Awareness is the Technique for Centering Oneself – Osho

Chidagni swaroopam dhoopah.

To create the fire of awareness in oneself is dhoopthe incense.

For philosophy, many are the problems – infinite. But for religion there is only one problem, and that problem is man himself. It is not that man has problems, but man is the problem. And why is man the problem?

Animals are not problems. They are so unconscious, blissfully unconscious, ignorant that there is no possibility of there being any awareness of problems. Problems are there, but animals are not aware. There are no problems for gods because they are totally conscious. When the mind is a total consciousness, problems simply disappear like darkness. But for man there is anguish. The very being of man, the very existence of man, is a problem, because man exists between these two realms: the realm of the animals and the realm of the gods.

Man exists as a bridge between two infinities: the infinity of ignorance and the infinity of knowledge. Man is neither animal nor Divine. Or, man is both – animal and Divine; that is the problem. Man is a suspended existence – something incomplete, something which is still to be – a becoming, not a being.

Animals have beings. Man is a becoming. He is not; he is only becoming. Man is a process. The process is incomplete. It has left the world of ignorance and it has not reached the world of knowledge. Man is in between. That creates the problem, the tension, the anguish and the constant conflict.

There are only two ways to be at peace, to be without problems: one is to fall back, to regress, to fall back to the world of animals; the other is to transcend, to go forward and to be a part of the Divine Being. To be either animals or gods: these are the two alternatives.

To fall back is easy, but it is going to be a temporary thing – because once you have grown you cannot fall back permanently. You can regress for a moment, but then you are again thrown forward, because there really is no way to go back. There is really no possibility of falling back. You cannot be a child again if you have become a young adult, and you cannot become young again if you have become old. If you know something, then you cannot fall back to the state when you were ignorant. You cannot go back, but for a moment you can forget the present and relive the past in your memory, in your mind.

So man can regress to the animal level. It is blissful, but temporary. That is the reason why intoxicants, drugs, alcohol, have such an appeal. When you become unconscious through some chemical, you have fallen back for a moment. For the time being you are not a man, you are not a problem. You are again part of the world of animals, the unconscious existence. Then you are not a man; that is why there are no problems.

Humanity has been constantly finding things from soma rasa to LSD in order to forget, to regress, to be just childlike, to regain the animal innocence, to be without problems: that is, to be without humanity, because to me humanity means to be a problem. This falling back, this regression, is possible, but only temporarily. You will come back again, you will be a man again, and the same problems will be standing and waiting for you. Rather, they will be more acute. Your absence is not going to dissolve them. They will become more complicated and complex. Then a vicious circle is created.

When you are again back and conscious, you have to face problems which have become more complicated because of your absence. They have grown. Then you have to forget yourself again and again, and every time you forget and regress, your problems are growing: you will have to face your humanity again and again. One cannot escape that way. One can deceive oneself, but one cannot escape that way.

The other alternative is arduous: that is, to grow to be a being. When I say “regress,” I mean to become unconscious – to lose the small consciousness that we have. When I say “to be a Being,” I mean to lose unconsciousness and to be totally conscious.

As we are, only a part is conscious – only a very small fragment of the Being is conscious – and the remaining whole continent is just dark. A small island is conscious, and the whole continent, the mainland, is under darkness. When this small island also becomes dark, you have regressed, you have fallen back. This ignorance is blissful because now you are not aware of the problems. Problems are there, but you are not aware. So at least for you it appears there are no problems.

This is the ostrich method: close your eyes, and your enemy is not there because when you cannot see – this childish, juvenile logic says that when you cannot see something – it is not: unless you see something it is not. So if you cannot feel problems they are not there!

When I say “to be a Being,” to transcend humanity, to become Divine, I mean to be totally conscious – to be not only an island, but the whole continent. This awareness will also lead you beyond problems because problems are there basically because of you. Problems are not objective realities: they are subjective phenomena. You create your problems! And unless you are transformed, you will go on creating problems. You solve one, and really, in solving that one, you will create many because you remain the same. Problems are not objective things. They are part of you. Because you are such, you create such problems.

Science tries to solve problems objectively, and science thinks that if there are no problems man will be at ease. Problems can be solved objectively, but man will not be at ease – because man himself is the problem. If he solves some problem, he will create others. He is their creator. If you give a better society, the problems will change, but problems will remain. If you give better health, better medicine, the problems will change, but problems will remain.

Quantitatively, there will be as many problems as ever because man remains the same; only the situation changes. You change the situation: old problems will not be there, but there will be new problems. And new problems are more problematic than any old problems because you have become accustomed to old problems. With new problems you feel more inconvenience. That is why, in our times, we have changed our whole situation, but problems are there – more fatal, more anxiety creating.

That is the difference between religion and science. Science thinks problems are objective, from outside somewhere – that they can be changed without changing you. Religion thinks problems are here inside, in me – rather, that I am the problem. Unless I change, nothing is going to be different. Shapes will be different, names will be different, but the substance will remain the same. I will create another world of problems; I will go on projecting new problems.

This man, unconscious to his own being, unaware of himself, is the creator of problems. Not knowing who he is, what he is, without any acquaintance with himself, he goes on creating problems – because unless you know yourself you cannot know for what you are existing and living, you cannot know where you have to move, you cannot feel what your destiny is, and you can never feel any meaning. You will go on doing many things, but everything will ultimately lead you to frustration – because if you do anything without knowing why you are, for what you are, it is not going to give you a deep contentment. It is irrelevant. The very point is missed, your effort is wasted.

And, ultimately, everyone is frustrated. Those who succeed are more frustrated than those who are not successful because those who are not successful can still hope. But those who are successful cannot even hope. Their case becomes hopeless. So I say nothing fails like success.

Religion thinks in terms of subjectivity, science in terms of objectivity: “Change the situation; do not touch the man.” Religion says, “Change the man; the situation is irrelevant.” Whatsoever the situation, a different mind, a transformed being, will be beyond problems. That is why a Buddha can exist in absolute peace as a beggar, and a Midas cannot live at peace even when he has the alchemical miracle with him: whatsoever he touches becomes gold. The situation with Midas has become golden; everything he touches becomes gold. But this doesn’t change anything. Rather, Midas is in a more complicated problematic situation.

Now our world has created, through science, a Midas situation. Now we can touch anything and it becomes gold. A Buddha living as a beggar lives, in such a deep peace and silence that emperors become jealous of him. What is the secret? The emphasis on man – the inside of man – is significant, not the situation. So you must change the inside of man. And there is only one change: if you grow in your awareness, you change, you mutate. If you fall down in your awareness, again you change, you mutate. But if your awareness is lessened, you fall down toward animals. If your awareness is increased, you move up toward the gods.

This is the only problem for religion: how to increase awareness. That is why religions have always been against drugs. The reason is not moral or ethical – no! And the so-called moralist puritans have given a very wrong color to the whole thing. For religions, it is not a question of morality that someone takes drugs. It is not a question of morality at all because morality only begins when I come in contact with someone else.

If I take alcohol and become unconscious, it is no one else’s affair. I am doing something with myself. Violence is a question for morality, not alcohol. Even if I give you a promise to meet you at a particular time and I miss it, it is immoral because somebody else is involved. Alcohol can become a moral question only if someone else is involved, otherwise it is not a moral question at all. It is something you do with yourself. For religions it is not a question of morality at all. For religions it is a deeper question: it is a question of increasing or decreasing awareness.

Once you have the habit of falling down into unconsciousness, it will be more and more difficult to increase your awareness. It will become more and more difficult because your body will not support you in increasing awareness. It will support you in decreasing it. The very metabolism of your body will help you to be unconscious. It will not help you to be conscious. And anything that becomes a barrier in being more aware is a religious problem, not a moral problem.

So sometimes it happens that you may find an alcoholic to be a more moral person than a nonalcoholic, but never a more religious person. An alcoholic may be more compassionate than a nonalcoholic; he may be more loving than a non-alcoholic, he may be more honest, but never more religious. And when I say “never more religious,” I mean never a more aware and conscious person.

This growth into awareness creates anguish. […]

You can feel more life, you can be more blissful, but you will become aware of death. You will be more blissful, but in the same proportion you will have to suffer anguish.

This is the problem, this is what man is – a deep anguish, a deep division between two polarities. You can feel life, but when death is there everything is poisoned. When death is there, every moment everything is poisoned. How can you be alive when death is there? How can you feel blissful when suffering is there?

And even if a moment of happiness comes to you, it is fleeting. And when the moment is there, even then you are aware that somewhere behind the unhappiness is there, misery is there, hiding. It will come up soon – sooner or later. So even a moment of happiness is poisoned by your consciousness that somewhere unhappiness is hidden, is coming near. It is just by the corner, and you will have to meet it.

Man becomes conscious of the future, conscious of the past, conscious of life, conscious of death. Kierkegaard has called this consciousness “anguish.” You can fall back, but that is a temporary measure. Again you will come up. So the only possibility is to grow – to grow in knowledge to a point from where you can jump out of it, because the jump is possible only from the extremes. One extreme we have: to fall back. We can do it, but it is impossible because we cannot remain in it. We are thrown forward again and again. The other possibility is that if we grow in awareness, there is a point when you are totally aware, where you transcend. […]

This sutra is concerned with awareness: “To create the fire of awareness in oneself is the incense” – to create the fire of awareness in oneself! First it must be understood what is meant by awareness. You are walking; you are aware of many things: of the shops, of people passing by you, of the traffic, of everything. You are aware of many things, only unaware of one thing: yourself. You are walking on the street: you are aware of many things; you are only not aware of yourself! This awareness of the self, Gurdjieff has called “self-remembering.” Gurdjieff says, “Constantly, wherever you are, remember yourself.”

For example, you are here. You are listening to me, but you are not aware of the listener. You may be aware of the speaker, but you are not aware of the listener. Be aware of the listener. Feel yourself here; you are here. For a moment a glimpse comes, and again you forget. Try!

Whatsoever you are doing, go on doing one thing inside continuously: be aware of yourself doing it. You are eating: be aware of yourself. You are walking: be aware of yourself. You are listening, you are speaking: be aware of yourself. When you are angry, be aware that you are angry. In the very moment that anger is there, be aware that you are angry. This constant remembering of the self creates a subtle energy – a very subtle energy in you. You begin to be a crystallized being.

Ordinarily, you are just a loose bag. No crystallization, no center really – just a liquidity, just a loose combination of many things without any center – a crowd, constantly shifting and changing, with no master inside. By awareness is meant be a master! And when I say, “Be a master,” I do not mean to be a controller. When I say, “Be a master,” I mean be a presence – a continuous presence. Whatsoever you are doing or not doing, one thing must be constantly in your consciousness: that you are.

This simple feeling of oneself, that one is, creates a center – a center of stillness, a center of silence, a center of inner mastery – an inner power. And when I say, “an inner power,” I mean it literally. That is why this sutra says, “the fire of awareness.” It is a fire. It is a fire! If you begin to be aware, you begin to feel a new energy in you – a new fire, a new life. And because of this new life, new power, new energy, many things which were dominating you just dissolve. You have not to fight with them.

You have to fight with your anger, your greed, your sex, because you are weak. So, really, greed, anger and sex are not the problems. Weakness is the problem. Once you begin to be stronger inside, with a feeling of inner presence that you are, your energies become concentrated, crystallized on a single point, and a Self is born. Remember, not an ego but a Self is born. Ego is a false sense of Self. Without having any Self, you go on believing that you have a Self. That is ego. Ego means a false self. You are not a Self, and still you believe that you are a Self. […]

Ego is a false notion of something which is not there at all.

“Self” means a center.

This center is created by being continuously aware, constantly aware. Be aware that you are doing something – that you are sitting, that now you are going to sleep, that now sleep is coming to you, that you are falling. Try to be conscious in every moment, and then you will begin to feel that a center is born within you, things have begun to crystallize, a centering is there. Everything now is related to a center.

We are without centers. Sometimes we feel centered, but those are moments when a situation makes you aware. If there is suddenly a situation, a very dangerous situation, you will begin to feel a center in you because in danger you become aware. If someone is going to kill you, you cannot think in that moment, you cannot be unconscious in that moment. Your whole energy is centered, and that moment becomes solid. You cannot move to the past; you cannot move to the future. This very moment becomes everything. And then you are not only aware of the killer: you become aware of yourself – the one who is being killed.

In that subtle moment you begin to feel a center in yourself. That is why dangerous games have their appeal. Ask someone going to the top of Gourishanker, of Mount Everest. When for the first time Hillary was there, he must have felt a sudden center. And when for the first time someone was on the moon, a sudden feeling of a center must have come. That is why danger has appeal. You are driving a car and you go on to more and more speed, and then the speed becomes dangerous. Then you cannot think; thoughts cease. Then you cannot dream. Then you cannot imagine. Then the present becomes solid. In that dangerous moment, when any instant death is possible, you are suddenly aware of a center in yourself. Danger has appeal only because in danger you sometimes feel centered.

Nietzsche somewhere says that war must continue because only in war is a Self sometimes felt – a center is felt – because war is danger. And when death becomes a reality, life becomes intense. When death is just near, life becomes intense, and you are centered. But in any moment when you become aware of yourself, there is a centering. But if it is situational, then when the situation is over it will disappear.

It must not be just situational. It must be inner. So try to be aware in every ordinary activity. When sitting on your chair, try it: be aware of the sitter. Not only of the chair, not only of the room, of the surrounding atmosphere, be aware of the sitter. Close your eyes and feel yourself; dig deep and feel yourself. […]

Lin-chi was lecturing one morning, and someone suddenly asked, “Just answer me one question: Who am I?”

Lin-chi got down and went to the man. The whole hall became silent. What was he going to do? It was a simple question. He should have answered from his seat. He reached the man. The whole hall was silent. Lin-chi stood before the questioner looking into his eyes. It was a very penetrating moment. Everything stopped. The questioner began to perspire. Lin-chi was just staring into his eyes.

And then Lin-chi said, “Do not ask me. Go inside and find out who is asking. Close your eyes. Do not ask, ‘Who am I?’ Go inside and find out who is asking, who is this questioner inside. Forget me. Find out the source of the question. Go deep inside!”

And it is reported that the man closed his eyes, became silent and suddenly he was an Enlightened One. He opened his eyes, laughed, touched the feet of Lin-chi and said, “You have answered me. I have been asking everyone this question and many answers were given to me, but nothing proved to be an answer. But you have answered me.”

“Who am I?” How can anyone answer it?

But in that particular situation – a thousand persons silent, a pin-drop silence – Lin-chi came down with strained eyes and then just ordered the man, “Close your eyes, go inside and find out who the questioner is. Do not wait for my answer. Find out who has asked.”

And the man closed his eyes. What happened in that situation? He became centered. Suddenly he was centered, suddenly he became aware of the innermost core.

This has to be discovered, and awareness means the method to discover this innermost core. The more unconscious you are, the further away you are from yourself. The more conscious, the nearer you reach to yourself. If the consciousness is total, you are at the center. If the consciousness is less, you are near the periphery. When you are unconscious, you are on the periphery where the center is completely forgotten.

So these are the two possible ways to move. You can move to the periphery; then you move to unconsciousness. Sitting at a film, sitting somewhere listening to music, you can forget yourself; then you are on the periphery. Even listening to me, you can forget yourself. Then again you are on the periphery. Reading the Gita or the Bible or the Koran, you can forget yourself. Then you are on the periphery. Whatsoever you do, if you can remember yourself then you are nearer to the center. Then someday, suddenly you are centered. Then you have energy.

That energy, this sutra says, is the fire. The whole life, the whole existence, is energy, is fire. Fire is the old name; now they call it electricity. Man has been labelling it with many, many names, but fire is good. Electricity seems a little bit dead; fire looks more alive.

This inner fire, the sutra says, is the incense. When someone is going to worship, you take some incense, dhoop, with you. That dhoop, that incense, is useless unless you have come with your inner fire as the incense.

This Upanishad is trying to give inner meanings to outer symbols. Every symbol has an inner counterpart. The outer is good in itself, but it is not enough. And it is only symbolic; it is not the substance. It shows something, but it is not the real. You must have seen incense. It is burning everywhere in temples. It is good in itself, but it is only an outer symbol. An inner fire is needed. And just as incense gives a perfume, the inner fire also gives it.

It is said that wherever Mahavir moved, everyone would feel his presence as a subtle perfume. That has been said about many persons. It is possible! The more you are centered inside, the more your whole presence becomes a perfume. And those who have the receptivity, they will feel it.

So enter a temple, not with outer incense, but with inner incense. And this inner incense can be achieved only through awareness. There is no other way. Act mindfully. It is a long, arduous journey and it is difficult to be aware even for a single moment. The mind is constantly flickering. But it is not impossible. It is arduous, it is difficult, but it is not impossible. It is possible! For everyone it is possible. Only effort is needed – and a wholehearted effort. Nothing should be left: nothing should be left inside untouched. Everything should be sacrificed for awareness. Only then is the inner flame discovered. It is there.

If one goes to find out the essential unity between all the religions that have existed or that may exist ever, then this single word “awareness” can be found.

Jesus tells a story:

A master of a big house has gone out, and he has told his servants to be constantly alert – because any moment he can come back. So for twenty-four hours they have to be alert. Any moment the master can come – any moment! There is no fixed moment, no fixed day, no fixed date. If there is a fixed date, then you can sleep, then you can do whatsoever you like, and you can be alert only on that particular date because then the master is coming. But the master has said, “I will come at any moment. Day and night you have to be alert to receive me.”

This is the parable of life. You cannot postpone. Any moment the Divine may just come; any moment the master may come. One has to be alert continuously. No date is fixed; nothing is known about when that sudden happening will be there. One can do only one thing: be alert and wait!

Rabindranath has written a poem, “The King of the Night.” It is a very deep parable.

There was a great temple with one hundred priests, and one day the chief priest dreamt that the Divine Guest was to come that night – the Divine Guest for whom they had been waiting and waiting. For centuries the temple had been waiting for the King to come, the Divine King to come. The deity of the temple was to come!

But the chief priest was in doubt: “It may be just a dream. And if it is just a dream, then everyone will laugh. But who knows? – it may be true. It may be a true intimation.”

The chief priest brooded that morning over whether to tell it to others or not. Then he became afraid. It may be time! So, then, in the afternoon, he told it. He gathered all the priests, closed all the doors of the temple, and said to them, “Do not go out and do not tell anyone! It may be just a dream; no one knows. But I have dreamt it, and the dream was so real. In the dream, the deity, the King of this temple, said, ‘I am coming tonight. Be ready!’ So we have to be alert. This night we cannot go to sleep.”

So they decorated the whole temple; they cleaned the whole temple; they made every arrangement to receive the Guest. And then they waited. Then, by and by, doubts began to arise. Then someone said, “This is nonsense. This was just a dream, and we are wasting our sleep.”

Half the night passed, then more doubts began to arise. Then someone rebelled and said, “I am going to sleep. This is nonsense. The whole day is wasted, and still we are waiting. No one is to come!” Then many supported him. Many laughed: “It is just a dream, so why pay so much attention to it!”

Then even the chief priest yielded and said, “It may have been just a dream. How can I say that it was real? We may be just stupid, foolish, just following a dream.”

So they said, “Only one person should wait at the gate and all the rest can go to sleep. If someone comes, he will inform us.”

Ninety-nine priests went to sleep, and the only priest who was appointed said, “When ninety-nine think that this is just a dream, why should I waste my sleep? And if the Divine Guest is to come, let him come. He will come in a great chariot, so there will be much noise, and everyone will be awakened.” He closed the doors, then he also fell asleep.

Then the chariot came, and the wheels of the chariot created much noise. Then someone who had been asleep said, “It seems the King is coming. It seems the wheels of the chariot are making much noise.” Someone else who was just going to sleep said, “Do not waste time; no one is coming. This is not the chariot. These are just clouds in the sky.”

And then the Guest came and knocked at the door. Someone again said, in his sleep, “It seems someone has come and is knocking at the door.”

So the chief priest himself said, “Now go to sleep. Do not go on disturbing again and again. No one is knocking at the door. It is just the wind.”

In the morning they were weeping and crying because the chariot had come in the night. There were marks on the street and the Divine Guest had come up to the door and knocked. There were footmarks on the dust, on the steps.

There are many parables. Buddha and Mahavir have told many stories with only one essential idea – that Enlightenment is at any time, at any moment, possible. It can happen any moment. One has to be alert and conscious and aware.

This parable of “The King of the Night” is not just a parable. It is real. We all are interpreting things in that way, and all our interpretations are just rationalizations of our sleep and for our sleep. We say, “It is nothing but the wind, it is nothing but the clouds.” Then we can sleep at ease. We go on denying religion, we go on denying anything that will break our sleep. We rationalize that there is no God, that there is no religion, that there is nothing – nothing but wind, nothing but clouds. Then we can sleep at ease, comfortably.

If there is a God, if there is Divinity, if there is a possibility of something higher than we are, then we cannot sleep so conveniently. Then we will have to be alert and awake and struggling, making efforts and endeavoring. Then transformation becomes our immediate concern.

Awareness is the technique for centering oneself, for achieving the inner fire. It is there hidden; it can be discovered. And once it is discovered, then only are we capable of entering the temple – not before, never before.

But we can deceive ourselves by symbols. Symbols are to show deeper realities to us, but we can use them as deceptions. We can burn an outer incense, we can worship with outer things, and then we feel at ease that we have done something. We can feel ourselves religious without becoming religious at all. That is what is happening; that is what the earth has become. Everyone thinks they are religious just because they are following outer symbols, with no inner fire.

Make efforts even if you are a failure. You will be in the beginning. You will fail again and again, but even your failure will help. When you fail to be aware for a single moment, you feel for the first time how unconscious you are.

Walk down the street, and you cannot walk a few steps without becoming unconscious. Again and again, you forget yourself. You begin to read a signboard, and you forget yourself. Someone passes, you look at him, then you forget yourself.

Your failures will be helpful. They can show you how unconscious you are. And even if you can become aware that you are unconscious, you have gained a certain awareness. If a madman becomes aware that he is mad, he is on the path toward sanity.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2 #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Fragrance of Awareness – Osho

Sarvatra bhavana gandhah.

The feeling of That everywhere is gandhathe only fragrance.

The Indian metaphysics divides Existence into two realms. One is “this” – that which can be pointed out; and another is “That” – that which is beyond this, which cannot be pointed out. The Sanskrit word for truth is satya. This Sanskrit word is very meaningful and very beautiful. It is a combination of two words: sat and tat. Sat means “this” and tat means “That”, satya means “this plus That is Truth”. So first we should understand what “this” is and what “That” is.

That which can be perceived, that which can be understood, that which can be comprehended, that which can be pointed out, fingered out, that which can be shown, that which can be seen – all belong to “this”. That which cannot be seen but yet is, that which cannot be comprehended but yet is, that which cannot be contemplated but yet is, belongs to “That”. So “this” means the known and the knowable, and “That” means the unknown and the unknowable. The known plus the unknown is the Truth: this plus That is satya.

So this division is very meaningful, significant. Without giving it any name, we simply call it “this” and “That”. Whatsoever science can know is this, and whatsoever science cannot know is That. Science is concerned with this, and religion is concerned with That. That’s why between science and religion there is no meeting, and there cannot be really. That meeting is in a way impossible. This cannot become That. That means all which transcends – that which is always beyond. The very beyondness is That. So they cannot have a meeting, and yet they are not separate, yet there is no gap, there is no gulf. So how to understand it?

It is like this: darkness and light never meet, yet they are not separate. Where light ends, darkness begins. There is no gap – yet they never meet, yet they never overlap. They cannot. Where light ends, darkness begins. Where light is, darkness is not. Where darkness is, light is not. They never overlap, they never meet – and yet there is no gap, there is no distance. They never meet, yet they are very near. The boundary of one is the boundary of the other also. There is really no gap at all.

The same is the phenomenon with this and That – the world, this; and the Truth, That – they never meet, they never overlap, yet there is no gap. In a way they are always meeting somewhere, because where one ends the other begins – yet there is no overlapping. Light can grow more, then the darkness will go further away, Science can know more, but whatsoever it knows becomes this. The That goes further away; it can never touch it – yet is just on the boundary. It is there just by the comer where it ends. To call it “That” means it is far away – beyond, transcending.

The this is very near; That is far away. This is known by our senses, intellect, mind. We already know it. Our knowledge, our mind, has a focus. The realm upon which this focus falls is this; the beyond is That. The Indian yogis have not even called it God, because once you use such words – God, Soul, Nirvana, moksha – it seems as if that unknown has become known to you. The word “That” shows that the unknown is still unknown. You feel it, but yet you cannot express it. Somewhere it penetrates you, but still you cannot say, “It has become my knowledge, my experience.”

Whenever someone says, “God has become my experience,” it means that he has transcended God, because that which you know has become smaller than you. Your experience can never be greater than you. Your experience is in your hand. It is something you have; it is your possession. But God can never be possessed, Truth can never be possessed – it is never in your hand. It is not something which has become a memory, it is not something you are finished with, so it is not something you can define.

You can only define a thing when you have known it totally. Then you can define and believe it. Then you can say, “This is this.” But God remains indefinable. The moment never comes when you can say, “I have known.” God never becomes an experience in this sense. It is an explosion. but it is not an experience. It is a knowing, but it is never knowledge. Remember the difference. A knowing is a growing thing; it goes on growing. Knowledge is a dead stop. When you say, “I know,” you have stopped. Now there will be no growth, now there will be no flow, now there will be no unknown dimensions, now you will not be a riverlike living experience.

Knowing means flowing – a riverlike existence. You know, but not as knowledge; not as something finished, complete, dead in your hand. You know as an opening – a constant opening to the greater, a constant opening to the sea, a constant opening to the transcending. Knowing is a constant opening, knowledge is a closing. So those who have felt that knowledge becomes dead have not called that experience “God”. They have not given any name to it. Any name means knowledge. When you can give a name to a certain experience, it means you have known it totally, completely. Now you can encircle it. Now you can give it a word. A word means a limitation. So the Indian wisdom says: He is That. “That” is not a word – it is an indication.

Ludwig Wittgenstein has said somewhere that there are certain things which cannot be said but which can be shown. You cannot say, but you can show, you can indicate. This word “That” is an indication. It is just a finger pointing to the beyond. It is not a word; it gives no negation. It doesn’t show that you have known – it shows that you have felt.

Knowledge has a limitation, but feeling is unlimited. And when we say “That”, we say many things more. One: it is far away. “This” means near, here. We know it: it is in our capacity to know it. “That” means far away – very far away. In one sense, That is very far away; in another sense it is nearer than the near – but it depends from where you start. We are sitting here. The nearest point is just where you are sitting: anything compared to it is away from you. But you can go and travel the whole earth and can come back to your own point – then it will be the most distant point. […]

So it depends on where we are – on the very point where we are, on the very point of consciousness where we are just now. If we can see that point and penetrate that point, then this is very far away and That is the nearest thing. But if we cannot look at the center where we are and we follow the direction of the eyes and the senses, then this is near and That is the most faraway thing. It depends. But in both the ways That transcends this. If you go in, if you reach to the center of your being, then again you transcend this that surrounds you, and That is achieved. Or, if you go out, then you will have to go on a very long journey, an infinite journey, and you can touch That only when this ends. […]

Religion says that there is no journey. There is no journey – you can find it just here and now. You can be That without going anywhere. That is here. If you miss the inside center, then you are in the this. If you can transcend this, then you will be again in That. So That is beyond this – either in or out. The beyond means the That, and not using any particular name means it is a mystery.

Metaphysics is not mathematics; it is not logic. It is a mystery. So it will be good to understand what is meant by “mystery”. It means your categories, your ordinary categories of thinking, will not do. If you go on thinking in your ordinary categories, you will go on moving around and around and around, but you will never reach the point. About and about you will move, but you will never reach the point. Logical categories are circular. You go on, you do much, you walk much, but you never reach.

The center is not on the periphery, otherwise you would have reached. If you go on round and round in a circle, you can never reach the center. If you are walking slowly, you may think, “Because I am walking slowly, that’s why I am not reaching.” You can run; still you will not reach. You can go on using any speed, but speed is irrelevant – you will not reach. The more speed, the more dizzy you will become, but you will not reach because the center is not on the circle. It is in the circle, not on the circle. You will have to leave the circle completely. You will have to drop from the periphery to the center.

Logical categories are circular. Through logic you never reach a new truth – never! Whatsoever is implied in the premises becomes apparent, but you never reach a truth. Through logic you can never come to a new experience. It is circular. The conclusion is always there. It becomes apparent, it was latent – that is the difference. But through logic you never come to realize a new phenomenon, and through logic you never come to the unknowable. The mystery can never be reached through logic because logic is anti-mystery. Logic divides and logic depends on clear-cut, solid divisions – and reality is fluid.

For example, you say a certain man is a very kind person; but this is a statement. And in the meantime, while you have been making this statement, the person who was kind may now not have been so, he may have changed. You say, “I love someone.” This is a statement. But in the very statement your love may have disappeared. In this moment you are loving, in the next moment you are angry. In this moment you are kind, in the next moment you are cruel.

In the dictionary kindness never becomes cruelty – never. But in reality, it goes on moving: kindness becomes cruelty, cruelty becomes kindness; love becomes hate, hate becomes love. In reality, things move; in dictionaries they are static. Reality is dynamic and moving. You cannot fix it. You cannot say, “Stay here!” And not only do things change – they go on to touch their very contradictions, they move to the very extreme, the other extreme. Love can become hate. It is not a simple change – it is a dialectical change. The diametrically opposite has come into existence. A friend can become a foe, but the word “friend” can never become the word “foe”. How can it become? Words are fixed.

Reason works with fixed entities and life is never fixed. You say, “This is God,” but the God may have changed into the Devil. You cannot label. In reality, labelling is futile, because while you are labelling a thing it is changing; that time is enough to change it. But logic, reason, mind, cannot work without labelling.

We can understand how love can become hate, but even more fixed categories can change. You say, “This person is man, male; that person is female, woman.” Again, these are categories, labelings. In reality this is not so. When I say that in reality this is not so, I mean you may be male in the morning and female in the evening. It depends. There are moods when you are female and there are moods when you are male. And now modern psychology says man is bisexual. Logic will never believe it. No one is man and no one is woman – everyone is both. The difference is only of degrees; it is never of quality; it is only of quantity. And degrees go on changing.

Reality cannot be labelled; nothing can be labelled. But we have to label. It is a necessity; mind cannot function without it. Without labelling mind cannot function, so mind goes on labelling things. This labelled world is known as “this” – the world that is created by labelling. And the world that exists beyond these labels is That – the unlabeled, the undefined, the uncharted.

You have a name – mm? – this is a labelling, so your name belongs to “this”. You are a man or a woman. This is labelling, so your being a man or a woman belongs to “this”. If you are finished with your labelling, then there is no That. But if you feel that you exist beyond the label; if you feel that your labelling is just on the periphery and there is a center which remains unlabeled, untouched; if you feel that even this being male or female is a labelling, this being young or old is a labelling, this being beautiful or ugly is a labelling, this being healthy or ill is a labelling – if you can feel something within you which is unlabelled, you have touched the realm of That.

So “this” is the labelled world and That is the unlabelled. “This” is the realm of the mind – categories, thinking, logic, mathematics, calculation – That is a mystery. If you try to reach it through logic you cannot reach, because logic is anti-mystery. When I say logic is anti-mystery, I mean that logic cannot function in a mysterious world. It can function only in a fixed, dead, labelled world.

Alice went to Wonderland, and she was just confused. A horse was coming and suddenly the horse changed into a cow, just as it happens in dream. You never object in dream. Have you ever objected? You see something, and suddenly it changes without any cause. The causality doesn’t exist in the
dreamworld. A horse can become a cow, and you never ask why or how this has happened. No one asks in dreams; you cannot ask. If you ask, you will come out of the dream, the sleep will be broken. But the doubt never arises.

Why? If you pass through the street and suddenly a horse becomes a cow, a dog becomes a man, your wife or your husband suddenly becomes a dog, you will not be able to take it. It will be impossible for the mind. But in the dream, you take it with no hesitation at all, with no doubt, with no questioning. Why? In the dream the logical categories are not functioning. The “why” is absent, the doubt is absent, the labelled world is absent. So, really, a horse can become a cow and there is no questioning. The horse can flow and become a cow. It is a fluid world.

So in that Wonderland, Alice was just confused. Everything flows into everything else – anything. So she asked the Queen, “What is this? Why are things changing? And how can I function here? – because nothing can be taken for granted, nothing! Anything can be anything, and in any moment it
can change. Nothing can be taken for granted, so how am I to function here?”

The Queen said, “This is an alive world. It is not dead. You are coming from a dead world; that’s why you feel the difficulty. Things are alive here, A can become B. There are no fixed categories, no categories at all. Everything is just fluid and flows into everything else. This is an alive world – you are coming from a dead world.”

We live in a dead world. That dead world is the “this”. If you can feel the live current beyond this dead world, then you have felt That. But the rishis have not given any name to it – mm? because to give it a name is again to label it. If you call it “God” you have labelled it, so God becomes part of “this”.

Shankara has said that even God is part of maya – illusion. Mm? This is inconceivable for a Christian or a Jewish mind, because God means the Supreme Reality. But for the Hindu, God has never been the Supreme Reality – because the Supreme cannot be named! The moment you name it, it is not the Supreme. You name it, and it becomes part of “this”. Hindus have struggled and tried to indicate, but never to define.

“That” is an indication. If you say it is God, you have defined it. It has come within the categories. That’s why Buddha remained silent. He would not even use the word “That”, because he said that if you use “That” it refers to “this”. Even to use “That” means a reference to “this”, and the Ultimate Reality cannot be in reference to anything. If we say it is light, it refers to darkness. It may not be darkness, but it refers to darkness, it is related to darkness. It has meaning only in reference to darkness, so it is not beyond. So Buddha remained silent. He would not even say “That”.

“That” is the last word to be used. But Buddha felt that even to use “That” is not good, so he would deny “this”, he would destroy “this”, but never assert the word “That”. He would insist, “Destroy this, and then . . .” And then what? But he would remain silent. Beyond “then”, he would remain silent. […]

Logical categories will not do because logic exists in thinking and mystery exists in non-thinking. You come in contact with mystery when there is no thought. You come in contact with mystery, all the bridges are destroyed, all the gaps are destroyed, when there is no thought. So from another dimension, “this” means the world of thinking and “That” means the world of no-thought. If you can be in a state of no-thought, you are in That. If you are in thinking, you are in this. When you are in thinking you are not in Being. When you are in thinking you are on a journey away from yourself. The deeper you go in thought, the further away you are from yourself. So a thinker is never a knower – never! A thinker is just dreaming. […]

If you are thinking, then knowing is not possible because you can do either thinking or knowing. The mind cannot do both simultaneously. Either you can think, or you can know. It is just like you can either run or you can stand; you cannot do both. If someone says, “I am standing while running,” he is saying the same absurd thing as we go on thinking and saying: “I am knowing while thinking.”

You cannot know, because knowing is a standing and thinking is a running from one thought to another. It is a process. You go on running and jumping and running and jumping. If you stand still inside, no running . . . a centering, just sitting. In Japan they call it “Za-zen”. It means just sitting. The Japanese word for meditation is “Za-zen”. It means just sitting, doing nothing – not even meditation, because if you are meditating you are doing something. The Japanese say that even if you are doing meditation, you are still doing something, you are running. Don’t even meditate – just be. Don’t do anything. Just be! If you can be without any doing, you drop into That, because thinking is this – the thought process, the labelling, the logic.

Thinking is a process of ignorance. You think because you don’t know. If you know, there is no need to think. You think because you don’t know – it is a groping in the dark. But thinking is a very tense process – most tense! And the more you are tense inside, the less you are in contact with the center. Relaxed, fall into yourself. Relaxed, just be. Relaxed, don’t go anywhere. Remain in yourself – suddenly you are in That.

This sutra says:

The feeling of That everywhere is the only fragrance.

The only Divine fragrance – the feeling of That everywhere! But how can you feel it everywhere if you have not felt it inside? If you have not felt it in yourself, how can you feel it everywhere? The feeling must come first in your center; then it goes out in waves all around you, everywhere. Once you have known that fragrance inside, you suddenly become aware it is everywhere. Then this this is just an appearance and That is hidden everywhere. So this is to be understood: unless you know it inside, you cannot know it outside; unless you come to That within, you cannot come to it without. You have to drop into That inside first, otherwise you can create a very illusory phenomenon.

Many religious persons are doing that. Without knowing the inside, you can go on thinking that That is everywhere – in the trees, in the houses, in the sky, in the stars, in the sun – everywhere. You can go on thinking – I insist, thinking – you can go on thinking That is everywhere, and you can come to a false feeling through constantly thinking that it is there everywhere. This is an imposition, a projection, and mind is capable of it. It can project. But projection will not lead to you That. Mm? – you are dreaming about that – not knowing it, not feeling it, not living it. So you can, by constant repetition, auto hypnotize yourself that That is everywhere. You can go on repeating that you are feeling it in every stone.

Try it! It is a good experiment. Try for twenty-one days continuously to feel That, the Divine, the God, everywhere – in every leaf, in every stone, everywhere. Whatsoever comes to your mind, remember it is That continuously for three weeks, and you will be able to create a certain illusion around you. You will be in a very high euphoria just like with LSD or mescaline or marijuana. By constant repetition of a certain feeling, you can project it without any chemical drugs. The mind creates its own chemical drugs. But it is arduous; through drugs it is very easy. But the same is the process.

When you take a pill and instant heaven comes to you, what does it mean? It means only that the chemical drug lowers down all your defense measures, breaks down your logic, your rational thinking. You are in a waking dream. The logic has stopped – not as an achievement, but just as a chemical enforcement. You are in a waking dream; with LSD you are in a waking dream.

Timothy Leary has written a book comparing Tibetan mystics with LSD-takers, and he says the same is the experience. He says about Marpa and Milarepa, or you could say Kabir and Ekhart, Huang Po or Hui-Hai, or Bayazid and Rabiya, that whatsoever they have known or have come to know is just similar to LSD experiences. And Timothy Leary is right in a way – but still fundamentally wrong. He is right in a way because the experiences are similar, but not the same.

When you take some chemical drug which lowers down the defense mechanism of the mind, the logic, the reason, you are in the same state as in a dream in the night. The difference is only that now you are in a waking dream. You are awake and still dreaming, so if a horse becomes a cow, there is no problem. And this waking dream gives the whole reality a new rainbow color. Everything becomes fresh. All the labels have dropped; your dream has spread all over. Now, whatsoever is happening inside chemically is being projected outside.

The colors that you see outside arc a projection of your inside mind. Now your dreams are projected everywhere. The whole world has become a screen and you are a projector now: you project everything. So whatsoever is inside you will now be projected. So LSD will not give the same experiences to all. A poet will have a very poetic experience, but a murderer cannot have the same experience. Someone can have heaven instantly, and someone may drop into hell. So whatsoever is inside will now be projected outside.

The same can be done through constant repetition. If you go on constantly repeating a certain feeling, you can project it. You can begin to live in this world as if this world has become dead. But unless you have known it inside, it is a false phenomenon. Any day you stop your repetition, and the hypnosis will go down. You can go on in this process for lives together. It is self-perpetuated because it is so pleasant.

So remember this: you are not to project. You are to know it inside, not to project it outside. For projection thinking will be needed, and for realization no-thinking will be needed. For projection you will need a certain concept to be enforced on reality. It is a rape of reality. And you can auto hypnotize yourself, but this is a dream existence. The real thing to be done is to come to a stop of inside brooding and thinking. The clouds must be thrown. Your inner center must come to a very uncloudy sky. Your inner center must be there without any action, and thinking is the action.

If every thought stops . . . but that you can do even by becoming totally unconscious. If you become unconscious, then it is of no use. You have fallen into deep sleep. In projecting outside you have fallen into a waking dream. You can stop every thought inside and be unconscious – you have fallen into deep sleep. It will not do.

A third thing has to be done – no thinking and no unconsciousness. This is the basic formula: no thinking and no unconsciousness. Conscious totally with no thoughts, and you come not only to know That but to be That. You are one with it. And once tasted, the taste never leaves you. Once felt, it never leaves you because you are transformed, you are not the same. And when you have known it, felt it inside, then open your eyes and it is everywhere. Now everything becomes just a mirror. You need not think about it; there is no need. You need not remember that it is there – it is there! That felt inside is felt everywhere.

Really, the inside and outside drop. Then your inside is the outside. Then the whole distinction between the within and without is meaningless. Once you have known That, the infinite inside, then it is the same outside. Then a very different feeling comes. Then it is not that you are inside, and you are not outside – then you are everywhere. The inside and the outside are just two poles of one reality. You are spread between the two. You are the reality – the That. One pole was known as inside previously; another pole was known as outside. Now you are spread between the two. They are both your poles.

This knowing inside is authentic religion. And this sutra says:

The feeling of That everywhere is gandha, the only fragrance.

If one is to know, if one is to live in that divine fragrance, in that bliss, this is the path. Why does the rishi say that the feeling of That everywhere is the fragrance? If you go to worship, you take some flowers with you. This is a symbolic expression. Ordinary flowers will not do for worship. Take this fragrance with you – this feeling of That everywhere. Then only will your worship be authentic; otherwise, it is just a false show. Ordinary flowers will not do.

Take this fragrance with you when you are going to worship. But then there is no going because then there is no temple. Then everything has become a temple. If you feel That everywhere, then where is the temple? Then where is the Mecca and where is Kashi? Then He is everywhere. Then the whole Existence becomes a temple. If you feel That everywhere, then this becomes a temple. Take this fragrance with you.

But really, the rishi is very deep, even in his symbology. He will not say “flowers”, he says “fragrance” – because flowers again are part of this fragrance, part of That. A flower is born, and it dies; a fragrance is forever. You may know, you may not know it. A flower is a material manifestation; a fragrance is a spiritual part. A flower you can have in your hand, but you cannot have fragrance in your hand. A flower can be purchased, but never the fragrance. A flower is a limitation, but a fragrance is simply the unlimited. A flower is somewhere, but the fragrance goes everywhere. You cannot say it is here; you cannot say it is there. It is everywhere. It goes on, it goes on.

So that’s why the rishi says not “flowers”, but “fragrance”. Take this fragrance with you, and only then will you enter the real temple – because the reality of the temple doesn’t depend on the temple, it depends on you. If you are authentic, the temple becomes authentic. Then any temple or any place will do; it makes no difference. […]

The rishi says, “The feeling of That everywhere is the only fragrance.” Go to Him, go to His feet, with this fragrance. But then there is no going. Then wherever you are, you are in His presence. If the fragrance is inside, then the presence is outside. If you are filled with the feeling of That, then there is no seeking.

Bokuju, a Zen Master, has said that sansar is Nirvana – this world is the Ultimate. When he said this for the first time, his own disciples became disturbed and they said, “What are you saying? This world, sansar, is nirvana! This world is the ultimate! This world is Brahma! What are you saying?”

Bokuju said, “When I didn’t know, when I was ignorant, there was a division. But when I came to realize That, the division disappeared – now everything is That.”

So the last thing: this and That is a division for the ignorant and of the ignorant. You know only this, and That is just a concept. When you come to know That, this becomes only a day-to-day concept, a utility. If you only know this, then That is just a concept, a metaphysical concept. If you come to know That, then this disappears. Knowing That does not mean that the world disappears; it will remain. But for you it will not be this – it will become That. […]

This is a non-dualistic concept, feeling. When you know That, this disappears; when you know this, That remains just a concept somewhere. But start from yourself. Don’t go to find it out anywhere else; otherwise, the journey will be very long. And you may reach, you may not reach. Take a total about-turn – seek it in your own center.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #13

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 Inner Illumination – Osho

Sadaadeeptih apaar amrit vrittih snaanam.

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination and in the infinite inner nectar is the preparatory bath for the worship.

Light is the most mysterious thing in the universe – for many reasons. You may not have felt it like that, but the first thing about light is that light is the purest energy. Physics says that everything material is not really matter. Only energy is real. Matter is dead; matter exists no more. It never existed except in our conceptions. Matter appears to be, but it is not. Only light is – or energy, or electricity. The deeper we penetrate into matter; the less material is found. At the very deepest there is no matter and matter itself becomes non-material. But light remains, or energy.

Light is the purest energy. Light is not matter, and wherever we feel matter it is only light condensed. So matter means light condensed. This is the first mystery about light, because it is the substratum of all Existence. So in a new way, the oldest concept of religions – that in the beginning God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light – becomes very significant, because Existence in its purity is light. So if Existence begins, it has to begin with light.

Another thing: light can exist without life, but life cannot exist without light. So life also becomes secondary. Matter simply disappears. It is not. It is only condensed light. Then light can exist without life. Life is not a necessity for light to exist, but life cannot exist without light. So life becomes secondary, and light becomes primary. In this context, one thing more: just as light can exist without life but life cannot exist without light, just the same, life can exist without love, but love cannot exist without life. So these three l’s have to be remembered – light, life, love.

Light is the substratum, the ground, and love is the peak. Life is only an opportunity for tight to reach love. Life is just a passage. So if you are only alive, you are just in the passage. Unless you reach love, you have not reached. Light is the potentiality, love is the actuality, and life is only a passage. So when it is said that God is love, this is the love that is meant. Unless you become love, you are just in between, you have not reached the end. Light is the beginning, love is the end, and life is just a passage.

So remember this: light can exist without life. Matter is just an appearance, a “condensity”, an intensity of light, and life is a manifestation. That which is hidden in light is manifested. Life is not an appearance: life is a manifestation. Matter is just light condensed. So when light remains light and becomes condensed, it is matter. When light evolves, manifests its potentiality, it becomes life. If it simply remains life, then death is the end. If it evolves more, then it becomes love – and love is deathless. You may call it God; you may call it anything. These are basic points. If you remember them, then we can proceed into the sutra.

Thirdly, in this whole world everything is relative except light. Only light has a constant velocity. That’s why physics takes light as the measurement of time. Everything is relative; only light is, in a certain way, absolute. Light travels with a constant velocity. Nothing else is constant. So only light is absolute. There is no change: the velocity is absolute; the speed is absolute. So light becomes a mystery. It is not relative to anything, and everything else is relative to light. So nothing can travel with more speed than light, because if anything takes the speed just equivalent to light, it will turn into light.

If we can throw a stone with the speed of light, the stone will become light. Anything moving with the speed of light will become light. So nothing reaches the velocity of light, and nothing transcends the velocity of light. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. Anything travelling with that speed will become light. That’s why scientists say we cannot travel with the speed of light: because anything – we or aircraft, rockets – anything travelling with that speed will become light itself.

Fourthly, light travels without any vehicle; everything else can travel only with a vehicle. Only light travels without vehicles. That is mysterious. And also, light travels without any medium. Everything else has to travel through a medium. A fish can travel in water, a man can travel in air, but light travels in nothing, in nothingness.

In the beginning of this century, physicists just imagined something like ether. They imagined something must be there; otherwise, how can light travel? So that was a basic question: light comes to the earth from the sun or from some star, it travels, so there must be some medium through which it travels. So just because nothing can travel without a medium, in the beginning of this century scientists hypothetically assumed that there must be some X – they named it ether – through which light travels.

But now they have found that there is no medium. The whole universe is just a vast space, and light travels in nothingness. That means even nothingness cannot destroy it, even emptiness cannot affect it. That means even non-being cannot affect light’s being. And it can travel without any medium, without any vehicle. That means the energy is not derived from somewhere else. Light itself is the energy. If you have some derived energy, then you will have to travel through mediums, through vehicles; you cannot go yourself. Light goes by itself.

Fifthly, light is neither being pushed nor being pulled. It simply travels! If I throw a stone, then there is a push. I put my energy in the stone, and the stone will only go to the limit, to the extent, up to where it can be forced by my energy. When my energy fails or is exhausted, the stone will fall down.

The stone is not travelling with its own energy. The energy has been given to it; it is foreign.

Everything in the world has foreign energy in it – except light. Everything moving is moving with some energy derived from somewhere else. A tree is growing, but the energy has been derived. A flower is flowering, but the energy has been derived. You are breathing and living, but the energy is derived. You have no energy of your own. Nothing has except light.

In this reference, the saying of Mohammed in the Koran becomes very significant. He says, “God is light,” and he means there that only God is His own source of energy. Everything else is just derived.

So we really live a borrowed life. It is borrowed from many, many sources. That’s why our lives are conditional. If one source just refuses to give us energy, we are dead. Light lives with its own energy – unborrowed, self-originating. It is neither pushed nor pulled, and it moves. That’s the most mysterious thing possible. It is a miracle!

Sixthly, if only light has its own energy and everything else lives with borrowed energy, certainly it must be that everywhere, ultimately, the energy is borrowed from light – because if everything lives with borrowed energy except light, then ultimately light is the donor. Wherever you get your energy, ultimately the source must be light.

You are eating food and you are getting energy, but the food itself gets it through light, through sunrays, so you are not getting it from food. Food does not have its own energy source: food is deriving it from somewhere else. The food is doing only an in-between work, the work of a medium. Because you cannot absorb light directly, trees are absorbing it, and then they transform it in such a way, they compose it in such a way, that you can take that energy directly. So they work as mediums – then light becomes the only source of energy.

So if everything drops in the universe, light will not be affected. If everything just goes off, if the whole universe is dead, light will not be affected. The universe will still be filled with light. But if light goes off, then everything will die. Nothing can exist.

This basicness of light is not only basic for science, it is basic for religion also. So now the second part: if you penetrate matter you stumble upon light. If you penetrate life, you again stumble upon light. So religious mystics have always said, “We experience Light, we realize light – the light within, the flame within.” All the mystics have talked this way, and it is not only symbolic. Only in this century has it become possible to say that it is not only symbolic. If matter dissolves into light, comes out of light, why not life itself? And when a mystic goes deep, he is going deep in life, he stumbles upon light. This going deep in oneself means going more and more to the original source of light.

So the outer light is not the only light. You have inner light also, because you cannot exist without it. It is the base. To be means to be grounded in light; there is no other being. So when you go in you are bound to come to and realize a dimension, a realm, of light – inner light. This inner light and your life make just two layers. Your life is the outermost layer; light is a deeper layer.

Your life will end in death. Unless you realize the inner light, you cannot know the deathless, because your life is just a phenomenon; it is not the base. It is just a phenomenon, a wave – a wave on the ocean of light. It will go! If you can penetrate through it to the deeper realm of light, you will know that which is immortal, which cannot die – because only light cannot die, only light is immortal. Everything will have to die, because everything lives on derived life, borrowed life. Only light has its own life. Everything else has life borrowed from somewhere else. So one has to return it, one has to give it back.

So unless you realize the inner light, you will not know that which is beyond death. In a sense it is beyond death and beyond life also. Only then does it become immortal. That which is born will have to die; that which is alive will be dead. So only that can be beyond death which is beyond life itself. Light is beyond life and beyond death. Whenever mystics have been talking about light, they always talk about deathlessness, because the moment you enter the inner light, the source of life, you enter deathlessness.

In this sutra, both terms have been used. This sutra says:

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination, in the inner light, and in the infinite inner nectar, is the preparatory bath for the worship.

So unless you are bathed in your own inner light, and in the nectar, in the immortality which belongs to that light, you are not ready to enter the Divine temple. This is a preparatory bath. Water will not do: light has to be used. Pure light has to be used. Unless you are bathed in pure light, you are not ready to enter the Divine temple.

When Krishna showed his infiniteness to Arjuna, Arjuna said, “I don’t see you, Krishna, I see only light. Where have you gone? I see only thousands and thousands of suns – and I am scared. You come back!” When one enters into the inner light . . . it is there, because without it you cannot be. nothing can be. It is a scientific fact, because without light nothing can be. If there is anything, then in its ground light is bound to be. You may know it, you may not know it, but light is the ground of all. You are, so you have a deep realm of light. The moment you enter it, you are bathed. and this bath means many things.

Ordinarily, when you enter a temple, outwardly you take a bath. You take a bath because dirt can be washed from the body, and you can enter into the temple with a purer body – fresh, undirty, clean. But when you are really entering into the Divine temple. your body is not entering: your consciousness is entering. And you cannot bathe your consciousness with water. But consciousness can have a deep cleansing in inner light, and that deep cleansing means cleansing the dirt of all karma – all actions.

Whatsoever you have done, whatsoever you have been, whatsoever your past has been, it clings to you – just like dirt, just like dust, it clings to you. When you enter inner light, it disappears. Why? Because the moment you enter that inner light, everything takes the velocity of light, and nothing can remain. The dirt, the dirt of karmas, dissolves – all that you have done in all your lives. When you enter that realm, everything becomes light, because with light, in that velocity, nothing can remain anything else. So it is not simply a bath. All the karmas, just disappear, they become light, and the consciousness is cleaned. It becomes fresh and young as it should be, as it is meant to be.

And when all the karmas disappear – by “karmas” I mean the material dust that one accumulates through actions and desires and passions – when it disappears, the entity, the nucleus of ego disappears also, because ego exists only as a collectivity of all the dust, of all the dirtiness, of all the impurities. It exists as a center. When everything disappears, ego disappears. And when ego disappears, you are pure, clean, you are born anew. So to enter this inner light is to enter the inner fire.

Another thing: the light that is outside is constant, but it cannot be constant for you. The sun will rise and set. The sun itself never rises and never sets, but for the earth it rises, and it sets; the night comes. So with outer light you cannot remain constantly in light. Only with inner light is there no rising and no setting. That’s why the sutra says, “To be centered constantly . . .” continuously. There is no night, there is no setting, because there is no rising. The light is there as your Being, as your very Existence. So to be constantly centered in this light is the bath. And by “bath” is meant that everything to which one was clinging is just destroyed – not only destroyed but transformed also. It becomes light itself.

This entry has three parts: first you will realize light, then you will realize a deep cleansing of your soul, of your being, and, thirdly, you will realize the elixir, the nectar – the amrit – the immortality, the deathlessness of it, because once the ego dies you are deathless, once the karmas are washed away you are deathless, once you have entered deeper than life you are deathless.

Deeper than life, death cannot exist. Death exists parallel to life. It means the end of life. So life has two dimensions. One is just horizontal. You go from one moment of life to another moment of life, then another – A-B-C – in a sequence. Then ultimately, the Z is going to be the death. You move from A to B, from B to C, then to X-Y-Z. A is birth, Z is death, and you move from A-B-C-D horizontally. This is one movement – birth to death. Buddha says, “One who is born will have to die, because he is moving horizontally.” So death is a necessity on a horizontal plane.

But you can move vertically. From A, instead of going to B, drop below the A or go above the A. Don’t move to B. So from any life movement, you can move in two ways. You can move to another life movement; then death will be the end. Then you are progressing towards death automatically, unknowingly. You can move down or up – not horizontally but vertically. So move down or up from A, and then you move from life to light. If you move down, then you move to light. If you move up, then you move to love. This is the vertical plane.

If you move down from life, then you move to light. If you move up, then you move to love. And both give you the door to the deathless, because death only means horizontal moving. Now you are not moving horizontally. And move either way. If you can consciously go down to light, your life will become love – because once you have known the deathless you can be nothing but love.

Really, death is the enemy of love. You cannot love because there is death; you cannot love because you are fearful of death; you cannot love because you are afraid of everyone else, of the other. And all fears are basically fear of death. They all can be reduced to the fear of death. Once you know the deathless, the fear has gone. And when the mind is fearless, it is love. When the mind is fearful, it is never love. You may put on a show, you may pretend, but it is never love. With fear hate can exist, with fear jealousy can exist, with fear anything can exist, but not love. That’s why we pretend love, and love is not found. In the end jealousy is found, hate is found, fear is found – love is not found.

Why? Because you cannot love really. How can you love when there is death? How can you love unconditionally when every moment death is coming near?

Look at it in this way: you are here, your beloved or your lover is here. You are just in the ecstasy of love, and then someone says that within five minutes you are going to die. The moment this is said, that within five minutes you are going to die, love will disappear. You will forget the beloved, the lover and the poetry, and everything will just disappear. Why does it disappear? It has never been there. It was only that you were unaware of death, so you were pretending love.

Deathlessness known becomes love. Then you cannot do anything else. Then it is not that you love; rather, you become love. Love becomes your quality – not your act – your very being. So either, drop down from A; from the horizontal line drop down vertically to light: that is one way. Yoga is concerned with this dropping down. Or, from A, rise vertically to love. Bhakti – the path of devotion – is concerned with rising up. Either way you go vertically. The same will be the result.

If you can go up from A, again you find the deathless. Vertically, there is no death; only horizontally is there death. So if you find love by going up, you will find light, because entering the deathless one is bound to find light, entering the light one is bound to find the deathless. They are one! So, really, life and death are two aspects of one coin, and death is not opposite to life. It is a part. Light is opposed to death, not life, because light is immortality. Love is also opposed to death because again it is deathless.

So the problem is either to enter light by going down or by going up to enter love. This vertical journey is the journey of religion. And this sutra says:

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination and in the infinite inner nectar is the preparatory bath for the worship.

So how to enter and how to be centered? How to enter? How to find this light?

Two or three things: one, whenever you say light is, what do you mean? I say, “The room is lighted.” What do I mean? I mean that I can see. Light is never seen; only something lighted is seen. You see the walls, not the light; you see me, not the light. Something lighted is seen, never the light itself, because light is so subtle that it cannot be seen. It is not a gross phenomenon. So we only infer that light is. It is an inference, not a knowing. It is just an inference! Because I can see you, I infer, assume, that light is How can I see you without light?

No one has ever seen light – no one! And no one can ever see light. But we use the words, “I see light,” and by that we mean, “I see things which cannot be seen without light.” When you say it is dark, there is no light, what do you mean? You only mean, “Now I cannot see things.” When you cannot see things. you infer that light is not. When you can see things, you infer that light is. So light is an inference even in the outer, the outside world. So when one has to enter, when one is ready to enter inside. what do we mean by light?

If you can feel yourself, if you can see yourself, that means the light is there. This is strange, but we never think about it. The whole room is dark; you cannot say anything is there, but one thing you can say: “I am.” Why? You cannot see yourself either. The room is totally dark, nothing can be seen, but about one thing you are certain and that is your own being. No need of any proof. no need of any light. You know that you are, you feel that you are. A subtle, inner illumination must be there. We may not be aware of it, we may be unconscious of it or very dimly conscious, but it is there.

So turn your gaze inwards. Close all your senses so that there is no feeling of the outside light. Go into darkness, close your eyes, and now try to penetrate, to see inwards. First you may feel simple darkness; that is because you are not accustomed to it. Go on penetrating. Just try to look into the darkness which is within. Penetrate it, and by and by you will begin to feel many things inside. An inner illumination begins to work. It may be dim in the beginning. You will begin to see your thoughts because thoughts are inside things. They are things! You will begin to stumble upon the furniture of your mind.

Much furniture is there – many memories, many desires, many unfulfilled passions, many frustrations, many thoughts, many seed thoughts, many, many things are there. When you begin to feel them, first try to penetrate the darkness. Then a dim light begins to be there, and you begin to be aware of many things. It is like when you enter a dark room suddenly – you can’t see anything. But remain there. Be adjusted to the darkness, let your eyes be adjusted to the darkness. Eyes have to adjust, they take time. When you come from without, from a sunlit garden to your room, your eye will have to readjust themselves. Your eyes will take a little time, but it happens.

If one is constantly using his eyes only to see things which are very near – for example, if one is constantly reading – then he will become shortsighted, because so much use of short sight will fix the mechanism of the eyes. So when he wants to see a far-off star, he cannot see it because the mechanism has become fixed. Now it is not flexible. The same happens inside: because we have been looking outside continuously, for lives, the mechanism has become fixed, and we cannot look inside.

But try, make an effort – look into the darkness. Don’t be in a hurry, because the mechanism has been fixed for many lives. Eyes have forgotten completely how to look inside. You have never used them for that purpose. So look into the darkness, see the darkness, and don’t be impatient. Penetrate the darkness, go on penetrating, and within three months you will be able to see many things inside which you never thought were there. And now, for the first time, you will become aware that thoughts are just things. And when you become aware, then you can put a thought anywhere you want. If you want to throw it out, you can throw it out.

But now you cannot throw it. Just now you cannot throw out any thought, because you cannot catch it. You don’t even know that it is a thing, that it can be caught, and it can be thrown. You don’t know where thoughts are located; you don’t know from where they come. Everyone says, “I don’t want to be fearful; I don’t want to be angry.” But they cannot do anything because they don’t know even from where this anger comes, what the root is, where this anger has its reservoir, where this anger is accumulated. You don’t know the roots.

Every thought is a thing. It has an accumulated reservoir. So when one thought comes, it is just a leaf on a big tree. You cannot cut it and throw it – another leaf will come out. Roots are there, the tree is there. When you begin to be aware even dimly that thoughts are there, desires are there – anger, passion, lust – everything is there, don’t begin to fight. Just watch, because by watching you will become more aware, and by fighting you will never become aware. So don’t fight – watch! “Watch” is the word, the mantra. Watch constantly, and the more you watch, the more you will begin to feel that more light is there. Light is there; only your eyes have to be adjusted. So watch!

By watching, eyes will become adjusted. And when more light is there and everything becomes clear, when there is no dark spot, then you become master of your mind. You can put anything out; you can rearrange everything. And once you become master of your mind, then you will become aware from where this light is coming, what the source is. The sun is not there; it is without. You have not even brought in a candle, but everything has become illuminated. From where is this light coming? First you will become aware of things which are lighted, then you will become master of the things of your mind, and then you will begin to be aware of where this light is coming from, of what the source is. You will begin to be aware of a flower blooming. Then you will begin to be aware of where this light is coming from. Then you can know the sun.

Only secondarily will you have to proceed from a lighted object towards the source of the light. Again, light is not seen; again, you will see the sun. So first you will begin to feel the content of the mind. Then, more and more, the mind will become clear. Then you will be aware of where this light is coming from. Just in the center of the mind is the source. Then enter the source! Now you can forget the mind – you are the master. You can just say to the mind, “Stop!” and the mind will stop.

Awareness is needed for the mastery. Never try the reverse: never try to be the master first and then to be aware. That never happens, that cannot happen. That is not possible. Be aware, and the mastery happens. You become the master. Then go to the source, then enter the source, from where this light is coming. Go! Enter the illumination! That entering into the illumination is the “bath”. You have become master of the mind. Now you will become master of life itself; now you will become master of consciousness itself. And once bathed in this illumination, in this source of light, you will be able to see yourself in your eternity. In this moment, all the past and all the future will be there. This moment is eternal. You are so pure that the whole time gathers in you. The past purified creates a purified future – and this moment becomes eternal.

Watch, be aware, observe deeply the contents of the mind. Then you will become aware of the source; then enter the source. It is fearful, because whatsoever you have known as yourself will die. This bath is a death – a death of all that you have known yourself to be. The identity, the ego, the personality, everything will die. because the personality, the identity, the ego, they are the dirt – the accumulated dirt around your being. Only being will remain without name and form. And this sutra says this is the preparatory bath. Only now can you enter, and only up to here do you have to make efforts. The moment you are purified, the moment you have gone through this bath, the moment the karmas have dissolved. now you need not make any effort.

From this point, God becomes a gravitation. Now you enter the field of grace. It is the same like the gravitation on the earth, but you have to enter the field. So for spaceships we have tb make one basic arrangement: they must be thrown out of the grip of the earth, out of the gravitation field. Two hundred miles above the earth, all around, is the field. If you are under the field, you will be pulled back. If you go beyond two hundred miles, then the earth cannot do anything.

The Divine cannot pull you unless you are totally pure, unless you yourself become light. Then with the same velocity, you enter the Divine. So this entering the light is the last effort. Once you are purified you begin to gravitate. Now you need not go: you are being pulled. This gravitation is known as grace: the gravitation to the Divine is grace. Grace is not really a help – it is not! It is just a law. God is not grace-ful only to some, it is not so, He is not partial; the earth is not gravitational only for some – the moment you enter the field, the law begins to work.

So don’t say that God is grace-full, don’t say that God is helpful, don’t say that He has compassion. It is not right. God means “the Law of Grace”. The law begins to work. Once you enter the field, the law begins to work. Once you begin to be light yourself, the law begins to work – and you begin to gravitate.

I said that light is the foundation of life. With this statement even science can agree. Science ends on this point; there is no beyond for science. Religion still has a beyond because religion says that even beyond light there is Existence.

Now another thing: light exists, so light has two qualities – being the light and also existence. Still, light is not the ultimate one because it has two qualities – light and existence. Religion says that existence can be without light, but light cannot be without existence. So one step more: religion says, “God is pure Existence.” So, really, for religious people, this word or this sentence that “God is”, is fallacious, because “God” and “is” both mean the same thing.

A table is, but to say “God is” is not good. Man is because man may not be, so man and is-ness are two things conjoined. They can be disjoined. But “God is” is not right because God means is-ness. So it is tautological, repetitive. To say, “God is” is as absurd as someone saying, “Is is” or “God God”. “God is” means the same as “God God” or “Is is”. They are meaningless, absurd! Is-ness is God. So religion reduces it still more and says that when you enter light, then you will enter the Is-ness, Existence, That. So light is just the aura of That. When you enter light, you enter the aura. But the moment you enter the aura you will be pulled. and there will be no time gap. There is no time gap!

Now another thing: I said that light moves with the highest velocity – 186,000 miles in one second. in one second. in one minute, in one hour, in one year, how much light moves! The unit with which physics measures its movement is the light year. A light year means the movement of light in one year at this velocity. This is still a time movement. It is very fast, but yet light takes time to move. So as I said, light needs no medium, light needs no vehicle, light needs no borrowed energy – but still light needs time. So for religion, light still needs something without which it cannot move. So light is still dependent on time.

Religion says we have to go even deeper in order to find something which need not have even this dependence – time. So for us it looks meaningless. How can light move without any medium? But now science says it moves. It is so. Religion says, “Don’t be disturbed. How can God be without time?” He is, and God moves without time, consciousness moves without time.

Light has the highest velocity as far as science has measured, but in a way, it is the highest because Existence cannot be said to have more velocity. Really, it moves without time. So there is no question of velocity. We cannot say how much it moves in one second. The movement is absolutely absolute. There is no time gap. So when one enters this illumination, one is pulled. Even the word “pulled” takes time to be asserted, but the very phenomenon of being pulled takes no time.

When I say “pulled”, it takes time, time is lost. But really, when one enters the illumination, even this much time is not needed. There is no time gap. You are pulled, and beyond this light is God, the temple. This light only bathes you, purifies you, just like a fire. You become purified. And the moment you are purified – the entrance, the explosion.

With light you become deathless, but you still feel. You feel that now you have entered immortality. But when entering into That, the Is-ness, you are not even aware of deathlessness. Life and death are meaningless now – only Being is. You are, without any conditions. That Being is the Ultimate for religion.

Light is the field, mind is around the field, and we are around the mind, we live outside the mind. So one has to enter the mind, then light, and then the Divine. But we just go on round and round, outside the mind. This state of always being outside the home has become a fixed habit. We have forgotten that we are living on the verandah. It is easy: the verandah is easy for moving outside. That’s why we have become fixed there – it is easy. We can move outside anytime. and because our mind and our desires are moving outside, we live on the verandah. So at any moment, at any opportunity to move, we can run. We have forgotten that there is a home, and this running outside is just being a beggar. Entering the house means you will have to turn your eyes around completely, and you will have to use your eyes in a new way, and you will have to pass a dark night – only because of a fixed habit.

Christian mystics have talked much about “the dark night of the soul”. This is the dark night – because your eyes are so fixed. As I said, someone becomes shortsighted, someone else becomes farsighted. If he goes on looking far, then he cannot look near. If he goes on looking near, then he cannot look far. Eyes become fixed. They are mechanical; they lose the flexibility. Just as someone becomes nearsighted and someone farsighted, we have become “outsighted”. “Insightedness” will have to be developed.

You must have heard the word “insight”, but you might not have heard the word “outsighted”. You know the word “insight”, but it is meaningless unless you understand the word “outsight”. We have become outsighted, fixed; the insight has to be developed. So whenever you find time, close your eyes, close your mind to the outside, and try to penetrate in. At first you will be in a deep dark night. Nothing will be there except darkness. Don’t be impatient. Wait and watch, and by and by darkness will become less, and you will be able to feel many inner phenomena. And only when you become aware of the inner world, then only can you become aware of the source from where this light is coming. Then enter the source. This the Upanishads call “the bath”.

How stupid the human mind is! We ritualize everything, and the significance is lost. Then only stupid rituals remain. So we take a bath when we go to the temple. Neither the temple is there nor the bath. The temple is inside and the bath also. And this bath, the Upanishads say, is the bath in inner illumination.

Light is really the bridge between the Divine and the world. The Divine creates the world through creating light. Light is the first creation, and then light condenses and matter happens; then light grows, I say light grows, and life happens; then life grows, and love happens. […]

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #11

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Upward Flow of the Mind – Osho

Unmani bhaavah paddyam.

The upward flow of the mind is paddyam – the water of divine worship.

The mind is the bridge between matter and consciousness, between without and within, between the gross and the subtle. When I say mind is the bridge, I mean many things. Man comes to the world through mind; man comes to the body through mind; man comes to desires through mind. So wherever you reach, the reaching is always through the mind. If you create a hell for yourself, you create it through mind. If you create a heaven, that also is through mind.

One of the Zen patriarchs, Hui-Hai, has said, “Mind is heaven and mind is hell.” So whatsoever you are or whatsoever you can be, it will depend ultimately on how your mind works. This working can create something for you which is not; this working can reveal to you that which is. So a mind can create a very illusionary world around it: it is capable. It can dream, and it can dream so real that you cannot even detect that whatsoever is seen and perceived is not real.

So mind has a projective force; it can project. That which is not, mind can create. And because mind can create that which is not, it can forget that which is. It can just be in such a state that the reality is never in any contact with it; and whatsoever happens, it depends only on the mind. So the mind has to be taken as the root of everything that one can experience. Even if one has to know the Divine, one has to go through mind. Of course, that going is difficult because that going implies dropping of the mind. Even if dropping of the mind is needed, it is through mind – because unless you drop the mind you will never be able to know the true.

Mind is everywhere, either positively or negatively. Whatsoever you are doing – creating an illusory world or discovering the real creating a madness for yourself or creating a meditative state – it is all through mind. Wherever you go, you go through the bridge of the mind. Even if you have to come to yourself, it will be through mind. Of course, the coming will be negative; you will have to negate mind. You will have to come back, and the same steps will have to be taken – only the direction will be different. If I go from my home, there are steps which lead me away. If I am returning back, the same steps will lead me back – only the direction will be different. So if you can understand how mind goes out, you know that the same path is to be followed back.

Secondly, in Indian symbology, “upward” is synonymous with “inward”, and “downward” is synonymous with “outward”. When we say “upward” we mean inward; they both mean the same. The more inward you go, the more upward; the more outward you go, the more downward. These two are different symbols. The Chinese mind has always used “downward” as synonymous with “inward”, and “upward” as synonymous with “outward”. So whenever Lao Tzu would speak, he would never use “upward”; he would say, “Come downward,” and by down he means come within. So the within for Lao Tzu is just like an abyss: you fall in.

Indian symbology is different. We use upward for inward. For us the inward is not like an abyss, it is like a peak. Both can be used because symbols are just symbols, they indicate; more than that is meaningless. So it has always been a problem. The Upanishads always talk of upward, and the symbol is fire – fire constantly running upward. For Lao Tzu and Taoists, water is the symbol – water running downward, finding the most downward position possible. It can rest only when the deepest abyss has been found. But fire will rest only with the sun. It will go upward, upward, to the invisible upwardness.

There is no contradiction. Really, whenever persons like Lao Tzu or Zarathustra or Jesus speak, they may use contradictory terms but they are never contradictory. They cannot be, that is impossible. So if their words are contradictory, that only shows their type, their choice, their individuality, their way of saying things – nothing more. But pundits, scholars, can make much out of these apparent contradictions. And whenever we are talking about the Absolute, the Ultimate, one thing must be understood very clearly: you can use either of the extremes to express it, and each extreme is as valid as the other.

For example, the Upanishads use for the Divine the word “Absolute”. This is one extreme, that of positivity – the Perfect, the Absolute. Buddha uses for that same state and the same realization, “Nothingness” – the other extreme. Totally opposite as far as words go, but as far as the realization is concerned, they both mean the same. But it created much confusion.

Buddha appeared to be absolutely contradictory to the Hindu mind. He was not. He was one of the purest Hindus possible, but he used a negative word. That was his liking, and it is good not to discuss likings – because one is as valid or as invalid as the other. Both can be used. Either you say “the infinite” or you say “the zero” – both are infinite. If you take it in the beginning, it is zero. If you take it in the end, it is infinite. Both mean the same thing.

Just like this, Buddha and Mahavir, both contemporaries, used very contradictory language. Mahavir says, “To know the Self is the ultimate knowledge, the wisdom. To know the Self is the wisdom.” And Buddha says, “To believe in the self is the only ignorance.” Mahavir says, “Only the Self is,” and Buddha says, “Only the self is the deception, the most false thing.” Nothing can be more contradictory, so Jains and Buddhists have been fighting constantly for twenty-five centuries. But the whole conflict is based just on linguistic fallacies – because Mahavir uses the word “Self”, negating everything of the ego in it. He says, “You become the Self when there is no ego.” So really, “Self” becomes just like “no-self”. If there is no ego, the Self becomes just like no-self. And Buddha uses the “self” as the ego and he says the self means the ego, so the most perfect ego means “the self”. Then the meaning becomes clear. So both are right. When Buddha says, “To believe in a self is to be ignorant,” he is right. And Mahavir is also right when he says, “To know the Self is the ultimate wisdom.” The contradiction is just apparent.

Lao Tzu says, “To go down to the last is to reach the basic Existence.” He begins from the beginning: “Drop down back to the very beginning, to the original source. The original source is deep down.” The Upanishads say, “Go up to the last where the peak is achieved.” Lao Tzu says, “Go down to the original source,” and the Upanishads say, “Go up to the ultimate possibility, to the very end. Achieve the potentiality to the very end; make the potentiality absolutely actual.” The beginning and end are not two separate things. Really, no end can end unless it reaches again to the beginning. And the beginning begins only where the end ends.

Life moves in a circle, so if you begin a circle, the point of beginning will be the point of the ending also. Life moves in a circle, so you can say the same point is the beginning and the end both. So the upward is not contradictory to the downward. The Lao Tzuan downward and the Upanishadic upward – both mean the same. Only the words differ.

If we can penetrate to the meaning beyond the words, only then can we conceive of and comprehend these minds. These minds are living in such experiences which cannot really be expressed through ordinary words. But they have to use ordinary words, so they can use only ordinary words with a very different meaning, with a very different connotation. So one thing more: when the Upanishads say upward, remember, it is the same as inward. The more you go in, the more up, and vice versa: the more up you go, the more in. What is this upwardness or inwardness? And why should the sutra say that this upward flow of the mind is the only water by which you can worship the feet of the Divine? So many things are implied. One is that it is useless to use just water – it is useless!

Al-hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic, was killed. When his hands were cut, blood began to flow, and he used that blood as Mohammedans use water for wazu – cleaning the body before going to the worship. They use water, but Mansoor used blood. And when he made the gesture of wazu, someone asked from the crowd, “Mansoor, have you gone mad? What are you doing?”

Mansoor said, “For the first time I am doing wazu, cleaning myself with my own blood – because how can you clean yourself with water?”

He gives a deeper significance. Really, he means that unless you die, how can you purify yourself for the prayer? Wazu through blood means dying. Only dying can be a real cleansing, a real purity. And when you die, you become able to pray. Unless you die, you cannot pray. So the courage to die becomes a basic requirement for prayer.

This sutra says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for the Divine feet.” No other water will do. It goes even deeper than Mansoor’s blood, because blood is not so deep – it is only skin-deep. You can do wazu with your blood; it is not so deep yet. But the upward flowing mind is the deepest possibility, for two reasons: basically, the mind is downward flowing; basically, the trend is to flow downward because it is easy. The downward flow is always easy. The upward needs effort; the upward needs a fight with the gravitation; the upward means austerity. You cannot flow upward – unless you change your nature completely. It is a transformation! The downward flow is but natural, it is in the very nature of things. So mind has a downward flow naturally.

Think of it in this way: if you want to think and concentrate on the Divine, you will feel much difficulty. The mind will be wavering constantly. You will not be able to concentrate even for a single moment, really. It will be going here and there. Concentration will not be possible, contemplation will not be possible, meditation will not be possible. Mind will not be ready. Even with much effort, you will find it is not coming to the Divine, towards the Divine. But think of sex, and mind is absorbed. No need to concentrate – it concentrates. No need to make any effort – mind flows easily.

Really, we don’t know anything else except sex by which we can understand what concentration means. So it happens always that whenever a person can concentrate on any other thing, sex will not be a problem for him – whenever! Even if he is just a scientist, a research-worker, working in his lab, if he can concentrate on his work then sex will not be a problem in his life at all. But if you cannot concentrate on anything else, then your mind will be flowing through the channel of sex constantly.

One thing must be understood: when you are thinking about sex, you are totally absorbed. There is no wavering. You even forget that you are thinking about sex – you may remember afterwards. Even this much wavering is not there. You forget that you are different and that this procession of sexual thoughts and images is different. You become one with them. This is what is meant when bhaktas say, “the constant remembering of the Divine – without you, without ‘I’.” The same phenomenon occurs, only the object changes. It is not sex now; the object becomes Divine. And unless the Divine becomes as absorbing as sex is naturally, you cannot flow upward.

So the upward flow is an effort: you have to pull yourself together for it. The downward flow is easy. That’s why, whenever you feel tense, sex becomes a relaxation, a relief – because every tension means that you have been pulling yourself together towards something which is not natural. Then if you can relax to the downward flow, you will feel a relief. So in the West particularly, sex has become just a relief – just a relief from tensions. It is, and it is because when you flow downward no effort is needed. So sex is used by many, really by ninety-nine percent of people, as a tranquillizer. If you move in sex then you can sleep well. Why? Because when the mind is flowing downward your whole body is relaxed. Unless you are relaxed m the same way when your mind is going upward, you are not a religious person at all.

That is the difference between a secular mind and a religious mind. A secular mind is at ease with downward flowing, relaxed. A religious mind is only relaxed when upward flowing. Whenever a religious mind has to flow downward, it becomes tense. Ultimately, when the upward flow is achieved, the same effort will be needed to flow downward – even more effort, because upwardness, even when arduous, is still upwardness, and downwardness. even with no effort, is downwardness. And when one has to come down with effort, the effort becomes a thousandfold more arduous.

For a person like Ramakrishna, even to eat is an effort. For a person like Buddha, even to move is an effort, even to be in the body is an effort. This effort means that the whole nature has become transformed. That which was downward before has now become upward, and that which was upward before has become downward. A religious mind flows upward as if the upwardness has just become downwardness. Meera is at ease when she is dancing and singing for Krishna, but when her husband Rana is there, she is not at ease, because Rana now is a downward flow. This upward flow is bound to be an effort for us. Unless you will it, you will not achieve it.

Now, again, you will find a conflict between Tao and the Upanishads. Lao Tzu says, “Effortlessness is the means,” and the Upanishads says, “Effort, total effort, is the means.” When Lao Tzu says “effortlessness”, he means be so still that not a single movement is there, because any effort is a movement, any effort is a tension, any effort means that you are outside. So when Lao Tzu says “effortlessness”, he is using it to mean an absolutely relaxed state of mind – do not do anything.

It is not so easy. It is as difficult as the upward flow – rather, even more difficult, because we can understand terms which imply doing, but we cannot understand terms which imply non-doing. Non-doing for us is more arduous, but both are arduous, and both try through different ways to achieve the same point. If you become totally effortless, you achieve your innermost center – because you cannot move! When there is no movement you will drop down, down, down to the center. Every peripheral event is an effort. When there is no effort, you will be down in your ultimate center.

The Upanishads again use a different way which is, of course, in logical relationship with their concept of upwardness. They say absolute effort is needed. When you make an absolute effort, you will become more tense, more tense, more tense, and there will come a moment when you will be nothing but tension. You will be nothing but tension! Then there is nothing further. The ultimate has been achieved. Now you are just a tension. When this climax comes, suddenly you will fall from the climax. You cannot go further; you have come to the last limit. The tension has come to its ultimate, the maximum; it cannot go further. When tension comes to a total climax, you suddenly relax and you reach the point which is meant by Tao, by Lao Tzu – effortlessness. You come to the center.

So there are two ways: either relax directly as Tao implies or relax indirectly as the Upanishads say. Create the tension to its ultimate, and then there will be relaxation. And I think the Upanishads are more helpful, because we are tense and we understand the meaning, the language, the ways of tension. Tell someone suddenly to relax and he cannot. Even relaxation becomes a new tension for him. I have seen a book which is entitled You Must Relax. The very “must” will create tension. The word is anti-relaxation – “must”. It becomes hard work: you must relax. So try now to relax, and your very effort to relax will create more tensions. The title should rather be You Must Not Relax, if you want to relax.

Relaxation cannot come directly to us. We are tense, so much tense. Relaxation doesn’t mean anything; we have not known it. Lao Tzu is right, but to follow him is very difficult. And it looks simple. Always remember – whenever something looks very simple it must be very complex, because in this world the most simple is the most complex. And because it looks simple you may deceive yourself. So I can say, “Just relax!” – it will not happen.

I was working for ten years continuously with Lao Tzuan methods, so I was continuously teaching direct relaxation. It was simple for me so I thought it would be simple for everyone. Then. by and by, I become aware that it is impossible. I was in a fallacy: it was not possible. I would say, “Relax!” to those I was teaching. They would appear to understand the meaning of the word, but they could not relax. Then I had to devise new methods for meditation which create tension first – more tension. They create such tension that you become just mad. And then I say, “Relax.”

When you have come up to the climax, your whole body. your whole mind, becomes hungry for relaxation. With so much tension, you want to stop, and I go on pushing you to continue, continue to the very end. Do whatsoever you can do to create tensions, and then, when you stop you just fall down from the peak into a deep abyss. The abyss is the end, the effortlessness is the end, but the Upanishads use tension as the means.

So be effortful to flow upward. Really, to use the word “flow” is not good because flow means downward. How can you flow upward? You have to struggle. To flow upward means a struggle, constant struggle. A moment is missed, and you will find you are downward. For a moment you stop the struggle, and you will be flowing downward. It is a constant struggle against the current. So now understand what the current is and against what current you have to struggle upward.

Your habits are the current, long habits, habits generated by many, many lives; not only human lives – animal lives, vegetable lives. You are not isolated; you are part of a long succession, and every habit is just engrained. You have been flowing downward continuously for millennia, so it has become a deep habit. Really, it has become your nature. You don’t know any other nature. You know only one nature which goes down and down and down. This downwardness is the current, and every cell of the body, every atom of the mind is just part of a long, long succession of habits. They are so deep that we don’t even remember from where they came. […]

This is the current. When you are violent, you alone are not violent: your whole history is violent. When you are sexual, you alone are not sexual: the whole history is sexual, the whole succession. That’s why it has so much force. You are just a dead leaf in a big current.

So what to do so that you can go upward against the current? What to do?

Three things to be done: one, whenever mind begins to flow downward, become aware as early as possible – as early as possible! Someone has insulted you. For you to become angry, a little time is needed because it is a mechanism. You will get angry, but after a gap. Things will happen like a flash. First you will feel insulted. The moment you feel insulted, the second current will begin to flow: you will become angry. At first the anger will not be conscious; first it will be just like a fever. Then it will become conscious. Then you will begin to express or suppress it.

So when I say, “the earlier the better”, I mean when someone insults you, become aware as soon as you begin to feel that you have been insulted. And whenever you become aware, just make an effort to stop. Don’t fall into the automatic track even for a single moment. Even a single moment’s stop will help much. Longer stops will help even more.

When Gurdjieff’s father was dying, he called his boy. He was just nine, and Gurdjieff remembered the incident all his life. The father called him. He was the youngest child and the father said, “I am so poor, I cannot give you anything, my boy. But one thing which my father gave to me I can give you. You may not even be able to understand what it means now, because I myself was not able to understand what it meant when my father gave it to me. But it proved the most precious thing in my life, so I am just giving it to you. Preserve it! Someday you may begin to understand it.”

So Gurdjieff just listened. The father said, “Whenever you feel angry, never reply before twenty-four hours. Reply, but let there be a gap of twenty-four hours.”

Gurdjieff followed his dying father’s advice. It became deeply impressed in his mind the very day his father died, and Gurdjieff said, “I have practiced many, many, many spiritual exercises, but that was the best. I never could be angry in my life, and that changed the whole flow, the whole current, because I had to stick to the promise. Whenever someone would insult me, I would create something, some situation. I would just tell him that I would come back after twenty-four hours to reply, and I have never replied because it proved such nonsense to reply.” Only a gap was needed. And the whole life of George Gurdjieff became something different.

So even if you can begin with one thing in the current, you will begin to change the whole. Really, this is one of the basic truths of esoteric religion: that you cannot change a part unless you change the whole. And it works both ways. Either you change the whole, then the part will change; or you change even a single part totally and the whole will follow – because they are so integratedly related.

So begin anywhere. Find out your chief characteristic. Find out the chief characteristic for you: that which is most forceful, which you cannot resist, that which tempts you and causes you to go down. It may be sadness, it may be anger, it may be greed, it may be anything. Find out your chief characteristic, your weakness. And begin with the stronger one, then the weaker ones can be won very easily. Begin with the strongest. If anger is the strongest begin with anger. First, when you feel that you have been insulted, you have been rejected, you have been hindered – anything which creates anger – just when you feel that “Now the first step has been taken and I am feeling insulted,” stop for a moment. Don’t breathe; just stop the breath wherever it is. If it is out, let it be out. If it is in, let it be in. Stop breathing for a moment, then release the breath. Go in, and find out whether you have missed the thing, or it is still there.

You will have missed it. The connection is missed. You will have given a gap to the automatic working. Somewhere you have disjointed the mechanism, and breathing is wonderful to disjoin anything. Just stop breathing, and there is a disjoining inside. Your feeling insulted and the mechanism of anger will not be joined. And if they are missed even for a single moment, they are missed. Your mechanism will never know that you have been insulted.

The earlier this happens, the better. There are even earlier stages – they belong to the other, not to you. When the other is insulting you, before feeling insulted look at him and feel that he is angry. Stop your breath and look at him again, and you will not be insulted. He will insult you, but you will not be insulted. You will not feel insulted because again there comes a gap. This gap is between him and you. Now he cannot cross this gap; he cannot insult you. He will insult, but somewhere he has missed you. You are not the target now. For him you are the target, but actually you are not. You can laugh, and if you laugh it is better.

So first create a gap. Second: do something which is ordinarily never done in such situations. When someone is insulting, no one laughs, no one smiles, no one thanks, no one hugs, embraces. Do something which is never done! Then you are against the current, because the current is always that which is done, that which is usually done. This is what the current means. Be unusual! Someone is beating you: laugh and feel the difference – not only in those who are beating you, but within yourself. If you can laugh, you will feel totally different. Try it – something absurd. Then you disconnect the whole mechanism, you confuse the whole mechanism, because the mechanism cannot understand what is happening. A mechanism is just a mechanism. It may be very deep rooted, but it is mechanical; it has no consciousness. So confuse your animal. Don’t allow him to push and pull and manipulate. Confuse the animal! The more you confuse him, the less powerful he becomes – and by “animal” I mean your past.

This is a rare experiment: to do something which is never done. When you are happy, do something which is never done in happiness: be sad, act sad, be angry, act angry. Confuse the mechanism. Just don’t allow the mechanism to know everything that is to be done. Don’t allow, and within a year your mechanism will be at a loss. Someone will be insulting, and your mechanism will not know at all what to do. You have broken from your past. So try! Every moment can be an experiment, and you will feel a sudden change in your consciousness. When someone is insulting you, laugh and feel what is happening inside – something new you have never known. […]

Become unpredictable: this is the second thing. If you are predictable, you are a thing, not a person. The more unpredictable, the more you are not a thing – not just a thing among things. You become a person. So the second thing against the current: be unpredictable. Sometimes be absurd. Just don’t try to be logical because the current is logical. Remember this: the current is very logical – strictly logical. Everything is related. You insult me: I am angry. You appreciate me: I am happy. You call me good, and I am one way; and you call me bad, and I am different. Everything is predictable, it is logical.

Really, if you are angry and I don’t reply to you with anger, you will feel something strange has happened. You will not be at ease. You will not be at ease because something illogical has come in. We live in a logical world. This current is very logical, mathematical; everything is fixed. Unfix it! Disturb it! Create a chaos! Create an inner anarchy! Only then can you throw the animal heritage. Animals are predictable and animals are very logical. To transcend them you must have the courage to be illogical, and that is the deepest courage – to be illogical. […]

Really, if you can understand, life is illogical, death is illogical, love is illogical, God is illogical, and all that is logical is just marketplace. In this life everything that is meaningful, significant, deep, ultimate, is illogical. So create an illogical-ness inside. Don’t be too logical – then you can break. Logic is the foundation of your old mind, your traditional mind. Illogic should be the beginning of the new mind.

And, thirdly, whenever you feel convenience, comfort, easiness, be alert: the mind is flowing downward. So don’t ask for inner comfort, otherwise you will be lost. Don’t ask for inner convenience, otherwise you will be lost. Whenever you feel everything is okay, be alert, you are flowing downward – because nothing is okay really. So whenever you feel that everything is okay, nothing is to be done and everything is just flowing, everything is good, remember, you are flowing downward. Be aware of inner conveniences. And when I say “comfort and convenience,” I mean inner ones. Outwardly it makes no difference – you may be in comfort outwardly – but inwardly never allow comfort to set in.

That’s why no one remembers religion when he feels happy. When you feel sorrow, when you feel sadness, when you feel misery, you begin to think about religion. Inconvenience inside must be used. So two things: first remember always that the downward flow is very convenient. Don’t be a victim to it. Always create some inner inconvenience. This is tap – inner inconvenience. This is tap – this is austerity. What do I mean by inner inconvenience?

You are sleeping, relaxed: create an inner inconvenience. Let the body relax, but don’t relax the alertness. Sufis have used vigil, night vigil, as an inner inconvenience. The whole night they will be on vigil. In India, sleep was never used, really – food and hunger were used as inner inconveniences. The hunger is there: don’t take food. The hunger is there: remember it, be aware of it, and yet be away from it. An inner inconvenience is created. The mind has a habit to fall for the convenience, so create any inner inconvenience. And always go on changing, because if you are fixed to one thing it will not be an inconvenience for long.

You can even become fixed to your fasting, then it becomes a convenience rather than an inconvenience, because to take food may begin to appear as an inconvenience. Once you know that the body can run without food – the body begins to feel more light, the body begins to feel more alive, the body begins to feel more vital; and the body has a built-in process so that for at least three months you can be without food, without any food – after seven or eight days, to take food will be inconvenient. So use fasting as an inconvenience, and when fasting begins to settle, use food.

Gurdjieff was strange in this. He would give you such strange foods – such strange foods you have never eaten! The whole stomach would be disturbed, and he would create inconvenience. […]

And his followers were very much afraid because he would force them to eat so much that it became a torture. From eight in the night up to twelve – four hours – would be for eating, and he would be there. He would go on forcing – no one could say no, He would force so much alcohol that ordinarily it would just make you deadly unconscious, but he would go on. He would create inner inconvenience and he would say, “Let the inconvenience be there. Remember! Be awake!” He would go on pouring alcohol, and he would say, “Remember! Remember, and be awake!”

Tantrics have used alcohol, and a real tantric can take any amount of it without being affected at all. They say, and they say rightly, that alcohol creates the deepest inconvenience inside. To fight with it and remain aware is the most arduous thing. When the alcohol goes in, and every body cell becomes lethargic, and the chemical begins to work, and the mind begins to lose consciousness, then to be aware is the most arduous tap – austerity – possible. But it is possible, and once it happens you will never be the same again.

So create any inner inconvenience. The current always helps you to be convenient: that is a trick; then you begin to flow with it. So the third thing for the upward flow of the mind is to create inward inconvenience continuously and go on changing. You can make anything a habit – go on changing. When something becomes convenient, leave it; create something new. Then, by these inconveniences, you create a crystallization inside. You become integrated, one. And for this oneness, this integration, this chemical crystallization, alchemists use the word “gold”. Now the baser metal has been changed into higher. Now you are gold. This integration is the third point to remember.

So continuously be aware that some integration must take place. No moment should be missed in which you have not tried to integrate yourself. You are walking: a moment comes when your legs give way, and they say, “Now you cannot move.” That is the point to move. Now move! Now don’t listen to the legs, and you will become aware of a subtle force – because the body has two force reservoirs. One is just ordinary, for day-to-day use. Another, a deeper one, is infinite. It is not for everyday use: it only comes into operation when some emergency is there.

You are walking: you have walked twenty miles, and now you know very well, your logic says, your mind says, every fiber of the body says that now no movement is possible – you will just drop dead. A single step more, and you will drop dead! This is the moment: now move! Don’t listen to the body! Now run! Don’t listen to the body, and suddenly there will be an upsurge of energy again. Within moments you will feel a new energy, and now you can walk for miles together. This energy comes from the reservoir, and this reservoir is connected only when the day-to-day energy source is just empty. If you listen to the body then this reservoir is never used.

You are feeling sleepy, and now you cannot even open your eyes. This is the moment. Stand! Open your eyes! Stare! Don’t blink! Forget sleep and try to be awake – and within seconds a sudden upsurge of energy will overflow. There will be no sleep. You will be fresher than you have ever been in the morning. A new morning, an inside morning has happened. A deeper source energy has come. This is how to integrate your mind and how to let it be arrowed upwards continuously.

The rishi says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for Divine worship.” Mm? No other water will do. This constant upward flow, by this and only by this can you worship the feet of the Divine.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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A Still Mind: The Door to the Divine – Osho

Nishal-gyanam asanam.

Non-wavering knowing is asana – the posture.

Man is neither a body, nor a mind alone – he is both. Even to say that he is both is wrong in a way because body and mind are separate only as two words. Existence is one. Body is nothing but the outermost core of your consciousness, the grossest expression of consciousness. And consciousness, on the other hand, is nothing more than the subtlest body, the most refined part of the body. You exist in between.

These are not two things, but two ends of one thing. So whenever knowing becomes non-wavering, body is also affected; non-wavering knowing creates a non-wavering body. But the vice versa is not true. You can impose non-wavering on the body, but the knowing will not become non-wavering. It can help – a very little. It can be helpful, but not much.

Body posture became very important because we are body oriented. Even those who say that we are not bodies think in terms of body. Even those who say, “We are not bodies,” their thinking, their mind, remains tethered to the body. Even they begin with body postures. Asana means giving your body a posture in which the body becomes non-wavering, still. It is supposed that if the body is still, then the mind will go into stillness.

This is not true – the contrary is true! If the mind becomes still, then the body becomes still. And then a very mysterious phenomenon happens: if the mind is still, you can go on dancing but your body will remain still. And if your mind is not still, you can be just dead but still the body will be wavering, because the mind wavering creates subtle vibrations which come to the body and the body goes on wavering inside. Try it. You can sit just like a statue – dead, stonelike. Close your eyes and feel. Outwardly, no one can say that your body is wavering, but inwardly you will know that it is. A subtle trembling is there. Even if it cannot be detected from the outside, you can feel it from the inside.

If your mind is totally still, then even if you are dancing you will feel from inside that the body is still. A Buddha is still even when he is walking, and a non-Buddha is not still even when he is dead. The vibrations come from your center, they originate from you, and then they spread towards the body. The body is not the originator, it is not the source, so you cannot stop them from the periphery. You can impose, you can practice, but inside there will be turmoil – and this imposing will create more conflict than stillness.

So this sutra says that to practice meditation, posture – a still posture – is needed. But what do we mean by a posture? This sutra says that “a non-wavering knowing” is the posture. If the mind is non-wavering, then you are in the right posture. In that right posture everything can happen.

So don’t deceive yourself by creating bodily imitations. You can create them; that is very easy. On the circumference, on the periphery, to impose stillness is very easy. But that is not your stillness. You remain in turmoil, you remain wavering. From the center the waves must not come.

What is this non-wavering knowledge? It is one of the deepest secrets. To understand it we will have to go deep into the very construction of mind, so let us begin.

Mind has many types of thoughts. Every thought is a wavering, every thought is a wave. If there are no thoughts, then the mind will be non-wavering. A single thought, and you have trembled. A single thought, and you are not still. And a single thought is not a single thought: it is a very complex phenomenon. A single thought is created by many waves; a single word even is created by many waves. So only when many waves are there in the mind is a single word created, and a single thought has many words. Thousands and thousands of ripples create one thought.

Thought is the outermost, but waves have preceded. You become aware only when waves become thoughts because your awareness is so gross. You cannot be aware when waves are pure waves still in the formation of becoming a thought. The more you will become aware, the more you will feel that thought has many layers. Thought form is the last. Before thought there are seed waves which create the thought, and before the seed waves there are still deeper roots which create seeds.

Seeds create thought. At least three layers are very easily visible for a conscious mind. But we are not conscious: we are asleep. So we become aware only when waves take the grossest form – thought. As far as we know, thought seems to be the most subtle thing. It is not. Thought really has become a thing. When there are pure waves, you cannot even detect what is going to happen, what thought is going to be created in you. So we become aware only when waves become thought.

A single thought implies thousands of waves, so we can conceive how much we are wavering – continuous thinking, not a single moment of no thought, one thought followed by another constantly, no gap. So we are really a wavering, a trembling phenomenon. Soren Kierkegaard has said that man is a trembling – just a trembling and nothing else. And he is right in a way. As far as we are concerned, man is a trembling. A Buddha may not be, but then Buddha is not a man.

This thought process is the process of wavering. So non-wavering means a no-thought state of mind. Really, the sutra says “non-wavering knowing” – mind is not even mentioned. So first, three layers of mind have to be distinctly understood.

One is the conscious mind, and one type of thought belongs to the conscious level. These thoughts are the least important. They constitute moment-to-moment reactions, reflexes. You are on the road and a snake passes and you jump. The snake gives you a stimulus and you respond. So one type of thought is like this: stimulus outside and a response from the periphery. Really, you don’t think: you just act. A snake is there: you act; you become aware and you act. You don’t go inside to ask what to do. The house is on fire and you run. This is a peripheral reaction.

So one type of thought is the moment-to-moment reflex type. Even a Buddha has to react in this way. This is natural; nothing is wrong with it. If you react moment-to-moment, then nothing is wrong with the mind – but that is not the only layer.

Then there is a second layer. This second layer is the subconscious. Religions call it “conscience.” Really, this second layer is created by the society; it is a society in you. Society penetrates everyone, because society cannot control you unless it penetrates you; so it becomes a part of you. The upbringing, the education, the parents, the teachers – what are they doing? They are doing one thing: they are creating the subconscious mind. They are giving you thoughts. structures, ideals, values. These thoughts belong to the second layer They are helpful, they have their utility, but they are harmful also. They are instruments to move easily, conveniently in the society, but they are barriers also.

This second layer has to be understood more. This second layer consists of ideas within, fixed ideas, fixations. So whenever your peripheral mind is working moment-to-moment, it is not pure. Only a child is pure, innocent – he is working moment-to-moment. There is no subconscious to interfere.

You are not working moment-to-moment. The subconscious is constantly interfering. It is giving you choice: what to choose, what not to choose. Every moment it is making you narrow. You become just unaware of many things because of the subconscious. It will not allow you to be aware of everything. And about many things you become too much aware because this subconscious mind forces you constantly to be aware of them.

Every society creates a different type of subconscious, so, really, one’s being a Hindu or a Christian or a Jain belongs to the subconscious mind. As far as the peripheral mind is concerned, everyone reacts in the same way; it is natural. But the subconscious mind is not natural; it is a social product. So we behave in different ways. You see a church. A Hindu can pass without even becoming aware that there is a church. He need not be aware. But a Christian cannot pass without becoming aware that there is a church. He may even be anti-Christian – consciously he may even be like Bertrand Russell who can write a book called Why I am not a Christian – but he will become aware. The subconscious is working there.

A Brahmin, he can intellectually understand that the problem of untouchability is just violent, cruel, and intellectually he can think that it is not good, but this is the conscious mind. The subconscious is working there. If you ask him to marry a Sudra girl, somewhere deeply he is struck. He cannot conceive of it. Even to eat with an untouchable becomes difficult. Intellectually he understands nothing is wrong in it, but the subconscious goes on projecting and pushing. And he cannot react naturally: the subconscious distorts, perverts.

This subconscious is supplying you constantly with many ideas which you think are your own. They are not. They have been fed to you just like a computer is fed. You can get information out of a computer only if you have previously fed it. The same is the case with man also, with mind also. Whatsoever you are getting out is just because of what has been fed in before. Everything has been fed in. This is what we mean by education, the so-called education: feeding information. So it is ready in the unconscious every moment. It is so ready, really, that even when you don’t need it, it comes up. It constantly overfloods your mind, and it becomes a constant wavering, a constant trembling. This subconscious mind is the root cause of so many social evils.

Really, the world could be one if there were no subconscious mind. Then there would be no distinction between a Hindu and a Mohammedan. The distinction is of the subconscious feeding, and it goes so deep that you cannot even feel how it works. You cannot go behind it. It goes so deep that you always remain in front and you feel helpless. But the society is also helpless. It is a substitute – a poor substitute, but a substitute. Unless man becomes totally aware, the society cannot dispense with the subconscious.

For example, if a man becomes totally aware, he cannot be a thief. But man, as he is, is not aware at all, so society has to create a substitute for awareness: it must put a strong suggestion inside that theft is bad, evil, sin, that you must not be a thief. This idea must be put deep in the subconscious so that when you begin to think of theft the subconscious comes up and says, “No. this is sin,” and you are stopped. This is a social substitute for awareness – and unless man comes to awareness the society cannot dispense with the subconscious, because it has to give you some rules. Unless you are so aware that rules are not needed at all, the subconscious will have to be maintained.

So each society has to create a subconscious. And I call that society good – remember it – I call that society good which creates a subconscious that can be dispensed with very easily; and I call a society bad which creates such a subconscious that cannot be dispensed with: because if it cannot be dispensed with, then it becomes a hindrance when you try to be aware. And, really, no such good society exists now which gives you a dispensable substitute, a dispensable subconscious, which gives you a subconscious as a utilitarian instrument so that the moment you become aware, you can throw it.

To me, that society is good and religious which gives you an inherent freedom about the subconscious. But no society gives it. so. no society is religious, really. Every society is totalitarian, and every society takes your mind in such a way that you become just an automaton – and you go on thinking and deceiving yourself that your thoughts are yours. They are not! Even the very language we use is contaminated, the words we use are contaminated. We cannot use a single word without the subconscious being there. It comes suddenly. Society uses it very cunningly, and then your reactions, your reflexes, are not spontaneous. […]

This subconscious mind is constantly working, day and night. The mind’s working is double. One working belongs to your conscious mind. It is concerned with how to control the subconscious consciously, constantly. Then the subconscious is controlling the conscious mind. It is working to control your reactions, your actions, your reflexes, everything. Whatsoever you are doing must be controlled! This is the society’s grip on you. You are just moving in society’s hands. No value is yours. How can it be? How can a value be yours when you are not at all aware? Only awareness can give you authentic, individual values.

All these values are supplied. If the society is vegetarian, then you have vegetarian values. If the society is non-vegetarian, then you have non-vegetarian values. If the society believes in this, then you are a believer in it. If the society doesn’t believe, then you are a disbeliever. But you are not; only society is there.

This is a double control: one control is on your conscious mind, your behavior. Another control is more deep and more dangerous, and that is the control on your instinctive nature. The first part is conscious, the second is subconscious. The subconscious is created by society. And the third is the instinctive. which is given by biological nature: that which you really are biologically, that which you are born with. That’s a third part, the deepest: the biological instinctive nature.

This second, subconscious mind is controlling outward behavior and also controlling inward instincts. Nothing should be allowed to come up to the conscious mind from your instinctive nature if the society is against it. Nothing should be allowed to come up – even up to your consciousness. So this subconscious creates a great barrier for the instinctive nature.

For example, sex is an instinct, the deepest, because without it life cannot exist on earth. So life depends on sex. It is not easily dispensable; obviously, it must not be – otherwise life will become just impossible. So it has a deep grip. But the society is anti-sex; it is bound to be. The more a society is organized, the more it will be anti-sex – because if your sex instinct can be controlled then everything can be controlled, and if your sex instinct cannot be controlled then nothing can be controlled. So it becomes a fighting ground.

You must be aware that whenever a society becomes sexually free, that society cannot exist. It is defeated. When Greek culture became sexually free, Greek civilization had to die. When Roman civilization became sexually free, it had to die. Now America cannot exist anymore. America has begun to be sexually free. The moment a society becomes sexually free, the individual is not in its grip. You cannot force him.

Really, unless you suppress sex you cannot force your youth to war. It is impossible. You can force your youth into war only if you suppress sex. So the hippie slogan is really meaningful: “Make love, not war!” So society has to suppress the deepest instinct. Once it is suppressed, you can never rebel. Many things have to be understood about it.

Children, when they mature sexually, begin to be rebellious – never before. The moment a boy is mature he will begin to be rebellious against his parents, never before – because with sex comes individuality. With sex he really becomes a man, never before. Now he can be independent. Now he has the initial energy with him, because he can propagate, he can reproduce. Now he is complete.

At fourteen, a boy is complete, a girl is complete. They can be independent of their fathers and mothers, so rebellion begins to take shape. If the society has to control them, sex must be suppressed. All instincts have to be suppressed because we have not been able yet to create a society in which freedom is not against all, in which one individual’s freedom is not against all. We have not yet been able!

We are still primitive, not yet civilized, because a society can be called civilized and cultured only when each individual grows to his total potentiality, is not suppressed. But politics will not allow it, religions will not allow it, because once you give total freedom to instinctive nature, then churches and temples and the so-called religious business cannot continue. Religion will be there, more authentic, but religions cannot continue: because if you cannot create fear, then no one will come to this religious business.

People come because of fear; and if you suppress their instincts, they become fearful – fearful of themselves. A child feels existential fear for the first time when his sex is suppressed. He feels guilty. He begins to feel that something is wrong, and he begins to feel also that “No one has this evil that I am having inside. I am guilty.” You create guilt; then you can control. Then he feels inferior inside, afraid. This fear is then exploited by religious heads, by political leadership, because they all want to dominate.

You can dominate only when people are fearful. And how can you create fear? If you can convince them that something which is constantly within them is sin, they will be fearful. They will be fearful! All the time sex will be there, and they will become afraid – afraid of themselves and guilty. They cannot enjoy anything then. Then the whole life becomes a frustration. Then they go on seeking somewhere help, guidance, someone to take away their responsibility, someone to lead them to heaven, someone to protect them from hell.

This third, instinctive layer is the unconscious. The subconscious is controlling it every moment – every moment! And it controls so fanatically that everything is destroyed – or at least distorted. We never feel from the third layer what real instinct is. We never feel! Everything is distorted. From this subconscious mind – the most suppressed, the most distorted, the most destroyed – come all the miseries. All the miseries, all the paranoia, all the schizophrenia, all mental diseases, they come from this third layer.

These three – conscious, subconscious and unconscious – these are the three types of thoughts. The deeper the layer from where the thought comes, the more irrelevant it looks. So if you just write down your thoughts as they happen, you will feel that you are just mad. What is going on in your mind? What type of thinking is going on? Most of it looks irrelevant. It is not! It is relevant, only with missing links – because the subconscious will not allow everything to come up. Something escapes and comes to the mind, and the gaps are there.

That’s why you cannot understand your dreams: because even in dreams the subconscious is always alert not to allow everything, and the unconscious has to try symbolic routes. It has to change everything just to escape the censor of the subconscious. So it goes on giving you messages in symbolic, pictorial forms.

Your mind is flooded: first, with outward reactions and reflections which are natural; second, by subconscious thoughts which have been produced by the society; and third, by instinctive nature which has been suppressed totally. These three constantly flood the mind. And because of these you are constantly wavering – constantly wavering and trembling. You cannot even sleep. Dreams will continue; that means mind will continue wavering. Twenty-four hours a day, the mind is just a mad thing going round and round and round.

In this state of affairs, how can you be still? How can you attain the posture, the non-wavering mind? How can you achieve it? And when the rishi says that non-wavering knowing is the posture – the right posture – he means that unless these layers are broken and the contents released, you will never be in a state of pure knowing. The mind will not be cleansed; you will not attain the purity of perception. So what to do? What to do to achieve this non-wavering knowing?

Three things: one, whenever you are living moment-to-moment, don’t allow your subconscious to interfere constantly. Sometimes, just drop the subconscious and live in the moment. It is not needed. sometimes it is needed. When you are driving, the subconscious is needed, because the skill of driving becomes a part of the subconscious. That’s why you can talk and you can smoke and you can think and you can drive. The driving is now not a conscious effort. It has been taken over by the subconscious. So it is good to use it whenever it is needed, but when it is not needed, just drop it – put it aside! Without any murmur, just put it aside and be in the moment.

There are many moments when the subconscious is not needed, but only because of old habit you go on using it. You have come back from the office and you are sitting in your garden: why should the subconscious come in now? You can listen to the birds just as once you listened when you were a child without a subconscious.

Relax in these moments, and just be there near the reality. Don’t allow your subconscious mind to come in. Just put it aside! Play with children, put the subconscious aside.

A father who cannot play with his children as their equal cannot really be a right father, because no communication is possible unless you are equal to them. A mother cannot really be a mother unless she can become a child again with her child. Then there is a rapport. Then both become equal. Then there is a friendship. Then a different quality of love comes in. So, really, a child never feels independent, free, at liberty with his parents – never! He begins to feel freedom for the first time when he goes to his chums – not with his parents.

So remember constantly that whenever you can relax your subconscious, relax it! It is not needed to be there every moment.

There are many moments, but you will not relax it even in your bed. You have gone to sleep and it is working. You want to sleep and it will not allow you. It says, “I am to do much work.” It goes on thinking; it goes on working. You can put off the light – mm? – that means you stop the first, the peripheral mind. Now there will be no light; you will not be able to see. You can close the doors. Now there will be no noise, no sound. You have completely closed yourself off from outside stimuli. That means now you need not react, so the first layer of the mind is relaxed.

But what to do with the second layer? You put off the light, close the doors, close your ears, close your eyes, but it goes on working – because you have never allowed it not to work. And, really. A man is not the master of his mind unless he achieves this: that when he wants to work with the mind he works; when he doesn’t want to work the mind, he doesn’t. And the second capacity is the greater. […]

It needs only the breaking of an old habit. But you have never tried it. You have used your subconscious constantly; your subconscious mind doesn’t have any memory of when you have allowed it not to work. So the first thing to do is to allow your subconscious mind sometimes to be put aside. Don’t use it, and soon you will have a less wavering mind. You can become capable of this, and it is not difficult. You must only become conscious of your subconscious workings. Don’t allow – just relax sometimes and tell your subconscious mind: “Stop!”

One thing more to remember: never fight with it; otherwise, you will never be capable of this nonwavering. Never fight with it, because when a master begins to fight with his servant, he accepts equality. When a master begins to fight with a servant, he has accepted him as the master. So please remember: never fight with the subconscious mind; otherwise, you will be defeated. Just order it – never fight.

Know the difference – what I mean when I say just order it. Just say to it, “Stop!” and begin to work. Never fight with it! This is a mantra, and the mind begins to follow it. Just say, “Stop!” Nothing more, nothing less. Say, “Stop totally!” and begin to behave as if the mind had stopped. And soon you will become capable, and you will be just wonder-struck at how this mind stops by just saying “Stop!” It is because mind has no will.

You might have seen someone in a hypnotic trance. What happens? In a hypnotic trance, the hypnotist goes on simply giving orders and the mind follows – the man follows. Absurd orders, and the man begins to follow, the hypnotized subject follows them. Why? Because the conscious mind has only been put to sleep, and the subconscious mind has no will of its own. Just tell it to do something and it will do it.

But we are not aware of our own capacity, so rather than ordering we go on begging, or, at the most, we begin to fight. When you fight, you are divided. Your own will begins to fight with you. The subconscious mind has no will at all. So, if you want to stop smoking, don’t try. Just order and stop. Don’t try at all. If you fall in the trap of trying you will never win, because you have accepted something which is not there. You just say to the mind, “Now I stop this very moment,” and soon you will become aware that things begin to happen. It is natural! Nothing is strange about it: it is just natural. Once you have to be aware of it, that’s all. So just put the subconscious mind aside and begin to live in the moment.

Then the second thing you have to do is: when you have become capable of putting the mind aside when something outside is working as a stimulus, then try the other way – when some instinct is coming up, just put the subconscious mind aside. It will be a bit difficult, but when the first thing is achieved it will not be difficult at all. Just see now that again the sex is coming up, the anger is coming up, and just say to the subconscious mind, “Let me face it directly. Don’t come in – let me face it directly! You are not needed.” Just order the mind and face the instinct directly. And once you begin to encounter your own instincts directly, you will be the master without the need of any control.

When you need control, you are really not the master. A master never needs control. If you say, “I can control my anger,” you are not the master – because a controlled thing can erupt any moment, and you will remain constantly in fear of that which you have controlled. There will be a constant fight. In any weak moment you will be defeated. So, please, don’t control. Be a master! – don’t control. These are two completely different dimensions.

When I say be a master, this mastery comes only when you encounter your nature, your biological nature as it is, in its purity. I wonder, have you ever seen your sex in its purity without moral teachings coming in, without the gurus and mahatmas dropping in, without the scriptures? Have you seen your sex instinct in its purity, in its pure fire? If you have seen it, you will become the master of it. If you have not seen it, you will remain a cripple and you will remain a defeated one. And howsoever you try to control, you will never be able to control it. That is impossible!

Control is impossible: mastery is possible. But mastery has a different root. Mastery means knowledge; control means fear. When you fear something, you begin to control. When you know something, you become the master: there is no need to control. And knowledge means direct encounter. Instincts should be known in their purity. Drop the subconscious, because it is a constantly disturbing factor. It goes on distorting things; it will never allow you to see things as they are. It will always put the society in between, and you will see things through the society as they are not.

Really, this is the miracle of the subconscious mind – that if you look through it things begin to be as you see them. The subconscious mind can impose any color, any shape on things. Just put it aside; face your biological nature directly. It is beautiful! It is wonderful! Just face it directly. It is Divine! Don’t allow any moralistic nonsense to distort it. See it as it is.

Science observes things, and the basis of its observation is that the observer must not come in: he must remain just an observer. And whatsoever the thing reveals should be allowed. The observer must not come in to disturb and destroy or distort or give a shape or a color. A scientist is working in his lab: even if something comes up which destroys his whole concept, his whole philosophy, his whole religion, he must not allow his mind to come in. He must allow the truth to be revealed as it is.

The same goes for inner working, inner research: allow your biological nature to reveal itself in its pure being. And once you know it you will be the master – because knowledge means mastery, knowledge means power. Only ignorance is weak. And through control there is no knowledge, because the whole concept of control is brought in by the subconscious, by the society.

So if you can do two things with your subconscious: one, allowing the fact of the outside Existence to come to you directly; and then, two, allowing the “facticity” of the inside Existence to be realized in its purity, in its innocence – then a miracle happens. It is a miracle, and that miracle is this: that subconscious and unconscious drop. Then mind is not divided in three. Then mind becomes one. That oneness of mind, undivided oneness, is what the Upanishads call “the knowing” – because even the knower is not there. When these three divisions have dropped, when even this division of knower is not there, then only pure knowing, only mirrorlike knowing remains.

With this knowing, you have two centers: one, the outside periphery where you unite with the universe; and another, the inside where again you unite with the universe. And this knowing joins both the inner and the outer – the atma and the brahma.

This pure knowing is without any trembling. This pure knowing is the posture, the right posture, in which the Enlightenment happens, the Realization happens, in which you become one with Truth. This is the door – but how to cleanse? It is not simply a theory; it is not a theoretical statement at all. It is just a scientific procedure; it is a process. Do something to dissolve the divisions of the mind. And if you want to dissolve the mind, concentrate on the subconscious, the middle portion of the mind, which is society. Drop it!

It is, of course, necessary for a child to be brought up in a society. It is necessary! So the subconscious is a necessary evil: the society has to teach him many things – but they should not become fetters. That’s why I say that a better society, a real, moral society, will also teach, side by side, how to break this subconscious. A better society will give its children the subconscious with a conscious methodology of how to drop it when it is not needed and how to be free of it.

It is needed up to the point when you become aware, when you achieve an awakened state of mind. Until then it is needed. It is just like a blind man’s staff. A staff cannot substitute for eyes: it is just a groping in the dark. But a blind man needs it, and it is helpful – but a blind man can become so much attached to his staff that when his eyes are healed and he has begun to see, he still cannot throw away his staff, and goes on groping. Because groping is easier when the eyes are closed, he remains with closed eyes and goes on groping with his staff.

This subconscious is like a blind man’s staff. A child is born, but he is not born aware. The society has to give him something so that he can move and grope – some values, some ideals, some thoughts. But they should not become the eyes. And what I am saying is: if you drop the divisions and create more awareness within yourself, you will have eyes, and with those eyes this staff is not needed.

But it is a related thing. If you drop the subconscious, you will become aware; if you become aware then the subconscious will drop. So begin from anywhere. You can begin by being more aware, then the subconscious will drop. Mm? This is a samkhya process, this is a samkhya methodology: just be aware and, by and by, the subconscious will drop. The yoga process is a second way – the other, the contrary: drop the subconscious, and you will become more aware. Both are related.

So wherever you want to begin, the important thing is to begin. Begin from anywhere, either from being more conscious or from being less obsessed with the subconscious. And when these divisions drop, you will have a pure knowing. That pure knowing is the posture. With that pure knowing, with that non-wavering knowing, your body will achieve a stillness you have not known at all.

We are not aware: that’s why we don’t know how disturbed we are in our bodies. You cannot sit still, and if you try to sit still then for the first time you will become aware of subtle movements in the body: the leg will begin to say something, the hand will begin to say something, the neck will begin to say something, every part of the body will begin to give you information. Why? It is not that when you sit still the body begins to move; it is moving every moment. It is only because you are otherwise occupied that you are not aware. There are subtle movements continuously: your body is constantly moving and moving. This constant wavering really doesn’t belong to your body. It belongs to your mind. The body only reflects. […]

A Buddha sits just like a statue. It is not that he has forced his body to be still. The mind is still, and the body need not reflect because there is nothing to reflect.[…]

Unless one can be so silent, one can never feel what Existence means, what life means, what the bliss of it is, the benediction. Only in such silence does life descend. You become aware of the music, of the nectar. You begin to feel it, but only in silence. And that silence comes only when you are non-wavering. If you are wavering, if the mind is just wavering and there is trembling inside, you cannot feel that silence.

You cannot attain silence directly: you have to attain non-wavering, then silence comes as a shadow. If non-wavering comes, then silence comes. […]

Silence never divides, silence joins you.

For example, if we are sitting here and everyone becomes so silent that not a thought has any existence, not a single ripple is there in the mind, everyone silent, totally silent, will you be different from anyone else? Will you be different from your neighbors? How can you be different? The feeling of difference is a thought. Do I mean you will feel one with them? No, because the feeling of oneness is a thought. You will simply be one, not a feeling. Really, there will be no one here – just silence. […]

When you begin to be silent you begin to be in deep communion with Existence. Thoughts and thoughts are noises. Waves and waves are thoughts and tremblings inside. They create a barrier, they disrupt – they make you alone. Then you begin to be alone in this whole universe, and that loneliness creates meaninglessness. The more lonely you are, the more you will feel meaningless, futile, useless, and then you will begin to fill yourself with more noise. With radio, television, with anything, you will try to fill yourself, to be occupied. You run from here to there, from this club to that club. Go on running! Don’t leave any gap in which you might become aware of your loneliness! So this whole life just becomes a running from one point to another. This is madness, and the whole earth has become a madhouse.

So attain to this posture – and don’t begin with the body. Begin with the subconscious mind, and then your body will reflect what is happening within. Even now it is reflecting what is happening within. The body is a mirror; it is transparent. Those who have eyes, they know that the body is transparent. You enter here, and I know what is happening inside you – because you cannot enter without showing it. You look at me, and I know what is happening inside your eyes – because how can you raise your eyes without expressing that which is within? It is being shown every moment!

Every moment is an indication. It is related; nothing is irrelevant. Your body is showing every moment, but you don’t know the body language. The body has a language of its own, and it shows – everything! You cannot deceive. You can deceive with your language. but not with your body – not with your body! You can smile, but your lips will say that there is no smile within. You can show something by your face, you can try, but still the face will give hints that this is false.

This body is just giving information every moment. You cannot change it. You can try, but you cannot change it. And even if you succeed in changing your body, you can succeed only in deceiving others not yourself, because the inside cannot change by the outside change. It is not basic. You can cut a tree by the roots, but not by the leaves. If you cut the leaves, new leaves will come up again and one leaf will be replaced by two. Cut two, and four leaves will come out of that spot. The tree will take revenge, the roots will take revenge. They will say, “You are cutting one leaf – we will put two. We are capable of constantly supplying – infinitely.”

So don’t be bothered by leaves. And body has only leaves: roots are deep within. Cut the roots, and the leaves will wither away by themselves. When there are no roots to feed, the leaves will drop by themselves. Your body will change. Change the mind and the body will change. Mind is the root!

Attain a non-wavering knowing, and the door will be open, and you will be able to have a glimpse into the unknown. The unknown is not far off: only you are closed. The unknown is here, but you are running. The unknown is here, but you are in such a hurry and in such speed that you cannot look at it.

Stand still! I don’t mean your body: let your mind stand still, your consciousness, and suddenly you will become aware of something which has always been there. You have been seeking for it, seeking and searching, lives and lives running for it – and it was here. It is so near, and that’s why you have missed it. It is just by the corner, and you have sought it everywhere except this place where you are standing.

Non-wavering reveals to you the here and now. That standing still in consciousness reveals to you the presence which is here.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

For a related post see Encountering the Unconscious.

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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Remain with the Doubt – Osho

I am never born as a body. I am not the ten senses. And I am neither intellect, nor mind nor everlasting ego. I am eternally pure self-nature without vital breath and mind. I am the witness without intellect. And I am the ever knowing self-nature. Ther is no doubt, whatsoever, about it.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

A very long journey from “I” to “thou,” from “thou” to “that,” and from “that” to the beyond. And now again the rishi begins to talk about “Who am I?” Obviously, the first “I” is not referred to, that has been just disposed of. This is a second “I.”

The first “I” constitutes the ego; constitutes whatsoever we have done, whatsoever we have achieved, whatsoever has been our accumulation. This second “I” is not our doing; this second “I” is our being. So we must distinguish between these two: the doing and the being.

The being is something which is there, has been there; it is a priori. It is not your creation, it is not your construction, you have not contributed anything to it, because you are it. So how can you do anything? And whatsoever you have done is just an accumulations around – never on the center; the center has always been there.

The child is born. The child is born with a being, with a center, but with no periphery, with no circumference. The child is born with a being, but with no doing at all. Now the doing will grow; now the child will cultivate the ego. Whatsoever the child is going to do will become part of his ego. If he succeeds, then a superiority is accumulated; if he fails, then an inferiority is accumulated. And whether you begin to feel to be inferior or superior, a certain ego is formed. Even when you feel inferior, you have an ego which feels to be inferior. If you succeed, you have an ego which feels to be superior.

The ego means whatsoever you have done – whether you succeed or fail, it is irrelevant, you create an ego. You begin to assert, “I am this, I am that.” And the more this feeling grows, the more the center is lost, and by and by forgotten. In the end we are nothing but our doings. The being is just lost; we have lost the track.

So first we discussed the “I,” the ego, the superficial, the one created by us – our own creation. Now the rishi is talking about the being – what we are, not what we have done; what we are, pure, simple beingness. Of course when we say “I” and use “I” for it, the meaning is totally different. We again refer to it as an “I,” because this is the innermost center of our existence. But now there is no feeling of “I-ness,” only a reference, only a word to be used and forgotten. This pure “I,” this pure being, can only be described in a negative way, through elimination. We have to say, “This is not, that is not,” and go on denying. And when nothing remains to deny anymore, it is revealed.

There are two ways to indicate a thing. One is direct, positive; another is indirect, negative. The more sublime a phenomenon, the more deep a thing is, you cannot indicate it positively, you cannot figure it out. You cannot say, “This is.” No, that’s not possible. How can you say what love is? How can you say what goodness is? How can you say what God is? If you say something positive, you will feel that much has remained unexpressed, and your word has given a limitation.

Saint Augustine has been asked by someone, “What is God?” Saint Augustine says, “When you do not ask me, I know very well, but when you ask me, everything is lost. So don’t disturb me; go and find out. Please go and find our for yourself. I am not going to answer, because the moment I begin to answer, I feel guilty. Any expression becomes just criminal, because whatsoever I say is nothing compared to that about which I am saying.” This has always been felt, very deeply felt, and so many have just remained silent, mm? – not to be guilty; it is better not to say.

Wittgenstein has written in his Tractatus, “It is better not to say than to say something about a thing which is inexpressible. So be silent, it is better, because at least you are right.” At least you are right! The moment you say something you are bound to be wrong, any assertion is bound to be wrong. So infinite a phenomenon as the deeper “I” . . . It is better to be silent.

But it needs expression. It may be better for the person who is going to say, but it is not better for the person who is going to understand it, to enquire about it. Silence will not do.

So the rishi uses the second method, the negative one. The Upansishads have been using the same method always. That has been their technique, to negate. They will say, “I am that which is never born. I am the unborn one. All that which is born, I am not. So whatsoever is born, I am not.” This is the eliminating process. Whatsoever is born, I am not. Breathing has been born in me. It is born because a child is born without breathing, then he breathes. So the being precedes breathing; being comes first, and then there is breathing. Then there is thinking, then there is ego – all this is born.

If we go still deeper, when the mother becomes pregnant, the first egg has no senses, but the being is there. Then by and by the egg grows and then senses come into being; they are born. After the being is, it is born.

So the rishi says: “I am not the senses, because I am always prior.” I always precede. And whatsoever has succeeded me, I am not.”

“I am not the senses” – that is, I am not the body – “neither am I the mind,” because mind is a later growth, and sometimes mind can be destroyed without destroying you. Sometimes it happens that accidentally the mind is destroyed, and you are.

In the second world war, one English soldier fell down into a ditch. He became unconscious, and he remained unconscious for one week. And when he came back from unconsciousness, he was not the same mind again. He couldn’t recognize anyone – not even himself; he couldn’t recognize his face in the mirror, because all his memory was lost; the whole mechanism was destroyed. But the being was still there. So the mind is a mechanism – something added to you, but not you. It is something instrumental to you, but not you.

The rishi says, “I am not the mind. Neither am I the feeling of being a self.” Neither am I the feeling of being a self, because how can you feel yourself as a self without the mind? The feeling of self is part of the mind, that, “I am.” Go deep into it. We use “I am.” This feeling of “I” is part of our mind. The rishi says, “No not this either. This feeling of being a self is again not my reality, my being.” So when the rishi says, “Not even the feeling of self,” then what remains? “I” drops completely, and only “am-ness” remains. The feeling of “I” belongs to the mind, but “am-ness” belongs to my being itself. A feeling of “am-ness” is what is meant by atma – just “am-ness.”

If you can drop your thinking, you will be, but in an oceanic feeling of “am-ness.” Even this formation of “I,” this formation of self-hood, is not there. That is a later growth.

The rishi is really trying to bring into consciousness, the purest possibility of existence, with nothing added to it – the purest, just a clean slate, nothing written on it. So he is washing everything that we have written on it, and just cleaning the whole thing. When nothing more remains to be washed, he says, “This is the being.” Because whatsoever is written is just doing – howsoever subtle, howsoever hidden, howsoever unconscious – whatsoever is written is a later growth.

So go back, retrace, regress to the original “am-ness.” That, he says, even when there is no breathing, where there is no “minding,” this being is there – without mind, without breathing, without senses. What remains? But what remains? Just a vacuum? Just a nothingness? No, all remains, but in its purity, in its potentiality, in its absolute seed.

Only one positive assertion is made, and that is, “This innermost center is aware, is conscious.” The very nature of it is consciousness. When everything has been eliminated – thoughts, senses, body, mind – when everything has been eliminated, only pure consciousness remains. This is the nature of it.

What is meant by pure consciousness?

By pure consciousness is meant that there is consciousness; not conscious about anything – just a mirror, mirroring nothing. Towards this purity is the whole search. And the rishi says, “There is no doubt about it,” because this is not a doctrine, this is not a philosophical system; this is experience, this is realization. The rishi says, “This I have known; this I have lived; this I have reached.

This is not just a mental projection; this is not just a thought-out system; this is what I have lived and known and experienced.”

This must be understood because this is one of the most emphatic characteristics of Eastern darshan – I will not call it philosophy. It has been called and translated as philosophy very wrongly – not only wrongly, but the very meaning is perverted. By darshan is meant that which you have seen, not thought. By philosophy is meant that which you have thought.

Philosophy means love of thinking. philo means love, sophy means thinking – love of thinking. Darshan is not love of thinking; it is love of seeing. So only one man, Hermann Hesse, has rightly translated it; he has coined a new word to translate darshan into English, and that word is philosiaphilo for love, and sia for seeing – not sophy, but sia.

The Eastern mind has been constantly concerned, not with thinking, but with seeing. They say thinking is a pale substitute. You have seen the sunrise, that is one thing. Someone who is blind can only think about the sunrise. Can there be any parallel? Can there be any comparison? Whatsoever you have seen and whatsoever he may have thought – can there be any link between the two? A blind man thinking about the sunrise is really a very complex phenomenon, primarily, because a blind man has never known what sunrise is, what light is. What does rising mean to a blind man? What does light mean to a blind man? Simple words – only words, mere words with nothing in them – meaningless. He has heard “light,” “sun,” “sunrise”; he can think. What can he think? He can think in a chain of words. He can create a chain of words – simple – a chain of words, not of meanings, because meaning is something which is always felt. A word is meaningless unless you have felt the substance of it. A blind man cannot think about the sunrise because he cannot even think about light; really, he cannot even think about darkness.

We always think, we assume that the blind man is living in darkness. That is simply absurd, because darkness is a phenomenon of the eyes, not of blindness. You have to be not blind to know darkness: darkness is seen, and a blind man cannot see. So a blind man is not in darkness – remember this.

A blind man has never known what darkness is, because for darkness to be felt, you need eyes. So even darkness has not been known. So if you eliminate, negate, and you say to the blind man, “Light is what darkness is not,” it still means nothing. You cannot even use the eliminative process; you cannot say, “Light is not darkness.” He will ask what darkness is. A blind man can think. Thinking is a dimension which need not be experienced. He can think, he can create concepts in his own way – in his own blind ways he can create concepts. He can create some parallelism; he can create some synonyms. He can begin to think in terms of his own experience about light, darkness and sunrise, and he can create a philosophy. Really, only blind men create philosophies, because those who can see will not bother to create philosophies. If you can see, there is no need.

This is the basic difference between Eastern thinking and Western. Western thinking has always remained with thinking; Eastern thinking has always stepped out of thinking, because they say even thinking is a barrier to seeing. If your eyes are filled with thoughts, you cannot see. The eyes must cease all thinking, all ideation, all minding – then the eyes are clear, then you can go deep into reality.

So the rishi says, “There is no doubt about it. Whatsoever I am saying, I have seen, and there is no doubt.” So it is not, “I don’t know, but I propose . . . perhaps . . . it may be so . . . ” It is not so. The rishi is not saying, “Perhaps it may be like this,” or “Perhaps it may be like that.” He is simply saying – he is describing. So it is not that he is proposing any ideology; it is simply this, that he is describing something he has gone into. So he says, “There is no doubt. I myself have know this: this pure consciousness.”

How to go? – because for us still there is doubt. It may not be for him – for the rishi it may not be – but for us there is still doubt. And it is good – if you also say, “Now there is no doubt,” then you are lost, because if there is no doubt for you, you will not go for the journey where the certainty is. You will create a pseudo certainty; all believers create pseudo certainties. They also say, “We believe it is so,” and they have not known.

Unless you know, do not believe.

Unless you know, do not say, “There is no doubt.”

Remain with the doubt.

Doubt is healthy; it pushes you.

But don’t get stuck in the doubt – go ahead, find the state where you can also say, “Now there is no doubt. I know it.” But not before that – not before that. Live with doubt, go with doubt; search, enquire. Don’t make your doubt suicidal – that’s enough – don’t make your doubt suicidal. Let it be a healthy push! Let it be an enquiry, an open enquiry.

So be with doubt. Don’t create any false belief. It is better to be sincerely in doubt, than to be insincerely into belief, because at least you are authentic. And authenticity is very meaningful. An authentic, sincere person can reach – will reach. But a non-authentic, insincere person may go on believing for lives and lives together. He is not even moving a single inch; he cannot move.

So when this rishi says, “There is no doubt,” it is not meant that thereby you begin to believe. The rishi is simply giving a statement about his own stage. He is saying, “For me, there is no doubt. Whatsoever I am saying, I mean it, and I have known it.”

Really, the Upanishads have never given any arguments. Whatsoever they say, they say without any arguments, without any proofs. This is rare! They don’t say why this is so; they say, “This is so.” Why? It is significant. It is very significant, because whenever you try to prove something – you argue something, you gather witnesses for it – it means that you are creating a philosophy, a rationalization, a reasoning, a logical system; but you have not known.

If you have known, then a simple statement is enough. So the rishis give simple statements, and then methods – not proofs. Whatsoever they say, they say, “It is so; now this is the method, you can also know it.” They never give any proofs; quite the opposite.

There are Greek thinkers: Aristotle, or Plato, or even Socrates. They go on giving proofs. They go on giving proofs, arguments. They say, “This is so because . . . And in “because” they will never say, “because I have known it.” They will say, “because this proves it, that proves it; that’s why it is so.” It is a syllogism, a logical syllogism.

These rishis are just illogical. They say, “This is so.” And if you ask, “Give us proofs,” they say, “This is the method. Experiment with it and you will get the proof.” In a way this is more scientific – less logical, but more scientific – not concerned with arguments at all, but with experiment. Really, this is what scientists are doing. If you ask them, “Why is this so, why does fire burn?” they will say, “Put your hand in it. We don’t know why; we know how it burns.”

So the basic approach of any philosophical ideation is “why?” And the basic scientific approach is always concerned with “how,” never with “why.” The rishi will never ask why we are not minds; he will ask “how” – the method. This is religious science, not philosophical systematizing. Of course, the experiment has to be different, because the lab has to be different. For scientific experimenting a lab is needed outside you; for religious experimentation you are the lab.

How? How can this pure consciousness be achieved? The very description is the process also – this eliminatory method of saying a thing is also the process. When the rishi says, “I am not the body; I am not the senses; I am not the mind” – this is also the method. Go on, go on being more and more conscious of the fact that “I am not the body.” Remain with this fact: “I am not the body.”

Remember this fact – let it go deep in you:

I am not the body.

Begin to feel the gap between you and the body and soon the gap is known, because the gap exists there – you have only forgotten it. It is not to be created; it is there already – you have just forgotten it. You have just escaped from the gap. The gap is always there, but we never go in to see the gap.

Really, this is miraculous in a way, and very strange, that we know our bodies from the outside – even our own bodies we know from the outside. This is as if you live in a house but you have never known the inner walls of the house; you have known only the outer ones – your own house! You cannot describe your body – how it looks from within? You can describe how your body looks in the mirror. But the mirror cannot see the inside; it can only see the outer, the outer shell.

But there is an inside also, because no outside can exist without an inside – or can an outside exist without an inside? But we have never become aware from the inside of our own body.

So be aware:

Close your senses, remain in, and be aware.

And begin to feel your body from the inside. There will be a gap, because there is always a gap. You will come to know that gap, and then you will know what this rishi means when he says, “I am not the body, I am not the senses, I am not the mind.” Go on, deep. Begin to look into your minding itself, into your mind process itself, and then you will begin to be aware that there is still a gap, between you and your mind.

Go on eliminating, and a moment comes when you explode into simple am-ness – without any I, without any self, without any selfhood – into pure authentic, existential being.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #15

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Great Dance of Suchness – Osho

Brahman is well known by the name Tatvanam – that – so it is to be meditated upon as Tatvanam – that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.

“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have, verily, imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”

Of the Upanishad, tapas – austerities; daman – self-restraint; and karma –dedicated work; form the support. The Vedas are its limbs, and truth its abode.

One who realizes it – knowledge of Brahman – thus destroys sin and is well established in Brahman, the infinite, the blissful and the highest.

-Kenopanishad

The word god is not God, because the ultimate cannot have a name. It is nameless – because names are given by others. A child is born. The child is born nameless, then a name is to be given. That name doesn’t come from the inner source of the child’s consciousness. It comes from without. It is a label – useful, utilitarian, but artificial. The child will become a victim. He will identify himself with this name, which is given, which really doesn’t belong to him.

But who will give a name to the Brahman? There are no parents, no society, no ‘other’. And what is the use when the Brahman alone is? A name is needed because you are not alone. You need to be categorized, named, defined, so that others can call you, remember you. If you are alone on the earth, you will not need a name. And Brahman is alone, so who will give him a name? There is no other and there is no utility in it either.

So that is the first thing to be understood and very basic to the Upanishad – because all the religions have given certain names. Hindus have given thousands of names. They have a book, Vishnu Sahastranam – God’s one thousand names. The whole book consists only of names. Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, all have given certain names to God to make prayer possible. The name remains false but how are you going to call the divine? How are you going to invoke him? How are you going to relate yourself to him? You need a name for the divine, but the Upanishads are not ready to give a name.

The Upanishads are the purest teaching possible; they do not make any compromise. They do not make any compromise for you. They are rigorous, very hard and they try to remain totally pure. So what do the Upanishads call Brahman? They simply call him Tat – that. They do not give him a name. ‘That’ is not a name; ‘that’ is an indication. And there is a great difference. When you do not have a name, then you indicate and say “That.” It is a finger pointing toward the unknown. ‘That’ is a finger pointing toward the unknown, so the Upanishads call him Tat.

You may have heard one of the most famous sentences of the Upanishads: Tat-vam-asi – That art thou. You are also the Brahman, but the Upanishads go on calling him ‘that’. Even to say calling him is not good because the moment we use he, him, the ultimate becomes a person. The Upanishads do not say that he is a person; he is just a force, energy, life, but not a person. So they insist on calling him Tat – that. That is the only name given by the Upanishads to the ultimate.

Many things are implied, of course. One: if there is no name, or if Tat, that, is the only name, prayer becomes impossible. You can meditate on that, but you cannot pray. The Upanishads really do not believe in prayer; they believe in meditation. Prayer is something addressed to a person. Meditation is simply sinking, drowning, within yourself. The person is somewhere outside you but that, the Brahman, the ultimate force, is within you. You need not relate to it as the other; you can simply drown yourself inwardly. You can simply sink within yourself and you will find that – because “That art thou.”

To take Brahman as the other is false for the Upanishads. Not that the other is not Brahman: everything is Brahman; the other also, the outer also, is Brahman. But the Upanishads say that if you cannot feel him within, it is impossible for you to feel him without – because the nearest source is within; the without is far away. And if the nearest has not been known, how can you know the faraway, the distant? If you cannot feel him in yourself, how can you feel him in others? It is impossible.

The first step must be taken within. From there the Brahman, that, is nearest. You are that. To say nearest is false; there is not even that much distance – because even when someone is near there is distance. Nearness shows a certain distance; nearness is a sort of distance. He is not even near you – because you are that. So why go wandering without? He is in the home. You are looking for the guest and he is the host. You are waiting for the guest to come, and he is already the host. He is you.

So the first implication is: for the Upanishads there is no prayer; there is meditation. Prayer is a relationship between two, just like love. Meditation is not a relationship between two. It is just like surrender. Meditation is going withinwards, surrendering yourself unto yourself – not clinging to the periphery but sinking deep to the center. And when you are at your center you are in that – Tat, Brahman.

The second implication: when the Upanishads call him that, it means he is not the creator; rather, he is the creation – because the moment we say, “God is the creator,” we have made him a person. And not only have we made him a person: we have divided existence into two – the creator and the created. The duality has entered. The Upanishads say that he is the creation. Or to be more accurate, he is the creativity – the very force of creation.

I always like to illustrate this point by the phenomenon of dance. A painter paints but the moment he has painted his picture, the painter is separate from the picture. Now the painter can die, and the picture will remain. Or you can destroy the picture but by doing that the painter will not be destroyed – they are separate. Now the picture can exist for centuries without the painter. The painter is not needed. Once painted, it is finished; the relationship is broken.

Look at the dancer! He dances but the dance is not separate; it cannot be separated. If the dancer is dead, then the dance is dead. Dance is not separate from the dancer; the dance cannot exist without the dancer. And the dancer cannot exist without the dance either because the moment there is no dance, the person may be there, but he is not a dancer.

God’s relation to the world, for the Upanishads, is that of dance and the dancer. Hence, we have pictured Shiva as Nataraj, the dancer. A very deep meaning is there – that this world is not something secondary that God has created, then forgotten about and become separate from. The world is not of a secondary order. It is as much of the first order as the divine himself because this world is just a dance, a leela, a play. It cannot be separated.

Calling Brahman That says all that is is Brahman, all that is, is he – the manifested and the unmanifested, the creation and the creator. He is both.

The word that – Tat – also has a very subtle meaning. Buddha has used that meaning very much and Buddhists have a separate school of teaching just based on this word. Buddha has called that suchness, he has called it tathata; hence Buddha’s name, Tathagata – the man who has achieved suchness, who has achieved That.

This word suchness is very beautiful. What does it mean? If you are born, Buddha will say, “Such is the case that you are born.” No other comment. If you die, he will say, “Such is the case – you die!” No other comment, no reaction to it; things are such. Then everything becomes acceptable. If you say, “Things are such that now I have become old, ill; things are such that I am defeated; things are such that I am victorious; things are such . . .” then you don’t claim anything, and you don’t feel frustrated because you don’t expect anything. Such is the nature of things. Then one who is born will die, one who is healthy will become ill, one who is young will become old, one who is beautiful will become ugly. Such is the nature of things.

Unnecessarily you get worried about it; this suchness is not going to change because of your worry. Unnecessarily you get involved in it; your involvement is not going to change anything. Things will go on moving in their own way. The suchness, the river of suchness, will go on moving in spite of you. Whatsoever you do makes no difference; whatsoever you think makes no difference. You cannot make any difference in the nature of things.

Once this feeling settles within your heart, then life has no frustration for you. Then life cannot frustrate you, then life cannot disappoint you. And with this feeling of suchness a subtle joy arises in your being. Then you can enjoy everything – you are no more, really. With the feeling that “Such is the nature, such is existence, such is the course of things,” your ego disappears.

How can your ego exist? It exists only when you think that you can make certain changes in the nature of things. It exists only when you think that you are a creator – you can change the course, you can manipulate nature. This very moment, when you think that you can manipulate nature, ego enters, you become egoistic. You start functioning and thinking as if you are separate.

Someone asked Rinzai, “What’s your sadhana – what’s your meditation?”

So he said, “No meditation. When I feel hungry, I feel hungry, and I go begging. When I feel sleepy, I fall asleep. When sleep is gone and I feel awake, I am awake. I have no other sadhana – no other meditation, no other practice. I move with things as they are. When it is hot, I move into the shadow of a tree; the very nature moves towards shadow. When it becomes cold under the shadow of a tree, I move under the sun – but I am not doing anything. Such is the nature of things.”

Look at the beauty: he says, “Such is the nature of things. When feeling hungry, I go begging – not that I go begging . . . such is the nature of things. The hunger goes begging. Not that I move from the hot sun towards the shadow of a tree – such is the nature of things. The body moves and I allow it all to happen, and I am happy because I allow everything to happen. Nothing can make me miserable.”

Misery enters into you because you start interfering, you become resistant. You don’t allow the suchness to move; you start creating blocks for it. You want to change the course of things, then misery enters.

Someone gives you respect, honors you – you feel elated. You think something very great is within you and now it is being appreciated. It was always there – that was your feeling – but now people have become recognizant, now people have become more understanding so they can recognize the greatness of your being. But then dishonor follows… and such is the nature of things, that dishonor follows honor, it is the shadow of it. It is just the other part, the other aspect of the same coin. And when it follows you feel dejected, you feel depressed, you feel like committing suicide. The whole world has gone wrong around you; the whole world has become inimical to you.

The person who understands the nature of things will enjoy both. He will say, “Such is the nature of things, that people honor me. And such is the nature of things, that dishonor follows honor, defeat follows victory, happiness is followed by unhappiness, health is followed by disease – such is the nature of things! Youth is followed by old age and birth is followed by death – such is the nature of things!”

So whatsoever is the case, if you can feel it is so and nothing else is possible, then that which is possible happens. It is always happening – that which is possible. And that which is impossible is never happening. And if you start asking for the impossible, you are trying to move against the nature of things. The philosophy of suchness or that, thatness, is simply this statement: “Do not try for the impossible; move with the possible and you will never be unhappy.” Bliss happens to those who can move with a feeling of suchness.

Buddha became old and his followers thought, “Buddha should not become old. A buddha becoming old?” The followers could not conceive of this because followers have their own fantasies. They think Buddha is not part of the nature of things. They think he must not die, that he must always remain young. So Ananda said to Buddha, “It is very depressing that now old age is settling upon you. We never imagined that you, one who has become awakened, one who has realized the ultimate, should become old.”

Buddha said, “Such is the nature of things. For everyone, whether a buddha or non-buddha, enlightened or ignorant, the nature of things is the same – equal. I will become old and I will die, because whosoever is born will die. Such is the nature of things.” Ananda is unhappy; Buddha is not. Ananda is unhappy because he is expecting something impossible, against the nature of things.

When Shri Aurobindo died, the whole ashram of Shri Aurobindo was not ready to accept the fact that Aurobindo could die. They couldn’t believe it. The followers all over the world were surprised that Shri Aurobindo could die. For a few months this was the rumor – that he will resurrect again. And for a few days they tried to preserve the body. This was the rumor around the circle of his followers – that he is in deep samadhi, in deep meditation, and he has not died. But after three days, the body started deteriorating and a bad smell started coming out of it. He was really dead. Such is the nature of things.

Nature is a great equalizer; it makes no distinctions. And it is good that it doesn’t make any distinctions. It is not partial. If you are awakened, the only change will be this – that you will accept this suchness. If you are ignorant, the only difference will be this – that you will go on resisting, fighting with the suchness. This is the only difference – the only, I say. And this difference is great, the greatest, because the moment you realize that things move in their own way, that nature has its own law, its own order, you are freed from it. Not that it will change its laws for you, but that you will have changed, your attitude will have changed. You will say, “Such is the nature of things.”

Brahman is the ultimate nature of things, the very suchness. With this comes total acceptance. In total acceptance, suffering disappears. Suffering is your resistance, suffering is your nonacceptance. You create your own suffering. Bliss is always available but because of your attitudes you are not available to it. Now we will enter the sutra.

Brahman is well known by the name Tatvanam – that – so it is to be meditated upon as Tatvanam – that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.

Brahman is well known by the name that – Tat – so it is to be meditated upon as Tat – as that. Do not meditate upon him as a person. Then your imagination will have entered. There is no person there. Do not meditate upon him as sagun – with attributes. That is not the teaching of the Upanishads. Do not conceive of him in some form. Just remember him as that.

But this is very difficult. How do you remember him as that? You can remember him as Krishna, as Rama, as Christ, as Buddha, but how can you remember him as that? The very concept of ‘that’ shatters your mind. It will stop. If you remember him as that, as the suchness of things, as this great cosmos – and all is implied in it – your mind will stop through shock. You cannot think about that – or can you? You can think about Krishna because you can picture, you can imagine, that he is playing on his flute or he is dancing and his girlfriends, gopis, are dancing around him – or can you picture him making love to Radha?

You can picture him but how to picture ‘that’? There is no flute, there are no girlfriends, there is no dance. There is nothing to be pictured. How can you imagine that? Imagination stops. If you really try to conceive of that, through that very effort mind will stop and you will enter meditation. This that is just like a Zen koan. That which cannot be conceived – if you try to conceive of it your mind will stop and stopping of the mind is meditation.

The very effort to meditate on that is absurd. You cannot meditate upon that: there is nothing to meditate upon; there is no object. That is not an object. But if you try hard, in the very effort . . . because you cannot meditate upon it . . . Not that you will succeed in meditating upon that – in the very effort, in the very failure that you cannot think about it, thinking will stop . . . Because thinking has no goal it cannot move with that and when thinking stops you are in meditation.

It is not that Tat, the Brahman, will appear before you; it is not that you will come to know and realize the truth in front of you – no! The moment your thinking has stopped, you have become that, you have fallen into it. The wave has disappeared into the ocean. And this disappearing always happens within because you fall from there. The wave disappears in the ocean. you are that. Meditating upon that, you will become that.

The Upanishads go on saying that one who knows the Brahman becomes the Brahman; one who meditates upon him becomes him: he becomes that.

Brahman is well known by the name that, so it is to be meditated upon as that. All beings love him who know Brahman as such.

And the person who comes to know Brahman as that, as the suchness of existence, all beings naturally fall in love with him.

Why does this happen? You suddenly feel love arising within your heart and flowing toward the person who has come to attain suchness. Why does it happen? It is not that it is necessarily so; you can even hate such a person because hate is a form of love. But you cannot be indifferent to such a person, that is the point. If such a person is there, either you can love him or hate him, but you cannot be indifferent. Hate is possible because hate is the opposite form, the reverse, of love. It is just love doing shirshasan – standing on its head. But you cannot be indifferent.

Why does love happen? Why does hate happen? And why is indifference not possible? Because the very being of such a person touches your heart deeply. It goes on playing on your heart; your heart becomes a musical instrument. Just the presence of such a person stirs something within you. The very presence of such a person makes your own ‘that’ alive. It becomes a magnetic force, and your own sleeping Brahman feels its sleep disturbed. Your own sleeping Brahman opens his eyes and looks at this awakened Brahman and a love or hate happens.

If you are receptive, surrendering, trusting, then love will happen. If you are doubtful, skeptical, non-surrendering, egoistic, then hate will happen. But indifference is impossible. You cannot conceive of Buddha moving in a town and someone being indifferent. Either love or hate is bound to happen. But both are relationships; you will start being related.

Love says, “I am ready to move with you.” Hate says, “Do not pull me. I am not ready to surrender; I will resist.” Love says, “I am ready to follow you and fall with you.” Hate says, “I cannot surrender my ego. And just because I cannot surrender my ego I will hate you, because the moment I love the surrender will happen.” And sometimes it happens that when you are in love with a person you may not be so deeply related as when you hate him.

There is one anecdote I have heard: one rishi got angry with someone. He was so angry that he cursed the man. The curse was terrible, and this man would have to be born again and again and suffer. The man fell down at the feet of that rishi and asked forgiveness. But a curse cannot be reversed. The rishi said, “Now nothing can be done to reverse the curse. You will have to pass through it. Only one thing can be done. If you remember God’s name, then the curse will not have such a terrific effect upon you. You will remain detached; you will not suffer so much. But you will have to pass through suffering.”

So the man asked, “Tell me the secret of remembering the name so that I may not forget it.”

Then the rishi said, “Then hate God. Do not love – because love can forget, but hate cannot. Hate God, and go on cursing and cursing him, swearing against him. Just by cursing him you will remember him.”

Love may forget; hate cannot forget. Love can forget because love, by and by, becomes one with the object of love. Hate is a constant vigilance; you have to protect yourself. The pull is there – a buddha is pulling you – you have to struggle. If you lose for a single moment, if you are forgetful for a single moment, you will be in the current. So you have to be constantly alert. Hate is just a love relationship in the reverse order.

A person who happens to be enlightened will attract you – either your love or your hate. But one thing is certain: you cannot be indifferent to him, because he has gone so deep that his depth will resonate within you, will resound, reflect. His depth will call your depth. He will become an invocation. It is not that he will do something: just his being, just his very being, will do something – no effort on his part.

Just looking at a flower, you say, “Beautiful!” Something has happened within you. It is not that the flower has done anything; the flower is completely unaware that you are passing. But you say, “Beautiful!” When your heart says that something is beautiful, something has happened within your heart; the flower has touched you deep down. You see the full moon in the night and suddenly you become silent. The depth, the beauty, the grace, has touched you.

Similar is the case here: when a person who has achieved Brahman, who is enlightened, touches you, it is deeper than any flower can touch. It is deeper than any full moon can touch, it is deeper than anything in the world can touch you because the feeling of Brahman is the deepest, the ultimate core, the very ground. Just by being near such a person you are changed.

Hence so much insistence in India just to be near the master – just to be near the master! The very nearness goes on changing you because the depth calls your depth, the inner silence calls your inner silence, the bliss invokes your bliss. The very presence of a master is seductive. He goes on changing you, transforming you.

“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

Now speaks the disciple. Up to now the master was speaking, and now the disciple asks the first and the last question – the only question. This is beautiful . . . because he was simply waiting. You must not have even been aware that there was a disciple. Only the master was speaking, as if the disciple was not. He must have been just ears and eyes; he has not interrupted at all. Now, in the last moment, he asks for something:

“Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

The word upanishad means the esoteric teaching, the hidden teaching, the secret teaching. Upanishad means the secret path, the secret key – the esoteric, the hidden, the unknown. Upanishad means the mystery. Asks the disciple: “Sir, teach me the Upanishad.”

And the master says,

“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have verily imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”

Here there is a very subtle and delicate point to be understood. The master has been teaching, talking, and the disciple must have been intensely, intellectually alert, aware, to understand whatsoever was said. And all that can be said has been said. All the knowledge relating to Brahman has been imparted. All that can be verbalized, all that can be spoken has been spoken.

And the student asks, the disciple asks, “Now teach me the Upanishad, the secret of secrets. What is the meaning of it?”

And the master says, “The Upanishad has already been imparted to you.” The master is talking – this is on one level – and while the disciple is engaged in listening, on another level the secret is being imparted.

That is why the disciple is not aware: he is intellectually engaged. His attention is on the words but deep down something else is being transferred. And that transfer is the secret: that is the real Upanishad. But that cannot be said. It is a transfer without words, a communication without language.

Bodhidharma, one of the greatest masters India has ever produced, went to China. It is said about him that he came to China with a scripture that didn’t exist – with a scripture that didn’t exist! He transferred the scripture without transferring anything at all. He must have been a past master in communicating things, silently, without words.

He used to sit looking at the wall; he would never look at his audience. Just his back would be toward you. He would never look at you; he would just look at the wall. And many people would ask Bodhidharma, “What type of way is this? What type of manners? What type of man are you? We have never seen anyone looking at the wall and we have come to listen to you.” Bodhidharma used to say, “When the right man comes, I will turn toward him. And the right man is one who can understand me in silence. I am not interested in you at all.”

And then one day a right man came, and that right man said to Bodhidharma, “Turn toward me; otherwise, I will cut off my head.”

So Bodhidharma turned immediately and said, “So you have come? Now sit in silence and I will impart.”

Not a single word was uttered in imparting and the other was made a master. And Bodhidharma disappeared. He had said, “I was waiting for this man for nine years.” And the other became a master but not a single word was used.

There are layers in your being. The uppermost layer, the most superficial, understands language, and the deepest understands silence. And masters have to create devices. These teachings, verbal teachings, are just devices. I have just been talking to you . . .

One young man came to me just the other day and he said, “You are very contradictory. You go on saying nothing can be said and you go on talking every day continuously for three hours in the morning and in the evening. You are very contradictory. You say nothing can be said about that and yet you go on saying.”

He is right, I am contradictory. Nothing can be said about that, and still I go on saying something. This something is just to catch your attention on one level so that on another level something can penetrate in silence.

The master says, “The Upanishad has already been imparted to you, and you are saying, “Teach me, sir, the Upanishad.” And what have I been doing all the time?” But the disciple was engaged intellectually. He is not yet aware what has happened to him. The news has not yet reached to his intellect. It will take time.

So it happens. While you are here you may not have understood me but that doesn’t make any difference. If there has been a contact in silence, it will take time for you to realize that something has happened within. The news will take time because intellect is very far away from the deepest center of you. If something happens there, you will not become aware. Rather, I will become aware first. So I go on looking at you while you are meditating, just to feel what is happening – because you are not yet able to feel what is happening. It will take time. The message will come one day; it will travel; it will pass through all the centers and layers. And then it will come to your mind and then you will recognize – but it may take years.

Someone very near to me was saying just the other day, “You have not done anything for me, and I have been with you for two years.” The news has not yet reached. It will take time.

The master says:

“The Upanishad has been imparted to you. We have verily imparted to you the Upanishad relating to Brahman.”

Of the Upanishad, tapas – austerities; daman – self-restraint; and karma – dedicated work; form the support. The Vedas are its limbs and truth its abode.

In short, the master defines what the Upanishad calls tapas. Tapas means effort – intense effort. When you bring your total energy to any effort it becomes tapas – any effort! If your total energy is brought to it, it becomes tapas.

While doing meditation, if you withhold yourself it is not tapas. You are just making an effort which is so-so, on the surface. You are not deep in it, not moving in it totally. When you move in it totally, it creates heat; hence, the name tapas. Tapas means heat. When you move totally in any effort, it creates heat within you. Exactly that: it creates heat, and that heat changes many things chemically. You become a different being. You become a different person through tapas because that heat changes you chemically. It makes a different type of personality for you.

Gurdjieff used methods of tapas very much in this age. He would give some method to you, and he would say, “Bring your total effort to it. Not a single fragment should be left behind to watch it. Bring yourself totally in it, become the effort.” And you may be surprised that any effort . . .

Gurdjieff would say to someone, “Go into the garden and dig a hole and bring total effort into the digging. Forget the digger completely; become the digging.” And the man would go, and he would dig and he would dig. The whole day he would have been digging. Then Gurdjieff would come and throw all the mud back and he would say, “This was useless. Start again tomorrow morning.”

And the man would start again the next morning and this would go on for days and days. And he would come every evening and he would throw the mud back, and he would say, “Start again.”

When the digger becomes the digging, when there is no one left behind, when the whole being has moved into effort, it becomes tapas; it becomes a subtle heat.

The master says tapas and daman. Daman is self-restraint, not suppression. This word daman has been very wrongly used. It is not suppression; it is self-restraint. And there is a deep difference.

While doing meditation, while standing in silence, you may feel a sneeze coming. You can suppress it, you can start fighting with it, then it is suppression. But if you simply remain indifferent, if you do not do anything about it, if you do not suppress and you do not express, if you do not do anything about it and you simply remain indifferent, this is self-restraint. You remain in yourself. You don’t move towards the sneeze to do anything.

If you move to express it, you have come out of yourself. If you move to suppress it, again you have come out of yourself. You simply remain in yourself as if the sneeze is happening to someone else – you are not concerned. You don’t suppress it, you don’t fight with it. You simply remain indifferent, a witness. That is self-restraint.

Suppression is easy because you are allowed to do something. Self-restraint is very difficult because you are not allowed to do anything. You are to remain passive, a non-doer, non-active, simply watching.

. . . Tapas, daman and karma – dedicated work – form the support. These three

things form the support of the secret teaching, of the Upanishad. Dedicated work – all karma, all action, is not karma. When a karma is dedicated; when a karma is egoless; when a karma becomes a sort of prayer, a meditation; when a karma is only outwardly a karma and inwardly something else is reaching toward the divine; then it is karma – then it is dedicated work.

For example, you are serving an old man or an ill man. If you can make it a meditation, if you can make it a prayer; if you can see the divine, ‘that’, in that old, ill man; if you serve not to achieve anything, you serve to be in deep meditation – in this moment your service becomes meditation. Then it becomes karma. If you want to achieve anything out of it, it will create a chain of cause and effect.

If you want this old man – he may even be your father – to have property, a bank balance, if your eyes are on the bank balance, then it is not karma. But the bank balance can be there in many shapes: you may be serving this old man to achieve heaven; that again is a bank balance. You may be serving this old man because you have been taught that service leads to God; then again it is a sort of bank balance. You are not here. Your mind is somewhere else.

When karma is totally here and now, when your mind is not moving anywhere else into the future, then it doesn’t create any chain. In this very moment it becomes a meditation.

These three – tapas – austerities; daman – self-restraint; and karma – dedicated work, form the support. The Vedas are its limbs.

Veda is a beautiful word: it simply means knowledge. Whatsoever has been known about the Brahman, wherever, it is all Vedas. So I call The Bible a Veda and I call the Koran a Veda; to me there are thousands and thousands of Vedas. And whenever a person becomes enlightened, whatsoever he says is a Veda. So the Vedas are not only four. The word Veda comes from vid; vid means to know. And wherever this knowing is accumulated, wherever this knowing is symbolized, it becomes a Veda.

The Vedas are its limbs and truth its abode.

These three things have to be remembered: make intense effort so that an inner heat is born and changes you chemically; be in a self-restraint so that you become more self-centered, unmoving, unwavering, centered, rooted; and make your work a karma – a dedicated prayer, a meditation. Try to know all that has been known before. Not that through it you will come to truth but all that will become a help. It can also become a barrier if you become too much attached to it. Otherwise, it will be a help, an indicator.

Ultimately truth is the abode – and truth means that. And that comes to you when you live a life of suchness.

One who realizes it – knowledge of Brahman – thus destroys sin and is well established in Brahman, the infinite, the blissful and the highest.

-Osho

From The Supreme Doctrine, Discourse #16

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Here Ends this Upanishad – Osho

By listening to these above teachings, the disciple attained knowledge and he exclaimed, “Whither has that world gone? Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Who did it take away? And in what way has it dissolved? Is it not immensely astonishing that it is not?

What have I now to renounce in this great oceanlike brahman, which is whole and full of a nectar of bliss? What is the other? What is more unique? Here, I do not even see anything. I do not even hear anything, and I do not even know anything, because I am the ever-blissful self.

I am unique.
I can be compared to none.
I can be compared only to myself.
I am absolutely alone, without body.
I cannot be indicated.
No symbol can represent me.
I am the supreme god Hari.
I am immeasurably silent.
I am the infinite, absolute, and the most ancient.
I am not the doer.
I am not the one who indulges.
I am without growth.
I am the imperishable.
I am already pure and knowledge itself.
I am the Sadashiv, the eternally good.”

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity.

This is the teaching of nirvana, of knowledge, Veda. It is ordained by the Veda itself.

Here ends this Upanishad.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

By listening to these above teachings, the disciple attained knowledge and he exclaimed, “Whither has that world gone? Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Who did it take away? And in what way has it dissolved? Is it not immensely astonishing that it is not?

This is a very unique happening. The teacher was saying that this world is just a dream, and unless this dream ceases, the world of reality, the world of truth cannot be attained. “Cease dreaming and enter the world of reality,” he was teaching. And he would never have imagined that just by listening to this, the disciple attained to knowledge. How can it happen? It is not happening to us. We have heard it also; it has not happened to us. Why? And why could this happen to that disciple? What is the difference? You are listening, but that listening is not of the heart.

You are listening, but that listening is not total.

You are listening, but you go on standing outside.

Only the mechanical part of your ears hears it. Or at the most, the mechanical part of your mind thinks about it, but the heart remains untouched. You go on protecting your heart from the teaching. You are afraid that if this teaching goes deep into your heart, you will not be the same again. And then you will be thrown into insecurity; you will be thrown into the unknown – and everyone is afraid of the unknown. That fear becomes a barrier.

Unless you are ready to go into the unknown, to move into the unchartered, to move in a world where you do not know anything . . . insecurity will be there, you will be vulnerable; danger will be there, even death. Unless you are ready to take a jump into the unknown, this teaching cannot become a deep happening for you.

But to this disciple it happened. He heard it; he must have heard it through his heart. He must have heard it through his total being; he must have become one while the teaching was being delivered. The teacher and the taught must have felt a deep communion. The teacher must have gone deep into the disciple’s heart through his teaching.

The disciple was ready and receptive. He never doubted; he simply believed – there was no question.

The whole Upanishad is without a question, there is no question, no questioning at all. The disciple remains completely silent through the whole discourse. Only in the end do we suddenly become aware that there has been a disciple present. The teacher was talking, the teacher was giving his message, but we were never aware that a disciple was there. Suddenly we become aware in this last part of the Upanishad, when the disciple says, “Whither has gone that world I have just seen? Where is that world? When I came to you, there was a world around me. Now I look and there is no world to be found. Where has it gone? It is immensely astonishing. You were teaching me that the world is not, and now I see that it is not!”

What has happened to the disciple? Now he is looking from a new standpoint; now he is looking from a deeper center. Now he is looking really, from his being. When you look from your being, the world of becoming disappears like a dream.

That’s how I started this commentary on the Upanishad. When we live on the circumference, then the world is real. When we move towards the center, the world becomes more and more unreal. When you stand at your center, when you are centered in yourself, the world completely disappears. What have I now to renounce in this great oceanlike brahman, which is whole and full of nectar of bliss? What is the other? What is more unique?

The disciple is just shocked – what has happened to the world? When for the first time one explodes into that realm of the divine, the first thing is a shock – the world disappears.

And when the world disappears suddenly, you cannot face, you cannot see the other world that arises. The curtain falls, the barriers fall, but your mind has been always attuned to this world of ignorance, of dream. When this dissolves suddenly, you cannot become aware of the other world that is now before you.

Your eyes will need a new attunement; your consciousness will need a new way of looking. Now you will need a new dimension, a new opening in you. Only then you will feel that although the world has disappeared, a new existence has come up and has appeared: Here, I do not even see anything. I do not even hear anything, and I do not even know anything . . .

All old knowledge has become futile. All old ways of seeing have become futile. All the senses have become futile, because they were meaningful only when the world was there – but the world of senses has disappeared, senses have become useless: “I cannot see, I cannot hear, I do not know; because all my knowledge was concerned with the world.”

Whatsoever you know is concerned with the world If the world disappears, what will be the difference between a learned man and one who is ignorant? What will be the difference? No difference – if the world disappears, then the learned will be just like any ignorant man, because all your learning is concerned with the world. So the disciple says: I do not even know anything . . . only this much I know: I am the ever-blissful self . . . unique. I can be compared to none. I can be compared only to myself . . . I am like myself; only this much I know.

The knowledge of a Mahavira, the knowledge of a Buddha, or a Jesus, or a Krishna, is not the knowledge of a learned man. They do not know anything about the world; they know only about their own selves.

Mahavira has said that if you can know your own self, you have known all; and if you know everything except yourself, you know nothing.

They know about their own central force, energy, life. They know about their own inner being, and they do not know anything about the world, because the whole world has disappeared. They know only one thing, that I am the ever-blissful self.

When you know about the world, you know many, many anxieties, you know anguish, you know tensions, you know misery. When you know many things about the world, the misery goes on growing with your knowledge. The more you know, the more miserable you are. We can observe this all over the world. Now, for the first time, we have gathered great knowledge – not only have we gathered, we have dispersed it to everyone through universal teaching, education. And now every man is miserable, and the misery keeps growing. On the one hand, knowledge grows, on the other hand, misery grows.

What is happening? This seems quite inconceivable, because if with knowledge misery grows, then for what is this knowledge? Knowledge of the without goes deeper and deeper, but then misery also goes deeper and deeper.

There is another knowledge also, that this Upanishad is talking about – the knowledge of the inner self. With the knowledge of the inner self, blissfulness grows. So this is just an indication: if you are becoming more and more blissful, know that you are growing in inner knowledge. If you are becoming more and more miserable, know that you are growing in outer knowledge.

The biblical story is beautiful:

Adam was expelled from Eden because he disobeyed God. And what was the disobedience? The disobedience was this: God has forbidden Adam and Eve . . . he has said to them that they are not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. In the Garden of Eden in heaven, there was a tree, the tree of knowledge, and God has forbidden Adam and Eve to touch that tree, to eat the fruit of that tree. But because of this, Adam and Eve must have become attracted to the tree.

The garden was big and there was only one tree of knowledge. But because of this order, they rebelled. And when they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge they were expelled from Eden.

This story is beautiful. They were expelled because of knowledge, and man is continuously being expelled from Eden because of knowledge. The more you know, the more heaven becomes just impossible, and hell the only possibility. But there is another tree also in the Garden of Eden. It is not mentioned in The Bible, but I will tell you about it. That tree is the tree of inner knowledge, and unless you eat the fruit of that tree you can never enter again into heaven.

There are two types of knowledge: knowledge of things and knowledge of self. The devil tempted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge – and the Upanishads tempt you to eat the fruit of the other tree of knowledge. Unless you enter yourself, and eat the fruit of inner knowledge, you cannot be redeemed; you cannot be liberated, you cannot become free. And you can never be blissful.

I am absolutely alone, without body.
I cannot be indicated.
No symbol can represent me.
I am the supreme god Hari.
I am immeasurably silent.
I am the infinite, absolute, and the most ancient.
I am not the doer.
I am not the one who indulges.
I am without growth.
I am the imperishable.
I am already pure and knowledge itself.
I am the Sadashiv, the eternally good.

The disciple tells his teacher his own experience now. The teacher was telling the disciple his experience; the disciple is not saying, “I am convinced now that whatsoever you say is true,” or “I am convinced a little bit, and later on I will think more about it”; nor “Whatsoever you say must be true, because you are a reliable man.” No, he simply tells his own experience. He has not even mentioned it, that “Whatsoever you have taught me is true.” No reference is made to the teaching at all. He simply says, “Now this is my experience: I am the divine, I am Hari. I am immeasurably silent. I am absolute, infinite.” He has attained to experience. This is not a conversion, intellectual; it is a transformation.

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity. This is the teaching of nirvan, of knowledge, of the Veda. It is ordained by the Veda itself.

Here ends this Upanishad.

This last paragraph, last sutra, has to be understood:

Knowledge of the absolute is eternal.

It is never new, never old.

It is not a growing body of knowledge.

Science grows; religion is eternal.

Science goes on growing, increasing. No scientific truth is absolute; it is relative. And no scientific truth can be called really a truth, because it is always more or less approximate. Time will change it, time always changes it. Whatsoever Newton said is no longer true; even what Einstein said is now doubtful.

Time changes science, but time never changes religion. Why? – because the religious experience is attained only when you enter a timeless moment. When you enter in yourself and time stops completely – no flow of time is there . . . no past, no present, no future; time stops completely – you are here and now. Only this moment remains, and this moment becomes eternal. In timelessness, religious experience is attained; that’s why time never alters it.

This sutra says that whatsoever is taught in this Upanishad is not something new, it is not original. Our modern world is too obsessed with originality. People go on saying, and trying, and proving that whatsoever is said is original. Particularly in the West, every thinker tries to prove that he is original, that whatsoever he is saying, no one has ever said before. Unless a theory can be proved original it is never appreciated in the West. If someone else has already said it then what is the use? Then what are you doing wasting your time? So everyone tries to be original.

But originality is impossible as far as religion is concerned. As far as science is concerned, originality is possible. In science there are old truths dying, new truths being born. Science is relative, growing. But in religion there can be nothing original. In religion everything is eternal. Whatsoever a buddha says will be said always by anyone who becomes enlightened, who becomes a buddha. Language may differ, terminology may be different, but the experience can never be different.

So in the old India, in the East, it was a tradition always: whenever someone would say something, he would say, “I am not the originator of it. I have also attained to it, but before me it was given by A to B, by B to C, by C to D – it is an eternal message.” When one thinks and says, “I am original,” this is an egoistic standpoint. The ego always tries to be original; only then it feels strengthened. But these teachings are not ego teachings, ego oriented; they are egoless teachings. Those who had attained to egolessness have said them. That’s why this sutra:

This knowledge was transmitted by the guru to his disciple, Apantaram, who in his turn transmitted it to Brahma. Brahma gave it to Ghora Angirasa, and the latter to Raikwa. Raikwa gave it to Rama, and Rama gave it to all of humanity.

Here ends this Upanishad.

The scripture ends here but not the journey. For you, really, now begins the journey. The Upanishad ends, your journey begins.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #51

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

One Becomes a Siddha – Osho

The scriptures do not say that the body is real for the knower, but they say so for the ignorant. In reality, there is only the non-dual supreme, which is one without a second, and nothing else exists except it.

And the supreme is known as something without beginning and without end – immeasurable, pure, innocent, existential, conscious, eternal, blissful, imperishable, all-pervading, non-dual, established always in oneness.

With a face in every direction, one is unable to renounce it or accept it, existing without any foundation or support, attributeless, actionless, subtle, artless, self-evident, pure, enlightened and incomparable.

Thus you enjoy most blissfully the undifferentiated self which you have known by your own experience as indivisible, thus be a siddha, a fulfilled one.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

The scriptures do not say that the body is real for the knower, but they say so for the ignorant.

This has to be understood clearly. Particularly for the Western mind, this is very confusing. The Western mind has its own tradition. The Western mind is really the developed tradition of the Greek attitude, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato – they have built the foundations of the Western mind.

The Western mind insists on the fact, objective fact, objective proof, objective reality. Objective reality means it is not dependent on anyone. The objective statement of a fact is for all; it is not said for some, it is not true for some, it is universally true.

If I say that this tree is green, this is a factual statement. If I make certain conditions that this tree is green only for Hindus, and not green for Mohammedans . . . or if I say my statement is true only for Christians and not true for Buddhists, then the Western mind will say that this statement is subjective, not objective – imaginary, not real. If the statement is real that this tree is green, then it is true for everyone forever – it is unconditionally true, universally true.

Because of this insistence on objective truth, the West was able to develop a scientific mind. Objectivity must be determined; the individual, subjective knower must be put aside. The mind must not get involved, the reality must be looked at with a neutral mind, and whatsoever you say must be true for all. Because of this Greek insistence the West could develop science. Science is the search for an objective reality.

The Eastern attitude is totally different. They say, “We are not concerned with facts.” Really the Eastern mind says that there are no facts which are unaffected by the individual looking at those facts. Every fact is in a certain way affected. Every statement is an interpretation. Every knowledge is personal knowledge; no knowledge is impersonal.

Now in the West there is one thinker, Michael Polanyi, who has written one of the greatest books of this century – Personal Knowledge. Polanyi says that he is now the representative of the Eastern mind in the West. He says, “Every knowledge is personal.” When you say something, you are involved in it, you cannot say anything impersonal. Even a fact is just an interpretation. When I say this tree is green, What am I saying? I am saying only this, that when I look at this tree I feel greenness in me. My mind interprets this tree as green. A different mind – a mind from some other planet – may not see this tree as green, because green is not a fact but an interpretation. There is nothing as green in the tree. Rays reflected from the tree reach my eyes, then those rays penetrate, are translated, and my inside feels greenness. That greenness is not in the tree.

You may wonder – if we all close our eyes, then these trees are not green; they cannot be green without our eyes. They are green through our eyes; otherwise, they are not green.

When there is no light, all colors disappear.

In your room you may have many colors. But when the light is put off there is no color, because color is just reflected rays. If there are no rays then there are no colors. But even if there are colors and there is no one to see in the room, there are no colors. This is now a scientific knowledge, scientific observation. When you move out of your room, all the colors move with you. The room becomes colorless, because color needs three things: rays, objects to be reflected upon, and eyes – three things. Then there are colors; otherwise, there is no color.

So when I say that this tree is green, it is a personal statement. And if it looks green to you also, that only shows that you just have eyes like me, nothing else. If the tree looks green to you also, it only means we have similar instruments, nothing else – and then too it is not really so. When I see the tree as green, my greenness and your greenness may not be the same. They cannot be really, because however similar are the eyes we have, they differ. So my greenness may have a different shade, your greenness may have a different shade, and there is no way to compare that my greenness is your greenness. I cannot put my greenness, my feeling of greenness out on a table. You cannot put your greenness out on a table so that we can compare what we have been calling green is the same thing – that’s impossible. So it is just compromise, just a compromise.

There are certain persons – and many will be here – who are color blind. In ten persons, one person is somehow color blind. Bernard Shaw was color blind; he couldn’t see the difference between yellow and green. Yellow and green both looked similar to him, and he did not recognize this fact until he was sixty. How could sixty years pass and he couldn’t recognize the fact? And then on his birthday someone presented a suit, a green suit, to him. But the friend had forgotten to send a tie also; the tie was not there. So Bernard Shaw went to purchase a tie, and he purchased a yellow tie – just to match. Bernard Shaw’s secretary said to him, “Why are you purchasing a yellow tie? The whole suit is green.” Bernard said, “This is green. What! – is this yellow? What do you mean by yellow?” Then for the first time he became aware that he could not see yellow. He had been always been seeing yellow and green as green; both were green for him. Blind spots in the eyes . . .

Whatsoever we know is a personal knowledge.

The Eastern attitude has always been this: that all knowledge is subjective. Not only that, but all statements are also personal. That means many things; the implication is very deep. It means that a statement made is always made to someone. It is not a pure statement made in the vacuum.

This sutra says that shruti, the scripture, the word for the knower has two planes of expression: one for the ignorant, and one for the non-ignorant. One for those who are deep in their ignorance, unaware of their inner center – the scripture speaks to them in a different language. To the knower the scripture speaks in a different language.

We have two words and two traditions of scripture. One is veda, another is vedant. The word “vedant” is very beautiful. This Upanishad belongs to vedant. Vedant means the end of the veda; vedant means beyond veda. Vedant is the statement for the knower; veda is the statement for the ignorant. Veda speaks the same truth, but for the ignorant; vedant speaks the same truth but for the knower. But then their statements become quite contrary.

For example, for a knower of oneself, one who has realized his own self, there is no body, there is no matter, there is no world, because then everything becomes just consciousness, manifestations of consciousness. Now, even physicists say there is no matter, only energy.

Just fifty years ago physics could not even conceive that there is only energy, no matter. Now there is no matter, because the more physicists penetrated into matter, the more they came nearer and nearer to energy. Now matter is completely non-existential. For science now there is no matter; science has penetrated into the immaterial energy. Now they say it is energy, and if you look and see matter, it is an illusion. It is just energy moving at such a great speed that the appearance of solidity is created. Your Earth that you are sitting on, the trees all around it, the stones, the rocks – there is nothing like matter. The rock is not matter, but just electrons moving at such a great speed. Because of their speed the rock appears to be solid. The speed is such, so great, that a solidity appears; it is not there. Just energy moving at fast speed creates matter, the appearance of matter.

Really, the language of modern physics is nearer vedant than anything. The modern physicists like Planck or Einstein or others are now talking in terms of vedant. Shankara says that the world is illusory, that it only appears to be. Now Einstein says that matter is illusory – it only appears to be. It only appears; it is false; it is in our eyes, not in reality there.

Vedant penetrated even more. Vedant says there is no energy even, only consciousness. These are the three layers: Matter, the first appearance of things. Penetrate, go deep, and you enter a second layer which is energy; matter disappears into energy, vibrant energy, vibrations, but there is nothing material, nothing substantial in it. Enter more deeply, and you reach the third layer. Then energy also disappears, and only consciousness remains.

In your body also these are the three layers. The first layer is your physical body; the second layer, your mental body, which is energy; and the third layer is your self, which is consciousness.

Everywhere these are the three layers. But when you enter a deeper layer, the first layer disappears, because then it is nothing but a manifestation. Physics says matter is nothing but energy moving, dynamic energy. Vedant says energy in nothing but consciousness moving, dynamic consciousness. It is possible that any day now even science may drop from the energy layer and may come to encounter the consciousness layer. Fifty years ago, science couldn’t conceive that matter is just an illusion. Fifty years on, it may be possible even for science to say that energy is nothing but pure consciousness condensed, moving fast.

If consciousness is reached, the whole world becomes just a manifestation of it. This is what is meant by the world being illusory, the body being illusory; everything is illusory except pure consciousness. That pure consciousness is known and named as brahman. That’s the basic reality, but to the ignorant this cannot be said directly. The ignorant person believes in matter; he lives on the first layer. He doesn’t know anything beyond it, and because he is unaware of anything beyond it, the language of the beyond will be meaningless, absurd.

So for the ignorant the scriptures speak in a different language. They say that the body is true, the body is real, the world is true, the world is real, but you are not the body. This is the way they detach you from the body, how they allow you to move away from the body, how they destroy your identification with the body. And when that identification is destroyed, suddenly you yourself will become aware that there is no body. It existed only in the attachment; it existed only through identification. When your identification is broken, you yourself will come to know there is no body.

There is a beautiful story about Rinzai. He used to say, “There has never been a Buddha. This Shakyamuni, Gautam Siddharth is just a false story.” And he was a follower of Buddha, and he would worship in front of Buddha’s statue every day in the morning, and would weep and dance. And after that, when he would speak; he would say, “There has been no Buddha. This Shakyamuni, Gautam Siddharth is just a false story.”

So one day someone said to Rinzai, “You go on worshiping Buddha, and you go on saying that this Gautam Buddha, Shakyamuni is just a false story. How do you reconcile these two contradictory things? You appear absurd, irrational.”

So Rinzai said, “I believed in Shakyamuni – Shakyamuni, Gautam Buddha – I believed in him, that he was born; then he lived on this Earth for eighty years, then he achieved realization, then he talked. I believed, but that belief was the belief of an ignorant one. Then by and by I followed this man who has never been here. By and by I began to love this man, and became a shadow of him. Then I came to realize that the body of Rinzai is just an illusion – my body is an illusion. Then the deeper I went; I realized my mind is an illusion. Then I came to know the inner-most center of my being. The day I realized myself, my body, my mind – both became appearances. Now I know this Shakyamuni was never born, because now I know that this Rinzai was never born! Because how can a body be born which is not there – just an appearance. Now I realize that this mind of Rinzai was never born. So how can the mind of Gautam Buddha be born? This man has never been.”

The unborn center once known, the undying center once known, the whole interpretation of existence changes. But the man insisted. The questioner said, “Then why go on worshiping? I have seen you this very morning in a prayerful mood before this statue of Buddha, and you say this man was never born. So how can you make a statue of a man who was never born? Why do you go on thanking him?”

Rinzai is reported to have said, “I go on thanking him, because following him I could realize this non-dying, this deathless, this unborn consciousness. I followed him, I became a shadow to him. Only then could I realize this fact, so I am grateful to him – to him who was never born, who has never been.” But these are words for knowers.

If you say to someone that Buddha was never born, then he cannot conceive why to worship him, why to thank him. Then he cannot conceive, then everything becomes inconceivable for him, irrational.

So the Upanishads speak in two languages. They say the body is there, the world is there, you are in it, so find out who you are in your body. When you have found it, the body will disappear, then the world will disappear. That doesn’t mean that these rocks will not be there. They will be there, but then you will not see any solidity in them. That doesn’t mean that those rocks will not be there, but that you will not be able to see that those rocks are dead. They will become alive; not only alive, you will feel those rocks have a consciousness of their own. Then this whole world becomes a manifestation of consciousness, a manifestation of brahman. The world disappears as it is, but a new world arises, the world of consciousness. The world of matter becomes illusory; the world of consciousness becomes real. Why?

When you are attached to your body, you feel the world as material. When you move away from your body, centered in your consciousness, the whole world becomes consciousness. What you know about your world is really your knowledge about yourself, it is just a subjective reflection. If you think that you are a body, the world is material. If you know you are not a body, just consciousness, the world becomes consciousness.

The world is just an interpretation of your own state of mind.

Move in, and the outer layers disappear. Be rooted in your being, and this sutra says you become a siddha. A siddha means that they function as one.

Thus you enjoy most blissfully the undifferentiated self which you have known by our own experience as indivisible; thus be a siddha, a fulfilled one.

Move in, reach the third layer of consciousness. Move away from body-matter, move away from energy-mind. Go deep to the ultimate core, to the last point of your existence, the center, consciousness. You are a siddha. Why? Why a fulfilled one? – because then no desire arises, because then no suffering is possible, because then you are constantly merged into bliss, because then nothing is to be achieved.

You have achieved all that without which there is desire. You have achieved that one through which everything is achieved. One becomes fulfilled, one becomes a siddha.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #50

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

The Jivanmukta Lives in this Silence – Osho

One who does not ever discriminate through intellect between the individual self and the supreme self on the one hand, and between the supreme and the universe on the other, is called a jivanmukta.

One who treats equally both the noble person who does him honor and the ignoble who offends him is called a jivanmukta.

The world does not remain the same as before for one who has known the supreme; therefore, if one sees the world as the same, he should be taken for one who has not attained the knowledge, and who is still extrovert.

So far as the experience of happiness, sorrow, et cetera, is concerned, it is assumed to be due to prabdhakarma – that is the predestined cause-effect chain – because every effect flows from the cause of action. There is no effect anyway without the cause. As upon waking, the effect of dreaming ends, so also upon the attainment of knowledge that “I am the supreme,” the accumulated karmas, conditionings of millions of births, become extinct.

-Adhyatma Upanishad

One who does not ever discriminate through intellect between the individual self and the supreme self, and between the supreme and the universe, is called a jivanmukta.

Some more qualities of a jivanmukta; something more about the state of mind of a jivanmukta, of the state of consciousness.

The first: there is no division. He sees the whole world as an organic unity, there is no division. Things are not divided; the whole universe is one. He sees the unity. The diversity is there, but the diversity is just on the surface; a jivanmukta sees the unity behind it. Every diversity is just a hidden unity. Why? Why do we divide? – and a jivanmukta never divides.

It is because of the intellect, the medium of intellect. If you look through the intellect, everything is divided immediately. Intellect is the instrument to divide, to analyze. For example, you see light, you see darkness, you see birth, you see death. Birth and death in existence are one; birth is death, two poles of one process. If you are born you are on the journey to die. The whole of your life is nothing but a gradual process of dying. But the mind divides; mind says birth is good, death is bad. Mind says life is good, death is bad. But death is part of life, life is part of death – they cannot be divided.

Have you ever seen anything alive which is not also dying simultaneously? A flower has come up, has opened its petals. This opening of the petals – can you see it as a process of death? The flower is alive, young, but it is dying already. The evening will come and the petals will wither away. And the withering of petals is really nothing but the conclusion; in the morning the process began, the petals opened. The very opening in the morning will become withering in the evening; the petals will wither away.

So where do you divide? Where is the line where you can say that the flower was alive, and when the flower started to die? Is there any distinction? Can we mark a boundary that up to this point the flower was alive, in the process of more and more life, and from this point the flower started to die? No, there is no possibility of division.

Birth and death is a continuous process. One pole is birth, another pole is death. But mind, intellect, thinking, divides. Mind says birth is good, celebrate it; death is bad, weep over it. And the same goes on; the whole of life becomes a division between things which are not divided. Because of this division we live in a false world, a mind-created world. You say this is love and this is hate, and this is religion and that is irreligion, and this is sin and that is virtue – all divisions, on all layers, on all planes, are through the mind.

Put aside the mind and look at life, and then everything is one: then life and death are one, then darkness and light are one, then love and hate are one.

A jivanmukta never divides because a jivanmukta looks at life without the mind coming in, interfering. Can you look without the mind, even for a single moment? Try it. It is one of the most arduous things, but if possible, the most beautiful. Look at a flower and don’t allow the mind to come in between you and the flower. But the mind comes immediately – you have not even seen really, and the mind says, “This is a rose – beautiful, red,” and the desire to possess it, to pluck it, arises. The mind starts functioning. The flower is there and the cloud of mind comes in, and you look through the mind. Don’t allow this.

Look at the flower. Don’t let your mind say, “This is a flower. This is a rose.” Just look.

Stop the mind and just look.

Don’t allow the mind. Don’t move, and don’t allow the mind any movement; just look. Become a stare. Let your whole consciousness flow from your eyes, and don’t allow the mind to create any cloud between you and the flower. Then what happens? If you go on trying . . .

This is a meditation – a meditation based on non-verbalization. Don’t verbalize, let the flower be there. Observe it, be a witness to it, but don’t verbalize the experience. Don’t translate it into language. The rose is there – red, alive. Feel it, see it, remain with it. But don’t allow the mind to come in and say something – “This is beautiful,” or something else. It is difficult in the beginning, but if you go on trying, sometimes for seconds there will be no language. The flower will be there in all its beauty, in all its aliveness, youngness, but with no name, with no linguistic concept attached to it. The rose has never known that it is a rose; it is you who have called it a rose.

A rose is a rose without ever being aware of being a rose. The name is given by your mind. The rose is simply a rose without knowing whether it is beautiful or ugly – you have called it so. If there is no mind in the world, the rose will be there but it will not be a rose, it will not be a beautiful flower; it will be just existence flowering with no name attached to it – no verbalization, no language, no valuation. It will flower. It will be just the same, simple existence. If you don’t verbalize you will come to be acquainted with the flower as it is, without human interpretation. And when the mind is not there, for a single moment there is a breakthrough. The rose is there, you are here; and if the mind is not there to divide you, if the mind has dropped, suddenly you become one with the rose.

I don’t mean that you become a rose. It will be very difficult then to become a human being again. I don’t mean that you become a rose. You remain whatsoever you are, and the rose remains whatsoever the rose is – but suddenly there is a communion, a meeting. Your consciousness moves directly, with no hindrance, and the rose also moves, comes nearer. You become close and intimate, and the flower enters you; the doors are open, and you enter the flower. The doors of the flower are always open, there is no mind to close them – but when your doors open, the flower moves in you, and you move in the flower, and there is a constant harmony. The flower contributes, you also contribute, and there is a meeting.

That meeting can become a glimpse into the cosmos, because a flower is not just a flower. It is the whole cosmos grown into a flower, the whole cosmos becomes a flower. You are also not just a human being – the whole cosmos has become consciousness in you; that too is a flowering. And when these two flowerings meet, that meeting is ecstatic, blissful. And through that meeting you for the first time become aware of a non-verbal existence.

Man has created verbalization, man has created language, man has created mental concepts. They all drop, and the whole of existence becomes a deep silence, a no-music.

The jivanmukta lives in this no-music. The jivanmukta lives in this silence. The jivanmukta lives without mind. It seems absurd – how can one live without mind? Then he will go mad . . .

So the last point to be remembered is never think that a madman has no mind. Really, a madman has a very fixed mind, solid. A madman has really more mind than you, that’s why he has gone mad; too much mind has created the whole mess.

A madman and a jivanmukta are poles apart. The madman is too much mind; a jivanmukta is no mind, and we are in between somewhere. And we go on moving – sometimes we reach the madman, sometimes we have the glimpse of a jivanmukta. At any moment you can become mad. In anger you become temporarily mad, in sex you become temporarily mad – any moment you can become a madman, but fortunately you can come back. If you cannot come back, and become fixed in the extreme, you become mad.

So the madman is not without a mind; rather, he is with too much or with many minds – multi-minds. He is a crowd of minds. And a jivanmukta is just the opposite pole: no mind. That doesn’t mean that he cannot think. Really, on the contrary, only a jivanmukta can think; you cannot think. What is the difference? Thoughts go on in you, thinking is an obsession with you. You are not the master. Thoughts go on and on, you cannot stop them. You cannot say, “Don’t come,” you cannot say, “Now I want to relax, no more thoughts.” Whatsoever you say they are not going to listen to you; rather, if you disturb them they become more mad. If you say, “Don’t come,” they come more.

Try with a single thought: try to forget it, and you cannot forget it. Try to stop it, and it will haunt you. It will go on and on, and it will defeat you; you are not the master. You cannot think; just this mad crowd of thoughts, and you think that you think – you cannot think. Only a jivanmukta can think, because thoughts are not his masters. He uses thoughts just like you use your legs. When you want to walk, you use them; when you don’t want to walk, the legs are relaxed, non-moving. But think of a man who says to his legs, “Please, now stop,” and they go on moving! They say, “We cannot stop. Who are you to stop us?” Then we will say that the legs have gone mad. Your mind is like that. You say, “Stop and it never stops. You say, “Think over this,” and it goes on to think of something else. Try, and you will know your mind is not your slave.

So it is better to say that your mind thinks you, not that you think with your mind. Your mind possesses you, it is not you who are in possession of the mind. A jivanmukta uses his mind just like you use your legs: when he wants to, he thinks – and he thinks whatsoever he wants. If he never wants to think he remains quiet, silent; there is no mind inside.

When this mind is not there constantly, you come into contact with brahman, and then you know tat twamasithat art thou Without the mind there is no division; then the self inside becomes the supreme. When there is no division, the self and the supreme are one, one wave of existence.

Your self is nothing but the supreme come down to your body, resting in you – your body has been taken as an abode. Your body is just a host and the supreme has become a guest in you.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #47

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

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