Ego and the Self – Osho

In the west I was trained as a social worker. I was taught that it is important that a person respects and loves himself and feels worthwhile. I was taught that it is important to give support to help strengthen the ego. You say kill the ego. I am confused.

Prem Aradhana, the ego is needed because the true self is not known. The ego is a substitute, it is a pseudo entity. Because you don’t know yourself you have to create an artificial center; otherwise functioning in life will be impossible. Because you don’t know your real face, you have to wear a mask. Not knowing the essential, you have to trust in the shadow.

There are only two ways of living in life. One is to live it from the very core of your being — that has been the way of the mystics. Meditation is nothing but a device to make you aware of your real self — which is not created by you, which need not be created by you, which you already are. You are born with it, you are it! It needs to be discovered. If this is not possible, or if the society does not allow it to happen…and no society allows it to happen, because the real self is dangerous — dangerous for the established church, dangerous for the state, dangerous for the crowd, dangerous for the tradition — because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual. He no longer belongs to the mob psychology; he will not be superstitious, and he cannot be exploited. He cannot be led like cattle, he cannot be ordered and commanded. He will live according to his light, he will live from his own inwardness. His life will have tremendous beauty, integrity. But that is the fear of the society.

Integrated persons become individuals, and the society wants you to be non-individuals. Instead of individuality, the society teaches you to be a personality. The word ‘personality’ has to be understood. It comes from a root, ‘persona’ — persona means a mask. The society gives you a false idea of who you are; it gives you just a toy, and you go on clinging to the toy your whole life.

The one way is to live through meditation — then you live a life of rebellion, of adventure, of courage. Then you really live! The other way to live, or to fake living, is the way of the ego — strengthen the ego, nourish the ego; so that you need not look into the self, cling to the ego. The ego is an artifact created by the society to deceive you, to distract you.

The ego is man-made, manufactured by us. And because it is manufactured by the society, society has power over it. Because it is manufactured by the state and the church, and those who are in power, they can destroy it any moment; it depends on them. You have to be constantly in fear, and you have to be constantly obeying them, conforming to them, so that your ego remains intact. The society gives you respect if you are not an individual. The society honors you if you are not a Jesus, not a Socrates, not a Buddha. It respects you only if you are a sheep, not a man.

The West has completely forgotten how to meditate — and Christianity has been the reason. Christianity has created a very false religion, which knows nothing of meditation. Christianity is very formal; it is a ritual. It is part of the society and the political structure of the society. Karl Marx is perfectly right about it, that it is the opium of the people. Because of Christianity, the West has lost track of its own being. And one cannot live without SOME idea of one’s self — and if you cannot discover, then create something. It will be false, but something is better than nothing.

Aradhana, what you have been told is utter nonsense. It does not matter who has been telling it — the universities, the politicians, the priests. Certainly, you will be feeling confused, because I am telling you just the opposite: I am telling you to get rid of the ego, because if you get rid of the ego, you get rid of the rock that is preventing the flow of your consciousness.

Your consciousness is there, just behind the rock; it has not to be brought from somewhere else. Remove the rock — real religion consists only of removing that which is unnecessary, and then the necessary starts flowing. That which is unessential has to be removed. And the essential is already there, is already the case! You remove the rock and you will be surprised: you need not create the real self — it reveals itself to you.

And the real has beauty, and the real is deathless. Because it is deathless it has no fear. The unreal is constantly trembling. The ego is always in danger — anybody can destroy it. Because it has been given to you by others, they can take it back. Today they respect you, tomorrow they may not respect you. If you don’t follow their idea of life, if you don’t confirm their style of being, they will withdraw their respect. And you will be flat on the ground…and you will not know who you are.

Borges writes:

“I dreamt that I was awakening from another dream — full of cataclysms and turmoil — and that I was waking up in a room which I did not recognize. Dawn was breaking: a faint diffused light outlined the foot of the iron bedstead, the table. I thought fearfully ‘Where am I?’ and realized that I did not know. I thought ‘Who am I?’ and I could not recognize myself. Fear grew within me. I thought, ‘This distressing awakening is already hell, this awakening without a future will be my eternity.’ Then I really awoke, trembling.”

Not to know oneself, to know one’s destiny, that’s certainly real hell. And man does not know himself. Now, the cheaper way is to create the ego, and the West has been following the cheaper way. And not only the West: the majority of people in the East, too, have been doing the same. Just leave a few enlightened people aside, and the whole world has been doing the same.

The West consists of ninety-nine point nine percent of the people in the world; the East consists of only a few people, they can be counted on the fingers. To me, the East and the West are not geographical — they are spiritual dimensions. Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Saint Francis — the East consists of these people. Where they were born is immaterial, is irrelevant. Certainly Saint Francis was not born in the East, but I count him as part of the East.

The spiritual dimension, the dimension where the inner sun rises, is the East. And the dark night of the soul, which knows nothing of the sunrise, is the West. You don’t become religious just by being born in India. Religion is not that cheap. It is the costliest thing in existence, because it is the most precious. There is no shortcut to it, and those who seek shortcuts are bound to be deceived by somebody. They will be given toys, and you can go on believing in toys because you don’t want to risk an adventure into the unknown.

The greatest unknown exists within you. The most uncharted sea is your consciousness, and the most dangerous too, because when you start moving inwards, you start falling into an emptiness, and great fear arises, the fear of going mad, the fear of losing your identity. … Because you have known yourself as a name, you have known yourself as a particular person — you have known yourself as a doctor, as an engineer, as a businessman; you have known yourself as an Indian, a German, a Chinese; you have known yourself as black or white; you have known yourself as man or woman; you have known yourself as educated or uneducated — all these categories start disappearing.

As you move inwards, you are neither man nor woman: neti, neti — neither this nor that, neither white nor black, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan, neither Indian nor Pakistani. As you move inwards, all these categories start slipping out of your hands. Then who are you? You start losing track of your ego, and a great fear arises — the fear of nothingness. You are falling into infinity. Who knows whether you will be able to come back or not? And who knows what is going to be the outcome of this exploration? The coward clings to the shore and forgets all about the sea. That’s what is happening all over the world. People cling to the ego because ego gives you a certain idea of who you are, gives you a certain clarity. But the ego is false, and the clarity is false.

It is better to be confused with reality than to be clear with unreality.

Aradhana, you are right: with me a great confusion is bound to happen — because all your knowledge, slowly, slowly, will be proved simple ignorance and nothing else. Hiding behind your knowledge is your ignorance. Hiding behind your cleverness is your stupid mind. And behind the ego there is nothing — it is a shadow.

Once this becomes clear to you, that you have been clinging to the shadow, a great fear and a great confusion, a great chaos is bound to happen. But out of the chaos stars are born. One has to pass through such chaos — that is part of spiritual growth. You have to lose the false to get to the real. But between the two there will be an interval when the false will be gone and the true will not yet have arrived. Those are the moments, the most critical moments… these are the moments when you need a master or a friend.

Just the other day, Buddha was saying, “A master or a friend is needed.” These are the moments when you will need somebody’s hand who can hold you, who can support you, who can say, “Don’t be afraid. This emptiness is going to disappear. Soon you will be overflowing — just a little more waiting, a little more patience.” The master cannot give you anything, but he can give you courage. He can give you his hand in those critical moments when your mind would like to go back, to turn back, to cling again to the shore.

The joy of the master, his confidence, his authority… remember, when I say “his authority” I don’t mean that a master is authoritarian. A master is never authoritarian, but he has authority, because he is a witness to his own self. He knows about the other shore, he has been to the other shore. You have only heard about the other shore, you have read about it; you know only about this shore, and the comfort and the security, and the safety of this shore. And when the storms rage and when you start losing sight of this shore, and you are not able to see the other shore, your mind will say, “Go back! Go back as fast as possible! The old shore is disappearing and the new is not appearing. Maybe there is nothing on the other shore, maybe there is no other shore at all. And the storm is great!”

In those moments, if you are with a master, and somebody is sitting in the boat silent, utterly calm and quiet, laughing and saying, “Don’t be worried,” playing on his flute, or singing a song, or telling you a joke, and he says, “Don’t be worried. The other shore is — I know, I have been there. Just a little patience….” Looking into his eyes…in his absolute confidence will be the only help. Seeing his calmness, quietness, his integrity…. He is not looking back, he is not afraid: he must have seen the other shore, he must have been there. His whole being says it, his whole being proves it. And when he holds your hand you can feel that his hand is not trembling; you can feel that whatsoever he is saying he is saying out of his own experience, not because it is written in the Bible, in the Gita, in The Dhammapada. He knows it on his own! — That is his authority.

Once his confidence, his trust, becomes contagious to you, you will also start laughing. Of course, your laughter will have a little nervousness in it, but you will start laughing. You may start singing with him, maybe just to avoid fear, just as people whistle in the dark. You may join in his dance, just to forget all about what is happening. You don’t want to see the storm that surrounds you, and you don’t want to remember the past and you don’t want to think about the future. It seems dark and dismal to you. You may join in his dance…. Dancing with him, even if out of fear, singing with him even though your singing is bound to be nervous, laughing with him although your laughter is not total, the storm will soon be passed. The deeper your patience, the sooner it happens — you will be able to see the other shore, because when the eyes are not troubled, when the eyes are not full of fear, they become perceptive. A seeing arises in you — you become a seer.

The other shore is not far away; just your eyes are so full of smoke that you cannot see. In fact, this very shore IS the other shore. If your eyes are clear, if your perception is not clouded, if your insight has arisen in your being, if you can see and hear, this very shore is the other shore. When one knows, one really laughs at the whole ridiculousness of life — because we have already got that for which we are longing. The treasure is with us, and we are running hither and thither.

The ego has not to be created, because you have the supreme self within you.

But I can understand your confusion. Remain confused. Don’t go back to your old clarity — it is deceptive. Be in this confusion, be with me a little while more, and soon the confusion will disperse and disappear. And then comes a totally new kind of clarity.

There are two kinds of clarity — one, which is simply intellectual, which any moment can be taken away, doubt can be created any moment…. Intellect is full of doubt. Whatsoever you had heard and whatsoever you had been told has been taken away so easily by me; it was not of much value. Your whole life’s training, and I have taken the earth from underneath your feet so easily…and you are confused. What value can such clarity have? If I can confuse you so easily, that means it was not real clarity. I will give you a new kind of clarity which cannot be confused.

Once a great philosopher went to see Ramakrishna. The philosopher argued against God, and he argued really well. His name was Keshav Chandra Sen. Ramakrishna was utterly illiterate; he knew nothing of philosophy, he had never been to the university, he had only read up to the second standard. He could write and read Bengali a little bit.

The philosopher was well educated, world famous, he had written many books. He argued, and Ramakrishna laughed. And each time the philosopher gave a beautiful, profound argument against God, Ramakrishna would jump and hug him. A great crowd had gathered to see the scene, what was happening. The philosopher was very much embarrassed, because he had come to argue, and what kind of argument is this? This man laughs, dances — sometimes hugs.

The philosopher said, “Are you not disturbed by my arguments?”

Ramakrishna said, “How can I be disturbed? I am really enjoying your arguments. You are clever, you are intelligent, your arguments are beautiful — but what can I do? I know God! It is not a question of argument; it is not that I believe in God. Had I believed, you would have disturbed me, you would have taken all my clarity and you would have confused me. But I know he is!”

If you know, you know — there is no way of distracting you. I will give you that kind of clarity — which knows, and is not dependent on any argument but arises out of existential experience. Then you need not be taught to respect yourself or love yourself or feel worthwhile. Knowing oneself, one knows one is God. Now what more respect can you give to yourself? When this experience arises in you — “Aham Brahasmi! I am God!” — What more respect can you give to yourself?

And who is there to give respect? Only God is. When in the deepest recesses of your being the realization happens: “Ana’l Haq! — I am truth!” what more worthwhileness do you need to feel? You have come to the ultimate, and you have come to know the ultimate as your innermost being, your interiority.

Yes, you have been told to be respectful to yourself because you don’t know who you are. You have been told to feel worthwhile because you feel worthless. You have been told to love yourself because you hate yourself. And the strange thing is, the irony is, that it is the same people who have been doing both things to you.

The same people first make you feel worthless; this is the trade secret of all the churches, of all the so-called religions, of all political ideologies, of all societies, civilizations and cultures that have existed up to now. This is the trade secret: first they make you feel worthless — every child is made to feel worthless. He is told, “Unless you become this or that, you have no worth.” When he starts feeling worthless, than we start telling him, “Feel worthwhile, feel some worth. If you cannot feel worthwhile, your life is wasted.”

First we tell him to hate himself and condemn himself; everything that he does is wrong, hence he starts hating himself because he is not a beautiful person. The parents, the teachers, the priests, they are all joined in the conspiracy. Every child is reduced to such a condemnable state that he starts feeling, “I must be the ugliest person in the world, because I do things that should not be done, and I don’t do things which should be done.” And then one day we start telling the child, “Why don’t you love yourself? Otherwise, how will you survive?”

We take all respect away from the child, and when he becomes disrespectful towards himself we start telling him to create respect. This is such an absurd situation! Each child is born with great respect for himself. Each child knows his worth, his intrinsic worth. He is not worthy because he is like Buddha or Krishna or Christ — he simply knows he has worth because he is, he has being. That’s enough! And each child loves himself, respects himself.

It is you who teach him just the opposite. First you destroy all that is beautiful in him, and then you start painting a false picture. Destroy the natural beauty and then paint his face, make him absolutely false. But why is this done? — because only false people can be slaves, only false people can follow the stupid politicians, only false people can be victims of utterly ignorant priests. If people are real, they cannot be exploited and cannot be oppressed.

Aradhana, remain confused — it is good. It is good that you have come to this point where a great confusion has arisen in you. You can no longer trust your ego — good! It is tremendously important, because now a second step becomes possible. I will give you your childhood back, your inner worth, which is not a created phenomenon; your natural love, which is not cultivated; your spontaneous respect, which arises only when you start feeling that you are part of God, that you are divine.

Remember, ego is comparative — it always compares itself with others — and the self is non-comparative. When you know yourself it is neither inferior nor superior in comparison to anybody, it is simply itself. But the ego is comparative. And remember, if you feel superior to somebody, you are bound to feel inferior to somebody else. So the ego is a very tricky phenomenon: on the one hand it makes you feel superior, on the other hand it makes you feel inferior. It keeps you in a double bind, it goes on pulling you apart. It drives you crazy.

On the one hand you know that you are superior to your servant, but what about your boss? You force the servant to surrender to you, and you surrender to your boss. You force your servant or your wife or your children to be slaves to you. And then to your boss? You wag your tail there.

How can you be blissful? Both things are wrong. To make others feel inferior is violent, it is a crime against God; and to make yourself feel inferior before somebody is again a crime against God. When you know the real self, both things disappear. Then you are you, and the other is the other, and there is no comparison — nobody is superior and nobody is inferior.

This is what I call real spiritual communism, but this is possible only when self-knowledge has happened. Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels, Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong, these are not the real communists. They live in the ego. The real communists are Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu — nobody knows them as communists but they are real communists, because if you understand their vision, all comparison disappears. And when there is no comparison, there is communism. Equality is possible only when comparison disappears from the world.

Not knowing yourself, you are almost fast asleep; not knowing yourself, you are like a drunkard who asks others, “Where is my home?” The drunkard sometimes even asks, “Can you tell me, sir, who I am?”

Once a drunkard came back to the bartender and asked him, “Have you seen my friend? Has he been here?”

The bartender said, “Yes, just a few minutes before, he was here.”

And the drunkard asked, “Will you be kind enough to tell me, was I with him too?”

There was a drunk standing at a bar one day. He turned to the man on his right and said, “Did you pour beer in my pocket?”

“I certainly did not,” said the man.

Then the drunk turned to the man on his left and said, “Did you pour beer in my pocket?”

The man said, “I most certainly did not pour beer in your pocket.”

The drunk said, “Just like I thought — an inside job.”


From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V. 2, Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Beauty of Egoless Moments – Osho

You are teaching us to believe in nothing. But why should I try to drop my ego without believing that life is better without an ego? Before I drop my ego I cannot know how life is without an ego. Therefore I have to believe that life is better without an ego before I try to drop the ego. But I can’t believe it, because I suppose that life without an ego is life without a will of my own. The idea of giving up my own will is horrible to me. I cannot imagine that anybody would do this of his own free will, because my ego is all I have. Osho, Please talk to us about this. 

Bernd Schweiger. It happens all the time that I say one thing and you understand something else for the simple reason that I am talking from a state of no-mind and you are listening through the mind. It is as if a person who is awake is talking to a person who is fast asleep. Yes, even in sleep you can hear a few words, fragments of words, maybe even fragments of sentences. But you will not be able to understand exactly what is being said to you. You are bound to misunderstand.

That is one of the problems faced by all those people who have experienced something of the beyond. The beyond cannot he put into words. It remains inexpressible for the simple reason that you can understand only that which you have experienced.

I am not saying drop the ego; that is impossible. Even if you want to drop it you cannot drop it. It is impossible because the ego does not exist. How can you drop something which does not exist? You can only drop something which exists in the first place. But the ego is a false phenomenon; nobody has ever been able to drop it.

Then what do I mean when I say learn the secret of being egoless? I do not mean that you have to drop it but that you have to understand it. There is no question of belief.

Now the whole question has come out of your misunderstanding, but you are making it look so logical that anybody looking at your question will think, “Of course, how can you drop the ego without believing that life will be better without the ego?” And I say don’t believe in anything. I repeat again: don’t believe in anything. I am not saying that you should believe me and become egoless, I am simply saying – sharing my own experience – that the more I tried to understand the ego the more I became aware that it is non-existential. When I became fully conscious of it, it disappeared.

It disappears of its own accord. You don’t drop it. If you drop it, then who will drop it? Then the ego will survive; then it will be the ego dropping another ego, dropping the gross ego. And the gross is not dangerous; the subtle ego is more dangerous. Then you will become a pious egoist, you will become a humble egoist, you will become a spiritual egoist. Then you will become an “egoless” egoist. And that is getting into more trouble because that is getting into more contradictions.

All that I am saying to you is very simple. Try to understand what this ego is. Just look at it, watch it. Become aware of all its subtle ways, how it comes in. And there are moments when it is not – watch those moments also. Even you have those moments when it is not. It needs constant pedaling – it is like a bicycle. If you go on pedaling it, it can go on moving; if you stop pedaling it… how far can it go without pedaling? Maybe a few feet, maybe one furlong, two furlongs, but then it is bound to fall.

The ego needs to be constantly nourished. There are moments when you forget to nourish it and it disappears. For example, seeing a beautiful sunset it disappears because the sunset possesses you so totally. It is so beautiful, it is so extraordinary, so exquisite, it fills you with wonder and awe; for a moment you forget completely that you are, only the sunset is, and the clouds and the luminous colors on the clouds, and the birds coming back to their nests, and the day ending, entering into a silent night; as the sun starts disappearing below the horizon, something in you stops.

It happened to Ramakrishna – his first experience of egolessness. He was only thirteen. He was coming home from the field – he was a poor man’s son and he lived in a small village. He was passing by the lake. A silent evening, the sunset, and there was nobody on the lake; his coming to the lake… There was a big crowd of white cranes sitting by the side of the lake. They suddenly flew up – it was so sudden, as if out of nowhere – and against the backdrop of a black cloud which was shining like velvet against the setting sun, those white cranes in a row flashed before his eyes like lightning. It was a moment, a tremendous moment!

He fell on the ground. He was so possessed by the beauty of it he became unconscious. He had to be carried home by others. After one hour somebody found him Lying down there on the shore of the lake. It took six hours for him to be brought back to consciousness. When he came back to consciousness he started crying. And they asked, “Why are you crying? You should be happy – you have come back to consciousness.”

He said, “No, I am crying because I have come back to the ordinary world. I was not unconscious. I had moved to a higher plane of consciousness, I had moved to some new plane. I don’t know what it was, but I was not there and still there was great joy. I have never tasted such joy!”

That was his first experience, his first satori: a moment of egolessness. Then he started seeking and searching for it deliberately, consciously. He would go to the lake again and again in the morning, in the evening, in the night, and it started happening again and again more easily.

It happens to you too; it has happened to everybody. God comes to everybody. You may have forgotten him; he has not forgotten you – he cannot. It is not only that you are searching for him; he is also groping for you, he is also searching for you.

I am not telling you to drop the ego, I am telling you to understand it, to see it. Seeing it, it disappears. And see and become aware of those moments when it disappears of its own accord. Making love, it disappears. In a deep orgasm, it disappears; you melt, merge into existence. The wave again becomes the ocean; it is no more separate, it falls back into the ocean. It is only for a moment. Remain conscious of that moment and you will see the beauty of it. Once you have seen the beauty of egoless moments, then it will be easy for you to see the ugliness of the ego, the misery of the ego.

You need not believe me; I am simply inviting you to experience it. I am utterly against belief – belief is the cause of destroying religion on the earth. It is belief that has made religions false and pseudo.

Now listen to your question again, Schweiger.

You say: You are teaching us to believe in nothing.

Absolutely true.

But why should I try to drop my ego…?

Who has said this? You must have heard it, that I can understand, but I have not said it.

A young man went to a sex therapist for advice about his staying power. “Ah yes, ” said the therapist. “Premature ejaculation is quite a common problem for many young men. It is entirely due to over-eagerness and there is a definite cure.”

“What is that, doctor?” asked the young man.

“Next time you go to bed with a woman, imagine that you are about to eat a delicious meal in a gourmet restaurant. Imagine every aspect of the meal, from the soup to the coffee.

“Begin with the soup… imagine it steaming in the bowl… taste each spoonful. Next, order the wine, perhaps a rose’. Smell the bouquet of the wine, look at it sparkling with each sip. Imagine the main course… perhaps a mushroom-garnished steak with a baked potato, sour cream and chives and a fresh green salad. Eat it very slowly, tasting each bite. After the main course order dessert… perhaps a chocolate mousse or a pecan pie with whipped cream. And then… you are ready for your coffee… Brazilian, French roast, or maybe cappuccino. Then you can relax and feel the contentment of having enjoyed a very satisfying meal.

“By the time you have enjoyed such a banquet in your imagination your problem will disappear. You will have such an orgasm, such fulfillment – together! ”

The young man thanked the therapist and went away, delighted. That same evening in bed with his woman friend, they began making love. So he started to fantasize. He pictured the restaurant in his mind, sat down at the table, and called out, “Hey, waiter, we’ll have the tomato soup… and a cup of coffee!”

You may have heard it, but I have not said it!

You say: Before I drop my ego I cannot know how life is without an ego.

You have known it many times already. Nobody is so poor… I have never come across a man who has never known a few moments of it. Just try to remember. Or now, if you cannot remember, just try every day to watch. Soon you will be able to see a few moments which are without ego. Even this moment, if you are not too concerned about your question, this moment can be without ego; it is so for everybody else. It may not be for you because you will be so disturbed that I am destroying such a logical question of yours, that I am avoiding the real question, that I am trying to evade it, that I am not being logical. I never am, because what I am trying to indicate is basically supra-logical.

If you just try to listen to me as if this were not Schweiger’s question but some other fool’s – some idiot has asked this, not you – then even this moment can be of tremendous beauty and you can experience egolessness. And then you can compare. Only your own experience and comparison will make it possible for you to decide. Who am I to decide for you? I never decide for anybody else.


From Tao: the Golden Gate, V.1, Discourse #8


Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

Release Those Devils – Osho

You said the other day to ignore negative mind contents and not give energy to them. I find it difficult to stay on the razor’s edge of ignoring without falling into suppressing and thus putting things back into the unconscious. Can you please tell me how to discriminate between these two?

You already know it. Your question contains the discrimination. You know perfectly well when you are ignoring and when you are suppressing.

Ignoring simply means not paying attention to it. Something is there; let it be there. You are unconcerned this way or that, whether it should remain or go. You have no judgment. You have simply accepted it is there, and it is none of your business whether it should be there or not.

In suppressing you are taking an active part. You are wrestling with that energy; you are forcing it into the unconscious. You are trying not to be able to see it anywhere. You want to know that it is no longer there.

For example, anger is there. Just sit silently and watch that the anger is there. Let it remain. How long can it remain? Do you think it is something immortal, eternal? Just as it has come, it will be gone. You simply wait. You don’t do anything about it, for or against. If you do something for, you are expressing it, and when you are expressing it you are getting into a mess because the other person may not be a meditator – most probably he will not be. He will also react with greater rage. Now you are in a vicious circle.

You are angry, you made the other angry, and you go on becoming angry with each other more and more. Sooner or later your anger will become almost a solid rock of hatred, violence, and while you are moving in this vicious circle you are losing consciousness. You may do something for which you will repent later on. You may murder, you may kill or at least you may attempt to. And after the episode is over you may wonder: “I had never thought that I could murder somebody!” But you created the energy, and energy can do anything. Energy is neutral: it can create, it can destroy; it can light your house, it can set your house on fire.

Ignoring means you are not doing anything about it. The anger is there. Just take note of it, that anger is there, just the way you see a tree is there outside. Do you have to do something about it? A cloud is moving in the sky; do you have to do something about it? Anger is also a cloud moving on the screen of your mind. So watch; let it move.

And it is not a question of being on a razor’s edge. Don’t make small things into big things. This is a very small thing and can be done very simply; you just have to accept that it is there. Don’t try to remove it, don’t try to act upon it, and don’t feel ashamed that you are angry. Even if you feel ashamed, you have started acting. Can’t you be a non-doer?

Sadness is there, anger is there: just watch. And be ready for a surprise; if you can watch, and your watchfulness is uncontaminated, is pure – you are really not doing anything but simply looking – the anger will slowly pass by. The sadness will disappear, and you will be left with such a clean consciousness.

You were not so clean before because the possibility of anger was there. Now that possibility has become actual and it is gone with the anger. You are far cleaner. You were not so silent, so peaceful; now you are. Sadness had taken up some energy. It would not have allowed you a deep sense of happiness, it would have clouded your consciousness.

And all the other negative emotions are eating your energy. They are all there because you have repressed them, and they are repressed so you don’t let them out. You have closed the door and you have put them in the basement; they cannot escape. Even if they want to escape, you won’t let them out. And they will disturb your whole life. In the night they will become nightmares, ugly dreams. In the day they will affect your actions.

And there is always a possibility that some emotion may become too big to control. You have been repressing and repressing and repressing, and the cloud is becoming bigger. And a point comes when you cannot control it anymore. Then something happens, which the world will see as you doing, but only those who know can see you are not doing it: you are under a very great impulsive force. You are behaving like a robot; you are helpless.

You are murdering, you are raping, you are doing something ugly, but in fact you are not doing it. You have collected all that material which has become so powerful that now it can force you to do things – things in spite of you, things against you. Even while you are doing it you know it is not right. You know, “I should not be doing it. Why am I doing it?” but still you will do it.

Many murderers in many courts of the world have said very honestly that they have not murdered. But the court cannot believe it, the law cannot believe it. I can believe it – because the courts and the law are all primitive. They have not come to maturity. They are not yet psychologically based. They are simply the revenge of the society – put into beautiful words, but it is really nothing but the same thing the man has done… he has murdered, now the society wants to murder him.

He was alone. But the society has the law, the court, the police, the jail. And it will go through a long ritual to prove to itself, “We are not murdering the man, we are simply trying to prevent crime.” But this is not the fact. If you want to prevent crime, then your law should be based more on psychology, psychoanalysis, meditation. Then you will be able to see that no man has ever done anything wrong, just your whole society is wrong.

The society is wrong because it teaches people to repress, and when they repress there comes a point when what they have repressed starts overflowing and they are simply helpless. They are victims. All your criminals are victims, and all your judges and all your politicians and priests are criminals. But this has been going on for centuries so it has become accepted.

Don’t do anything, just ignore… and it is not difficult, it is a very simple phenomenon. For example, this plant is here. Can’t you ignore it? Do you have to do something about it? There is no need to do anything about it.

Just take a look at the contents of your mind from a distance, just a little distance, so that you can see, “This is anger, this is sadness, this is anguish, this is anxiety, this is worry,” and so on and so forth. Let them be there. ”I am unconcerned. I am not going to do anything for or against.” And they will start disappearing.

And if you can learn a simple thing, of letting these things disappear from the conscious, you will have such a clarity of consciousness… your vision will be so penetrating, your insight so far-reaching that not only will it change your individuality, it will allow the repressed contents in the unconscious to surface. Seeing that you have learned not to repress, things are moving out. They want to go out into the world.

Nobody wants to live in your basement in the darkness. Seeing that you are allowing things to move out, they need not wait for the night when you are asleep; they will start coming up. You will see them coming up from the basement of your being and moving out from your consciousness. Slowly your unconscious will be empty.

And this is the miracle, the magic: if the unconscious is empty, the wall between the conscious and unconscious collapses. It all becomes consciousness. First you had only one-tenth of your mind conscious; now you have all ten parts together conscious. You are ten times more conscious. And the process can go deeper; it can release the collective unconscious. The key is the same. It can release the cosmic unconscious.

And if you can clean all the unconscious parts below your consciousness, you will have such a beautiful awareness that to enter into the superconscious will be as easy as a bird taking wing.

It is your open sky. It is just that you were so loaded… so much weight that you could not fly. Now there is no weight. You are so light that gravitation loses its force over your mind; you can fly to the superconscious, to the collective conscious, to the cosmic conscious.

Godliness is within your reach. You just have to release the devils you have been keeping in your consciousness, forcing them into unconsciousness. Release those devils, and godliness is within your reach. And both things can happen together: as the lower part is cleaned, the upper world becomes available to you. And remember, again I say, it is a simple process.


From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #35


Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

Beware of the Mind: It is Blind – Osho

Do I have to know and understand the roots of my old patterns in order to be able to drop them or is awareness enough?

Deva Suparni, this is the dividing line between Western psychology and Eastern mysticism. Western psychology is an effort to understand the roots of your old patterns, but it does not help anybody to get rid of them.

You become more understanding; you become more sober, you become more normal; your mind is no longer a great mess. Things are settled a little better than they ever have been before, but every problem remains the same – it simply goes dormant. You can understand your jealousy, you can understand your anger, your hate, your greed, your ambitions, but all this understanding will remain intellectual. So even the greatest psychologists of the West are far away from the Eastern mystics.

The man who founded Western psychology, Sigmund Freud, was so much afraid of death that even the mention of the word ‘death’ was enough to throw him into a coma; he would become unconscious, the paranoia of death was so great. It happened three times. He was so much afraid of ghosts that he would not pass by the side of a cemetery. Now, a man like Sigmund Freud who has tremendous intellectual acumen, who knows every root of the mind, who knows every subtle functioning of the mind, still remains confined in the mind.

Awareness leads you beyond the mind. It does not bother to understand the problems of the mind, their roots, it simply leaves the mind aside, it simply gets out of it. That is the reason why in the East there has been no development of psychology.

It is strange that for ten thousand years at least, the East has been consistently and one-pointedly working in the field of human consciousness, but it has not developed any psychology, any psychoanalysis or psychosynthesis. It is a great surprise that for ten thousand years nobody even touched the matter. Rather than understanding the mind, the East developed a totally different approach, and their approach was disidentifying with the mind: “I am not the mind.” Once this awareness becomes crystallized in you, the mind becomes impotent.

The whole power of the mind is in your identification with it. So it was found to be useless to go unnecessarily digging for roots, finding causes behind causes, working out through dreams, analyzing dreams, interpreting dreams. And every psychologist finds a different root, finds a different interpretation, finds a different cause. Psychology is not yet a science; it is still fictitious.

If you go to Sigmund Freud, your dream will be interpreted in sexual terms. His mind is obsessed with sex. Bring anything and immediately he will find an interpretation that it is sexual.

Go to Alfred Adler, the man who founded another school of psychology – analytical psychology … He is obsessed with another idea: will to power. So whatever you dream will be interpreted according to that idea – it is will to power. Go to Carl Gustav Jung, he interprets every dream as a faraway echo from your past lives. His interpretation is mythological. And there are many other schools.

There has been a great effort made by Assagioli – psychosynthesis – to bring all these schools together, but his psychosynthesis is absolutely useless. At least psychoanalysis has some truth in it, and analytical psychology also has some truth in it; but psychosynthesis is simply a hodgepodge. It has taken one part from one school, another part from another school, and it has joined them together.

Assagioli is a great intellectual; he could manage to put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle in the right places. But what was significant in Sigmund Freud was significant in a certain context; that context is no longer there. He has only taken what appears to be significant, but without the context it loses all meaning. Hence, Assagioli has worked his whole life for some synthesis, but he has not been able to create anything significant. And all these schools have been working hard.

But the East simply bypassed the mind. Rather than finding out the causes and roots and reasons, they found out one thing: from where does the mind get its power? From where does the energy come to feed it? The energy to feed the mind comes from your identification that “I am it.” They broke that bridge. That’s what awareness is: being aware that “I am not the body, I am not the mind. I am not even the heart; I am simply pure awareness, a sakshi.”

As this awareness deepens, becomes crystallized, the mind has more and more a shadow existence. Its impact on you loses all force. And when the awareness is a hundred percent settled, mind simply evaporates.

Western psychology has still to figure out why it is not succeeding. Thousands of people are going through psychoanalysis and through other therapeutic methods, but not a single one of them – not even the founder of those schools – can be called enlightened, can be said to be without problems, can be said to be without anxieties, anguishes, fears, paranoia. Everything exists in them as it exists in you.

Sigmund Freud was asked many times by his disciples, “You psychoanalyze all of us; we bring our dreams to you to be interpreted. It will be a great experiment if you allow us to psychoanalyze you. You give us your dreams and we will try to analyze and find out what they mean, from where they come, what they indicate.” But Sigmund Freud never agreed to that. That shows an immense weakness in the whole framework of psychoanalysis. He was afraid that they would find the same things in his dreams that he was finding in their dreams. Then his superiority as a founder, as a master would be lost.

He was not aware at all of people like Gautam Buddha or Mahavira or Nagarjuna. Because these people don’t dream, there is nothing to analyze. These people have come so far away from the mind that all connections are cut. They live out of awareness, not out of intellect. They respond out of awareness, not out of mind and its memories. And they don’t repress anything; hence there is no need for any dreaming.

Dreaming is a by-product of repression. There are aboriginal tribes where people don’t dream. Or if they dream, they dream only once in a while. They are surprised to know that civilized people dream almost the whole night. In eight hours’ sleep, six hours you are dreaming. And the aboriginal is simply sleeping eight hours in deep silence, with no disturbance. Sigmund Freud was aware only of the sick Western people. He was not aware of a man of awareness; otherwise the whole history of Western psychology would have been different.

I will not tell you, Suparni, to make an effort to understand the roots of your mind and its patterns; it is simply a useless wastage of time. Just awareness is enough, more than enough. As you become aware, you come out of the grip of the mind, and the mind remains almost a dead fossil. There is no need to bother from where the greed came, the real question is how to get out of it. The question is not from where the ego arose – these are intellectual questions which are not significant for a seeker.

And then there will be many philosophical standpoints: from where greed arose, from where ego came in; from where your jealousy, from where your hate, from where your cruelty came in – looking for the beginnings of all this. And mind is a vast complex; in fact, life is too small to figure out all the problems of the mind and their origins. Their origins may be of thousands of lives. Slowly Western psychology is coming closer to it – for example, primal therapy.

Janov understood that unless we find the beginnings of the problems … That means to him, being a Christian, believing only in one life – the roots must be found somewhere in childhood. So he started working to remind you of your childhood, and then he stumbled upon a new fact – that in deep hypnosis people not only remember their childhood, they remember their birth. They also remember the nine months in the mother’s womb, and a few very sensitive people even remember their previous life.

And then he became afraid himself, that he was going into a tunnel which seemed to be unending. You go into the past life and that will take you again, through the whole long passage, to another life.

Your mind is many lives old, so you are not going to be able to find its root in the present. Perhaps you will have to travel backwards through thousands of lives, and it is not an easy thing. And then too, even if you come to understand from where the greed has come, it does not make any change. You will have to then know how to drop it.

And there are so many problems that if you start dropping each problem separately, you will need millions of lives to be completely finished with the mind. And while you are figuring out about one problem, other problems are growing, gathering more energy, more vitality, more influence. It is a very stupid game.

In the East, not a single person in the whole past – in China, in India, in Japan, in Arabia – has ever bothered about it. It is fighting with shadows. They worked from a very different angle and they succeeded immensely. They simply pulled their awareness out of the mind. They stood outside the mind as a witness and they found a miracle happening: as they became a witness, the mind became impotent, it lost all power over them. And there was no need to understand anything.

Awareness goes on growing higher and the mind goes on growing smaller – in the same proportion. If awareness is fifty percent then mind is cut to fifty percent. If awareness is seventy percent, only thirty percent of the mind remains. The day awareness is a hundred percent, there is no mind to be found at all.

Hence, the whole Eastern approach is to find a state of no-mind – that silence, that purity, that serenity. And mind is no longer there with all its problems, with all its roots; it has simply evaporated the way dewdrops evaporate in the sun in the morning, leaving no trace behind. Hence I will say to you, awareness is not only enough, it is more than enough. You don’t need anything else.

Western psychology has no place for meditation in it yet, and that’s why it goes on going round and round, finding no solution. There are people who have been in psychoanalysis for fifteen years. They have wasted fortunes on it – because psychoanalysis is the most highly paid profession. Fifteen years in psychoanalysis and all that has happened is that they have become addicted to psychoanalysis. Now they cannot remain without it. Rather than solving any problem, a new problem has arisen. Now it has become almost like a drug addiction. So when they get fed up with one psychoanalyst, they start with another. If they are not being psychoanalyzed, then they feel something is missing.

But it has not helped anybody. Even they accept that there is not a single man in the whole West who has been completely analyzed. But such is the blindness of people that they cannot see the simple point, why a single person is not there – when there are thousands of psychoanalysts analyzing people – who has been perfectly analyzed and who has gone beyond mind.

Analysis cannot take you beyond. The way beyond is awareness, the way beyond mind is meditation. It is a simple way and it has created thousands of enlightened people in the East. And they were not doing anything with the mind, they were doing something else: they were simply becoming aware, alert, conscious. They were using mind also as an object.

The way you see a tree, the way you see pillars, the way you see other people – they were trying to see the mind also as separate, and they succeeded. And the moment they succeeded in seeing the mind as separate, that was the death of the mind. In its place grows a clarity; intellect disappears, intelligence arises. One does not react anymore, one responds. Reaction is always based on your past experiences, and response is just like a mirror: you come in front of it and it responds, it shows your face. It does not carry any memory. The moment you have moved away, it is again pure, no reflection.

The meditator becomes finally a mirror. Any situation is reflected in him and he responds in the present moment, out of presence. Hence, his every response has a newness, a freshness, a clarity, a beauty, a grace. It is not some old idea that he is repeating. This is something to be understood, that no situation is ever exactly the same as any other situation that you have encountered before. So if you are reacting out of the past, you are not able to tackle the situation; you are lagging far behind.

That is the cause of your failure. You don’t see the situation, you are more concerned with your response; you are blind to the situation. The man of meditation is simply open with his eyes, available to see the situation and let the situation provoke the response in him. He is not carrying a ready-made answer to it.

A beautiful story about Gautam Buddha…. One morning a man asked him, “Is there a God?”

Buddha looked at the man, looked into his eyes and said, “No, there is no God.”

That very day in the afternoon another man asked, “What do you think about God? Is there a God?” Again he looked at the man and into his eyes and said, “Yes, there is a God.”

Ananda, who was with him, became very much puzzled, but he was always very careful not to interfere in anything. He had his time when everybody had left in the night and Buddha was going to sleep; if he had to ask anything, he would ask at that time.

But by the evening, as the sun was setting, a third man came with almost the same question, formulated differently. He said, “There are people who believe in God, there are people who don’t believe in God. I myself don’t know with whom I should stand. You help me.”

Ananda was very intensely listening now to what Buddha says. He had given two absolutely contradictory answers in the same day, and now the third opportunity has arisen – and there is no third answer. But Buddha gave him the third answer. He did not speak, he closed his eyes. It was a beautiful evening. The birds had settled in their trees – Buddha was staying in a mango grove – the sun had set, a cool breeze had started blowing. The man, seeing Buddha sitting with closed eyes, thought that perhaps this is his answer, so he also sat with closed eyes with him.

An hour passed, the man opened his eyes, touched the feet of Buddha and said, “Your compassion is great. You have given me the answer. I will always remain obliged to you.”

Ananda could not believe it, because Buddha had not spoken a single word. And as the man went away, perfectly satisfied and contented, Ananda asked Buddha, “This is too much! You should think of me – you will drive me mad. I am just on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To one man you say there is no God, to another man you say there is a God, and to the third you don’t answer. And that strange fellow says that he has received the answer and he is perfectly satisfied and obliged, and touches your feet. What is going on?”

Buddha said, “Ananda, the first thing you have to remember is, those were not your questions, those answers were not given to you. Why did you get unnecessarily concerned with other people’s problems? First solve your own problems.”

Ananda said, “That’s true, they were not my questions and the answers were not given to me. But what can I do? I have ears and I hear, and I have heard and I have seen, and now my whole being is puzzled – what is right?”

Buddha said, “Right? Right is awareness. The first man was a theist. He wanted my support – he already believed in God. He had come with an answer, ready-made, just to solicit my support so that he can go around and say, ‘I am right, even Buddha thinks so.’ I had to say no to him, just to disturb his belief, because belief is not knowing. The second man was an atheist. He had also come with a ready-made answer, that there is no God, and he wanted my support to strengthen his disbelief and so he can go on proclaiming around that I agree with him. I had to say to him, ‘Yes, God exists.’ But my purpose was the same.

“If you see my purpose, there is no contradiction. I was disturbing the first man’s preconceived belief; I was disturbing the second person’s preconceived disbelief. Belief is positive, disbelief is negative, but both are the same. Neither of them was a knower and neither of them was a humble seeker; they were already carrying a prejudice.

“The third man was a seeker. He had no prejudice, he had opened his heart. He told me, ‘There are people who believe, there are people who don’t believe. I myself don’t know whether God exists or not. Help me.’ And the only help I could give was to teach him a lesson of silent awareness; words were useless. And as I closed my eyes he understood the hint. He was a man of certain intelligence – open, vulnerable. He closed his eyes.

“As I moved deeper into silence, as he became part of the field of my silence and my presence, he started moving into silence, moving into awareness. When one hour had passed, it seemed as if only a few minutes had passed. He had not received any answer in words, but he had received the authentic answer in silence: don’t be bothered about God; it does not matter whether God exists or does not exist. What matters is whether silence exists, awareness exists or not. If you are silent and aware, you yourself are a god. God is not something far away from you; either you are a mind or you are a god. In silence and awareness mind melts and disappears and reveals your divineness to you. Although I have not said anything to him, he has received the answer, and received it in a perfectly right way.”

Awareness brings you to a point where you are able to see with your own eyes the ultimate reality of yourself and the universe … and a miraculous experience that you and the universe are not separate, that you are part of the whole. To me this is the only meaning of holy.

You have been trained for analysis, for understanding, for intellectual gymnastics. Those things are not going to help anybody; they have never helped anybody. That’s why the West lacks one most precious dimension – that of enlightenment, awakening. All its richness is nothing in comparison to the richness that comes from enlightenment, from achieving the state of no-mind.

So don’t get entangled with the mind; rather become a watcher by the side of the road and let the mind pass on the road. Soon the road will be empty. The mind lives as a parasite. You are identified with it; that is its life. Your awareness cuts the connection, it becomes its death.

The ancient scriptures of the East say that the master is a death – a very strange statement, but of immense meaning. The master is a death because meditation is the death of the mind; meditation is the death of the ego. Meditation is the death of your personality and the birth and the resurrection of your essential being. And to know that essential being is to know all.

Becky Goldberg phoned down to the hotel manager. “I am up here in room five hundred and ten,” she shouted angrily, and I want you to know there is a man walking around the room across the way stark naked, and his blinds are up.”

“I will be up right away,” said the manager. He entered Becky’s room, peered through the window and said, “You are right Madam, the man does appear to be naked. But his window still covers him from the waist down, no matter where he is in the room.”

“Ah, yes,” yelled Becky. “Just stand on the bed, just stand on the bed!”

Mind is a strange fellow. Where there is no problem, it creates a problem. Why should you stand on the bed? Just to find that somebody is naked in his room? One has to be aware of all these stupidities of the mind. I don’t agree with the theory of evolution of Charles Darwin, but I have a certain respect for the theory, because it may not be historically true that the monkeys became men, but it is certainly psychologically true – because man’s mind is just like a monkey … stupid in every way.

There is no point in digging deep into the rubbish of the mind. It is not your being, it is not you; it is just the dust that you have gathered through many, many lives around you.

A young woman went to the doctor, afraid that she had gangrene because of two small spots, one on each of her thighs. The doctor examined her carefully and then told her it was not gangrene and she had nothing to worry about. “But by the way,” he asked the girl as she was leaving, “is your boyfriend a gypsy?” “Yes,” replied the girl, “as a matter of fact he is.”

“Well,” said the doctor, “tell him that his earrings are not gold.”

These are mind’s functionings. It is a great discoverer.

The old definition of a philosopher is that he is blind in a dark night, in a dark house where there is no light, and he is searching for a black cat which is not there. But this is not all: he finds her! And he writes great treatises, theses, systems, proves logically the existence of the black cat.

Beware of the mind: it is blind. It has never known anything but it is a great pretender. It pretends to know everything.

Socrates has categorized humanity into two classes. One class he calls the knowledgeably ignorant: the people who think they know and they are basically ignorant; that is the work of the mind. And the second category he calls the ignorant knowers: the people who think, “We don’t know.” In their humbleness, in their innocence, descends knowing.

So there are pretenders of knowledge – that is the function of the mind – and there are humble people who say, “We don’t know.” In their innocence there is knowledge, and that is the work of meditation and awareness.


Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

From The New Dawn, Discourse #18

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

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What is the Law of Karma? – Osho

What is the law of karma?

It is not in fact a law, because there is nobody behind it as a lawgiver. On the contrary, it is intrinsic to existence itself. It is the very nature of life: whatsoever you sow, you reap. But it is complex, it is not so simple, it is not so obvious.

To make it more clear, try to understand it in a psychological way, because the modern mind can understand only if something is explained in a psychological way. In the past, when the law of karma was talked about – when Buddha talked about it and Mahavira talked about it – they had used physiological, physical analogies. Man has gone far away from that, man has moved far away from that. Now man lives more in the psychological, so this will be helpful.

Every crime against one’s own nature, every one, without exception, records itself in our unconscious – what the Buddhists call alayavigyan, the storehouse of consciousness – each crime.

And what is a crime? It is not because the court of Manu says it is a crime, because that court is no more relevant; not because the Ten Commandments say it is a crime, that too is no more relevant; not because a certain government says it is a crime, because that goes on changing. Something is a crime in Russia and the same thing is not a crime in America. Something is a crime according to the Hindu tradition and the same thing is not a crime according to the Mohammedan tradition. Then what is crime? There has to be a universal definition for it.

My definition is: that which goes against your nature, that which goes against your self, your being, is a crime. And how to know that crime? Whenever you commit that crime it records in your unconsciousness. It records in a certain way: it records and starts giving you a feeling of guilt. You start feeling yourself despised by yourself, you start feeling yourself unworthy, you start feeling yourself not as you should be. Something inside you becomes hard, something closes inside you. You are no more as flowing as you have been before. Something has become solid, frozen; that hurts, brings pain, and brings a feeling of unworthiness.

Karen Horney has a good word to describe this unconscious perceiving and remembering. She says “It registers”. I liked it… it registers. Everything that you do registers itself automatically. If you have been loving it registers that you are loving; it gives you a feeling of worth. If you have been hateful, angry, destructive, dishonest, it registers and gives you a feeling of unworthiness, a feeling of being something below human, a feeling of inferiority. And whenever you feel unworthy you feel cut off from the flow of life. How can you flow with people when you are hiding something? Flow is possible only when you expose yourself, when you are available, totally available.

If you have been cheating your woman and seeing another woman, you cannot be with your woman totally. It is impossible, because it registers: deep in your unconscious you know that you have been dishonest, deep in your unconscious you know that you have betrayed, deep in your unconscious you know that you have to hide it, that you are not to reveal it. If you have something to hide, if you have something to keep secret from your beloved, there will be distance – the bigger the secret, the bigger the distance will be. If there are too many secrets then you are completely closed. You cannot relax with this woman, and you cannot allow this woman to relax with you because your tenseness creates tenseness in her, her tenseness makes you even more tense, and it goes on creating a vicious circle.

Yes, it registers in our books, in our beings. Remember, there are no books which God is keeping: that was an old way of saying the same thing. Your being is the book! Whatsoever you are and whatsoever you do is constantly being registered. Not that there is somebody writing it; it is a natural phenomenon. If you have been lying it is registered that you are lying, and now you have to protect those lies, and to protect one lie you will have to tell one thousand lies, and again to protect those one thousand lies you will have to go on and on and on. You become, by and by, a chronic liar. Truth becomes impossible for you, because to tell one truth will be dangerous now.

See how things go together: if you tell one lie then many lies are invited – the same attracts the same – and now truth is unwelcome, because the darkness of the lies will not like the light of truth. So even when your lies are not in any danger of being exposed you will not be able to speak truth.

If you speak one truth, many other truths are invited – the like attracts the like. If you are naturally truthful it is very difficult to lie, even once, because all that truth protects you. And this is a natural phenomenon. There is no God keeping a book. You are the book. You are the God, your being is the book.

Abraham Maslow says, “If we do something we are ashamed of, it registers to our discredit. And if we do something good, it registers to our credit.” You can watch it, you can observe it.

The law of karma is not some philosophy, some abstraction. It is simply a theory which explains something true inside your being. The net result: either we respect ourselves, or we despise and feel contemptible, worthless and unlovable.

Every moment, you are creating yourself; either a grace will arise in your being or a disgrace: this is the law of karma. Nobody can avoid it. Nobody should try to cheat on karma, because that is not possible. Watch… and once you understand it things start changing. Once you know the inevitability of it you will be a totally different person.


From The Wisdom of the Sands, V.1, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and

A Single Solution to All the Problems – Osho

Osho, you say that your main concern is our spiritual not our psychological growth. What is the difference between them?

Deva Yachana, man is a three-storied building: one body, the mind and the soul. The body contains only the body. The mind contains body and mind both. And the soul contains all the three. The higher implies the lower, but not vice versa: the lower does not imply the higher.

This is one of the fundamental laws to be remembered. If you work on the higher, the lower will be automatically solved. If you work on the lower, the higher will not be automatically solved.

Spirit contains all the three dimensions of your being. That’s why I say my concern is your spiritual growth — because it contains your totality. To be concerned with your psychological growth will leave the most essential and the highest part of you outside. And then there are many more problems.

Mind is a multiplicity; mind means the many. Millions of problems are there. If you start solving each single problem it will take millions of lives —even then you cannot be certain that you have solved the mind problems.

Greed is there, anger is there, lust is there, jealousy is there… and so on and so forth. If you solve one it will take years and years; and even then nothing is solved. If you try to solve your anger, if you want to grow beyond your anger, at the psychological stage what can you do? At the most you can repress it — because awareness belongs to the spiritual realm. At the psychological level you can only fight. You can choose: you can repress one part against the other, but the repressed part is not dying. In fact, the more it is repressed, the more alive it will become — because it will be going closer and closer to the source of your energies and it will be getting more nourishment. And you can repress anger, but it will find some outlet from the backdoor. You cannot transform this way.

That’s where Western psychology is lost — lost in a chaos. Small problems are not being solved, very small problems. It takes years and years of psychoanalysis… then too nothing is solved. At the most you can do only a kind of window-dressing, a whitewashing. You give the patient a better mask to wear, but his original face remains the same.

Western psychology has failed.

The Eastern approach goes far deeper. It does not try to cut the foliage of a tree: it cuts the very roots. And to cut the very roots is to destroy the tree. If you go on pruning the leaves — that’s what psychological work means: pruning the leaves — you are not going to destroy the tree at all. On the contrary, the more you prune it, the thicker the foliage will become. You cut one branch and three branches will come — because the tree will take the challenge that you are going to destroy it. Each and everything tries to survive. And when there is danger, the tree will make every effort to survive. That’s what happens.

If you want to drop your anger, you become angrier than before. If you want to drop your sexuality, you become more and more sexual than before. That’s what has happened to millions of people. They want to get out of the prison of sex; they make all kinds of efforts. Their desire is good; they are sincere people, but misguided. They start fighting with sex, and sexuality retaliates with a vengeance. These people become more sexual than ordinary people, their whole mind becomes full of sex. They think of sex, they dream of sex, and they are continuously fighting. The more they fight, the more they give energy to the enemy — because the more and more they become focused on the enemy. They cannot be off-guard.

This has happened down the centuries. You can see the monks, your so-called mahatmas, your so-called saints — their minds are ugly. And the reason is not that they are not sincere people; the reason is that they have started from a wrong end.

“I think we should treat not the symptoms but the real problem.” This was the approach of the Southern planter just after the Civil War. This gentleman of the old school found his wife in the arms of her lover and, mad with rage, killed her with his revolver.

A jury of his Southern peers had brought in a verdict of justifiable homicide, and he was about to leave the courtroom a free man when the judge stopped him. “Just a point of personal curiosity, sir, if you are willing to clear it up.”

In reply, the gentleman bowed.

“Why did you shoot your wife instead of her lover?”

“Sir,” he replied, “I decided it was better to shoot a woman once than a different man each week.”

If you try to change your mind, you will have to shoot a different man each week. It is better to shoot the woman and be finished with it.

That’s why I say my concern is not your psychological growth but your spiritual growth.

Spiritual growth means growth of awareness; it means nothing else. Becoming more and more alert. Becoming a light unto yourself. And when you are a light unto yourself, darkness starts disappearing of its own accord.

The man of awareness cannot be angry — that is impossible, because to be angry the basic requirement is to be unaware. Try it, and you will be very much surprised. Try to be angry and aware — you will not be able to manage; nobody has ever been able to manage it. It is impossible. It is not in the very nature of things.

When you are aware, anger will disappear. If you lose awareness, anger will appear. Both are not possible — just as light and darkness cannot exist together; they cannot have a coexistence.

Why can light and darkness not exist together? Because darkness has no substance in it; darkness has no existence in it. It is nothing but the absence of light, so how can absence and presence exist together? If light is there then absence cannot exist.  If absence exists, light cannot be present there.

Awareness is a single solution to all the problems.

Greed cannot exist when you are aware — why? Because when you are aware, you are aware that you are the ultimate bliss, that you have the whole kingdom of God within you. What more can you desire, what greed? It will be utterly stupid. Greed exists in the person when he is not aware of his own kingdom, when he is not aware that he is a born emperor, and lives like a beggar.

The moment that you become aware that you have all the treasures of the world in you, that nothing is missing, how can greed exist? Greed means you know your inner poverty and you go on accumulating. Greed means you know that you are poor and you have to be rich.

The man of awareness becomes alert that he is rich already! and there is no possibility of becoming richer. He is divine! Greed cannot exist when you know that you are divine.

How can anger exist with a man who is aware? From where does anger come? Anger is a wound in the ego. When your ego is hurt, you become angry. But the man of awareness knows there is no ego at all —- now, how can wounds happen to something which is found no more?

You escape from a rope in the night thinking it is a snake; you run, you are frightened to death. And then somebody laughs, takes hold of you — tells you, “It is not a snake, it is a rope! Come with me and we will take a lamp and we will see.” You go with the person, still afraid, still ready to escape in case it is not a rope but a snake. But the closer you come, the better you see… you start laughing. Now, can you be afraid when you have seen that it is a rope?

And it is not that when you had thought it was a snake your fear was unreal — it was absolutely real. It was almost like a heart attack. You were trembling, suffocating, out of breath. You might have died of fear, it was so real. But there was no real snake!

An unreal snake can create real fear. And that’s how it is happening: an unreal ego can create real anger. You feel offended and anger arises. When the light of awareness is inside you, you know there is no ego — there is no snake. Simply anger disappears. And how can you be afraid when you are aware? In awareness it is known that you will never die because you were never born, that birth and death are just on the surface, at the deepest core of your being you are deathless. Then fear disappears.

Yachana, you became worried when I said that I am not concerned with your psychological growth — because what is psychological growth? Helping you not to be angry, helping you not to be an egoist, helping you not to be afraid — that is psychological growth.

Spiritual growth means: helping you to be aware. And a single medicine cures all the illnesses.

And if we go on working on the surface, it may appear that you are changing, but deep down you remain unchanging. It may appear that you are attaining to some psychological maturity, but it will be only skin-deep. Scratch a little and you will find the same old man there.

Once a patient was treated by a psychoanalyst because he thought he was a popcorn.

Finally, after years of intensive analytic work, success was there. In the final session, the psychoanalyst asked him once who he was and he replied, “A man, of course!”

Five minutes after he had left the office, the patient came rushing in, terrified. “Doctor, doctor, you should have told me that there are chickens outside. I barely escaped them!

“But you know you are not a popcorn, don’t you?”

“Sure I do — but what about the chickens?”

All your psychological work will be just on the surface. You will appear as if you have changed, but that will be only an appearance. Any real situation will bring your real face Lack again. This is not transformation: this is just consolation. And I am not concerned with consoling you.

My effort here is to transmute you to let you become something utterly new that you have never dreamed about yourself. Something immensely valuable is hidden in you – that has to be discovered. That is your soul.

And unless you discover that hidden source of all life, you will only be playing games — psychological games, physiological games. Yoga got lost in physiological games. Your so-called yogis are only doing physiological exercises. They have their own benefits, I cannot deny it. They will make you healthier, but that health remains of the body. And the body will be gone when death comes, and with the body all your yoga postures too! And the whole effort that you had made will be lost.

Psychology and psychoanalysis have become too much focused on the mind of man.

Mind is not your real core. It is just a bridge between the body and the soul, and a very fragile bridge it is. It is a very non-substantial phenomenon, because it consists only of thoughts. Behind the mind there is your reality — you can call it soul, spirit, God or whatsoever you will.

My concern here is to help you to penetrate to that core. Once you have known that everything will settle in your life — because with that awareness you will be watchful of the body and you will be watchful of the mind, and all that is ugly will simply disappear.

That is the miracle of spiritual experiences: all that is ugly simply disappears, and all that is beautiful is enhanced. The evil disappears and the good is enhanced. The world and the worldly desires are no more relevant to you — a totally new dimension opens up.


From Philosophia Perennis, V.2, Discourse #5, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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