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.

-OSHO

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.

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

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Vedanta-Seven Steps to Samadhi

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.

Three Floors of Buddha’s Temple – Osho

The magnificent temple that Buddha built consists of three floors; his teaching has three dimensions to it, or three layers. And you will have to be very patient to understand those three layers. I say so because they have been misunderstood down the centuries.

The first floor of Buddha’s teaching is known as Hinayana; the second floor is known as Mahayana, and the third floor is known as Vajrayana. Hinayana means ‘the small vehicle’, ‘the narrow way’. Mahayana means ‘the great vehicle’, ‘the wide way’. And Vajrayana means ‘the supreme vehicle’, ‘the ultimate way’, ‘the transcendental way’. Hinayana is the beginning and Vajrayana is the climax, the crescendo.

Hinayana starts from where you are. Hinayana tries to help you to change your mechanical habits; it is just like Hatha Yoga — very body-oriented, believes in great discipline; strict, almost repressive — at least it looks repressive. It is not repressive, but the whole work of Hinayana consists in changing your centuries old habits.

Just as a tightrope-walker starts leaning to the left if he feels that he is going to fall towards the right, to balance one has to move to the opposite. By moving to the opposite, a balance arises — but that balance is temporary, momentary. Again you will start falling into the new direction, then again you will need balance and you will have to move to the opposite.

Sex is the very basic problem. And all the habits that man has created are basically sex-oriented. That’s why no society allows sex total freedom. All the cultures that have existed — sophisticated, un-sophisticated, Eastern, Western, primitive, civilized — all cultures have tried in some way to control the sexual energy of man. It seems to be the greatest power over man. It seems that if man is allowed total freedom about sex, he will simply destroy himself.

Skinner reports about a few experiments he was doing with rats. He has invented a new theory, that electrodes can be put into the human or animal brain, attached to particular centres in the brain and you just push a button and that centre will be stimulated inside you.

There is a sex centre in the brain. In fact, you are more controlled by the sex centre in the brain than the actual sex centre of your body. That’s why fantasy works so much. That’s why pornography has so much appeal. The pornography cannot appeal to the sex centre itself; it stimulates the brain centre attached to the sex centre. Immediately the sex centre, the physiological sex centre, starts being active once the mind is active.

He fixed electrodes into rats’ brains and taught them how to push the button whenever they wanted sexual stimulation and an inner orgasm. He was surprised, he was not expecting that this was going to happen: those rats completely forgot everything — food, sleep, play — everything they forgot. They continuously pushed the button! One rat did it six thousand times and died — he died pushing the button. Six thousand times! He forgot everything… then nothing else matters.

Sooner or later, some Skinner or somebody else is going to give you also a small box to keep in your pocket, and whenever you feel sexual just push a button and your brain centre will become active and will give you beautiful orgasms and nobody will ever know what is happening inside you. But you will almost follow the rat — then what is the point of doing anything else? You will kill yourself.

Sex is such a great attraction that if there were not limitations on it…. First there is a limitation that body puts on it. A man cannot have too many orgasms in a day; if you are young, three, four; if you become older, then one; when you become a little older still, then even that becomes difficult — once a week, once a month. And, by and by, your body puts so many limitations on it.

Women are more free that way. The body has no limitation. That’s why, all over the world, women have been completely repressed. She has not been allowed freedom; she has not been allowed even freedom to have orgasms in the past — because she can have multiple orgasms. Within seconds she can have many orgasms — six, twelve. Then no man will be able to satisfy a woman; then no man will be able to satisfy any woman. Then only group sex will be able to satisfy. A woman will need at least twelve husbands — that will create tremendous complexities.

That’s why, down the centuries, for thousands of years, women were brought up in such a way that they have completely forgotten that they can have orgasm. Just within these fifty years women have again started learning what orgasm is. And with their learning, problems have arisen all over the world. Marriage is on the rocks. Marriage cannot exist with women having the capacity of multiple orgasm. And man only has capacity for one orgasm. There can be no compatibility between the two. Then monogamy cannot exist. It will become difficult.

This society and the pattern that it has evolved up to now is doomed. Man has released some energy that has always been kept under a certain rigid control. But the attraction has always been there — whether you repress, whether you control, discipline, that doesn’t make any difference. The attraction is there — twenty-four hours, deep down like a substratum, sexuality goes on like a river flowing. It is a continuum. You may eat, you may earn money, you may work, but you are doing everything for sex.

Somewhere, sex remains the goal… and this pattern has to be changed, otherwise your energy will go on being drained, your energy will go on being dissipated, your energy will go on moving into the earth. It will not rise towards heaven. It will not have an upward surge.

Hinayana works just exactly where you are. You are continuously obsessed with sex? — Hinayana tries to remove this obsession. It gives you a certain discipline, a very rigid discipline, how to drop out of it.

Hinayana says there are four steps to drop out of sex. The first is called purifying. The second is called enriching. The third is called crystallizing. The fourth is called destroying.

First you have to move your total energy against sex, so that sexual habits developed in many lives no longer interfere — that is called purifying. You change your consciousness, you shift. From sexual obsession you move to anti-sexuality.

The second step is called enriching. When you have moved to non-sexuality, then you have to enjoy non-sexuality; you have to celebrate your celibacy. Because if you don’t celebrate your celibacy, again sex will start pulling you backwards. Once you start celebrating your celibacy, then the pull of sex will be completely gone, and gone forever.

You are obsessed with sex because you don’t know any other sort of celebration. So the problem is not sex really; the problem is that you don’t know any other celebration. Nature allows you only one joy, and that is of sex. Nature allows you only one enjoyment, that is of sex. Nature allows you only one thrill, and that is of sex.

Hinayana says there is a greater thrill waiting for you — if you move towards celibacy. But the celibacy should not be violently forced. If you violently enforce it you will not be able to enjoy it. One has to be just aware of the sexual habits, and through awareness one has to shift by and by towards celibacy.

Celibacy should be brought very slowly. All that brings you again and again to sexuality has to be dropped slowly, in steps. And once you start enjoying the energy that becomes available, when you are not obsessed with sex, just that pure energy becomes a dance in you — that is called enriching. Now, your energy is not wasted. Your energy goes on showering on yourself.

Remember, there are two types of celibates. One: who has simply forced celibacy upon himself — he is a wrong type, he is doing violence to himself. The other: who has tried to understand sexuality, what it is, why it is; who has watched, observed, lived through it, and, by and by, has become aware of its futility; by and by, has become aware of a deep frustration that comes after each sexual act.

In the sexual act you have a certain thrill, a moment of forgetfulness, a moment of oblivion. You feel good — for a few seconds, only for a few seconds, you drop out of this routine world. Sex gives you a door to escape into some other world — which is non-tense; there is no worry; you are simply relaxed and melting. But have you observed? After each sexual act you feel frustrated.

Sex has promised too much, but it has not been supplied. It is difficult to find a man or a woman who does not feel a little frustrated after the sexual act, who does not feel a little guilty. I am not talking about the guilt that priests have imposed upon you. Even if nobody has imposed any guilt upon you, you will feel a little guilt — that is part, a shadow of the sexual act. You have lost energy, you feel depleted, and nothing has been gained. The gain is not very substantial. You have been befooled, you have been tricked, by a natural hypnosis — you have been tricked by the body, you have been deceived. Hence comes a frustration.

Hinayana says: Watch this frustration more deeply. Watch the sexual act and the way your energy moves into the sexual act; become aware of it — and you will see there is nothing in it. And frustration. The more you become aware, the less will be the enjoyment and the more will be the frustration. Then the shift has started taking place: your consciousness is moving away, and naturally, and spontaneously. You are not forcing it.

The second step becomes available: enriching. Your own energy goes on feeding your being. You no more throw it into the other’s body; you no more throw it out. It becomes a deep accumulation inside you. You become a pool. And out of that feeling of energy you feel very cool. Sex is very hot. The enriching stage is very cool, calm, collected. There IS a celebration, but it is very silent. There IS a dance to it, but it is very graceful; there is elegance to it.

Then comes the third step: crystallizing. When this energy inside you has started an inner dance, by and by, slowly, enjoying it more and more, becoming more and more aware of it, a certain chemical crystallization happens in you. Exactly the same word was used by Gurdjieff in his work: crystallization. Your fragments fall together, you become one. A unity arises in you. In fact, for the first time you can say “I have an I.” Otherwise there were many I’s; now you have one I, a big I which controls everything. You have become your master.

And the fourth step is destroying. When you have one I, then it can be destroyed; when you have many I’s, they cannot be destroyed. When your energy has become one and is centred, it can be killed, it can be completely destroyed. When it is a crowd it is difficult to destroy it. You destroy one fragment; there are a thousand other fragments. When you rush after those other fragments, the first one grows again. It is just like the way trees grow branches: you cut one, three branches sprout out of it.

You can destroy sexuality totally only when it has become a crystallized phenomenon; When a person has accumulated too much energy and has become one, is no more fragmentary, no more split no more schizophrenic, then Buddhists have a special term for it they call it ‘Manjusri’s sword’.

It is said that when Manjusri reached to this third stage — he was a disciple of Buddha, a great disciple of Buddha — when he reached to this stage of crystallization, in one single moment he took his sword and destroyed it completely, utterly, in a single moment. It is not a gradual process then. That has become known down the centuries as ‘the sword of Manjusri’.

When a person reaches to the third state, he can just raise a sword and destroy it completely — in one single attack. Because now the enemy is there, now the enemy is no longer elusive, now there are no longer many enemies — just one enemy confronting you. And the sword is just the sword of perfect awareness, mindfulness, self-remembering. It is a very sharp sword.

When Buddha destroyed his own sexuality, it is said he roared like a lion — because for the first time the whole absurdity of it became clear. And so many lives wasted! so many lives of sheer stupidity — gone forever. He was so happy he roared like a lion.

These are the four steps, and today’s sutras are concerned with these four steps. Before we enter into the sutras, a few more things have to be understood.

The second vehicle is Mahayana. When your sexual energy is no longer obsessed with the other’s body, when you are completely free of the other’s body, when your energy has a freedom to it, then Mahayana becomes possible — the second floor of Buddha’s temple.

Mahayana makes it possible for you to be loving. Ordinarily we think sex makes people loving — sex can never make people loving. In fact, it is sexuality that prevents love from growing — because it is the same energy that has to become love. It is being destroyed in sex. To become love, the same energy has to move to the heart centre. Mahayana belongs to the heart centre.

Hinayana works at the sex centre — Muladhar. Mahayana works at the heart centre — it says love, prayer, have to be developed now. Energy is there, now you can love. Energy is there, now you can pray.

Mahayana is loving-effort. One has to love unconditionally — the trees and the rocks and the sun and the moon and the people — but now love has no sexuality in it. It is very cool, it is very tranquil.

If you come near a person whose energy is moving in his heart centre, you will suddenly feel you are moving under a deep cool shade, no hot energy. You will feel suddenly a breeze surrounding you. The person of love, the person who lives at the heart centre, is to a traveller like a shady tree, or cool running water, or a breeze fragrant with many blossoms.

Mahayana is not afraid of sex. Hinayana is afraid of sex. Hinayana is afraid of sex because you are too much obsessed with sex. You have to move to the opposite. Mahayana is not afraid of sex — it has attained to the balance; there is no fear of the opposites. Mahayana is when the tightrope-walker is balanced; he neither leans to the left nor to the right.

Then the third and the final stage, the third floor of Buddha’s temple, is Vajrayana. ‘Vajra’ means diamond — it is the most precious teaching; certainly very difficult to understand. Vajrayana is Buddhist Tantra.

Vajrayana is called ‘vajra’, the diamond, because the diamond cuts everything. The diamond vehicle, the way of the diamond, Vajrayana, cuts everything completely, through and through — all materiality, all desire, all attachment. Even the desire to be born in heaven, the desire to be in a peaceful state, the desire to become a Buddha, the desire to have Nirvana, enlightenment — even these beautiful desires are cut completely.

Vajrayana knows no difference between the world and Nirvana, knows no difference between ignorance and knowledge, knows no difference, no distinctions — all distinctions are dropped — knows no distinction between man and woman.

Now let me explain it to you.

On the stage of Hinayana, man is man, woman is woman. And man is attracted towards woman, and the woman is attracted towards man — they are out-going; their attraction is somewhere outside them. Of course, they will be slaves. When your attraction is somewhere outside you, you cannot be independent of it.

That’s why lovers never forgive each other, they cannot. They are annoyed. You love a person and you are irritated by the person at the same time. There is a reason for it. There is constant fight between lovers. The reason is: you cannot forgive the lover, because you know you are dependent on him or on her. How can you forgive your slavery? You know your woman makes you happy, but if she decides not to make you happy, then?… then suddenly you are unhappy. Your happiness is in her hands. Her happiness is in your hands. Whenever somebody else controls your happiness, you cannot forgive the other.

Jean-Paul Sartre says: “The other is hell” — and he is right. He has a great insight into it. The other is hell because you have to depend on the other. Sex can NOT make you free; somehow it takes you away from yourself; it takes you farther and farther away from yourself. The goal is the other.

Gurdjieff used to say sex is one-arrowed — the arrow is moving towards the other. Exactly the same metaphor has been used by Vajrayana: sex is one-arrowed — it goes towards the other. Love is double-arrowed — it goes to the other and to you also. In love there is balance.

One arrow going towards the other, then you have to work with Hinayana. Two-arrowed: one arrow going towards the other, one arrow coming towards you — you have attained to balance; that lopsidedness is no more there.

A man of love is never angry with the other, because he is not really dependent on the other. He can be happy alone too; his arrow is double-arrowed — he can be happy alone too. Of course, he still shares his happiness with the other, but he is no longer dependent on the other. Now it is no longer a relationship of dependence: it is a relationship of interdependence. It is a mutual friendship. They share energies, but nobody is anybody’s slave.

In Vajrayana the arrow completely disappears. There is no you and no other; I and thou, both are dropped. The mechanism has to be understood.

When you are looking for a woman or for a man, you don’t know one very important factor: that your woman is within you and your man too. Each man is both man and woman, and each woman is both woman and man. It has to be so!… because you are born out of two parents. One was man, one was woman; they have contributed to your being fifty percent each. You have something of your father and you have something of your mother. Half of you belongs to the male energy; half of you belongs to the female energy — you are both.

In Hinayana you have to work hard to bring your energy to the inner woman or the inner man; that is its whole work.

Just recently, in this century, Carl Gustav Jung became aware of this fact — of this fact of bisexuality, that no man is pure man and no woman is pure woman. In each man a woman exists, and in fact every man is searching for that woman somewhere outside. That’s why suddenly one day you come across a woman and you feel, “Yes, this is the right woman for me.” How do you feel it? What is the criterion? How do you judge? — It is not rational, you don’t reason it out. It happens so suddenly, like a flash. You were not thinking about it, you have not reasoned it out. Suddenly if somebody asks you, “Why have you fallen in love with this woman?” you will shrug your shoulders. You will say, “I don’t know — but I have fallen in love. Something has happened.”

What has happened? Jung says you have an image of woman inside you; that image somehow fits with this woman. This woman seems to be similar to that image in some way or other. Of course, no woman can be absolutely similar to the inner woman — that’s why no lover can ever be absolutely satisfied. A little similar, maybe: the way she walks; maybe her sound, her voice; maybe the way she looks, maybe her blue eyes; maybe her nose, maybe the colour of her hair.

You have an image inside you that has come from your mother, from your mother’s mother, from your mother’s mother’s mother — ALL the women that have preceded you, they have contributed to that image. It is not exactly like your mother, otherwise things would have been simple. Your mother is involved in it; your mother’s mother is also involved — and so on and so forth. They all have contributed little bits.

And it is the same with your man: your father has contributed, your father’s father, and so on and so forth. From your father to Adam, and from your mother to Eve, the whole continuum has contributed to it. Nobody exactly knows, there is no way really to know, whom you are seeking. A man is searching for a woman, a woman is searching for a man — the search is very vague. There is no clear-cut image, but somewhere in your heart you carry it; in the dark corner of your soul you keep it, it is there.

So many times many women and many men will appear to fulfil something of it, but only something. So each lover will give you a little satisfaction and much dissatisfaction. A part that fits will satisfy, and all other parts which don’t fit will never satisfy.

Have you watched it? Whenever you fall in love with a man or a woman, you immediately start changing the man and the woman according to something that you also don’t know what…. Wives go on changing their husbands their whole lives: “Don’t do this! Be like this, behave like this!”

Just the other day, Mulla Nasrudin’s wife was saying to me, “Finally, Osho, I succeeded.”

I asked, “About what?”

She said, “I have stopped Mulla Nasrudin biting his nails.”

I said, “Biting his nails? Fifty years you have been married together — Mulla is seventy — now you have been able after fifty years?”

She said, “Yes!”

I asked, “But how did you succeed, tell me?”

She said, “Now I simply hide his teeth so he cannot bite.”

People go on trying to change. Nobody ever changes — I have never seen, I have never come across it. People even pretend that “Yes, we have changed,” but nobody can change. Everybody remains himself. The whole effort is futile, but the urge to change is there. Why is the urge to change there?

The urge to change is for a real necessity: the woman is trying to make her husband fit with some vague image inside her. Then she will be happy — that he does not drink, that he does not smoke, that he does not go after other women… and a thousand and one things… that he always goes to the temple, that he listens to the saints. She has a certain image: she wants her husband to be a hero, a saint, a great man. The ordinary human being does not satisfy her.

And the husband is also trying in a thousand and one ways: brings beautiful clothes, diamonds, rubies and pearls, and goes on decorating his wife. He is trying to find a Cleopatra. Somewhere he has some image of a beautiful woman, the most beautiful woman. Now he tries — even from his very childhood.

I have heard:

The old man asked his precocious six-year-old how he liked the new little girl next door.

“W-e-l-l,” said the kid, “she’s no Elizabeth Taylor, but she’s nice.”

Now even small children think about Hema Malini and think about Elizabeth Taylor. And he says, “She’s no Elizabeth Taylor, but she’s nice.” And this conflict continues. The reason is that we are always looking for someone — who is not outside.

Hinayana turns you from looking outside. It says: Close your eyes to the outside. Mahayana makes you more alert and aware, fills your inner chamber with more light, so that you can see the inner woman. And Vajrayana makes it possible for you so that you can have an inner orgasm with your man inside or your woman inside. That inner orgasm will satisfy you, nothing else.

These three steps are of tremendous meaning.

-OSHO

From The Buddha Said, Chapter Fifteen

The Buddha Said

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

The Discipline of Transcendence, V.3

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.

The Path of Intelligence – Osho

Can the intellect be a door to enlightenment, or is enlightenment only achieved through surrender?

Enlightenment is always through surrender, but surrender is achieved through intelligence. Only idiots cannot surrender. To surrender you need great intelligence. To see the point of surrender is the climax of insight; to see the point that you are not separate from existence is the highest that intelligence can give to you.

There is no conflict between intelligence and surrender. Surrender is through intelligence, although when you surrender intelligence is also surrendered. Through surrender intellect commits a suicide. Seeing the futility of itself, seeing the absurdity of itself, seeing the anguish that it creates, it disappears. But it happens through intelligence. And especially in concern with Buddha, the path is of intelligence. The very word buddha means awakened intelligence.

In the Heart Sutra one-fourth of the words used mean intelligence. The word buddha means awake, bodhi means awakening, sambodhi means perfect awakening, abhisambuddha means the fully awake, bodhisattva means ready to become fully awake. All go back to the same root, budh, which means intelligence. The word buddhi, intellect, also comes from the same root. The root budh has many dimensions to it. There is no single English word that can translate it; it has many implications. It is very fluid and poetic. In no other language does any word like budh exist, with so many meanings. There are at least five meanings to the word budh.

The first is to awake, to wake oneself up, and to awaken others, to be awake. As such, it is opposed to being asleep, in the slumber of delusion from which the enlightened awakens as from a dream. That is the first meaning of intelligence, budh—to create an awakening in you.

Ordinarily man is asleep. Even while you think you are awake, you are not. Walking on the road, you are fully awake—in your mind. But looked at from the vision of a Buddha, you are fast asleep, because a thousand and one dreams and thoughts are clamoring inside you. Your inner light is very clouded. It is a kind of sleep. Yes, your eyes are open, obviously, but people can walk in a dream, in sleep, with eyes open. And Buddha says: You are also walking in sleep—with eyes open.

But your inner eye is not open. You don’t know yet who you are. You have not looked into your own reality. You are not awake. A mind full of thoughts is not awake, cannot be awake. Only a mind which has dropped thoughts and thinking, which has dispersed the clouds around it—and the sun is burning bright, and the sky is utterly empty of clouds—is the mind which has intelligence, which is awake.

Intelligence is the capacity to be in the present. The more you are in the past or are in the future, the less intelligent you are. Intelligence is the capacity to be here-now, to be in this moment and nowhere else. Then you are awake.

For example, you are sitting in a house and the house suddenly catches fire; your life is in danger. Then for a moment you will be awake. In that moment you will not think many thoughts. In that moment you forget your whole past. In that moment you will not be clamored at by your psychological memories — that you had loved a woman thirty years before, and boy, it was fantastic! Or, the other day you had been to the Chinese restaurant, and still the taste lingers on, and the aroma and the smell of the freshly cooked bread. You will not be in those thoughts. No, when your house is on fire you cannot afford this kind of thinking. Suddenly you will rush to this moment: the house is on fire and your life is at stake. You will not dream about the future, about what you are going to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is no longer relevant, yesterday is no longer relevant, even today is no longer relevant!—only this moment, this split moment. That is the first meaning of budh, intelligence.

And then there are great insights. A man who wants to be really awake, wants to be really a Buddha, has to live each moment in such intensity—as you live only rarely, rarely, in some danger.

The first meaning is opposite to sleep. And naturally, you can see reality only when you are not asleep. You can face it, you can look into the eyes of truth—or call it God—only when you are awake. Do you understand the point of intensity, the point of being on fire? Utterly awake, there is insight. That insight brings freedom, that insight brings truth.

The second meaning of budh is to recognize, as to become aware of, acquainted with, to notice, give heed to. And so a Buddha is one who has recognized the false as the false, and has his eyes opened to the true as the true. To see the false as the false is the beginning of understanding what truth is. Only when you see the false as the false can you see what truth is. You cannot go on living in illusions, you cannot go on living in your beliefs, you cannot go on living in your prejudices if you want to know truth. The false has to be recognized as false. That is the second meaning of budh—recognition of the false as false, of the untrue as untrue.

For example, you have believed in God; you were born a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. You have been taught that God exists, you have been made afraid of God—that if you don’t believe you will suffer, that you will be punished, that God is very ferocious, that God will never forgive you. The Jewish God says, “I am a very jealous God. Worship only me and nobody else!” The Mohammedan God also says the same thing: “There is only one God, and no other God; and there is only one prophet of God—Mohammed—and there is no other prophet.”

This conditioning can go so deep in you that it can go on lingering even if you start disbelieving in God.

Just the other day Mulla Nasruddin was here, and I asked him, “Mulla Nasruddin, since you have turned into a communist, you have become a comrade, what about God?”

He said, “There is no God! — and Mohammed is the only prophet.”

A conditioning can go so deep: Mohammed remains the prophet.

You have been brought up to believe in God, and you have believed. This is a belief. Whether God exists or not has nothing to do with your belief. Truth has nothing to do with your belief. Whether you believe or not makes no difference to truth. But if you believe in God you will go on seeing, at least thinking that you see God. If you don’t believe in God, that disbelief in God will prevent you from knowing. All beliefs prevent, because they become prejudices around you, they become thought-coverings—what Buddha calls avarnas.

The man of intelligence does not believe in anything, and does not disbelieve in anything. The man of intelligence is simply open to recognizing whatsoever is the case. If God is there he will recognize, but not according to his belief; he has no belief. Only in a nonbelieving intelligence can truth appear. When you already believe you don’t allow truth any space to come to you. Your prejudice is enthroned, already enthroned. You cannot see something which goes against your belief; you will become afraid, you will become shaky, you will start trembling. You have put so much in your belief, so much life, so much time, so many prayers, five prayers every day. For fifty years a man has been devoted to his belief; now suddenly how can he recognize the fact that there is no God? A man has put his whole life into communism, believing that there is no God; how can he come to see if God is there? He will go on avoiding.

I’m not saying anything about whether God is or is not. What I am saying is something concerned with you, not with God. A mind, a clear mind, is needed, an intelligence is needed which does not cling to any belief. Then you are like a mirror: you reflect that which is, you don’t distort it. That is the second meaning of budh.

An intelligent person is neither a communist nor a Catholic. An intelligent person does not believe, does not disbelieve. That is not his way. He looks into life, and whatsoever is there he is ready to see it. He has no barriers to his vision; his vision is transparent. Only those few people attain to truth.

The third meaning of the root budh, intelligence, is to know, to understand. The Buddha knows that which is; he understands that which is, and in that very understanding is free from all bondage—to know in the sense of to understand, not in the sense of knowledgeability. Buddha is not knowledgeable. An intelligent person does not care much about information and knowledge. An intelligent person cares much more for the capacity to know. His real authentic interest is in knowing, not in knowledge.

Knowing gives you understanding; knowledge only gives you a feeling of understanding without giving you real understanding. Knowledge is a pseudo-coin, it is deceptive. It only gives you a feeling that you know, and you don’t know at all. You can go on accumulating knowledge as much as you want, you can go on hoarding, you can become very, very knowledgeable. You can write books, you can have degrees, you can have PhD’s, DLitt’s, and still you remain the same ignorant, stupid person you have always been. Those degrees don’t change you; they can’t change you. In fact your stupidity becomes more strong… it has degrees now! It can prove itself through certificates. It cannot prove through life, but it can prove through the certificates. It cannot prove in any other way, but it will carry degrees, certificates, recognitions from the society; people think you know, and you also think you know.

Have you not seen this? The people who are thought to be very knowledgeable are as ignorant as anybody, sometimes more ignorant. It is very rare to find intelligent people in the academic world, very rare. I have been in the academic world, and I say it through my experience. I have seen intelligent farmers; I have not seen intelligent professors. I have seen intelligent woodcutters; I have not seen intelligent professors. Why? What has gone wrong with these people?

One thing has gone wrong: they can depend on knowledge. They need not become knowers, they can depend on knowledge. They have found a secondhand way. The firsthand needs courage. The firsthand, knowing, only few people can afford—the adventurers, people who go beyond the ordinary path where crowds move, people who take small footpaths into the jungle of the unknowable. The danger is they may get lost. The risk is high.

When you can get secondhand knowledge, why bother? You can just sit in your chair. You can go to the library or to the university, you can collect information. You can make a big pile of information and sit on top of it. Through knowledge your memory becomes bigger and bigger, but your intelligence does not become bigger. Sometimes it happens when you don’t know much, when you are not very knowledgeable, that you will have to be intelligent in some moments.

I have heard…

A woman bought a tin of fruit but she could not open the tin. She did not know how to open it. So she rushed to her study to look in the cookbook. By the time she looked in the book and found out the page and reference, and came rushing back ready to open the tin, the servant had already opened it.

She asked, “But how did you do it?”

The servant said, “Madam, when you can’t read, you have to use your mind.”

Yes, that’s how it happens. That’s why farmers, gardeners, woodcutters, are more intelligent, have a kind of freshness around them. They can’t read, so they have to use their minds. One has to live and one has to use one’s mind.

The third meaning of budh is to know, in the sense of understanding.

The Buddha has seen that which is. He understands that which is, and in that very understanding is free from all bondage. What does it mean? It means you are afraid.

For example, these Heart Sutra talks are making many people feel fear. Many people have sent their messages: “Osho, no more! You make us afraid of nothingness and death.” Prageet is very afraid. Vidya is very afraid, and many more. Why? You don’t want to get rid of fear? If you want to get rid of fear you will have to understand fear. You want to avoid the fact that the fear is there, the fear of death is there.

Now Prageet, on the surface, looks a strong man, a Rolfer, but deep down he’s very much afraid of death; he is one of the most afraid persons around here. Maybe that’s why on the surface he has taken the stance of strength, power, a bully. That’s what a Rolfer is!

I have heard that recently the devil in hell is appointing Rolfers: they torture people for their own sakes, and they torture very technically.

If you are afraid inside, you will have to create something strong around you, like a hard shell, so nobody comes to know that you are afraid. And that is not the only point—you also will not know that you are afraid because of that hard shell. It will protect you from others, it will protect you from your own understanding.

An intelligent person does not escape from any fact. If it is fear he will go into it, because the way out is through. If he feels fear and trembling arising in him, he will leave everything aside: first this fear has to be gone through. He will go into it, he will try to understand. He will not try how not to be afraid; he will not ask that question. He will simply ask one question: “What is this fear? It is there, it is part of me, it is my reality. I have to go into it, I have to understand it. If I don’t understand it then a part of me will always remain unknown to me. And how am I going to know who I am if I go on avoiding parts? I will not understand fear, I will not understand death, I will not understand anger, I will not understand my hatred, I will not understand my jealousy, I will not understand this and that…” Then how are you going to know yourself?

All these things are you! This is your being. You have to go into everything that is there, every nook and corner. You have to explore fear. Even if you are trembling it is nothing to be worried about: tremble, but go in. It is far better to tremble than to escape, because once you escape, that part will remain unknown to you, and you will become more and more afraid to look at it because that fear will go on accumulating. It will become bigger and bigger if you don’t go into it right now, this moment. Tomorrow it will have lived twenty-four hours more. Beware!—it will have got more roots in you, it will have bigger foliage, it will become stronger; and then it will be more difficult to tackle. It is better to go right now, it is already late.

And if you go into it and you see it… And seeing means without prejudice. Seeing means that you don’t condemn fear as bad from the very beginning. Who knows?—it is not bad. Who knows that it is? The explorer has to remain open to all the possibilities; he cannot afford a closed mind. A closed mind and exploration don’t go together. He will go into it. If it brings suffering and pain, he will suffer the pain but he will go into it. Trembling, hesitant, but he will go into it: “It is my territory; I have to know what it is. Maybe it is carrying some treasure for me? Maybe the fear is only there to protect the treasure.”

That’s my experience, that’s my understanding: if you go deep into your fear you will find love. That’s why it happens that when you are in love, fear disappears. And when you are afraid you cannot be in love. What does this mean? A simple arithmetic — fear and love don’t exist together. That means it must be the same energy that becomes fear; then there is nothing left to become love. It becomes love; then there is nothing left to become fear.

Go into fear, Prageet, Vidya, and all others who are feeling afraid. Go into it, and you will find a great treasure. Hidden behind fear is love, and hidden behind anger is compassion, and hidden behind sex is samadhi.

Go into each negative thing and you will find the positive. And knowing the negative and the positive, the third, the ultimate happens—the transcendental. That is the meaning of understanding, budh, intelligence.

And the fourth meaning is to be enlightened and to enlighten. The Buddha is the light, he has become the light. And since he’s the light and he has become the light, he shows the light to others too, naturally, obviously. He is illumination. His darkness has disappeared, his inner flame is burning bright. Smokeless is his flame. This meaning is opposite to darkness and the corresponding blindness and ignorance. This is the fourth meaning: to become light, to become enlightened.

Ordinarily you are a darkness, a continent of darkness, a dark continent, unexplored. Man is a little strange: he goes on exploring the Himalayas, he goes on exploring the Pacific, he goes on reaching for the moon and Mars; there is just one thing he never tries, exploring his inner being. Man has landed on the moon, and man has not landed yet in his own being. This is strange. Maybe landing on the moon is just an escape; going to Everest is just an escape. Maybe he does not want to go inside, because he’s very much afraid. He substitutes with some other explorations to feel good; otherwise you will have to feel very, very guilty. You start climbing a mountain and you feel good, and the greatest mountain is within you and is yet unclimbed. You start going, diving deep into the Pacific, and the greatest Pacific is within you, and uncharted, unmapped. And you start going to the moon—what foolishness! And you are wasting your energy in going to the moon, and the real moon is within you, because the real light is within you.

The intelligent person will go inwards first. Before going anywhere else he will go into his own being; that is the first thing, and it should have the first preference. Only when you have known yourself can you go anywhere else. Then wherever you go you will carry a blissfulness around you, a peace, a silence, a celebration.

So the fourth meaning is to be enlightened.

Intelligence is the spark. Helped, cooperated with, it can become the fire, and the light, and the warmth. It can become light, it can become life, it can become love: those are all included in the word enlightenment. An enlightened person has no dark corners in his being. All is like the morning—the sun is on the horizon; the darkness of the night and the dismalness of the night have disappeared, and the shadows of the night have disappeared. The earth is again awake. To be a Buddha is to attain to a morning, a dawn within you. That is the function of intelligence, the ultimate function.

And the fifth meaning of budh is to fathom. A depth is there in you, a bottomless depth, which has to be fathomed. Or, the fifth meaning can be to penetrate, to drop all that obstructs and penetrate to the very core of your being, the heart. That’s why this sutra is called the Heart Sutra—Prajnaparamita Hridayam Sutra—to penetrate.

People try to penetrate many things in life. Your urge, your great desire for sex is nothing but a kind of penetration. But that is a penetration into the other. The same penetration has to happen into your own being: you have to penetrate yourself. If you penetrate somebody else it can give you a momentary glimpse, but if you penetrate yourself you can attain to the universal cosmic orgasm that remains and remains and remains.

A man meets an outer woman, and a woman meets an outer man: this is a very superficial meeting, yet meaningful, yet it brings moments of joy. When the inner woman meets the inner man… And you are carrying both inside you: a part of you is feminine; a part of you is masculine. Whether you are man or woman does not matter; everybody is bisexual.

The fifth meaning of the root budh means penetration. When your inner man penetrates your inner woman there is a meeting; you become whole, you become one. And then all desires for the outer disappear. In that desirelessness is freedom, is nirvana.

The path of Buddha is the path of budh. Remember that ‘Buddha’ is not the name of Gautama the Buddha, Buddha is the state that he has attained. His name was Gautam Siddhartha. Then one day he became Buddha, one day his bodhi, his intelligence bloomed.

‘Buddha’ means exactly what ‘Christ’ means. Jesus’ name is not Christ: that is the ultimate flowering that happened to him. So is it with Buddha. There have been many Buddhas other than Gautam Siddartha.

Everybody has the capacity for budh. But budh, that capacity to see, is just like a seed in you—if it sprouts, becomes a big tree, blooms, starts dancing in the sky, starts whispering to the stars, you are a Buddha.

The path of Buddha is the path of intelligence. It is not an emotional path, no, not at all. Not that emotional people cannot reach; there are other paths for them — the path of devotion Bhakti Yoga. Buddha’s path is pure Gyan Yoga, the path of knowing. Buddha’s path is the ath of meditation, not of love.

And just like budh, there is another root, gya, at the basis of gyanam. Gyanam means cognition, knowing. And the word prajna, which means wisdom—Prajnaparamita—the wisdom of the beyond, or sangya, which means perception, sensitivity, or vigyanam which means consciousness—these roots come from gya. Gya means to know.

You will find these words repeated so many times in the sutra—not only in this sutra, but in all the sutras of the Buddha. You will find a few more words, repeated very often, and those words are ved—ved means to know; from ved comes the Hindu word veda—or man, which means mind; manan which means minding; or chit, which means consciousness; chaitanya, which again means consciousness. These words are almost like paving stones on the Buddha Way. His path is that of intelligence.

One thing more to be remembered: the sutra, it is true, points to something that lies far beyond the intellect. But the way to get to that is to follow the intellect as far as it will take you.

The intellect has to be used, not discarded; has to be transcended, not discarded. And it can be transcended only when you have reached to the uppermost rung of the ladder. You have to go on growing in intelligence. Then a moment comes when intelligence has done all that it can do. In that moment say goodbye to intelligence. It has helped you a long way, it has brought you long enough, it has been a good vehicle. It has been a boat you crossed with: you have reached the other shore, then you leave the boat. Then you don’t carry the boat on your head; that would be foolish.

The Buddha’s path goes through intelligence but goes beyond it. A moment comes when intelligence has given you all that it can give, then it is no longer needed. Then finally you drop it too, its work is finished. The disease is gone, now that medicine has to go too. And when you are free of the disease and the medicine too, then only are you free. Sometimes it happens that the disease is gone, and now you have become addicted to the medicine. This is not freedom.

A thorn is in your foot and is hurting. You take another thorn so that the thorn in your foot can be taken out with the help of the other. When you have taken the thorn out you throw both; you don’t save the one that has been helpful. It is now meaningless. The work of intelligence is to help you to become aware of your being. Once that work has happened and your being is there, now there is no need for this instrument. You can say goodbye, you can say thank you.

Buddha’s path is the path of intelligence, pure intelligence, although it goes beyond it.

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Chapter Eight

The Heart Sutra

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.

You Will Find the Christ – Osho

Can Buddha or Christ be created or developed out of every common human being? Or is Buddha or Christ only born as such? Every man is Buddha, every man is Christ: I feel it is not true. 

Bal Krishna Bharti, the Buddha or Christ cannot be created because the Buddha is your intrinsic nature. It need not be created. It has not to be developed either; it is already there, it is already the case. It has only to be unfolded, it has to be discovered. The treasure is there; you have to find the key to unlock the door. The treasure is not to be created, the treasure is not to be developed; you only have to find the right key. You have forgotten about the key — the key is also with you. God provides you with everything that is needed on the journey; you come absolutely prepared. But society disturbs every child, distorts every child, because a Buddha or a Christ is useless to the society; they don’t serve any utilitarian purpose.

What can you do with a Buddha? What purpose is he going to serve? He will be a beautiful flower, but flowers don’t serve any purpose. Flowers have to be enjoyed, appreciated, loved. You can dance around them, you can drink their beauty, but they are not commodities in the marketplace. What can you do with the full moon? You cannot sell it, you cannot purchase it, you cannot be profited by it. You cannot have a bigger bank balance because of the full moon.

Hence the society is not interested in a Buddha or a Christ. Buddha is a full moon, a Buddha is a lotus flower; a Buddha is a bird on the wing. The Buddha is a poem, the Buddha is a song, the Buddha is a celebration. Because they are utterly beyond utility, the society is not interested in them; it is really afraid of these people. It wants you to be slaves, to be cogs in the wheel of the society. It wants you to be servants to the vested interests. It does not want you to be rebels — and a Buddha is bound to be a rebel.

A Buddha cannot follow stupid commandments given by the politicians or the moralists or the puritans or the priests. And these are the people who are exploiting humanity, oppressing humanity. They start destroying every possibility of every human child ever becoming a Buddha. They start crippling, they start poisoning. And down the centuries they have learnt many ways to poison. It is a miracle that once in a while a child has escaped — must have somehow been a mistake on the part of the priests and the politicians that a child escaped from the trap and became a Buddha.

Bal Krishna, every man is born to be a Buddha; every man has the seed of Buddhahood in him. But I can understand your question.

You say: I feel it is not true.

Yes, if you look at the masses it doesn’t seem to be true. If it were true there would be many Buddhas, but one rarely hears about a Buddha. We only know that somewhere, twenty-five centuries ago, a certain Siddhartha Gautam became Buddha. Who knows whether it is true or not? It may be just a myth, a beautiful story, a consolation, an opium for the masses, to keep them hoping that one day they will also become Buddhas. Who knows whether Buddha is a historic reality?

And so many stories have been woven around the Buddha that he looks more like a mythological figure than a reality. When he becomes enlightened, gods come from heaven, play beautiful music, dance around him. Now how can this be history? And flowers shower on him from the sky — flowers of gold and silver, flowers of diamonds and emeralds. Who can believe that this is history?

This is not history, true, I agree. This is poetry. But it symbolizes something historical, because something so unique has happened in Buddha that there is no other way to describe it than to bring poetry in. Real flowers have not showered on Buddha, but whenever somebody becomes enlightened the whole existence rejoices — because we are not separate from it.

When you have a headache your whole body suffers, and when the headache goes your whole body feels good, a well-being. We are NOT separate from existence. And until you are a Buddha you are a headache — a headache to yourself, a headache to others, a headache to the whole existence. You are a thorn in the flesh of existence. When the headache disappears, when the thorn becomes a flower, when one man becomes a Buddha, a great pain that he was creating for himself and others disappears. Certainly — I vouch for it, I am a witness to it — certainly the who]e existence rejoices, dances, sings. How to say it? It is nothing visible; photographs cannot be taken of it. Hence the poetry; hence these metaphors, symbols, similes.

It is said that when Buddha was born his mother immediately died. It may not be a historical fact, it may be. But my feeling is that it is not a historical fact — because it is said that whenever a Buddha is born, the mother immediately dies. That is not true. There have been many Buddhas — Jesus’ mother did not die, Mahavira’s mother did not die, Krishna’s mother did not die. Maybe Siddhartha Gautam’s mother died, but it cannot be said that whenever a Buddha is born the mother dies, not historically. But I know it has some significance of its own which is not historical. By ‘the mother’ is not really meant the mother; by ‘the mother’ is meant your whole past. You are reborn when you become a Buddha; your whole past functions as a womb, the mother. And the moment a Buddha is born, the moment you become enlightened, your whole past dies. That death is necessary.

Now, THIS IS absolutely true. It happened with Mahavira, with Krishna, with Jesus; it has happened always. To say it, it is said that whenever a Buddha is born the mother dies. You will have to be very, very sympathetic to understand these things.

I can understand that it is difficult; looking at the greater part of humanity, to see that there is any possibility of every human being becoming a Christ or a Buddha. Looking at a seed can you believe that one day it can become a lotus? Just looking at the seed, dissecting the seed, will you be able to infer, conclude, that each seed is going to become a lotus? There seems to be no relationship at all. The seed looks nothing, and when you dissect it you find nothing in it, only emptiness. Still each seed carries a lotus within it — and each human being carries the Buddha within him.

You ask me: Can Buddha or Christ be created or developed…?

No, they cannot be created and they cannot be developed: they have to be discovered, they have to be uncovered. They are already there. You just have to reach your innermost core and you will find the Buddha enshrined, you will find the Christ. Christ and Buddha mean the same: the ultimate state of consciousness.

And you say: …out of every common human being?

I have never come across a single common human being. I have come across thousands of people, I have looked into the depths of thousands of different people, but I have never come across a common, ordinary man. Every human being is unique, extraordinary, uncommon, exceptional. God never creates common human beings, God only creates unique consciousnesses.

Drop this idea of a common human being. This is an insult to humanity.

And you say: Is Buddha or Christ only born as such?

No. Nobody is born as such. We are all born alike. That too is again a trick of the mind to avoid growing. If it is settled that a Buddha is born as a Buddha, and a Christ is the ONLY begotten son of God, and Krishna is a reincarnation of God, this is a beautiful strategy to avoid: “Then what can we do? If we are not Buddhas it is not our fault – we are not born like that. And if Buddha is a Buddha, so what? He is born a Buddha. No credit to him; he has not done anything special. If we were born like Buddha we would be Buddhas too. But we are born as common human beings.”

This is a strategy. Very cunning is the mind, and subtle is its cunningness: beware of it. Nobody is born as a Buddha yet everybody brings the potential of being a Buddha. And don’t say, “I feel it is not true” — because how can you feel unless you have become a Buddha? You can only infer, you can only think, you cannot feel.

Listen to me! I feel that everybody can become a Buddha. And I feel it because I was also a common human being…and then suddenly this explosion, then suddenly this light, then suddenly this meditativeness blossomed. You can also become a Buddha; it is your birthright. Don’t be tricked by your mind — remain alert, aware.

-Osho

From Be Still and Know, Chapter One

Be Still and Know

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.