Bring the Dawn, Dispel the Darkness – Osho

When I was a student at a Japanese Buddhist University I heard the word consciousness. Beloved Osho, what does it mean?

Kranti Satbodha, consciousness you already have, but only in a very small proportion. It is just like an iceberg – one tenth is above water and the rest is under water. Just a little bit is conscious in you.

I am saying something and you are listening to it; without consciousness it is not possible. These pillars of Chuang Tzu Auditorium are not listening – they don’t have consciousness. But we are aware only of a very small piece of consciousness.

Meditation is the whole science of bringing more and more consciousness out of darkness. The only way is to be as conscious as possible twenty-four hours a day. Sitting, sit consciously, not like a mechanical robot; walking, walk consciously, alert to each movement; listening, listen more and more consciously, so that each word comes to you in its crystal-clear purity, its definitiveness. While listening, be silent, so that your consciousness is not covered by thoughts.

Just this moment, if you are silent and conscious you can hear small insects singing their song in the trees. The darkness is not empty, the night has its own song; but if you are full of thoughts then you cannot listen to the insects. This is just an example.

If you become more and more silent, you may start listening to your own heartbeat, you may start listening to the flow of your own blood, because blood is continuously flowing all through your body. If you are conscious and silent, more and more clarity, creativity, intelligence, will be discovered.

There are millions of geniuses who die without knowing that they were a genius. There are millions of people who don’t know why they have come, why they lived and why they are going.

It happened . . . George Bernard Shaw was traveling from London to some other place in England. The ticket checker came and Bernard Shaw looked in all his pockets, opened his suitcase – he was perspiring – the ticket was missing.

The ticket checker said, “I know you; everybody knows you, there is no need to be worried. You must have put it somewhere, don’t be so tense”. Bernard Shaw said, “Who is being tense about the ticket?” The ticket checker said, “Then why are you perspiring and looking so nervous?”

He said, “The problem is that now the question arises of where I am going. It was written on the ticket. Now, are you going to tell me where I am going? Who is going to tell me?” The ticket checker said, “How can I tell you where you are going?”

So Bernard Shaw said, “Then you should go and leave me alone. I have to find the ticket. It is a question of life and death. Where am I going? I must be going somewhere, because I have come to the station, purchased the ticket, entered the compartment. So one thing is certain, I must be going somewhere.”

This is the situation most people never come to know – their consciousness is a hidden treasure. One does not know what it contains unless you awaken it, unless you bring it into light, unless you open all the doors and enter into your own being and find every nook and corner. Consciousness in its fullness will give you the idea of who you are, and will also give you the idea of what your destiny is, of where you are supposed to go, of what your capacities are. Are you hiding a poet in your heart, or a singer, or a dancer, or a mystic?

Consciousness is something like light. Right now you are in deep darkness inside. When you close your eyes there is darkness and nothing else.

One of the great philosophers of the West, C.E.M. Joad, was dying, and a friend, who was a disciple of George Gurdjieff, had come to see him. Joad asked the friend, “What do you go on doing with this strange fellow, George Gurdjieff? Why are you wasting your time? And not only you . . . I have heard that many people are wasting their time.”

The friend laughed. He said, “It is strange that those few people who are with Gurdjieff think that the whole world is wasting its time, and you are thinking that we are wasting our time.” Joad said, “I don’t have much longer to live; otherwise, I would have come and compared.”

The friend said, “Even if you have only a few seconds more to live, it can be done here, now.” Joad agreed. The man said, “You close your eyes and just look inside, and then open your eyes and tell me what you find.”

Joad closed his eyes, opened his eyes and said, “There is darkness and nothing else.” The friend laughed and he said, “It is not a time to laugh, because you are almost dying, but I have come at the right time. You said that you saw only darkness inside?” Joad said, “Of course.”

And the man said, “You are such a great philosopher; you have written such beautiful books. Can’t you see the point, that there are two things – you and the darkness? Otherwise, who saw the darkness? Darkness cannot see itself – that much is certain – and darkness cannot report that there is only darkness.” Joad gave it consideration and he said, “My God, perhaps the people who are with Gurdjieff are not wasting their time. This is true, I have seen the darkness.”

The friend said, “Our whole effort is to make this “I,” the witness, stronger and more crystallized, and to change the darkness into light. And both things happen simultaneously. As the witness becomes more and more centered, the darkness becomes less and less. When the witness comes to its full flowering, that is the lotus of consciousness – all darkness disappears.”

Satbodha, we are here in a mystery school, doing nothing else than bringing more and more crystallization to your witness, to your consciousness; so that your inner being, your interiority, becomes a light, so full and overflowing that you can share it with others.

To be in darkness is to be living at the minimum. And to be full of life is to live at the maximum.

– Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Discourse #11

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.

Listen to the Song of Life – Osho

The fourth sutra:

Listen to the song of life.

Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search, I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look deeper again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced – but it is there.

Listen to the song of life. Life is a melody; existence is musical – for so many reasons. Existence is harmony; it is not anarchy. It is not a chaos; it is a cosmos, a unity. So complex, so vast, but still united. And life pulsates – from the lowest atom to the highest star. Wave lengths differ, pulsations are of different frequencies, but the whole pulsates in a deep unity, in a harmony. Plotinus has called this ‘the music of the spheres’. The whole existence is a music. It is musical in another sense also. Yoga, tantra and all the schools that have been working esoterically for the inner journey of human consciousness say that life consists of sound; existence consists of sound.

Science differs, but not very much. Science says that the basic particle is electricity not sound. But science also says that sound is a mode of electricity, a sort of electrical expression – that sound consists of electrical particles.

Yoga says that the basic element, the basic unit of existence, is sound, and electricity is a mode of sound. That’s why we have the myth that, through music, fire can be created. If fire [if electricity] is nothing but a combination of sounds, then fire can be created.

This difference between the scientific attitude and the yoga attitude is worth understanding. Why does science say that sound is nothing but electricity and yoga say that electricity is nothing but sound? Because science approaches existence through matter, and yoga approaches it through life.

The deeper you penetrate within yourself, the more you will find a new world of sound and silence. When you reach to the innermost core of your being, you will find the soundless sound. That’s what Hindus have called nad: anahat nad – sound which is uncreated, which is your very life. It is not created by anything; it is not produced. It is just there. It is cosmic.

Aum is the symbol of that sound. If you go deeply within, when the ultimate core is reached, you hear the sound aum. It is not that you produce it. It is simply there, vibrating. It is the basic element of life.

This sutra says Listen to the song of life. But you cannot listen to it unless you have already heard it within your own heart. Whatsoever you can see must be seen first within your own heart otherwise you cannot see it. You cannot hear it. The basic experience must be the inner. Only then can the outer be experienced.

Whatsoever you know in the outer world is nothing but a reflection or a projection. If you are filled with love, the whole of life appears to be filled with love. If you are sitting with your beloved or with your lover, the whole existence is okay. Nothing is wrong, there is no misery. The whole existence is filled with a deep music, because you are filled with a deep music. There is no discord in you; your heart feels a deep harmony. You are so one with your beloved or your lover or your friend that this oneness spreads all over.

But if you are in deep agony – suffering, sad, depressed – the whole existence seems to be depressed. It is you, not the existence. The existence remains the same, but the climates of your mind change. In one climate the existence appears sad. In another climate the existence seems to be celebrating. It is not; existence is always the same. But you go on changing, and your mind goes on being projected. Existence works as a mirror. You are mirrored in it.

But if you think that whatsoever you have interpreted is the fact and not just a projection, you will fall into deeper and deeper illusions. But if you can understand that it is not a fact but a fiction of the mind – that it depends on you, not on existence itself – then you can change. You can go through a mutation, an inner revolution can happen, because now it is up to you.

The world can be a chaos if you are a chaos. The world can be a cosmos if you are a cosmos. The world can be dead if you are dead inwardly; the world can be alive, abundantly alive, if you are alive within. It depends on you. You are the world. Only you exist really, nothing else. Everything else is just a mirror.

I remember one anecdote.

An emperor, a very powerful emperor, created a palace, a palace of mirrors. All around, all over the palace, there were mirrors. The emperor was a very beautiful person and he was so infatuated with his own beauty that he was never attracted in any way to anyone else. He was a narcissist. He loved only himself and he thought that everyone else was ugly.

Finally, he debarred everyone else from entering his palace. He lived alone there, looking at his own face everywhere in the palace. There were mirrors everywhere, thousands and thousands of reflections of his own face.

But then by and by he got bored, fed up. He started disliking himself. He kept meeting himself the whole day, encountering himself. He became ill; he became sad and depressed. He became so dull that he was almost on the verge of death. He was simply fed up with himself.

Then suddenly he remembered: “This palace is my own creation. I need not be here. There is no one forcing me to be here.”

So he broke one mirrored wall – he threw a chair through it. And for the first time in many years, the sky looked within. It was a full-moon night and the full moon peeped within. A fresh world, a new world, alive. He came in contact with it.

He jumped out of his hellhole, out of the prison. Now he was not dead, not dull, not on the point of death. He started dancing, he started celebrating. He forgot his face completely. And it is said that he never looked in a mirror again.

This is what is happening to each one of us. It is not an anecdote about some unknown emperor. It is about you. You live in a mirrored house. When you look at your wife’s face it is not her real face that you see. It is a projection. It is your own face reflected in your wife’s face. When you look at a flower it is not the flower you are looking at. It is your own mental flower projected onto the real flower that you are looking at.

Everywhere, you move with your own mirrors, your own images. And then, of course, you are bored, you are fed up with the whole thing, and you say, “Life is misery.” You say, “There seems to be no meaning to it.” You say, “It would be better to commit suicide. There seems to be no purpose to life. I’m going nowhere, moving around and around in a circle. It leads nowhere. Every day is the same, the same repetition.” But it is not because of existence; it is because of you.

Throw out those mirrors, break those mirrors. Come out of your palace, come out of your imprisonment, and look at the world not through thoughts, not through moods. Look at the world with a naked eye, listen to it with a naked ear. Don’t allow any mental state to come between you and the world.

This is what I call meditation: looking at the world without the mind. Then everything is new, fresh. Everything is alive, eternally alive; everything is divine. But to come to this point you will have to make deep contact, a deep penetration, into your own heart; because there, life’s juice is awaiting you. You may call it ‘elixir’. It is awaiting you.

This sutra says:

Listen to the song of life.

Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search, I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced – but it is there.

When, for the first time, one tries to enter within, one encounters noise: crowds, thoughts, madness; everything but silence. But don’t be disheartened. Be indifferent to all this noise that you encounter within.

When I say, “Be indifferent,” I mean don’t do anything about it; just be indifferent. Don’t say, “This is bad.” Don’t say, “How can I stop it?” Don’t try to stop it; you cannot. Allow it to flow – just as if clouds are floating in the sky and you are watching them. Or as if traffic is going on in the street and you are watching. Just stand aside and watch the traffic moving on, or stand on the bank and look at the river flowing. Don’t do anything; just stand there. Indifferent, not interested, not in any way involved.

If you can do this – this is what witnessing is. If you can do this, by and by you will penetrate deeper and deeper. Don’t be disheartened, because ultimately, finally, a deep musical source, a deep harmony, a deep rhythmic existence is waiting within you. Penetrate this crowd and you will reach it.

At the very base of your nature, you will find faith, hope and love. He that chooses evil refuses to look within himself, shuts his ears to the melody of his heart, as he blinds his eyes to the light of his soul. He does this because he finds it easier to live in desires. But underneath all life is the strong current that cannot be checked; the great waters are there in reality. Find them . . .

At the very base of your nature, you will find faith, hope and love – these three things. If you can make contact with your inner music, these three things will flower spontaneously within you: faith, hope and love. But these words have very different meanings. They don’t mean the ordinary things we mean by them.

When we say faith what we mean is belief. Belief is not faith. Belief means a forced thing. Doubt is hidden there, but you have wrapped yourself in a belief and pushed the doubt within.

For example, you say, “I believe in God.” What do you mean? Is there really no doubt? Doubt is there. The belief cannot cancel the doubt; it can only hide it. Really, because of the doubt you believe. You are afraid of the doubt. If you don’t believe, if you are doubtful, you will feel inconvenienced. Belief gives you convenience, comfort, solace, consolation. You feel at ease. But the belief is just a mental, intellectual facade. Behind it, the doubt is always lurking.

You will find doubt hidden within every belief. If you say, “I believe strongly,” that means you have very strong doubts behind it. Those who say, “I believe absolutely,” have absolute doubts within them. What is the need of belief? The need is because doubt is there and you feel inconvenienced by it.

That’s why so many people are theists and so few are atheists. But in reality, the world is full of atheists and to find a theist is very difficult; it is impossible. The whole thing is just false. People say that they believe in God because it seems difficult not to believe, inconvenient. Socially, formally, it is not good.

Not that they believe. They doubt, they know they doubt, but they deceive themselves. Their life remains untouched by their beliefs; their religion remains a Sunday religion. Their life is not touched at all. On Sunday they go to church and pray as a social formality, as good manners. Then, out of church, they are the same again. For six days they remain irreligious; for one day they become religious. Is it possible? Six days you remain ugly and one day you become beautiful? Six days you remain bad and one day you become good? Six days you remain evil and suddenly one day you become saintly? Is it possible?

It is impossible. The seventh day must be the false day; the six days are real. The seventh day is just a trick to deceive oneself and others. Belief is false. It is helpful, utilitarian, but untrue. Faith is totally different. Belief means doubt is hidden there; faith means doubt has disappeared. This is the difference.

Faith means the doubt has disappeared. Belief means the doubt is there and you have created a belief against it You doubt whether God exists or not but you say, “I believe,” because your wife is ill and if you don’t believe, who knows? God may be there. Or your job is in danger of being lost. Who knows? God may help. And if you don’t believe, then he will not help. Utilitarian; it has some utility for you. But doubt is there.

Faith means doubt has disappeared. It is the absence of doubt. But it can disappear only when you have known something within; when belief has not been given to you, knowing has arisen in you. When you have come to know, to realize, then faith arises.

And hope. This hope is not that of desire. This hope doesn’t mean hope for the future. It is not in any way concerned with the future. This hope means simply a hopeful attitude about everything. About everything. An optimistic view, a hopeful attitude. Looking at the golden side of things. Whatsoever happens you remain hopeful; you are not depressed.

Depression comes only if you look at the wrong side of things. Everything has two sides: the wrong side and the right side. You can look at the wrong side and then you will be depressed, or you can look at the right side, the golden side, and you will be happy. So, it depends.

The person who is hopeless always looks at what is wrong. The first thing he tries to find is what is wrong. If I tell him, “This man is a beautiful flute player,” he will first look at him and say, “No, I cannot believe that he can play the flute because he is a thief.” What is the concern? A man can be a thief and a good flute player. But he will deny the possibility. He will say, “No, he cannot be. He is a thief, a well-known thief. How can he be a good flute player?”

This is the hopeless mind. With a mind which is filled with hope, if I say, “This man is a thief,” he will say, “But how can he be a thief? He is such a good flute player?”

How do you look at things? With hope or with hopelessness? Ordinarily, unless you have touched the inner music, you will look at the world with a hopeless attitude. Then everything is wrong and whatsoever is done is wrong. And from everywhere, you will derive misery. You will become an expert at being miserable. Anything will help you to be miserable, anything.

When you touch this inner silence, this inner music, you become hopeful; you become hope. Whatever is, you see. You always touch the innermost core of it, the heart of it. And then, there is no depression.

And love. Ordinarily, love is a relationship. But when you touch the innermost being, love becomes your state not a relationship. It is not between you and someone else. Now it is that you have become love, you have become loving. It is not a relationship. Even if you are alone, sitting under a tree, you will be loving. Lonely, alone, with no one there, you will be loving.

It is just like a lonely flower that grows on an unknown path. No one passes there, but the flower goes on spreading its perfume. It is its state. It is not that when some king passes the flower will give its perfume. It is not that if some beggar passes the flower will not give its perfume. If a beggar passes, the flower gives its perfume. If a king passes, the flower gives its perfume. If no one passes, then too the flower goes on spreading its perfume. The perfume is the flower’s very state of being. It is not a relationship.

Our love is a relationship. And when love is a relationship, it creates misery. When love is a state of being, it creates bliss.

A Buddha is also in love, but he is not trying to love you. Simply because of the way he is, love spreads. Love becomes a perfume and goes to the far corners of the earth.

These three qualities will evolve: faith, hope and love. And if these three are there, you don’t need anything else. These three will lead you to the ultimate peak of life and existence.

. . . know that it is certainly within yourself. Look for it there, and once having heard it you will more readily recognize it around you.

If you can feel your inner music, inner truth, inner faith, inner love, inner hope, you will start recognizing it around you. The whole universe will change for you because you have changed. And whatsoever you feel within, now will be felt all around.

The world remains the same; but when you change, everything changes. With you, your universe becomes different. If you are rooted in the divine, the whole existence is rooted in the divine. If you are rooted in evil, the whole universe is a hell. It depends on you. It is you, magnified.

-Osho

From The New Alchemy to Turn You On, Discourse #11

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.

Obeying the Warrior Within – Osho

These are the sutras achieved by ultimate wisdom. They are deep and sometimes very complex, even contradictory, but they are the ultimate flowering of wisdom.

When a Buddha becomes a Buddha or a Christ becomes a Christ, these sutras are revealed. If you can understand them, even understanding will transform you. If you can feel the reality hidden in them, you will be a different man altogether. So try to understand them very deeply.

The first sutra:

Stand aside in the coming battle, and though thou fightest be not thou the warrior.

He is thyself, yet thou art but finite and liable to error. He is eternal and is sure. He is eternal truth. When once he has entered thee and become thy warrior, he will never utterly desert thee, and at the day of the great peace he will become one with thee.

Stand aside in the coming battle, and though thou fightest be not thou the warrior. We are in a constant fight with ourselves. The struggle continues night and day. The whole life is a battlefield, but you reach nowhere. You are neither defeated totally nor are you victorious. The struggle continues, and life energy is dissipated unnecessarily. You just waste yourself and your existence. What is the cause? Why are you never victorious? Why does the struggle never end?

You fight with sex, you fight with anger, you fight with greed. You fight with everything, but you still remain in the grip of those things you are fighting. The more you fight sex, the more you are in its grip and the more you feel you have to fight more. It is a vicious circle. You fight more and then sex becomes more attractive; sex becomes more magnetic. You take many decisions not to be angry, but every decision is a failure. And the total result is this: that in the end you feel you are guilty, inferior; in the end you feel that you are not capable of doing anything, you feel an inner defeat.

This has happened to the whole of humanity. Humanity is so sad now not because of anything else that has happened in this age but only because so many ages of religious fight, so many centuries of continuous religious struggle, have proven to the human mind that nothing can be achieved. The human mind feels a deep failure. This creates sadness and depression.

Hope has become hopeless. There seems to be no way out of it. You can struggle, but everything is futile, a wastage; no one achieves anything. This has happened not because the human mind is not capable of victory. This has happened because the base of the struggle is wrong, the whole effort of the struggle is wrong. Why? Because you are fighting with yourself. How can you win?

If I create a conflict between my two hands, left and right, I can go on fighting but there will be no victory and no defeat, because both hands belong to me. The urge for sex belongs to me and the urge to go beyond sex also belongs to me; they are both my hands. I can go on fighting, I can go on changing from one to the other – sometimes siding with the right hand, sometimes with the left – but nothing is going to happen because I am within both. How can there be defeat or victory? For defeat and victory at least two are needed and I am alone, fighting with myself. This whole fight is a shadow fight, nonsense.

Then what to do? This sutra gives you the key: Stand aside in the coming battle and though thou fightest be not thou the warrior. Stand aside. Be a witness.

Remember this word ‘witness’. This is one of the key words in the search for spirituality. If you can understand this word and practice it, you don’t need anything else. Even this one key will open all the doors of paradise. This is a master key. Any lock can be opened by it. What does it mean to stand aside?

When sex arises in you, you get identified with it. Then, when you have moved through the sex act, depression sets in, because you hoped so much and nothing has happened. You longed too much, you expected too much, and nothing has happened. The whole thing has just been a fraud. You feel betrayed, deceived. Then repentance sets in and you start thinking in anti-sex terms. You start thinking how to be brahmacharya, how to be a celibate. You think in terms of how to be a monk; you go against sex. Then you get identified with that ‘anti’ attitude.

Witnessing means that when sex arises, stand aside and look at it. Don’t get identified. Don’t say, “I have become sex.” Say, “Sexual desire has arisen in me. Now I must observe it.” Don’t be for it and don’t be against it. Remain quiet and calm – just an observer.

That doesn’t mean to suppress it, because suppression will not allow you to know what it is. Don’t suppress it. Suppression means that you are identified with the ‘anti’ attitude. Remember this: if you suppress, you are identified with the ’anti’ attitude. Don’t suppress, don’t get identified. Allow it to happen. Don’t be afraid; just wait and watch.

Move in the sex act but with a watchful eye, knowing well what is happening and allowing it to happen. Not disturbing it, not suppressing it – allowing it to become manifest in its totality, but standing aside as if you are watching someone else.

The act will move to its peak. Go with it, but always standing by the side. Know whatsoever is happening in detail. Be alert; don’t lose awareness. Then, from the peak, you will start falling down and the ‘anti’ attitude will set in. Be alert again. Don’t get identified with the ’anti’ attitude. Look at what is happening: the wave has gone up to a peak; now the wave is falling down. Sex is the wave arising. brahmacharya, the ‘anti’ attitude toward sex, is the wave falling down.

Be aware, be alert. Don’t be for or against; don’t condemn; don’t make any judgement. Don’t be a judge; just be a witness. Don’t say, “This is good. That is bad.” Don’t say anything. Just be alert and watch what is happening. Be true to the facts; don’t give any interpretation. That’s what witnessing means.

If you can be a witness to sex, and to the anti-sex attitude, you will come to a great understanding. That understanding will tell you that sex and anti-sex are two poles of one wave. They are not really opposite to one another. They are just the rising and falling down of the same wave. They are one, so there is nothing to choose. If you choose one you have already chosen the other, because it is part of it, the hidden part of it. If you choose one you have already chosen the other because the other cannot be separated from it. They are one, so there is no choice. Then, choicelessness happens to you.

That choicelessness is the path of victory. Now you don’t choose; there is nothing to choose. And a miracle happens: when you don’t choose, both fall down. Sex and brahmacharya both disappear and for the first time you are not in their clutches, for the first time you are not in the hold of the opposites.

Witnessing is the beginning, and witnessing is the end. The first step and the last step are one. Witnessing is the means and witnessing is the goal. Then the fight goes on, but you are not the warrior. Now the fighting is on a different level. What is that level?

Now, sex and anti-sex are both present to you simultaneously. This simultaneous presence of the opposites is the fight. They fight with each other, and you remain a witness. Because they are opposites, anti-poles, they destroy each other completely and both disappear. They are of the same strength and the same energy. They cut each other, they negate each other.

This is the fight. But you are not the warrior; you are just a witness. You are just looking from without: a watcher on the hills. Down in the valley the fight will go on, but now you are just a watcher on the tower. You just look down and you know they are fighting; the opposites are fighting. But they negate each other, because they are of the same strength.

Remember this: only a very deeply sexual person can become a brahmacharya. Much sexual desire can be converted into brahmacharya. If you are just ordinarily sexual you cannot become a brahmacharya because to become a brahmacharya much energy is needed. And the opposite energies are always equivalent, so only very deeply sexual persons become brahmacharyas. Ordinary persons, with ordinary, natural sex, never move to that extreme. They cannot. The energy to move comes from sex. Opposite energies are equivalent.

You need not fight; you need not take part from this side or that side. That is the way of defeat. Just remain aside, get out of the circle – be a witness.

It is difficult, because the mind wants to choose; the mind always chooses. Mind is the chooser because, without choosing, there will be no mind; you will fall out of the mind. That’s why it is so difficult not to choose.

Even what I am saying . . . Many of you may choose to follow what I am saying, but you will choose to do so for a reason. People come to me and when I say, “Be a witness,” they immediately ask, “If I become a witness will sexuality disappear?” Then they cannot become a witness because they have already chosen. They ask, “Will sexuality disappear if I become a witness?” They are even ready to become a witness if sexuality will disappear!

But they have made a choice. They have decided that sexuality is bad and brahmacharya is good. They ask me, “If I become a witness will I become brahmacharya, will I become celibate?” They are missing the whole point. I am saying, “Don’t choose,” and they have already chosen. They want to use witnessing as an instrument for their choice. But you cannot use witnessing that way.

One man came to me. He was a seeker, a serious seeker. But stupid. There are many stupid seekers: serious. And when I say stupid I mean this: they can’t understand what they are doing.

The man was suffering from sex. Everyone is suffering because of sex. The suffering has gone so deep that you don’t only suffer because of your own sexuality; you suffer because of others’ sexuality also. This seems to be madness. You suffer because of your own sexuality and you suffer because of others’ sexuality also, because of what others are doing.

Enough misery can be created by your own sexuality. Why be concerned with others? But that misery doesn’t seem to be enough for you so you go on collecting what others are doing: who is doing wrong and who is being good. Who are you to decide? From where have you been given the right? Who are you to become a policeman?

The man who came to see me was a policeman. He was suffering because of what everyone else was doing. But I told him, “Don’t be worried about others. The real problem must be within you. You have not yet come to terms with your sexuality, that is the problem. Why suffer because of others? Why create other problems? Just to escape from your own problems? Just to be occupied? Who has appointed you to be a policeman? Why waste your life? You must be deeply sex-obsessed; that’s why you are concerned with others.”

So he said, “You have touched the right wound. I am now sixty-five, and I am still suffering. As I become older, I suffer more. It seems that sexuality is growing with my age. The energy is less, but the sexuality is more. As death is coming near, I feel to be more and more sexual. My whole mind, for twenty-four hours, is obsessed with sex.”

I told him, “You have been fighting sex continuously.” He is a great seeker. He has remained with so many saints, so many gurus. I told him, “They have destroyed you. You have reached nowhere. Whatsoever you have been doing is wrong. Now, don’t fight sex anymore.”

The man became afraid. He said, “I have been fighting sex. And this is the reason: even with fighting I am so sexual. Now you say, ‘Don’t fight it!’ Then I will become completely mad.”

So I told him, “You have tried fighting. Now try the other. You have reached nowhere. Now, don’t fight!”

“Then what,” he asked, “am I supposed to do?”

I told him, “Be a witness.”

He asked, “Will sexuality disappear then?”

I told him, “If you become a witness with a partisan view – for brahmacharya, against sex – you cannot become a witness. And if you cannot become a witness, sexuality cannot disappear. Become a witness. Sexuality will disappear, but remember, brahmacharya will also disappear with it.” There is no need of brahmacharya when sexuality disappears. It is part of the same game. When the disease has disappeared, what is the use of the medicine? You will throw the medicine with the disease. So I told him, “Brahmacharya will also disappear. But remember not to choose.”

He said, “I will try.”

After three months – I told him to come back after three months – he came and he said, “But sex has not yet disappeared.” This is what I call stupidity. “Sex has not yet disappeared, and I have been practicing witnessing for three months.”

The unconscious choice remains: sex must disappear. Then you cannot be a witness. Witnessing means no choice, choiceless awareness. This is one of the most fundamental keys for all the diseases of the human mind. If you can become a witness, the opposites fight against each other, kill each other, and both are dead, both disappear. But if you choose one thing over the other, you cannot be a witness.

The second sutra:

Look for the warrior and let him fight in thee.

. . . Look for him, else in the fever and hurry of the fight thou mayest pass him; and he will not know thee unless thou knowest him. If thy cry meets his listening ear, then will he fight in thee and fill the dull void within.

Look for the warrior and let him fight in thee. Don’t be the warrior; there is no need. The warrior is this phenomenon: presenting to your consciousness both of the opposites simultaneously.

Ordinarily, only one is present. When sex is present? you are not thinking of brahmacharya. When brahmacharya is present, you are not thinking of sex. One is present and the other is hidden. This is the misery.

Bring out the other simultaneously and this will become the warrior for you. Bring them out simultaneously. When you are filled with anger, bring in repentance immediately. You always repent – but later on. When you are angry, you are angry. When the anger has done its devastation, then repentance comes in and you start taking oaths that you are not going to be angry again. But the anger and the repentance never meet. Allow the opposites to meet. They will negate each other.

If you go on moving from one opposite to another, you will never be victorious. You have wasted many lives like this, and you can waste infinite lives. But this is the secret: bring the opposites out simultaneously; allow them to be present before you simultaneously. Don’t follow one. If you follow one, the other is waiting for you. When you are bored, when you get fed up with one, the other will catch hold of you.

If the opposites cannot meet, they cannot negate each other. You need not do anything. This is the miracle; this is the inner chemistry. Bring the opposites together and just watch them. They will fight; allow them to fight. You need not get involved in it; just remain by the side. They will disappear together. Once they are present together, they will not persist; both will disappear.

So a Mahavir is not a brahmachari. Sex and brahmacharya have both disappeared. He is just innocent; he’s just like a child. A Buddha has not become nonangry; anger and non-anger both have disappeared. He is innocent; both are not there. A Krishna is neither a sansari nor a sannyasi; he neither belongs to the world nor belongs to the other anti-world of renunciation. Both have disappeared; he is innocent. The perfection, the wholeness of consciousness, is in innocence.

And when I use the word ‘innocence’ I mean absence of the opposites. Absence of the opposites is the purity. If you have chosen one, you are not pure. The other is hidden in the unconscious; both are there.

Both will be there if one is there. The other cannot be separated; it can only be hidden. And if the one is not there, the other cannot be there. Both will disappear; the whole field of opposites disappears. Then you are innocent. That innocence is liberation, that innocence is divine, that innocence is nirvana.

The third sutra:

Take his orders for battle and obey them.

Obey him not as though he were a general but as though he were thyself, and his spoken words were the utterance of thy secret desires, for he is thyself, yet infinitely wiser and stronger than thyself.

Find out the witness and then obey him. First find the witness and then obey him, because to find the witness means to find one’s own innermost core.

We live on two layers, two levels. One is the periphery: the world of action. The other is the inner being, the world of no-action: the world of existence, not of doing.

All that we do is on the periphery and all that we are is at the center. We have to continuously move from the center to the periphery to do some thing. Whenever you are doing something, you are on the periphery. Whatsoever you are doing, you are on the periphery. When you are non-doing, not doing anything, then you are at the center.

Witnessing is a non-act. Meditation is a non-act.

We are doing meditation here. For thirty minutes you are on the periphery doing something: breathing, catharsis, the hoo mantra. You are doing something; you are on the periphery. When I suddenly say, “Stop!” I mean: now be in the non-act, in non-doing. When you suddenly stop you are thrown from the periphery to the being, to the innermost center, because when you are not doing anything, you are not needed on the periphery. You need to be on the periphery only while you are doing something. Now you are thrown back to your center. That center is your witness.

Once you know this center, once you recognize this center, once you have felt this center – follow the orders. You will be directed; you have found your master. Now follow whatsoever is said to you from the center and don’t listen to the periphery. The periphery is cultivated by others and your center is untouched, virgin; it is from the divine.

The periphery comes from the society. That’s why we say that a sannyasin goes beyond society. Not against society, beyond society. Now he follows his own innermost center; he’s not following anyone else. All orders from others are meaningless now.

You have found your own inner being, and now that being can direct you. That being is infinitely stronger and wiser than thyself. The ‘you’ on the periphery is a weakling; the ‘you’ at the center is infinitely potent. The ‘you’ on the periphery is just a worldly thing; the ’you’ at the center is God himself.

But first find out:

Jesus has said, “First seek ye the kingdom of God. Then all else will follow.” Don’t bother about other things. First find out the innermost core of the kingdom of God. Then you need not worry about anything; all else will follow.

Just follow the inner voice. But how? You don’t know what the inner voice is, you don’t know what the inner is. Society has confused you deeply. It goes on saying that its own voice is your inner voice. The society has placed many voices in you just to control you from within.

It is a social need. Society controls you in two ways. One, by outer arrangements: the policeman on the street, the court, the judge, the law, the government. This is the outer arrangement, but it is not enough. You can deceive the law, you can manipulate the court. And the policeman, of course, is just another human being. So that arrangement is not enough. You can do whatsoever you like and you can play tricks with the law; you can find loopholes because human-made laws can be violated by other humans very easily. All that is needed is more intelligence, more intelligence than the law makers. Then you can deceive it. So society cannot rely on the outer law because there are intelligent people, more intelligent that law-makers. They will find loopholes, and they will be illegal in a legal way, and you cannot do anything. And the more laws you create, the more loopholes.

Then society tries another way – and that is a more effective thing. It creates a conscience in you: the inner policeman, the inner court. It gives you a feeling “This is wrong” – and from the very childhood it goes on reinforcing it: “This is wrong. Don’t do this. Don’t be a thief. Don’t deceive your wife. Don’t love another’s wife,” it goes on saying.

This becomes an inner conditioning, so whenever you feel an attraction toward another’s wife, the inner voice . . . This is not the inner voice. This is society’s voice playing within you. The voice comes: “This is wrong, this is a sin!” and you start trembling. This is the social trick: the policeman outside and the policeman within.

I am not saying to and love someone’s wife – I am not saying that. I am simply saying that this is a social mechanism, a social device to make you a slave through yourself. And it is more successful, remember. It is more successful.

Today’s world has become less moral because this “inner voice” is not so strong; society has become incapable of reinforcing it. The outer law is greater, more complex, but the inner law has weakened for many reasons: when people, societies lived aloof and along it was easy to create the inner conscience. Now, the whole earth has become a village, with many societies, many inner voices conflicting. Now no one can rely on . . . Every child knows that whatsoever you say is “good” in India is “bad” in Pakistan.

What is good for a Hindu may not be good for a Jain. No matter what you say is true, the contradictory is also true somewhere; it is not absolute. Now we have become aware of the whole complexity of the human conscience, we know that your conscience is just a social product.

So many societies exist together that the hold has become weak. Human societies are less moralistic now because the inner policeman is dead, almost dead. You know that what it says means nothing: don’t bother about it. Just observe the outer law . . . and try to find a way around it. What I’m saying is that the voice of the inner policeman is not your voice. Find out the witness. Only then will you find out the inner voice.

The inner voice will direct you. Its directions will be absolutely different from what society says – absolutely different. But for the first time you will become religious, not simply moral. You will be moral in a much deeper sense.

Morality will not be a duty; it will not be something imposed upon you. It will not be a burden; it will be spontaneous. You will be good, naturally good. You will not become a thief – not because society says, “Don’t be a thief,” but because you cannot be. You will not kill because it is impossible. You love life so much now that violence becomes impossible. It is not a moral code; it is an inner direction.

You affirm life, you revere life. A deep reverence comes to you, and through that reverence everything follows. That is what Jesus says. “Find out the kingdom of God first, and then everything will follow.”

Find the inner voice, and then everything will follow.

-Osho

From The New Alchemy: to Turn You On, Discourse #10

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.

Start Watching Thoughts – Osho

How can I tell the difference between one part of the mind observing another part of the mind, and the watcher? Can the watcher watch itself? One time I thought I had got it and then the same day I heard you say in a discourse, “If you think you’ve got the watcher, you’ve missed.” Since then, I try watching feelings in the body, thoughts, and emotions. Mostly, I’m just caught in them. But, once in a while, rarely, I feel tremendously relaxed and nothing stays – It just keeps moving is there anything to do?

Deva Waduda, one has to start watching the body – walking, sitting, going to bed, eating. One should start from the most solid, because it is easier, and then one should move to subtler experiences. One should start watching thoughts, and when one becomes an expert in watching thoughts, then one should start watching feelings. After you feel that you can watch your feelings, then you should start watching your moods, which are even more subtle than your feelings, and more vague.

The miracle of watching is that as you are watching the body, your watcher is becoming stronger; as you are watching the thoughts, your watcher is becoming stronger; as you are watching the feelings, the watcher is becoming even more strong. When you are watching your moods the watcher is so strong that it can remain itself – watching itself – just as a candle in the dark night not only lights everything around it, it also lights itself.

To find the watcher in its purity is the greatest achievement in spirituality, because the watcher in you is your very soul; the watcher in you is your immortality. But never for a single moment think, “I have got it,” because that is the moment when you miss. Watching is an eternal process; you always go on becoming deeper and deeper, but you never come to the end where you can say “I have got it.” In fact, the deeper you go, the more you become aware that you have entered into a process which is eternal – without any beginning and without any end.

But people are watching only others; they never bother to watch themselves. Everybody is watching – that is the most superficial watching – what the other person is doing, what the other person is wearing, how he looks . . . Everybody is watching; watching is not something new to be introduced in your life. It has only to be deepened, taken away from others, and arrowed towards your own inner feelings, thoughts, moods – and finally, the watcher itself.

A Jew is sitting in a train opposite a priest. “Tell me, your worship,” the Jew asks, “why do you wear your collar back to front?”

“Because I am a father,” answers the priest.

“I am also a father, and I don’t wear my collar like that,” says the Jew. “Oh,” says the priest, “but I am a father to thousands.”

“Then maybe,” replies the Jew, “it is your trousers you should wear back to front.”

People are very watchful about everybody else.

Two Polacks went out for a walk; suddenly it began to rain. “Quick,” said one man, “open your umbrella.”

“It won’t help,” said his friend, “my umbrella is full of holes.”

“Then why did you bring it in the first place?”

“I did not think it would rain.”

You can laugh very easily about the ridiculous acts of other people, but have you ever laughed about yourself? Have you ever caught yourself doing something ridiculous? No, you keep yourself completely unwatched; your whole watching is about others, and that is not of any help.

Use this energy of watchfulness for a transformation of your being. It can bring you so much bliss and so much benediction that you cannot even dream about it. A simple process, but once you start using it on yourself it becomes a meditation. One can make meditations out of anything.

Anything that leads you to yourself is meditation. And it is immensely significant to find your own meditation, because in the very finding you will find great joy. And because it is your own finding – not some ritual imposed upon you – you will love to go deeper into it. The deeper you go into it, the happier you will feel – peaceful, more silent, more together, more dignified, more graceful.

You all know watching, so there is no question of learning it. It is just a question of changing the object of watching. Bring them closer.

Watch your body, and you will be surprised. I can move my hand without watching, and I can move my hand with watching. You will not see the difference, but I can feel the difference. When I move it with watchfulness, there is a grace and beauty in it, a peacefulness, and a silence. You can walk, watching each step; it will give you all the benefit that walking can give you as an exercise, plus it will give you the benefit of a great simple meditation.

The temple in Bodhgaya where Gautam Buddha became enlightened has been made in memory of two things . . . one is a Bodhi tree under which he used to sit. Just by the side of the tree there are small stones for a slow walk. He was meditating, sitting, and when he would feel that sitting had been too much – a little exercise was needed for the body – he would walk on those stones. That was his walking meditation.

When I was in Bodhgaya, having a meditation camp there, I went to the temple. I saw Buddhist lamas from Tibet, from Japan, from China. They were all paying their respect to the tree, and I saw not a single one paying his respect to those stones on which Buddha had walked miles and miles. I told them, “This is not right. You should not forget those stones. They have been touched by Gautam Buddha’s feet millions of times. But I know why you are not paying any attention to them, because you have forgotten completely that Buddha was emphasizing that you should watch every act of your body: walking, sitting, lying down.”

You should not let a single moment go by unconsciously. Watchfulness will sharpen your consciousness. This is the essential religion – all else is simply talk. But Waduda, you ask me, “Is there something more?” No, if you can do only watchfulness, nothing else is needed.

My effort here is to make religion as simple as possible. All the religions have done just the opposite: they have made things very complex – so complex that people have never tried them. For example, in the Buddhist scriptures there are thirty-three thousand principles to be followed by a Buddhist monk; even to remember them is impossible. Just the very number thirty-three thousand is enough to freak you out: “I am finished! My whole life will be disturbed and destroyed.”

I teach you: just find a single principle that suits you, that feels in tune with you, and that is enough.

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #18, Q3

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.

Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #21

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.

So Be It – Osho

Ikkyu wrote:

Whether I elevate this message
Or put it down,
Everything under the heavens
Is the imperial domain.
I salute and say,
“So be it . . . so be it.”

That is another version of total relaxation with existence, another version of let-go, another version of suchness, thisness, isness.

He is saying, “Whether I elevate this message or put it down, everything under the heavens is the imperial domain. I salute and say, ‘So be it . . . so be it.’ Whatever happens, my absolute determination, my absolute commitment is that whatever happens is good. So be it.”

It may seem sometimes that something is a misfortune – but still Ikkyu is right. Many times blessings come in disguise, and those who are ready to accept even misfortunes joyfully, they transform the misfortune into a joy. Just by accepting them, without any resistance, is the way of transforming them into a beautiful space.

So be it.

Whatever happens, don’t have any grudge, don’t have any complaint against existence. That is the purest message of Zen.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #8

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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There is no Final Destination – Osho

Ikkyu wrote:

Myself of long ago,
In nature
Non-existent:
No final destination,
Nothing of any value.

He is giving you the very manifesto of Zen. Myself of long ago, in nature . . . I have disappeared in nature, I don’t know when, I have not kept a diary and I don’t remember that I was anything else at any time.

Myself of long ago, in nature non-existent: I don’t find myself, I find only nature. No final destination . . . I am going nowhere. There is no final destination, because final destination will mean death.

Life is a continuity always and always. There is no final destination it is going towards. Just the pilgrimage, just the journey in itself is life, not reaching to some point, no goal – just dancing and being in pilgrimage, moving joyously, without bothering about any destination. What will you do by getting to a destination? Nobody has asked this, because everybody is trying to have some destination in life. But the implications…

If you really reach the destination of life, then what? Then you will look very embarrassed. Nowhere to go . . . you have reached to the final destination – and in the journey you have lost everything. You had to lose everything. So standing naked at the final destination, you will look all around like an idiot: what was the point? You were hurrying so hard, and you were worrying so hard, and this is the outcome.

I have told you about one of Rabindranath’s stories. It is a song. The story says in song, “I have been searching for God for centuries. Sometimes he was around the moon, but by the time I reached there he had moved to some other star. I saw him at another star, but by the time I reached there he had moved again. This went on and on, but there was great joy in that he is there, and one day I am going to find him. How long can he hide? How long can he escape?

“And it happened that one day I reached a house where there was a board saying that this was the house of God. I had a great sense of relief that my destiny was fulfilled. I went up the steps and I was just going to knock on the door when I became aware that, ‘Just wait, have a second thought! What are you going to do if God comes and opens the door? What will you do next?’”

Your whole life has been a journey, a pilgrimage, finding, searching. You are trained as a runner since millions of years, and suddenly you meet God and you don’t have anything to say. What will you say?

Have you ever thought that if you meet God by chance, neither will you have anything to say, nor will he have anything to say? You unnecessarily burned yourself out, finished. Final destination means ultimate death.

Ikkyu is right when he says, “No final destination, nothing of value” – everything is just to enjoy and dance and sing. But don’t ask about value; don’t ask what is virtue and what is good. Rejoice in everything, and go on in different pilgrimages knowing perfectly well that life is not going to end anywhere, the journey will continue, the caravan will continue. There is no place where the road ends.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

When there is nothing to perceive – no input from the body or the mind and so one has nothing by which to define oneself – is what is left witnessing? There does not even seem to be a witness, but just the awareness that there is no one there.

That’s exactly right. There is no witness, there is only witnessing. There is only consciousness, but no personality to it, no form. There is only awareness, like a flame arising from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, and just in the middle you see the flame.

Have you watched a candle, where the flame goes? Gautam Buddha himself used as the word for the ultimate experience, blowing out the candle. Nirvana means blowing out the candle. Nothing is, just a pure awareness, not even confined into your individuality, but just a floating cloud, no firm shape – a tremendous isness, a great joy.

But it is not your joy; you are absent. Then arises in your absence the joy, the blissfulness. The moment you are not, then the witnessing is pure. And this witnessing brings the greatest benediction possible. This witnessing is the buddha.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #7

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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Go on Digging – Osho

The word ‘zazen’ has to be understood before I can start discussing the sutras that you have brought. Zen I have explained to you. It comes from the Sanskrit dhyan. Buddha never used Sanskrit as a part of his revolution. Sanskrit was the language of the learned, it has never been a language of the masses. Buddha broke away from tradition and started speaking in the language of the masses. It was a revolt against scholarship, learnedness, the pundits, the rabbis, the people of the scripture, whose whole heart is in their books. And because of those books they cannot see the reality.

Buddha started speaking in the language of his province, Pali. In Pali, dhyan changes its form a little bit. It becomes jhan. When Bodhidharma reached China, jhan again changed, into Chinese; it became ch’an. And when the school of Rinzai took the same message to Japan from China, the word ch’an came very close to the very original Pali, jhan. It became in Japan, zen.

In English there is no equivalent word. There are words like concentration, contemplation . . . but they are all of the mind. Dhyan means going beyond the mind. It is not concentration, it is not contemplation; it is just letting the mind be put aside and looking at reality and your own existence directly, without the mind interpreting it.

Have you ever tried small experiments? Watching a rose flower, can you watch the rose flower without the mind saying, “How beautiful”? Can you just watch the rose without the mind saying anything at all? In that moment you are in the state of dhyan, or zen.

I am reminded of a story. Twenty-five centuries ago it was a great coincidence that in Greece there was Socrates and in India were Gautam Buddha and Mahavira, and in China there were Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu – all expressing the existential truth, indicating towards it. It is very strange that suddenly, all over the world, there were at least six people fully awakened. Their words may be different because their languages are different, but their indication is to the same moon. That is absolutely certain.

Dhyan means looking, either outside or inside, without thinking – just looking straight forward. Your eyes become only a mirror. The mirror never says anything to anybody. Neither does it condemn the ugly nor does it appreciate the beautiful; it is simply non-judgmental.

Dhyan is, exactly, a non-judgmental state of mirror-like consciousness, just seeing and not saying anything. Then seeing becomes total. And in that seeing is the truth, is the good, is the beauty.

Because of this phenomenon, in the East there is no equivalent word for ‘philosophy’. In the East the word that has become equivalent is darshan, but darshan refers to a totally different dimension than philosophy. Philosophy means love of wisdom. It is love of knowledge. And darshan means just the opposite: not the love of wisdom or of knowledge, but of seeing. Darshan means seeing.

Dhyan is the method, the path; and darshan, seeing the truth with your own eyes, is the goal of the whole Eastern effort.

What is zazen? Zen is, just once or twice a day . . . in the early morning when the sun is rising and the birds are singing, you sit silently by the side of the ocean or the river or the lake. It is not something that you have to do continuously. It is just like any other activity. You take your bath – that does not mean that for twenty-four hours you have to continue taking a shower. Zazen exactly means that: taking a shower continuously. Zen is a periodic effort to see the truth. Zazen is a twenty-four hour, around-the-clock remaining aware, alert, in the state beyond mind. Your activities should show it, your words should show it. Even your walking should show it – the grace, the beauty, the truth, the validity, the authority.

So zazen is an extension of Zen around the clock. Just because of zazen, monasteries came into existence. Because if you are living an ordinary life of a householder you cannot manage to contemplate, to be in the state of Zen twenty-four hours a day. You have to do many other things.

And there is every possibility that while you are doing other things you may forget the undercurrent.

So monasteries came into existence. The society decided that the people who want to go deeper into their being are doing such a great experiment for the whole humanity, because if even one man becomes a buddha, with him the whole humanity rises a little bit in consciousness.

It may not be apparent. It is just like when the Ganges . . . a big river, so big that by the time it reaches to meet the ocean its name, from Ganga, becomes Gangasagar, “the ocean of Ganges.” It becomes oceanic – so vast. As it moves into the ocean, the ocean certainly rises a little bit. The ocean is so vast that even hundreds and thousands of rivers never create a flood in the ocean, but certainly even a single dewdrop raises the level. At least you can comprehend it: a single dewdrop losing itself in the ocean, and the ocean is something more than it was before – one dewdrop more.

The people of those days were certainly more subjective, of more clarity that the real evolution of man is not in developing machines, technology; the real evolution has to happen in the consciousness of man. His consciousness has to become a pinnacle, an Everest, a peak that rises high above the clouds. If even a single man succeeds, it is not only his success, it is also the success of all men – past, present, future – because it gives a clear-cut indication that we are not trying; otherwise, we could also be buddhas. Those who have tried, have become. It is our intrinsic nature.

The society supported the monks, supported the monasteries. There were thousands of monasteries with thousands of monks who were not doing anything. Society allowed them – “We are engaged in production. We will provide you with food and clothes. You go totally into your effort of reaching the highest peak of consciousness. Your success is not going to be only your success.

If thousands of people become buddhas, the whole humanity, without any effort, will find a certain rise in consciousness.”

This was a great insight. And society took over the burden of thousands of monks, of thousands of monasteries; all their needs were fulfilled by the society. Today, that society has disappeared because today even the concept that you are a hidden buddha has disappeared. A strange idea has caught humanity, that every man is an island. And that is sheer nonsense. Even the islands are not islands. Just go down a little deeper and they are joined with the continent.

Everybody is joined, it is just a question of going a little deeper. Our roots are entangled with each other, our source of life is the same.

It was a tremendous insight of those days that they decided – particularly, for example, in Tibet: every family had to contribute one child to the monastery, and in the monastery, he had to do only zazen. He had no other work to distract him.

But now that possibility does not exist. Hence, I have managed different devices in which you can remain in the world – no need to go to a monastery, because there is nobody to support you. You can be in the world and yet manage an undercurrent of fire that slowly, slowly becomes like your breathing. You don’t have to remember it.

Maneesha has asked:

Beloved Osho,
On one occasion, Joshu said to his monks: I have single heartedly practiced zazen in the Southern Province for thirty years.

He is referring to those thirty years with his master, Nansen. He is saying, “I have singleheartedly practiced zazen for thirty years continuously, without ever bothering about how far away enlightenment is.” Is it going to happen or not? Is it a truth or just a mirage? Is it something real or only a fiction created by dreamers? Without any doubt, how can one sustain for thirty years the same routine around the clock – walking, sitting, sleeping?

The whole heart is devoted to one thing: how to become more conscious, how to become a witness, how to remain a witness whatever happens. It is possible only if you have come in contact with a master, exceptions not included. The master is an example that the dream can be fulfilled. That it is not a dream, it is a reality – it is just that we have not tried in the right way.

Joshu could continue for thirty years just because he saw Nansen. The very presence of Nansen filled him with a great explosion of joy. “It is possible! If it is possible for Nansen, it is possible for me.”

Nansen had asked him, “Do you have a master or not?” and he did not reply to exactly the question that was asked. He said, “I am with the master.” He said, “My master is in front of me,” indicating Nansen, who was lying down meditating. And he addressed Nansen as “Tathagata.”

Tathagata is the most lovely word used for Gautam Buddha. Just out of respect, the disciples don’t use the name Gautam Buddha, they use the word “Tathagata.” And tathagata is very meaningful.

It comes from tathata. Tathata means thisness, just here and now – a man who always remains here and now, never wavering towards past or future, is a tathagata. He neither goes anywhere nor comes back, he simply remains here. Time passes by, clouds pass by, but nothing touches him. His being here is from eternity to eternity. That is the most cherished word the followers of Buddha used to address him.

Joshu said to Nansen, “Tathagata, I am with my master.” And in that moment something happened – just in silence. Nothing was said, nothing was heard, but something transpired, something was transferred. In Zen they call it “transmission of the lamp.” And Nansen never asked him to be initiated; neither did Joshu ask to be initiated. The initiation had happened without any ceremony and without anybody ever knowing it. The moment he called him “Tathagata” . . . that moment was very precious.

“I am with my master.”

Nansen accepted him, without saying anything. He simply called the head monk of the monastery and told him, “Take care of this new fellow. He is going to become ripe very soon. If he can recognize me as tathagata, he has already moved half the way. It won’t take long for him to recognize himself as tathagata. He has the right vision, the right direction . . . just a question of a little time.”

But that “little time” took thirty years. Those days of patience are gone. Now you need quick things, the quicker the better. Because of this strange idea of quickness all things that grow very slowly and very silently have disappeared. Consciousness is one of those things which you cannot grow quickly. Thirty years sitting in zazen, Joshu became enlightened. What Nansen said was, “He will take just a little time.” In the eyes of Nansen, thirty years are just a little time compared to the eternity of existence on both sides. What is thirty years? Nothing, not even a little time.

Joshu was talking to his disciples:

“If you want to realize enlightenment, you should realize the essence of Buddhism, doing zazen.”

The essence of Buddhism is not in the scriptures, not in the words of Buddha. It is something to be understood, because it has far-reaching implications. Whatever Buddha has said is as close to truth as possible, but even being close to truth, it is not true. Even closeness is only a kind of distance. So you cannot find the essence of the experience of Buddha through the scriptures. […]

To realize the essence of Buddhism is to realize what Buddha realized, is to go as deep into yourself as Buddha went in. That’s what we are doing here. And we are not Buddhists, we don’t belong to any dead tradition or any dead orthodoxy. There is no need. We are all carrying the buddha within us – why go on searching anywhere else?

That is the purpose of zazen, to search through all the garbage that you have accumulated down the centuries. You have been here on the earth for four million years in different shapes, in different bodies, in different species. You have gathered so much around your small buddha that you will have to dig as deep as possible. And don’t waver in digging.

One great Sufi mystic, Jalaluddin Rumi, one day took his disciples to a field where a farmer had been trying for months to dig a well. The disciples were feeling a little reluctant – what is the point in going there? Whatever he wants to say, he can say here. But Jalaluddin insisted: “You come with me. Without coming you will not understand.”

What the farmer had done was, he would start digging in one place, go ten feet, twelve feet, would not find water and would start digging in another place. He had dug eight holes and now he was working on the ninth. He had destroyed the whole field.

Rumi told his disciples, “Don’t be like this idiot. If he had put all this energy into digging one hole he would have found water, howsoever deep it is. He has wasted his energy unnecessarily.” And that’s what everybody is doing. You start, you go a little bit, and then you start again sometime later, or some years later. You go a little bit from a different direction.

These little bits are dangerous. Your effort should be concentrated, and once you start, and you have a master in whom you can trust and in whom you can see the realization of a buddha, then there is no going back. Then go on digging, even if it takes thirty years.

That’s what Joshu is saying:

In the course of three, five, twenty or thirty years, if you fail to grasp the way, you may cut off my head and make it into a ladle to draw urine with.

I promise you, at the risk of my head, that if you continue . . . one never knows. Three years, five years, twenty years, thirty years – one never knows how much garbage you have gathered. Sometimes it can happen in a single moment. Sometimes it can take years. It all depends on the thickness of the layers of dust, past memories, future aspirations, and how courageous you are to cut the whole thing in a single blow.

Without any rest, go on digging. The water is certainly everywhere; so is the buddha-consciousness in every living being. Only man is so fortunate that he can understand it. Other animals are also on the way . . .Scientists think that the theory of evolution is Charles Darwin’s concept. In the scientific field it is true, but they are not aware of the Eastern concept of evolution. A very different concept – far more relevant and far more valid. It is not that one monkey simply becomes man. It is very difficult. You can force him, massage him, stretch him, operate on his tail, put his tie right, but a monkey is a monkey. I don’t think that suddenly one day some monkey got the idea, jumped out of the tree, stood on his two feet, and started becoming man. If so, all the other monkeys would have become man. They don’t become, they are still there in the trees.

The East does not mean by evolution that a monkey becomes a man, but the consciousness of a monkey may be born into a human being. It is not the body that evolves; it is the consciousness within that goes on taking higher forms, goes on reaching towards higher peaks. Man up to now is the highest peak of all that the animals have been trying to be, unconsciously. This is the fortunate situation for man, that he can do consciously some work that other animals cannot do. It is impossible to teach meditation to a buffalo, although buffalos look more meditative than man. But nothing can be taught, and even if there are a few birds, or a few animals who can be taught a few tricks, that does not become their evolution. They simply become actors. A few animals have the capacity to imitate, but only to imitate. Neither can they add anything nor can they delete anything. […]

The essence of Buddhism is not in the Buddhist scriptures, the essence of Buddhism is in being a buddha.” And one becomes a buddha if he reaches his own center. Joshu is completely certain; otherwise he would not have made such a statement: In the course of three, five, twenty or thirty years . . . because in thirty years he became enlightened.

He thinks, “If a man like me can become a buddha, then anybody can become. There are more intelligent people than me, more courageous people than me. Somebody may become in three years, somebody in five years.”

The question of time is irrelevant. The real thing is to begin now, don’t postpone for tomorrow. Deeper somewhere, there is a life source – that much is certain. You are alive, you are breathing, you are listening, your heart is beating. You are perfectly alive, so there must be a source from where life is coming to you. This much can be said with an absolute guarantee, that you are connected with the universe and that connection is your buddhahood.

Joshu is also reported to have said: Thousands upon thousands of people are only seekers after Buddha, but not a single one is a true man of Tao.

To be a seeker in a lukewarm way, thinking that buddhahood is certain . . . “If I don’t work it out today, there is tomorrow.” The seeker without an urgency – there are thousands of people around the world. There are even more cases now than at the time of Joshu – there are millions of people who have a certain idea that one day they will turn inwards, but that day has not come yet. There are so many other things to be done. There are always, there have always been thousands of people interested, but not interested enough to risk their whole life. And unless you risk your whole life, unless it becomes such an urgency that it has to be done whatever the consequences – whatsoever the losses, you have to know yourself – unless this becomes such a total thirst, you will not become a buddha. Or a man of Tao – which are not two things; a man of Tao is the Chinese expression for the same experience as becoming a buddha.

Before the existence of the world the self-nature remains intact. Now that you have seen this old monk – Joshu is pointing at himself. Now that you have seen this old monk, you are no longer someone else, but a Master of yourself.

If you have seen me clearly, you have seen yourself clearly, because I am nothing but a mirror. Only a blind man can pass without seeing himself in me, his own image.

The master’s basic, fundamental function is to be a mirror to the disciple so the disciple can have a certain idea of what a man of Tao means, what it means to be a buddha.

Joshu, with a lion’s roar, is saying, “When you have seen this old monk, you are no longer someone else but a master of yourself.” A master only reflects your masterhood. He reflects your potentiality, he reflects what originally you are and you have forgotten.

What is the use of seeking another in the exterior?

Joshu is saying, “If you cannot see the buddha in me, then don’t waste your time. You will not be able to see it anywhere.” This certainty comes with self-experience.

I have called this book Joshu – The Lion’s Roar. Normally, buddhas are very humble. Joshu is also very humble but he cannot help but say with absolute authority that “once you have seen me, you have looked into a mirror. If you cannot find your master here, then you will be wasting your time wandering around the world, and you will think that you are a seeker. There is no need to seek; just see that you are fortunate to have come across a master.”

This authority arises out of absolute experience.

Once a monk asked Joshu, “What is your family’s tradition?”

By “family” is not meant the ordinary family; by “family” is meant your master, your master’s master. Once you have become a buddha, you are reborn. Now there is no question of your ordinary family, your ordinary parents. Your master has become the one closest to you. Your master has become a rebirth for you. So, “What is your family’s tradition?” someone asked Joshu.

Joshu responded . . . and you have to learn how these Zen masters respond, they don’t reply.

They don’t repeat. Their response . . . perhaps the questioner has never dreamt that somebody will respond to his question in this way.

Joshu responded: “I have nothing inside, and I seek for nothing outside.

This is the tradition of my family. Inside, an empty heart asking for nothing. Outside, no desire, no ambition. This is the tradition of my family.”

This is the tradition of all the buddhas. This has to become your tradition too.

Ryushu, a Zen poet, wrote:

Three, two, one, one, two, three –
How are you ever going to probe
The mysteries of Zen?

Spring birds busy on my roof
After the rain
Try out some new sound,
Tweeting and chirping.

What does Ryushu mean by three, two, one? Man begins either from the concept of three . . .  just like the Hindu trimurti, three faces of God, or like the Christian trinity. The words ‘trinity’ and ‘trimurti’ both come from the same root, tri. The word ‘three’ comes from tri. Either one can begin from three – the knower, the known and the knowledge, the seeker, the sought and the search – or one can begin in a contrary way: One, two, three. One can start from oneself; then he finds the other, he witnesses it. The other can be anything in your inner experience. And then the third: the third is the very witnessing. The one who witnesses, the other, which is witnessed, and the process of witnessing is the third.

Ryushu is saying: Whatever you do, this way or that, you will not reach to the ultimate. These are all games, which philosophers tend to play. It is better not to get involved in games of spirituality, but just be silent and watch what is happening around you.

Spring birds busy on my roof after the rain – watch these small things, the rain and the mist that it has left behind, and the fragrance that comes from the earth. And the birds who are busy on the roof – they are trying new sounds, tweeting and chirping. Ryushu is saying there is no need to be very serious about the search. You can become a witness of ordinary things – the witnessing is the same, whether you witness a bird chirping or you witness your mind chattering.

Whether you witness a sunrise outside or you witness your innermost being, witnessing is the same. Ryushu is saying, rather than getting involved in controversial philosophies, start from small things. Learn from small things one art – the art of witnessing. And then use that same art inwards. It is easier to learn it in the outside world.

It is because of this that Zen became a very artistic religion. No other religion is so artistic: their monasteries are beautiful gardens, with beautiful ponds, birds, great trees, thick forests, mountains . . .  and all this is for zazen. You sit under an ancient tree and nothing has to be done: just watch.

You know the famous haikus:

Sitting silently,
Doing nothing,
Spring comes
And the grass grows by itself.

Ancient pond,
A frog jumps in
The sound

– of the frog, and then the great silence. And you are just sitting by the side of an ancient tree.

Zen has made the spiritual search very aesthetic. First learn it from outside, watching the flowers and the sunrise and the sunset. The effort is not concerned with the object, the effort is to learn the art of watching without any interpretation, without any judgment. A non-judgmental, mirror-like witnessing . . . if you have learned it from outside, it will be easy for you to enter in with the same art.

-Osho

From Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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 Emptiness of the Heart – Osho

Maneesha, Bukko has come to the ultimate expression of the experience of one’s own being. Very rarely has a master succeeded to such a point as Bukko has in his statements.

Listen carefully, because rarely will you meet a Bukko again.

Bukko said:

Taking things easily and without forcing, after some time the rush of thought, outward and inward, subsides naturally, and the true face shows itself.

That’s what I have been telling you. To be a buddha is not a difficult job. It is not some achievement for which you need a Nobel Prize. It is the easiest thing in the world, because it has already happened without your knowing.

The buddha is already breathing in you. Just a little recognition, just a little turning inwards . . . and that has not to be done forcibly. If you do it forcibly you will miss the point. It is very delicate. You have to look inward playfully, not seriously. That’s what he means by “taking things easily.” Don’t take anything seriously.

Existence is very easy. You have got your life without any effort; you are living your life without any effort. You are breathing perfectly well without being reminded; your heartbeat continues even in your sleep — so easy is existence with you! But you are not so easy with existence. You are very close-fisted. You want everything to be turned into an achievement.

Enlightenment cannot be an achievement. That which you have already — how can it be an achievement? The authentic master simply takes away things which you don’t have and you believe you have, and he gives you that which you already have. You are having many things which you don’t have at all, you just believe that you have them. The master’s function is that of a surgeon, to cut all that is not you and leave behind just the essential core — the eternal being.

It is a very easy phenomenon; you can do it on your own. There are no problems and no risk in taking things easily, but people take things very tensely. They take things very seriously, and that spoils the whole game.

And remember, life is a game. Once you understand it as a game, a deep playfulness arises on its own accord. The victory is not the point; the point is to play totally, joyously, dancingly.

What is called playfulness is very essential in the inquiry of your own being.

Taking things easily and without forcing, after some time the rush of thought, outward and inward, subsides naturally, and the true face shows itself.

When I say to you that meditation is nothing but thoughtlessness, you can misunderstand me. You are not to do anything to become thoughtless, because whatever you will do will be again a thought. You have to learn to see the procession of thoughts, standing by the side of the road as if it does not matter to you what is passing by. Just the ordinary traffic — if you can take your thoughts in such a manner that they are not of much concern, then easily, slowly, the caravan of thoughts which has continued for thousands of years disappears.

You have to understand a simple thing, that giving attention is giving nourishment. If you don’t give any attention but remain unconcerned, the thoughts start dying on their own. They don’t have any other way to get energy, any other source of life. You are their energy, and because you go on giving them attention, seriously, you think it is very difficult to be free from thought. It is the easiest thing in the world, but it has to be done in the right way.

The right way is just to stand by the side. The traffic goes on — let it go. Don’t make any judgment of good and bad; don’t appreciate, don’t condemn. That is what is meant by being easy. It is all okay.

Without forcing . . . and that is something that has to be remembered, because our natural tendency is that if we have to become thoughtless, why not force the thoughts? Why not throw them out? But by the very act of forcing them, you are giving them energy, you are giving them nourishment, you are taking note of them and you are making them important — so important that without throwing them, you cannot meditate.

Just try to throw out any single thought, and you will see how difficult it is. The more you throw it the more it bounces back! It will enjoy the game very much, and you are going to be defeated finally. You have taken a wrong route. […]

You cannot repress any thought. The very repressive process gives it energy, life, strength. And it weakens you because you become a defeated partner in the game. The easiest thing is not to force but to be just a witness. If a monkey comes, let him come. Just say “Hello!” and he will go. But don’t tell him to go. Just be a witness that a monkey has come, or a thousand monkeys have come. What does it matter? It is none of your business. They may be going to some gathering, some religious festival, so let them go. It is none of your concern. And soon the crowd will disappear, seeing that “the man is not interested.”

All your thoughts are in the same category. Never force any thought to go away; otherwise, it will rebound with greater energy. And the energy is yours! You are on a self-defeating track. The more you throw it away the more it will come back.

Hence, what Bukko is saying is the only way — I say the only way — to be thoughtless: don’t pay any attention. Just remain silently watching all kinds of things . . . monkeys and elephants, let them pass. Soon you will find an empty road, and when you find an empty road, you have found an empty mind — naturally. Everything outward and inward subsides and there is the tremendous silence which easiness brings.

Now body and mind, free from all motivations, always appear as void and absolute sameness.

When you are in the state of no-mind, which is equivalent to thoughtlessness . . . when there is no thought cloud moving in your mind, you attain to the clarity of no-mind. Mind is simply a combination of all the thoughts, of all the clouds. Mind has no independent nature of its own. When all the thoughts are gone and the sky is clean and clear, you will see that everything that you have paid so much attention to is nothing but emptiness. Your thoughts were all empty. They contained nothing; they were void. Whatever you thought they contained was your own energy. You have withdrawn your energy — just the empty shell of the thought falls down. You have withdrawn your identity and immediately the thought is no longer alive. It was your identity that was giving it life force.

And strangely enough, you thought that your thoughts were very strong and it was difficult to get rid of them! You were making them strong, you were cultivating them. Just by forcing them, you were getting into a fix.

I agree with Bukko. I have agreed out of my own experience that you can simply sit or lie down and let the thoughts pass by. They will not leave even a trace. Just don’t get interested . . . and don’t be disinterested either, just be neutral. To be neutral is to be easy, and to be neutral is to take back the very life force that you have given to your thoughts.

Suddenly, a man of no thought becomes so full of energy — energy which he had spread into the thoughts unnecessarily. He was weak because he was nourishing thoughts, which leads nowhere. They promise — thoughts are politicians. They promise great things to come, but the moment they have power, they forget all their promises. This has been going on for centuries.

Those promises are just seductive. Your thoughts are promising you many things: “You can be this, you can be that.” And they drive you, they give you motivation to become the greatest leader in the world, to become the richest man in the world. They drive you into ambitions, they become your masters. It is one of the weirdest phenomena that the servants become masters, and the master becomes just a servant. The moment you take your energy back you become a tremendous force, gathered in your own being and center.

This is the first and the most important thing to understand: never force anything, just let it go easily. If you ever want to find out what the secret of your life is, then you have to go inwards. And thoughts are always going outwards; every thought takes you outwards. When all thoughts cease, there is nowhere to go — you simply are at home.

This at-homeness is meditation.

Utter silence and peace prevails.

In this silence every ambition seems to be stupid; the whole world of objects seems to be nothing but a dream. And your own being shines in its brightness of heaven, at the center of the vast expanse of phenomenal things, and needing no polishing or cleaning.

Your own being is so pure, so unpolluted, not even a particle of dust has ever reached there — cannot reach. Only your consciousness can reach there, and consciousness arises in you with no-mind. With no-mind you become so wakeful, so watchful — nowhere to go outside, because all thoughts are gone. So you turn inwards, and for the first time face your own original being.

This is beyond all concepts . . .

What you are going to face in your meditation is beyond all concepts.

This is a very pregnant statement.  . . . beyond being and non-being. We are using the word `being’ because you will not be able to understand, while your thoughts are there, that something beyond being and beyond non-being is in existence within you. But when thoughts are gone, the first encounter is with a being, an individual being, bright and clean. And as you enter this being, you find yourself going beyond your individuality into the universal, which is beyond being and non-being. This is what ultimate enlightenment is. And Bukko has put it in the simplest possible way.

Leave your innumerable knowings and seeings and understandings, and go to that greatness of space. When you come to that vastness, there is no speck of Buddhism in your heart.

He is really a great master. His love towards Buddha is great, but that does not mean that he is a follower of Buddha. He is saying that when you enter into this great space, you will not find anything — no speck of Buddhism even in your heart. And when there is no speck of knowledge about you — you will not know anything, even about yourself — you will have the true sight of the Buddhas and the great masters.

Buddha himself had a great difficulty. Perhaps no man has had such a great difficulty in explaining his experience. In this country, the self, atma, has been considered to be the ultimate experience. The two other religions of this country, Hinduism and Jainism, have both emphasized that to know your self is all, there is nothing beyond it. Now, Buddha was going against all of India’s traditions by saying that the self is only a door to no-self. Don’t stop at the door, it is a bridge to be passed. Don’t make your house on the bridge because a vaster universe is ready to welcome you if you can leave this small idea of your self.

What is this self that you carry, that all the traditions of this country and other countries think so much of? Hundreds of philosophers came to Gautam Buddha, saying, “What you are saying goes against the Vedas, against the Upanishads.”

He said, “What can I do? It is my own experience; I cannot deny it. The self has to be transcended; only then you become one with the universe. The dewdrop has to disappear into the ocean.”

Why cling to the dewdrop?

What are you gaining by it?

Have you ever observed? — all the religions teach that you should liberate yourself from misery, from sin. You should earn virtue so that you can make a place in paradise. “You” are the center of all the religions — but not of Zen.

All the religions say, “Liberate yourself from your attachments.” Only Zen has the strange courage to say, “Liberate yourself from yourself!” Liberating yourself from your attachments is child’s play. The real, authentic seeker finally liberates himself not only from other things but even from himself. He drops the very idea that ‘I am’. Existence is.

Looked at from this viewpoint, it can be said that you are the center of all misery. And however you try, you will find you are only changing misery, from one misery to another misery. Maybe in the gap you feel a little light. From one marriage to another marriage — just in the meantime, while you have to wait, you feel good. But this goodness is not going to last, you are already filling in the form for another marriage. You are the problem. All other problems are just your children — a bus load of children, and you are the driver.

Buddhism, particularly, introduced the idea that it is not a question of dropping this greed, that anger, this passion, that possession. The question is of dropping yourself completely, disappearing into the universal energy from where we have arisen. In India, Buddha was not understood. I am experiencing the same thing. In India I am not understood, because India has, for ten thousand years or more, believed in the self as the ultimate value.

Self is not the ultimate value. What are you going to do with the self when you find it? Just sitting stupidly, looking weird to everybody. Just for a moment think: You have found your self, now what are you going to do? And remember, once you have found it, you cannot escape from it. It clings like German glue! It is not Indian glue . . .

Buddha took a tremendous step in the world of consciousness when he said, “The self is only a stepping stone. Step beyond it! And going beyond it, you are just empty.” But this “empty” is not nothingness. The word that Buddha used has been translated either as “emptiness” or as “nothingness,” but in English both words have a negative connotation. Buddha’s word was shunyata. It is not a negative phenomenon.

Bukko gives it perhaps the best expression I have come across:

When you can go and come in all regions equally, when there is nothing specially yours, no within, no without, when you conform to high and conform to low, conform to the square and conform to the round, that is it.

When you are simply available, with no self, you don’t have any boundaries anymore. Without boundaries you can conform to anything.

The emptiness of the sea allows waves to rise . . .

And your emptiness will also allow waves of blissfulness, peacefulness, splendor and unknown glory. You are at the highest peak available to any consciousness. But all these are still waves according to Bukko. That’s why I say he has made a great statement.

The emptiness of the sea allows waves to rise; the emptiness of the mountain valley makes the voice echo . . .

It is empty; otherwise how can it echo the voice?

Just nearby in Matheran, there is an echo point. A very clear echo point — I have seen other echo points in other mountains also. Whatever you say it simply repeats, the whole valley. If you bark like a dog, the whole valley barks like a dog. If you sing a song, the whole valley sings the song. Its emptiness allows it to conform to anything.

And Bukko is saying that when you are utterly empty of being and no-being, of mind and no-mind . . . When you are just merged into the universal it can be said from one side that you are empty, but from the other side you are so full that now you can conform to anything. You can be the moon, you can be the rose, you can be the clouds. Or you can just remain the empty sky.

For the first time you are free to be anything you want. For the first time your emptiness allows you to experience existence from different angles. It is a vast phenomenon. We know only small parts of it because our self-ness creates a boundary. We cannot go beyond the boundary.

The emptiness of the heart makes the buddha.

Once your heart is empty, you are the buddha — serene, silent, utterly blissful, at home. When I say to you that you are a buddha, I mean it. It is just that you have to recover from your dreams, afflictions, addictions. You just have to penetrate deeply to the point where even the self starts disappearing and the door opens to the vast, to the infinite. To be a buddha is the ultimate experience of joy, of eternity, of immortality, freedom and liberation.

And nobody else can do it for you. It is simple: you have to do it yourself.

When you empty the heart, things appear as in a mirror, shining there without differences between them. Life and death as illusion, all the buddhas are one’s own body. Zen is not something mysterious; it is just hitting and piercing through.

I am reminded . . . A great industrialist had imported a totally new, sophisticated machine.

It worked so beautifully, a hundred times more productive than the older one, but one day it stopped. Nobody knew what to do.

The manufacturers were informed, and they said, “We can send our man. But his fee is ten thousand dollars plus all traveling expenses.”

The industrialist was losing thousands of dollars every day. He agreed; he said, “Send him immediately, right now.” The man came from the airport and without wasting a single moment, he took from his handbag a small hammer and hit the machine at a certain point and it started working.

The owner of the factory said, “But this is too much! Ten thousand dollars just for hitting it with this little hammer?” The expert said, “No, for hitting with the hammer just one dollar will do. The real thing is knowing where to hit.”

It is true, Zen is not something mysterious. It is just hitting and piercing through.

But don’t believe in Bukko. The point is where to hit. It is not mysterious, but the problem is where to hit. Once you hit at the right time, at the right place, it is really very simple; there is nothing mysterious about it.

That’s what I have been continuously trying to get you to experience, because there is no way to tell you where to hit. Everybody has to find the place by going deeper into himself, seeing where the light is coming from, where the life is coming from, and the moving in that direction without any fear. This is what he means by “hitting and piercing through.”

Then don’t stop. It will be very beautiful. Even in the beginning, the moment you see your light, your life source, it will have a tremendous beauty and there will be a desire to stop, that you have arrived. Don’t do that. Much more lies ahead. Until you are finished completely… when you look all around and you don’t find yourself — that is the goal.

This beyond is the buddha.

If you cut off all doubts, the course of life-and-death is cut off naturally. I ask you all: do you see it of don’t you? — How in June the snow melts from the top of Mount Fuji.

He is saying that just as in June the snow starts melting from Mount Fuji . . . so simply, without making any fuss. As June comes, the snow does not say, “Wait a little, I am engaged in something else and I have to wait a little.” No — no resistance, no delaying, no postponing. As June comes, the snow starts melting.

So when you reach to the point where you feel, “this is my center,” then start melting. Your June has come. Then start melting and disappearing. Your very disappearance is making you the whole universe.

Buddha has said, “When I disappeared, I saw stars within me, sun rising, sunset, full moon nights — everything within me, not without me. It was my boundary that had been keeping them out. Now the boundary is no more; everything has fallen in. Now I am the whole.”

At the time of his death the Zen monk, Guin, wrote:

All doctrines split asunder
Zen teaching cast away
Fourscore years and one.
The sky now cracks and falls
The Earth cleaves open
In the heart of the fire
Lies a hidden spring.

When all is dropping and disappearing, in the heart of all this disappearance is hidden your spring. From this point you will start growing new flowers that you have never seen before.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

In the West, they say that love two full hearts makes the world go round. Judging by the casualty rate, full hearts don’t seem to be the answer. What is the world of the empty heart of zen?

In the first place, whatever is said in the West, that “love — two full hearts — makes the world go round” is all nonsense. Whether you are here or not, the world will continue to go round.

And two hearts full of love . . . where are you going to find them?

The world would have stopped long ago if it were dependent on two hearts full of love. Even to find one heart is very difficult; two is too much! But those are just mass-mind oriented proverbs, not statements of a man like Bukko. When Bukko says the empty heart is the buddha, he is talking about a very authentic experience. And it does not depend on anybody else.

Love is both, a joy and a misery, because two are involved. Wherever there is duality, there is going to be conflict. You can put the conflict aside for a few days on the honeymoon, but after the honeymoon the conflict arises on every point. What kind of curtains? — and immediately there are two voices. What kind of carpets, and what kind of literature, what kind of furniture? On every point you will find that those great lovers are in absolute disagreement! There is the beginning of real love, which always ends in divorce.

The world of religion is not the world of duality. It is a world of oneness. You have to find your own heart, utterly empty, empty of all rubbish. And when your heart is empty of all rubbish, you are the buddha. There is no other experience which goes beyond it.

-Osho

From The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart, Discourse #1

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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Go Like an Arrow – Osho

Maneesha, Hakuin is one of the most respected Zen masters. His respect is because of his ability to express the inexpressible, to create devices that somehow can manage to give you a glimpse of the unknown. He is basically concerned with the method. If a right method is used in the right time and ripe time, it is not going to fail. If you are on the right way, it may take some time to reach, but you will reach. The whole question before Hakuin is: the right way, the right method, the right beginning.

It was Gautam Buddha’s habitual way of expression. All the great qualities that he has called for in an experienced, self-realized man, all begin with the word ‘right’. For example, he will not say simply samadhi. He will say samma samadhi. Samadhi can go wrong, people can mistake similar experiences for samadhi and get lost.

That’s what happened to Aldous Huxley when he took LSD. He was a man of tremendous knowledge, particularly of the East, and most of the saints of the East he knew well. He immediately said that, “The experience of LSD is samadhi, the same experience that Patanjali has described, the ultimate phenomenon.”

This gives a clear illustration that Buddha was right not to use simply the word samadhi. It is dangerous. You can find something else and think it is samadhi; there are similar phenomena. There are people who have become addicted to opium, or hashish, or marijuana. And these drugs have been used for centuries, from the very beginning of man. It is nothing new.

The reason why they became addicted is because the drugs gave them a glimpse of something . . . how things should be. They are temporary glimpses, and they are produced by chemicals so they don’t go beyond the mind. But mind gets a glimpse, just as the lake reflects the faraway moon. And the experience is so beautiful that not to repeat it again and again becomes impossible.

All the societies have been fighting against drugs but the fight has not been successful. It will never succeed the way the society is. It can succeed only if you give people the right experience of samma samadhi — ‘samma samadhi’ means right samadhi — so that they can make a differentiation, a discrimination between what is right and what is wrong. Those who have known their buddha-nature are not addicted to drugs, do not need drugs for their experience. Their experience is not caused by any chemicals; their experience is caused by turning their whole energy in towards the center of their being. That has nothing to do with chemicals. But chemicals can give you an illusion, something very similar.

Hakuin has adopted Buddha’s habit. Buddha never spoke about anything without adding the word ‘right’ first, because his understanding was — and he is correct — that everything can go wrong if you get caught up with something similar which is illusory. And you cannot make the distinction because you don’t know the real. Unless you know the real, how can you expect to make a discrimination between the unreal and the real?

It was a great contribution of Gautam Buddha that he would talk about all the qualities using the word ‘right’ first. Samma means right. Because everything can be taken for granted as right if you don’t have any experience of it. Then any illusion, any hallucination . . . and these hallucinations will drag you through life after life.

A man like Aldous Huxley, one of the most intelligent men of this century, got caught into it. He became addicted to LSD and he preached that what he was experiencing was the same as what Buddha experienced and Kabir experienced. This is definitely going beyond the limitations. Aldous Huxley has no way to know what Kabir experienced, he has no way to know what Buddha experienced. Buddha’s experience was not dependent on any LSD, it was an inner experience dependent only on his own consciousness.

LSD gives you unconsciousness, not consciousness. If you are in a good mood LSD can give you paradise; LSD is simply a magnifying glass. If you are in a good mood, a loving mood, and you take LSD, you feel the whole world is filled with love. You will even touch your chair with a loving hand. All around everything will be beautiful, nothing will be wrong.

But it lasts only for a few hours and when you wake up, you wake up in a far worse world than the one you had been in before you took the LSD, because you have seen something beautiful and now you see an ordinary world which has lost its luster. You have seen in LSD rainbows all around; suddenly they have all disappeared. You have seen people having auras and now they are just so ordinary. But even to imagine that they had an aura looks stupid.

But Buddha or Kabir, once they become enlightened . . . this enlightenment is not something that has to be renewed every year like a license. Once it has happened, it has happened. It may become bigger and more mature, but there is no way of going back. That is the criterion of whether you are hallucinating through drugs or you are authentically meditating.

The word ‘right’ has to be understood. Many people have been worried about why Buddha continually uses the word right about every quality. They are not aware that for every real quality there is a phony quality available — “made in U.S.A.” That phony quality is cheap, but it serves only for a few hours, and then you are caught in it because it is so beautiful — again and again . . . And every time you take it, you have to take it in a bigger dose because your body becomes immune. A moment comes when no LSD can make any difference; your body has become completely immune.

India is far more experienced with drugs because for ten thousand years at least it has been trying to use all kinds of drugs and poisons to create a cheap imitation of the ultimate experience. They have gone even to the point . . . even today there are monasteries in Ladakh where they keep cobra snakes.

When a person becomes so accustomed to all the drugs that no drug helps anymore, then the last thing is a cobra bite. The cobra bites on his tongue, then he feels a little samadhi. Otherwise a cobra bite usually means the end. And you will be surprised: there are cases of the cobra dying, because the man is so full of poison.

It has been used in India for centuries. Each great king used to raise a beautiful girl, and from her very childhood she was given poison — from smaller doses to bigger doses. It made her so immune that she was able to absorb any dose of poison without falling unconscious. And the final stage was, when she became a young girl, blossomed in her youth, she could be sent to the enemy king. There was no difficulty in it, she had just to move to the other capital and the king himself would become interested in her. Those girls were chosen from thousands of beautiful girls; they were unique specimens. Immediately the king would become aware that there was a beautiful girl he had never seen before, and just a kiss from that girl was enough to kill the man.

It is good that nowadays you don’t find such trained and disciplined girls. They were available at the time of Gautam Buddha. And it was not something that you use one time and then throw away, in the American way. They would kill the king and they would come home ready to be sent somewhere else, because nobody could think that the kiss of the girl had killed the king.

Aldous Huxley and his colleagues are not aware of the whole history of drugs. And why was the girl ready to take it? It gave such a good feeling, such a joyful feeling. She was not thinking about what she was being prepared for, but she was floating in a euphoria.

Buddha is right when he says samma samadhi. He will not accept Aldous Huxley’s samadhi as a right samadhi. It is an illusion.

But I wonder that nobody has criticized Aldous Huxley. All the governments are against drugs; obviously they should criticize Aldous Huxley first. But they don’t have either the intelligence or the experience. That man at least had the experience of the illusory — the governments don’t have the experience even of the illusory. But down the ages, although every government has been against drugs, this has not made any change. No prohibition ever makes any change; on the contrary it increases your interest in the things prohibited.

I am against all prohibition. My own understanding is that if LSD can give some glimpse of samadhi, then all its bad aftereffects should be removed, because it is a chemical and it is in our hands. Those bad aftereffects are the problem. They should be removed and an LSD number two should be made — clean, taken in complete awareness that it is going to give you only a glimpse. Its addictiveness can be taken out, and when you know it is going to give you only a glimpse there is no harm. It may lead you to the search for the real.

Rather than prohibiting the drugs, what is needed is to produce drugs which lead people to samadhi, which give an indication: if a chemical drug can be such a blessing, what will the real thing be? It is just a dewdrop in comparison with the real oceanic feeling, the oceanic ecstasy.

But nobody listens to any right approach. Thousands of people are unnecessarily in the jails. The number may be millions, not thousands, and most of them are underage; even six-year-olds have been found taking drugs. Nobody has suggested any solution for it.

And once a boy or girl, whatever their age, takes the drug, they cannot forget the experience. Everything else becomes just rotten; the mind continuously hankers for the drug.

It is the duty of the governments of the whole world, through their chemical drug research, to produce drugs which are not harmful, which are not addictive. Any bad aftereffects have been removed, and only that part which gives a joyous feeling, a desire to dance and a desire to find something real is left, because that feeling will disappear within hours.

These drugs can be used in a right way. Everything can be used in a right way and everything can be used in a wrong way, but it is still the same thing.

Hakuin said to his disciples:

The study of Zen is like drilling wood to get fire.

An old, ancient method.

The wisest course is to forge straight ahead without stopping. If you rest at the first sign of heat and then again as soon as the first wisp of smoke arises, even though you drill for three asamkhyeye kalpas . . .

Asamk means innumerable, and kalpas means yugas, or ages. If you drill for asamk, for innumerable ages, you will never find a spark of fire.

What he is saying is that there are things which have to be done fast. If you do them slowly, at the most you may create smoke but not fire. To create fire you have to drill hard and without resting. If, seeing that the wood is becoming hot, you say, “Let us rest a little,” the wood will become cool again. If, seeing that the wood is smoking, you say, “Now the fire is not far away we can rest a little,” the smoke will disappear, the wood will become cool again. The fire is hidden in the wood but you have to be very continuous until you find the spark, the flame jumping up from the wood.

This is a very good example for meditators. You go a little while and then you say, “I have to go tomorrow again, what is the hurry? It is enough, now rest — and if finally, everybody has to become a buddha, what does it matter whether it is Sunday or Saturday? There are only seven days; someday I will become a buddha.” But if you think in terms of going slowly, in a lousy way, taking rests, you will never reach.

Although the path is very short, it is short only for those who go like an arrow. The arrow does not stop on the way, there are no stations for the arrow. It does not rest a little while in the air and then go again, it simply goes straight without halting on the way. And that should be remembered by every meditator.

I have been using the word ‘arrow’ purposely so that you can understand that going into yourself is not a morning walk — that you can return from anywhere. It is not something that you can do in parts; you have to do it one day in a single quantum leap. Whenever you decide, then don’t look back, just go ahead.

Certainly it needs guts and courage because you are moving in a dark and unknown space. You don’t have with you even a lamp — no companion, you don’t have any map. And meditation demands that you go with the speed of light, so fast that the journey of thousands of lives is completed in a single moment.

Hakuin says:

My native place is close to the seashore, barely a few hundred paces from the beach. Suppose a man of my village is concerned because he does not now the flavor of sea, and wants to go and taste it for himself. If he turns back after having taken only a few steps, or even if he returns after having taken a hundred steps, in either case when will he ever know the ocean’s bitter salty taste?

You have to go to the ocean; one hundred feet or two hundred feet, that is not the question. You have to go all the way.

But, though a man comes as far as the mountains of Koshu or Shinshu, Hida or Mino, if he goes straight ahead without stopping, within a few days he will reach the shore, and, the moment he dips the tip of one finger into the sea and licks it, he will instantly know the taste of the water of the distant oceans and the nearby seas and of the southern beaches and the northern shores. In fact of all the sea water in the world.

But the question is of going to the sea, not just going in a lukewarm way: “Today a few steps and then we will see tomorrow.” But tomorrow you will have to take these few steps again. And if this becomes your habit — “A few steps today and then we will see tomorrow” — if this becomes your pattern then you will never reach. Always you will be going on those few steps, and then the decision that, “It is enough, now we will see tomorrow.”

For the meditator there is no tomorrow.

Future is not the concern of meditation. Future is the concern of the mind; mind cannot live without future. If suddenly all future disappears, mind will be at a loss what to do. Future is the space in which mind goes on weaving imaginations, projects, ideas: what one is going to become, what one is going to achieve. All ambitions are laid out in the future. But if the future completely disappears — suddenly you come to the point where you see that there is no future — either your heart will stop or you will run away backwards, thinking that at least the past will be there. But the past is not there.

The past and the future both are in your mind.

Existentially there is only this moment.

So when you meditate today, do it as if this is the last day. You may not have any chance to meditate again, so go all the way to the seashore. And once you have got the taste of your being — the rejoicing, the dancing, the blessing, the ecstasy — then there is no problem, you know the way. It is not far, it is just within you, just a few inches away from your mind. But once you have to know it. Just once you have to know it, then there is no problem. Then you cannot forget it, then you cannot go away against it; then it becomes your very life. And when meditation becomes one’s very life, there is nothing more in this existence to make you richer, to make you more of a splendor. The secret is hidden within you.

A Zen poet wrote:

With a pierced net — a net with holes.

With a pierced net
I’ve caught
All the butterflies
Of the universe.

He is not talking about butterflies; neither is he talking about a pierced net. He is talking about your mind, which is certainly pierced — so many holes, so many loopholes, so many stitches here and there, so many cracks. But the poet is saying, don’t be worried:

With a pierced net
I’ve caught
All the butterflies
Of the universe.

Just know the secret. And the secret is to go beyond the pierced net. Be a master of your mind, then even a pierced net is capable of catching all the butterflies of the world. Right now your mind catches nothing. From all the holes and loopholes everything goes on leaking out. Have you seen that you are leaking continuously? I don’t think . . . but now you will see.

Basho says, sitting silently . . . It is right, but he does not know that when you sit silently it is not necessarily true that the grass grows by itself. What seems to be more likely is that the mind leaks by itself. Basho’s experience is a great experience, but this is a very simple experiment that you can do. Just sitting in your room with closed eyes, see: thoughts are rushing this way and that way, everything is leaking.

When I say go beyond the mind, I mean go beyond all this leaking so that you can find something solid to stand upon. Before you take the jump, you need to find a spot at least to stand on, from which to jump into the darkness, into the unknown territory of your own being.

Buddha is reported to have said that everything that is great is bitter in the beginning and very sweet in the end — and vice versa. That which is very sweet in the beginning, for example a honeymoon, is very bitter in the end. Meditation may be entering into darkness, unknown territory, but it ends up in self-illumination, in a great explosion of light. And once the explosion has happened, you remain the buddha forever; you cannot go back. The mind has gone, just as a shadow disappears. You function now from no-mind, and any action from no-mind is good, is a blessing to the world.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved Master,

Hakuin said, “The wisest course is to forge straight ahead without stopping.” But if we knew where straight ahead was, would we need to walk it?

It is just a way of saying it. There is no problem in it when Hakuin says, The wisest course is to forge straight ahead. He is talking to the disciples, not to the students; he is talking to the meditators.

When I say to you, go straight in, you don’t ask me, “Where is this ‘in’?” You don’t consult an encyclopedia or a map of the world — where is this ‘in’? You understand, you know perfectly well where it is, just you have not gone that way before.

So, Maneesha, you know perfectly well where you have to go. Just go straight ahead. Walking will not do, not even running. That’s why I have used the word ‘arrow’ — with the speed of light. I have used the words ‘quantum leap’. One moment you were not a buddha and another moment you are a buddha — so fast.

There is no distance between you and your buddhahood, only a misunderstanding. It is something like, two plus two is four but by some mistake you have been calculating that two plus two is five, and I tell you that this is a mistake: two plus two is not five, it is four. Do you think you will have to do something? Immediately you see the point.

It is said that psychotics are ones who think two plus two is certainly five. They are very fundamentalist. All fundamentalists are psychotics. They know everything — where God is . . . They know that the Holy Ghost committed a crime, and rather than hanging God on the cross, the Jews hung the poor boy Jesus — it was not his fault.

The Holy Ghost and God are not separate. The Holy Ghost seems to be God’s personality, his mask. Not to say directly that God committed adultery, and with a poor virgin, Mary, they say that the Holy Ghost did it. And the poor boy who was born out of this criminal act, they crucified. They should have crucified God, but the difficulty is . . . In fact everybody would like to crucify God, but where to find him? They found the only begotten son, so they said, “It is near enough. Crucify this fellow at least.”

The psychotics cannot be convinced that two plus two is not five; the neurotics are those who think that perhaps two plus two is four, but they are very uncertain of it, very worried why is it four? Why is it not five? With five they were perfectly at ease. This is the way psychologists find out who is a psychotic and who is a neurotic.

You cannot remove the psychotic from his position, whatever position he has taken. The neurotic you can remove, but he will remain always worried: “This seems to be right, but who knows? Perhaps I was right before, because then I was at ease. Here, with two plus two making four it creates such an anxiety.”

There is no distance between you and your ultimate reality. Just an about turn . . . just, rather than looking outwards, close your eyes and look in. In a single instance, when you have forgotten the outside world completely — the past, the future, everything — and you remain only in this moment, looking inwards, the happening, the transformation, the arrival of the buddha . . .

Maneesha is also asking:

Is not our uncertainty, our groping, because we have to discover for ourselves what is straight ahead and what is going off track?

If you look in you cannot go off track, because there are no tracks. There are not two ways even. It is the outside world where if you don’t know, naturally you will have to grope around. In the inside world you don’t even have hands with which to grope. The inside world is a pure seeing.

In this country we have called this seeing darshan. Darshan means just seeing. And that does everything, you don’t have to do anything else.

-Osho

From The Language of Existence #2

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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