Love is Greater than Truth – Osho

We can practice right behavior, and behavior according to duty, but then we will be waring false faces, as we are inwardly, as you say, a madhouse. So should we act as we feel, or act as we ought?

The first thing to be understood: you have to be authentic to yourself – sincere, honest. But that doesn’t mean that you have to hurt others through your honesty and sincerity, that doesn’t mean that you have to disturb others, that doesn’t mean that you have to disturb the rules of the game. All relationships are just rules of the game, and many times you will have to act and wear masks, false faces. The only thing to remember is: don’t become the mask. Use it if it is good, and keep the rules, but don’t become the mask, don’t get identified. Act it, don’t get identified with it.

This is a great problem, particularly in the West for the new generation. They have heard too much; they have already been seduced by this idea: be sincere and be honest. This is good, but you don’t know how cunning and destructive the mind is. Your mind can find excuses. You can say a truth, not because you love truth so much but just to hurt somebody; you can use it as a weapon. And if you are using it as a weapon it is not truth, it is worse than a lie.

Sometimes you can help somebody through a lie, and sometimes relationship becomes more easy through a lie. Then use it – but don’t get identified with it. What I am saying is: Be a good player, learn the rules of the game; don’t be too adamant about anything.

It happened: I came back from the university and my father and my mother were worried; they were worried about me, about what I was going to do. They were worried about my marriage. So my father started sending messages through his friends asking my opinion whether I was ready to get married or not. So I told his friends, “This is between me and my father, don’t you come in. Tell my father that he can ask me.”

And he was afraid, because I have never said no to him for anything. So he was afraid, he was afraid because I would not say no. Even if I didn’t want to be married I would say yes – that was the worry in his mind. Even if I didn’t want to get into a householder’s life, I would not say no, I would say yes. And that yes would be false. So what to do? He couldn’t ask me – he has not asked yet – because he knew well that I would not break any rule. I would have said yes.

Then he tried through my mother. She asked me one night; she came to my bed, sat there, and asked me what I thought about marriage. So I said, “I have not married yet, so I have no experience. You know well, you have the experience, so you tell me. Take fifteen days: think over it, contemplate, and if you feel you have achieved something through it, then just order me. I will follow the order. Don’t ask about my opinion – I have none, because I have no experience. You are experienced. If you were again given a chance, would you get married?”

She said, “You are trying to confuse me.”

I said, “You take your time, at your own ease. I will wait for two weeks, then you order me. I will just follow… because I don’t know.”

So for two weeks she was worried. She could not sleep, because she knew if she said to marry I would obey. Then she would be responsible, not I. So after two weeks she said, ”I am not going to say anything, because if I look to my own experience, then I would not like you to move into that life. But I cannot say anything now.”

So this is how I remained unmarried. Sincerely, authentically, I was not ready to marry, I was not intending it at all. But I could have acted. And nothing is wrong, because every experience helps you to grow. No-marriage helps, marriage also helps; there is not much difference. Everything helps you to grow in its own way.

The one thing to remember is: life is a great complexity. You are not alone here, there are many others related to you. Be sincere unto yourself, never be false there. Know well what you want, and for yourself remain that. But there are others also; don’t unnecessarily hurt them. And if you need to wear masks, wear them and enjoy them, but remember, they are not your original face, and be capable of taking them off any moment. Remain the master, don’t become the slave; otherwise you can be violent through your sincerity, unnecessarily you can be violent.

I have seen persons who are cruel, violent, aggressive, sadistic – but sincere, very true, authentic. But they are using their authenticity just for their sadism. They want to make others suffer, and their trick is such that you cannot escape them. They are true, so you cannot say, “You are bad.” They are good people, they are never bad, so no one can say to them, “You are bad.” They are always good, and they do the bad through their good.

Don’t do that, and don’t take life too seriously. Nothing is wrong in masks also, faces also. Just as in the drama on the stage they use faces and enjoy and the audience also enjoys, why not enjoy them in real life also? It is not more than a drama. But I am not saying for you to be dishonest. Be sincere with yourself, don’t get identified. But life is great; there are many around you related in many invisible nets. Don’t hurt anybody.

I will tell you one anecdote. It happened, Buddha became enlightened, and then he came back to his town after twelve years. He had escaped one night from his house without even telling his wife that he was leaving. He had gone to her room. She was sleeping with Buddha’s child, the only child, who was just a few days old.

Buddha wanted to touch the small child, to feel, to love and embrace, but then he thought, “If the wife is awakened she may start crying and weeping and may create a mess. The whole house will gather, and then it will be difficult to leave.” So he simply escaped from the door; he just looked in and escaped like a coward. Then for twelve years he never came back.

After twelve years, when he had become enlightened, he came back. His chief disciple was Ananda. Ananda was his elder cousin-brother, and before he took initiation with Buddha he had asked for a few promises. He took sannyas, he took initiation from Buddha, but he was older than Buddha, “So,” he said, “before I take initiation give me some promises as your elder brother, because once I have been initiated you will be the master and I will be the disciple. Then I cannot ask anything. Now I can even order you. These are the rules of the game.”

So Buddha said, “Okay.” He was enlightened, and this unenlightened man was saying, “I am your elder brother.” So Buddha said, “Okay. What do you want?”

He said, “Three promises. One: I will always be with you, you cannot send me anywhere else; wherever you go I will be your shadow. Second: even in the night when you sleep in a room I can come in and out – even while you are asleep. No rules will apply to me. And third: even at midnight when you are asleep, if I bring someone, a seeker, you will have to answer his questions.”

Buddha said, “Okay. You are my elder brother, so I promise.” Then Ananda took initiation, then he become a disciple, and Buddha followed these three things his whole life.

When he came back to his home, he said to Ananda, “Just make one exception, Ananda. My wife Yashodhara has been waiting for twelve years. She is bound to be very angry, and she is a very proud woman. Twelve years is a long time, and I have not been a good husband to her. I escaped from her like a coward, I didn’t even tell her. And I know that if I had told her she would have accepted it because she loves me so much, but I couldn’t gather the courage.
Now after twelve years, if you come with me when I go to meet my wife, she will feel even worse. She will think that this is a trick; that I have brought you with me so that she cannot express her mind, her suppressed anger, and the many things of these twelve years. And she will behave in a ladylike way, because she belongs to a very good family, a royal family. She will not even cry, no tears will come to her eyes; she will keep the rules of the game. So please, Ananda, only one exception I ask you, and I will never ask any other exception. You just wait outside.”

Ananda said, “Bhante, I think you are enlightened. You are no longer a husband and she is no longer a wife, so why play this game?”

Buddha said, “I am enlightened, she is not. I am no longer a husband, but she is still a wife, and I don’t want to hurt her. Let her keep her mind a little while and I will persuade her. I will persuade her to take a jump and become a sannyasin. But give me a chance. I am enlightened, she is not.”

So Buddha went inside the palace. Of course, Yashodhara was mad. She started saying things; she was angry, crying, weeping, tears coming down, and Buddha stood there, silent, listening to everything patiently, with deep compassion. When all her anger was out she looked at Buddha; when her tears were no more there in her eyes then she looked at Buddha. Then she realized that this man was no longer a husband and she had been talking to a ghost of her memory. The man who left her was no more there. This was totally a different man.

She surrendered, and she said to Buddha, “Why have you come? You are no longer a husband.”

Buddha repeated again, “I may not be a husband, but you are still a wife, and I have come to help you so that you can also transcend this misery, this relationship, this world.”

Others are there, consider them, and don’t try to be violent through so-called good things. So when it is said, “right conduct,” it means right relationship with others. You need not be false. When you can be true without hurting anybody, be true. But if you feel that your truth is going to hurt many and is unnecessary, it can be avoided, then avoid it, because it is not only going to hurt others, it will create patterns of cause, and those causes will return as effects on you, they will become your karmas. Then you will get entangled, and the more entangled you are the more you will have to behave in wrong ways.

Just stop. Just see the situation. If you can be true without hurting anybody, be true. To me, love is greater than truth. Be loving. And if you feel that your truth will be hurtful and violent, it is better to lie than to be true. Wait for the right moment when you can be true, and help the other person to come to such a state where your truth will not hurt him. Don’t be in a hurry.

And life is a big drama; don’t take it too seriously – because seriousness is also a disease of the mind, seriousness is part of the ego. Be playful, don’t be too serious. So sometimes you will have to use masks, because there are children around you and they like masks, they like false faces, and they enjoy. Help them to grow so they can face the real face, they can encounter it. But before they can encounter it, don’t create any trouble. Right conduct is just consideration for others.

And look: there is a great difference. You may misunderstand what I am saying. When you lie, you lie for yourself. And I am saying: if you need, and if you feel the need to lie, only lie for the consideration of others. Never lie for yourself, don’t use any mask for yourself. But if you feel it is going to help others, it will be good for them, use the mask. And inside remain alert that this is just a game you are acting, this is not real.

Sometimes you may need to be angry to your child, to your son, to your daughter. There are situations when anger helps. If you say something to your child coldly, it is not loving. If you say to your child, “Don’t do this,” in a cold manner, it is not loving, it is not going to help. When you say, “Don’t do this!” to your child in anger, deep anger, it reaches the child, and he feels that you love him, that’s why you are angry.

A father who has never been angry with his son has never been loving; anger means that you consider him, you can even be angry. You love him, you feel for him. Sometimes even when you are not feeling angry but you see the need, show the anger, have the face of anger – but remain the master. And if you are the master, then the faces are beautiful, you can use them. But don’t become the face; if you become the face you have become the slave. The whole thing is not to get identified. Remain aloof, distant, and capable at any time to put it on and off – the face is just a device. It will be difficult and complex. It is easy to be untrue, it is easy to be true. The most difficult thing is to be the master of yourself to such an extent that if you want to be untrue you can be untrue, and if you want to be true you can be true.

Gurdjieff’s disciples have written many books about him, and every disciple describes him in a different way. This is very mysterious, it has never happened with any other person in that way.
Sometimes it happened that a person went to see Gurdjieff, then left, and then his friend went to see him. They would report to each other and would both give a different picture.

Gurdjieff was a master of changing faces. It is said that he had become so capable that a person sitting by his right side would feel one thing, and a person sitting by his left side would feel differently. He may have been very loving with his left eye, and that half-face was showing love, and with the other side he may have been angry. And both persons would report to each other outside: “What type of man is this? He was so loving.” The other would say, “You are in some illusion… because he was so angry.”

That is possible and such a mastery is beautiful. It is said that no one reported Gurdjieff’s real face, because he never showed anybody his real face. He was always acting, but helping in a way; in many ways he was helping. He would show you the face that was needed by you for your consideration; he would never show you the face that was not needed by you.

To me, and to the Upanishads also, right conduct means just the right rules of behavior with others. You are not going to be here forever. You cannot change the whole world, you cannot change everybody; you can at the most change yourself. So it is better to change yourself inwardly, and don’t try to be in a continuous fight with everybody. Avoid fight – and faces can be helpful. Avoid unnecessary struggle, because that dissipates energy. Preserve your energy to be used for the inner work. And that work is so significant and it needs all your energy that you can give to it, so don’t waste it in unnecessary things.

For the outside world remain an actor, and don’t think that you are deceiving anybody. If they like deception, that’s what they need, that’s what should be given to them. If children like toys to play with, you are not deceiving them. Don’t give them a real gun; let them play with the toy gun, because they like the toy. And don’t think that the toy gun is false; don’t think, ”I must be true, I must give a real gun to the child. If he needs a gun, then I must give the true thing. How can I give the toy? This is a deception.”

But the child needs the toy, there is no deception; he doesn’t need the real gun. So just look at the other, at what he needs, and give him that which he needs. Don’t give out of your own consideration; give out of consideration for him. Look at him, study and observe him, and behave in such a way that will be helpful to him and will not be unnecessary trouble for you. This is all that is meant by right conduct.

-Osho

From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter Seven

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.

You are in Prison and You Think You are Free – Osho

George Gurdjieff has said: “You are in prison. If you wish to get out of prison, the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.”

What are the prisons that I call “home”?

Rama Prem, George Gurdjieff is one of the most significant masters of this age.

He is unique in many ways — nobody has said things in the contemporary world the way Gurdjieff has said them. He is almost like another Bodhidharma or Chuang Tzu, apparently absurd but in reality giving great indications towards the liberation of human consciousness.

You are asking about one of his significant statements. He often used to say, “You are in prison.” Sometimes he was even deeper into the reality, and instead of saying, “You are in prison,” he would say, “You are the prison.” That is more true.

If you wish to get out of prison — or better to say, if you don’t want to be a prison — the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison… or you are the prison. This is something to be always remembered as one of the first principles for any seeker of truth.

The tendency of the human mind is to deny those things which are ugly, to hide those things which he does not want others to know — to hide in such a way, in such depths of the unconscious that even he himself becomes unaware of them. This way he maintains his superficial personality.

Gurdjieff had a story about it…

There was a magician who used to live in faraway deep forests, and he had many sheep because that was his only food. In those deep forests he was keeping all those sheep just to kill them every day, one by one. Naturally, the sheep were very afraid of the man, and they used to run into the forest being afraid that any day can be their day. Their friends are gone, there is no reliability… tomorrow they may be gone. Out of fear they used to go far away, deep into the forest. And to find them was a tedious job every day.

Finally, the magician did a trick. He hypnotized all the sheep, and told every sheep, “You are an exception; everybody may be killed but you can never be killed. You are no ordinary sheep; you have a divine privilege.” To some he said, “You are not sheep at all; you are lions, you are tigers, you are wolves. Only sheep are killed. You need not hide yourself in the forest; that is very embarrassing, because a lion hiding himself in the forest in the fear that he will be killed… only sheep are killed.” And in this way, he managed to hypnotize all the sheep in different ways.

He even said to a few sheep, “You are men, human beings, and human beings don’t kill each other. You are just like me. Never be afraid and never escape out of fear.” Since that day, no sheep escaped and hid in the forest, although they all saw every day that one sheep was being killed, slaughtered. But naturally everybody thought, That must be a sheep; I am a tiger, a lion, a human being. I am special and exceptional, I have a divine privilege…. So many different stories he put in their minds.

Gurdjieff says that unless you realize the first thing — that you are in prison, that you are the prison — then there is no hope for freedom. If you already believe that you are free, you are a hypnotized sheep which believes himself to be a lion — exceptional, there is no need to be afraid — which even believes he is a human being. He goes on seeing other sheep being killed, and still remains in a hypnotized state, never being aware of his actuality. To be free, if you already know that you are free, there is no problem.

All the religions together, perhaps unintentionally, have created a tremendous hypnotic state. People believe they have immortal souls. I am not saying that they don’t have, I am simply saying that they don’t know what they are believing. And because they believe they have an immortal soul, they never discover that they already have it. They have been told, “You are the very kingdom of God”… and it is so comfortable and so consoling to believe. But then there is no way to seek and search and find whether your hypothetical belief has any truth in it, or is just a hypnotic trick used by the society to keep you unafraid of death, to keep you unafraid of disease, old age, to keep you unafraid of your loneliness.

Your God may be just a psychological hypnosis. It is not your discovery. That is true — that much is absolutely true. It has been implanted in your mind, and because you go on believing in it, your belief prevents any adventure in seeking the truth.

Ordinarily, you have been told continually that unless you believe, you will not find. But the truth is just the contrary. Belief is a barrier, it is not a bridge. Those who believe never find, because they never even begin the search; there is no need.

You are in prison and you think you are free.

You are in chains but you think they are ornaments. You are a slave but you have been told that you are humble, that you are simple, that this is the way a religious person should be. You are surrounded by many hypnotic strategies developed by society down the ages. And those hypnotic strategies are the root cause of your ignorance, of your misery, of your unenlightened state.

Hence the first thing to realize is that you are in prison. The moment you recognize that you are in prison, you cannot tolerate the prison. Nobody can tolerate it; it goes against human dignity. You will start finding ways to get out of it. You will start finding people who have already got out of it. You may start seeking and searching outside help beyond the walls, because there are people beyond the walls ready with every kind of help. But they are absolutely helpless if you believe that you are living in absolute freedom.

If you believe this imprisonment is your home, then of course it is absolute nonsense even to think of getting rid of it. The wall that keeps you a prisoner, you think is a protection. Then there is no question of making a hole in the wall and getting out, or finding a ladder, or taking some help from the outside. A rope can be thrown from the outside, a ladder can be arranged from the outside, but this is possible only if the basic thing, that you are in prison, is recognized. George Gurdjieff was consistently insisting, “This is a basic realization. Without it, there is no progress towards enlightenment. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.”

“What are the prisons that I call `home’?” Rama Prem, all the so-called homes are nothing but prisons, because they don’t give you freedom, they only give you security, safety, and in place they take away your very being, your freedom, your joy, your dance. But certainly they give you security, safety — and naturally you have to pay for it.

The price that one has to pay is immensely great in comparison to what you get. You have to sell your very soul. But then what is the point of safety and security? You were searching for security and safety for your being, and in the very search you have sold your being. Now you are secure and safe, but what is the point? For whom is the safety and security? It does not serve you, it serves those who have managed to convince you that “If you give your soul, your being, we will take care — then you need not be worried, then we are responsible for your safety and security.”

The moment you give up your responsibility, you give up everything. Then you are just an empty shell, without any meaning and without any essence. Your homes are nothing but beautiful prisons made by you, decorated by you. You think they are protecting you; they are destroying you. Certainly they protect you from the rains and they protect you from the winds and they protect you from the sun, but for these trivia they destroy you completely. You lose all joy, you lose all freedom, you lose all sense of direction. You lose the very purpose you are here for. You get lost in your own home. You become too much concerned about the furniture and about the decorations, and you forget yourself completely. This forgetfulness is a kind of deep psychological sleep.

Your wife, your husband, your children — nobody is yours. All are man-made, arbitrary relationships — even your own children are not your own. They come through you; they don’t belong to you. You belong to the past; they belong to the future. There is no connection, there is no relationship; hence, as man has become more and more intelligent there has come a great generation gap.

One great Russian novelist, Turgenev, has written a book — perhaps his best, his masterpiece – Fathers and Sons. The whole book is about the struggle between the fathers and the sons, because the fathers would like the sons just to be their replicas. Naturally, they will not allow the sons any freedom. Obedience they expect; they expect their sons to be their carbon copies. […]

Religions have created all kinds of crimes in the mind of man, just by prohibiting them. They have also created ideas which prevent man from any search. They say, “Believe” — and belief is cheap. You don’t have to do anything. Gurdjieff had to go to such extents that he started saying to people, “You don’t have souls. It is a wrong idea, implanted within you by religions, that everybody has a soul.”

He had to say such a thing just to wake you up to search whether it is true or not; otherwise, everybody was perfectly asleep. What is the need to search? You already have it; God is within you! So do other things which, if you don’t do, you will not get — become a president, prime minister, become the richest man in the world, conquer the world — because these things will not happen on their own. As far as God is concerned you already have him; he is within you, you don’t have to go anywhere. Any day, any rainy day when you can’t go anywhere to conquer the world, and you don’t have anything else to do — to correct the mechanism of your car, or to open your wall clock, or to open your radio or television even though they are functioning perfectly well, but you don’t have anything else to do…. Any day, when you don’t have anything to do, you can find God. He is within you, in your pocket.

Gurdjieff is perhaps the only man in the whole of history who insisted against all religions that you don’t have a soul — that a soul has to be created, then you have it. You are not born with it, you are born only with the possibility. If you make a great effort, perhaps you may achieve it. Otherwise most people are born and die; there is no soul that survives.

He was telling a compassionate lie. He was not right, but I cannot say that he was telling the lie for any other reason than compassion. It is true you are born with the soul, but it has become such an accepted fact that you don’t even look within yourself. Somebody needs to shatter your idea that you are born with a soul, to tell you that inside you are just empty, hollow. Perhaps this may shake you up, wake you up. Perhaps this may give you the idea to look inside at least one time, whether there is a soul or you have been deceived.

And George Gurdjieff helped more people in this century than anybody else, because he created a great longing: “Don’t die before you have created a soul; otherwise nothing will survive the death. Crystallize your being so that death cannot destroy it. But you are not born with it, you have to create it.”

The idea of all the religions, although true, has not been helpful; it has become a hindrance. Gurdjieff’s compassion is great. All the religions were against him, obviously, because that is the one point they all agree on — that everybody is born with a soul. But Gurdjieff’s point is more psychological, and more effective in creating liberation. He says you are just empty, and you will remain empty unless you make the effort, with a determined will, to create a center within you. There is possibility, potential, but you have to make it an actuality. His insight was great.

And since Gurdjieff, people have forgotten it completely. He was alive just thirty years ago and just within thirty years people have forgotten the great teacher who was compassionate enough even to lie, just to make you shocked; just to create an opening in you so that you can start searching whether what all the religions have been saying has any truth in it or not.

The first thing he says is to realize you are in prison. The first thing that can also be said is, you have to realize that you are not yet. You have to be. You are a seed, but you have to find the right soil, and nobody else can do it for you. If you go on depending on priests and your so-called saints, you will miss this great opportunity that life has given to you. And one does not know whether a second chance is being given or not. It has to be made emphatically clear to you that there is a possibility — once missed, you have missed it forever.

Gurdjieff created a great turmoil in a few intelligent people, and he put them to great work in finding themselves. I don’t agree with George Gurdjieff as far as his methods are concerned, but as far as this statement is concerned I agree totally. It is simply a psychological fact.

There are people who believe they are intelligent. In fact, it is very difficult to find somebody who believes he is unintelligent. If you can find somebody who believes he is unintelligent, there is a possibility for him to be intelligent. But for all those who already believe they are intelligent, you can’t help them. And certainly this whole humanity is not intelligent. Their actions show it, their behavior shows it, their misery shows it — it shows nothing but their retardedness.

But their belief is that they are geniuses — life is just not giving them the right opportunities to show their talents; otherwise, they could have been Picasso, or Sartre, or Bertrand Russell, or Martin Buber; there is no problem. It is just because life is preventing them; otherwise, they have everything. It is not so.

Now education is universal, particularly in advanced countries, but even universal education does not create universal geniuses. Everybody is educated but even that does not give you the same talent. Man is living in a kind of half-awake and half-asleep state, and it is very easy to believe that you are great – great in intelligence, great in beauty, great in everything — rather than finding greatness, creating greatness, because that will require effort, tremendous effort. And enlightenment is the ultimate intelligence. If you already believe you are intelligent, you have stopped yourself from growing.

Just watch exactly where you are. Be very impartial about judging yourself. See exactly, even if it hurts, that you are a slave — of some political ideology, of some religious theology, of some racial stupidity. Just watch and be very impartial and objective about yourself, and you will find what Gurdjieff calls your prisons. And once you recognize your prisons, it is not difficult to get out, because they are your own creations.

Bernstein died and went to hell. The receptionist asked, “Where do you want to go?”

“Do I have a choice?” asked the surprised Bernstein.

“Certainly! This anteroom is surrounded by closed doors. Just listen at each one and decide which you want to enter.”

Bernstein listened at the first door and heard horrible shrieks of agony. He went to the second, then the third — always hearing screams, cries, and yells. Finally, at the seventh door, he heard nothing but gentle murmuring.

He said quickly, “I’ll take this one.”

The door was flung open and he was propelled inside. He found himself up to his lower lip in a vast sea of shit. With him were millions of others, standing on tiptoe, muttering, “Don’t make waves! Don’t make waves!”

Whatever you have made your life is your own choice. Even in hell you have a choice – everywhere you have a choice. Your life is your own creation. Once you recognize it, then every change is possible.

Churchill’s commentary on man was: “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.” Man is a very strange animal, strangest of all the animals you see. He goes on believing in things which are not, he goes on believing in things which he has not. He never makes any effort, even in finding one very fundamental thing: who he is, from where he comes, and what is his destiny, where he is going.

People discuss all kinds of things, and people read about all kinds of things, but generally they never bother about themselves. It seems they take themselves for granted, and that’s what Gurdjieff wants to stop: Don’t take yourself for granted. Look inside, search for who you are, and whether you are or if there is just emptiness and something has to be done to bring the seed to sprout, to take care of the seed so that one day it can blossom.

Sinking uneasily into the depths of the psychiatrist’s couch, the patient sighed, “Doctor, I have a problem.” He loosened his collar and continued, “I’ve got one son in Harvard and another at Yale. I’ve just gifted them with twin Ferraris. I have a townhouse on upper Fifth Avenue, and a summer home at East Hampton, and a sprawling ranch in Venezuela.”

“Well,” smiled the psychiatrist, obviously impressed, “either I missed something or you really don’t have a problem.”

“Doc,” the harried chap croaked, “I only make seventy-five dollars a week.”

Naturally you will have problems! You make seventy-five dollars a week, and you imagine all these things: two Ferraris, two sons — one in Harvard, one in Yale — a townhouse, a house in the hills, a big ranch in Venezuela, and seventy-five dollars a week! People create their problems. People are utterly poor in their consciousness, and go on believing that the kingdom of God is within. In your poor consciousness, you can have only a very poor God — seventy-five dollars a week. Your God is as rich as your consciousness is, because the God is another name for your consciousness.

-Osho

Excerpt from The Invitation, Chapter Four

The Invitation

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.

 

Conscious While Dreaming – Osho

Will you please explain to us what are some of the other factors which can make one conscious while dreaming?

This is a significant question for all those who are interested in meditation, because meditation is really a transcending of the process of dreaming. You are constantly dreaming – not only in the night, not only while you are asleep; you are dreaming the whole day. This is the first point to be understood. While you are awake you are still dreaming.

Just close your eyes at any time of the day. Relax the body and you will feel that the dreaming is there. It never disappears; it is only suppressed by our daily activities. It is like the stars in the day. In the night you see the stars. In the day you cannot see them, but they are there always. They are simply suppressed by the sunlight.

If you go into a deep well, then you can see the stars in the sky even in the day. A certain darkness is needed to see the stars. So go into a deep well and look from the bottom, and you will be able to see the stars in the day also. The stars are there. It is not that in the night they are there and in the day they are not, they are always there. In the night you can see them easily. In the day you cannot see them because the sunlight becomes a barrier.

The same is true with dreaming. It is not that you dream while you are asleep. In sleep you can feel dreams easily because the activity of the day is no more there; thus that inner activity can be seen and felt. When you get up in the morning, the dreaming continues inside while you start acting on the outside.

This process of activity, of daily activity, simply suppresses the dreaming. The dreaming is there. Close your eyes, relax in an armchair, and suddenly you can feel: the stars are there; they have not gone anywhere. The dreams are there always. There is a continuous activity.

The second point. If the dreaming continues, you cannot be said to be really awake. In the night you are more asleep, in the day you are less asleep. The difference is relative, because if the dreaming is there you cannot be said to be really awake. Dreaming creates a film over the consciousness. This film becomes like smoke – you are surrounded by it. You cannot be really awake while you are dreaming, whether in the day or in the night. So the second thing: you can only be said to be awake when there is no dreaming at all.

We call Buddha the awakened one. What is this awakening? This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming. There is no dream inside. You move there, but there is no dream. It is as if there were no star in the sky; it has become pure space. When there is no dreaming, you become pure space.

This purity, this innocence, this non-dreaming consciousness, is what is known as enlightenment – the awakening. For centuries spirituality all over the world, East or West, has said that man is asleep. Jesus says this, Buddha says this, the Upanishads talk about this: man is asleep. So while you are asleep in the night you are just relatively more asleep; in the day you are less asleep. But spirituality says that man is asleep. This has to be understood.

What is meant by this? Gurdjieff, in this century, emphasized this fact that man is asleep. “In fact,” he said, “man is a sort of sleep. Everyone is deeply asleep.”

What is the reason for saying that? You cannot know, you cannot remember who you are. Do you know who you are? If you meet a person in the street and you ask him who he is and he cannot reply, what will you think? You will think that he is either mad, intoxicated, or just asleep. If he cannot answer who he is, what are you going to think about him? On the spiritual path everyone is like that. You cannot answer who you are.

This is the first meaning when Gurdjieff or Jesus or anyone says that man is asleep: you are not conscious about yourself. You do not know yourself; you have never met yourself. You know many things in the objective world, but you do not know the subject. Your state of mind is as if you had gone to see a film. On the screen the film is running, and you have become so absorbed in it that the only thing you know is the film, the story, whatsoever is appearing on the screen. Then if someone asks you who you are, you cannot say anything.

Dreaming is just the film – just the film! It is the mind reflecting the world. In the mirror of the mind the world is reflected; that is what dreaming is. And you are so deeply involved in it, so much identified with it, that you have completely forgotten who you are. This is what being asleep means: the dreamer is lost in the dreaming. You see everything except yourself; you feel everything except yourself; you know everything except yourself. This self-ignorance is the sleep. Unless dreaming ceases completely, you cannot awaken unto yourself.

You might have felt it sometimes while looking at a film for three hours, and suddenly the film stops and you come back to yourself. You remember that three hours have passed, you remember that it was just a film. You feel your tears… you have been weeping because the film was a tragedy to you, or you were laughing, or you were doing something else, and now you laugh about yourself. What nonsense you were doing! It was just a film, just a story. There was nothing on the screen – just a play of light and shadow, just an electrical play. Now you laugh: you have come back to yourself. But where were you for these three hours?

You were not at your center. You had moved completely to the periphery. There, where the film was moving, you had gone. You were not at your center; you were not with yourself. You were somewhere else.

This happens in dreaming; this is what our life is. The film is only for three hours, but this dreaming is running for lives and lives and lives. Even if suddenly the dreaming stops you will not be able to recognize who you are. Suddenly you will feel very faint, even afraid. You will try to move again into the film because that is known. You are acquainted with it; you are well adjusted to it.

For when the stopping of the dreaming happens there is a path, particularly in Zen, which is known as the path of sudden enlightenment. There are techniques in these one hundred and twelve methods, there are many techniques which can give you sudden awakening. But it can be too much, and you may not be capable of bearing it. You may just explode. You may die even, because you have lived with dreaming so long that you have no memory of who you are if there is no dreaming.

If this whole world should suddenly disappear and you alone are left, it would be such a great shock that you would die. The same would happen if suddenly all dreaming disappeared from the consciousness. Your world will disappear, because your world was your dreaming.

We are not really in the world. Rather, “the world” consists not of outside things to us, but of our dreams. So everyone lives in his own dream world.

Remember, it is not one world that we go on talking about. Geographically it is, but psychologically there are as many worlds as there are minds. Each mind is a world of its own. And if your dreaming disappears, your world disappears. Without dreams it is difficult for you to live. That is why sudden methods are not used generally, only gradual methods are used.

It is good to note this: gradual methods are used not because there is any need of gradual processes. You can suddenly jump into realization this very moment. There is no barrier; there has never been any barrier. You are already that realization, you can jump this very moment. But that may prove dangerous, fatal. You may not be capable of bearing it. It is going to be too much for you.

You are attuned only to false dreams. Reality you cannot face; you cannot encounter it. You are a hothouse plant – you live in your dreams. They help you in many ways. They are not just dreams, for you they are the reality.

Gradual methods are used not because realization needs time. Realization needs no time! Realization needs no time at all. Realization is not something to be attained in the future, but with gradual methods you will attain it in the future. So what are the gradual methods doing? They are not really helping you to “realize realization,” they are helping you to bear it. They are making you capable, strong, so that when the happening happens you can bear it.

There are seven methods through which immediately you can force your way into enlightenment. But you will not be capable of bearing it. You may go blind – too much of light. Or you may suddenly die – too much of bliss.

This dreaming, this deep sleep we are in, how can it be transcended? This question is meaningful in transcending it:

Will you please explain to us what are some of the other factors which can make one conscious while dreaming?

I will talk about two methods more. One we discussed yesterday. Today, two more that are even easier.

One is to start acting, behaving as if the whole world is just a dream. Whatsoever you are doing, remember this is a dream. While eating, remember this is a dream. While walking, remember this is a dream. Let your mind continuously remember while you are awake that everything is a dream. This is the reason for calling the world maya, illusion, dream. This is not a philosophical argument.

Unfortunately, when Shankara was translated into English, German and French, into Western languages, he was understood to be just a philosopher. That has created much misunderstanding. In the West there are philosophers – for example, Berkeley – who say that the world is just a dream, a projection of the mind. But this is a philosophical theory. Berkeley proposes it as an hypothesis.

When Shankara says that the world is a dream it is not philosophical, not a theory. Shankara proposes it as a help, as a support for a particular meditation. And this is the meditation: if you want to remember while dreaming that this is a dream, you will have to start while you are awake. Normally, while you are dreaming you cannot remember that this is a dream; you think that this is a reality.

Why do you think that this is a reality? Because the whole day you are thinking everything is a reality. That has become the attitude, a fixed attitude. While awake you were taking a bath – it was real. While awake you were eating – it was real. While awake you were talking with a friend – it was real. For the whole day, the whole life, whatsoever you are thinking, your attitude is that this is real. This becomes fixed. This becomes a fixed attitude in the mind.

So while you are dreaming in the night, the same attitude goes on working, that this is real. So let us first analyze. There must be some similarity between dreaming and reality; otherwise this attitude would be somewhat difficult.

I am seeing you. Then I close my eyes and I go into a dream, and I see you in my dream. In both seeings there is no difference. While I am actually seeing you, what am I doing? Your picture is reflected in my eyes. I am not seeing you. Your picture is mirrored in my eyes, and then that picture is transformed through mysterious processes – and science is still not in a position to say how. That picture is transformed chemically and carried somewhere inside the head, but science is still not able to say where – where exactly this thing happens. It is not happening in the eyes; the eyes are just windows. I am not seeing you with the eyes, I am seeing you through the eyes.

In the eyes you are reflected. You may be just a picture; you may be a reality, you may be a dream. Remember, dreams are three-dimensional. I can recognize a picture because a picture is two dimensional. Dreams are three-dimensional, so they look exactly like you. And the eyes cannot say whether whatsoever is seen is real or unreal. There is no way to judge; the eyes are not the judge.

Then the picture is transformed into chemical messages. Those chemical messages are like electrical waves; they go somewhere in the head. It is still unknown where the point is that the eyes come in contact with the surface of seeing. Just waves reach to me and then they are decoded. Then I again decode them, and in this way I know what is happening.

I am always inside, and you are always outside, and there is no meeting. So whether you are real or just a dream is a problem. Even this very moment, there is no way to judge whether I am dreaming or you are really here. Listening to me, how can you say that really you are listening to me, that you are not dreaming? There is no way. That is why the attitude which you maintain the whole day is carried over into the night. And while you are dreaming you take it as real.

Try the opposite; that is what Shankara means. He says that the whole world is an illusion, he says the whole world is a dreaming – remember this. But we are stupid people. If Shankara says, “This is a dream,” then we say, “What is the need to do anything? If this is just a dream, then there is no need to eat. Why go on eating and thinking that this is a dream? Don’t eat!” But then remember – when you feel hunger, it is a dream. Or eat, and when you feel that you have eaten too much, remember, this is a dream.

Shankara is not telling you to change the dream, remember, because the effort to change the dream is again falsely based on the belief that it is real; otherwise there is no need to change anything. Shankara is just saying that whatever is the case is a dream.

Remember this: do not do anything to change it, just remember it constantly. Try to remember for three weeks continuously that whatsoever you are doing it is just a dream. In the beginning it is very difficult. You will fall again and again into the old pattern of the mind, you will start thinking that this is a reality. You will have to constantly awaken yourself to remind yourself that “This is a dream.” If for three weeks continuously you can maintain this attitude, then in the fourth or fifth week, any night while dreaming you will suddenly remember that “This is a dream.”

This is one way to penetrate dreams with consciousness, with awareness. If you can remember in the night while dreaming that this is a dream, then in the day you will not need any effort to remember that this is also a dream. You will know it then.

In the beginning, while you are practicing this, it will be just a make-believe. You start just in faith… “This is a dream.” But when you can remember in dreaming that this is a dream, it will become a reality. Then in the day, when you get up you will not feel that you are getting up from sleep, you will feel you are simply getting up from one dreaming to another. Then it will become a reality. And if the whole twenty-four hours becomes dreaming, and you can feel and remember it, you will be standing at your center. Then your consciousness will have become double-arrowed.

You are feeling dreams, and if you are feeling them as dreams you will start to feel the dreamer – the subject. If you take dreams as real, you cannot feel the subject. If the film has become real, you forget yourself. When the film stops and you know that it was unreal, your reality erupts, breaks out; you can feel yourself. This is one way.

This has been one of the oldest Indian methods. That is why we have insisted on the world being unreal. We do not mean it philosophically; we do not say that this house is unreal so you can pass through the walls. We do not mean that! When we say that this house is unreal, it is a device. This is not an argument against the house.

So Berkeley proposed that the whole world is just a dream. One day, in the morning, he was walking with Dr. Johnson. Dr. Johnson was a hardened realist, so Berkeley said, “Have you heard about my theory? I am working on it. I feel that the whole world is unreal, and it cannot be proved that it is real. And the burden of proving it is on those who say that it is real. I say it is unreal – just like dreams. Johnson was not a philosopher, but he had a very astute logical mind.

They are on the street, just walking in the morning on a lonely street. Johnson then takes one stone in his hand and hits Berkeley’s leg. Blood oozes out, and Berkeley screams. Johnson says, “Why are you screaming if the stone is just a dream? Whatsoever you say, you believe in the reality of the stone. What you are saying is one thing, and your behavior is something different and contrary. If your house is just a dream, then to where are you returning? Where are you returning after the morning walk? If your wife is just a dream, you will not meet her again.”

Realists have always argued this way, but they cannot argue this way with Shankara because his is not a philosophical theory. It is not saying anything about the reality; it is not proposing anything about the universe. Rather, it is a device to change your mind, to change the basic fixed attitude so that you can look at the world in a different, an altogether different way.

This is a problem, continuously a problem for Indian thought – because for Indian thought everything is just a device for meditation. We are not concerned about its being true or untrue. We are concerned about its utility in transforming man.

This is emphatically different from the Western mind. When they propose a theory they are concerned with whether this is true or untrue, whether this can be proved logically or not. When we propose anything we are not concerned about its truth; we are concerned about its utility, we are concerned about its capacity, its capability to transform the human mind. It may be true, it may not be true. Really, it is neither – it is simply a device.

I have seen flowers outside. In the morning the sun rises and everything is just beautiful. You have never been outside, and you have never seen flowers, and you have never seen the morning sun. You have never seen the open sky; you do not know what beauty is. You have lived in a closed prison. I want to lead you out. I want you to come out under the open sky to meet these flowers. How am I to do it?

You do not know flowers. If I talk about flowers, you think, “He has gone mad. There are no flowers.” If I talk about the morning sun, you think, “He is a visionary. He sees visions and dreams. He is a poet.” If I talk about the open sky, you will laugh. You will start laughing, “Where is the open sky? There are only walls and walls and walls.”

So what am I to do? I must devise something which you can understand and which helps you to go out, so I say that the house is on fire and I start running. It becomes infectious: you run after me and go out. Then you will know that what I said was neither true nor false. It was just a device. Then you will know flowers and then you can forgive me.

Buddha was doing that, Mahavir was doing that, Shiva was doing that, Shankara was doing that. We can forgive them later on. We have always forgiven them because once we go out we know what they were doing. And then we understand that it was useless to argue with them because it was not a question of arguing. The fire was nowhere, but we could not understand only that language. Flowers were, but we could not understand the language of the flowers, those symbols were meaningless for us.

So this is one way. Then there is a second method at the other pole. This method makes one pole; the other method makes another pole of the same thing. One method is to start feeling, remembering, that everything is a dream. The other is not to think anything about the world, but just to go on remembering that you are.

Gurdjieff used this second method. This second method comes from the Sufi tradition, from Islam. They worked on it very deeply. Remember “I am” – whatsoever you are doing. You are drinking water, you are eating your food – remember, “I am.” Go on eating and go on remembering, “I am, I am.” Do not forget it! It is difficult because you already think that you know you are, so what is the need to go on remembering this? You never remember it, but it is a very, very potential technique.

When walking remember, “I am.” Let the walking be there, go on walking, but be constantly fixed in this self-remembering of “I am, I am, I am.” Do not forget this. You are listening to me – just do it here. You are listening to me. Do not be so much merged, involved, identified. Whatsoever I am saying, remember, go on remembering. Listening is there, words are there, someone is talking, you are – “I am, I am, I am.” Let this “I am” be a constant factor of awareness.

It is very difficult. You cannot remember continuously even for a single minute. Try it. Put your watch before your eyes and look at the hands moving. One second, two seconds, three seconds… go on looking at it. Do two things: look at the movement of the hand which is showing seconds, and continuously remember “I am, I am.” With every second go on remembering “I am.” Within five or six seconds you will feel that you have forgotten. Suddenly you will remember that “Many seconds have passed and I have not remembered ‘I am.’”

Even to remember for one complete minute is a miracle. And if you can remember for one minute, the technique is for you. Then do it. Through it you will be capable of going beyond dreams and of knowing that dreams are dreams.

How does it work? If the whole day you can remember “I am,” then this will penetrate your sleep also. And when you will be dreaming, continuously you will remember, “I am.” If you can remember “I am” in the dream, suddenly the dream becomes just a dream. Then the dream cannot deceive you, then the dream cannot be felt as reality. This is the mechanism: the dream is felt as reality because you are missing the self-remembering; you are missing ”I am.” If there is no remembering of oneself, then the dream becomes reality. If there is the remembering of oneself, then reality, the so-called reality, becomes just a dream.

This is the difference between dreaming and reality. For a meditative mind, or for the science of meditation, this is the only difference. If you are, then the whole reality is just a dream. If you are not, then the dreaming becomes reality.

Nagarjuna says, “Now I am, for the world is not. While I was not, the world was. Only one can exist.” That doesn’t mean that the world has disappeared. Nagarjuna is not talking about this world, he is talking about the world of dreaming. Either you can be or the dreams can be – both cannot be.

So the first step will be to continue remembering ”I am” constantly; simply, ”I am.” Do not say “Ram,” do not say “Shyam.” Do not use any name, because you are not that. Simply use, “I am.”

Try it in any activity and then feel it. The more real you become inside, the more unreal becomes the surrounding world. The reality becomes “I”, and the world becomes unreal. The world is real or the “I” is real – both cannot be real. You are feeling that you are just a dream now; then the world is real. Change the emphasis. Become real, and the world will become unreal.

Gurdjieff worked on this method continuously. His chief disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, relates that when Gurdjieff was working on him with this method, and he was practicing for three months continuously this remembering of “I am, I am, I am,” after three months everything stopped. Thoughts, dreaming, everything stopped. Only one note remained inside like eternal music: “I am, I am, I am, I am.” But then this was not an effort. This was a spontaneous activity going on: “I am.” Then Gurdjieff called Ouspensky out of the house. For three months he had been kept in the house and wasn’t allowed to move out.

Then Gurdjieff said, “Come with me.” They were residing in a Russian town, Tiflis. Gurdjieff called him out and they went into the street. Ouspensky writes in his diary, “For the first time I could understand what Jesus meant when he said that man is asleep. The whole city looked to me as if it was asleep. People were moving in their sleep; shopkeepers were selling in their sleep; customers were buying in their sleep. The whole city was asleep. I looked at Gurdjieff: only he was awake. The whole city was asleep. They were angry, they were fighting, they were loving, buying, selling, doing everything.”

Ouspensky says, “Now I could see their faces, their eyes: they were asleep. They were not there. The inner center was missing; it was not there.” Ouspensky said to Gurdjieff, “I do not want to go there anymore. What has happened to the city? Everyone seems asleep, drugged.”

Gurdjieff said, “Nothing has happened to the city, something has happened to you. You have been undrugged; the city is the same. It is the same place you moved around in three months ago, but you couldn’t see that other people are asleep because you were also asleep. Now you can see because a certain quality of awareness has come to you. With three months of practising “I am” continuously, you have become aware in a very small measure. You have become aware! A part of your consciousness has gone beyond dreaming. That is why you can see that everyone is asleep, dead, moving, drugged, as if hypnotized.”

Ouspensky says, “I couldn’t bear that phenomenon – everyone asleep! Whatsoever they are doing, they are not responsible for it. They are not! How can they be responsible?” He came back and he asked Gurdjieff, “What is this? Am I deceived somehow? Have you done something to me that the whole city seems asleep? I cannot believe my own eyes.”

But this will happen to anyone. If you can remember yourself, then you will know that no one is remembering himself, and in this way each goes on moving. The whole world is asleep. But start while you are awake. Any moment that you remember, start “I am.”

 

I do not mean that you have to repeat the words “I am,” rather, have the feeling. Taking a bath, feel ”I am.” Let there be the touch of the cold shower, and let yourself be there behind, feeling it and remembering “I am.” Remember, I am not saying that verbally you have to repeat “I am.” You can repeat it, but that repetition will not give you awareness. Repetition may even create more sleep. There are many people who are repeating many things. They go on repeating “Ram, Ram, Ram…” and if they are just repeating without awareness then this ”Ram, Ram, Ram…” becomes a drug. They can sleep well through it.

That is why Mahesh Yogi has so much appeal in the West, because he is giving mantras for people to repeat. And in the West sleep has become one of the most serious problems. Sleep is totally disturbed. Natural sleep has disappeared. Only through tranquilizers and drugs can you sleep; otherwise sleep has become impossible. This is the reason for Mahesh Yogi’s appeal. It is because if you constantly repeat something, that repetition gives you deep sleep; that is all.

So the so-called transcendental meditation is nothing but a psychological tranquilizer. It is nothing – just a tranquilizer. It helps, but it is good for sleep, not for meditation. You can sleep well, a more calm sleep will be there. It is good, but it is not meditation at all. If you repeat a word constantly it creates a certain boredom, and boredom is good for sleep.

So anything monotonous, repetitive can help sleep. The child in the mother’s womb sleeps for nine months continuously, and the reason for this you may not know. The reason is only the “tick-tock, tick-tock” of the heart of the mother. Continuously there is the beat, the heartbeat. It is one of the most monotonous things in the world. With the same beat continuously repeating, the child is drugged. He goes on sleeping.

That is why whenever the child is crying, screaming, creating any problem, the mother puts his head near her heart. Then suddenly he feels good and goes into sleep. Again it is due to the heartbeat. He becomes again a part of the womb. That is why even if you are not a child and your wife, your beloved puts your head on her heart, you will feel sleepy from the monotonous beat.

Psychologists suggest that if you cannot sleep, then concentrate on the clock. Just concentrate on the clock’s tick-tock, tick-tock. It repeats the heartbeat, and you can fall asleep. Anything repetitive will help.

So this “I am,” the remembering of “I am,” is not a verbal mantra. It is not going to be repeated verbally – feel it! Be sensitive to your being. When you touch someone’s hand do not only touch his hand, feel your touch also, feel yourself also – that you are here in this touch, present totally. While eating, do not only eat, feel yourself eating as well. This feeling, this sensitivity must penetrate deeper and deeper into your mind.

One day, suddenly, you are awake at your center, functioning for the first time. And then the whole world becomes a dream, then you can know that your dreaming is a dreaming. And when you know that your dreaming is a dreaming, dreaming stops. It can continue only if it is felt as real. It is stopped if it is felt as unreal.

And once dreaming stops in you, you are a different man. The old man is dead; the sleepy man is dead. That human being which you were, you are no more. For the first time you become aware; for the first time in the whole world that is asleep, you are awake. You become a buddha, an awakened one.

With this awakening there is no misery, after this awakening there is no death, through this awakening there is no more fear. You become for the first time free of everything. To be free of sleep, to be free of dreaming, is to be free of everything. You attain freedom. Hate, anger, greed disappear. You become just love. Not loving, you become just love!

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter Six

The Book of Secrets

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Mind is the Whole Problem – Osho

The darkness seems so deep, my eyes covered in a haze, my mind never ending noise – except for those moments I am with you – swirling around and around. The light is there but seems so far away in all this darkness. Sometimes I wonder if I am going to make it. Beloved Master, I cannot find the door.

Don’t be worried. You don’t need to find the door, because you are outside the door! You are never inside; you only believe you are inside. Existentially, you are always outside. The moment you understand that you are out – it was just an idea that you were in – the faraway light is no longer far away; it is you. And the darkness that surrounds you is not found anymore.

But the basic thing is to realize that you are already outside the door. There is no way for you to be inside the door. That’s what I was saying: watchfulness is not part of the mind and cannot be part of the mind.

Mind cannot be a witness.

Mind is the darkness.

Mind is the whole problem, and the solution is just outside the door waiting for you to recognize that you are not in, you are out.

Witnessing the content of your mind, the moment comes when you suddenly become aware of your being always out – even in the darkest nights that have passed you were not in. Such a great joy descends over you that it is existentially impossible for you to get in. It is good that you are not finding the door; otherwise you will get in!

There is no door. Mind remains in; you remain out. Neither the mind can come out nor you can come in. But the attachment with the mind is possible without any door. The identification with the mind is possible without any door.

You have just forgotten yourself.

Nothing is lost, nothing is missing, nothing has to be found. Just remember. A simple remembering – the simplest things are very difficult, that’s true – and this is the most simple thing.

None of the problems are yours. As far as you are concerned, no problem can enter in you, but you can get identified with something which is not you.

I remember a story. A man’s house caught fire. The house was on fire, and it had taken the man’s whole life’s effort to make that beautiful place. Thousands of people had gathered, but there was nothing that could be done. The fire had become so big. And you can understand that man: tears were coming from his eyes. It was his whole life burning in front of him. And then suddenly his son came running and he said, “Dad, why are you worried? We sold the house yesterday. You were out… but we have sold the house. It is now for somebody else to cry and weep, not for you. And we have got enough profit out of it.”

The man immediately wiped away his tears and became just a spectator like the others were spectators. The identity, the invisible identity, ”It is my house,” was no longer there. There was no pain, there was no misery, there was no problem at all. And he was really happy in a way: “Now we can make a better house.” He was feeling relieved; the house was burning, and he was feeling relieved.

And then a second son came running. He said, “It is true that we had negotiated the sale, but the papers were not signed and the money has not been transferred. So it is our house that is burning, and you are looking at it as if you are just a spectator!” Again those tears were flowing and again the heart was breaking. And nothing has visibly changed: the house is burning, the man is standing there. But these people who are bringing messages are changing everything! When he becomes identified, he is burning with the house. When he gets unidentified, he is relieved and he has nothing to do with the house; it is somebody else’s house.

The only thing to be remembered is that you are already out, and by nature there is no way for you to be in. You can believe, you can imagine… still you will be outside. Sitting on the steps of your house you are trying to find the door to go out. You will never find it, it is not there; the whole sky is available. You just stand up and walk in any direction; there is no need of opening any door.

But your attachment, your identification, is with the mind, which is in and which cannot come out. It cannot exist in the light. Now this is the situation: witnessing is always out and cannot enter in; it can exist only in the light, it cannot exist in darkness. Mind is always in; it can exist only in darkness, it cannot exist in light.

Between these two absolutely different things you are having an identification, an attachment, that is creating the trouble for you.

So just remember: you are outside. If you cannot do it suddenly, do it slowly, part by part. When anger is there, watch it, and you will find anger is in and you are out.

When Gurdjieff’s father died Gurdjieff was only nine years old. The father was poor. He called Gurdjieff close to him and told him, “I have nothing to give you as your inheritance. I am poor, and my father was also poor, but he gave me one thing that made me the richest man in the world, although the outside poverty remained. I can only transfer the same to you.

“It is some advice. Perhaps you are too young and you may not be able to do it right now, but remember it. When you are able to act according to the advice, act according to it. The advice is simple. I will repeat it, and because I am dying, listen carefully and repeat in front of me what I have said so I can die satisfied that I have transferred the message that may have come down from father to son for centuries.”

The message was simple. The father said, “If somebody insults you, irritates you, annoys you, just tell him, ‘I have received your message, but I have promised my father that I will answer only after twenty-four hours. I know you are angry, I have understood it. I will come after twenty-four hours and answer you.’ And the same with anything. Give a gap of twenty-four hours.”

The nine-year-old boy repeated what the father said, and the father died, but because it was such a moment the message became engraved. As he repeated the message, the father said, “Good. My blessings will be with you, and now I can die peacefully.” He closed his eyes and died. And Gurdjieff, even though he was nine, started practicing what was given to him. Somebody would insult him, and he would say, “I will come after twenty-four hours to answer you because that’s what I have promised my dying father. Right now I cannot answer you.”

Somebody might beat him, and he would say, “You can beat me right now, but I cannot answer. After twenty-four hours I will come and answer you, because I have promised my dying father.” And later on he used to say to his disciples, “That simple message transformed me totally. The person was beating me but I was not going to react at that moment so there was no question except to watch. There was nothing I had to do: now the person was beating me, I just had to be a spectator. For twenty-four hours there was nothing to do.

“And watching the man created a new kind of crystallization in me. After twenty-four hours I could see more clearly. At the moment when he was beating me it was impossible to see clearly. My eyes were full of anger. If I was going to answer at that moment I would have wrestled with the man, I would have hit the man, and everything would have been an unconscious reaction.

“But after twenty-four hours I could think about it more calmly, more quietly. Either he was right – I had done something wrong and I needed, deserved, to be beaten, to be insulted – or he was absolutely wrong. If he was right, there was nothing to say to him except to go and give him thanks. If he was absolutely wrong… then there was no point at all in fighting with a man who is utterly stupid and goes on doing such wrong things. It is meaningless, it is wasting time. He does not deserve any answer.”

So after twenty-four hours everything settled down and a clarity was there. And with that clarity and the watchfulness of the moment, Gurdjieff changed into one of the most unique beings of this age. And this was the basic foundation of the whole crystallization of his being.

You are always outside.

Just watch.

The mind is always inside. Don’t be identified with it. Unidentified, you will become more and more clear, and the mind will die on its own accord.

The death of the mind and the birth of watchfulness is the beginning of your evolution. And the light will not be far away – it is the light. The darkness will be gone, because when you are light, darkness cannot be around you. That’s why I said that watchfulness is not a technique, it is your nature. Just remember it.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter Twelve

Path of the MysticCopyright© 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 Head and the Heart – Osho

How is it possible that Gurdjieff needed another head, an Ouspensky, to work on a third psychology, the psychology of the buddhas, while you work by yourself and you can be both in the state of mind and no-mind?

There have been two kinds of Masters in the world. One kind, the first, has always needed somebody else to express, to interpret, to philosophize, to communicate what the Master has experienced. Gurdjieff is not alone in that; he needed P.D. Ouspensky – without Ouspensky he would not have been known at all. Ramakrishna comes in the same category; he needed a Vivekananda – without Vivekananda Ramakrishna would have remained absolutely unheard of.

So has been the case with many Masters, for the simple reason that their whole work concerned the heart center. They became crystallized in the heart center – so much so that it was impossible for them to move to the head and to use their own heads. It appeared far easier for them to use somebody else’s head rather than their own.

But there was a difficulty in it. One thing was good about it: the Master himself was not constantly moving between two extremes from mind to no-mind, from no-mind to mind – there was no movement in his being; he was absolutely crystallized. But another kind of trouble was there: the man who was being used as a medium – Ouspensky, Vivekananda, or others – was himself not an enlightened person. Gurdjieff could use Ouspensky’s head, but not exactly the way he would have liked to. Ouspensky’s own mind was bound to color Gurdjieff’s experience; he was bound to bring his own prejudices, his own philosophy, his own understanding to it. He had no experience of his own, he was simply a medium. But the medium is not just an empty vehicle, he has his own mind, and anything passing through his mind is going to be changed a little bit here, a little bit there.

Ouspensky introduced Gurdjieff to the world, but he introduced Gurdjieff in his own way. One cannot blame Ouspensky. What could he do? He tried his best. I think he was one of the best interpreters that any Master has ever been able to find; but still an interpreter is an interpreter. It can’t be the same; it is impossible to be the same. Hence sooner or later they had to part from each other.

In the last days of Ouspensky’s life he became almost an enemy to Gurdjieff. He started saying, “Now Gurdjieff has gone mad. At first he was moving in the right direction, but the later Gurdjieff has gone astray.” He could not say that the whole of Gurdjieff’s teaching was wrong because his own teaching was based on Gurdjieff’s teaching, but he divided Gurdjieff in two: the first part of Gurdjieff – when Ouspensky was with him – was right and the later part was wrong. In fact, the later part was the culmination of the first part.

But why did this happen? It was almost bound to happen because sooner or later Ouspensky’s own mind was going to become a barrier. When he first came to Gurdjieff he was absolutely surrendered to him – surrendered in the sense that he was fascinated by his personality, fascinated intellectually – because he was a great intellectual – absolutely surrendered in the intellectual sense, not in the existential sense. If he had been existentially surrendered he would have been of no use because Gurdjieff needed a head, he was in search of a head. He had many other followers who were devoted to him from their very innermost core, but they were not going to become his interpreters to the world.

When Ouspensky came to Gurdjieff he was already a world-famous mathematician, a philosopher. His own book, Tertium Organum, had already been translated into almost all the great languages of the world. And that book, Tertium Organum, is really something tremendous; coming out of a man who was unenlightened it is almost a miracle. Intellectually he managed something which nobody has ever been able to manage. He knew nothing, he had not experienced anything, but his intellectual grasp… his intellect was really sharp. He belongs to the topmost intellectuals of the whole history of humanity; there are very few competitors to rival him. Only once in a while….

Socrates had such a man, Plato. Socrates was the heart of the teaching, Plato was the head.

Exactly the same was repeated in the case of Gurdjieff: Gurdjieff was the heart, Ouspensky became the head. And if I have to choose between the two my choice will be Ouspensky, not Plato. Ouspensky is simply unbelievable; his insight, without any self-realization, is so accurate that anybody who has not experienced will think that Ouspensky was a Buddha, a Christ. Only a Buddha will be able to detect the flaws, not anyone else. The flaws are there but ordinarily undetectable.

He started writing books on Gurdjieff. He wrote one of his greatest contributions, In Search of the Miraculous, then he wrote The Fourth Way. And these two books introduced Gurdjieff to the world; otherwise, he would have remained an absolutely unknown Master. Maybe a few people would have come in personal contact with him and would have been benefited, but Ouspensky made him available to millions.

But as those books spread all over the world and thousands of people started moving towards Gurdjieff, Ouspensky also became very egoistic – naturally, because he was the cause of the whole thing. In fact, he started thinking, “Without me, what is Gurdjieff? Who is Gurdjieff without me? Who was he? When I met him he was just a refugee living in a refugee camp in Constantinople, almost starving. Nobody had ever heard about him. I have made him world famous; the whole credit goes to me.” This idea went to his head – it became too much for him – and in subtle ways he started to dominate the movement. And you cannot dominate a man like Gurdjieff, you cannot dictate to a man like Gurdjieff. They had to part.

In the last days of his life Ouspensky was so against Gurdjieff that he would not tolerate anybody mentioning Gurdjieff’s name to him; in his presence Gurdjieff’s name was not mentioned. Even in his books Gurdjieff’s name was reduced to only “G”; the full name disappeared. After the break just “G” remained – somebody anonymous, “‘G’ said . . .,” not “Gurdjieff.” And he made it clear, very clear: “We have parted and I have developed my own system.” He started gathering his own followers. Those followers were not allowed to read Gurdjieff’s books, those followers were not allowed to go and see Gurdjieff. While Ouspensky was alive he was very suspicious of anybody who wanted to go to Gurdjieff or who even wanted to study his books.

But Gurdjieff was aware that this was going to happen. Still, there was no other way; some head had to be used. Gurdjieff’s work was such that he was absolutely crystallized in his heart; he could not move to the head.

So was the case with Ramakrishna. Vivekananda was an ordinary intellectual, not even of the caliber of Ouspensky, but he made Ramakrishna world famous. Ramakrishna died very early, that’s why Vivekananda and Ramakrishna never parted; otherwise the parting was absolutely certain. But Ramakrishna died and Vivekananda became his whole and sole representative. He dominated all the followers, he dominated the whole movement; he became for them the representative of Ramakrishna. If Ramakrishna had lived, the same thing would have happened sooner or later because Vivekananda was just head and nothing else, nothing of the heart. Even if he talks about the heart it is just head-talk, the head talking about the heart, it is not heart-full. There is no love in it, there is no meditation in it, there is no prayer in it, just intellectual analysis. He knew the scriptures and he forced his ideas on Ramakrishna’s ideas. And Ramakrishna had died so there was nobody to say no to it.

Vivekananda destroyed the whole beauty of Ramakrishna. But that was going to happen because Ramakrishna was not a man of the head at all.

But this has not always been the case. Buddha never depended on anybody else. He was capable of moving from mind to no-mind, from no-mind to mind; that is his greatness. That is a far greater achievement than that of Gurdjieff or Ramakrishna because their achievements are in a way limited. Buddha is very liquid; he is not solid like a rock, he is more fluid – like a river.

So was the case with Lao Tzu: he never depended on anybody else, he said whatever he had to say. He said it himself, and as beautifully as it could be said. And their philosophies are bound to be far more pure because they come from the original man, they come from the original realization, from the very source; there is no via media. So is the case with Zarathustra, Jesus, Krishna, Mahavira.

This is the second category of Masters. The first category is easier in a way; it is easy to be crystallized at one center. It is a far more complex process, a longer and far more arduous journey, to remain alive at both extremes. These are the two extremes: the head and the heart. But it is possible. It has happened before. It is happening right now in front of you.

I live in silence, but my work consists of much intellectual communication. I live in silence, but I have to use words. But when I use words, those words contain my silence. I don’t need anybody else to interpret me; hence there is a far greater possibility that whatsoever I am saying will remain pure for a longer period of time.

And now, since Buddha, many scientific developments have happened….

We don’t know what Buddha actually said although he never used anybody like Ouspensky or Plato or Vivekananda; he himself was his own interpreter. But there arose a problem when he died. He spoke for forty-two years – he became enlightened when he was about forty and then he lived to eighty-two. For forty-two years he was speaking morning, afternoon, evening. Now there were no scientific methods for recording what he was saying. When he died the first question was how to collect it all. He had said so much – forty-two years is a long time, and many had become enlightened in those forty-two years. But those who became enlightened had become crystallized in the heart because that is easier, simpler, and people tend to move to the simplest process, to the shortcut. Why bother? If you can reach a point directly, straight, then why go roundabout? And when Buddha was alive there was no need for anybody else to interpret him; he was his own spokesman, so the need was never felt.

There were thousands of arhats and bodhisattvas; they all gathered. Only those were called to the gathering who had become enlightened – obviously, because they would not misinterpret Buddha. And that’s true, they could not misinterpret him – it was impossible for them. They had also experienced the same universe of the beyond, they had also moved to the farther shore.

But they all said, “We have never bothered much about his words since we became enlightened. We have listened to him because his words were sweet. We have listened to him because his words were pure music. We have listened to him because just listening to him was a joy. We have listened to him because that was the only way to be close to him. Just to sit by his side and listen to him was a rejoicing, it was a benediction. But we did not bother about what he was saying; once we attained there was no need. We were not listening from the head and we were not collecting in the memory; our own heads and memories stopped functioning long ago.”

Somebody became enlightened thirty years before Buddha died. Now for thirty years he sat there by the side of Buddha listening as one listens to the wind passing through the pine trees or one listens to the song of the birds or one listens to the rain falling on the roof. But they were not listening intellectually. So they said, “We have not carried any memory of it. Whatsoever he must have said was beautiful, but what he said we cannot recollect. Just to be with him was such a joy.”

It was very difficult now – how to collect his words? The only man who had lived continuously with Buddha for forty-two years was Ananda; he was his personal attendant, his caretaker. He had listened to him, almost every word that he had uttered was heard by Ananda. Even if he was talking to somebody privately, Ananda was present. Ananda was almost always present, like a shadow. He had heard everything – whatsoever had fallen from his lips. And he must have said many things to Ananda when there was nobody there. They must have talked just on going to bed in the night.  Ananda used to sleep in the same room just to take care of him – he may need something in the night. He may feel cold, he may feel hot, he may like the window to be opened or closed, or he may feel thirsty and may need some water or something, or – he was getting old – he may feel sick. So Ananda was there continuously.

They all said, “We should ask Ananda.” But then there was a very great problem: Ananda was not yet enlightened. He had heard everything that Buddha uttered publicly, uttered privately. They must have gossiped together; there was nobody else who could have said, “I am friendly with Buddha,” except Ananda. And Ananda was also his cousin-brother, and not only a cousin-brother but two years older than Buddha. So when he had come to be initiated he asked for a few things before his initiation, because in India the elder brother has to be respected just like your father. Even the elder cousin-brother has to be respected just like your father.

So Ananda said to Buddha, “Before I take initiation…. Once I become your bhikkhu, your sannyasin, I will have to follow your orders, your commandments. Then whatsoever you say I will have to do. But before that I order you, as your elder brother, to grant me three things. Remember these three things. First: I will always be with you. You cannot say to me, ‘Ananda, go somewhere else, do something else.’ You cannot send me to some other village to preach, to convert people, to give your message. This is my first order to you. Second: I will be always present. Even if you are talking to somebody privately I want to hear everything. Whatsoever you are going to say in your life I want to be an audience to it. So you will not be able to tell me, ‘This is a private talk, you go out.’ I will not go, remember it! And thirdly: I am not much interested in being enlightened, I am much more interested in just being with you. So if enlightenment means separating from you I don’t care a bit about it. Only if I can remain with you even after enlightenment, am I willing to be enlightened, otherwise forget about it.”

And Buddha nodded his yes to all these three orders – he had to, he was younger than Ananda – and he followed those three things his whole life.

The conference of the arhats and the bodhisattvas decided that only Ananda could relate Buddha’s words. And he had a beautiful memory; he had listened to everything very attentively. ”But the problem is he is not yet enlightened; we cannot rely upon him. His mind may play tricks, his mind may change things unconsciously. He may not do it deliberately, he may not do it consciously, but he still has a great unconscious in him. He may think he has heard that Buddha said this and he may never have said it. He may delete a few words; he may add a few words. Who knows? And we don’t have any criterion because many things that he has heard only he has heard; there is no other witness.”

And Ananda was sitting outside the hall. The doors were closed and he was weeping outside on the steps. He was weeping because he was not allowed inside. An eighty-four-year-old man weeping like a child! The man who had lived for forty-two years with Buddha was not allowed in! Now he was really in anguish. Why did he not become enlightened? Why did he not insist7 He made a vow, a decision: “I will not move from these steps until I become enlightened.” He closed his eyes, he forgot the whole world. And it is said that within twenty-four hours, without changing his posture, he became enlightened.

When he became enlightened he was allowed in. Then he related… all these scriptures were related by Ananda. But who knows? He became enlightened afterwards. All those memories belong to the mind of an unenlightened person; even though he had become enlightened, those memories were not those of an enlightened person. It is not absolutely certain that what is reported is exactly what Buddha said.

But now science has given all the technology. Each single word – not only the word but the pauses in between – the very nuances of the words, the way they are uttered, the very gestures, all can be recorded. The words can be recorded, the gestures can be photographed, films can be made, tapes can be made.

Now the best way for any enlightened person is not to depend on anybody else, although that path is difficult, far more difficult, because you have to do two things together. You have to constantly shuttle back and forth, back and forth. You have to constantly go into wordlessness and come out from that emptiness into the world of words. It is a difficult phenomenon, the most difficult phenomenon in the whole of existence; because when you enter into silence it is so beautiful that to come back to the universe of words looks absurd, meaningless. It is as if you have reached to the sunlit peaks and then you come back to the dark holes where people live in the valley, the slums. When you have touched the sunlit peaks, when you can live there and you can float like a cloud in the infinite sky, to come back to the muddy earth, to crawl again with people who are living in mud seems to be very absurd. But there is no other way. If you have compassion enough you have to go into this difficult process.

It depends on many things too. It depends on the whole process by which a Master has reached through many lives. Ramakrishna was never an intellectual in any of his lives. A simple man – in this life he was a simple man. Even if he had wanted to it would have been impossible for him to become a Vivekananda too. It was easier to find somebody who could do that work.

Gurdjieff, when he was very young, only twelve years of age, became part of a party of seekers: thirty people who made a decision that they would go to the different parts of the world and find out whether truth was only talk or there were a few people who had known it. Just a twelve-year-old boy, but he was chosen to join the party for the simple reason that he had great stamina, he had great power. One thing was certain about him: whatsoever he decided, he would risk all for it. He would not look back, he would never escape even if he had to lose his life he would lose his life. And three times he was almost shot dead – almost, but he pulled himself back into life somehow; the purpose was still unfulfilled.

Those thirty people traveled all over the world. They came to India; they went to Tibet and the whole Middle East, all the Sufi monasteries, all the Himalayan monasteries. And they had decided to come back to a certain place in the Middle East and to relate whatsoever they had gained; after each twelve years they were going to meet. At the end of the first twelve years almost half of them did not return; they must have died somehow, or forgotten the mission, or become entangled somewhere. Somebody must have got married, fallen in love. A thousand and one things can happen – people are accident-prone. Only fifteen people returned. And after the next twelve years only three people came back. And the third time only Gurdjieff was there, all the others had disappeared. What happened to them nobody knows.

But this man had very great decisiveness: if he had decided then nothing was going to deter him. He was almost killed three times; the only thing that saved him was his mission, that he had to go back, and he pulled himself out of his death. It needed great inner power.

He had no time to become an intellectual. He was moving with mystics – from one monastery to another monastery, from one cave to another cave, from one country to another country. He came to India, he went to Tibet, he went up to Japan; he gathered knowledge from all over the world. By the time he himself became enlightened there was no time left for him to intellectualize it, to put it into words. He knew the taste, but the words were not there. He needed a man like Ouspensky.

My own approach has been totally different. I began as an intellectual – not only in this life but in many lives. My whole work in many lives has been concerned with the intellect – refining the intellect, sharpening the intellect. In this life I began as an atheist with an absolute denial of God.

You cannot be an atheist if you are not supra-intellectual, and I was an absolute atheist. People used to avoid me because I was doubting each and every thing and my doubt was contagious. Even my teachers would avoid me.

One of my teachers was dying; I went to see him. He said, “Please… I am happy that you have come, but don’t say a single word because this is not the time. I am dying and I want to die believing that God is.”

I said, “You cannot. Seeing me, the doubt has already arisen.’

He said, “What do you mean?”

And the thing started! Before he died, just after twelve hours, he died an atheist. And I was so happy! I had to work for twelve hours continuously. Out of desperation he said, “Okay, let me die peacefully. I say that there is no God. Are you happy? Now leave me alone!”

My university professors were always in difficulties. I was expelled from one college, then another, and then thrown out of one university. Finally one university admitted me with the condition – I had to sign it, a written condition – that I would not ask any questions and I would not argue with the professors.

I said okay. I signed it and the Vice-Chancellor was very happy. And I said, “Now, a few things. What do you mean by ‘argument’?”

He said, “Here you go!”

I said, ”I have not written that I would not ask for any clarification. I can ask for a clarification. What do you mean by an ‘argument’? And if I cannot ask a question, what is the point of your whole department of philosophy? – because all your philosophers ask questions. The whole of philosophy depends on doubt; doubt is the base of all philosophy. If I cannot doubt your stupid philosophers, your stupid professors, then how am I going to learn philosophy?”

He said, “Look at what you are saying! You are calling my professors, in front of me, stupid!”

I said, “They are stupid, otherwise why these conditions? Can you think of somebody being intelligent and asking his students not to question him? Is this a sign of intelligence? A professor will invite questions. An intelligent professor will be happy with a student who can argue well.”

That remained a problem. My whole approach from the very beginning was not that of a Ramakrishna. I am not a devotional type, not at all. I have arrived at God through atheism, not through theism. I have arrived at God not by believing in him but by absolutely doubting him. I have come to a certainty because I have doubted and I went on doubting till there was no possibility to doubt anymore, till I came across something indubitable. That has been my process.

That was not the process of Gurdjieff. He was learning from Masters, moving from one Master to another Master, learning techniques and methods and devices. He learned many devices, but he learned in a very surrendered spirit, that of a disciple.

I have never been anybody’s disciple; nobody has been my Master. In fact, nobody was ready to accept me as a disciple, because who would like to create trouble?

[…]

My whole approach has been a totally different approach than that of Ramakrishna and Gurdjieff. I have arrived through doubt; I have arrived through deep and profound skepticism. I have arrived not through belief but through the denial of all belief and disbelief too, because disbelief is belief in a negative form.

A moment came in my life when all beliefs and all disbeliefs disappeared and I was left utterly empty. In that emptiness the explosion happened. Hence it is not so difficult for me, so I can argue easily. I can even argue against argument; that’s what I am going to continue to do. I can argue against intellect because I know how to use intellect.

Ramakrishna had never used his intellect; he started from the heart. And the same is the case with Gurdjieff. Buddha could use the intellect because he was the son of a king, well educated, well cultured. All the great philosophers of the country were called to teach him; he knew what the intellectual approach was. And then he became fed up with it.

The same happened with me. I know what can be achieved through intellectual effort: nothing can be achieved through it. When I say it I say it through my own experience.

But it has been beautiful in one way. It did not result in giving me truth – it cannot give truth to anybody – but in an indirect way it has cleansed the ground, it has prepared the ground. It has not helped me to realize myself, but it has helped me to communicate whatsoever I have realized.

I can communicate with you very easily, with no problems. You can ask all kinds of questions, you can ask, you can doubt, because I know that all these questions and doubts can be quashed, they can be destroyed. And it is good that you should ask because then I can destroy your questions. Once all your questions are destroyed, the answer arises in your own being. In that utter emptiness something wells up; it is already there.

I am not in favor of repressing doubt by believing. You are not here to believe in me, you are here to bring out all your disbelief. Your doubts, your questions, all are respected, welcome, so that they can be taken out from you. Slowly, slowly a silence, a state of not-knowing arises. And the state of not-knowing is the state of wisdom, is the state of enlightenment.

-Osho

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

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.

Self-Remembering Vs. Witnessing – Osho

The technique of self-remembering seems easier for me than witnessing. Do they both lead to the same goal?

They both lead to the same goal, but the technique of self-remembering is harder, longer and dangerous. Only very few people in the whole history of mankind have attained to enlightenment through the technique of self-remembering.

Many have tried, but utterly failed – it looks easy. The reason is that your self-remembering is not going to be your self remembering, it will be your ego remembering; that’s why it looks easy.

You don’t know the distinction between the self and the false self. The false self is our ego, and the ego is very subtle, very cunning, and tries in every way to pretend to be the real self. That’s why in the beginning it will look easier than witnessing, because in witnessing there is no place for the ego. From the very beginning the ego is avoided.

In witnessing, the ego cannot enter. But in self-remembering, there is every possibility of the ego pretending to be your self. Then the more you will practice, the more your ego will become stronger.

If somebody wants to travel on the path of self-remembering, he absolutely needs a master. He cannot move alone, because he cannot make a clear-cut distinction of what is false and what is true. He knows only the false; he is not acquainted with his true being. Unless he is under a very rigorous master it will be very difficult to create a separation between the ego and the self.

[…]

It is possible… a few people have attained through self-remembering. One of the great masters of this age, George Gurdjieff, used the method self-remembering, but you have to be aware that not a single person of his disciples became enlightened – and he was one of the most perfect masters.

But the problem is that the ego and the self are so close and so similar that whatever you think is your self is most probably, in ninety-nine percent of cases, just your ego. The master’s function is absolutely necessary for this method, because he has to destroy your ego. And he has to be hard, harsh. Unless he destroys your ego, self-remembering is going to lead you, not to enlightenment, but to darker spaces of being.

It will strengthen your ego more – you will become a very strong ego, very assertive. In any ordinary field of life you will be very successful. You can become an Adolf Hitler; you can become a Joseph Stalin… Stalin was not his real name; it was given to him because he was such a strong man. ‘Stalin’ means man of steel.

But these people are not a benediction to humanity, they are a curse. If they had not been there man would have been in a far better space, in a far better consciousness.

So if you feel that it is easier for you, then be very careful. I will still suggest that though witnessing may be difficult in the beginning, it is the most safe method without any dangers. It cannot lead you anywhere other than towards enlightenment. So it can even be practiced without a master.

I would like to give you something in which you are not to be dependent on somebody else.

How long have you lived, how many lives? In all these lives you may have come across many saints, many masters, but where have you reached? Your darkness is the same; your unconsciousness is the same. Perhaps they all gave you methods, but the methods were such that they needed constant supervision. Those methods are called school methods. You have to enter into a monastery, live in a monastery, function under a strict discipline – then perhaps you may be able to achieve something from a school method. And there are such monasteries.

In Europe, there is a monastery in Mount Athos; it is one thousand years old. There are almost three thousand monks inside the monastery, and anybody who wants to become a monk in that monastery can decide to enter, but only his dead body will go out.

If there is such a commitment, only then is a person accepted. Once a person enters Mount Athos, you will never see him till he is dead. This is a school for absolute self-remembering, but you cannot put the whole world in monasteries. Who will take care of these monasteries? Hence my preference is to use a method which keeps you free from any commitment, from any dependence – which keeps you in the world and yet not of the world.

Witnessing is the most simple and the most infallible method; it is the essence of all meditations. Even self-remembering, finally, is witnessing – but at a later stage, when you have dropped the ego.

And if you start looking inside yourself, you can understand what I am saying. Can you see your ego and self separately? You simply know one thing: that is I. You don’t know two things: that I is the ego, and that the ego is capable of nursing itself through anything.

I have heard…

A small child was passing by the side of a palace. He had failed his examination and was feeling very angry with the teachers. He was ready to do something, and suddenly, he found a pile of stones by the side of the road. He took one big stone from the pile and threw it at the palace. Now the palace had nothing to do with his failing, nor had the stone anything to do with it, but he was in such anger he wanted to do something; the energy was there, and it needed to be released. The boy went on his way, but what happened to the stone?

As the stone started rising up he looked down – his brothers and sisters and cousins were all there. And the stone said to them, “I am going on a pilgrimage. I have been thinking about it for a long time. God willing, I will succeed in my adventures and come back to you to relate all that I experience on the way.”

All the other stones looked at this stone with their mouths open: “What is happening? He has no wings.” He was just a stone like themselves. They also wanted to fly, but they knew that they could not. “But he is flying, you cannot deny it…” So they all said, “Okay, just remember us; don’t forget us. You are a hero. In the centuries of time sometimes one stone gets wings the way you have, and we are proud that you belong to us, to our family.”

They were even feeling great pride because one of the stones was flying towards the palace. The stone hit against a glass window, and naturally, when a stone hits glass it is the glass that is broken, not the stone – it is just the nature of things. But the stone said to the pieces of glass, “You idiots. I have always said, ‘Never come in my way. Whoever comes in my way will be shattered to death.’

Now look what happened to you. Let this be a lesson to everyone who is listening.”

At that very moment the guard on the gate heard the noise of the stone falling on the floor, the glass being broken… he rushed in. He took the stone in his hands, and the stone said – although the guard could not understand his language, because he talked in Nepalese…! He said, “Thank you my lord, you are the owner of this palace – I can see from your beautiful dress. I will never forget this honor that you have given to me – taken me in your own hands.”

The situation was totally different, but the ego goes on turning every situation in its favor.

The guard was afraid that if the king came to know then he would be caught: “What are you doing? Who has thrown the stone?” He threw the stone back out of the window.

And these are the ways of the ego: the stone said, “Thank you! You are not only a great host; you understand the hurts of other people too. You know I am longing to meet my friends. I want to tell them the whole story of my visiting the palace of the king – the meeting with the king, the conversation with the king, the destruction of the enemies who came in my way.” And as he was falling back into the pile of the stones, he said to them, “Brothers and sisters, I am back. You should all be proud. My name should go down in history, and with me, my family’s name. This pile of stones is no ordinary pile, it is something historical.”

The ego has its ways of fulfilling itself even in situations where it should be shattered. So beware of it.

Self-remembering can be done only in a school where you are devoting yourself to the discipline twenty-four hours a day, because it is the moment you remember yourself… While walking you remember, “I am walking” – then walking is no longer natural. It becomes divided: you are separate, and the walking is separate.

Walking is a simple process, but in life you are doing a thousand and one things which are very complex. If you are going to remember yourself while using a machine, while driving a car… it could be very dangerous because your whole focus is in remembering yourself. You could cause an accident which could be dangerous to you, which could be dangerous to others.

Life has its own wisdom. The body has its own wisdom. For example, try one thing and you will understand what I mean: you have been eating every day your whole life but you have never thought about what happens to the food when it goes down your throat – you forget about it. Don’t forget about it. Just for three days try to remember that the food has gone in. Remember that the food is being digested, that juices, chemicals and other things are coming in from different directions, that the food is being mixed with them and the food is being transformed into different things. It is becoming blood, it is becoming your flesh, it is becoming your bones.

In three days’ time you will have such a disturbed stomach, you cannot imagine. It will take at least three months to get it back to its normal state. You are not needed to remember it. It knows its function, and it does its function perfectly well without your remembering.

That’s why when you are sick it is better to rest, because the body needs you to sleep so it can work better without any disturbance from you.

You must have heard the famous story about a centipede….

A centipede has one hundred legs – that’s why it is called centipede. And for centuries, centipedes have been in the world, walking perfectly well – no problem. But one day a rabbit became curious. He saw the centipede, he tried to count his legs and said, “My God! One hundred legs! How does he manage to remember which one to put first, which one to put second?

“If I had one hundred legs,” the rabbit thought, “I would get entangled and I would fall immediately; I could not walk at all. This centipede is performing a miracle.”

He said, “Uncle, uncle, wait, wait! I have a question if you don’t mind…”

The centipede said, “There is no hurry. I was just going for a morning walk. You can ask your question.”

He said, “My question is simple: you have one hundred legs…?”

The centipede said, “One hundred? In fact, I have never counted. It would be too difficult for me to count them, but if you say so then perhaps I must have.”

The rabbit said, “My curiosity is: how do you manage to walk with such a trail of one hundred legs?

How do you manage which one comes first, then second, then third, then fourth…?”

The centipede said, “I have never thought about it. I will try. Just now – I will try here.”

And then and there he fell on the ground. He called the rabbit and said, “You idiot! Never ask another centipede such a question, otherwise centipedes will die. We cannot live with this curiosity. I have been doing perfectly well up to now, and just as I started becoming alert about what leg is going when… as I started remembering one hundred legs, my mind got very much puzzled.”

Self-remembering is a school method. And school method means you are in a safe monastery, not doing work that could be dangerous. Otherwise your remembering… working in a factory, working in a carpentry shop and trying to remember, you are bound to get into the same position as the centipede.

I don’t want anybody to get into any trouble in the name of spirituality, hence my suggestion again is just pure witnessing – no question of I. And that too, very playfully, not seriously, with a sense of humor.

If you forget, there is no harm. Whenever you remember, again you start. You will forget many times, you will remember many times. There is no question of guilt; it is human.

Very slowly, bigger and bigger gaps of witnessing will arise in you, and as the gaps of witnessing become bigger, your thoughts will become smaller, less. The moment your witnessing comes to a peak – at certain times with a crystal clarity – the thoughts will simply disappear. You will be in an absolute silence. Whatever you are doing will not be disturbed by your silence, but on the contrary, your workmanship, your creative effort will be enhanced.

If you are making statues, or painting, or playing music… with such a mad mind, with all kinds of thoughts running around, and you can still manage to create beautiful music – just think of a silent mind, how much deeper and higher music you could create.

The same applies to every area of life. I make it a point to be remembered that if your meditation is right, everything in your life will start falling into better shape. That is the only criterion. No need to ask anybody else; you can see yourself.

Everything in your life will become better with your meditation. When your meditation is at its highest peak, all your efforts will have a beauty and a grace and a creativeness that you cannot imagine. That’s why I say; don’t divide spiritual life from the ordinary life. Don’t create any division at all. Let this life remain one single whole.

So if your consciousness changes, then everything that surrounds you also changes.

I cannot imagine a man of meditation renouncing his wife. No, a man of meditativeness will love his wife more. Perhaps his love will become more and more purified, less and less sexual, more and more prayerful. But he cannot renounce her, that is ugly.

Leaving a poor woman and escaping – that is not the work of a brave man. It fits to a coward, but not to a man who is meditating.

In my village I loved to sit in an old man’s small shop. He used to sell sweets. I was attracted, not by his sweets, but by the sweetness of the man. He would say, “The cost price of this many sweets is one rupee, and if you are willing, just for my labors and for my family, you can give me one anna more – that is my profit.”

First he would tell the cost price, and then he would tell his profit. And that too he would leave up to you: “If you don’t want to give it to me, you can take it at the cost price – of course, I am a poor man, I cannot give it to you below the cost price. I can give you my labor, I can give you my profit, but I cannot go below the cost price.”

And I inquired – because it was a sweet market and there were many shops, I inquired in other shops about what he was saying cost one rupee. And others were selling for two rupees, two and a half rupees – the same quantity, but not the same quality, not the same love.

While he was preparing his sweets, I used to sit. He even asked me, “You are the only one. Why do you come and sit here?”

I said, “I simply like it – to see you work. You work so lovingly, as if you were preparing these sweets for your beloved who is coming after many years – and you don’t know who the customer will be.”

And he laughed. He said, “As far as I know it is the same customer who always comes – different faces, but the customer is the same. That’s why I cannot deceive. I cannot cheat, I cannot exploit because it is the same customer with different faces. I have recognized him.”

His whole life I would describe as the life of a great saint, although nobody in the world would recognize him as a saint because we have this idea so deeply rooted in our minds that a saint should renounce life, get away from life. That anti-life attitude has proved so poisonous that it has destroyed the whole beauty of human existence. It has taken away the whole dignity of man.

Hence I still insist – even if you feel self-remembering is easier – that you try witnessing. Even though it is difficult in the beginning, it becomes very easy as you go ahead.

Gautam Buddha has said, “My teaching is bitter in the beginning but sweet in the end.”

-Osho

Excerpt from The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Gurdjieff’s Work is for a Particular Type – Osho

1 February 1976 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium

[A visitor says that he was at John Bennett’s school in England, where they did Gurdjieffian exercises: Actually I left there quite confused – I suppose there’s no way out of that. I never had much ability to do any of the exercises or things like that.]

It may not have suited you because Gurdjieff’s work is for a particular type, the will type – people who can work hard and very persistently, almost madly… because the whole thing depends on a very deep crystallisation of the ego. Once the ego is crystallised then further steps can be taken. But the whole Gurdjieffian system depends on you having a centre, a self.

Ordinarily you don’t have a centre. In fact Gurdjieff says you don’t have a soul – that is only a possibility; you may die without attaining it. What he calls the soul is nothing but a crystallised self, and crystallised so much so that it takes the position of being sovereign, enthroned, in the crowd of your many selves.

Ordinarily you have many egos, not one, and a conflict continuously going on. Sometimes one is in power, sometimes another is in power; a sort of democracy. A political head is not permanent; so much politics goes on within. So much politics and so much chaos goes on within that you never know where you are, who you are, what you are. Sometimes you have the feeling that you are this, but by the time you realise it that self is gone, is no more m power.

When you have a permanent self then Gurdjieff’s system really starts functioning. To attain that permanent self, one has to do tremendous work, in fact absurd work. Just out of too much work crystallisation happens; the work functions out of a chemical opportunity. For example in many sufi schools from where Gurdjieff got the point, you have to remain alert for the whole night – for months. The only process to be done is not to allow yourself to fall asleep; it is very difficult. After a few days it becomes almost impossible, but if you can go on and on and on suddenly you realise one day that you are tired no more, that you are no longer feeling sleepy. You are as fresh as if you have been sleeping all the time – a deeper layer of energy has been broken.

We have three layers of energy. One is day to day, routine; you need it for eating, digesting, working, moving. It is finished in twenty-four hours and the next day you create it again. And there is a second layer of energy which is deeper; it becomes available only in emergencies.

Suddenly the house is on fire. You were tired and were falling to sleep, but now you feel that much energy is available. You are running and doing things and for hours you are in hard work. Not for a single moment do you remember that you are tired or that you would like to fall asleep. This is an emergency level available only in dangerous times. Gurdjieff used to create many situations for this purpose – just to bring this emergency level into functioning.

And then there is a third layer that comes only when you are touching the point of death; not only emergency but a death situation. He himself did the last of his experiments, which was to go through a very dangerous car accident. It was managed, it was not an accident; he did it with everything planned. Even doctors could not believe how a man could survive after such a crash. It was impossible – but he survived. The whole body was broken, all the bones were broken, but he survived. The whole effort was to come to a point where death touches you; you were almost going to die – and then the third layer becomes available to you. If in that moment you can remain alert, then you have touched the very rock bottom of your being – call it God. So the first layer is only of the ego, the second layer is of the soul, and the third layer is that of God.

But the whole work of Gurdjieff is hard, work of the will, and I don’t see that you are the type. To you something more like Zen will be helpful. It moves from the very opposite pole: no effort, nothing to be done but relaxing and surrendering. It is not a question of work on your part. The only thing that you are expected to do is to accept non-doing and relax into it. That is totally different; not only different, but just the opposite polarity of the same thing.

And these are the two types – call them male and female, yin and yang, or whatsoever you like.

But you are the feminine type, and this is the problem and has to be understood: that all feminine types are attracted to a male type. So if you were attracted towards Bennet or Gurdjieff or that type of work, it’s natural. The male type is attracted to the feminine paths of surrender. That’s where confusion arises – the opposite is always attractive.

So try Zen – something in which you have just to sit, just to walk, just to be, as if nothing is to be done. Gurdjieff says you have not soul, it has to be created. Zen says you have everything – just relax and enjoy it; it is there.

Man is standing just in the middle of these two polarities. Move to any extreme and realisation is possible, because the jump is possible only from the extreme ends. You cannot jump from the middle of the road; you have to move to an extreme, and jump from there. So either move to the extreme of work, will – or move to the other extreme of surrender, no effort, passivity.

The whole of the East, particularly the Far East, has developed no-effort methods; and the Middle East, the Sufis particularly, have developed the path of will. So if you have been doing things just following the path of will, I will suggest to you that you move to the other extreme. Suddenly the key may fit….

Mm mm, we are doing here some Buddhist meditations – Vipassana. It will be very good if you can do one ten day course and see. It is just sitting….

Because if you can relax and be passive – and it will be very easy for you – all confusion will disappear. Confusion arises only when you are doing something which is not in tune with your type.

Once something is in tune with your type, all confusion disappears. Confusion is simply indicative, symptomatic, that you are doing something that doesn’t suit you. You may go on doing it and it does not suit you, you go on doing it and it does not suit you, and the mind will say that you are not doing hard enough and that is why there is confusion – and more and more confusion will come. Once something fits… it is just as when the shoe fits – suddenly you forget the shoe. Whenever a method fits, you simply forget about it and everything falls in line. Only the right key and the lock opens. Try to remember what I am saying. Your type is the feminine type. You are not an aggressive being; you are very non-violent. Not very out-going, not intrusive in any way; you would like to be within yourself. But this work, whatsoever you have been doing, can be helpful; at least it can show you that this is not your type.

You be here and try Vipassana.

-Osho

Taken from Above All Don’t Wobble, Chapter seventeen 

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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No Way – Osho

Osho, the Fourth Way, as taught by Gurdjieff, has been called the way of conscience. What place has conscience in your teaching?

The question is from Cecil Lewis.

No place at all. I don’t believe in conscience, I believe only in consciousness. I don’t believe in morality, I believe only in religion. I am amoral. Conscience is a trick of the society played upon you. The society creates conscience so that you may never need consciousness. You have been deceived. For example, when Jesus says ‘Love is God’ it is not out of his conscience, it is out of his consciousness. He knows it. It is not a belief, it is his experience. When a Christian says ‘Love is God’ it is his conscience, not his consciousness. He has not known it, he has not lived it. He has only heard it repeated again and again – he has become hypnotized by it.

Each child is being hypnotized by the parents, the priests, the politicians, the society. Constant repetition of a certain thing becomes conscience. You go on teaching to the child, ‘this is right. This is right. This is right.’ Hearing it again and again, his mind is being conditioned. After many years he will also say ‘This is right’ – it will be automatic. It will not be from his own being, it will come from the gramophone record that the society has placed in his being. It is like an electrode of Delgado. It is the dangerous trick that the society has been playing on everybody, down the centuries.

That’s why there are so many consciences in the world – the Hindu has one type of conscience, the Mohammedan has another type of conscience. How can consciences be so many? Truth is one. And consciences are so many?

From my childhood I was taught a very, very, strict vegetarianism. I was born in a Jaina family, absolutely dogmatic about vegetarianism. Not even tomatoes were allowed in my house, because tomatoes look a little like red meat. Poor innocent tomatoes, they were not allowed. Nobody has ever heard of anybody eating in the night; the sunset was the last limit. For eighteen years I had not eaten anything in the night, it was a great sin.

Then for the first time I went on a picnic with a few friends to the mountains. And they were all Hindus and I was the only Jaina. And they were not worried to cook in the day. Mm? The mountains were so beautiful and there was so much to explore – so they didn’t bother about cooking at all, they cooked in the night. Now it was a great problem for me to eat or not to eat? And I was feeling really hungry. The whole day moving in the mountains, it had been arduous. And I was really feeling hungry – for the first time so hungry in my life.

And then they started cooking. And the aroma and the food smell. And I was just sitting there, a Jaina. Now it was too difficult for me – what to do? The idea of eating in the night was impossible – the whole conditioning of eighteen years. And to sleep in that kind of hunger was impossible. And then they all started persuading me. And they said, ‘There is nobody here to know that you have eaten, and we will not tell your family at all. Don’t be worried.’ And I was ready to be seduced, so they seduced me and I ate. But then I could not sleep – I had to vomit two or three times in the night, the whole night became nightmarish. It would have been better if I had not eaten.

Conditioning for eighteen years that to eat in the night is sin. Now nobody else was vomiting, they were all fast asleep and snoring. They have all committed sin and they are all sleeping perfectly well. And they have been committing the sin for eighteen years, and I have committed it for the first time and I am being punished. This seems unjust!

Conscience is created; it is a conditioning. All that you think is good or bad is nothing but a conditioning. But this conditioning can go on managing your whole life. The society has entered in you and controls you from there, from within. It has become your inner voice. And because it has become your inner voice, you cannot hear your real inner voice. So my suggestion is: Unburden yourself of conscience. Throw all the conditioning out, cathart it, be free from it. That’s what I mean when I say don’t be a Christian, a Hindu, a Jaina, a Buddhist.

Just be. And be alert. In that alertness you will always know what is right and what is wrong. And the right and the wrong is not a fixed thing – something may be right in the morning and may be wrong in the evening, and something may be wrong in the evening and may be right in the night. Circumstances change. An alert man, a conscious man, has no fixed ideas. He has spontaneous responses but no fixed ideas. Because of fixed ideas you never act spontaneously. Your action is always a kind of reaction – not action really.

When you act out of spontaneity, with no idea, with no prejudice, then there is real action. And action has passion in it, intensity in it. And it is original and it is first-hand. And action makes your life creative and action makes your life continuously a celebration; because each act becomes an expression of your being. Conscience is a false being.

I think the French language is the only language which has only one word for consciousness and conscience – a single word, meaning both. That is beautiful. Real conscience should be only consciousness, nothing else. You should become more conscious.

But about consciousness also, I have differences with George Gurdjieff. When he says ‘be conscious’ he says ‘Be conscious that you are.’ He insists for self-remembering. Now, this has to be understood. Your consciousness has two polarities. One polarity is the content. For example, a cloud of anger is inside you – that is the content. And you are aware of the cloud of anger – that is consciousness, the witness, watchfulness, the observer. So your consciousness can be divided in two – the observer and the observed.

Gurdjieff says: Go on remembering the observer – self-remembering. Buddha says: Forget the observer, just watch the observed. And if you have to choose between Buddha and Gurdjieff, I will suggest choose Buddha. Because there is a danger with Gurdjieff you may become too self-conscious – rather than becoming self-aware, you may become self-conscious. You may become an egoist. And that I have felt in many Gurdjieff disciples – they have become very, very, great egoists. Not that Gurdjieff was an egoist – he was one of the rarest enlightened men of this age. But the method has a danger in it: it is very difficult to make a distinction between self-consciousness and self-remembering. It is almost impossible to make the distinction, it is so subtle. And for the ignorant masses it is almost always self-consciousness that will take possession of them; it will not be self-remembering.

The very word ‘self’ is dangerous – you become more and more settled in the idea of the self. And the idea of the self isolates you from existence.

Buddha says: Forget the self, because there is no self. The self is just in the grammar, in the language; it is not anything existential. You just observe the content. By observing the content, the content starts disappearing. Once the content disappears, watch your anger – and watching it, you will see it is disappearing. Once the anger has disappeared there is silence. There is no self, no observer, and nothing to be observed. There is silence. This silence is brought by vipassana, Buddha’s method of awareness.

Ordinary man does both. He goes on changing his gear – sometimes he observes the self, sometimes he observes the content. He goes on moving from this to that, he is a constant wavering. Gurdjieff says the one thing is: Be settled in the observer. Buddha says: Look at the observed.

My own approach is different from both. My approach is that Gurdjieff’s method is more dangerous than Buddha’s method, but even in Buddha’s method there is bound to be some tension – the effort to watch. The very effort to watch will make you tense.

A Buddhist monk was brought to me from Ceylon. He was unable to sleep – for three years he had not slept. And all kinds of medications had been tried upon him but nothing was helping, no tranquillizer was of any help. And nobody had bothered that he goes on doing vipassana, the Buddha’s method of insight – nobody had thought about it. When he came to me, the first thing I asked him was, ‘Are you doing vipassana?’– Because he is a Buddhist monk, he must be doing it. He said, ‘Yes – for three years.’ I said, ‘Then that is the cause of your sleeplessness.’

If you are continuously making effort to watch, then in the night you will not be able to relax and fall into sleep – the watching will become continuous. And if you are watching even in the night, how can you fall asleep? You cannot relax, the tension has become fixed. It is a known fact that Buddhist monks sleep only three, four hours at the most. It is not a gain. They think, and others also think, that this is a gain – they have attained something, they sleep only three, four hours. It is not. They are losing something very valuable – relaxation. And they will look tense; on their faces they will look tense. They will look very quiet, but tense. They will look very silent – but their silence is not the silence of relaxation, but of effort. You can see the effort in the comer, defining them.

My own method is: You relax. Neither watch the watcher nor watch the watched. Just relax, be passive. If something floats and you cannot help seeing it, see it. But don’t make any effort to see it deliberately. If you are relaxed like a mirror, if some cloud passes by, it will be reflected. Be like a mirror – lucid, passive. Drop both – the Gurdjieffian method of self-remembering, and the Buddhist method of watching.

But if you have to choose between Gurdjieff and Buddha, choose Buddha. If you have to choose between Buddha and me, choose me.

Relax. And just see things. And there is nothing much – if you miss something, it is not of worth. You can miss, you are allowed to miss. Take life easy, take it easy.

So people who have been in some kind of effort – and Gurdjieff’s work is of great effort – will be puzzled here. That’s why Lewis is puzzled, a little bit confused. And sooner or later, either he has to understand me or he has to condemn me – both are open. And condemnation will be easier.

Because for thirty years working hard – and now suddenly he has become attracted to a man who does not believe in effort at all. Who does not believe in improvement, who does not believe in growth, who does not believe in going anywhere, who does not believe in any way.

He says, the Fourth Way, as taught by Gurdjieff.

What I am teaching here is: No Way. There is really no way, because truth is not a goal. All ways lead away from where we are. All roads, all ways, all paths, distract you from truth. And there is nowhere to go, either, and nobody to go. There is no way of being here and now but to be here and now. When I say ‘Be here and now’ don’t ask how – the ‘how’ will take you away. When I say ‘Be here and now’ don’t ask ‘What is the way to be here and now?’ There is no way of being here and now but to BE here and now. There is no way to be still, and no need of any way. To see, wholly to see, that there is no way, is at once to be still. Seeing that – is stillness. All ways lead everywhere but here.

To live one’s life as it comes and goes, is awareness; passive, lucid, mirror-like, with no tension. So I don’t teach you attention, because attention has the word ‘tension’ in it. And the phenomenon of attention has the feeling of tension in it – hence the word ‘attention’. Enjoy, relax. Just understanding this, that there is nowhere to go, is liberation. Liberation is not like a goal somewhere else waiting for you. Liberation is understanding that you are already liberated.

It is impious for us to assert so flatly what should be, in the face of what is. What is, is the truth. Yatha Bhutam – that which is, is the truth. To assert what should be, is impious, sacrilegious, it is a sin. ‘Should’ is a sin. That which is – relax with it, float with it. I don’t teach even swimming, I simply say float with it. It is our responsibility to know how to accept and live through that which is.

So I don’t teach any way – fourth or fifth or sixth. And I don’t teach conscience, I teach a lucid relaxed consciousness. Out of that, many flowerings happen. Out of that, many songs are born.

But they are born on their own. You cannot be the doer of them and you cannot feel enhanced that ‘I have done’. You cannot feel your ego fulfilled through them. The more those flowers will come, the more you will disappear. And one day there is flowering, but you are not. That is the day, the moment, of liberation.

– Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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The Royal Way – Osho

The belief in the myth of change is the most dangerous kind of belief. Man has suffered much from it – much more than from any other kind of belief. The myth of change – that something better is possible, that man can improve upon himself, that there is some place to go to, that there is somebody to be, and that there is some kind of utopia – has corrupted human mind infinitely down the centuries. It has been a constant poisoning.

Man is already there. Man has been all along that which he wants to be. Man need not change in order to be. All that is needed is an understanding, an awareness – not a change. Becoming is never going to give you being. Through becoming you will remain constantly in anguish, in tension – because becoming means that the goal is somewhere else, that the goal is never here, never now, that the goal is far away. You have to strive for it and your whole life is wasted in striving. And you can go on striving and you will not find it because the goal is here and now, and you are looking then and there.

Your being is in the present, and all ideas of becoming are projections into the future. By projecting into the future, you go on missing the present. That is a way of escaping from the reality. The idea that you have to become something is the idea that takes you away from your real being, from your authentic being. You are already that – that’s why I say the myth of change is one of the most dangerous myths.

It has two dimensions to it. One is political, the other is religious.

The political dimension is that the society can be improved, that revolution can help, that there is a utopia that can be realized. Because of this, politicians have been able to torture, to murder, to exploit, to oppress. And people have suffered in the hope that revolution is going to happen. That revolution never happens. Revolutions come and go and society remains as it has always been.

Hitlers, Stalins, Maos, can exploit people for their own sake. And if you want to get to the utopia, to the wonderland, to paradise, you obviously have to pay for it. This is the secular dimension of the myth – that something better is possible. Right now it is not there, but some day it can be – you have to sacrifice for it. Millions of people were killed in Soviet Russia, tortured inhumanly, for their own good. And logic says that if you want to have a better society, who is going to pay for it? You are going to pay for it, naturally. So the people cannot even revolt, they cannot even resist. If they resist, they look like enemies of the revolution. And the myth is so deep-rooted in the mind that they accept all kinds of humiliations in the hope that maybe if they cannot live in a golden age, their children will. This is the secular direction of the same neurosis.

The religious dimension is that you can have a better future – if not in this life, then in the next. Of course, you have to sacrifice. If you sacrifice the present, you will have the future.

That future never comes. The future in itself cannot come. The tomorrow is not possible, it is always today. It is always the present that is there. The future is just in the mind, in the imagination. It is a dream; it is not part of reality.

The political myth has been taken up by the sadists – those who want to torture others; and the religious myth has been taken up by the masochists – those who want to torture themselves. Torture yourself. Fast. Don’t sleep. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. This is the whole secret of the so-called ascetic attitude towards life: torture yourself. And naturally, your body is helpless, your body is defenseless. It cannot protest. It cannot go against you.

There is a possibility that people may revolt against the politicians, but what is the possibility that your body may revolt against you? There is no possibility. The body is very innocent, helpless. You can go on torturing it and you can go on feeling that you have immense power because you can torture it. You can go on killing it, and feel powerful. And you can attain to a great ego.

There are two kinds of people in the world: the sadists and the masochists. Sadists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing others, and masochists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing themselves – but it is the same violence, it is the same aggression. The sadist throws it on somebody else; the masochist turns it upon himself. Because the sadist throws it on others, sooner or later they will revolt. But when the masochist throws it upon himself there is nobody to revolt.

In fact, all revolutionaries; once they are in power, by and by lose respect. Sooner or later they are dethroned; sooner or later their power is destroyed; sooner or later they are thought to be criminals. Your whole history consists of these criminals. Your history is not the history of humanity because it is not the history of humanness. How can it be the history of humanity? It is not the history of humanity; it is only the history of politics, political conflicts, struggles, wars.

It is as if you write the history of robbers and murderers and you call it the history of humanity. The revolutionaries are great murderers, they are no ordinary murderers – otherwise they would have been in the jail or sentenced to death. They are powerful people. They possess power. Until their power goes, they are worshipped like God. But their power goes sooner or later. A day comes when Hitler is no longer honored; he becomes an ugly dirty name. A day comes when Stalin is no longer honored. Just the reverse happens.

But with the other dimension, the religious dimension, of the myth – the ascetic, the self-torturer, the masochist – people never come to know their reality because they never torture anybody else. They torture only themselves. And people go on respecting them. People respect them very much because they are not harmful to anybody except to themselves. That is their business. The ascetics have always been worshipped. But ascetism is a kind of neurosis; it is not normal.

To eat too much is abnormal; to fast is also abnormal. The right amount of food is normality. To be in the middle is to be normal. To be exactly in the middle is to be healthy and whole and holy.

If you go to one extreme, you become a politician. If you go to the other extreme, you become a religious fanatic, an ascetic. Both have missed balance.

So the first thing to be understood is that the religion that we are creating here – and it has to be created again and again because it becomes corrupted again and again – the religion that we are invoking here is not political and is not in the ordinary sense even religious. It is neither sadistic nor masochistic. It is normal. It is to be in the middle.

And what is the way to be in the middle? The way to be in the middle is to be in the world but not to be of it. To be in the middle means to live in the world but not to allow the world to live in you. To be exactly in the middle and to be balanced means you are a witness to all that happens to you. Witnessing is the only foundation for a real authentic religion. Whatsoever is, has to be witnessed – joyfully, ecstatically. Nothing has to be denied and rejected. All denial, all rejection, will keep you in limits and you will remain in conflict. Everything has to be accepted as it is.

And you have to be a watcher. Pleasure comes – watch. Pain comes – watch. Neither be disturbed by pleasure nor be disturbed by pain. Let your calm remain unperturbed. Let your silence, your tranquility, remain undisturbed. Pain will come and go and pleasure will come and go. Success will come and go and failure will come and go. And soon you will come to understand the point that it is only you who remains. That is eternal. This witnessing is eternal.

The contents that flow in the consciousness are temporary. One moment they are there, another moment they are gone. Don’t be worried about them; don’t be either in favor of them or against them. Don’t try to possess them; don’t hold onto them, because they are going to go. They have to go. It is the very nature of things that they cannot be permanent.

Something pleasant is happening. It cannot be permanent. It will have to go. And following it, something unpleasant is already getting ready to happen. It is the rhythm of life – day and night, life and death, summer and winter. The wheel goes on moving.

Don’t hold on and don’t try to make something very, very permanent. It is not possible. The more you try, the more frustrated you will become, because it cannot be done. And when it cannot be done, you feel defeated. You feel defeated because you have not understood one simple thing: nothing can be static. Life is a flux. Only one thing is eternally there and that is your consciousness, that innermost watcher.

Sufis call it ’the watcher on the hills’. The valleys go on changing but the watcher remains on the top of the hill. Sometimes the valley is dark and sometimes the valley is light and sometimes there is dancing and singing and sometimes there is weeping and crying – and the watcher sits on the hill-top and just goes on watching.

By and by the content of consciousness does not matter only consciousness becomes significant. That is the essential foundation of all true religion. And this is the understanding of the Sufis.

Before we enter into this small parable today; let me tell you that there are four ways to approach truth, to be connected with truth.

The first is known in the East as karma yoga – the way of action. Man has three dimensions in him: action, knowing, feeling; so three ways use these three directions: action, knowing feeling.

You can act, and you can act with total absorption, and you can offer your act to God. You can act without becoming a doer. That is the first way – karma yoga: being in action without being a doer. You let God do. You let God be in you. You efface yourself.

In this, the path of action, consciousness changes the content. These two things have to be understood: consciousness and content. This is all that your life consists of. There is something which is the knower in you and something which is the known. For example, you are listening to me. Now two things are there: whatsoever I am saying will be the content, and whatsoever you are inside, listening, watching, that is the consciousness. You are looking at me. Then my figure in your eyes is the content and you, who are looking at that figure in the eye, are consciousness – the object and the subject.

On the path of action, consciousness changes the content. That is what action is. You see a rock. Somebody may stumble upon it – because it is getting dark, night is falling. So you remove the rock from the path. This is action. What have you done? Consciousness has changed the content. On the path of action, content is important and has to be changed. If somebody is ill and you go and serve him and you give him medicine, you are changing the content. If somebody has fallen in the river and is drowning, you jump in and you save him from drowning. You have changed the content.

Action is content-directed. Action is will – something has to be done. Of course, if the will remains ego-oriented, then you will not be religious. You will be a great doer, but not religious. And your path will be of action but not towards God. When you allow God to become your will, when you say, ‘Let thy will be mine,’ when you surrender your will to the feet of god and his will starts flowing through you, then it is the path of action – karma yoga.

The goal of karma yoga is freedom, moksha – to change the contents so much that nothing antagonistic is left there; nothing harmful is left there; to change the content according to your heart’s desire, so that you can be free of limitations. This is the path of Jainism, yoga, and all action-oriented philosophies.

The second path is the path of knowledge, knowing – gyana yoga. On the second path consciousness is changed by the content. On the first, content is changed by consciousness; on the second it is just the reverse – consciousness is changed by the content.

On the path of knowledge you simply try to see what is the case – whatsoever it is. That’s what Krishnamurti goes on teaching. That is the purest path of knowing. There is nothing to be done.

You have just to attain to clarity, to see what is the case. You have just to see that which is. You are not to do anything. You have simply to drop your prejudices and you have to drop your concepts, notions, which can interfere with reality, which can interpret reality, which can color reality. You have to drop all that you carry in your mind as a priori notions – and then let the reality be there. Whatsoever it is, you just see it. And that changes you.

To know the real is to be transformed. Knowing the real as the real, you cannot act in any other way than the way of reality. Once you have known the reality, reality starts changing you. Consciousness is changed by the content.

The goal of the path of knowledge is truth. The goal of karma yoga, the path of action or will, was freedom. The goal of the path of knowing – Vedanta, Hinduism, Sankhya, and other paths of knowing, Ashtavakra, Krishnamurti – is truth, Brahman. Thou art that. Let that be revealed, then you become that. Once you know that, you become that. By knowing God, one becomes God. Thou art that – that is the most essential phenomenon on the second path.

The third is bhakti yoga – the way of feeling. Love is the goal. Consciousness changes the content and the content changes consciousness. The change is mutual. The lover changes the beloved, the beloved changes the lover. On the path of will, consciousness changes content, on the path of knowing, content changes consciousness; on the path of feeling, both interact, both affect each other. The change is mutual. That’s why the path of feeling is more whole. The first path is half, the second path also half, but the path of love is more round, more whole, because it has both in it.

Vaishnavas, Christianity, Islam, and other paths; Ramanuja, Vallabha, and other devotees – they say that subject and object are not separate. So if one changes the other, then something will remain unbalanced. Let both change each other. Let both meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and there is great joy, let there be an orgasm between consciousness and content, between you and reality, between that and thou. Let it not be only a knowing, let it not be only partial – let it be total.

These are the three ordinary paths. Sufism is the fourth. One of the greatest Sufis of this age was George Gurdjieff. His disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, has written a book called The Fourth Way. It is very symbolic.

What is this fourth way? If it is neither of action, nor of knowing, nor of feeling – because these are the three faculties – then what is this fourth way? The fourth way is the way of transcendence. In India this is called raja yoga – the royal path, the fourth way. Neither consciousness changes the content, nor the content changes consciousness. Nothing changes nothing. All is as it is with no change. Content is there, consciousness is here, and no change is happening. No effort to change is there.

This is what I mean by being. With all the three paths something remains in the mind that has to be done. With the fourth, all becoming disappears. You simply accept whatsoever is. In that acceptance is transcendence. In that very acceptance you go beyond. You remain just a witness.

You are no longer doing anything here, you are just-being here.

A goal is not possible with the fourth way. There is no goal. With the first, the goal is freedom; with the second, truth; with the third, love. With the fourth there is no goal. Zen and Sufism belong to the fourth. That’s why Zen people say ’the pathless path, the gateless gate’ – because there is no goal. The goal-less goal. We are not going anywhere. We are not striving for anything. All that is needed is already here. It has been here all along. You have just to be silent and see. There is no need to change anything. With the fourth, the myth of change disappears.

And when there is no need to change, joy explodes – because the energy that gets involved in changing things is no longer involved anywhere; it is released. That released energy is what is called joy.

Sometimes it happens to you too, unknowingly. Sometimes sitting alone, doing nothing, you feel something happen. You cannot believe what it is. You cannot even trust what it is. It is so incredibly new, so unknown. It happens to everybody – in rare moments, for no reason at all. You cannot figure it out; you cannot reckon why it has happened.

You have been lying in your bathtub and suddenly something happens. The mind is not rushing in its usual way; the body is relaxed in the hot water. You are not doing anything; you are just being there. Suddenly it comes – the silence of the house, the birds singing outside, the children playing in the street. All is there as it has been, but with a new quality. There is great restfulness, a relaxation. Something in you is no longer striving for anything. You are not goal-oriented, you are just herenow.

If you start thinking about what it is, you miss it immediately. If you start trying to get hold of it again, you will never get hold of it again. It comes when it comes. It comes when the right situation is there. But you cannot create that right situation. If you try to create it, you will fall into one of the first three ways. If you try to change the content, you will become a follower of the path of action. If you try to change your consciousness through the content, you will become a follower of the second path – the path of knowledge. If you try to make both meet and mingle and merge, then you will become a follower of the third path.

But if you don’t do anything – not willing, not knowing, not feeling – if you just relax, then there is witnessing. Witnessing is not knowing; witnessing is totally different. In fact, it cannot be said that you are witnessing. You are not doing anything – not even witnessing. You are just there. Things are happening. Suddenly a bird starts singing outside and you hear it – because you are there, you hear it. There is no effort to hear it, there is no deliberate concentration for it.

Just the other day I came across a Shankhya sutra of immense beauty: Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah – that’s how Shankhya sutras define dhyana. Meditation is mind without thoughts, without feelings, without will. Meditation is consciousness without any striving. Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah. There is no longing for any object. You are not striving for anything. Then you are in dhyana, then you are in meditation. You are not doing anything; on no plane are you doing anything. All doing has simply disappeared. There is utter silence inside you, and absolute rest.

Let this word ‘rest’ be remembered by you; relaxation. You cannot do it, remember. How can you do it? If you do it you cannot relax, because then relaxation becomes a goal and you become a doer. You can only understand it. You can only allow it to happen; you cannot do it, you cannot force it. It has nothing to do with your doing. You can only understand how it happens and you can remain in that understanding. And it comes.

Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah. When the mind is, with no desire, no object, no goal, not going anywhere, then how can it be tense? It is not a state of concentration. It is not concentration at all because concentration will need striving; concentration is a kind of tension. It is not even attention, because attention is also a kind of tension.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the word ’meditation’ as concentration. That is absolutely wrong. Meditation is not concentration. Concentration means mind striving, forcing, willing, trying to do something. Putting one’s whole energy into one direction – that’s what concentration means. Meditation means you are not putting your energy into any direction; it is simply overflowing. It is not going in any particular direction; it is simply overflowing like a fragrance, a fragrance overflowing from a flower, unaddressed – neither to the north nor to the south. It is not going anywhere, or, it is going everywhere. Wherever the winds will take it, it is ready to go. It is utterly relaxed.

This moment happens sometimes to you. I would like you to remember that it is not something rare that happens only to religious people. It happens in ordinary life too but you don’t take note of it. You are afraid of it.

Just a few days ago, I received a letter from a woman. She had been here, and then she went home. For six months she was trying and trying to meditate and it did not happen according to her idea of meditation. She must have had some desire about what it should be like. She must have had some expectations, and it was not happening.

She has written a letter to say that one day she was just sitting in the room. There was nothing to do. The husband had gone to the office; the children had gone to school; the house was empty. She was just sitting, not doing anything; there was no desire to do. She was just sitting in the chair with closed eyes – and it happened. It was suddenly there, with all its benedictions. But she became frightened. She became frightened because when it happened suddenly a fear came to her – because it was there, meditation was there, but she was not there. That became a great fear and she simply pulled herself out of it. It felt as if she was disappearing.

Yes, it happens. Your ego cannot exist there. Your ego is not possible there. Your ego is nothing but all your tensions together. Your ego is nothing but a bundle of past tensions, of present tensions, and of future tensions. When you are non-tense, the ego simply falls to the ground in pieces.

She became afraid. For six months she had been trying to meditate and nothing was happening, and then one day it happened. It came while she was completely unaware of it. She was taken aback. It was there. And she had been provoking it and desiring and asking and praying, and it had not come. And then it came. But she missed. It was there but she became frightened. It was too much. She felt as if she might disappear into it and might not be able to come out of it. She pulled herself out of it. Now she writes that she is crying and weeping, and wants it back.

Now this wanting it back won’t help – because it came that day without any wanting. Without any idea of what was going to happen, suddenly it came. It always comes like sudden lightning.

This is the fourth way, that’s why it is called raja yoga – the royal path. The king is not supposed to do anything. Servants do. The king is not supposed to do anything. He simply sits on his throne and things happen. There are so many people to do it. That’s why it is called raja yoga – the path of the king. The other three are ordinary; the fourth is really exceptional. The king is not expected to do anything; he simply sits there relaxed. That’s what we mean by one who is a king. Doing has disappeared, knowing has disappeared, feeling has disappeared – the king is utterly relaxed. In that relaxation it happens.

Sufi and Zen are raja yogas – the royal paths. Neither consciousness changes the content nor the content changes consciousness. This is the fundamental principle: nothing changes, there is no change happening. Things are. The flower is there and you are there. You don’t change the flower and the flower does not change you. Both exist together. It is existence with no motive.

Zen people call it nirvana, the goal, the no-goal – nirvana. One simply ceases to be. The word ‘nirvana’ is beautiful. It means: as if somebody has blown out a candle. Just a few minutes before it was there, the lamp was burning bright, and then you blew it out. Now the flame has disappeared into the infinity. It has become part of the cosmos. You cannot find it. You cannot trace where it has gone, where it is. It has simply disappeared.

There is a Sufi parable.

A Sufi mystic was entering a village and he came across a small boy who was carrying a lit candle. The boy was going to the mosque. The night was coming and the boy was going to the mosque to put the candle there – as an act of worship.

The mystic saw the boy, the innocent boy, his face lighted by the light of the candle. The mystic asked the boy, ‘Have you yourself lighted the candle?’ And the boy said, ‘Yes, sir.’ The mystic jokingly asked, ‘Then you must have seen from where the flame comes. Can you tell me from where the flame comes?’ The boy laughed and blew out the candle and said, ‘Now you have seen it going. Can you tell me where it has gone?’

Nobody knows from where it comes and nobody knows to where it goes. It comes out of nothingness or out of all – which means the same – and it goes back into nothingness or into the all – which is the same. That is nirvana.

Sufis have the word for it – Fana. It means exactly the same. One is utterly lost.

There is no need to do anything on the path of will or on the path of knowledge or on the path of feeling. Nothing is needed to be done – because if you do something you will remain, you will persist a little. Something of the ego may linger on. No change, no improvement, no effort to make you better is needed – just be.

Mohammed says: ‘Be in this world as a stranger or as a passer-by.’ Be in this world but don’t be of it. Be in this world but don’t allow the world to be in you. ‘Be for this world as if thou were to live a thousand years, and for the next as if thou were to die tomorrow.’ Live this moment as if you are going to live forever and yet be mindful that the next moment may not come. So live totally, and yet remain a witness. Be involved in it, but still keep yourself like a watcher on the hill.

– Osho

Excerpt from: Sufis: The People of the Path, Volume 2, #11

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