Being Aware Is Enough – Osho

It is said again and again that being aware is enough for transformation. How does it work?

It is a significant question, because if you are aware of your cancer, the cancer will not be cured by just being aware of it – that is true. But as far as psychological transformations are concerned, the moment you are aware of them they disappear – because they do not exist as realities, they exist only as illusions.

You have seen a ghost standing in the dark: now you bring light, and you say there is nobody. Just the shape of the tree was giving you the false impression that somebody was standing there. The ghost has disappeared, because in the first place the ghost was not there.

Awareness helps, brings transformation, because the illusions that you are suffering from are not realities. If you become aware of a rock, the rock is not going to disappear. But if you become aware of the ego, the ego is going to disappear, because the ego is not a reality.

If you become aware, fear is going to disappear, because fear is not a reality. If you become aware, death is going to disappear, because death is a lie, it is not a reality.

Awareness functions in two ways. One: if something is real and you become aware of it, it becomes tremendously beautiful, it becomes psychedelic, it becomes very colorful. If it is unreal, it disappears. If it is real, it becomes more real; if it is unreal, it becomes absolutely unreal.

Awareness is a light. If you bring light into the dark room, darkness will disappear, but the paintings on the wall will appear. When the room was dark, the paintings were not there; although they were there, you could not have seen them – for you they were not there and darkness was there. When you bring light, darkness is there no more and the paintings have appeared.

Something disappears when you become aware, and something appears. Death disappears, deathlessness appears. The ego disappears, egolessness appears. You disappear as a separate entity: God appears. God means, “I am no longer separate.”

“Was you ever in love, Dusty?” asked Walker Long of old Dusty Rhodes one day as they were picking up and putting them down on a railroad right-of-way.

“Yeah, once when I was a young squirt, I was in love,” answered old Dusty.

“Well, you never did get married, did you?” pursued Walker Long.

“Nope, I never did marry,” vouchsafed old Dusty.

“How did that happen?”

“Well, it was like this. The gal I was in love with wouldn’t marry me when I was drunk, and I wouldn’t marry her when I was sober.”

Awareness has its own ways. If you are aware, you will not be able to do many things you have been doing up till now, and you will be able to do many things you have never thought of doing before. If you are aware, you cannot be angry, because anger can exist only in a state of unawareness: that is a prerequisite for anger to exist.

If you are aware, anger is impossible and compassion becomes a natural outcome: the same energy that was becoming anger becomes compassion. If you are aware, sex disappears and love arises: the same energy that was becoming sexuality through unawareness takes on a new manifestation of love through awareness.

As far as psychological transformation is concerned, awareness is enough, analysis is not needed.

That is the difference between Eastern and Western psychology: Western psychology is too concerned with analysis. In the East, for five thousand years psychology has existed; it is the most ancient science in the East. But its concern is totally different; it is not at all interested in analyzing, the whole thing seems to be unnecessary.

And now Western psychology is also becoming aware of the fact that analysis leads nowhere. Have you ever come across a person who is totally analyzed? Even Sigmund Freud was not. Nobody can be totally analyzed. You can analyze one dream, but another day another dream arises. You can go on analyzing – people go to the analyst for years, but dreams don’t disappear, they go on coming; analysis does not make them disappear.

But in the East we know the art of making them disappear. So who bothers? It is as if you see a ghost in the dark – there is no ghost, just the form of the tree – and you start analyzing. You never come close to the tree, you never bring light; you start analyzing the form from far away. You can go on analyzing: nothing is going to happen out of that analysis.

Eastern psychology says: Light a candle, bring the candle to the place, and first see whether the ghost exists at all. If the ghost does not exist, then why bother? Why many, many years of analysis? The analyzed goes on pouring out rubbish, and the analyst goes on dissecting, analyzing, labeling and categorizing the rubbish. Much work goes on, and all futile, much ado about nothing.

Western psychology is based on analysis, Eastern psychology is based on awareness.

Just watch. There is no need to analyze. Become more and more intensely alert. And if you are aware of a problem, half the problem is already solved just by becoming aware of it. Just a slight awareness of the problem, and half the problem is already solved, because you have taken some energy out of it: that energy has become awareness. Become more aware, and the problem becomes dissolved.

Chunk by chunk, the problem disappears as you become aware, because you are pulling back energy which you had been pouring into the problem – that was creating the problem. You are taking your energy back, you are not cooperating any more. You were the creator of the problem: you have taken your energy back.

When all energy has been taken back, a moment comes when the problem flops. First become aware of a problem and then become more and more alert. Nothing else is needed; you need not go to any psychoanalyst.

It is one thing to have a problem, but it is another not even to be aware that you have a problem. That is like the eighty-year-old I heard about in Miami. He was vacationing with another octogenarian in Florida. During their stay they both made the acquaintance of some ladies younger than themselves. They both fell in love and decided to get married in Florida in a double ceremony. Following the wedding night, they are both in their rocking chairs after breakfast.

The one says, “You know, I better see a doctor.”

The other says, “Why?”

“Well,” the first said, “I couldn’t consummate the marriage.”

“Oh,” said the second. “I better see a psychiatrist.”

“Why?” said the first.

“I didn’t even give it a thought.”

First become aware of your problem, and then go on becoming more and more aware of it. Don’t judge; judgment is an obstacle in becoming aware. Don’t call it any names, don’t evaluate. Don’t say it is good, don’t say it is bad, don’t label, don’t categorize. Just be alert: whatsoever it is, simply mirror it.

If you take a stand and you say, “This is bad,” then you have already blocked your awareness. You have concluded – now you are no longer impartial, you have already made a decision. And the moment you say something is bad, you cannot look at it eye to eye. When you say some man is bad, you can’t face him, you can’t encounter him; you avoid him. When you say something is good, you become positively attached; when you say something is bad, you become negatively attached.

Observation means no attachment at all, this way or that, neither negative nor positive. You are simply an impartial mirror-like reflection, you simply reflect whatsoever is. In that awareness, problems melt. In that awareness, lies, falsities and fallacies disappear. And in that awareness, when falsities and appearances have disappeared, reality comes with radiant colors.

You need not take LSD or marijuana or psylocybin. Take a dose of awareness – and life is so beautiful, it is so utterly glorious, it is such an incredible splendor, that no LSD, no marijuana, can add anything to it. All that you need is awareness, and life becomes such a beautiful experience that you cannot imagine that there could be anything better. Ordinary life becomes so luminous. The ordinary tree that you have passed your whole life – coming home, going to the office, you have always been passing the tree – for the first time you see the greenery of it. For the first time you see the luminous presence of the tree, the utter beauty of it.

Life is such a gift, and we go on missing it. And the reason is, between us and life there are so many lies crowding. Your awareness will destroy those lies: they will disappear, and reality will be nakedly encountered.

And to know reality in its utter nakedness is to know God.

-OSHO

From Unio Mystica, V.2, chapter 15

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Watching is not Doing – Osho

Being with you I feel so blissful and liberated, and there seems to be no end to it. You must have tricked me. What is your secret?

I am a simple man without any secret. I am just an open book, and a book in which nothing is written. If you like to call it a secret it is your choice, but it is a very open secret.

If you want to be, learn the art of being: Not to be.

Let me repeat it, because I know you are deaf. If you want really to be, the only way is to learn not to be. Disappear. Just as God disappears from existence, you have to disappear from your life. Let life flow of its own accord.

It is the simplest art in the world, to be silent. It is not a doing, it is a non-doing. How can it be difficult?

I am showing you the way of enlightenment through laziness. Nothing has to be done to attain it, because it is your nature. You have already got it. You are just so busy with outer business that you cannot see your own nature.

Deep within you is exactly the same as outside you: the beauty, the silence, the ecstasy, the blissfulness. But please, sometimes be kind to yourself: just sit down and don’t do anything, either physically or mentally. Relax, not in an American way… because I have seen so many American books titled How to Relax. The very title says that the man knows nothing about relaxation. There is no “how.”

Yes, it is okay – “How to Repair a Car”; you will have to do something. But there is no doing as such as far as relaxation is concerned. Just don’t do anything. I know you will find it a little difficult in the beginning. That is not because relaxation is difficult, it is because you have become addicted to doing something. That addiction will take a little time to disappear.

Just be, and watch. Being is not doing, and watching is also not doing. You sit silently doing nothing, witnessing whatsoever is happening. Thoughts will be moving in your mind; your body may be feeling some tension somewhere, you may have a migraine. Just be a witness. Don’t be identified with it. Watch, be a watcher on the hills, and everything else is happening in the valley. It is a knack, not an art.

Meditation is not a science. It is not an art, it is a knack – just that way. All that you need is a little patience.

The old habits will continue; the thoughts will go on rushing. And your mind is always in a rush hour, the traffic is always jammed. Your body is not accustomed to sitting silently – you will be tossing and turning. Nothing to be worried about. Just watch that the body is tossing and turning, that the mind is whirling, is full of thoughts – consistent, inconsistent, useless – fantasies, dreams. You remain in the center, just watching.

All the religions of the world have taught people to do something: stop the process of thought, force the body into a still posture. That’s what yoga is – a long practice of forcing the body to be still. But a forced body is not still. And all the prayers, concentrations, contemplations of all the religions do the same with the mind: they force it, they don’t allow the thoughts to move. Yes, you have the capacity to do it. And if you persist you may be able to stop the thought process. But this is not the real thing, it is absolutely fake.

When stillness comes on its own, when silence descends without your effort, when you watch thoughts and a moment comes when thoughts start disappearing and silence starts happening, that is beautiful. The thoughts stop of their own accord if you don’t identify, if you remain a witness and you don’t say, “This is my thought.”

You don’t say, “This is bad, this is good,” “This should be there….” and “This should not be there….” Then you are not a watcher; you have prejudices, you have certain attitudes. A watcher has no prejudice, he has no judgment. He simply sees like a mirror.

When you bring something in front of a mirror it reflects, simply reflects. There is no judgment that the man is ugly, that the man is beautiful, that, “Aha! What a good nose you have got.” The mirror has nothing to say. Its nature is to mirror; it mirrors. This is what I call meditation: you simply mirror everything within or without.

And I guarantee you…. I can guarantee because it has happened to me and to many of my people; just watching patiently – maybe a few days will pass, maybe a few months, maybe a few years. There is no way of saying because each individual has a different collection.

You must have seen people collecting antiques, postal stamps. Everybody has a different collection; the quantity may be different, hence the time it takes will be different – but go on remaining a witness as much as you can. And this meditation needs no special time. You can wash the floor and remain silently watching yourself washing the floor.

I can move my hand unconsciously, without watching, or I can move it with full awareness. And there is a qualitative difference. When you move it unconsciously it is mechanical. When you move it with consciousness there is grace. Even in the hand, which is part of your body, you will feel silence, coolness – what to say about the mind?

With your watching and watching, slowly the rush of thoughts starts getting less and less. Moments of silence start appearing; a thought comes, and then there is silence before another thought appears. These gaps will give you the first glimpse of meditation and the first joy that you are arriving home.

Soon the gaps will be bigger, and finally the gap is always with you. You may be doing something, the silence is there. You may not be doing anything, the silence is there. Even in sleep the silence is there.

For a meditator there are no dreams; dreams and thoughts are cousin-brothers, there is not much difference. If thoughts disappear, dreams disappear. And if for twenty-four hours a day you are surrounded by silence you will come to know what my secret is.

If you go near a lake, you start feeling cool. There is no secret in it – it is the milieu. You go to the forest and you feel the difference in the atmosphere. You are the same but the atmosphere around you is different.

When you come closer to me… and to come closer to me you are not to walk and sit by my side. To come closer to me is to be not a Christian, not a Hindu, not a Mohammedan, not a Buddhist, not a communist. To come close to me means that you don’t cling to any ideology, you don’t go on holding onto the past. To come close to me means you start living moment to moment.

Neither the past means anything to you, nor are you worried about the future. This very moment becomes the only reality. In fact it is the only reality. And if you can be in this moment, you can be on a faraway star but you will be close to me and you will feel a serenity, a silence, a lovingness such as you have never known.

I am not doing anything, remember, so don’t be grateful to me. I am a non-doer – I am just being available. That is not much of a doing. I am available, like the trees in the forest and the lakes and the ocean, and the sun and the moon. I am available. Now it is up to you to come close to me, or go away from me.

If you can come close to me you will start feeling things that have been unknown to you, and soon you will realize that what you are feeling close to me you can feel yourself wherever you are. That is the greatest moment of happiness for a master, when his disciple can be on his own.

You must know the meaning of being a disciple, people have forgotten; it comes from “discipline.”

And all the religions have corrupted the meaning of discipline; its root meaning is learning.

Coming close is learning.

What I have got, you have got.

I am aware of it, you are not aware of it.

-OSHO

Excerpt from From the False to the Truth, Chapter Three

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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Total Relaxation is Paradise – Osho

Will you say something more about relaxation? I am aware of a tension deep at the core of me and suspect that I have probably never been totally relaxed. 

When you said the other day that to relax is one of the most complex phenomena possible, I glimpsed a rich tapestry in which the threads of relaxation and let-go were deeply interwoven with trust, and then love came into it, and acceptance, going with the flow, union and ecstasy….

Anurag, total relaxation is the ultimate. That’s the moment when one becomes a buddha. That is the moment of realization, enlightenment, Christ-consciousness. You cannot be totally relaxed right now. At the innermost core a tension will persist.

But start relaxing. Start from the circumference—that’s where we are, and we can start only from where we are. Relax the circumference of your being—relax your body, relax your behavior, relax your acts. Walk in a relaxed way, eat in a relaxed way, talk, listen in a relaxed way. Slow down every process. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t be in haste. Move as if all eternity is available to you—in fact, it is available to you. We are here from the beginning and we are going to be here to the very end, if there is a beginning and there is an end. In fact, there is no beginning and no end. We have always been here and we will be here always. Forms go on changing, but not the substance; garments go on changing, but not the soul.

Tension means hurry, fear, doubt. Tension means a constant effort to protect, to be secure, to be safe. Tension means preparing for the tomorrow now, or for the afterlife—afraid tomorrow you will not be able to face the reality, so be prepared. Tension means the past that you have not lived really but only somehow bypassed; it hangs, it is a hangover, it surrounds you.

Remember one very fundamental thing about life: any experience that has not been lived will hang around you, will persist: “Finish me! Live me! Complete me!” There is an intrinsic quality in every experience that it tends and wants to be finished, completed. Once completed, it evaporates; incomplete, it persists, it tortures you, it haunts you, it attracts your attention. It says, “What are you going to do about me? I am still incomplete—fulfill me!”

Your whole past hangs around you with nothing completed—because nothing has been lived really, everything somehow bypassed, partially lived, only so-so, in a lukewarm way. There has been no intensity, no passion. You have been moving like a somnambulist, a sleepwalker. So that past hangs, and the future creates fear. And between the past and the future is crushed your present, the only reality.

You will have to relax from the circumference. The first step in relaxing is the body. Remember as many times as possible to look in the body, whether you are carrying some tension in the body somewhere—at the neck, in the head, in the legs. Relax it consciously. Just go to that part of the body, and persuade that part, say to it lovingly “Relax!”

And you will be surprised that if you approach any part of your body, it listens, it follows you—it is your body! With closed eyes, go inside the body from the toe to the head searching for any place where there is a tension. And then talk to that part as you talk to a friend; let there be a dialogue between you and your body. Tell it to relax, and tell it, “There is nothing to fear. Don’t be afraid. I am here to take care—you can relax.” Slowly, slowly, you will learn the knack of it. Then the body becomes relaxed.

Then take another step, a little deeper; tell the mind to relax. And if the body listens, mind also listens, but you cannot start with the mind—you have to start from the beginning. You cannot start from the middle. Many people start with the mind and they fail; they fail because they start from a wrong place. Everything should be done in the right order. If you become capable of relaxing the body voluntarily, then you will be able to help your mind relax voluntarily. Mind is a more complex phenomenon. Once you have become confident that the body listens to you, you will have a new trust in yourself. Now even the mind can listen to you. It will take a little longer with the mind, but it happens.

When the mind is relaxed, then start relaxing your heart, the world of your feelings, emotions—which is even more complex, more subtle. But now you will be moving with trust, with great trust in yourself. Now you will know it is possible. If it is possible with the body and possible with the mind, it is possible with the heart too. And then only, when you have gone through these three steps, can you take the fourth. Now you can go to the innermost core of your being, which is beyond body, mind, heart: the very center of your existence. And you will be able to relax it too.

And that relaxation certainly brings the greatest joy possible, the ultimate in ecstasy, acceptance. You will be full of bliss and rejoicing. Your life will have the quality of dance to it. The whole of existence is dancing, except man. The whole of existence is in a very relaxed movement; movement there is, certainly, but it is utterly relaxed. Trees are growing and birds are chirping and rivers are flowing, stars are moving: everything is going in a very relaxed way. No hurry, no haste, no worry, and no waste. Except man. Man has fallen a victim of his mind.

Man can rise above gods and fall below animals. Man has a great spectrum. From the lowest to the highest, man is a ladder.

Anurag, start from the body, and then go, slowly, slowly, deeper. And don’t start with anything else unless you have first solved the primary. If your body is tense, don’t start with the mind. Wait. Work on the body. And just small things are of immense help.

You walk at a certain pace; that has become habitual, automatic. Now try to walk slowly. Buddha used to say to his disciples, “Walk very slowly, and take each step very consciously.” If you take each step very consciously, you are bound to walk slowly. If you are running, hurrying, you will forget to remember. Hence Buddha walks very slowly.

Just try walking very slowly, and you will be surprised—a new quality of awareness starts happening in the body. Eat slowly, and you will be surprised—there is great relaxation. Do everything slowly… just to change the old pattern, just to come out of old habits.

First the body has to become utterly relaxed, like a small child, then only start with the mind. Move scientifically: first the simplest, then the complex, then the more complex. And then only can you relax at the ultimate core.

You ask me, Anurag, “Will you say something more about relaxation? I am aware of a tension deep in the core of me and suspect that I have probably never been totally relaxed.”

That is the situation of every human being. It is good that you are aware—millions are unaware of it. You are blessed that you are aware, because if you are aware then something can be done. If you are not aware, then nothing is possible. Awareness is the beginning of transformation.

And you say, “When you said the other day that to relax is one of the most complex phenomena possible, I glimpsed a rich tapestry in which the threads of relaxation and let-go were deeply interwoven with trust, and then love came into it, and acceptance, going with the flow, union and ecstasy….”

Yes, Anurag, relaxation is one of the most complex phenomena—very rich, multidimensional. All these things are part of it: let-go, trust, surrender, love, acceptance, going with the flow, union with existence, egolessness, ecstasy. All these are part of it, and all these start happening if you learn the ways of relaxation.

Your so-called religions have made you very tense, because they have created guilt in you. My effort here is to help you get rid of all guilt and all fear. I would like to tell you: there is no hell and no heaven. So don’t be afraid of hell and don’t be greedy for heaven.

All that exists is this moment. You can make this moment a hell or a heaven—that certainly is possible—but there is no heaven or hell somewhere else. Hell is when you are all tense, and heaven is when you are all relaxed. Total relaxation is paradise.

-OSHO

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.1, Chapter 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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Energy IS Understanding – Osho

Is there any relationship between understanding and energy?

Santosh, yes. There is great relationship. In fact, to call it relationship is not right – because energy IS understanding. They are not two things.

What kind of energy is understanding? When the energy is unoccupied, it becomes understanding.

When energy is occupied, it remains ignorance, it remains: unconsciousness.

For example, your sex energy is occupied with a woman or with a man. It will remain ignorance – because the energy is focused on the object, it is going outward, it is extrovert. If the energy is freed from the object, where will it go? It will start falling into the subject, into your inner source. And energy falling back into the source becomes understanding, becomes awareness.

And I am not saying be against sex. No. But let sex be more a subjective phenomenon than an objective phenomenon. And that is the difference between sex and love. Love is subjective, sex is objective.

You become interested in a woman or in a man as an object. And sooner or later the interest will be finished, because once you have explored the object, then nothing is left. Then you are ready to move to somebody else. Yes, the woman looks beautiful but how long can she look beautiful? An object is an object. She is not yet a person to you. She is just a beautiful object. It is insulting.

You are reducing a soul into an object, a subjectivity into an object. You are trying to exploit, you are turning her into a means. Your energy will remain ignorant. And you will go on moving from one woman to another, and your energy will go on remaining in a circle. It will never come back home.

Love means you are not interested in the woman or the man as an object. In fact, you are not there to exploit her. You are not there to get something from her. On the contrary, you are so full of energy; you would like to give some energy to her. Love gives. Sex only wants to get.

And when love gives, it remains subjective, it remains rooted into oneself. Lovers help each other to be more and more themselves. Lovers help each other not to disappear, but to become authentically individual. Lovers help each other to be centered. Love is respect, reverence, worship. It is not exploitation. Love is understanding. Because energy is unoccupied with the object, it remains free, untethered to anything. And that brings the transformation. It accumulates inside you.

And remember: just as it happens in the world of physics, so it happens in the world of metaphysics.

After a certain quantity of energy… the qualitative change happens. The qualitative change is nothing but quantitative change. For example, if you heat water up to a hundred degrees it evaporates. Up to ninety-nine it has not evaporated; it is still water – hot, but still water. But beyond a hundred, it evaporates – it is no more water. It has changed its form. The transformation has happened.

Just like that, when your energy accumulates and you don’t go on wasting it on objects…. And people are wasting it on objects. Somebody is interested in money – he puts his whole energy on the money. Of course, he accumulates much money, but in accumulating it he dies, dissipates, becomes empty, becomes a beggar. Money goes on accumulating and he goes on becoming more and more beggarly. Somebody puts his energy into politics, into power. He becomes a prime minister, but deep down he is a beggar. He may be the greatest beggar in the country….

If you put your energy into objects, you will live a life of non-understanding, unawareness. Don’t put your energy into objects. Let energy fall into your being. Let it accumulate. Let your life become a great reservoir. Let your energy just be there without any occupation. And at a certain point… the jump, the quantum leap, the transformation. And energy becomes luminous, turns into awareness, becomes understanding.

You ask, Santosh: Is there any relationship between understanding and energy?

Yes, there is. It is energy that becomes understanding. So when you are depleted of energy, you start losing your understanding. When you are tired, your intelligence is less. You have observed it. In the morning your intelligence is more fresh than in the evening. In the morning you are more understanding, more compassionate, more loving, than in the evening.

Have you observed? – Beggars come in the morning to beg. They understand the psychology. In the evening, who is going to give to them? People are so angry by that time, so frustrated with life. In the mowing, they have rested the whole night, a deep sleep, the energy is fresh – eight hours accumulation of energy. They have more understanding, more compassion, more love, more sympathy. It is possible to persuade them to give something to you. They have, so they can give. By the evening, they don’t have; they have lost all they had. They are dead tired.

Children are more understanding than old people. Have you observed it or not? Old people become very, very hard, cruel, cunning. Their whole life they have remained occupied with objects.

ALL old people become Machiavellian. Young children are innocent, trusting, closer to Buddhas.

Why? – The energy is overflowing.

Young children learn things so fast. Why? The energy is there, hence the intelligence. The older you become, the more difficult it becomes to learn a thing. They say it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. Why? It should not be so, because the dog knows so many tricks, he can learn a few more. It should be easier for him because he has learnt so much. He has practiced learning so much that he can learn a few more easily. But that is not so.

Children learn fast. If a child is born in a town where five languages are spoken, he starts learning all five; he becomes efficient in all five languages. They all become his mother languages. A child has infinite capacity to learn. And the reason is only one: his energy is still overflowing. Soon it will be dissipated in life.

The man of meditation becomes the man of understanding because his energy accumulates. He is not wasting it. He is not interested in trivia; he does not put any energy at all into petty things. So whenever the time arises to give, he has energy to give.

Energy is understanding. Be conscious of it and use your energy very consciously, and use your energy in such a way that you don’t simply go on wasting it.

-OSHO

From The Perfect Master, V.2, Chapter Eight

resized osho hands

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

What Am I Looking For – Osho

What am I looking for? 

Deva Parmita, man is a search for the self – not for A self but for THE self. Man is constantly seeking the lost paradise: somewhere deep in the recesses of human beings, the nostalgia persists. We have known something that is only a far faraway memory. The memory is not even conscious; we have lost all track of it, where it is. But the fragrance goes on arising.

Hence religion is not an accidental phenomenon. It is not going to disappear from the world; no communism, no fascism can make it disappear. Religion is going to remain, because it is very essential. Unless a man surpasses humanity, unless a man becomes a Buddha, religion remains relevant. Only for a Buddha is religion irrelevant. He has arrived: now there is no need for any search.

Parmita, there are not different searches for different human beings. The search is singular, it is one, it is universal. The search is for the self, the supreme self. One wants to know, “Who am I?” because everything else is secondary. Without knowing oneself, whatsoever one is doing is pointless. Unless I know exactly who I am, my whole life is going to remain futile. It will not bring fruition, it will not bring flowering, it will not bring fulfillment.

The first step has to be that of self-knowledge. But the paradox is that if you start searching for A self you will miss THE self. By “a self” I mean the ego, the process of egoing. That is a false self: because we cannot find the true, we start creating the false, just to console ourselves. It is a substitute. But the substitute can never become the truth, and the substitute becomes a bondage.

Truth liberates. Substitutes for truth create prisons. The ego is the greatest prison that man has yet invented; you are all feeling suffocated, crushed. It is not that somebody else is doing it to you: you are the doer of it. You have taken a wrong step. Rather than searching for that which is, you have started substituting something for it – a toy, a pseudo thing. It may console you, but it cannot bring celebration to your life. And all consolation is suicidal, because while you remain consoled, time goes on slipping out of your hands.

THE self is not A self. The self is exactly a no-self: there is no idea of ‘I’ in it, it is universal. All ideas arise in it, but it cannot be identified with any idea that arises in it. All ideas arise in it, all ideas dissolve in it. It is the sky, the context of all contexts, it is the space in which everything happens. But the space itself never happens – it abides, it is always there, and because it is always there, it is easy to miss it. Because it is so much there and always there, you never become aware of its presence.

It is like the air: you don’t become aware of its presence. It is like the ocean that surrounds the fish: the fish never becomes aware of it. It is like the pressure of the air: the pressure is so much, it has always been there, but you are not aware of it. It is like gravitation: it is so much, but you are not aware of it. It is like the earth rushing with great speed round and round the sun: the earth is a spaceship, but nobody is aware of it. We are aboard a spaceship, and it is going at a great speed. Still we are not aware of it.

Awareness needs some gaps. When there are no gaps you fall asleep; you cannot remain aware.

If one has always been healthy, one will not be aware of health. Awareness needs gaps – sometimes you should not be healthy. You should fall ill, then you can have a sense of health. If there was no darkness in the world and there was only light, nobody would have ever known light; people would have missed it.

That’s how we go on missing the original self – you can call it God or nirvana, it doesn’t matter. Sufis have two beautiful words. One is fana: fana means dissolving the ego, dissolving the false substitute. And the other word is baqa: baqa means the arrival, the arising, of the real self.

The real self is universal. How to find it? It is not far away, so you are not to make a long journey to it. It is so close that no journey is needed at all. It is within you. Rather than journeying, you will have to learn how to sit silently.

That’s what meditation is all about – just sitting silently doing nothing. Thoughts arise: you watch. Desires arise: you watch. But you remain the watcher. You don’t become a victim of the desires and the thoughts that are arising; you remain a watcher. You remain the context of all contexts, you remain the space before which everything appears. But the space never appears before itself – it cannot, it is impossible.

The mirror cannot mirror itself, the eyes cannot see themselves. I cannot catch hold of my hand with the same hand; it is impossible.

This is the most fundamental thing to remember, Parmita. You are the watcher and never the watched, you are the observer and never the observed, you are the witness and never the witnessed. You are pure subjectivity. You never appear as an object – how can you appear as an object in front of yourself? Whatsoever appears in front of you is not you.

Go on eliminating the contents. Go on saying, “Neti neti, I am not this, I am not this.” Go on eliminating, and a moment comes when there is nothing left to eliminate. There is pure silence: no content moves in front of you, the mirror reflects nothing. That is the moment when self-knowing arises in you. You become illumined, you are enlightened.

So these few fundamentals are to be remembered: the self is a no-self. The self is not personal, it is universal. The self is the space or context in which all “positionality” in life appears, occurs, arises. It is the screen of life, but the screen itself never appears on the screen, it cannot. Everything else appears on it, it itself remains hidden. It is pure subjectivity.

This pure subjectivity is the ultimate goal everybody is searching for. But it seems difficult. We are so prone to become identified with the contents. So rather than searching for the real, we create something unreal, which is easy. The artificial is always easy, you can manufacture it.

Your ego is a manufactured phenomenon. And once you have manufactured the ego…

How is the ego manufactured? “I am a Hindu”: now you are on the way to creating an ego. “I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am this, I am that” – you are bringing more and more bricks to make the prison called ego.

And this is what we go on doing in our whole life. Earn more money, have a bigger bank balance, and your ego will feel more grounded, more supported, more secure. Become famous: the more people know about you, the more you will think you are.

Hence the constant search for attention. If nobody pays any attention to you, you are reduced to nothing. If you move on the street and nobody says hello, people go on passing by, not even taking any note of you, suddenly you start feeling the earth disappearing underneath your feet. What has happened? They are not feeding your ego. But people feed each other’s egos, because that’s how THEY can be fed. Somebody says, “How are you?” He is really saying, “Ask ME, ‘How are you?’” He is simply asking for mutual gratification. And people do gratify each other; we support each other’s egos: somebody praises you, you praise him in return.

That’s what we call society. It depends on mutual satisfactions, and the greatest satisfaction seems to be ego-gratification.

Hence people are interested so much in politics, because politics can gratify you as nothing else can. If you become politically powerful the whole country is in your grip; the whole country has to pay attention to you. You can impose your will on people, you have power.

The power of a politician is the power of violence. Now he controls the whole mechanism of violence: he controls the police, the government, the military, he controls everything. He can impose his will on you. That’s why politicians tend to become violent sooner or later. Politicians hanker deep down for wars, because it is only in war that a politician becomes a great politician. If you go through history you will see the point.

Winston Churchill would not have been such a great leader if there had been no second world war. Neither would Adolf Hitler have been such a power if there had been no second world war, not would Mussolini. The war created the context: they were able to be as violent as possible. They were able to butcher people, to murder people, in millions.

People immediately pay attention when you are violent. If you live a peaceful life, no newspaper is going to report about you in your whole life. But if you kill somebody or you commit suicide, you will be immediately in the newspapers.

Just a few days ago, Reverend Jones committed suicide with all of his nine hundred disciples. You had never heard about this poor man before, nobody knew that there was anybody like that. Now the whole world knows.

They had lived in that commune for many years, but nobody would take any note of them. It is possible that had you taken note of them, they might not have needed to go to such an extreme, they might not have committed suicide. This is his way of making the whole world feel his presence – this is a very pathological way, ugly, but this is the same phenomenon again. People are searching for the ego: if they cannot find it through being creative, they will find it through being destructive. If they cannot find it by being a great saint, they will find it by being a great sinner.

Somebody asked George Bernard Shaw, “Where would you like to go when you die – to heaven or to hell?” He said, “It all depends.”

The man said, “What do you mean, ‘It all depends’?”

He said, “If I am going to be the first in heaven, then to heaven. If I am going to be second there, no. Then it is better to be in hell but be first.”

He is joking, but he is telling a truth – a truth about you, a truth about the whole humanity, the way it lives through ambition, through egoing.

Remember, the real self has nothing to do with anybody else paying attention to you. Note the difference: the false self needs others’ attention to be paid to you, and the real self only needs your attention – just your attention, and that’s enough.

If you turn your attention inwards, you will know the real self. If you go on seeking others’ attention, you will continuously live in a false entity which is always ready to disappear if you don’t feed it continuously. It has to be supported.

The ego is not an entity. It is not a noun, it is a verb. That’s why I am saying it is egoing. You cannot remain satisfied with any attention paid to you, you have to ask and hanker for more. You have to go on egoing; it is only through egoing that the ego can exist. It is a process – and it is so false and its demands are so ugly! It is a lie. It demands more and more lies from you, and to gratify it you have to become utterly false. You have to become a personality.

A personality means a false phenomenon, a mask. You have to become an actor; you are no longer a real person, you are no longer authentic. You don’t have any substance, you are just a shadow. And because of this shadow there is always fear of death, because any moment this shadow can disappear.

Your bank can go bankrupt, and immediately you are gone, you are nobody. Your power can be lost, because there are other competitors pushing you. This whole life is a constant pushing and pulling, hence there is so much agony.

Do you know the root of the word agony? It comes from ag: ag means pushing. You are continuously being pushed, and in your turn you are pushing others; that creates agony.

The whole world lives in anguish and agony. Only the person who comes to know his real self goes beyond it and enters into the world of ecstasy. And there are the two states: agony and ecstasy.

Parmita, you are in agony, as everybody else is. And the search is for ecstasy. Remember always, your commitments, your ideologies, your so-called ultimate values, your theologies, philosophies and religions provide contexts, often valuable contexts, for individual existence. But they are not what you are.

You are not even your body. You are not your mind. You are neither black nor white, you are neither Indian nor German. You cannot be defined in any way, all definitions will fall short. You are indefinable; you are something that surpasses all definitions. You are the vast sky in which planets appear and earths appear, and sun and moon and stars – and they all disappear, and the sky remains as it has remained always. The sky knows no change. You are that unchanging sky. Clouds come and go, you are always here.

When Raman Maharshi was dying, somebody asked, “Bhagwan, soon you will be leaving your body; where will you go?” He opened his eyes, laughed and said, “Where can I go? I have been here, I will be here. Where can I go – WHERE? There is nowhere to go. I am everywhere: I have been here and I will remain here for ever and ever.”

He is saying that he has come to know his being as the sky; he is no longer a cloud.

If you really want to search for the real self, don’t get attached to any commitment, to any program, to any idea. Remain unattached, flexible, fluid; don’t become stagnant. Always remain in a state of unfrozenness; don’t freeze. The moment you freeze, you have something false in your hands; a cloud has arisen. Remain in a state of meltedness, don’t become committed to any form or name. And then something tremendous starts happening to you: for the first time you start feeling who you are.

The feeling does not come from the outside, it arises from the inner depths of your being. It floods you. It is light, utter light, it is bliss, utter bliss. It is divine. It is another name for God.

Never become crystallized; if you become crystallized in something, you are encaged. Remain free, remain freedom. All identity creates fixation; and every fixation, every identification, is a liability. The more fixed one’s identity, the less the experience of which one is capable. The point is not to lack a position, but not to be positional.

I am not saying to become unthinking. Remain intelligent, capable of thinking, but never get identified with any thought. Use the thought as a tool, as an instrument; remember that you are the master.

Not to be attached to whatever position one has at any particular moment is the beginning of self-knowledge. One IS, one experiences aliveness, to the extent to which one can transcend particular positions and can assume other viewpoints.

That’s what I mean by remaining fluid, flowing. One should remain available to the present. Die to the past each moment, so that nothing about you remains fixed. Don’t carry a character around yourself; all characters are armors, imprisonments.

The real man of character is characterless – you will be surprised by this. The real man of character is characterless: he has consciousness, but he has no character. He lives moment to moment. Responsible he is, but he responds out of the moment, not out of past contexts. He carries no ready-made programs in his being. The more you have ready-made programs, the more you are an ego. When you have none – no programs, nothing ready-made in you – when each moment you are as fresh as if you are born anew, to me that is freedom. And only a free consciousness can know the true self.

This is the search, Parmita. Nothing else will ever satisfy, nothing else can ever satisfy. All are consolations – and it is better to drop them, it is better to become aware that consolations are not going to help.

This is what I call sannyas: dropping consolations, renouncing consolations – not the world but consolations – renouncing all that is false, becoming true, becoming simple, natural, spontaneous. That’s my vision of a sannyasin, the vision of total freedom.

And in those beautiful moments of total freedom, the first rays of light enter you, the first glimpses of who you are. And the grandeur of it is such, and the splendor of it is such, that you will be surprised to find that you have been carrying the kingdom of God within you and you have remained so unaware, and for so long. You will be surprised that it was possible not to know such a treasure. Such an inexhaustible treasure is within you.

Jesus goes on repeating again and again, “The kingdom of God is within you.” Call it the kingdom of God or the supreme self or nirvana or whatever you will, that is our search – everyone’s, not only of human beings but of all beings. Even trees are growing towards it, even birds are searching for it, even rivers are rushing towards it. The whole existence is an adventure.

And that is the beauty of this existence. If it was not an adventure, life would be absolute boredom. Life is a celebration because it is an adventure.

-OSHO

From Unio Mystica, V.2, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Unio Mystica, V.2

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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Forget All About the World – Osho

Many times in my meditation I asked you not to show me directly the tremendous tragedy that is happening on Earth today, as I know I could never tolerate such suffering. Yet I’m sensing this all the time, even with my buffers. I know you are the light for this whole planet, and knowing this carries such a responsibility. I would be so grateful to hear you speak to me on helping, knowing I can’t help, and the angst of feeling helpless—and also of relaxing when feeling such a state of urgency. 

Prem Kaveesha, I can understand your anguish about the whole of humanity, about this planet earth; because every day we are coming closer and closer to a disaster.

It is because the disaster is coming very close; even with your buffers you cannot forget it – and it hurts. And it hurts more because you feel you cannot help; you cannot do anything. It is simply beyond the capacity of any individual to prevent this calamity, this disaster, this global suicide that seems to be almost certain. But I have a way of my own.

You feel helpless because you think in terms of helping other people to understand, and that is an impossible job. The world is so big, and people are so full of violence that it seems the calamity is not coming from outside, but it is the accumulated violence in people themselves that is going to explode this earth.

But don’t think in terms of helping. Then you will not feel helpless and you will not feel tense. I don’t feel helpless, I don’t feel tense, I don’t feel any anguish – and I am more aware of it than you can be – because my approach is not of helping anybody, but just for you to raise your own consciousness to the highest peak possible… of which you are perfectly capable.

If we can create only two hundred enlightened people in the world, the world can be saved.

Kaveesha was born in a Jewish family, hence she will understand a beautiful story. In the Old Testament it is mentioned that there were two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, and both became sexually perverted. In Gomorrah, homosexuality was so prevalent, and in Sodom people had fallen even lower in their perversion: they were making love to animals. Hence, the English word “sodomy” – it comes from the city of Sodom. And God decided to destroy those two cities completely.

He destroyed those two cities completely – and it is very strange that those two cities had the same population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by man, but the Old Testament story is that God destroyed those two sexually perverted cities. What I am going to tell you is a Hassidic story based on the Old Testament version of the destruction by God of two sexually perverted cities.

Judaism has blossomed in its totality in Hassidism. Hassidism is a rebellious, and essentially religious, phenomenon. All the religions have given to the world something beautiful – although those religions were against that something beautiful – except Christianity.

Mohammedanism has given Sufism, although Mohammedans have killed Sufis. Buddhism has given Zen, although Buddhists don’t accept Zen as an authentic teaching of Gautam Buddham. Hinduism has given Tantra, but Hindus are very much against Tantra – and that is their very truth. It is a very strange thing… and the same is the situation with Judaism.

Hassidism is a small, rebellious phenomenon within the world of Judaism. The man who founded Hassidism was Baal Shemtov. He also relates the story and you can see the beauty and the difference. Somebody asked him, “What do you think about Sodom and Gomorrah?”

And Baal Shem said, “That story is not written in its completion. I will tell you the whole story.” And he said, “When God declared that he was going to destroy these two cities, one Hassid, a mystic, approached God and asked him, ‘If in these cities there are one hundred people who have experienced you, what will you do with these one hundred people? Are you going to destroy them too, with the whole cities?’

“For a moment God was silent and then he said, ‘No. If there were one hundred awakened souls in these two cities, because of those one hundred people these two cities would be saved; I would not destroy them.’

“The Hassid mystic said, ‘If there were only fifty, not a hundred? Will you destroy these cities, and those fifty awakened people?’

“Now God saw that he had been caught by the mystic. He said, ‘No, I cannot destroy fifty awakened people.’ And the Hassid said, ‘I want you to know that there is only one man who is awakened; six months he lives in Sodom and six months he lives in Gomorrah. What do you say about it? – Will you destroy the cities?’

“God said, ‘You are a very cunning fellow. Who is this man?’ He said of course, ‘I am.’”

And God could not deny him because it is not a question of quantity, it is a question of quality: one awakened person or one hundred awakened persons. The awakened person cannot be destroyed by existence, because the awakened person is the longest dream of existence itself, the deepest longing of existence itself – to reach to the stars.” And Baal Shem said that Sodom and Gomorrah were never destroyed.

Jews are angry about Baal Shem, that he is just inventing this story; the whole story is written in the Old Testament. The Jews don’t accept the Hassids as authentic Jews. In the same way, everywhere the really religious person will be condemned by the so-called religious.

Whether Baal Shem invented the story or whether he was telling the true story, I am with him. In the first place a God who believes in destruction is not a God. A God who cannot transform people from their perversions is not a God. Baal Shem is not only saving those two cities, he is also saving God’s godliness: his compassion, his love, his understanding.

Kaveesha, forget all about the world. You become the one Hassid, the one mystic. And if we can create around the world just two hundred enlightened people…. That number is also exactly like Baal Shem’s Hassid. When he started talking with God, negotiating, it was only a question of two cities.

The world has become big and it is a question of the whole world – so I am starting negotiating with two hundred. But I want to tell you that even two enlightened people will be enough, and the world will be saved; because existence cannot destroy its own ultimate flowering.

So you forget about the world; otherwise it will create unnecessary anxiety and will destroy your own awakening, which is the only possibility to save the world.

Anybody who wants to help the world should forget about the world and concentrate upon himself. Raise your consciousness to such a height that existence has to think a second time whether to destroy this world or to save it.

The masses as they are don’t matter; existence will not care about them. In fact, existence would like this whole humanity – this rotten humanity – to be destroyed, so that evolution can start from scratch again. Something has gone wrong….

But if there are a few enlightened people, they are far weightier than billions and billions of people on the earth. Existence cannot destroy the world – not only because of those few people who are enlightened; but because of their enlightenment, the unconscious masses also become valuable, because it is from these unconscious masses that those Himalayan peaks have arisen. They were also unconscious yesterday, today they are conscious. And existence is very patient: if it sees that unconscious people can become fully conscious, then this great mass of people, which is absolutely unconscious, also has a possibility.

I depend on the individuals, not on the collectivity. The collectivity is so rotten that it will be an act of compassion to destroy it. But we have to prove that out of this unconscious, almost dead humanity, a few lotuses can blossom. Then, just given time, perhaps more lotuses will be coming. Some may be just buds, some may be just in the seed; but even if there is one man who is enlightened, with him the whole of humanity becomes valuable, because that man shows the hope that every man is capable of the same miracle.

So, Kaveesha, forget about helping. You cannot help; nobody can help. But you can become a mystic, a Hassid, and you can argue with God, that “I am here; are you going to destroy me? And these people who are somnambulists, walking in their sleep – I was also one of them. That is my yesterday. These people should be given their tomorrows. There is every possibility that every human being can become a Gautam Buddha.”

This is the only way to save this beautiful planet earth.

-OSHO

From The Rebellious Spirit, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Biggest Surprise of All – Osho

What are we to do in this experiment? We will sit quietly, keeping the body relaxed and the spine erect. We will stop all movement of the body. We will breathe slowly and deeply and without any excitement. We will silently observe our own breathing and we will listen to any sounds falling on our ears from outside. We will not react in any way; we will not give them a second’s thought. We will let go into a state of mind where, without the interference of words, we will simply be a witness.

We will stand at a distance and watch whatever is taking place. Don’t try to concentrate at all. Simply be quiet and watch whatever is happening. Listen. Just close your eyes and listen. Listen quietly in silence. Listen to the chirping of the sparrows, to the swaying of the trees in the wind, to the cry of a child, to the sound of the water wheel at the well. Simply listen. And do nothing else.

First, within yourself, you will experience a throbbing of the breath and a beating of the heart – and then a new kind of quiet and peace will descend upon you. You will find that although there is noise outside there is silence inside. You will find you have entered a new dimension of peace. Then you will find that there are no thoughts, that only pure consciousness remains. And in this medium of emptiness your attention turns towards the place that is your real abode. From the outside you turn towards your home.

Your vision has led you inwards. Simply keep watching. Watch your thoughts, your breath and the movement at the navel. No reaction. The result will be something that is not a creation of the mind, that is not of your creation at all. This is in fact your being, your existence. This is the cohesion that sustains us all. It reveals itself unto us and then one’s own self, the biggest surprise of all, appears.

-OSHO

From The Perfect Way, Chapter Two

 

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Perfect Way

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.