From Sex to Ecstasy – Osho

Do values like love, religiousness, authenticity, happiness, change as human consciousness grows upwards?

The movement of human consciousness from darkness to light, from unconsciousness to consciousness, is the greatest revolution there is.

Everything in human life changes, even with a slight movement in consciousness. It all depends on where your consciousness is. But this is something which has never been explored. If you look into the dictionaries you will not find three meanings of love; there should be. You will not find three meanings of religiousness; there should be. You will not find three meanings of happiness either; there should be. Let us move step by step. Love, for the person who lives in the darkness of his instincts, is not even worth calling love. It is simply sex, a strategy of nature to go on reproducing itself.

You are being used as a means – that is the ugliest part of it. You are not the master of it, you are in the hands of biology. And whatever you are doing, it is not your doing either: you are forced by your instinctive nature to do it – there is no option, it is not your choice. You cannot choose – as far as instincts are concerned, their grip on you is absolute; you are simply a prisoner. But you go on befooling yourself: you think it is something that you are doing – it is something that is being done through you.

There is a story in India…. In Jagganath Puri, one of the sacred places of Hindus – jagganath means the lord of the world; the temple in Jagganath Puri is the temple of the lord of the world. Because of the temple, the city has grown around it, and because of the temple, the whole city is called Jagganath Puri.

Every year there is a great festival; millions of people gather. The statue from the temple is taken on a chariot for people to see, and it goes around those millions who have gathered. The chariot is drawn by beautiful horses, twelve, of the same color, pure white – the color of the lord of the world. The chariot is golden, of immense value.

Once it happened – this is how the story goes – that a dog started walking in front of the chariot, in front of the horses. Now, when millions of people were there, who was going to bother about a dog who is walking in front of the chariot? People were falling on the ground, prostrating, to give respect to the lord of the world. And the dog thought, “This is great! I have so many followers – I had no idea before. Such a multitude of disciples… I must be some great master.”

Obviously – the logic is simple – the disciples were there and everybody was prostrating to him. He was not aware of the lord of the world, who was behind. Even if he tried he could not see, because the statue was high in the chariot, and then there were twelve horses. It was not possible for the dog to find out to whom… and they were almost touching his feet. And when somebody is respected by millions of people in this way, the very idea of thinking that this respect is being given to somebody else who is behind is impossible – it is against the ego. And the evidence is so clear, anybody can see.

This is the situation of man as far as biology is concerned. The chariot of biology is behind you, carrying the lord of nature, and you think everything is being done by you. Just a little alertness is needed and you will be able to see that it is nothing to do with you. Nature wants to fulfill itself – you are being used as a means.

The antagonism of religion against sex is ninety-nine percent stupid, but there is one percent of truth which I cannot deny. But I have never talked about that one percent of truth to you because there is the danger that the one percent truth may deceive you and you will forget the ninety-nine percent which is untrue. So I have been hammering on the ninety-nine percent. But to make my picture complete… these are my last touches to the picture, so I cannot leave anything out.

That one percent of truth is significant; in fact because of that one percent, all religions became anti-sex. And that truth is that sex makes man a fool, gives him the idea that he is the master of it, while he is only a slave. And the slavery has to be broken – he has to be pulled out of this ditch. But if he thinks that that ditch is a palace then you cannot pull him out. You cannot even persuade him to come out of it; hence, the condemnation of sex by all the religions.

But they overdid it, and they forgot the ninety-nine percent dangers just for the one percent. It could have been done very easily without taking the risk of ninety-nine percent falsehood. But they saw the danger of man being simply a means, and that is the lowliest position possible; you are just a means, not an end. You are being used by some unknown force of which you have no idea. And you go on thinking in your mind that all these prostrating people are prostrating to you.

The man living on the instinctive level only has an hallucination of love. That hallucination is created by nature, by biology, chemistry. You have in your body drugs which are released when you are making love, and you start moving into euphoria. That is one of the reasons why people who become addicted to drugs slowly, slowly become uninterested in sex.

The hippies and yippies and all kinds of people – when they became too interested in drugs, they lost their fervor for sex completely, because now they had found a better way of getting into a euphoric state. Now sex seemed to be nothing compared to it. That can give you a clue that both are drugs.

Nature has been using that drug in a very minute quantity; there was no need for more up to now.

Perhaps nature will have to think again – find out better drugs, create better chemistry; bring its level up to date; it is lagging far behind. Man’s mind has created things like LSD; far superior; so superior that a man like Aldous Huxley thought that LSD gives you samadhi – that it is actually what Kabir and Buddha and Rumi and all the mystics of the world have been talking about. But they had bullock-cart methods to reach to this state.

Now science has given us very advanced drugs, there is no need for yoga and tantra and other things – you just take an injection. You yourself push the injection; there is no need for somebody else to do it. And for hours you are in a euphoric state which is certainly superior to what you call orgasm, because orgasm is so momentary that it only creates more desire for it; it never gives you any satisfaction.

The second symptom that it is a drug is its power of addiction: people become addicted to sex. And a very strange thing about addiction is that if you have the drug, it is nothing; if you don’t have it, you are missing. You never think what you are missing because when you have it, it is nothing. Each time you have it you feel that it is just a futile effort, nothing comes out of it. You don’t move a single inch in evolution. You just jump for a moment in the air and with a thump you fall back on the ground.

That’s why people don’t like to make love publicly, there is no other reason. The reason is nobody wants to look so foolish. Now, in California, which is the most advanced stupid place in the whole world, they have hotels for peeping Toms – you have to pay for it. Inside two fools are making love, and many around the room are sitting and looking and enjoying what the two fools are enjoying. They are enjoying how the couple is making fools of themselves. People pay for it, but those two people are not aware of it; they have also paid.

One man, the first day, was inside the room, but coming out he found many people really hilarious. He asked them, “What is the matter?”

They said, “The show was so good!”

“Which show?” He asked.

They said, “You don’t know? Come tomorrow – it is worth seeing.” The man was such an idiot, and he had been doing such idiotic things, it was worth seeing. The next day the man came with these friends. Now he was outside the wall – and then he found what the matter was: the previous day he had been inside and all these people had enjoyed him. This was tricky – now he was enjoying somebody else!

All the cultures around the world have prohibited, in some way or other, lovemaking in public places, for the simple reason that if you want to be idiotic then at least find some privacy. Don’t make yourself unnecessarily a public show free of charge. A crowd will gather and they will enjoy. Nobody can pass by that place; they will all stop there. And they know they all are doing the same kinds of things. But it is an unconscious state.

Love, at the instinctive level – which is the lowest level – is just a dream created by nature so that you can pass through this arduous job of making love. If there is no euphoria around it, you are going to refuse: “I am not going to make a fool of myself.” Nature has given you a certain allurement.

So in the unconscious state where instinct functions, love is only a name. It means nothing, it simply means foreplay… because just going to a woman and asking her, “Are you ready to come with me to bed?” looks so sudden and so inhuman that the woman, even if she wanted to come with you, is going to slap you. Instead of sleeping with you she is going to slap you then and there.

No, you have to follow a certain procedure – and that procedure you call love. It is not that you do it deliberately to cheat the woman, no: you are being cheated as much as she is being cheated by the same biological forces. The same force is making you say beautiful things to her, what you call “sweet nothings,” whispered into her ear. And the same force is managing things from the other side also, so that she believes you. Whatever you are saying – even if the woman is the ugliest that you have seen, if you say to her, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world, perhaps another Cleopatra,” she is going to believe it! And it is not that you are saying it to cheat her, to deceive her in any way; in that moment you are really true.

One of my friends, a very rich man, who presented me with almost everything…. He made it a point that nobody could present anything before him, so everything that I needed or could have needed anytime he managed to present to me – things which I never used. I asked him also “What am I going to do with this?”

He said, “That is not the point. The point is, nobody is going to present you anything before me.

Later on they can go on presenting you with things – and millions will be presenting you things out of love – but they will always be after me. Nobody else can be first.”

And I was very reluctant, because if there was something I was not going to use, if it was no use to me, he was unnecessarily wasting money. And he was so particular and such a perfectionist that only the best satisfied him. If I would not take something then he would find ways somehow to smuggle the thing into my house. Once, when I was leaving – I used to stay with him at least three days every year, that was a commitment. So three days I used to stay with him every year, and when I was leaving he said to me – which he had never said before – “Just be a little careful about your suitcase.”

I said, “I have come so many times, and so many times you have come to the train to say goodbye to me, but you have never said to me, ‘Be careful about the suitcase.’ What is the matter?”

He said, “Nothing is the matter,” and he gave me the key.

I said, “Strange – why are you keeping the key? If it had been left with you, then I would have been in trouble” – and it was a thirty-six-hour journey from his place to Jabalpur.

He said, “No, I was not going to forget it.”

As the train left, the first thing I did, I opened the suitcase: what was the matter? The suitcase was full of one-hundred rupee notes. I thought, “My God! What has he done?” And there was a slip in an envelope: “This is for a new Fiat car. Purchase it immediately. And you cannot say no to me because that will hurt me my whole life.”

I said, “This is strange.” I am continually traveling – in Jabalpur I remain only for five to seven days a month at the most, and that too, not at one stretch. But he will be certainly hurt.” And as I reached home, immediately my phone was ringing. He said, “You have to do first things first. I have already arranged it. I have contacted the Fiat Company in Jabalpur – and the car is ready there. Just take the suitcase and take delivery of the car.”

I said, “You don’t leave anything for me!” The car was already standing there ready and the man said, “We have been waiting for you.”

I said, “What to do? The train was two hours late.” And my friend must have been phoning according to the timetable. In India it is said that that’s why the timetable is published – so you can find how late the train is; otherwise how will you find out by how much the train is late? The timetable is absolutely a necessity. Only once it happened that I got into a carriage at the exact time. Traveling for thirty years continually; that was the only time the train arrived exactly on time; it was a miracle. I went to the guard and thanked him; I said, “This is a miracle.”

He said, “It is not a miracle. You don’t know – this is YESTERDAY’S train! We are twenty-four hours late, we are not on time.”

I said to the man at the garage, “What could I do? – the train was late, so two hours….”

He said, “Your friend was very particular about everything; a radio had to be in the car.” And he had made sure of everything, insurance…. And he asked the garage owner to arrange a license for me because otherwise the car might just stay parked at my place. He gave me the first tape-recorder, the first camera – everything that he could find, he would immediately bring to me.

This man was rare in many ways. He was a miser – such a miser that beggars simply bypassed his house. If any beggar ever stood there, other beggars thought, “This seems to be a new man

– standing before Rekhchand Parekh’s house, begging!” He had never donated to any institution in his life, never given a single pai to any beggar.

His wife had taken me to introduce to her husband because she said, “He is so miserly, and he has so much money. And we have only three daughters, who are married and have rich houses, so there is no problem. And there is no son, there is nobody after us, but he goes on collecting – even I don’t know how much he has.”

They lived in a place, Chanda, in Maharashtra. She said, “He had purchased almost one-third of the houses of the city – it seems he is going to purchase the whole city. If there is any house for sale, he is not going to let anybody else purchase it. And his only joy seems to be just accumulating money. I have brought many Jaina monks – because they were Jainas, and they were Gandhians – and I have brought many great disciples of Gandhi, thinking perhaps somebody will change his mind. But he is very straight and does not give any chance for anybody to even touch him.”

So I said, “Okay, I will come. I cannot guarantee anything; I don’t know what type of man he is, but he appeals to me.”

He had come to receive me at the station. While we were going to his house – he was driving –

I told him, “One thing I should tell you is that your wife has brought me here to persuade you not to be miserly. She wants you to donate to institutions that are doing a public service, to religious institutions, to schools, to hospitals. I am not interested in all of these things; I have just come to meet you because you attracted me. You are a rare man! Never in your life have you given to a beggar, never have you donated a single pai?”

He said, “Never, because I am waiting for the man who is worth to be given EVERYTHING.”

When we reached his house, his wife was surprised because never before had he taken to his sitting room any saints that she had brought. And he told the servants that I would be staying in his guest house, in his sitting room; that I would be there: “And tell my wife she need not worry about this man.” His wife was at a loss: What had happened?

A sudden synchronicity, he told me – not the word “synchronicity,” he had never heard that, but he told me, “It is strange, the moment I saw you, I felt, ‘This is the man.’” And even after we had known each other for twenty years, there was not a single question from him – no question, no doubt, no argument – whatever I was saying was truth to him.

I asked his wife only one question. After being there for the first time for three days, I asked his wife, “Is your husband interested in sex or not?”

She said, “Not at all, and it is not that he represses, he is simply finished. And you can see now that he is a strange man. He has told me, ‘If you are not finished you are free; you can have sex with whoever you want. I am finished with it.”’

The moment a man is finished with sex as an instinct that is forcing him to do something, he becomes in a certain way a master of himself and he starts having insights, visions which the unconscious, instinctive man cannot have.

Just looking at me – not a single word had been said – he said, “I have found the person.” And then whenever I needed any amount of money, for myself or somebody else, I had just to inform him, “Give this much money to this man.”

He never asked, “Who is this man and why is so much money needed for him?” He simply gave it.

His wife was simply shocked. She could not believe that this miserly man… how suddenly he had completely become just the opposite. I told her, “There is no problem. He is not miserly – it was your misunderstanding. He never wanted to give to those people who are not worthy of it. And coming from the station to the house he said to me, ‘I have found you; now all that I have belongs to you. Whatsoever you want to do with it you can do.’ He is not a miserly man, it was your misunderstanding. It is difficult to find such a man, so generous.” But from where was his generosity coming? His generosity was coming from a certain mastery over himself.

The instinctive man clings to everything: to sex, to money, to power – to everything.

I asked him, “Why do you go on purchasing all the houses?”

He said, “Some day you may like to have a commune – then from where am I going to suddenly give you a commune? By that time I will have purchased the whole city. I know that you will take a little time before you need a place – I am preparing it for you.” Now, nobody would have thought that he was purchasing houses… that even before knowing me, he was purchasing them for somebody who was going to come into his life, who one day may need this whole city.

And many times it happened… he used to come with me once in a while for a tour. Anybody would think that he was a miser because he was such a rich, super-rich man, but he would always travel third class on the passenger trains. Never express trains, mail trains, no; never first class, air-conditioned – out of the question. But whenever he would travel with me, he would say, “You can travel in the air-conditioned class; I will travel in the third class.”

Once I asked, “Why do you insist on traveling third class?”

He said, “I have my own ideas. People think I am a miser – I don’t care a bit about money. What am I going to do with the money? Soon I will die and all this money will be lying here. But to travel in the third class is an experience: the crowd, the people, the gossips, and things that go on happening in the third class of an Indian railway train….” He had traveled all over India, and he had friends at every station; he would call the coolies by their names. And he knew every place where you could get the best milk, where you could get the best tea, where you could get the best sweets.

He said, “With an express train, a mail train, this is not possible, because they stop only at a few stations and I want to stop at every station, because at every station I have friends and I have things to do. The passenger train stays longer at every station. If other trains are passing, then the passenger train will be delayed; no other train will be delayed, so you always have hours on your hands. And all these stationmasters are my friends, the guards are my friends, the drivers are my friends – because I call all of them when I know that a particular sweet is made the best at that station. So they say to me, ’Parekh, enjoy yourself! Unless you enter the train, the train will not move.’ ”

And he said, “I like to be the master rather than the servant – not that they give the whistle and you run, no.”

That was his reason: “I want to be the master. When I enter the train, then whistling and flagging and everything happens – but first they have to see that Parekh has entered.”

He was an old man – I was only thirty-five, he was fifty at that time – but he would take me out of the station, and he would say, “Come outside. The mango trees are great here.”

I would say, “The train is there – are we going to pick mangos? And then if we miss the train…. I have my appointment.”

He would say, “Don’t be worried. Until I enter the train, the train remains in the station. You can go up the tree, I am also coming; we will go up the tree and pick mangos.”

One day it happened: we were picking mangos and Parekh said to me, “Just look upwards,” and there was another man. He said, “He is the driver. He knows that I will come to pick mangos so the train has to stay. So why waste time? – Collect a few mangos, and these mangos are really sweet! In fact, the guard will be in some other tree…. It is all under my control.”

This man had no instinctive force. He was not in any way interested in any particular food; he liked all kinds of food, he liked all kinds of clothes. In fact he was so disinterested that anything would do – no special liking, disliking. But he was a man full of love.

Once in a city in Rajasthan, Biawar, he was with me, and I had a fever. The whole night he remained by my side. I told him, “Parekh, you go to sleep. Because of you I cannot go to sleep!”

He said, “That is up to you – that is your problem. I am not saying to you, ‘Don’t go to sleep’; I am trying to help you to go to sleep. As far as I am concerned I cannot sleep knowing that you have a fever. The fever may increase in the night and I may be asleep. That is not permissible.”

And actually it happened: in the night the fever increased; at two o’clock it was one hundred and five. He said, “Do you see the point? You would not have awakened me.”

I said, “That is true.”

He called the doctor and he said to me, “This is not the time for you to leave the body. If you can make some arrangement, I am willing to leave the body and you remain in the body – because you have much to do, and I have nothing to do.”

This is love of a totally different kind – a caring, a friendliness.

The instinctive love can become any moment hate. The man who was ready to die for you can kill you. The woman who was so caring towards you, so loving towards you, can poison you; literally she can poison you. Love, if it is instinctive, is not in your hands; you are just a slave.

The unconscious is very easily convertible into its opposite, and you cannot do anything about it.

But when love comes to the conscious level – that is, when it comes to the level of intellect, not instinct – then it has a different flavor. Then it has no biological purpose.

What biological purpose can music have? What biological purpose can poetry have? Or painting? Or philosophy? But Socrates is ready to die for his philosophy. There seems to be a tremendous love affair with his own system that he has created. He knows perfectly well that his death is not going to destroy his philosophy, but if he compromises just to go on living, that may destroy his whole philosophy. The very compromise – because that was one of his teachings: never compromise. Truth is truth, and untruth is untruth. And there is no possibility of compromise.

Just the other day I received a very beautiful, nice, elegant letter from a council of priests, bishops, Christian theologians. They have a certain council in America, and they have written that they have been discussing me now for almost two to three years – reading, discussing. I have become their center of discussion. They have invited me to come, and they will take every care; they want to exchange thoughts with me. That’s where the trouble is.

The whole letter is beautiful. And in this too – they have not consciously written anything rude – they are unconscious people. An exchange of thoughts is not something bad, but they don’t know that you cannot exchange thoughts with me; I don’t deal in that business. If you know, then I will not bother. If you don’t know, then how is the exchange going to be? What are you going to give me in exchange? Either you know or you don’t know; there is no third position. You cannot say, “A little bit I know,” because truth cannot be divided into fragments.

You cannot know truth a little bit; either you know it, the whole of it, or you don’t know it, the whole of it. So what exchange?

Now, I may look rude to them. I am not ready for any exchange because as far as I am concerned I don’t need anybody’s ideas. It was so difficult to get rid of them, now again to exchange…. It took me twenty-one years to get rid of other people’s ideas. I am not interested. Even if God invites me for an exchange of ideas – nothing doing! You can have your ideas, and I don’t have any ideas to give you.

I can share myself, but it is not going to be an intellectual discussion. It is going to be an intelligence communion; but for that, that council cannot be ready. They have already decided what is right, who is the messiah. They have already decided that God exists. Now what remains to be exchanged?

You have your whole theology already decided, by others, not by you. You have borrowed it and now you are feeling in confusion because of my ideas. If my ideas are so confusing, that is proof enough that you don’t know what truth is; otherwise, what is the point of discussing for three years? Who am I? – I have not been discussing those fellows, not even for three days, what to say about three years. And they must have written great theological books….

There is no possibility of exchange; but at the instinctive level, everything is an exchange. You give something, you take something – and there is every effort to take more than you give. That’s the whole difficulty of all the couples around the world. The wife goes on saying, “I love you, but you don’t love me.” The husband says, “How to prove it? I love you.” But nobody can convince the other.

It is not a question of convincing. But why does the question arise that “You love me less,” or “I love you more”? At the instinctive level, love is a quantity. You can measure it – how many kilos you give and how many kilos you get in return, in exchange. And you can see who is a loser. It is a business deal. And people are continually quarreling, and trying to manage to snatch as much from the other as possible.

But when love moves to the conscious level, when it has no biological slavery, when it is free of biology… that does not mean that you cannot make love to someone. You can make love to someone, but now it will have a totally different quality. It will not be in any way a bondage, an enforcement by nature. It will be out of your freedom; you can share.

The right word to use will be… it will be just playfulness. Yes, you can play with somebody’s body. You like the body, you enjoy the body, you enjoy the warmth of the body; you enjoy the contours of the body. You can be playful, there is no business deal.

In fact that is why – along with many other reasons, this is also one of the reasons – I am in favor of birth control methods, while all the religions are against it. You will be surprised to know what is going on in the minds of the popes, shankaracharyas, imams, rabbis. You may not have thought of it in that way, perhaps they are not even aware themselves, but I want it to be clear to you and to them. This is the fact that is going on in religious people’s minds: If birth control methods become more prevalent, then sex will be a playfulness. Then you cannot call it sin.

There is nothing involved, no sin at all. Two persons enjoying each other’s warmth – there is no problem in it. They cannot condemn sex, they cannot condemn you, that you are in bondage, a slave. They cannot say to you, “You are only a means in the hands of biology,” because birth control methods make you capable, even if you are not conscious, they make you capable of turning sex into playfulness; and that is the danger. Their whole theology will collapse because no religious scripture had the idea that there were going to be birth control methods.

They were happy with the slavery of sex because then they could condemn it and you could not argue – it is so clear that it is a slavery, and nobody wants to be a slave: So repress it, get out of it. But the dilemma is that the more you repress it, the more you try to get out of it, the more you are caught in it. Only by playfulness is there a possibility one day, suddenly, to get out of it, because it is no longer a serious business.

One fundamental you have to remember: if you fight with something you will have to remain on that level to fight; otherwise how can you continue the fight? If you are fighting sex, then you cannot move beyond your instinctive level – impossible – because then who will fight? If you start moving upwards then all those wolves in your unconscious will run amok. You cannot leave that place, you have to be there constantly fighting, repressing. How is transformation possible for a man who is fighting with his own nature? It is impossible.

Take it as a categorical principle; there is no exception to it. With whomsoever you fight you will have to remain with that person, with that state, with that space. But if you are playful, then it is a totally different thing. If you are on the war front you cannot say to the soldiers on the other side, “Now I am feeling tired; we will go home now and start tomorrow.” You cannot say that. If you turn your back that fellow is going to shoot you then and there, and finish all your tiredness.

On the front you cannot do that, but if you are playing with somebody, playing cards, you can say, “Now I am tired. Tomorrow we will start; we can start even from this point where we are stopping.” There is no problem in it, it is only a play.

Let your instinctive world become a playfulness….

And that’s the fear of all the priests in the world. They are condemning me continually for the simple reason that I am giving you a chance to get out of the grip of your instinct. But that is also the grip of the priest; that is also the grip of the pornographer. If you get out of your instinctive level, you are free from the priest, the pope, and the pornographer. The pornographer and the priest are using the same methodology. And they are partners, whether they know it or not, in the same business.

You will be surprised to know that in aboriginal tribes you cannot make anybody interested in a nude, pornographic picture. You cannot make anybody interested. I have lived in Bastar, and gone there again and again… because in India a few tribes are left which are five thousand years old. And they have not kept pace with time; they have stood still. So it is good for a visit into history, five thousand years old; there is no other way to visit history, to go back in time.

But in Bastar it is not the twentieth century. You can touch a woman’s breast and ask, “What are these?” and she will say, “You don’t know? These are tits for children to drink milk.” She is not offended by that, that you touched her tits. She is simply surprised that you don’t know such a simple thing.

They are almost naked. They only wrap a cloth around when they come to the cities, down from their hills, out of their forests; otherwise they are all naked. How can you make an aboriginal of Bastar interested in a PLAYBOY magazine or STERN? He will be simply surprised: “What is this?”

It is like a magazine on fruits advertising tomatoes half-clothed, tightly clothed. A man who grows tomatoes will be simply surprised: “Are these people mad? If you are advertising tomatoes, then advertise tomatoes, but why these strange clothes, tight around the tomatoes?”

These pornographers are using what the priest has done before. The priest is the head partner, perhaps the major shareholder. He represses sex; he makes people interested in sex beyond all rationality – he drives them irrational about sex. Then comes the pornographer, and naturally, the repressed person would like at least to see the photographs. He is not allowed to see living human beings, that is a sin. At least THE BIBLE has not said, “Cursed are those who will see pornography. They will inherit the kingdom of hell.” I think pornographers will be needed in heaven too, because all your monks will die…. They may have already found a way to smuggle in PLAYBOY, STERN, and all kinds of third-rate magazines from around the world.

You may even be surprised to find God looking at a PLAYBOY magazine, because He is the original source of this whole business. And it is natural, because He has not even a girlfriend – what to say of a wife, not even a girlfriend. In the name of a girlfriend he has the Holy Ghost. Just think of yourself with the Holy Ghost as your girlfriend; you would like better to live alone. You would ask the Holy Ghost, “Leave me alone, you go somewhere else.”

The priest creates the business basis: repression. Then the pornographer uses it.

I am destroying their business completely.

-Osho

Taken from From Misery to Enlightenment, Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Transcending the Basic Duality of Sex – Osho

Life is not there at its maximum when you are born; it is at its minimum. If you do stick at that, you will have a life which is just near death – just a borderline life. By birth, only an opportunity is given, only an opening is made.

Life has to be achieved. Birth is just a beginning, not the end. But normally we stay at the point of birth. That is why death happens. If you stay at the point of birth you will die. If you can grow beyond birth you can grow beyond death. Remember this very deeply: death is not against life; death is against birth. Life is something else. In death only birth ends and in birth only death begins. Life is something totally different. You have to attain it, achieve it, actualize it. It is given to you as a seed, just as a potentiality – something which can be but which is not already there.

You have every chance of missing it. You can be alive because you are born, but that is not synonymous with really being in life. Life is your effort to actualize the potentiality. Hence, the meaning of religion; otherwise there is no meaning in religion. If life begins with birth and ends in death, then there is no meaning for religion. Then religion is futile, nonsense. If life does not begin with birth, then religion has some meaning. Then it becomes the science of how to evolve life out of birth. And the more you move away from birth in life, the more you move away from death also because death and birth are parallel, similar, the same – two ends of one process. If you move away from the one, you are simultaneously moving away from the other.

Religion is a science to achieve life. Life is beyond death. Birth dies; life, never. To achieve this life you have to do something. Birth is given to you. Your parents have done something: they have loved each other, they have been melting into each other, and out of their life force, melting into each other, a new phenomenon, a new seed – you – is born. But you have not done anything for it: it is a gift. Remember, birth is a gift. That is why all the cultures pay so much respect to parents – it is a gift, and you cannot repay it. The debt cannot be repaid. What can you do to repay it? Life has been given to you, but you have not done anything for it.

Religion can give you a new birth, a rebirth. You can be reborn. But this birth will happen through some alchemical change within you. Just as the first birth happened through two life forces meeting without you – they created an opportunity for you to enter, to be born; that is a deep alchemy – so a similar thing has to be done now within you. Your parents met – your mother and your father. Two forces, feminine and masculine, were meeting to create an opportunity for some new thing to be born. Two opposite forces were meeting, two polarities were meeting. And whenever two polarities meet, something new is born, a new synthesis is achieved. A similar thing has to happen within you.

You also have two polarities within you, the feminine and the masculine. Let me explain it a little more in detail…. Because your body is born out of two polarities: cells from your mother and cells from your father, they create your body. You have both types of cells – those which came from your mother and those which came from your father. Your body consists of two polarities, feminine and masculine. You are both, everyone is both. Whether you are man or woman it makes no difference.

If you are a man you have a woman within you: your mother is there. If you are a woman you have a man within you: your father is there. They can again meet within you. And the whole yoga, the whole tantra, the alchemy, the whole process of religion, is how to create an orgasm, a deep intercourse between the polarities within you. And when they meet within you a new type of being is born, a new life becomes alive.

If you are a man, then your conscious is masculine and your unconscious is feminine. If you are a woman your conscious is feminine and your unconscious is masculine. Your conscious and unconscious must meet so that a new birth becomes possible. What to do for their meeting to happen? Bring them nearer. You have created a separation; you have created all types of barriers. You do not allow them to meet. You try to exist with the conscious and you go on suppressing the unconscious. You do not allow it.

If a man starts weeping and crying, someone is bound to say immediately, “What are you doing? You are doing something womanish, feminine.” The man stops immediately. The masculine is not expected to weep and cry. But you have the possibility; the unconscious is there. You have moments of feminineness, you have moments of masculineness; everyone does.

A woman can become ferocious, a male, in some moods, in some moments. But then she will suppress. She will say, “This is not womanlike.” We go on creating a separation, a distance. That distance has to be thrown away; your conscious and unconscious must come nearer. Only then can they meet, only then can they have a deep intercourse. An orgasm can happen WITHIN you. That orgasm is known as spiritual bliss.

One type of orgasm is possible between your body and the body of the polar opposite sex; it can happen only for a single moment because you meet only on the periphery. The peripheries meet and then they separate. Another type, a deeper type of orgasm, can happen within. But then you meet at the center and there is no need to separate again. Sexual ecstasy can only be momentary; spiritual ecstasy can be eternal; once attained you need not lose it. Really, once attained it is difficult to lose it – impossible to lose it. It becomes such an integration that the fragments disappear completely.

That is why when someone asked Buddha, “Who are you? A deva, a heavenly being?” he said, “No!” And the questioner went on asking. Then the questioner became desperate because whenever he asked Buddha who he is, if he is this or that, Buddha went on saying, “No!” Then finally he asked, “At least you must say that you are male. You must say yes.” Buddha said, “No!” ”Then are you a female?” the man asked desperately. Buddha said, “No!” – Because a new unity has come into being which is neither male nor female.

When your inner man and inner woman meet, you are neither: you transcend sex. That is the meaning of the oldest Indian image of Shiva as Ardhanarishwar – half man, half woman. That is the symbol of the inner meeting. Shiva is neither now: he is half man, half woman – both and neither. He transcends sex.

Remember, unless you transcend sex, you cannot transcend duality. This is a deep psychological problem – not only psychological but ontological also. If you remain a man or a woman, how can you conceive of the oneness of existence? You cannot. Being a man, you cannot conceive of yourself being one with a woman. Being a woman, you cannot conceive of yourself being one with a man. A duality persists.

Sex is the basic duality. We have been arguing about and discussing for centuries how to attain the non-dual. But we go on discussing it as if it is some intellectual matter: “How to attain the non-dual?” It is not an intellectual matter; it is ontological, existential. You can attain the non-dual only when the duality within you disappears. It is not a question of meditating on the non-dual and thinking, “I am the Brahman.” Nothing will come out of it; you are simply deluding yourself.

You cannot attain non-duality unless the basic duality of sex disappears within you, unless you come to a moment when you cannot say who you are – man or woman. And this happens only when your inner man and woman melt so much that they dissolve into each other – and all the boundaries are lost, and all the distinctions are lost, and they are one. When the inner orgasm, the spiritual ecstasy happens, you are neither. And only when you are neither is life born.

In a single moment of meeting between your parents, your mother and father, you were born – in a single moment of meeting! Remember, life is always out of meeting, never out of separation. Life comes only in a deep meeting, in a deep communion. For a single moment your father and mother were one, they were not two. They were functioning as one being. In that oneness you were born.

Life always comes out of oneness. And the life that I am talking about, or Jesus talks about and Buddha talks about, is the life which will happen inside you, within you. Again a communion, a melting, happens, and the two sexualities within you dissolve.

Remember, I say again and again that sex is the basic duality, and unless you transcend sex the Brahman cannot be achieved. All other dualities are just reflections and reflections of this basic duality; birth and death – again a duality. They will disappear when you are neither male or female. When you have a consciousness which goes beyond both, birth and death disappear, matter and mind disappear, this world and that world disappear, heaven and hell disappear. All dualities disappear when the basic duality within you disappears, because all dualities are simply echoing and re-echoing the basic division within you.

That is why the old, ancient Indian seers have put the Brahman in the third category. He is neither male nor female. They call him Napunsak – impotent. They call him the third sex, the ultimate reality of the third sex. The word Brahman belongs to Napunsak Ling: it is neither or it is both. But one thing is certain: it transcends the duality. That is why other conceptions of God look immature, childish. Christians call him father. This is childish, because then where is the mother? And how is this son Jesus born? And they say Jesus is the only son but where is the mother? The father alone giving birth? If the father alone gives birth to Jesus, then he is both – mother and father. Then do not call him father. Then the duality comes in.

Or, some religions have called the ultimate being the mother. Then where is the father? These are just anthropomorphic feelings. Man cannot even think about the ultimate in any other terms than human, so he calls it father or mother. But those who have known and those who have transcended the anthropocentric attitude, the man-oriented attitude – they know that he is neither. He transcends both; he is a meeting of both.

In the ultimate, mother and father both are merged. Or, if you will allow me the expression, I would like to say: the Brahman is mother and father in eternal orgasm – one in an eternal ecstasy of meeting. And out of that meeting comes the whole creation, out of that meeting comes the whole play, out of that meeting all that exists is born.

Here, in this meditation camp, we will be trying to bring your unconscious and conscious nearer, your feminine and your masculine nearer. You will have to help me, to cooperate with me. In the meditation techniques you have to destroy all the barriers between your conscious mind and the unconscious. And you have to be free, as totally free as possible because suppression has created the barriers.

So do not suppress. If you feel like screaming, scream. The very scream will bring your conscious and unconscious nearer. If you feel like dancing, dance. The very dance will bring your conscious and unconscious nearer. Really, dance can be very helpful, because in dance your body and your mind are in a deep meeting. It is not only the body which is moving; within the body your consciousness is also moving. Really, a dance becomes a dance only when your body is filled with the grace of your spirit, when your spirit is flowing out of your body, when your spirit has taken a rhythm with the body.

All the old religions were dancing religions. They were more authentic. Our new modes of religion are just false. You go into a temple or into a church or into a gurudwara and you just verbalize there. Someone preaches and you listen. It has become cerebral. Or, you pray and you talk with God. Even with God you use language. You cannot be silent with him; you cannot believe that he can understand you without your talking. You have no faith! You do not trust him; you want to explain everything to him.

I have heard: one mother overheard her small child praying in the night to God, and he was saying, “Dear God, beloved God, stop Tommy from throwing things at me – and by the way, I have told you this before.”

But this is what we all are doing: praying to God to “stop Tommy from throwing things at me.” Even if you go to the Vedic rishis they are doing the same: “Do this; do not do that.” You cannot allow him to do whatsoever is his will. You give your own program. And if he follows you, you are a believer and if he doesn’t follow you, you will say that he doesn’t exist. He can exist only if he exists as your follower.

But existence cannot follow you. Existence is greater than you; existence is the whole. You are just a fragment, and a fragment cannot be followed – the fragment has to follow the whole. This is what a religious mind is: the fragment following the whole, the fragment surrendering to the whole, the fragment not struggling, the fragment in a let-go.

Religion has become verbal, linguistic. Here we will try to bring the authentic religion. The secret most core of it is that you must come to it totally – with your mind, your body, your emotions, everything. Nothing is denied. You cry and you weep and you laugh and you dance, and you sit in silence. You do all the things that your inner being happens to do; you do not force it to do anything. You do not say, “This is not good; I should not do it.” You allow a spontaneous flow. Then the unconscious will come nearer and nearer to the conscious.

We have created the gap through suppression: “Don’t do this, don’t do that,” and we go on suppressing. Then the unconscious is suppressed. It becomes dark. It becomes a part where we never move in our own house. Then we are divided. And, remember, then there are perversions.

If you allow your unconscious to come nearer to your conscious, too much sex-obsession will disappear. If you are a man and you deny your unconscious, you are denying your inner woman; then you will be attracted to outer women too much. It will become a perversion because then it is a substitute. The inner femininity has been denied; now the outer femininity becomes obsessive to you. You will think and think about it; now your whole mind will become sexual. If you are a woman and you have denied the man, then ’man’ will take possession of you. Then whatsoever you do or think, the basic color will remain sexual.

So much fantasy about sex is because you have denied your inner other. So now this is a compensation. Now you are compensating for something which you have denied to yourself. And look at the absurdity: the more you get obsessed with the other sex the more you feel afraid; the more you deny the inner the more you suppress it; and the more you suppress it the more you become obsessed.

Your so-called brahmacharis are totally obsessed with sex for twenty-four hours a day; they are bound to be. It is natural: nature takes revenge. To me, Brahmacharya – celibacy – means you have come so near to your own feminine or your own masculine, so near that there is no substitution for it. You are not obsessed with it; you do not think about it. It disappears.

When your own unconscious is nearer to you, you need not substitute it with someone else outside. And then a miracle happens. If your unconscious is so near, then whenever you love someone, a woman or a man, that love is not pathological. If your unconscious is so near, that love is not pathological. It is not possessive, it is not mad. It is very silent, tranquil, calm, cool. Then the other is not a substitute and you are not dependent on the other. Rather, the other becomes just a mirror.

Remember the difference: the other is not now a substitute, something which you have denied. The other becomes a mirror of your inner part, of your unconscious. Your wife, your beloved, becomes just a mirror. In that mirror you see your unconscious. Your lover, your husband, your friend, becomes a mirror. And in that mirror you can see your unconscious clearly mirrored, projected outside. Then wife and husband can help each other to bring their unconscious more and more near.

And a moment comes, and it must come if life has been a really successful effort, when wife and husband are no more wife and husband: they have become companions on the eternal journey. They help each other; they have become mirrors to each other. They reveal the unconscious of the other and each helps the other to know himself or herself. Now there is no pathology, no dependence.

Remember one thing more: if you deny your unconscious, if you hate your unconscious, if you suppress your woman or man within, then you can go on saying that you love the outer woman but deep down you will hate her also. If you deny your own woman, you will hate the woman you love. If you deny your own man, you will hate the man you love. Your love will just be on the surface. Deep down it will be a hatred. It is bound to be so, it has to be so, because you will not allow the other to become the mirror of your unconscious. And you will be afraid also. Man is afraid of woman. Go and ask your so-called saints. They are so afraid of women. Why? They are afraid of the unconscious, and the woman becomes a mirror. Whatsoever they have hidden, she reveals.

If you have suppressed something, then the other polar opposite can reveal it immediately. If you have been suppressing sex and you are sitting in meditation in a lonely place and a beautiful woman passes by, suddenly your unconscious will assert itself. That which has been hidden will be revealed in the woman passing and you will be against that woman. You are foolish – because that woman is not doing anything at all, she is just passing there. She may not even know that you are there; she is not doing anything to you. She is a mirror, but the mirror is passing and in that mirror your unconscious is reflected.

The whole so-called spirituality is based on fear. What is the fear? The fear is that the other can reveal the unconscious and you do not want to know anything about it. But not knowing will not help, suppression will not help. It will remain there. It will become a cancer and by and by it will assert itself more and more, and ultimately you will come to feel that you have been a failure and that whatsoever you have suppressed has become victorious and you are defeated.

My whole effort is to bring your unconscious nearer to your conscious. You become so much acquainted with it so that it is not unknown. You become friendly to it, then the fear disappears– the fear of the polar opposite. And then the hatred also disappears because then the other is just a mirror, helpful. You feel gratitude. Lovers will be grateful to each other if the unconscious is not suppressed and they will be hateful to each other if the unconscious is suppressed.

Allow your whole being to come into function. Your emotions are imprisoned, encapsulated. Your body movements are imprisoned. Your body, your heart, have become just as if they are not part of you. You simply carry them along like a burden. Allow your emotions full play. In the meditations we will be doing, allow your emotions full play and enjoy the play, because many new things will be revealed to you.

-OSHO

Excerpted from The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Supreme Doctrine
The Supreme Doctrine

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 Science of Interiority – Osho

Quantum physicists are using the term “consciousness.” Are they using this word in the same sense that you do? If not, what is the difference between the consciousness they are talking about, and the consciousness you are talking about?

There is a great difference. The physicists are talking about a consciousness which they have not experienced within themselves; it is only a hypothesis. It is their objective observation that consciousness exists: people are conscious – you cannot deny it. Because it is an objective observation, they are bound to be defining it in a wrong way, because basically consciousness is your subjectivity. It is irreducible into an object. You cannot study it from outside.

From outside you can study only behavior, you cannot study consciousness; hence, there is a school of psychology called behaviorism. People are behaving as if they are conscious. The physicist’s consciousness is “as if” – a hypothesis, because people are not behaving consciously.

So the first, basic mistake is, they are simply taking an objective view of something which can never become an object, which is always the subject. There is no way to make it an object. And because they are studying it as an object, they are falling into many pitfalls. One is that consciousness is a by-product of biology, physiology, chemistry – of all that man is made of. It is simply a by-product; it is not an independent entity in itself.

It is just like a clock: the hands move, but that movement does not show that inside there is life that is moving them. It is mechanical; you can separate the parts and the movement will stop. You can put them back together again and the movement will start. You cannot do that to man. Take his physiology, chemistry, biology apart, and then try to put them together again – you will have just a corpse, no consciousness. Consciousness is not a by-product.

Consciousness experienced subjectively needs some inward journey. No scientist is doing that. He wants to study consciousness in white mice, in guinea pigs. This is very strange. The scientist has the consciousness in himself, what is the need to go to a white mouse? Go inwards!

And that’s what I call the science of interiority, religio, meditation. You move deeper, leaving your body, your mind, your heartbeat far behind – and, still, you are. And you are more than you have ever been, because you had known yourself filtered through the heart, through the mind, through the body – thick layers. So you had felt your consciousness in a very slight way.

But when you have reached to your own center – which is neither chemical nor physical nor biological– you experience a totally new reality. Immediately you become aware that it is not a by-product, that it has its own existence. The body may die, but this consciousness is so separate from the body that there is no possibility of its dying with the body. The heart may stop, but you are so far away from the heart, you are no longer identified with the heart. You are part of an eternal life.

So when I talk about consciousness, I am talking about my own experience of diving deep into my being. And when the physicists talk about consciousness, they are talking not about experience but about experiments that they are doing with white mice, guinea pigs. Strange people! You have consciousness, the white mouse is in a very backward state of life; why not find it within yourself?

Man is the highest expression of consciousness.

Science can never know the real being, the real soul, the real consciousness, for the simple reason that it is object-oriented. Hence, a totally different approach is needed, a science which is subject oriented.

You cannot put consciousness in a test-tube. Consciousness is not something material; it is not something like a commodity. It is not something that you can dissect and find out what elements it is made of. It is a single, indivisible life. And the only way to know it is to go within yourself.

That is the purpose of the commune. It is not a religion; it is the science of subjectivity.

So there is a total difference. What they are talking about is absolutely irrelevant. What I am talking about is the real thing. And you need not go anywhere, because it is within you. No lab is needed, no instruments are needed. All that is needed is that you learn how to relax, how to be silent, how to be just a witness. And slowly, slowly your mind stops its unnecessary chattering, your heart stops its moods, feelings.

And suddenly you are your reality, your consciousness.

And it reveals all the mysteries. It is the golden key, the master key, because it makes you aware not only of your consciousness; it makes you aware that your consciousness is not separate from other consciousnesses.

Consciousness is almost like an ocean. We are all in it, we are all sharing the same consciousness. The trees, the animals, the birds – they are all sharing the same consciousness in different stages of growth.

You are fortunate to be a human being, because this gives you an opportunity to turn in.

-Osho

Taken from From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter 24

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.

Witnessing: The Base of All Techniques – Osho

WITNESSING is the technique for centering. We discussed centering. A man can live in two ways: he can live from his periphery or he can live from his center. The periphery belongs to the ego and the center belongs to the being. If you live from the ego, you are always related with the other. The periphery is related with the other.

Whatsoever you do is not an action, it is always a reaction. You do it in response to something done to you. From the periphery there is no action – everything is a reaction; nothing comes from your center. In a way, you are just a slave of the circumstances. You are not doing anything; rather, you are being forced to do. From the center the situation changes diametrically: from the center you begin to act. For the first time you begin to exist not as a relatum but in your own right.

Buddha is passing a village. Some people are very angry, very much against his teachings. They abuse him, they insult him. The Buddha listens silently and then he says, “If you are finished then allow me to move. I am to reach to the other village and they will be waiting for me. If something is still remaining in your mind, then when I am passing back by this route you can finish it.”

They say, “We have abused you, insulted you. Are you not going to answer?”

Buddha says, “I never react now. What you do is up to you – I never react now. You cannot force me to do something. You can abuse me; that is up to you. I am not a slave. I have become a free man. I act from my center, not from my periphery, and your abuse can touch only the periphery, not my center. My center remains untouched.”

You are so much touched, not because your center is touched, but only because you have no center. You are just the periphery, identified with the periphery. The periphery is bound to be touched by everything – everything that happens. It is just your boundary, so whatsoever happens is bound to touch it.

And you don’t have any center. The moment you have a center then you have a distance from yourself, you have a distance from your periphery. Someone can abuse the periphery, but not you.

You can remain aloof, detached. There is a distance between you and yourself. Between you as your periphery and you as the center there is a distance, and that distance cannot be broken by anyone else – because no one can penetrate to the center. The outside world can touch you only as the periphery.

So Buddha says, “Now I am centered. Ten years before it would have been different. If you had abused me, then I would have reacted – but now I only act.”

Understand clearly the distinction between reaction and action. You love someone because someone loves you. Buddha also loves you – not because you love him; that is irrelevant. Whether you love him or hate him is irrelevant. He loves you because it is an act, not a reaction. The act comes from you, and the reaction is forced upon you. Centering means now you have begun to act.

Another point to be remembered: when you act, the act is always total. When you react, it can never be total. It is always partial, fragmentary, because when I act from my periphery – that is, when I react – it cannot be total because I am not involved in it really. Only my periphery is involved, so it cannot be total.

So if you love from your periphery, your love can never be total – it is always partial. And that means much, because if love is partial then the remaining space will be filled by hate. If your kindness is partial, the remaining space will be filled by cruelty. If your goodness is partial, then who will fill the remaining space? If your God is partial, then you will need a Devil to fill the remaining space.

That means a partial act is bound to be contradictory, in conflict with itself. Modern psychology says you both love and you hate simultaneously. Amphibian is your mind – contradictory. To the same object you are related with love and with hate. And if love and hate are both there, then there is going to be a confusion – and a poisonous confusion. Your kindness is mixed with cruelty. And your charity is theft, and your prayer becomes a violence. And even if you try to be a saint, on the periphery, your sainthood is bound to be tinged with sin. On the periphery, everything is going to be self-contradictory.

Only when you act from the center is your act total. And when that act is total, it has a beauty of its own. When the act is total, it is moment-to-moment. When the act is total, you don’t carry the memory – you need not! When the act is partial, it is a suspended thing. You eat something: if the eating is partial, then when the actual eating is finished you will continue eating in the mind. It will remain suspended. Only a total thing can have an end and can have a beginning. A partial thing is just a continuous series with no beginning and with no end. You are in your home. and you have carried your shop and market with you. You are in your shop, and you have carried your house and household affairs. You are never; you can never be, at any single moment totally in it. Much is being carried continuously. This is the heaviness, the tense heaviness on the mind, on the heart.

A total act has a beginning and an end. It is atomic; it is not a series. It is there, and then it is not there. You are completely free from it to move into the unknown. Otherwise one goes on in grooves, the mind becomes just groovy. You go on moving in the same circular way, in a vicious circle. You go on continuously in it.

Because the past is never finished, it comes into the present: it goes on and penetrates into the future. So, really, a partial mind. a peripheral mind, carries its past, and the past is a big thing. Even if you don’t consider past lives, even then the past is a big thing. Fifty years’ experiences, beautiful and ugly, but unfinished, everything unfinished – so you go on carrying a fifty-year-long past which is dead.

This dead past will fall upon a single moment of the present. It is bound to kill it. So you cannot live, it is impossible. With this past on you, upon you, you cannot live. Every single moment is so fresh and so delicate, this whole dead weight will kill it. It is killing! Your past goes on killing your present, and when the present is dead it becomes a part. When it is alive, it is not part of you. When it becomes dead, when it has been killed by your dead past, then it becomes yours, then it is part of you. This is the situation.

The moment you begin to act from the center, every act is total, atomic. It is there and then it is not there. You are completely free from it. Then you can move with no burden, unburdened. And only then can you live in the new moment that is always there – by coming to it fresh.

But you can come to it fresh only when there is no past to be carried. And you will have to carry the past if it is unfinished. The mind has a tendency to finish everything. If it is unfinished, then it has to be carried. If something has remained unfinished during the day, then you will dream about it in the night – because the mind has a tendency to finish everything. The moment it is finished, the mind is unburdened from it. Unless it is finished the mind is bound to come to it again and again.

Whatsoever you are doing – your love, your sex, your friendship – everything is unfinished. And you cannot make it total if you remain on the periphery. So how to be centered in oneself? How to attain this centering so that you are not on the periphery? Witnessing is the technique.

This word “witnessing” is a most significant word. There are hundreds of techniques to achieve centering, but witnessing is bound to be a part, a basic part, in every technique. Whatsoever the technique may be, witnessing will be the essential part in it. So it will be better to call it  “the technique of all techniques”. It is not simply a technique. The process of witnessing is the essential part of all the techniques.

One can talk about witnessing as a pure technique also. For example, J. Krishnamurti: he is talking about witnessing as a pure technique. But that talk is just like talking about the spirit without the body. You cannot feel it, you cannot see it. Everywhere the spirit is embodied; you can feel the spirit through the body. Of course, the spirit is not the body, but you can feel it through the body.

Every technique is just a body, and witnessing is the soul. You can talk about witnessing independent of any body, any matter; then it becomes abstract, totally abstract. So Krishnamurti has been talking continuously for half a century, but whatsoever he is saying is so pure, unembodied, that one thinks that one is understanding, but that understanding remains just a concept.

In this world nothing exists as pure spirit. Everything exists embodied. So witnessing is the spirit of all spiritual techniques, and all the techniques are bodies, different bodies. So first we must understand what witnessing is, and then we can understand witnessing through some bodies, some techniques.

We know thinking, and one has to start from thinking to know what witnessing means because one has to start from what one knows. We know thinking. Thinking means judgment: you see something and you judge. You see a flower and you say it is beautiful or not beautiful. You hear a song and you appreciate it or you don’t appreciate it. You appreciate something or you condemn something.

Thinking is judgment. The moment you think, you have begun to judge. Thinking is evaluation.

You cannot think without evaluation. How can you think about a flower without evaluating it? The moment you start thinking you will say it is beautiful or not beautiful. You will have to use some category because thinking is categorizing. The moment you have categorized a thing – labeled it, named it – you have thought about it. Thinking is impossible if you are not going to judge. If you are not going to judge, then you can just remain aware – but you cannot think.

A flower is here, and I say to you, “See it, but don’t think. Look at the flower, but don’t think.” So what can you do? If thinking is not allowed, what can you do? You can only witness; you can only be aware. You can only be conscious of the flower. You can face the fact. The flower is here – now you can encounter it. If thinking is not allowed you cannot say, “It is beautiful. It is not beautiful. I know about it,” or, “It is strange – I have never seen it.” You cannot say anything. Words cannot be used because every word has a value in it. Every word is a judgment.

Language is burdened with judgment; language can never be impartial. The moment you use a word, you have judged. So you cannot use language, you cannot verbalize. If I say, “This is a flower– look at it, but don’t think!” then verbalization is not allowed. So what can you do? You can only be a witness. If you are there without thinking, just facing something, it is witnessing. Then witnessing means a passive awareness. Remember – passive. Thinking is active. You are doing something. Whatsoever you are seeing, you are doing something with it. You are not just passive, you are not like a mirror – you are doing something. And the moment you do something, you have changed the thing.

I see a flower and I say, “It is beautiful!” I have changed it. Now I have imposed something on the flower. Now, whatsoever the flower is, to me it is a flower plus my feeling of its being beautiful. Now the flower is far away. In between the flower and me is my sense of judgment, my evaluation of its being beautiful. Now the flower is not the same to me. The quality has changed. I have come into it. Now my judgment has penetrated into the fact. Now it is more like a fiction and less like a fact.

This feeling that the flower is beautiful doesn’t belong to the flower, it belongs to me. I have entered the fact. Now the fact is not virgin. I have corrupted it. Now my mind has become part of it. Really, to say that my mind has become part of it means: my past has become part, because when I say, “This flower is beautiful,” it means I have judged it through my past knowledge. How can you say that this flower is beautiful? Your experiences of the past, your conceptions of the past, that something like this is beautiful – you have judged it according to your past.

Mind means your past, your memories. The past has come upon the present. You have destroyed a virgin fact; now it is distorted. Now there is no flower. The flower as a reality in itself is no more there. It is corrupted by you, destroyed by you. Your past has come in between. You have interpreted. This is thinking. Thinking means bringing the past to a present fact. That’s why thinking can never lead you to the Truth – because Truth is virgin and has to be faced in its total virginity. The moment you bring your past in you are destroying it. Then it is an interpretation, not a realization of the fact. You have disrupted it. The purity is lost.

Thinking means bringing your past to the present. Witnessing means no past, just the present; no bringing in of the past. Witnessing is passive. You are not doing anything – you are! Simply, you are there. Only you are present. The flower is present, you are present – then there is a relationship of witnessing. When the flower is present and your whole past is present, not you, then it is a relationship of thinking.

So start from thinking. What is thinking? It is the bringing of the mind into the present. You have missed the present then you have missed it totally! The moment past penetrates into the present, you have missed it. When you say, “This flower is beautiful,” really, it has become the past. When you say, “This flower is beautiful,” it is a past experience. You have known, you have judged. When the flower is there and you are there, even to say that this flower is beautiful is not possible. You cannot assert any judgment in the present. Any judgment, any assertion, belongs to the past. If I say, “I love you,” it has become a thing that is past. If I say, “This flower is beautiful.” I have felt, I have judged – it has become past.

Witnessing is always present, never the past. Thinking is always the past. Thinking is dead, witnessing is alive. So the next distinction: first, thinking is active – doing something; witnessing is passive – non-doing, just being. Thinking is always the past, the dead which has gone away, which is no more; witnessing is always the present – that which is. So if you go on thinking, you can never know what witnessing is.

To stop, end thinking, becomes a start in witnessing. Cessation of thinking is witnessing. So what to do? – Because thinking is a long habit with us. It has become just a robot like, mechanical thing.  It is not that you think; it is not your decision now. It is a mechanical habit – you cannot do anything else. The moment a flower is there, the thinking has started. We have no non-verbal experiences; only small children have. Non-verbal experience is really experience. Verbalization is escaping from the experience.

When I say, “The flower is beautiful,” the flower has vanished from me. Now it is my mind, not the flower I am concerned with. Now it is the image of the flower in my mind, not the flower itself. Now the flower itself is a picture in the mind, a thought in the mind, and now I can compare with my past experiences and judge. But the flower is no more there. When you verbalize, you are closed to experience.

When you are non-verbally aware, you are open, vulnerable. Witnessing means a constant opening to experience, no closing. What to do? This mechanical habit of so-called thinking has to be broken somewhere. So whatsoever you are doing, try to do it non-verbally. It is difficult, arduous, and in the beginning it seems absolutely impossible, but it is not. It is not impossible – it is difficult. You are walking on the street: walk non-verbally, just walk, even if just for a few seconds, and you will have a glimpse of a different world – a non-verbal world, the real world, not the world of the mind man has created in himself.

You are eating: eat non-verbally. Someone asked Bokuju – Bokuju was a great Zen Master – “What’s your sadhana?”

So Bokuju said, “My sadhana is very simple: when I am hungry, I eat; when I am sleepy, I sleep –and this is all.”

The man was just bewildered. He said, “What are you saying? I also eat and I also sleep, and everyone is doing the same. So what is in that that you call it sadhana?”

Bokuju said, “When you are eating you are doing many things, not only eating. And when you are sleeping, you are doing everything else except sleeping. But when I eat, I simply eat; when I sleep, I simply sleep. Every act is total!”

Every act becomes total if you are non-verbal. So try to eat without any verbalization in the mind, with no thinking in the mind. Just eat, and then eating becomes meditation – because if you are nonverbal you will become a witness. If you are verbal you will become a thinker. If you are non-verbal you cannot do anything about it, you cannot help it – you will be a witness, automatically. So try to do anything non-verbally: walk, eat, take a bath or just sit silently. Then just sit – then be a “sitting”! Don’t think. Then even just sitting can become meditation, just walking can become meditation.

Someone else was asking Bokuju, “Give me some technique of meditation.”

Bokuju said, “I can give you a technique, but you will not be able to meditate – because you can not practice a technique with a verbalizing mind.”

Your fingers can move on a rosary, and you can go on thinking. If your fingers just move on the rosary with no thinking, it becomes a meditation. Then, really, no technique is needed. The whole life is a technique. So Bokuju said, “It would be better if you be with me and watch me. Don’t ask for a method. Just watch me – and you will come to know.”

The poor fellow watched for seven days. He began to be more confused. After seven days he said, “When I came, I was less confused. Now I am more confused. I have watched you for seven days continuously – what is there to be watched?”

Bokuju said, “Then you have not watched. When I walk, have you seen? – I simply walk. When you bring tea in the morning for me, have you watched? – I simply take the tea and drink it: just drinking There is NO Bokuju – just drinking. No Bokuju – just drinking of the tea. Have you watched? If you have watched, then you must have felt that Bokuju is no more.”

This is a very subtle point – because if the thinker is there, then there is ego; then you are a Bokuju or somebody else. But if only action is there with no verbalization, no thinking, there is no ego. So Bokuju says, “Have you really watched? Then there was no Bokuju – just drinking of the tea, walking in the garden, digging a hole in the earth.”

Buddha, because of this, has said, “There is no soul” – because you have not watched, you go on continuously thinking that you have a soul. You are not! If you are a witness, then you are not. The “I” forms itself through thoughts. So one thing more: accumulated thoughts, piled-up memories, create the feeling of ego – that you are.

Try this experiment: cut your whole past away from you – no memory. You don’t know who your parents are; you don’t know to whom you belong – to which country, to which religion, to which race. You don’t know where you were educated, whether you were educated or not. Just cut the whole past – and remember who you are. You cannot remember who you are. You are, obviously. You are, but who are you? In this moment, you cannot feel an “I”. The ego is just accumulated past. The ego is your thought condensed, crystallized.

So Bokuju says, “If you have watched me, I was not. There was drinking of the tea, but no drinker.  Walking was there in the garden, but no walker. Action was there, but no actor.”

In witnessing, there is no sense of I; in thinking there is. So if the so-called thinkers are so deeply rooted in their egos. It is not just a coincidence; artists, thinkers, philosophers, literary persons if they are so egoistic, it is not just a coincidence. The more thoughts you have, the greater the ego you have. In witnessing there is no ego, but this comes only if you can transcend language. Language is the barrier. Language is needed to communicate with others; it is not needed to communicate with oneself. It is a useful instrument – rather, the most useful instrument. Man could create a society, a world, only because of language – but because of language, man has forgotten himself.

Language is our world. If for a single moment man forgets his language, then what remains? Culture, society, Hinduism, Christianity, communism – what remains? Nothing remains. If only language is taken out of existence, the whole humanity with its culture, civilization, science, religion, philosophy, disappears.

Language is a communication with others; it is the only communication. It is useful, but it is dangerous – and whenever some instrument is useful, it is in the same proportion dangerous also.  The danger is this: that the more mind moves into language the farther away it goes from the center: So one needs a subtle balance and a subtle mastery to be capable of moving into language, and also to be capable of leaving language, of going out of language, of moving out of language.

Witnessing means moving out of language, verbalization, mind. Witnessing means a state of no-mind, no-thinking. So try it! It is a long effort, and nothing is predictable – but try, and the effort will give you some moments when suddenly language disappears. And then a new dimension opens. You become aware of a different world – the world of simultaneity, the world of here and now, the world of no-mind, the world of reality.

Language must evaporate. So try to do ordinary acts, bodily movements, without language. Buddha used this technique to watch the breath. He would say to his bhikkhus, “Go on watching your breath. Don’t do anything: just watch the breath coming in, the breath going out, the breath coming in, the breath going out.” It is not to be said like this – it is to be felt. Mm? The breath coming in, with no words. Feel the breath coming in, move with the breath, let your consciousness go deep with the breath. Then let it move out. Go on moving with your breath. Be alert!

Buddha is reported to have said, “Don’t miss even a single breath. If a single breath is missed physiologically, you will be dead; and if a single breath is missed in awareness, you will be missing the center, you will be dead inside.” So Buddha said, “Breath is essential for the life of the body, and awareness of the breath is essential for the life of the inner center.”

Breathe, be aware. And if you are trying to be aware of your breathing, you cannot think, because the mind cannot do two things simultaneously – thinking and witnessing. The very phenomenon of witnessing is absolutely, diametrically opposite to thinking, so you cannot do both. Just as you cannot be both alive and dead, as you cannot be both asleep and awake, you cannot be both thinking and witnessing. Witness anything, and thinking will stop. Thinking comes in, and witnessing disappears. Witnessing is a passive awareness with no action inside. Awareness itself is not an action.

One day Mulla Nasrudin was very much worried, in deep brooding. Anyone could look at his face and feel that he was lost somewhere in thoughts, very tense, in anguish. His wife became alarmed.

She asked, “What are you doing, Nasrudin? What are you thinking? What is the problem? Why are you so worried?”

The Mulla opened his eyes and said, “This is the ultimate problem. I am thinking about how one knows when one is dead. How does one know that one is dead? If I am to die, how will I recognize that I am dead? – Because I have not known death. Recognition means you have known something before.

“I see you and recognize that you are A, or B or C, because I have known you. Death I have not known,” said the Mulla. ”And when it comes, how am I to recognize it? That is the problem, and I am very much worried. And when I am dead I cannot ask anyone else, so that door is also closed. I cannot refer to some scripture; no teacher can be of any help.”

The wife laughed and said, “You are unnecessarily worrying. When death comes, one knows immediately. When death comes to you, you will know because you will become just cold, ice-cold.” Mulla was relieved. A certain sign, the key, was in his hand.

After two or three months he was cutting wood in the forest. It was a winter morning and everything was cold. Suddenly he remembered, and he felt his hands – they were cold. He said, “Okay! Now death is coming, and I am so far from my house that I cannot even inform anyone. Now what am I to do? I forgot to ask my wife. She told me how one will feel, but what is one to do when death comes? Now no one is here, and everything is going just cold.”

Then he remembered. He had seen many persons dead, so he thought, “It is good to lie down.”

That is all that he has seen dead persons do, so he lies down. Of course, he becomes more cold, he feels more cold – death is upon him. His donkey is just resting by his side under the tree. Two wolves, thinking that Mulla is dead, attack his donkey. Mulla opens his eyes and sees, and he thinks, “Dead men cannot do anything. Had I been alive, wolves, you couldn’t have taken such liberties with my donkey. But now I cannot do anything. Dead men are never reported to have done anything. I can only witness.”

If you become dead to your past, totally dead, then you can only witness. What else can you do? Witnessing means becoming dead to your past, memory, thought, everything. Then in the present moment, what can you do? You can only witness. No judgment is possible. Judgment is possible only against past experiences. No evaluation is possible; evaluation is possible only against past evaluations. No thinking is possible; thinking is possible only if the past is there, brought into the present. So what can you do? You can witness.

In the old Sanskrit literature, the Teacher is defined as the death acharya mrityuh. The Teacher is defined as death! In the Katha Upanishad, Nachiketa is sent to Yama, the god of death, to be taught.  And when Yama, the death god, offers many, many allurements to Nachiketa – “Take this, take the kingdom, take so much wealth, so many horses, so many elephants, this and this,” a long list of things – Nachiketa says, “I have come to learn what death is, because unless I know what death is I cannot know what life is.”

So a Teacher was known in the old days as a person who can become a death to the disciple – who can give death, who can help you to die so that you can be reborn.

Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can I attain to the Kingdom of God?”

Jesus said, “Unless you die first, nothing can be attained. Unless you are reborn, nothing can be attained.”

And this being reborn is not an event, it is a continuous process. One has to be reborn every moment. It is not that you are reborn once and then it is okay and finished. Life is a continuous birth, and death is also continuous. You have to die once because you have not lived at all. If you live, then you will have to die every moment. Die every moment to the past whatsoever it has been, a heaven or a hell. Whatsoever – die to it, and be fresh and young and reborn into the moment. Witness now! You can only witness now if you are fresh.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol. 1, Chapter 15.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Religion is Dead, Religio is Born – Osho

Religion is dead. It has really lived too long, it should have been dead long ago. It has not done any good to humanity, it has done immense harm. It has divided humanity. It has given different groups of people the idea that “You are the real people of God,” that “You are special; other human beings are second class.” It has fulfilled the egos of Jews, of Christians, of Hindus, of Mohammedans – of everybody. It has created so many wars. It has killed millions of people, burned thousands of people alive, and all in the name of God. For your own sake you are being burned alive!

Religion is one of the most criminal phenomena that have existed in the world. It is time that we declare it dead.

But remember, every death is a beginning of something new; every death is not an end. On the one side it looks as if something has ended, but on the other side something fresh starts growing. The death of religion becomes the beginning of religio.

The word “religion” comes from religio. Religio has a beauty of its own, which is lost in “religion.” Religio means an existential, an experiential phenomenon. The very word means coming to a point where you are one – one with yourself, one with existence. Religion which comes from the same root does not have that meaning. It, on the contrary, makes you split. Making you one is not its work; its work is to make you schizophrenic, to put you into a split state, to put you against your own body, to put you against your own sex, to put you against yourself; to divide you into parts, fragments, and create an inner conflict in you.

All religious people are continuously fighting with themselves, because their biology says to do something, and their holy scripture says to do just the opposite. Their own being wants to grow in one way, but the priests direct them into some other way.

Every religion has been trying to make you somebody else. No religion has allowed you to be just yourself. They are all afraid of your being just yourself; then their function is lost. Their function is to create conflict in you, to make you miserable, suffering, in anguish. Then naturally you have to seek help.

They create the disease, and then they start praying for you to be forgiven. They are the criminals, and they are asking for you to be forgiven. And whom are they asking? There is nobody.

So it is really a great exploitation by the priesthood of all the religions. They have destroyed every individual. They have made you Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, but they have not allowed you to become just an individual, a human being. You were born not as a Christian, you were born not as a Buddhist; you were born just as a human being. They have destroyed your innocence; they have misdirected your life. They have molded you into something which you cannot become; it is not your potential.

This is not religio. Religio is accepting you in your totality, making you whole, healthy. And that opens the door to become one with existence. You are part of it; every moment you are part of it. You are breathing existence in and out every moment – you are eating it, you are living it in every possible way. No man is an island, we are all part of an infinite continent; that’s what I am calling existence.

Religio will relax you. Religio will give you, for the first time, the dignity of being a human being, and the vastness of being part of the whole existence.

Religion is dead, religio is born.

Religion is something like marriage: unnatural, arbitrary, artificial, created by social convenience.

Religio is like love: natural, simple. No law is involved in it; no society, no culture dominates it.

Love is a law unto itself, and love gives you something that is immensely precious. You start feeling needed. You are not superficial, you are not just accidental; you are needed, you are fulfilling some essential need. Love gives you the first glimpse that existence wants you the way you are. There is no need to become Jesus Christ or Gautam Buddha. Nature does not like carbon copies. Existence likes originals. You, in your originality, are acceptable.

But a Christian is a carbon copy; he is trying to become Jesus Christ, and in two thousand years not a single Christian has succeeded. In twenty-five centuries not a single Buddhist has succeeded in becoming Gautam Buddha. Is it not proof enough? You can go even further backwards. In five thousand years, no Hindu has succeeded in becoming a Krishna. It is simply impossible. Nature never repeats.

They say history repeats itself – because history is not nature. History belongs to carbon copies, retarded people; naturally it repeats itself. They don’t know what else to do, so they go on doing the same thing again.

Nature is very inventive. It does not create even two persons equal, even similar. There are four billion people on the earth today, but you cannot find two persons who are exactly alike. Even twins are not exactly alike. They may appear to be, but their mother knows who is who; their wives know who is who. There are differences – very subtle. Outsiders may be puzzled, but those who know them closely can see the differences in their individuality – in their gestures, in their way of speaking, in their way of thinking, in their way of walking – in small things. But the differences are bound to be there.

Religion has tried a very futile experiment, and almost destroyed humanity for thousands of years.

The death of religion releases you from becoming somebody else. Now you can enjoy being yourself.

We can call our commune, religio – a mystery school, a way of searching for one’s own spiritual being, a way of discovering one’s original face. Nobody has to become anybody else.

And you are asking me, “God is dead, religion is dead, then what is left now?”

In fact, those were the hindrances, which are removed, and everything that is essential is available now. Now you can be yourself without any guilt. Now you can be simply a human being without belonging to any organized religion. The moment truth becomes organized, it becomes untrue.

I am reminded of a beautiful ancient story. A newly-recruited devil came running to the master devil, huffing and puffing, and said, “Something has to be done immediately! One man on the earth has just found the truth! And if he spreads it, what are we going to do? Our whole business is finished! He has to be prevented.”

The old man laughed. He said, “You are a new recruit; you don’t know – my people are already there.”

The young devil said, “Your people?”

He said, “Yes, my people. The priests are already around the man, and they are organizing whatever he has found. That is my way of destroying truth, and it has never failed; for centuries I have been doing that. The priests – all the priests – are in my service! They don’t know it, but the moment truth is organized, it dies.”

Why does truth die when it is organized? It dies because it is an individual experience. Can you organize love? Nobody has ever thought about it; otherwise it would have died. You cannot organize love. Love is something that transpires between two individuals. It does not need any priest, it does not need any book of instructions.

When I was studying in the university I used to have a roommate – he was a little bit of an idiot, just the same as people are all over the world.

He asked me, “Everybody talks about the fact that he has fallen in love, and some girl has fallen in love with him. It seems we are the only two persons in this whole university…. About you there is no problem, because you don’t want anything to do with any love, any woman, because you think they will be a distraction in your search. I don’t know what you are searching for, but I am at a loss. I want to fall in love. But how to fall in love? I have been to the university library looking for a book, HOW TO FALL IN LOVE; there is not a single book on the subject. And I cannot ask anybody else, because they will simply laugh. If everybody knows how to fall, then why don’t I?”

I said, “You don’t be worried, I will teach you. You just choose the girl that you would like to fall in love with.”

He said, “I chose her two years ago, but how to start? The moment she enters, I become so nervous in the classroom, I forget all about love. I forget even what the teacher is saying.”

I said, “Don’t be worried. I will write a love letter for you. You simply post it to the girl and wait for the answer.”

I knew the girl; she was one of the most beautiful girls in the university. She had been interested in me, but I had told her, “Right now, I am involved too much in my own work, in my meditations, and I don’t think you have patience enough to wait. But if you can wait, then I can promise you one thing: the day I become enlightened I will be ready. But not before that.”

She said, “Enlightened? My God! How long will I have to wait?”

I said, “Nobody knows. I may become enlightened in this life, I may become enlightened in another life. Nothing can be said, it is unpredictable. So the best is, for the time being you choose somebody else.”

But she was persistent. So I approached her and said, “Just do me a favor.”

She said, “Have you become enlightened?”

I said, “No, not yet. But one of my friends is in a difficulty. He wants to fall in love, but he does not know how to fall in love. So you will receive a letter from him. Don’t discourage him – write him a beautiful letter.”

She said, “This is tricky. Then I will be stuck with that boy – and I know your roommate, I don’t want anything to do with him.”

I said, “You need not be worried.”

And she said, “How can I write a very loving letter to that idiot? I cannot!”

I said, “Then I will write it.” So I was writing letters from both the sides. And the boy was so ecstatic!

He could not believe that just with his writing a letter, love began.

But then the girl fell in love with somebody else. She told me that she could not wait, her parents were forcing her: either she had to choose someone, or they would. “You are my choice, but your enlightenment is a strange thing,” she said. ”I have never heard of anybody making such a condition, that when they become enlightened, then they will think about other matters. I have to choose; otherwise they will choose. So I have chosen, unwillingly. I will remember you, but I am getting married.”

I said, ‘You get married happily, and don’t feel that you are doing it unwillingly. I am responsible for making you sad, and for making you decide in favor of someone else. I like you, but as far as love is concerned, that involvement is possible only after my enlightenment, not before that!”

She said, “Then what about your friend that you have been unnecessarily forcing upon me? He goes on writing every day. And you have made it such a mess that you go on writing in my name, and I have to post those letters. I read them and I say, ‘My God! That idiot!’ And you are praising him and telling him, ‘I will die without you, and I cannot live without you. You are my heart.’ What am I to say to that man?”

I said, “You have simply to say that your parents are forcing you to get married.” And in India it is common, an arranged marriage. A love marriage is still not acceptable.

So she told the idiot, “What can I do? I love you so much, but my parents have arranged my marriage. So now I will not be seeing you anymore, and you stop writing the letters.”

He almost came to a nervous breakdown, crying, in tears. I asked, “What is the matter?” – I knew what was the matter!

He said, “My love affair was going so smoothly. Every day a letter – I was writing, she was replying; everything was going so smoothly. And her father has disturbed everything. I will shoot that man!”

I said, “That won’t help. You find another girl – there is no problem – and start writing letters again.”

He said, “But I don’t know what to write.”

So I said, “You do one thing. You go to the girl and ask for all the letters you have written to her.”

He said, “What!”

“You just tell her, ‘I need those letters, because I have not been writing them.’ And return her letters to her.”

So he went to the girl and asked for his letters. But she said, “What will you do with those letters?”

He said, “What will I do? Have I to live or not? You are getting married – I will have to write letters to somebody else. Now what is the point of writing the same letters again? I can use these letters. And here are your letters that you had written to me; perhaps you may need them sometime, because who loves one’s own husband? Who loves one’s own wife? You may need them.”

The girl said, “You can have both the sets, because both are written by the same man.”

He was very angry with me, but I said to him, “That is the function of a priest. I have not done anything unique; that is what the priests have been doing all through man’s history. They pray for you to God. They even bring answers from God to you – answers to your prayers. They make your prayer, they make the answers for your prayer. I have been just functioning like a priest – only the area was different; it was love, it was not God.”

The priests have no function if there is no God. Then there is no prayer, then there is no holy book, then there is no ritual. The priest has nothing left. He wants an organized religion. He turns religio into its opposite and calls it religion.

Religio is a freedom. Religion is a slavery. Dropping God, dropping religion, I have restored your freedom. Now you can be yourself without any fear. You can grow without copying anybody. You can just grow into your own unknown potential.

You are asking, “What is left?” Everything becomes available; only blocks have been removed, hindrances have been removed. Now you can meditate. You cannot pray; prayer needs a God.

Meditation needs no God. Prayer has divided humanity, because Christian prayer is different from Hindu prayer. Mohammedan prayer is different from Christian prayer. But meditation is the same.

Here, this very moment… if you are all silent, it is the same silence.

Silence cannot have any name, any label.

And meditation is the ultimate growth of silence.

Now you can be silent, you can grow deeper and deeper within yourself, searching for the center from where your life arises. The moment you discover that center, there is an explosion which is far more significant than any atomic explosion, far more luminous. The atomic explosion is destructive. The explosion that happens at your center gives you a tremendous energy to be creative.

And it does not make you part of any organized cult, creed, dogma – no. It simply makes you a dignified individual, immensely blissful because you have found the greatest treasure in the world. There is nothing more to be found. In finding your center, you have found the very center of existence.

You have found eternity.

Now there is no death.

And out of this experience arises lovingness, compassion, creativity. Even sitting silently, doing nothing, there will be a certain aura of bliss around you, a certain fragrance around you.

You have come home.

-Osho

Taken from Bondage to Freedom, Chapter 23.

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How to Avoid False Buddhahood? – Osho

Is it possible to believe that one has just attained Buddhahood? And is it possible just to believe like that only because of the ego? And if it is possible, then how to avoid it?

IT IS VERY MUCH POSSIBLE. Many times your ego will I deceive you. It will say, “You have arrived, you have attained.” By saying that it will prevent you from attaining, because when you have attained there is no need to make any more effort. When you have already attained, then what is the point of going on troubling yourself? That is the last trap ego throws at you.

First it says, “It is foolish to try to attain Buddhahood. It does not happen in the very nature of things. It is all nonsense, fiction. Don’t be mystified by these words!” First the ego will say, “It is impossible. It has never happened and it is not going to happen.” But if you don’t listen and you go on and on, the ego will try many other ways to distract you.

The last will be: one day, seeing that now you don’t listen, the ego can say to you, “Now look! You have had it, it has happened. This is satori, this is samadhi. You have become a Buddha.” This has to be encountered by every seeker.

The real enemy is not outside you, and the real distraction never comes from the outside – it comes from the inside. Buddha has said, “The enemy is within, and the friend is within – both are within you.” If you listen to the enemy, the ego, it will go on befooling you, deluding you.

Naturally, there is nothing much more than Buddhahood. If the ego can feel that “I have attained” then you are at the top of the world. Even an Alexander is nothing before you. The richest man is just poor before you; the most powerful man is nothing, helpless before you. You have become omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent – you have become a god. The ego can do that. And it will! unless you are very, very alert.

And when it starts playing such tricks on you, you will tend to accept it because it is so sweet. It is so beautiful to accept these ideas. Knowing well that nothing has happened – because how can you befool yourself? – knowing well that nothing has happened, still you will tend to become a victim.

Two old men meet on a corner. First old man: “Where have you been for the past eight weeks?”

Second old man: “In jail.”

First old man: “You in jail? How come?”

Second old man: “Well, about eight weeks ago I was standing on a corner, and this beautiful young girl rushes up with a policeman and says, ‘He’s the man, officer. He’s the one who attacked me.’ I tell you, I felt so flattered, I admitted it.”

It is possible. A man of eighty, if a beautiful girl rushes up with a policeman and says, “This man has attacked me,” can feel flattered. It is worth going to jail for a few weeks. He could not say no.

When the idea is thrown at you from your ego that you have attained, it is so charming, it is so hypnotizing, it is so attractive, it is incomparably attractive. And knowing well somewhere deep down – how can you not know? – knowing well, perfectly, that it has not happened! You are just the same, with the same anger, with the same jealousy, with the same possessiveness, with all the nonsense that has been there – it is still there. But still you would like to accept it.

Then you ask me: And if it can happen like that, how to avoid it?

The only way to know, the only way to judge whether it has really happened or is just an ego trap, is that when it really happens you don’t have the feeling of attainment at all. When it REALLY happens you don’t feel that you have attained. You don’t feel that you have arrived, that you have achieved. There is no trace of achievement at all – because WHO can achieve it? In the very process of achieving it you have disappeared, so who call claim it? Who can say, “I have come, I have attained”? The ‘I’ is no more!

This is the only criterion: when you really attain, there is no feeling of attainment at all. There is

NOBODY to attain it and nobody to claim it. There is immense silence. All that garbage of attainment– of attaining this and attaining that – has all disappeared. The whole crowd has gone. You are left utterly in silence. Not even for a single moment does the idea arises: “Now I have attained!”

And you know it has happened, but there is no feeling of attainment. Let me repeat: You know it has happened. But remember, it is a happening – because you don’t find yourself at all! You are not there! It HAS happened! You are empty, you are absent; you look in all directions and you don’t find yourself at all. You are nowhere to be found. That old guy has disappeared without leaving a trace.

You KNOW it! It has happened, but there is no feeling of attainment.

Attainment is an ego feeling; achievement is the desire of the ego. So remember the difference between a happening and an achieving. Ego is the achiever. So if any trace of achievement lingers in you, and any feeling of attainment comes to you, and you start feeling strong, worthy, great – then you can be certain you have missed again.

When it really happens, there is no claimant left. One simply is it. Not that you become Buddha– suddenly you understand you are not, only Buddha is. It brings great humbleness. There is no assertion.

-Osho

Excerpted from Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 3, Chapter 6

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Meher Baba’s Enlightenment-A Kiss From Babajan – Osho

With growing desirelessness, sometimes the person becomes outwardly inactive, is it lethargy and dullness? Why does it happen?

Many things are possible, and it will depend. Certainly many desires will drop and many actions also. Those actions which were just caused by desires will drop. If I was running for a particular desire, how can I run if the desire has dropped? My running will stop. At least the same running on the same route will stop. So when a person becomes desireless, at least for an interim period, for an interval – and how long it will be will depend on the individual – he will become inactive. The desires will have dropped – and all the actions that he had been doing were concerned with desires, so how can he continue? They will drop.

But by dropping desires and actions, energy will be accumulated – and now energy will begin to move. When it moves, how it moves will vary from individual to individual, but now it will move.

There will be a gap, an interim period, an interval. This I call a pregnancy period. The seed is born, but now it will gestate for at least nine months. And it may seem strange, but it happens. This nine months period is meaningful. Near about this, eight months or ten months, will be the interim period, and you will just become inactive. This inactivity will also vary. Someone may become so inactive that people may think that he has just gone into a coma. Everything stops.

For Meher Baba it happened like that. For one year he was just in a coma. He couldn’t even move his limbs. Action was far off, he couldn’t stand up because even the desire to stand had gone. He couldn’t eat; he had to be forced. He couldn’t do anything! For one year continuously he became just helpless – a helpless child. This was a pregnancy period, and then, suddenly, a different man was born. The man who became inactive was no more: a new energy – energy accumulated.

Lives and lives of dissipated energy create this gap – because you do not have enough energy.

When desire is not there to invoke. provoke, stimulate, you just drop. Your energy is not really energy, but just a pushing and pulling. Anyhow you go on running because the goal seems just nearby. A few moments’ endeavour more and you will reach! You pull yourself on; somehow you carry yourself and run. But when the goal is dropped, when there is no desire, you will drop. An inactivity will be there. If you can be patient in this inactivity period, after it you will be reborn. Then energy will begin to move without desires.

But I say it depends. It may happen suddenly as it happened for Meher Baba: that was a sudden case. It happened in Poona. It happened by a kiss from an old lady, Babajan. Meher Baba was just passing, coming back from his school. Babajan was an old Sufi mystic, an old lady who was just sitting under a tree for years and years and years. Meher Baba was just coming, and Babajan called him. He knew this old lady. She was sitting for years under the tree, and he had passed by that street daily on his way towards his school and towards his home. She called and he came near. She kissed him – and he dropped as if dead just there. Then he had to be carried home.

For one year continuously the kiss remained on him and he was in a coma. It may happen suddenly like this. Mm? This was a great transfer, and Babajan died afterwards because she had just been waiting for this moment to give someone the whole energy. This was her last life, and there was not enough time even to explain what she was giving. And also, she was not the type to have explained. She was a silent mystic. She had not touched anybody for years. She was a only waiting for this moment when she was to kiss someone and the whole energy was to be transferred in a single transfer. Before this she had not even touched anyone, so this touch was to be total.

And this child was simply unaware of what was going to happen. He was ready – otherwise this transfer would not have been possible – but he was not aware. He had worked through his past lives. He was just coming up. He might have become aware later on, but just now he was completely unaware. This happened so suddenly that he had to go again through a second pregnancy. For one year he was as if not. Many medicines were given; many, many doctors and physicians tried to help, but nothing could be done. And the woman who could do something, she disappeared, she died. After one year he was a different man – totally different.

If it happens so suddenly, then it will be a deep coma. If it happens through some exercises, then it will never be so deep a coma. If you are doing awareness exercises, meditation, then it will never happen so suddenly. It will come so gradually, so gradually, that you will never even become aware of when it has happened. By and by, inactivity will be there, activity will be there, and very gradually inside everything will have changed. And the desire will drop, the activity will drop, but no one will ever feel that you have been lethargic or that you have become inactive.

This is the gradual process. So those who follow yoga or any method will not feel the suddenness. There are also methods in which sudden happenings become possible, but one can be prepared. Babajan never prepared this boy; she never even asked his permission. It was a one-way affair. She just transferred the energy.

Zen monks also transfer, but before transferring they prepare the ground. A person can be made ready to receive the energy, then this reaction will not be there. He may feel lethargy for some days, for some months, but no one will feel outside that inside everything has become inactive. But that needs preparation, and that can happen only in schools. And when I say “school”, I mean a group working.

Babajan was alone; she never made anyone her disciple. There was no school, there was not a following in which she could have prepared anyone. And, also, she was not the type. She was not the teacher type; she couldn’t teach. But she had to give to someone, to whomsoever passed and she felt: “Now is the moment, and this one will be able to carry it,” so she could just deliver it.

So it depends. Inactivity is bound to be there – more or less, but it will be there, a period will be there. And only then can you be reborn, because the whole mechanism has to change completely. The mind drops, old roots drop, the old habits drop, the old association of consciousness and desires, consciousness and mind, drops – everything old drops and everything has to be new.

A waiting is needed, patience is needed. And if one is patient, one has not to do anything: just to wait is enough. The energy begins to move by itself. You just sow the seed and then wait! Don’t be in a hurry; don’t go every day to pull the seed out and see what is happening. Just put it inside and wait. The energy will take its own course. The seed will die, and the energy will sprout and will begin to move. But don’t be impatient. One has to wait.

And the greater the seed, and the greater the possibility, the potentiality of the tree that is going to be, the more will be the waiting. But it comes. It comes! The deeper the waiting, the sooner it comes.

-Osho

Taken from The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol. 1, Chapter 4

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