for the flowers to come, but they will never come. No tree is going to be born.

First the seed is needed, and then what else? You put the seed in the soil, you water it, and it grows – you need not pull it up. One day the spring has come and the tree has blossomed: just like that it happens. But the seed has to be a love for yourself.

I teach you self-love. And because I teach you self-love, you have to be very alert: self-love does not mean selfishness. Self-love is possible only if you drop the idea of the self – that is the paradox– if you unself yourself.

The person who loves himself cannot carry the ugly burden of the ego. How can he carry such mountains, such ugly mountains? He drops the ego, he becomes pure space. He loves himself so much that he cannot carry this poison inside him. He becomes full of light, empty space. And in that empty space blooms the lotus of love.

Self-love is not selfishness, self-love is unselfishness. In self-love the self disappears, only love remains. And then you have created the context. Now many, many miracles are going to happen to you; now nothing is impossible for you, because love is the magic.

You ask: Could you give us your views on caring, compassion and service to the community?

I have no views about caring, compassion and service to the community. My whole effort is to transform the individual: I am utterly focused on the individual. And if the individual becomes luminous, then these things come naturally – compassion, caring, service.

If you are taught service, compassion and caring, you will learn it and you will do it, but it is going to remain superficial. And it will not only be superficial, it will be harmful to you and to others too. When a person forces himself to serve others he becomes egoistic. He thinks in terms of being holier-than-thou, he becomes a very pious egoist, and he feels that he is obliging you, and he is obliging the whole world.

You can see it written all over your so-called public servants. Public servants have proved the most mischievous people in the world. They are the sources of mischief, but they make mischief behind such beautiful curtains that you cannot catch them. They serve you, they oblige you, and then they become your masters. They have served you so much that if they start exploiting you; you have to accept it gratefully. They have served you so much; they have invested so much in you, that now their exploitation has to be tolerated.

I don’t teach service – enough of it! I only teach meditation. And out of meditation, when you have arrived, there will be service. But that will be just a natural outcome, a by-product. Service is not the goal, but a consequence; so is compassion.

Buddha has said that when a man has reached the climax of meditation, compassion showers from him. Just as when you light a candle light starts spreading all around and darkness disappears, when the light of meditation is inside you compassion radiates.

And then compassion has a beauty, because it is unselfconscious. You are not obliging anybody; in fact if somebody accepts your service you are obliged. He might have rejected: he has not rejected, he has obliged you. You serve him and you feel obliged. You serve him but you don’t start asking for anything in return. It is unconditional. In fact you are happy that somebody has accepted your service.

My focus is on the individual, not on the community. The real revolution has to happen in the individual, not in the society. All social revolutions have failed, utterly failed. They were bound to fail, they were destined to fail. Only the individual can be transformed, because only the individual has the soul, consciousness, awareness.

The community, the society, has no soul. It does not really exist anywhere – have you ever come across society? Whenever you come across it, you come across individuals. You will meet A, you will meet B, you may meet C, but you never come across society.

You come across human beings, but you never come across humanity. The word; humanity; is empty, so is the word ’society’, but these words have become so powerful because down the ages we have been hypnotized by words; ‘Society, community, country, motherland, fatherland, humanity’– all bogus words. The reality is only one: the individual.

Only if the individual becomes luminous will the world be benefited. It is time that we forgot about social revolution and social service; it is time enough. We should become a little more mature and think of reality as it is. The individual exists, hence individuals can be transformed.

I am not a social revolutionary, and I am not a social servant either. And my sannyasins are not to become social revolutionaries and social servants – no, not at all. The only thing that you have to do is: create great love for yourself, and enjoy, rejoice and celebrate. And out of that celebration, something miraculous starts happening: people are served, compassion radiates, caring is born.


From Unio Mystica, V.2, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Who is Jesus Christ – Osho

Who is Jesus Christ? The question has been asked down the centuries again and again, and it has been answered too. But the questioners were wrong, and so were those who have answered it, because the question was out of a certain prejudice, and so was the answer. They were not essentially different; their source was one and the same.

The question was asked by those who were suspicious of Jesus’ Godhood. And the question was answered by those who were not ready to believe Jesus’ manhood. They were only ready to believe half of him. The Jews were ready to believe that he was a man. And the Christians were ready to believe that he was God. The Jews were denying half of him – the Christ part. And the Christians were denying the other half – the Jesus part.

Who is Jesus Christ? Christians don’t want to see him as Jesus, son of man – man of flesh, blood and bones, man as other men are. And the Jews did not want to believe him as God, as divine – made of pure consciousness, not of flesh, blood and bones.

Nobody has been ready to believe Jesus in his totality. And that is not only the case with Jesus, that is the case with all the Masters – Buddha, Krishna, Zarathustra. And unless you allow Jesus in his totality to penetrate you, you will not be transformed. Unless you allow him as he is, you will not be in contact with him. Jesus is both Jesus and Christ, and he is not ashamed of it.

In the Bible many times he says ‘I am the Son of man’, and as many times he also says ‘I am the Son of God.’ And he seems to have no idea that there is any contradiction between these two. There is none. The contradiction exists in our minds. It doesn’t exist in Jesus’ being. His being is bridged. His being is bridged between time and eternity, body and soul, this world and that. His being is bridged between the visible and the invisible, the known and the unknown. He is utterly bridged, he is at ease with both, because he is both. Jesus and Christ are like two shores, and the river is only possible if there are two shores. Jesus is the river that flows between these two shores: both shores are his. He exists between them, he is a river.

Who is Jesus Christ – God or man? And I say all the questions that have been asked were wrong, and so were the answers. Why? – because the questions came either from Judaic knowledge or from Muslim knowledge or from Hindu knowledge. And the answers came from Christian knowledge, and knowledge cannot answer it. Knowledge cannot even ask it! Knowledge is impotent. Such questions of such importance can be asked only out of innocence, not out of knowledge. The distinction has to be understood.

When you ask a question out of knowledge, you are not really asking, because you already know. Your question is false, inauthentic. Your heart is not there. You are asking for asking’s sake – maybe for a discussion, a debate, an argument. But you know the question beforehand – the answer is there a priori. SO you cannot receive the answer, you are not open for it, you are not available for it. You are not ready to move, to explore; you already have the answer. And the question is arising out of that answer.

The Jews had the answer. They knew that he was not the Messiah, that he was not God. Why? – because they had the idea that when the Messiah came everybody would recognize him! Everybody – without any exception. That was their idea of the Messiah, that everybody would recognize him.

And if Jesus was not recognised by everybody, how could he be the Messiah? They have a definition. They had also believed – that has also been their knowledge – that when Jesus, the real Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah came, everybody would be liberated immediately. All past sins, present sins would disappear in that light, and it had not happened. ‘Christ is there but people are not liberated yet, they are still living in sin, they are still living in misery. So this man cannot be the Messiah, cannot be the Christ.’ This was not the man they were waiting for.

These are prejudices. They had never seen any Messiah. How could they define what would happen when the Messiah came?

For example, if in the dark night of your soul you have an idea that when the morning comes, money will shower from the sky: when the sun rises, everybody will become rich. And then in the morning when the sun rises, how can you accept that this is the sun? – Because the money is not falling and everybody has not become rich, people are still poor. And you go on looking at the sky and no money is coming. And because you are too concerned with the money, you don’t see what is coming from the sun – the light, the life, the ecstasy. You cannot see that because your eyes are completely covered with your prejudice, with your idea. And then you ask ‘Who is this Jesus Christ?’ You already know how the Messiah should be. That is hindering, that is an obstruction.

That’s why the Jews missed. It was for this man that they had been waiting for centuries, and when he came and knocked on their doors, they missed. They denied him. How could they have denied? Were they bad people? No, they were people as good as you are, they were as good as Hindus and Mohammedans and Buddhists; there was nothing wrong with them. Then what was the problem? The problem was their knowledge. They had a prejudice. And when Christians answer that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, again it is knowledge.

What I want to say to you is: that the questions and the answers are coming from the same source; they are not different, they are not a little bit different. Christians say he is the only begotten son of God. Now this is stupid, because all comes from God, so how can Jesus be the son of God exclusively? Everybody is the son of God, we all partake of sonhood. God is our father, and that’s what Jesus goes on saying again and again. But Christians won’t listen. They have an idea that God has sent his only son. Why ‘only’? – too afraid that he may have another son to send, and the other son may come and then there will be conflict. Then who is right? ‘So make it sure, certain, that he has only one son so that you are finished. Once more the Bible has come, now there will be no more Bibles coming again.’ Mohammedans say ‘Mohammed is the only prophet – the last prophet. Now there will be no more coming. He has brought the ultimate.’ So nobody can improve upon the Koran, nobody can improve upon the Bible, because nobody has the right to improve.

Why ‘the only begotten son’? Are not trees, and the rivers, and the mountains, and the stars, and man, and animals, and birds created by God? Doesn’t this whole existence come from God? Is it not flowing from his being? God is the totality of all. Rocks and rivers and mountains are as much his creations as you are, as Jesus is. There is no distinction. All beings participate in God. In fact, to BE IS to participate in God. Otherwise you cannot be – there is no other way to be!

TO BE IS to be God!

Then what is the difference between you and Jesus? The difference is not of your being, the difference is only of your knowing, recognition, awareness. Jesus knows that he is the son of God, and you have not yet recognised it. That’s the difference. You can recognise it any moment. In that very recognition… the transformation, what Jesus calls metanoia. It is only a question of recognition.

You have become oblivious of your reality, he is aware – but there is no difference between the beings. You are as rich as he is; he knows it, you don’t know. Because you don’t know you remain poor, not because you are poor. You are not poor! How can you be poor when God is showering every moment on you? When he is beating in your heart, and circulating in your blood, and flowing into your consciousness, how can you be poor? You are not beggars. Everybody is an emperor, but you are not aware of the fact. You don’t look inside yourself where God goes on making contact with you. You don’t look into your source.

The word that Jesus uses for looking into your source is ‘return’. That word ‘return’ has been translated as ‘repent’. ‘Repent’ also means return, but it has fallen into wrong associations. It has become repentance. It has nothing to do with repentance. Return – turn into your own being, a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn, and suddenly you see the light that you have always been. You see the light that you are. You see God. And for the first time you recognize that you have never lost track of him; he was just behind your back. You were not looking at him.

It is as if the sun has risen and you are standing in the full morning with closed eyes. Just open your eyes. Jesus is standing just by your side with open eyes, and you are standing with closed eyes. That’s the only difference, there is no other difference.

Jesus is man because you are God.

Let me tell you what I mean. Jesus is as much man as you are man, and you are as much God as Jesus is God. God and man are not two separate entities. Man is one of the forms of God’s expression in the world. Jesus is man and God, so are you. And to understand Jesus is to understand your own situation. And to love Jesus is to love your own being. To meditate on Jesus to meditate upon your own division, the gap that has come in your being between you and your own real self. To understand Jesus is to bridge that gap.

Jesus has no privilege over you, neither has Buddha. Nobody is privileged, otherwise God would be unjust. Everybody has the same powers. In the eyes of God we are all equal. Inequality is our creation. In God’s eyes everyone is equal to everything else.

The Jews were very disturbed because Jesus was claiming that he was God, or God’s son. For two thousand years Christians have been defending Jesus – that he was God, that he is God.

And they have been trying to efface all the possibilities with which it can be proved that he is man. That’s why they say he was born out of a virgin mother – that is the beginning. So they deny his manhood, so he is not just like you; he is special. Even in his birth he is special. Then they try to make his life in such a way that no indications are left that he was human. He was very human, utterly human. He was a total man. He was not a perfectionist. When it was needed to be angry he became really angry. He threw the money-changers out of the temple and he said to them ‘What are you doing here in my Father’s home, in my Father’s temple? Get out from here!’ And he was in such a rage, that alone, single-handed, he threw many people outside.

He loved people. He had friends, he mixed with people. He ate with people, drank with people, he moved with people. He lived like an ordinary man. He had no pretensions of being anything extraordinary. And even if something extraordinary happens, he always says ‘It is your faith that has performed the miracle. It is God’s mercy on you. It is something between you and your God.’ He does not even expect gratitude. Somebody is very grateful because a miracle has happened and he has been cured, and he wants to touch his feet and thank him, and he says ‘No.’ And the man says ‘You are a great man, you are so good!’ and Jesus says ‘Nobody is good except God. You thank him. Forget about me. It is your faith that has cured you, not I. And if you have to be thankful, you have to be thankful to God. Forget about me. Don’t allow me to be between you and your God.’

That’s exactly what Buddha is reported to have said to his disciples ‘If you meet me on the way, kill me immediately. Never allow me to stand between you and the reality. Hold my hand as far as you are not capable of walking alone and on your own. The moment you are capable of walking alone and on your own, just forget about me. Go ahead. Then don’t cling to me. Then don’t try to remain a shadow of me. If you meet me on the way, kill me immediately!’ he says. That’s what Jesus goes on saying again and again ‘Forget about me. Let your thanks go directly to God. Who am I?’

Christians have been trying to efface all traces of his humanity; so he is born out of the virgin Mary, a virgin mother, which is absolutely absurd. Then he lives a life in which all human traits are removed. Christians only talk about his miracles, not about his ordinary life. They are afraid. Christians say that Jesus never laughed! Now this seems to be the ultimate in stupidity. Jesus… and never laughed? Then who else can laugh? But laughter seems too human, too mundane: they cannot allow Jesus to laugh.

But Jesus’ life is such that he must have been laughing. He must have been really laughing. He must have been a man of laughter, because he says again and again ‘Rejoice! Be merry! Celebrate!’ These words cannot come from d man who has never laughed. And a man who has never laughed, why should he go to parties? Why should he drink with people? Why should he be mixing with people? And he was a mixer. Every day, every night, he was moving with people. He was not secluded. He must have been really laughing, enjoying. But Christians say he never laughed.

They have made his picture very sad-looking, long-faced, burdened. This is not possible! This is utterly wrong, because it goes against the basic realisation of a Christ, of a Buddha. Because a man who has attained to ultimate consciousness will be completely blissful, cheerful. His life will be a song and a dance. It will have the quality of flowers and stars. It can’t be sad. Why should he be sad? It is his Father’s world, it is his God’s world. Why should he be sad? He has come home. When is he going to be happy? If you are not happy by knowing God, then there is no possibility.

Jesus looks so sad. He has been painted sad. He has been painted as ‘the Savior’. He has been painted as if he is carrying the burdens of everybody and sins of everybody. He forgives you! He does not carry your burden, he simply forgives you.

This is a wrong standpoint, that he takes your burden upon himself. If it is not of worth, why should he take it upon himself? And if it is so valuable, why should he take it from you? He will put some more on you. No, he is not taking anybody’s burden, he is simply helping everybody to drop it. Because it is you who are holding and clinging to it, it is valueless. When he says you are forgiven, he says ‘Forget all about your sadnesses and forget all about hell. It is your Father’s world, and he is compassion and he is love. How can love punish you? How can love throw you in hell? How can love torture you? God is not a sadist!’

And then Christians say: resurrection. Their whole Jesus depends on three things. First: a virgin birth; second: a non-laughing, non-enjoying monotonous, sad life of miracles; and third: resurrection. These are the three things that seem to be important to them, and these are all useless because they miss the whole point. The real Jesus is missed. This is a myth that Christians have created around him, and because of this myth the real Jesus is lost.

I would like to tell you, he is a real man, an authentic man. He lived like a man, and he Loved living like a man. He lived in all the dimensions of manhood, and yet he is God.

Now there are people, strange people… Just the other night I was reading a Christian theologian, T.L.J. Altizer. He holds that ‘God has ceased to be God in becoming a man, Jesus. The incarnation is the death of God in his divine being. In short, God is dead, and Jesus is his son.’ Altizer says that God died because he became Jesus.

There are people who are against Jesus being the incarnation of God. They look like enemies, because they say how can God incarnate himself in such a small body? How can the infinite come into the finite? And how can the eternal enter time? They have their logic. How can the infinite be contained in a small body? It is not possible, because God is so great and Jesus is so small; they say it is not possible.

Now look at the other side. Now this is a Christian theologian. He says: Forget about God, God died the day Jesus was born. He became Jesus. God exists no more, now Jesus is God.

This is another extreme. First, the enemy does not allow God to incarnate because how can he incarnate? His logic is also the same; he denies Jesus’ Godhood. To oppose this man, people like Altizer are there. They are ready to kill God to make Jesus a perfect God. Now God has disappeared into Jesus, he lives no more.

These are not the right ways to bridge: either ‘God has to die’ or ‘Jesus has not to be a God’.

My understanding, my vision is totally different. God descends, not only in Jesus but in everybody. This incarnation is not only for once, it is an everyday incarnation. When a child is born to you, God is incarnated. When a seed sprouts, God is incarnated. When a sun is born, God is incarnated. When a flower blooms, God blooms. It is only God, there is nothing else. Existence is synonymous with God. And God can go on incarnating in millions and millions of forms. He remains inexhaustible, that’s what the Upanishads say. They say: You can take out of the perfect as much as you want, but the perfect remains the perfect. You can take it completely out of itself, and yet the whole remains behind intact. That is the meaning of the infinite.

If you take something from the infinite and the infinite becomes a little less, then it was not infinite in the first place. The definition of the infinite is that you can take as much as you want, but you cannot exhaust it. God goes on being born, and remains unexhausted. And there are poor thinkers like Altizer, who think God was exhausted with Jesus. That too is a very, very cunning device, so nobody can be born any more as Christ. So no more Buddha, no more Mahavir – with Jesus God is finished, the doors are closed. God is dead because Jesus is there. God has become Jesus, so God cannot remain as God. To put the whole philosophy of Altizer in short, I would like to say, he is saying: God is dead, and Jesus is his son.

The father need not die in the son, the father can give birth to many sons.

You will be surprised, an ordinary father, a human father… How many sons can a human father give birth to, do you know? Millions. One single couple, if allowed time, can populate the whole world. That’s how it has happened… Adam and Eve, one single couple, and they have populated the whole world. One single seed, and the whole earth will become green, just time is needed. An ordinary man will have intercourse at least four thousand times in his life – ordinary, very ordinary. Those who go more into lave, they can make more – eight thousand, ten thousand or even more. But the normal average is intercourse four thousand times. In each single intercourse, do you know how many cells are released? Millions. And each single cell can become a human being. Multiply four thousand by millions… A single human father can give birth to the whole earth. What to say about the ultimate Father?

Altizer’s God seems to be very poor. A single incarnation and he dies, and he disappears. But there is a cunning trick in it so that Jesus becomes God and nobody else can become god again: so that Jesus remains the ONLY begotten son. I would like to say to you that Jesus is beautiful, he is divine, because everybody else is also beautiful and everybody else is also divine. The difference is of recognition not of existence. The difference is only of knowledge not of ontology.

Jesus Christ is both Jesus and Christ. He is Christ in Jesus, and he is Jesus in Christ. He is the meeting point where two worlds meet, where two utterly polar worlds meet. And hence the beauty, and hence the ecstasy of Jesus.

Ecstasy always arises when two polarities meet. The bigger the polarities, the bigger the distance between the polarities, the bigger the ecstasy. That’s why while you are making love to a woman there is great joy, because two polarities meet. Not very big polarities, because a man and woman are not very far away – not very distant, but still distant. When a man and woman meet and are lost in love there is great ecstasy, there is great joy because they are dissolved, the egos are lost. Boundaries are no more valid – they are overlapping, overflowing into each other. Their ordinary mundane worries don’t make any sense in this moment of joy. This orgasmic moment, how does it arise? It is the meeting of the polarities. What to say about Jesus meeting Christ, Gautama meeting

Buddhahood, man meeting God – those are the ultimate polarities as far away as possible – finite meeting infinite. The very meeting is the ultimate in celebration.

Jesus must have been ecstatic. Because of the Christian painting, Christian ideology, he looks very sad. He must have been a man of great joy, overflowing with delight. What else is possible when the light has happened inside? – delight has to happen outside. They go together. When the house is lit – even with closed windows, travelers can see the light falling outside, from the curtains, from the doors. That is delight! When light has happened inside, from the outside people can see something immensely valuable flowing.

That is the definition of ecstasy: polarities meeting.

Ordinary man is like a person living in sleep, not aware of who he is. When God’s energy touches him, when he is available to God’s energy, when he is receptive to God’s energy, when that stirring energy comes dancing into him, there is ecstasy. There is no ecstasy unless we join the mundane with the supra-mundane, the mud with the sun, the earth with sky, the body with the soul, matter with mind – only then, when sun and the mud meet, is the lotus born, the lotus of ecstasy. Unless reality is as miraculous as the supposedly miraculous, we are frozen in ice.

Man as man is a frozen thing. And let me say to you: God as God is also a frozen thing. So it is not only that you are seeking God, God is also seeking you. It is not that without God you are sad, God is also sad without you. And when you meet with God, and God meets with you, it will not be only your ecstasy, it will be his ecstasy too. The whole existence will feel ecstatic. Whenever a single human being becomes a Christ or a Buddha, the whole existence dances, the whole existence is overjoyed – goes mad with ecstasy!

Meeting is the melting of the divisions. Thinking of yourself as man is creating a division. And if you don’t drop this division, this category that you have created around you, that ‘I am a man’, you will not allow God to enter in you. You have to be completely free from boundaries, from all boundaries – the boundary of the Hindu, the boundary of the Christian, the boundary of man, the boundary of richness, poorness, education, un-education, the boundary of white and black, the boundary of the brahmin and the sudra – all the boundaries have to be dropped. In that very dropping the eternal enters into your time world. Into your dark night of the soul comes that light, floods that light. And suddenly, you are no more the same. And let me repeat: God is also no more the same!

God was never so rich as he became after Christ. He was never so rich as he became after Buddha. He is not so rich as he will become when you meet him, because you will pour into him. I know you only have a small energy, but an ocean is created by small drops falling, falling, falling… Small rivers flow into the ocean and create the ocean. No single river can create the ocean, but each single river goes on creating it, goes on helping it. God is bigger than ever every day, because some water, some river again flows into him, again brings a new life, a new thrill.

God is evolving, God is hot a static thing. God is evolving every moment.

Meeting is the melting of the boundaries, blurring of the divisions, overlapping, overflowing. This is what is called trust or faith or surrender. At absolute zero, absolute surrender, life takes over once more and we are returned to God or to Tao or to Dhamma, to free-flowing totality. God is the free-flowing totality, God is not a person. We return to our pure being only when we become a free-floating totality. In this state everything: is okay, right.

A rusting tin can fill us with radical awe as the sunlight catches it…

In Yoga they call it a certain state of nadam, a certain state of harmony, accord. When man disappears into God and man’s conflict with God disappears, there is nadam, there is harmony – what Heraclitus calls ‘the hidden harmony’.  Nadam is homeostatis – harmony, rhythm. You are out of rhythm, out of tune with God, that is your misery. Jesus is in tune with God. That is his joy. If he is also miserable, if he is also sad, then what is the difference between you and him? The difference is that he feels for you, that he feels all compassion for you, but he himself is in utter joy. In fact, because he is in utter joy, he feels sorry for you, he feels compassion for you. He wants to bring you also to this utter Joy, and he knows it is yours just for the asking. Hence he says Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. 


From I Say Unto You, V.2, Chapter Five

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.

Right-mindfulness is the Flavor – Osho

Please explain ‘right-mindfulness’. If not a goal or something to practice, what is it? 

Sambuddha, right-mindfulness is a strange word.

First: there is no mind in it – hence it is called ‘right-mindfulness’. Secondly, there is nothing right and wrong in it – hence it is called right-mindfulness. This is a Buddhist way of saying things.

It can’t be a goal, because when there is a goal you are always in the wrong. Why are you in the wrong when there is a goal? Because when there is a goal there is desire, when there is desire you are unhappy, discontented. When there is desire, there is anxiety – whether you will be able to make it or not? Will it be possible or not?

When there is desire there is future, and with the future anxiety enters into your being. With the desire you have lost contact with the present.

Right-mindfulness is not a goal, cannot be a goal – because when all desires disappear and all goals disappear and you are here-now… that is the moment of right-mindfulness.

Why is it called ‘right’? It is called right be-cause it knows no division between right and wrong.

Nothing is wrong! And nothing is right. All judgements have disappeared. One is utterly innocent.

When you see a rose flower, does the idea arise in you: “It is right, it is wrong”? When you see the morning star disappearing, does the idea arise in you: “Is it right or is it wrong?” When you start looking at life with no judgement, with no prejudice, then you are in the state of right-mindfulness.

Jesus has said: Judge ye not. Jesus has also said: Resist not evil – not even evil has to be resisted, then arises right-mindfulness. When you are neither moral nor immoral, when you are amoral like trees and animals and birds and beasts, when you are like a small innocent child who has just opened his eyes, with no ideas… then, in that silence, in that purity, it is right-mindfulness.

Why is it called right? It is called right be-cause now it knows nothing as right and wrong – it knows no division, it is indivisible. The acceptance is total! – that’s why it is called right. You have fallen into the suchness of existence. You are no longer standing there like a judge.

Judging is wrong. To be in a state of non-judgement is right. Right, NOT against wrong right because all wrong and right have disappeared. You have no opinion. You don’t carry a philosophy in the mind.

You are simply a mirror! 

When you come before the mirror, the mirror does not say, “You are beautiful, you are ugly” – it simply reflects. It reflects without condemnation, without appreciation – it reflects choicelessly. It just reflects.

When your consciousness has become a mirror and simply reflects whatsoever is the case, it is right-mindfulness. That mirror-like quality….

And it is not a goal, because every goal will bring dust on the mirror. Every goal will stir desires, and desires surround your mirror like mist – then reflection is not true, then suchness is not reflected.

When you have some idea, you cannot be true to reality. You distort reality according to your idea.

You try to mold reality according to your idea. You are to modify reality. You go on looking for your idea. You are searching for support: you would like reality to support your idea, you would like reality to agree with you – -and then you distort. Then you start seeing things which are not there, and you stop seeing things which ARE there. Then you start living in a mind-world.

To live in the mind is wrong. To live without mind is right, because without mind, the consciousness exists in its purity, mirror-like – it simply reflects. It says nothing! It has no interpretation.

It interprets not.

And why is it called mindfulness? This is the translation of a Buddhist term sammasati. Samma means right – the translation is not very correct, cannot be. Samma is a very strange word, very significant, has many meanings; ‘right’ is only one of its meanings. Samma is the root from where samadhi arises; the word samadhi comes from samma.

Samma means many things. One: tranquility, silence, equanimity, balance, undisturbedness, undistractedness, centredness, groundedness – they are all aspects of samma. ‘Right’ is a very poor translation of samma.

And sati  – sammasati. Sati can mean mindfulness, can mean remembrance, can mean reflection, can mean recollectedness, can mean presence. All those meanings are involved in it. Mindfulness is only one of the meanings. It is a very potential and pregnant word—sammasati. It is the seventh step in Buddha’s eight steps – you are very close to reality. The eighth is samadhi.

The seventh is sammasati. You have come very, very close; you are just on the threshold of reality – it has to be very, very significant. When you are utterly present in the presence, when you don’t have any past and don’t have any future… when this cuckoo calling, this train passing, this dog barking, is all… when THIS is all and there is no that, when the word ‘here’ is your whole reality and there is no there, when now contains ALL time and there is no then… then you are in the state of sammasati.

That’s what I go on calling ‘here-now’ – that is sammasati. Then you are utterly present, absolutely present. When something is going on in your mind about the past, you are not here; a part of you is travelling towards the past, and a part of you is travelling towards the future – only a small fragment is here.

When ALL the parts of your being are here, when you are totally at home, nothing is missing, when you are integratedly here, then it is right-mindfulness. In that moment you will reflect reality – as it is, without any distraction, without any distortion. Because you don’t have any thought in the mind, how can you distort it? Thought distorts, thinking is destructive. It goes on imposing – it does not allow you to see that which is.

Right-mindfulness is a state of no-mind, no-thought!

And remember: it is also a state of no-feeling – otherwise, you may think it is a state of feeling. No, it is not – because feeling again creates ripples and the surface of the lake is disturbed, and again the moon is not reflected as it is.

Neither thought disturbs you, nor feeling.

These are the three states: one is thinking – the most disturbed state; second is feeling – less disturbed than thinking, but still disturbed; third is being – no disturbance at all. One is in the head, second is in the heart, third is in your guts. Right-mindfulness is a gut-state: no head, no heart. You are simply there undefined, undefinable.

Sambuddha, you ask me:

Please explain ‘right-mindfulness’. If not a goal or something to practice, what is it? 

And, yes, it is not a practice. You cannot practice it, because practice brings goal! Practice is desire, practice is mind. And remember: whenever you practise something, you are imposing something against yourself, otherwise why practise it? Against whom are you practicing? When you practise truth, what will you do? You will repress the untruth – but the untruth will remain there, deep inside you, ready to explode any moment. It will go on accumulating.

When you practice love, what will you do? You will repress hatred. When you practice compassion, what will you do? You will repress anger. And all that is repressed will go on remaining in you, and all that is practiced will remain on the surface, and all that is rejected will go deep into your being. The rejected will become part of your being and the practiced will remain just a coating, a painting on the surface.

And remember: whenever you practice anything, you are angry at it. Naturally so – because all practicing divides you, makes you schizophrenic.

One part of you is trying to manipulate the other part. One part of you is trying to enforce some ideas on the other part. And the part that is trying to enforce is a very impotent part, but articulate – your head. It has no power, but it is very articulate, very clever, very cunning, very argumentative.

And the head goes on imposing on your body, on your heart, which are far more potential, far more powerful; they have energy sources, but they are not articulate, they are not argumentative – they are silent. And the head goes on pretending that it has practiced… and then a situation arises and all practice is thrown away – because the head has no energy.

You think for years that you will never be angry, then one day somebody insults you and in a single moment you have forgotten all that practice. And YOU ARE angry! By the time you come to know that you are angry, anger has already happened. You are burning, you are fire. From where does this fire come? And years of practice! That practice was just on the surface. Mind was pretending; because there was no situation provoking you, mind was able to pretend. Now the situation has arisen and mind is not able to pretend. The reality asserts itself.

That’s why down the ages, through the ages, the so-called religious people have been escaping from society, from life. Why? They are escaping from situations where their practice can be proved wrong; nothing else are they doing. Going to the Himalayas they are simply escaping from the world – because the world brings situations! And their so-called practice and their religion and their discipline is broken again and again. Somebody insults, or a beautiful woman passes by, and all their celibacy and all their brahmacharya and all their ideas are gone. A single beautiful woman is enough to destroy all their years of celibacy.

They escape from women, they escape from the world, they escape from money and the market – they know that they can be moral and religious and saintly only when there is no situation which provokes their reality. Then the mind can go on playing the game in a monastery. When there is no challenge, mind seems to be the master. When there is challenge, mind is no more a master.

Whatsoever you practice remains false. Never out of practice has anything real happened. Beware of this. The real happens only through understanding, not through practice. And what is the difference?

Understanding will say: Remain where situations arise, remain where challenges surround you. Be there where provocations and temptations exist. Test yourself there. Go into situations!

Understanding will say: If anger comes, then go into anger and see what it is. See yourself – don’t trust anybody else’s judgement about it. Go into it! Be burnt by it. Let it leave scars on your being – because one learns only through the hard way. Only your experience will tell you again and again and again that anger is stupid – not that it is a sin! It is simply stupid. And as the understanding grows deeper, anger will be coming less and less. One day… the understanding has touched your very core of being, the light has penetrated you. You have seen through and through that anger is futile: in that very moment anger has disappeared and there has not been any repression.

Remember this: repression is the pitfall for ALL those people who want to transform their lives – they have to avoid repression. Indulgence is not so bad, because indulgence can one day bring understanding, but repression can never bring understanding. How can you understand something which you go on repressing and you don’t look into? – you go on covering it, go on throwing it in the basement of your being.

And remember: the more you practice, the more you pretend, the more you are angry at your own practice. Your real parts, your guts are angry.

The intellectual young man was telling off his girlfriend. “Jane,” he remonstrated, “I don’t think you are the girl for me. My interests are in art, literature and in music. You are only concerned with sports, with gambling and with common activities that are altogether alien to me. In fact, to be blunt about it – you are downright uncouth!”

“Uncouth!” she exploded. “Me?! What are you talking about? Uncouth? Didn’t I go along with you to them operas, them concerts, them lectures, and all that sort of shit?!”

That’s what will happen. You can go on practicing, but deep down you know that you are repressing, that you are rejecting, that you are denying some essential parts of your being. Right-mindfulness is the flavor of understanding, not the outcome of practice. Right-mindfulness is the fragrance – the fragrance of seeing into things deeply, the fragrance of insight.


From Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Chapter Nine

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.

Seeing This, No-Mind Arrives – Osho

Is it possible that the no-mind evolves quite naturally out of the mind without struggle and anguish, without exploding, hammering, cutting and such wild acts? Is the very idea of no-mind, which seems to be in the mind and yet transcending the mind, a seed like form of the no-mind? Is it helpful to meditate along these lines of mind-transcending concepts like eternity, nirvana, death? My mind seems to explode when I do. It feels like I am pushing over my limit and I get afraid of becoming schizophrenic.

The no-mind cannot arise out of the mind. It is not a growth of the mind, it is not in continuity with the mind; it is discontinuous. It is as discontinuous as disease is with health. The health does not arise out of the disease; it arises out of the removal of the disease. Disease was encroaching on the space and was not allowing the health to bloom.

The disease has to be removed. It is like a rock blocking the path of a small spring. You remove the rock and the spring starts flowing. It does not arise out of the rock. The rock was blocking it, the rock was a block. So is the mind. Mind is the block for the no-mind.

No-mind simply means that which is not mind at all. How can it arise out of the mind? If it arises out of the mind, it may be super-mind, but it can’t be no-mind. That’s where I differ from Shree Aurobindo. He talks about the super-mind. A super-mind is the same mind more decorated, more cultivated, more cultured, more sophisticated, more strong, more integrated — but all the time the same old mind.

Buddha says not super-mind but no-mind; not super-soul but no soul; not super-individuality, not super-self, but no-self, anatta. That is where Buddha is unique and his understanding the deepest. A super-mind is a growth, a no-mind is a leap, a jump. The no-mind has nothing to do with the mind at all. They never meet even, they never encounter each other. When the mind is there, the no-mind is not there. When the no-mind is there, the mind is not there. They don’t even say hello to each other — they can’t. The presence of the one is necessarily the absence of the other. So remember it.

That’s why I say Shree Aurobindo never became enlightened. He remained polishing the mind. He was a great mind, but to be a great mind is not to be enlightened. So is Bertrand Russell a great mind. But to be a great mind is not to be enlightened. So is Friedrich Nietzsche a great mind — and Aurobindo and Nietzsche have many similarities.

Nietzsche talks about the superman and Aurobindo also talks about the superman. But the superman will be a projected man. A superman will be this man; all the weaknesses destroyed, all the strengths strengthened — but this man. Bigger than this man, stronger than this man, higher than this man, but still on the same wavelength, the same ladder. There is no radical change, there has never been a discontinuity.

No-mind means discontinuity with all that you are. You have to die for no-mind to be. So the first thing. You ask, “Is it possible that the no-mind evolves quite naturally out of the mind?”  No. It is not an evolution, it is a revolution. The mind is dropped and suddenly you find the no-mind is there, has always been there. The mind was clouding, making you confused, was not allowing you to see that which is. So it is not an evolution.

And you ask, “Is it possible without struggle and anguish?” It has nothing to do with struggle and anguish. No-mind has nothing to do with struggle and anguish. It does not come out of struggle and anguish. Anything that comes out of struggle and anguish will carry the wounds. Even if those wounds are healed, the scars will be carried. It will be again a continuity.

The struggle and anguish is not for the no-mind; the struggle and anguish arises because the mind struggles to keep itself in power. The fight is given by the mind. The mind does not want to go, the mind wants to stay. The mind has become so powerful; it possesses you. It says, “No, I am not going to get out. I am going to stay here.” The whole struggle and anguish is because of the mind. The no-mind has nothing to do with it. And you will have to go through this anguish and struggle. If you don’t go through the anguish and the struggle, the mind is not going to leave you.

And again let me repeat, the no-mind is not born out of your struggle; out of your struggle only comes the mind. The no-mind comes without any struggle. The rock gives you the struggle. It does not want to move. It has remained in that spot for centuries, for millennia — who are you to remove it? “And about what spring are you talking? There is none. I have been here for centuries and I know — there is none. Forget all about it!” But you want to remove the rock. The rock is heavy, the rock is rooted in the earth. It has remained there for so long. It has attachments; it does not want to go. And it knows nothing of the spring. But you will have to remove this rock. Unless this rock is removed, the spring will not flow.

You ask: “without exploding, hammering, cutting and such wild acts?” The no-mind has nothing to do with your acts. But the mind will not go. You will have to hammer and cut and you will have to do a thousand and one things.

Is the very idea of no-mind, which seems to be in the mind and yet transcending the mind, a seed like form of the no-mind?

No — there is no seed in the mind of the no-mind. The mind cannot contain even the seed of no-mind. The mind has no space to contain it. No-mind is vast, like the sky. How can it be contained in a tiny thing, the mind? And the mind is already too full — full of thoughts, desires, fantasies, imaginations, memories. There is no space.

In the first place it is very tiny — it cannot contain the no-mind. In the second place it is so full, overcrowded, so noisy. The no-mind is silent, the mind is noisy. The mind cannot contain it; the mind has to cease. In that cessation is the beginning of a new life, a new being, a new world.

Is it helpful, you ask, to meditate along these lines of mind-transcending concepts like eternity, nirvana, death?

Those so-called mind-transcending concepts are still concepts and are of the mind. When you are thinking of eternity, what will you do? You will think. When you are thinking of nirvana, what is going to happen? Your mind will spin and weave, and your mind will give you beautiful ideas about nirvana — but that will be all mind work. What can you think about death? What will you think if you think about death? You don’t know. How can you think anything about that which you don’t know?

Mind is perfectly capable in repeating the known; with the unknown it is impotent. You don’t know eternity; all that you know is time. Even when you think of eternity it is nothing but lengthened time, stretched time — but it is time. What do you know about nirvana? — all that you have heard about it, read about it. That is not nirvana. The word nirvana is not nirvana, and the concept of nirvana is not nirvana. The word God is not

God, and all the pictures and all the statues that have been made of God have nothing to do with him — because he has no name and no form.

And what are you going to think about death? How can you think about death? You have heard a few things, you have seen a few people dying, but you have never seen death.

When you see a man dying what do you see? He breathes no more; that’s all that you see.

His body has become cold; that’s all that you see. What more? Is this death? — The body becoming cold, breathing stopping? is this all? What has happened to the innermost core of the person? You cannot know without dying. You cannot know without experiencing.

The only way to know the unknown is to experience it.

So these concepts won’t help. They may rather, on the contrary, strengthen the mind, because the mind will say, “Look, I can even supply you mind-transcending concepts.

See what I am doing for you. Keep me with you always. I will help you to become enlightened. Without me you will be nowhere. Without me how will you think about death and nirvana and eternity? I am absolutely essential. Without me you will not be anything at all.”

No, these meditations won’t help. You have to see it — that the mind is not going to help at all. When you see the point that mind is not going to help at all, in that very helplessness, in that very state, there is silence; all stops. If the mind cannot do anything, then nothing is left to do. Suddenly all thinking is paralyzed; it is pointless. In that paralysis you will have the first glimpse of no-mind… just a small window will open. In that stopping of the mind you will have a taste of no-mind. And then things will start moving. Then it will be easier for you to get lost into the boundary-lessness.

You cannot meditate; you have to go into it. Meditating upon it is a pseudo activity; it is a kind of avoiding, escaping. You are afraid of death, you think about death. You are afraid of nirvana, you think about nirvana. Thinking gives you the feeling that you are capable even of thinking about death and nirvana.

My mind seems to explode when I do.

Mind is very cunning. It must be deceiving you — because mind cannot explode while you are thinking. About what you are thinking does not matter; while you are thinking, mind cannot explode. Mind will be enjoying it, and in that very enjoyment you are thinking you are exploding.

It feels like I am pushing over my limit and I get afraid of becoming schizophrenic.

Dinesh, you need not be afraid of ever becoming schizophrenic, because you already are – everybody is. Mind is schizophrenic, because mind knows nothing of unity. Mind is always split. Mind always has alternatives, to be or not to be, to do this or to do that.

Mind is always indecisive. Even if you choose something it is only a part of the mind that chooses it, the other part remains against it.

The mind is never total, so mind is schizophrenic. You need not be afraid of that. To be in the mind is to be schizophrenic. Only Buddhas are beyond it. The whole humanity is schizophrenic, more or less. When you go beyond a point then you have to seek and search for the psychiatrist, but the difference is only of degrees; the difference is only of quantity not quality. Even between you and your psychoanalyst there is only a difference of degrees.

Remember, mind will not help. Mind cannot help, mind can only hinder. Seeing this, no-mind arrives. It is not that you bring it; it arrives on its own accord.


From The Diamond Sutra, Chapter Two

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.

Samadhi Without Seeds – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From The Diamond Sutra, Chapter Two

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.

Learn the Art of Listening – Osho

Sometimes in discourse, I suddenly come to consciousness and realize that I don’t know where I’ve been, and yet the discourse is coming to a close. Your words were coming through, but I’m not sure if I was awake. If I’m not conscious, am I asleep? Are these the only two possibilities? Is there some stage in between? How to tell the difference?

Mary Catherine, the question you have asked is the question everybody needs the answer for. Man is asleep, but it is no ordinary sleep; he is asleep with open eyes. His sleep is spiritual, not physical.

Just as in physical sleep your consciousness is filled with dreams, in spiritual sleep your consciousness is filled with thoughts, desires, feelings—a thousand and one things. It is not that you are unconscious in the sense of being in a coma; you are unconscious in the sense that your consciousness is covered with too much dust. It is exactly like a mirror: if covered with many layers of dust, it will lose the quality of reflecting, will lose the quality of being a mirror. But the mirror is there; all that is needed is to remove the dust. Your consciousness is there—even while you are physically asleep your consciousness is there, but now more covered than when you are awake.

You are asking, “If I’m not conscious, am I asleep? Are these the only two possibilities? Is there some stage in between? How to tell the difference?”

You are not unconscious in the sense a person falls into a coma; you are not conscious in the sense a Gautam Buddha is conscious. You are in between. A thick layer of thoughts does not allow you to be in the present. That’s why, while you are listening to me, you are listening and yet the listening is very superficial because deep down there are so many thoughts going on. You are listening but it is not reaching you, and as I stop speaking, suddenly you realize that you have been listening, certainly, but you have not understood it. It has not penetrated you; it has not become part of your being. Something has prevented it, like a China Wall. Those thoughts are transparent, but they are thicker than any China Wall can be.

You are neither asleep nor awake, you are in between—awake as far as your day to day mechanical activities are concerned, and asleep as far as a clear consciousness is concerned. A pure consciousness, a deep innocence like an unclouded sky, is absent.

The pope was sitting with his cardinals signing papers and proclamations. The phone rang and his secretary answered. “Your holiness,” she said. “It is about the abortion bill. A reporter wants to talk to you.”

“Don’t bother me,” the pope interrupted.

“But he wants to know what you are going to do about the bill.”

“Just pay it,” the pope replied. “Pay it quick!”

In what position will you put the pope? Asleep or awake? He is in between; he has heard the word bill, but he has interpreted it in his own way. He has forgotten completely that the bill is about abortion, and certainly he has not been aborted, and he has not to pay any bill.

But this is the situation of us all. We hear what we want to hear; we hear only that which adjusts with our preconceived notions, prejudices.

You will be surprised to know… the scientific research is almost unbelievable: it says ninety-eight percent of what you hear is prevented from reaching to you—ninety-eight percent! Only two percent reaches you. It has to pass through so many thoughts, conceptions, beliefs, conditionings, and they go on cutting it according to themselves. By the time it reaches you, it is something totally different than was said, than was heard. It is a long process of screening, and we are all screening. If something falls in tune with our mind, that means with our past, we hear it. But if it goes against it, we certainly hear the sound but we miss the meaning.

To listen is a great art.

People only hear; very few people are able to listen.

One man had reached Gautam Buddha. He was a well-known philosopher of the day and he had defeated many philosophers in discussions about the ultimate, the truth, God. He had come to defeat Gautam Buddha too—that would be the crowning victory. He had brought with him five hundred chosen disciples to see Gautam Buddha defeated. But Gautam Buddha asked a very strange question. He asked, “Do you understand the meaning and the difference between hearing and listening?”

The man was at a loss. He had come to discuss great things, and this was a small matter. And there was no difference… as far as language is concerned, dictionaries are concerned, hearing is listening. The man said, “There is no difference at all, and I had hoped you would not ask such an ordinary question.”

Gautam Buddha said, “There is a great difference. And unless you understand the difference, there is no possibility of any dialogue. I will say something; you will hear something else. So if you really want to have a dialogue with me, sit by my side for two years. Don’t speak a single word, just listen. Whatever I’m telling others, be unconcerned; I’m not telling you. So you need not be worried about whether it is true or untrue, whether you have to accept it or not. You are just a witness; your opinion is not required.

“After two years, you can have the dialogue, the discussion you have come for. And I would love to be defeated, so this is not to postpone defeat; it is just to make the dialogue possible.”

At that very moment, Mahakashyap, a great disciple of Gautam Buddha; perhaps the greatest, laughed. He was sitting under a tree far away, and the philosopher thought, “That man seems to be mad. Why is he laughing?”

Buddha said, “Mahakashyap, this is not mannerly; even for an enlightened man this is not right.”

Mahakashyap said, “I don’t care about right and wrong; I’m just feeling sorry for the poor philosopher.”

And he turned to the philosopher and said to him, “If you want to have a discussion, have it right now; after two years, there will be just silence and no dialogue. This man is not trustworthy. He deceived me; I also came with the same idea as you, to defeat him, and he cheated me. He said, `Sit down for two years by my side, and listen. Learn first the art of listening. And because you are not concerned at all, your mind need not function.'”

And two years is a long time; the mind starts forgetting how to think, how to function. The very presence of Gautam Buddha is so peaceful, so silent, that one starts rejoicing in the silence. And to listen to his words… which are not addressed to you, so you are not worried whether they agree with your prejudices, your philosophy, your religion—with you, or not. You are indifferent. You listen to him as if you are listening to the birds singing in the morning when the sun rises.

“And two years… the mind disappears. And although those words are not addressed to you, they start reaching to your heart. Because the mind is silent, the passage is open—the door is open, the heart welcomes them. So if you want to ask anything, if you want to challenge this man, challenge now. I don’t want to see another man cheated again.”

Gautam Buddha said, “It is up to you; if you want to defeat me now, I declare my defeat. There is no need to talk. Why waste time? You are victorious. But if you really want to have a dialogue with me, then I’m not asking much, just two years to learn the art of listening.”

The man remained for two years, and even forgot completely that after two years he had to challenge Gautam Buddha for a debate. He forgot the whole calendar. Days passed, months passed, seasons came and went away, and after two years he was enjoying the silence so much that he had no idea that two years had passed.

It has to be remembered that time is a very elastic thing. When you are in suffering, time becomes longer; suddenly all the watches and clocks of the world start moving slowly—a great conspiracy against a poor man who is in suffering. Time moves so slowly that sometimes one feels as if it has stopped.

You are sitting by the side of someone you love who is dying, in the middle of the night; it seems time has stopped, that this night is not going to end, that your idea that all nights end was a fallacy… this night is not going to have a dawn, because time is not moving. And when you are joyful, when you meet a friend after many years, when you meet a beloved, a lover for whom you have waited long—suddenly, again the conspiracy. All the clocks, all the watches, start moving faster; hours go like minutes, days go like hours, months go like weeks. Time is elastic: time is relative to your inner condition.

The man had enjoyed those two years of silence so deeply that he could not conceive that two years had passed. Suddenly, Buddha himself asked him, “Have you forgotten completely? Two years have passed; this is the day you had come two years ago. Now if you want to challenge me to a debate, I’m ready.”

The man fell to the feet of Gautam Buddha.

And Mahakashyap laughed again, and said, “I had told you, but nobody listens to me. I have been sitting under this tree for almost twenty years, preventing people from falling into the trap of this man; but nobody listens to me. They fall into the trap, and each person gives me two occasions to laugh.”

The man went, after touching Gautam Buddha’s feet, to touch the feet of Mahakashyap too, saying, “I am grateful to you. I have learned the distinction between hearing and listening. Hearing had made me a great knowledgeable man, and listening has made me innocent, silent— a peace that passeth understanding. I don’t have any questions, and I don’t have any answers; I am utterly silent. All questions have disappeared, all answers have disappeared. Can I also sit by your side under the tree?” he asked Mahakashyap.

Mahakashyap said, “No, I don’t accept disciples; that is the business of Gautam Buddha—you just go there. Don’t crowd around my tree, because even here there is nothing to listen to, only once in a while a laughter when somebody comes and I see that he’s falling into the trap. You have fallen into the trap; now be initiated, become a sannyasin.” Not only did the man become a sannyasin, his five hundred followers who were also sitting and listening for two years, had also become silent.

Mary Catherine, you are well-educated; perhaps too much—well-read; perhaps too much. Your mind is so full of thoughts. Those thoughts are creating a state which is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. Everything seems to be so full of noise in you that if I shout, perhaps my words may reach you, but what about my whispers? And truth cannot be shouted, it can only be whispered. In fact, it can be said only in silence; even whispering is too much verbiage.

Put your educated mind aside. Here you have to be innocent, like small children playing on the beach making castles of sand, running after butterflies, collecting seashells, looking at everything with so much wonder that each and every thing in existence becomes a mystery.

Listening to me is only a beginning; then you have to listen to the trees, to the mountains, to the moon, to the faraway stars—they all have messages for you. To the sunrises, to the sunsets… they all have been waiting for so long. Once you start listening, the whole existence starts speaking to you. Right now you only speak to yourself, and nobody listens.

Three Soviet citizens; a Pole, a Czech, and a Jew were accused of spying and sentenced to death. Each was granted a last wish.

“I want my ashes scattered over the grave of Karl Marx,” said the Pole.

“I want my ashes scattered over the grave of Lenin,” said the Czech.

“And I,” said the Jew, “want my ashes scattered over the grave of Comrade Gorbachev.”

“But that is impossible!” he was told. “Gorbachev is not dead yet.”

“Fine,” said the Jew, “I can wait.”

You should not wait. Start from this moment to listen, to be silent, because the next moment is not certain. Gorbachev may die, may not die. Tomorrow it may not be so easy as it is today, because in twenty-four hours you will have gathered more garbage in your head; so the sooner the better, because you cannot sit silently. If you don’t start now, you will be doing something or other….

Don’t postpone it. Every postponement is suicidal—particularly of those experiences which belong to the beyond.


From The Golden Future, Chapter 16

Golden Future

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.

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…


Excerpt from The True Name, Chapter Fifteen

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The True Name

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.