The Four Dimensions of Man – Osho

Man is not a meaning but an opportunity. The meaning is possible, but is not given. The meaning can be created, but it is not already there. It is a task not a gift. Life is a gift, but life is open opportunity. Meaning is not a gift, meaning is a search. Those who seek will certainly find it. But those who simply wait will go on missing. The meaning, the Logos, has to be created by man. Man has to transform himself into that meaning. It cannot be something exterior to man; it can only be something interior.

Man’s inner being has to become illumined.

Before we enter into these sutras, a few things will be helpful to understand about man, because only then is the work possible.

The first thing to be understood is that man is a four-dimensional space-time continuum, just as the whole existence is. Three dimensions are of space, one dimension is of time. They are not separate: the dimension of time is but the fourth dimension of space. The three dimensions of space are static; the fourth dimension of time brings movement, makes life a process. Then existence is not a thing, but becomes an event.

And so is man. Man is the miniature universe. If you could understand man in his totality, you would have understood the whole existence. Man contains all – in seed. Man is a condensed universe. And these are the four dimensions of man.

The first dimension is what Patanjali calls sushupti, deep sleep, where not even a dream exists. One is utterly silent, not even a thought stirring, no wind blowing. All is absent That absence, in deep sleep, is the first dimension. It is from that that we start. And we have to understand our sleep, only then can we go through a transformation. Only then can we build our house on a rock, otherwise not. But very few people are there who understand their sleep.

You sleep every day, you live one-third of your life in deep sleep, but you don’t understand what it is. You go into it every night, and you also gain much out of it. But it is all unconscious: you don’t know exactly where it leads you. It leads you to the most simple dimension of your life – the first dimension. It is very simple because there is no duality. It is very simple because there is no complexity. It is very simple because there is only oneness. You have not yet arisen as an ego, you have not yet become divided – but the unity is unconscious.

If this unity becomes conscious you will have samadhi instead of sushupti. If this unity becomes conscious, illumined, then you will have attained God. That’s why Patanjali says: Deep sleep and samadhi, the ultimate state of consciousness, are very much alike, alike, because they are simple, alike, because in both there is no duality, alike, because in both the ego exists not.

In the first, the ego has not arisen yet; in the second, the ego has been dissolved – but there is a great difference too. The difference is that in samadhi you know what sleep is. Even while asleep your consciousness is there, your awareness is there. Your awareness goes on burning like a small light inside you.

A Zen Master was asked… It is a very famous saying in Zen:

Thus we are told that before we study Zen the mountains are mountains and the rivers are rivers. While we are studying Zen, however, the mountains are no longer mountains and the rivers are no longer rivers. But then when our study of Zen is completed, the mountains are once again mountains and the rivers are once again rivers.

‘What is meant by this?’ a disciple asked a great Master.

The Master explained this: ‘It simply means that the first and the last states are alike. Only just in the middle… the disturbance. First the mountains are mountains and again in the end the mountains are again mountains. But in the middle the mountains are no more mountains and rivers are no more rivers – everything is disturbed and confused and clouded. That clouding, that confusion, that chaos, exists only in the middle. In sushupti everything is as it should be; in samadhi, again everything is as it should be. Between the two is the problem, is the world, is the mind, is the ego, is the whole complex of misery, hell.

When the Master explained this, the disciple exclaimed ‘Well, if that’s true, then there is no difference between the ordinary man and the enlightened man.’

‘That’s true’ replied the Master. ‘There is no difference really. The only thing is, the enlightened man is six inches off the ground.’

But those six inches make all the difference. Why is the Master six inches off the ground? He lives in the world and is yet not in it – those are the six inches, the difference. He eats, and yet he is not the eater; he remains a witness – those six inches. He is ill, he knows the pain of illness but still he is not in pain; that difference – those six inches. He dies, he knows death is happening, and yet he is not dying: that difference – those six inches. He is asleep and yet he is not asleep, he is alert too.

The first state is of sushupti. We will call it ‘the first dimension’. It is dreamless undividedness, it is unconscious unity, it is ignorance, but very blissful. But the bliss too is unconscious. Only in the morning when you are awake again do you start feeling that there has been a good sleep in the night, that you have been in some faraway land, that you are feeling rejuvenated, that you are feeling very fresh, again young and alive; but only in the morning – not exactly at the time when you are in the sleep, only later on. Just some fragrance remains lingering in the memory. It reminds you that you have been to some inner depth, but where? What? – You cannot figure it out. You cannot give any account of it. Just a vague memory, a remembrance that somewhere you have been in a good space. There is no ego yet, so there is no misery possible, because misery is not possible without the ego.

This is the state where the rocks and the mountains and the rivers and the trees are existing. That’s why trees look so beautiful – an unconscious bliss surrounds them. That’s why mountains look so silent: they are in sushupti, they are in deep sleep, they are continuously in deep sleep. That’s why when you go to the Himalayas; an eternal silence is felt – virgin silence. Nobody has ever been able to disturb it. Just think of a mountain, and suddenly you start feeling silent. Think of trees and you feel life flowing in. The whole of nature exists in the first state, that’s why nature is so simple.

 

The second dimension is that of dream – what Patanjali calls swabha. The first disturbance in the sleep is dream. Now you are not one any more; the second dimension has arisen. Images have started floating in you: the beginning of the world. Now you are two: the dreamer and the dreamed. Now you are seeing the dream and you are the dream too. Now you are divided. That silence of the deep sleep is no more there, disturbance has entered because division has entered.

Division, duality, disturbance – that is the meaning of the dream. Although the duality is still unconscious, it is there; but not very consciously – not that you know about it. The turmoil is there, the world is born, but things are still undefined. They are just coming out of the smoke; things are taking shape. The form is not yet clear, the form has not yet become concrete, but because of the dualism – even though it is unconscious – misery has entered in. The nightmare is not very far away. The dream will turn into a nightmare.

This is where animals and birds exist. They also have a beauty, because they are very close to sushupti. Birds sitting on a tree are just dreams sitting in sleep. Birds making their nests on a tree are just dreams making their nests in sleep. There is a kind of affinity between the birds and the trees. If trees disappear, birds will disappear; and if birds disappear, trees will not be so beautiful any more. There is a deep relationship; it is one family. When you see parrots screeching and flying around a tree, it almost looks as if the leaves of the tree have got wings. They are not separate… very close. Birds and animals are more silent than man, happier than man. Birds don’t go mad. They don’t need psychiatrists; they don’t need any Freud, any Jung, any Adler. They are utterly healthy.

If you go into the forest and you see the animals, you will be surprised – they are all alike!;  and all healthy. You will not find a single fat animal in the natural state. I am not talking about the zoo. In the zoo things go wrong, because the zoo is no more natural. Zoo animals start following man; they even start going mad and committing suicide. Zoo animals even turn into homosexuals. The state of the zoo is not natural, it is man-created. In nature they are very, very, silent, happy, healthy, but that health too is unconscious – they don’t know what is happening.

This is the second state: when you are in a dream. This is the second dimension. First: dreamless sleep, sushupti – simple one-dimensional; there is no ‘other’. Second: dream, swabha; there are two dimensions: the dreamer and the dreamed, the content and the consciousness – the division has arisen – the looker and the looked at, the observer and the observed. Duality has entered. This is the second dimension.

In the first dimension there is only the present tense. Sleep knows no past, no future. Of course because it knows no past, no future, it cannot know the present either, because the present exists only in the middle. You have to be aware of the past and the future, only then can you be aware of the present. Because there is no past and no future, sleep exists only in the present. It is pure present, but unconscious.

With the dream, the division enters. With the dream, the past becomes very, very important. Dream is past-oriented; all dreams come from the past. They are fragments of the past floating in the mind, dust from the past which has not settled yet.

It’s her old man I feel sorry for. He was in bed the other night fast asleep. Suddenly she noticed he had a smile on his face. She thought ‘Hello, he’s having one of those dreams again.’ So she put down her crisps and her bottle of stout and woke him up.

He said ‘Blimey, you would, wouldn’t you! I was having a lovely dream then! I was at this auction where they were selling mouths. They had small rosebud ones for a quid. Pert little pursed ones for two quid, and little smiling ones for a fiver.’

She said ‘Ooh! Did they have a mouth my size?’

‘Yes. They were holding the auction in it.’

Whatsoever you dream has something to say about your past. It may be that you see an auction – little smiling rosebud mouths are being sold – but the auction is being held in your wife’s mouth.

Maybe you have never said to your wife ‘Shut up, and keep your big mouth closed!’ Maybe you have not said it so clearly, but you have been thinking that so many times. It is lingering in the mind. It is there. Maybe you have never been so true in your waking state as you are when you are asleep. And you can be! You can afford to be true. All dreams float from the past. With the dream, past becomes existential. So the present is there, and the past.

With the third, the third dimension, waking state what Patanjali calls jagrut – multiplicity enters. The first is unity, the second is duality, the third is multiplicity. Great complexity arises. The whole world is born. In sleep you are deep inside you; in dream you are no more that deep inside you and yet you are not out either – just in the middle, on the threshold. With waking consciousness you are outside yourself, you have gone into the world.

You can understand the biblical story of Adam’s expulsion in these three dimensions. When Adam was there in the Garden of Eden and had not yet eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge it was deep sleep, unconscious – unconscious bliss it was. There was no disturbance, everything was simply beautiful. He had not known of any misery. Then he eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Knowledge arises, images start floating, dreams have started functioning. He is no more the same. He is still in the Garden of Eden but no more part of it – alien, stranger, an outsider. He has not yet been expelled, but in a subtle way he is no more centered there. He is uprooted. This is the state of the dream – the first taste of knowledge, because of the first taste of duality, the distinction of observer and the observed. And then he is being expelled from the Garden of Eden, thrown out – that is the third state, the waking state. Now he cannot even go back; there is no way back. He has forgotten that he has an inside too.

In deep sleep you are inside. In wakefulness you are outside. In dream you are just in the middle, hanging, not settled yet where to go, still indecisive, in doubt, uncertain. With the waking state, the ego enters in. In the dream state there are just rudimentary fragments of the ego arising, but they settle in the third. The ego becomes the most concrete, most solid, most decisive phenomenon. Then whatsoever you do, you do because of the ego.

The third state brings a little consciousness – just one per cent, not much of it, just a flickering consciousness, momentary consciousness. The first was absolutely unconscious, the second was unconsciousness disturbed. The third is the first glimpse of consciousness. And because of that – the momentary glimpse of consciousness – that one per cent of consciousness coming in creates the ego. Now the future also enters in.

 

First there is only the present unconscious; then there is the past unconscious, now there is future. Past, present, future, and the whole complexity of time revolves around you. This is the state where people are stuck, where you are stuck, where everybody is stuck. And if you go on building your house with these three dimensions, you will be building it on sand, because your whole effort will be unconscious.

To do something in unconsciousness is futile – it is shooting arrows in the dark not knowing where the target is. It is not going to bring much result. First, light is needed. The target has to be looked for, searched for. And enough light is needed so you can move towards the target consciously. That is possible only when the fourth dimension starts functioning. It rarely happens; but whenever it happens, then meaning is really born, Logos is born.

You will live a meaningless life if you live only with these three. You will live a meaningless life because you will not be able to create yourself. How can you create in such unawareness?

The fourth dimension is of awareness, witnessing – what Patanjali calls turiya. And in the Gospels Jesus goes on saying again and again to his disciples: Awake! Beware! Watch! All these words indicate turiya. And it is one of the misfortunes of history that Christianity has not been able to bring this message clearly to the world. It has failed utterly.

Rarely has a religion failed so utterly as Christianity. Jesus was not very fortunate, because the disciples that he found turned out to be very ordinary, and the religion became almost a political organization. The church became not a follower of Jesus but deep down really antagonistic to Jesus. The church has been doing things against Jesus in the name of Jesus.

Buddha was more fortunate. The followers never became a church, they never became so organized politically and they never became so worldly. They carried little bits of Buddha’s message down the ages.

This fourth dimension has to be understood as deeply as possible, because this is the goal. It is pure consciousness, simplicity again. The first was simple but unconscious; the fourth is simple but conscious. Unity again, bliss again – with only one difference: now everything is conscious, the inner light is burning bright. You are fully alert. It is not a dark night inside you but a full-moon night, moonlit. That is the meaning of enlightenment: the inner illumination.

Again there is only one time left – present, but now it is conscious present. Past is no more hanging around. A man who is aware cannot move in the past, because it is no more. A man who is aware cannot move in the future, because it is not yet. A man who is aware lives in the present, herenow. HERE is his only space and NOW is his only time. And because he is only herenow, time as such disappears. Eternity is born, timelessness is born. And when one is totally alert, ego cannot exist.

Ego is a shadow cast in unawareness. When all is light, the ego cannot exist. You will be able to see the falsity of it, the pseudo-ness of it. And in that very seeing is its disappearance.

These are the four dimensions of human consciousness. And people live only in the first three. The fourth carries the meaning; hence the people who live only in the three live a meaningless life. They know it. You know it! If you look into your life you will not find any meaning there, just a haphazard, accidental progression of things. One thing is followed by another, but with no particular consistency, with no particular relevance. One thing is followed by another just accidentally.

That’s what Jean-Paul Sartre means when he says ’Man is a useless passion’: man is accidental.

Yes, he is true if he is talking about the three dimensions: first, second and third; but he is not true about the fourth. And he cannot say anything about the fourth because he has not experienced anything of it. Only a Christ or a Buddha can say something about the fourth.

Christ-consciousness is of the fourth, so is Buddha-consciousness. To remain confined in the three is to be in the world. To enter into the fourth is to enter into nirvana, or call it the ’kingdom of God’. These are only different expressions for the same thing.

A few things more: The second dimension is a shadow of the first: sleep and dream. Dreams cannot exist without sleep, sleep is a must. Sleep can exist without dreams. So sleep is primary, dreams are secondary – just a shadow. And so is the case with the third and the fourth. The third is the shadow of the fourth, because the third can exist only if there is some consciousness. A little bit of consciousness has to be there, only then can the third exist. The third cannot exist without little bit of consciousness in it – a ray of light. It is not much of a light, but a ray of light is needed. The fourth can exist without the third, but the third cannot exist without the fourth. The fourth is awareness, absolute awareness; and the third is just a small ray of light in the dark night. But it exists because of that small ray of light. If that ray of light disappears, it will become the second; it will not be the third any more.

And your life looks like a shadow-life because you are living with the third. And the third is the shadow of the fourth. Only with the fourth do you come home. Only with the fourth are you grounded in existence.

The first is absolute darkness, the fourth is absolute light. Between these two are their two shadows. Those two shadows have become so important to us that we think that is our whole life. That’s why Hindus have been calling the world maya, illusion, because of these two dimensions which have become predominant – the second and the third. We have lost track of the first, and we have not yet searched for the fourth.

And one thing more: If you find the fourth you will find the first. Only one who has found the fourth will be able to know about the first, because once you have come to the fourth you can be asleep and remain alert. Krishna defines the yogi in the Gita as ‘one who is awake while asleep’. That’s his definition for the yogi. A strange definition: who is awake while asleep.

And just the reverse is the situation with you. You are asleep while awake. That is the definition of a non-yogi: asleep while awake. You look awake, and you are not.

It is just an idea, this awake state. Ninety-nine per cent consists of sleep – only one per cent of wakefulness. And that one per cent also goes on changing. Sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not there at all. It was there; somebody insults you – and it is not there. You have become angry, and you have lost even that small awareness. Somebody treads on your feet – and it is gone. It is very delicate. Anybody can take it and destroy it, and very easily. You were perfectly okay; a letter comes and something is written in the letter, and suddenly you are no more okay. All is disturbed. A single word can create such a disturbance! Your awareness is not very much.

And you are awake only in rare moments: in danger you are awake, because in danger you have to be awake. But when there is no danger, you start snoring. You can hear people snoring – walking down the road, they are snoring. And they are caged in their own unconsciousness.

A drunk bumped into a stop sign. Dazed and disoriented, he stepped back and then advanced in the same direction. Once more he hit the sign. He retreated a few steps, waited awhile, and then marched forward. Colliding with the post again, he embraced it in defeat and said ‘It is no use. I am fenced in. I am stopped in every direction.’

And he has not moved in any other direction. He has been moving again and again to the post. And being hit, naturally he concludes that he has been fenced in from every direction.

And that is the situation of the ordinary human consciousness. You go on moving in the same unconscious way, in the same unconscious direction. And again and again you are hit, and you think ‘Why is there so much misery? Why? Why did God create such a miserable world in the first place? Is God a kind of sadist? Does he want to torture people? Why has he created a life which is almost like a prison, and in which there is no freedom?’

Life is absolutely free. But to see that freedom, first you will have to free your consciousness.

Remember it as a criterion: the more conscious you are, the more free; the less conscious you are, the less free. The more conscious you are, the more blissful; the less conscious you are, the less blissful. It depends on how conscious you are. And there are people who will go on looking into the scriptures to find out ways to become more free, to become more blissful, to attain to truth. That is not going to help, because it is not a question of the scriptures. If you are unconscious and you go on reading the Bible and the Koran and the Vedas and the Gita, it is not going to help, because your unconsciousness cannot be changed by your studies. In fact the scripture cannot change your consciousness, but your unconsciousness will change the scripture – the meaning of the scriptures. You will find your own meanings there. You will interpret in such a way that the Bible, the Veda, the Koran, will start functioning as imprisonments. That’s how Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans are – all imprisoned.

I have heard…

After booking into a large hotel, a self-styled evangelist read in his room for an hour or two – and he was reading the Bible – then went down to the bar, and after a couple of drinks, he struck up a conversation with the red-headed barmaid. He stayed up until closing time and after the girl had cleared up, they both went up to the evangelist’s room.

When he started to interfere with her clothing, the barmaid seemed to have second thoughts. ‘Are you sure this is alright?’ she said ’after all you are a holy man.’

‘My dear’ he replied ‘it’s written in the Bible.’

She took him at his word, and they spent a very pleasant night together. The next morning, however, as the girl was preparing to leave, she said ‘You know, I don’t remember the part of the Bible you spoke about last night.’

The evangelist picked up the Gideon’s Bible from the bedside table, opened the cover, and showed her the flyleaf, on which was inscribed ‘The redheaded barmaid screws.’

Reading the whole Bible for one hour and this was his finding. Somebody had inscribed on the flyleaf…

If you read the Bible, you read it, remember. And the meaning that you give it will] be yours, the interpretation will be yours. It cannot help you, because it cannot even protect itself from you. How can it help you? The only way to have any change in life is to change consciousness. And to change consciousness you will not have to go into the Bible and the Vedas. You will have to go inwards, you will have to go into meditation. Scholarship won’t help.

A blind man was invited to a festivity and there he ate some delicious pudding. He was so enchanted by its taste that he asked someone sitting next him to tell what it looked like.

‘White’ the man said.

‘What is white?’ the blind man asked.

‘White? – like a duck’ came the answer.

‘How does a duck look?’, persisted the blind man.

Puzzled for a moment, the man finally said ‘Here, feel this’ and took the blind man’s hand in his hand and guided it along his other hand and arm, which he bent at the elbow and wrist to resemble the shape of a duck.

At this, the blind man exclaimed ‘Oh, the pudding is crooked!’

That’s what is going to happen. You cannot help the blind man to know what is white, or what is color, or what is light. All your help is going to give him something wrong. There is no way to help the blind man by definitions, by explanations, by theories, by dogmas, by scriptures. The only way to help him is to heal his eyes.

Buddha has said ‘I am a physician. I don’t give you definitions of light; I simply heal your eyes.’ And that’s what Jesus is, and all the miracles that are reported in the Bible are not miracles but parables – that a blind man came to him and he touched his eyes, and the blind man was healed and he could see immediately. If it is just about the physical eye, this is not much. Then Jesus is already out of date, because medical science can do it. Sooner or later, Jesus will have to be completely forgotten. If he was simply curing physical eyes, then it is not going to mean much in the future. This can be done by science. And that which can be done by science should be done by science; religion should not enter into it – there is no need. Religion has far higher things to do.

So I insist again and again that these stories are not miracles but parables. People ARE blind, and the Jesus-touch IS a magic touch. He helps them to see, he helps them to become aware, he helps them to become more conscious. He brings the fourth.

To go into the fourth, work is needed. Work in the sense that Gurdjieff used to use that word. Work means a great effort to transform your being, a great effort to center your being, a great effort to drop all that which creates darkness and to bring all that which can help a little light come in. If a door has to be opened, then open the door and let the light come in. If a wall has to be broken, then break the wall and let the light come in. Work means a conscious effort to search, to inquire to explore into the dimension of the fourth – into light, into awareness – and a conscious effort to drop all that which helps you remain unconscious, to drop all that which keeps you mechanical.

A man bought a farm and a sow. He asked his wife to watch the sow, explaining that if she saw it eating grass it was ready for mating and could be taken to the next farm. A couple of days later his wife told him that the sow had started to eat grass. So the farmer put it on a barrow and took it to the next farm to be mated. When he came back, he told his wife to watch the sow again. ‘If the sow eats grass again, it has not taken’ he explained.

A few days later, his wife reported that the sow was eating grass again. So it was put on the barrow and taken for mating again. The farmer brought it back and again asked his wife to watch it closely. Two days later he asked his wife if it had been eating grass again.

‘No’ she said ‘but it’s sitting in the barrow.’

The mechanical mind, the instinctive mind, the repetitive mind – that has to be broken and dropped. Work means an alchemical change. Great effort is needed. Hard and arduous is the path. It is an uphill task.

– Osho

Excerpted from I Say Unto You, Vol.1, chapter 7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Three Stages of Human Consciousness: Adam, Jesus and Christ – Osho

Man’s evolution is from innocence to innocence.

The first innocence is ignorant, the second innocence is luminous. The first innocence is a kind of sleep; the second innocence is an awakening. The first innocence is a gift of God, the second innocence is man’s own effort, his earning, his work upon himself. The first can be lost, the second cannot be lost. The first has to go – in the very nature of it, it cannot be eternal; but the second, once it comes, remains forever – it is eternal.

Remember, whatsoever you attain consciously, only that can you possess, ONLY that. Whatsoever is given to you, and you receive it unconsciously, will be taken away. Only that really happens to you for which you work hard. Only that belongs to you which you create in your being. You become Master of it.

The first innocence in Christian terms is called Adam. And the second innocence is called Christ.

And Jesus is just in-between the two. Jesus is the bridge between the first innocence and the second innocence. Hindus call the second innocence ’rebirth’: one becomes twice-born, DWIJA. And that’s what Jesus also said to one of the famous professors and theologians of his time, Nicodemus: Unless you are born again, you will not attain to the kingdom of God.

Unless you are born AGAIN…

The first birth has happened; the second birth has to happen. The first has happened without cooperation, the second cannot happen without your cooperation. The first birth was almost like an accident – it happened to you unawares. The second birth can only be in immense consciousness; it cannot happen unawares, it can happen only in deep meditation.

Jesus is a bridge between Adam and Christ. That’s why the story of virgin birth has a metaphoric meaning. Jesus is born innocent. Everybody is born innocent – there is no other way to be born.

Every child is born in innocence. But then that innocence is lost sooner or later, and the more intelligent the child, the sooner it will be lost. If the child is stupid, imbecilic, idiotic, then it may go on lingering for a long time; it may not be lost. If you are intelligent, you will start moving away from it. You will start exploring the world. You will start adventuring into the world, into the unknown; you will become a wanderer. And the more intelligent you are, the more is the possibility that you will not follow the crowd, you will find your own way – you would like to do your ‘own thing’. You will not move on the superhighway, you will move on small footpaths into the jungle; because intelligence wants to take risks. Intelligence wants to dare, intelligence wants to go into the unknown and the dangerous, because it is only in danger that intelligence comes to its peak. It is only when you dare that your intelligence becomes a crystallization. It is only when you risk that you are. The more you risk, the more you are. Risk brings being. A man who never risks remains without a being.

George Gurdjieff used to say that not everybody has got a soul. Because you have never dared, how can you get a soul? The soul comes only through daring. The only right way to attain a soul is to go into dangers, to risk all, to be a gambler, to go into the dark unknown.

The first innocence is going to go, has to go. And it is good that it goes. If it continues, you will not really be a man; you will be a vegetable or a cow or a buffalo, but you will not be a man. That is where man is different from the whole of nature. Nature lives in the first innocence; only man is capable of losing it. It is great dignity, it is glory – only man is capable of sin, no other animal can commit sin. You cannot call a dog a sinner, you cannot call a lion a sinner and you cannot call a tree a sinner. Only man can sin, and because man can sin, only man can go beyond sin. Only man can go astray – that means only man can come back home. Except for man, all the animals, birds and trees still exist in the Garden of Eden – they never left it. That’s why nature has such beauty, such peace, such silence.

The Himalayas still exist in the Garden of Eden. So exists the rose bush of your garden, so exist the birds that come in the morning and sing songs around you. Nature is still there; it never left home, it never went astray, it never committed anything against God, it never disobeyed. It never dared; it is completely satisfied with the first birth.

To be satisfied with the first birth is to remain unconscious. It is only through sin that you become conscious. It is only by going wrong that consciousness arises. This HAS to be understood. So going wrong is not really going wrong, because only through it does the consciousness arise. All has to be lost. One has to come to the point where all is lost, God is lost, heaven is lost – one cannot believe in paradise, and one cannot believe that innocence is possible. Only from that peak of frustration, anguish, anxiety is there a possibility of a one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn.

Adam is perfectly at ease, so is Christ. The problem is with Jesus. Jesus is troubled. Zen people are right when they say for a man who has never heard of meditation; mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. He is happy; he is in a kind of natural state. He has no anxiety, because God has not yet become a challenge to him. He has no future goals, he has no destination. He eats drinks and is happy – the first hedonism I was talking about the other day: ‘Eat, drink and be merry.’ He lives in the body, he IS the body; he knows nothing more than that. With the body there is a kind of peace and health that surrounds him. You can always see that happiness around a child. The child is the first kind of hedonist. He believes only in eating, drinking and being merry. He simply lives the moment. He is completely abandoned in the moment – no anxiety, no clouds yet – his sky is clear.

The people who have not heard of meditation and enlightenment and Nirvana and God, who have never pondered over these great problems – for them things are clean; they are not confused.

‘Mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.’ But once a man has become interested in meditation, in growth, in spirituality, in the other shore, in the other reality – problems bubble up in thousands, problems crowd. Mountains are no more mountains now, and rivers are no more rivers; everything becomes confused, everything becomes topsy-turvy. Man goes into a chaos. The old cosmos, the old innocence, simply falls into pieces; not even a trace is left.

This is the meaning of the Christian parable of Adam’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. He became interested in higher things; he became interested in knowing things. He ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, he started becoming more conscious. He started trying to understand what this reality is. He moves into knowing, and suddenly the doors of the Garden are closed for him.

Suddenly he finds himself outside the Garden, and he does not know where the way back is. He has to go farther and farther away.

This is what Zen people say: Mountains are no more mountains, rivers are no more rivers. Then one has to go on a long journey. Tedious is the journey, full of miseries and nightmares. It is a wandering in a desert where oases are only dreams; they exist not. And then after a long, long journey – it may continue for many, many lives – one can come back. This time, coming back has a totally different meaning. Now one comes as a knowing consciousness. One is again innocent, but this innocence is no more ignorant, it is luminous, it is full of light. This is Jesus turning into Christ.

Adam finds himself outside the Garden. Jesus wanders in the world. Christ suddenly finds himself back in the Garden one day.

Adam, Jesus, and Christ – these are the three stages of human consciousness. Adam is absolutely unconscious. Jesus is half-conscious, half-unconscious – hence the conflict, the confusion, the division, the tension. And Christ is absolute consciousness.

-Osho

Excerpted from I Say Unto You, Vol. 2, chapter 9.

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.

 

A Cup of Tea with Vimala Thakar

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Vimala Thakar’s house in Mt. Abu

It was at Ajja’s ashram in Puttur, Karnataka, that Vimala Thakar’s name first came up. We were told that a woman who lived in Mt. Abu had become enlightened through J. Krishnamurti and that she was available for visitors.

On our way north through India we went through Rajasthan. We arrived in Mt. Abu and chose a guesthouse from Lonely Planet. After settling in we informed the manager that we were interested in visiting Vimala Thakar and asked if he knew of her. We had chosen well, the guesthouse was located less than 100 meters from her house and the manager himself was a friend of hers. He called and made arrangements for an appointment for us the following day.

We arrived and were shown into a small sitting room where we met Vimalaji. A tremendous force of presence surrounded her. We introduced ourselves and told her that we were Osho sannyasins. She spoke to each of us about the names Osho had given us. Vimalaji asked us about our travels in India and in general about the life we were living allowing life itself to lead the way.

Over tea Vimalaji told us that Osho had invited her to Jabalpur to speak at the university where he was chair of the Philosophy Department. Osho took her out on the Narmada river in a boat and then to the Kwality Ice Cream shop in town. She said she chided him about his tastes in food because they were not good for his health and that she felt like an older sister but that Rajneeshji was Rajneeshji, meaning that he wasn’t one for listening to advice.  Vimalji also said that she was sad for what had happened to him in Oregon.

I told her that I didn’t know much about her but had heard the story concerning Krishnamurti and her experience and wanted to ask her about it. She proceeded to relate the story that you will find in her book On an Eternal Journey. She stated that if one wants to say that the transformation that happened to her was through the grace of Krishnaji, she was fine with that. I will let her tell you the story so in that way you will not need to rely on my memory. This story is also related in an interview Vimalji gave to Chris Parish for the magazine What Is Enlightenment. There is a link below.

When our time was up Vimalji gave us four of her books. The giving was a very deliberate act and seemed pregnant with significance. I had never read any of her books but because of this event I paid special attention and kept a look out for what might jump out at me and shout “This! This! This is for you.” Here is one such statement:

In meditation, there is no movement. Life has no movement: it is only matter that has movement. Movement and energy are the property of matter. Life is is-ness without any movement whatsoever. That which remains without movement can be called neither individual nor universal. It has no center and no circumference. Intellectual activity has a center, the me, the self, the ego. Awareness as the activity of the intelligence has the whole human body, the human individual, as the center. Beyond awareness, the individual is not at the center. Nothing moves out of the individual. Nothing emanates or radiates from the person. Just as in the state of observation there is no ego-centered activity, so in the state of awareness, the whole cerebral organ does not function. Beyond awareness, the individual entity and the movements contained in the individual entity are simply not there. I wish that I could verbalize this more fully. The Movement of Mind.

This has proved to be extremely helpful. Thank you, Vimalaji.

Two of her books are easily available in the west through Rodmell Press. The book I mentioned above, On an Eternal Journey, I have not been able to find copies for sale, but you can download it from the link above.

-purushottama

This post is from a collection of essays, stories, insights and poems that have occurred to me along the Way titled Here to Now and Behind.

Here is the link for the Chris Parish interview Set Them on Fire.

For more posts on Vimala Thakar look here.

The Royal Way – Osho

The belief in the myth of change is the most dangerous kind of belief. Man has suffered much from it – much more than from any other kind of belief. The myth of change – that something better is possible, that man can improve upon himself, that there is some place to go to, that there is somebody to be, and that there is some kind of utopia – has corrupted human mind infinitely down the centuries. It has been a constant poisoning.

Man is already there. Man has been all along that which he wants to be. Man need not change in order to be. All that is needed is an understanding, an awareness – not a change. Becoming is never going to give you being. Through becoming you will remain constantly in anguish, in tension – because becoming means that the goal is somewhere else, that the goal is never here, never now, that the goal is far away. You have to strive for it and your whole life is wasted in striving. And you can go on striving and you will not find it because the goal is here and now, and you are looking then and there.

Your being is in the present, and all ideas of becoming are projections into the future. By projecting into the future, you go on missing the present. That is a way of escaping from the reality. The idea that you have to become something is the idea that takes you away from your real being, from your authentic being. You are already that – that’s why I say the myth of change is one of the most dangerous myths.

It has two dimensions to it. One is political, the other is religious.

The political dimension is that the society can be improved, that revolution can help, that there is a utopia that can be realized. Because of this, politicians have been able to torture, to murder, to exploit, to oppress. And people have suffered in the hope that revolution is going to happen. That revolution never happens. Revolutions come and go and society remains as it has always been.

Hitlers, Stalins, Maos, can exploit people for their own sake. And if you want to get to the utopia, to the wonderland, to paradise, you obviously have to pay for it. This is the secular dimension of the myth – that something better is possible. Right now it is not there, but some day it can be – you have to sacrifice for it. Millions of people were killed in Soviet Russia, tortured inhumanly, for their own good. And logic says that if you want to have a better society, who is going to pay for it? You are going to pay for it, naturally. So the people cannot even revolt, they cannot even resist. If they resist, they look like enemies of the revolution. And the myth is so deep-rooted in the mind that they accept all kinds of humiliations in the hope that maybe if they cannot live in a golden age, their children will. This is the secular direction of the same neurosis.

The religious dimension is that you can have a better future – if not in this life, then in the next. Of course, you have to sacrifice. If you sacrifice the present, you will have the future.

That future never comes. The future in itself cannot come. The tomorrow is not possible, it is always today. It is always the present that is there. The future is just in the mind, in the imagination. It is a dream; it is not part of reality.

The political myth has been taken up by the sadists – those who want to torture others; and the religious myth has been taken up by the masochists – those who want to torture themselves. Torture yourself. Fast. Don’t sleep. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. This is the whole secret of the so-called ascetic attitude towards life: torture yourself. And naturally, your body is helpless, your body is defenseless. It cannot protest. It cannot go against you.

There is a possibility that people may revolt against the politicians, but what is the possibility that your body may revolt against you? There is no possibility. The body is very innocent, helpless. You can go on torturing it and you can go on feeling that you have immense power because you can torture it. You can go on killing it, and feel powerful. And you can attain to a great ego.

There are two kinds of people in the world: the sadists and the masochists. Sadists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing others, and masochists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing themselves – but it is the same violence, it is the same aggression. The sadist throws it on somebody else; the masochist turns it upon himself. Because the sadist throws it on others, sooner or later they will revolt. But when the masochist throws it upon himself there is nobody to revolt.

In fact, all revolutionaries; once they are in power, by and by lose respect. Sooner or later they are dethroned; sooner or later their power is destroyed; sooner or later they are thought to be criminals. Your whole history consists of these criminals. Your history is not the history of humanity because it is not the history of humanness. How can it be the history of humanity? It is not the history of humanity; it is only the history of politics, political conflicts, struggles, wars.

It is as if you write the history of robbers and murderers and you call it the history of humanity. The revolutionaries are great murderers, they are no ordinary murderers – otherwise they would have been in the jail or sentenced to death. They are powerful people. They possess power. Until their power goes, they are worshipped like God. But their power goes sooner or later. A day comes when Hitler is no longer honored; he becomes an ugly dirty name. A day comes when Stalin is no longer honored. Just the reverse happens.

But with the other dimension, the religious dimension, of the myth – the ascetic, the self-torturer, the masochist – people never come to know their reality because they never torture anybody else. They torture only themselves. And people go on respecting them. People respect them very much because they are not harmful to anybody except to themselves. That is their business. The ascetics have always been worshipped. But ascetism is a kind of neurosis; it is not normal.

To eat too much is abnormal; to fast is also abnormal. The right amount of food is normality. To be in the middle is to be normal. To be exactly in the middle is to be healthy and whole and holy.

If you go to one extreme, you become a politician. If you go to the other extreme, you become a religious fanatic, an ascetic. Both have missed balance.

So the first thing to be understood is that the religion that we are creating here – and it has to be created again and again because it becomes corrupted again and again – the religion that we are invoking here is not political and is not in the ordinary sense even religious. It is neither sadistic nor masochistic. It is normal. It is to be in the middle.

And what is the way to be in the middle? The way to be in the middle is to be in the world but not to be of it. To be in the middle means to live in the world but not to allow the world to live in you. To be exactly in the middle and to be balanced means you are a witness to all that happens to you. Witnessing is the only foundation for a real authentic religion. Whatsoever is, has to be witnessed – joyfully, ecstatically. Nothing has to be denied and rejected. All denial, all rejection, will keep you in limits and you will remain in conflict. Everything has to be accepted as it is.

And you have to be a watcher. Pleasure comes – watch. Pain comes – watch. Neither be disturbed by pleasure nor be disturbed by pain. Let your calm remain unperturbed. Let your silence, your tranquility, remain undisturbed. Pain will come and go and pleasure will come and go. Success will come and go and failure will come and go. And soon you will come to understand the point that it is only you who remains. That is eternal. This witnessing is eternal.

The contents that flow in the consciousness are temporary. One moment they are there, another moment they are gone. Don’t be worried about them; don’t be either in favor of them or against them. Don’t try to possess them; don’t hold onto them, because they are going to go. They have to go. It is the very nature of things that they cannot be permanent.

Something pleasant is happening. It cannot be permanent. It will have to go. And following it, something unpleasant is already getting ready to happen. It is the rhythm of life – day and night, life and death, summer and winter. The wheel goes on moving.

Don’t hold on and don’t try to make something very, very permanent. It is not possible. The more you try, the more frustrated you will become, because it cannot be done. And when it cannot be done, you feel defeated. You feel defeated because you have not understood one simple thing: nothing can be static. Life is a flux. Only one thing is eternally there and that is your consciousness, that innermost watcher.

Sufis call it ’the watcher on the hills’. The valleys go on changing but the watcher remains on the top of the hill. Sometimes the valley is dark and sometimes the valley is light and sometimes there is dancing and singing and sometimes there is weeping and crying – and the watcher sits on the hill-top and just goes on watching.

By and by the content of consciousness does not matter only consciousness becomes significant. That is the essential foundation of all true religion. And this is the understanding of the Sufis.

Before we enter into this small parable today; let me tell you that there are four ways to approach truth, to be connected with truth.

The first is known in the East as karma yoga – the way of action. Man has three dimensions in him: action, knowing, feeling; so three ways use these three directions: action, knowing feeling.

You can act, and you can act with total absorption, and you can offer your act to God. You can act without becoming a doer. That is the first way – karma yoga: being in action without being a doer. You let God do. You let God be in you. You efface yourself.

In this, the path of action, consciousness changes the content. These two things have to be understood: consciousness and content. This is all that your life consists of. There is something which is the knower in you and something which is the known. For example, you are listening to me. Now two things are there: whatsoever I am saying will be the content, and whatsoever you are inside, listening, watching, that is the consciousness. You are looking at me. Then my figure in your eyes is the content and you, who are looking at that figure in the eye, are consciousness – the object and the subject.

On the path of action, consciousness changes the content. That is what action is. You see a rock. Somebody may stumble upon it – because it is getting dark, night is falling. So you remove the rock from the path. This is action. What have you done? Consciousness has changed the content. On the path of action, content is important and has to be changed. If somebody is ill and you go and serve him and you give him medicine, you are changing the content. If somebody has fallen in the river and is drowning, you jump in and you save him from drowning. You have changed the content.

Action is content-directed. Action is will – something has to be done. Of course, if the will remains ego-oriented, then you will not be religious. You will be a great doer, but not religious. And your path will be of action but not towards God. When you allow God to become your will, when you say, ‘Let thy will be mine,’ when you surrender your will to the feet of god and his will starts flowing through you, then it is the path of action – karma yoga.

The goal of karma yoga is freedom, moksha – to change the contents so much that nothing antagonistic is left there; nothing harmful is left there; to change the content according to your heart’s desire, so that you can be free of limitations. This is the path of Jainism, yoga, and all action-oriented philosophies.

The second path is the path of knowledge, knowing – gyana yoga. On the second path consciousness is changed by the content. On the first, content is changed by consciousness; on the second it is just the reverse – consciousness is changed by the content.

On the path of knowledge you simply try to see what is the case – whatsoever it is. That’s what Krishnamurti goes on teaching. That is the purest path of knowing. There is nothing to be done.

You have just to attain to clarity, to see what is the case. You have just to see that which is. You are not to do anything. You have simply to drop your prejudices and you have to drop your concepts, notions, which can interfere with reality, which can interpret reality, which can color reality. You have to drop all that you carry in your mind as a priori notions – and then let the reality be there. Whatsoever it is, you just see it. And that changes you.

To know the real is to be transformed. Knowing the real as the real, you cannot act in any other way than the way of reality. Once you have known the reality, reality starts changing you. Consciousness is changed by the content.

The goal of the path of knowledge is truth. The goal of karma yoga, the path of action or will, was freedom. The goal of the path of knowing – Vedanta, Hinduism, Sankhya, and other paths of knowing, Ashtavakra, Krishnamurti – is truth, Brahman. Thou art that. Let that be revealed, then you become that. Once you know that, you become that. By knowing God, one becomes God. Thou art that – that is the most essential phenomenon on the second path.

The third is bhakti yoga – the way of feeling. Love is the goal. Consciousness changes the content and the content changes consciousness. The change is mutual. The lover changes the beloved, the beloved changes the lover. On the path of will, consciousness changes content, on the path of knowing, content changes consciousness; on the path of feeling, both interact, both affect each other. The change is mutual. That’s why the path of feeling is more whole. The first path is half, the second path also half, but the path of love is more round, more whole, because it has both in it.

Vaishnavas, Christianity, Islam, and other paths; Ramanuja, Vallabha, and other devotees – they say that subject and object are not separate. So if one changes the other, then something will remain unbalanced. Let both change each other. Let both meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and there is great joy, let there be an orgasm between consciousness and content, between you and reality, between that and thou. Let it not be only a knowing, let it not be only partial – let it be total.

These are the three ordinary paths. Sufism is the fourth. One of the greatest Sufis of this age was George Gurdjieff. His disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, has written a book called The Fourth Way. It is very symbolic.

What is this fourth way? If it is neither of action, nor of knowing, nor of feeling – because these are the three faculties – then what is this fourth way? The fourth way is the way of transcendence. In India this is called raja yoga – the royal path, the fourth way. Neither consciousness changes the content, nor the content changes consciousness. Nothing changes nothing. All is as it is with no change. Content is there, consciousness is here, and no change is happening. No effort to change is there.

This is what I mean by being. With all the three paths something remains in the mind that has to be done. With the fourth, all becoming disappears. You simply accept whatsoever is. In that acceptance is transcendence. In that very acceptance you go beyond. You remain just a witness.

You are no longer doing anything here, you are just-being here.

A goal is not possible with the fourth way. There is no goal. With the first, the goal is freedom; with the second, truth; with the third, love. With the fourth there is no goal. Zen and Sufism belong to the fourth. That’s why Zen people say ’the pathless path, the gateless gate’ – because there is no goal. The goal-less goal. We are not going anywhere. We are not striving for anything. All that is needed is already here. It has been here all along. You have just to be silent and see. There is no need to change anything. With the fourth, the myth of change disappears.

And when there is no need to change, joy explodes – because the energy that gets involved in changing things is no longer involved anywhere; it is released. That released energy is what is called joy.

Sometimes it happens to you too, unknowingly. Sometimes sitting alone, doing nothing, you feel something happen. You cannot believe what it is. You cannot even trust what it is. It is so incredibly new, so unknown. It happens to everybody – in rare moments, for no reason at all. You cannot figure it out; you cannot reckon why it has happened.

You have been lying in your bathtub and suddenly something happens. The mind is not rushing in its usual way; the body is relaxed in the hot water. You are not doing anything; you are just being there. Suddenly it comes – the silence of the house, the birds singing outside, the children playing in the street. All is there as it has been, but with a new quality. There is great restfulness, a relaxation. Something in you is no longer striving for anything. You are not goal-oriented, you are just herenow.

If you start thinking about what it is, you miss it immediately. If you start trying to get hold of it again, you will never get hold of it again. It comes when it comes. It comes when the right situation is there. But you cannot create that right situation. If you try to create it, you will fall into one of the first three ways. If you try to change the content, you will become a follower of the path of action. If you try to change your consciousness through the content, you will become a follower of the second path – the path of knowledge. If you try to make both meet and mingle and merge, then you will become a follower of the third path.

But if you don’t do anything – not willing, not knowing, not feeling – if you just relax, then there is witnessing. Witnessing is not knowing; witnessing is totally different. In fact, it cannot be said that you are witnessing. You are not doing anything – not even witnessing. You are just there. Things are happening. Suddenly a bird starts singing outside and you hear it – because you are there, you hear it. There is no effort to hear it, there is no deliberate concentration for it.

Just the other day I came across a Shankhya sutra of immense beauty: Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah – that’s how Shankhya sutras define dhyana. Meditation is mind without thoughts, without feelings, without will. Meditation is consciousness without any striving. Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah. There is no longing for any object. You are not striving for anything. Then you are in dhyana, then you are in meditation. You are not doing anything; on no plane are you doing anything. All doing has simply disappeared. There is utter silence inside you, and absolute rest.

Let this word ‘rest’ be remembered by you; relaxation. You cannot do it, remember. How can you do it? If you do it you cannot relax, because then relaxation becomes a goal and you become a doer. You can only understand it. You can only allow it to happen; you cannot do it, you cannot force it. It has nothing to do with your doing. You can only understand how it happens and you can remain in that understanding. And it comes.

Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah. When the mind is, with no desire, no object, no goal, not going anywhere, then how can it be tense? It is not a state of concentration. It is not concentration at all because concentration will need striving; concentration is a kind of tension. It is not even attention, because attention is also a kind of tension.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the word ’meditation’ as concentration. That is absolutely wrong. Meditation is not concentration. Concentration means mind striving, forcing, willing, trying to do something. Putting one’s whole energy into one direction – that’s what concentration means. Meditation means you are not putting your energy into any direction; it is simply overflowing. It is not going in any particular direction; it is simply overflowing like a fragrance, a fragrance overflowing from a flower, unaddressed – neither to the north nor to the south. It is not going anywhere, or, it is going everywhere. Wherever the winds will take it, it is ready to go. It is utterly relaxed.

This moment happens sometimes to you. I would like you to remember that it is not something rare that happens only to religious people. It happens in ordinary life too but you don’t take note of it. You are afraid of it.

Just a few days ago, I received a letter from a woman. She had been here, and then she went home. For six months she was trying and trying to meditate and it did not happen according to her idea of meditation. She must have had some desire about what it should be like. She must have had some expectations, and it was not happening.

She has written a letter to say that one day she was just sitting in the room. There was nothing to do. The husband had gone to the office; the children had gone to school; the house was empty. She was just sitting, not doing anything; there was no desire to do. She was just sitting in the chair with closed eyes – and it happened. It was suddenly there, with all its benedictions. But she became frightened. She became frightened because when it happened suddenly a fear came to her – because it was there, meditation was there, but she was not there. That became a great fear and she simply pulled herself out of it. It felt as if she was disappearing.

Yes, it happens. Your ego cannot exist there. Your ego is not possible there. Your ego is nothing but all your tensions together. Your ego is nothing but a bundle of past tensions, of present tensions, and of future tensions. When you are non-tense, the ego simply falls to the ground in pieces.

She became afraid. For six months she had been trying to meditate and nothing was happening, and then one day it happened. It came while she was completely unaware of it. She was taken aback. It was there. And she had been provoking it and desiring and asking and praying, and it had not come. And then it came. But she missed. It was there but she became frightened. It was too much. She felt as if she might disappear into it and might not be able to come out of it. She pulled herself out of it. Now she writes that she is crying and weeping, and wants it back.

Now this wanting it back won’t help – because it came that day without any wanting. Without any idea of what was going to happen, suddenly it came. It always comes like sudden lightning.

This is the fourth way, that’s why it is called raja yoga – the royal path. The king is not supposed to do anything. Servants do. The king is not supposed to do anything. He simply sits on his throne and things happen. There are so many people to do it. That’s why it is called raja yoga – the path of the king. The other three are ordinary; the fourth is really exceptional. The king is not expected to do anything; he simply sits there relaxed. That’s what we mean by one who is a king. Doing has disappeared, knowing has disappeared, feeling has disappeared – the king is utterly relaxed. In that relaxation it happens.

Sufi and Zen are raja yogas – the royal paths. Neither consciousness changes the content nor the content changes consciousness. This is the fundamental principle: nothing changes, there is no change happening. Things are. The flower is there and you are there. You don’t change the flower and the flower does not change you. Both exist together. It is existence with no motive.

Zen people call it nirvana, the goal, the no-goal – nirvana. One simply ceases to be. The word ‘nirvana’ is beautiful. It means: as if somebody has blown out a candle. Just a few minutes before it was there, the lamp was burning bright, and then you blew it out. Now the flame has disappeared into the infinity. It has become part of the cosmos. You cannot find it. You cannot trace where it has gone, where it is. It has simply disappeared.

There is a Sufi parable.

A Sufi mystic was entering a village and he came across a small boy who was carrying a lit candle. The boy was going to the mosque. The night was coming and the boy was going to the mosque to put the candle there – as an act of worship.

The mystic saw the boy, the innocent boy, his face lighted by the light of the candle. The mystic asked the boy, ‘Have you yourself lighted the candle?’ And the boy said, ‘Yes, sir.’ The mystic jokingly asked, ‘Then you must have seen from where the flame comes. Can you tell me from where the flame comes?’ The boy laughed and blew out the candle and said, ‘Now you have seen it going. Can you tell me where it has gone?’

Nobody knows from where it comes and nobody knows to where it goes. It comes out of nothingness or out of all – which means the same – and it goes back into nothingness or into the all – which is the same. That is nirvana.

Sufis have the word for it – Fana. It means exactly the same. One is utterly lost.

There is no need to do anything on the path of will or on the path of knowledge or on the path of feeling. Nothing is needed to be done – because if you do something you will remain, you will persist a little. Something of the ego may linger on. No change, no improvement, no effort to make you better is needed – just be.

Mohammed says: ‘Be in this world as a stranger or as a passer-by.’ Be in this world but don’t be of it. Be in this world but don’t allow the world to be in you. ‘Be for this world as if thou were to live a thousand years, and for the next as if thou were to die tomorrow.’ Live this moment as if you are going to live forever and yet be mindful that the next moment may not come. So live totally, and yet remain a witness. Be involved in it, but still keep yourself like a watcher on the hill.

– Osho

Excerpt from: Sufis: The People of the Path, Volume 2, #11

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Muse on Death

One is afraid of death because

one fears that time will continue without us.

But time requires thought and death brings

the end of thought, so time comes to an end.

No worries. Time will not continue without us.

We’ll both go together.

Birth and death are witnessed by others.

For us, just a second hand story.

From my own experience, I was not born.

The world just appeared one day

and one day presumably, it will disappear.

For those watching it will be the death of me.

For me it will be the end of the world.

-purushottama

This post is from a collection of essays, stories, insights and poems that have occurred to me along the Way titled Here to Now and Behind.

Osho and the 16th Karmapa

16th Karmapa performing Black Crown Ceremony
16th Karmapa performing Black Crown Ceremony

The first time I heard the name Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was on a bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu. My friend Randy, (who had traveled with me to India and Nepal from Madagascar), and I were trekking on the Annapurna route and reached the point where we decided to turn around. Ben and his girlfriend Kathy (actually I’m not sure of their names but will refer to them as Ben and Kathy from here on out), were coming down the path and said that they had run into snow. Being ill-equipped, without even sleeping bags, the decision was choiceless. We all spent the night in a teahouse.

There seemed to be some tension between Ben and Kathy. They were both involved in Tibetan Buddhist practice but it seemed that Ben was keener than Kathy and this was causing some friction.

On the bus ride back to Kathmandu, Ben and I sat together and Randy and Kathy sat together with a growing chemistry. Ben told me about his experience doing a Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat at the Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. Randy and I had visited Kopan a week or so earlier with another friend from Madagascar and had the good fortune to have a cup of tea with the head Lama, Lama Yeshe. He was a very sweet man and enormously generous. But as I explained to Ben, I wasn’t finding myself attracted to the Tibetan Buddhist practice. In fact, the words that I heard come out of my mouth as we talked were, “I’m looking for something more universal and more personal.” For one thing, it was the limitation of the “ism” in Buddhism that turned me away. My own intuitive spiritual sky was wide open and did not want to be confined into a container, however much I respected the teachings.

Ben told me that I should pay a visit to the ashram of a guru in India named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and proceeded to give me the address. Ben had met one of Rajneesh’s sannyasins recently while he was on a visa run and so was visiting Nepal in order to return to India with a new visa. This sannyasin named Devanand had impressed him and what he heard about Rajneesh interested him but he was quite immersed in the Tibetan Buddhist dharma. So I put the piece of paper with the address away in my wallet. The bus ride was a few hours and so Ben and I had quite a long chat. He was a sincere practitioner, perhaps I thought a bit too serious, but regardless we had a very nice connection.

When we arrived back in Kathmandu, both Ben and Kathy returned to Kopan to continue their practice and Randy and I stayed in a guest house. Randy and I were intending on spending a couple more weeks in Kathmandu and so found a room in a private house. It was a lovely situation because the house had a walled garden and so offered a retreat from the daily busy-ness of the city. This house was closer to the Tibetan Swayambhu Monastery which we liked to visit.

We had learned that a very important Tibetan Buddhist teacher was coming to Kathmandu soon to perform an Empowerment Ceremony and this event was to take place at Swayambhu. I wasn’t really sure what an Empowerment Ceremony was but it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, we also learned that it was only open to practicing Buddhists.

The day of the event I spent meditating in our room. It was a silent, cool oasis. We were close enough to the monastery to hear the Tibetan horns and in my meditation I felt a humming sensation in the area of my heart.

During our time in Kathmandu both Randy and I became interested in Satya Sai Baba. He was quite popular with the Hindu Nepalis and his photo and books were everywhere. I was intrigued by the possibility of a “living” Master. I had been introduced to Meher Baba seven years before, six months, however, after he had passed away, so the idea of meeting a living Buddha very much appealed to me.

Randy and I decided to end our traveling partnership. We had different schedules. I wanted to go to India and head south and possibly meet Sai Baba. Randy also wanted to do the same, but he had become involved in a torrid affair with Kathy that hadn’t burned itself out. We bid our farewells with the idea that we would meet up at the Sai Baba ashram which was in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Note: I will now intersperse my story with a letter I received from my friend Randy (Narayanadeva) after sharing what I had written of our journey in Nepal and India.

Dear Purushottama,

What a flash from the past. Thank you for this.  It brings so much back.  Your memory is like a video recording.  My memory is patchy with particular moments fuzzily framed. If you don’t mind I want to share what I can.

I believe if we hadn’t stopped where we had at that last village at 10,000 feet that we would have gotten into serious trouble.  There was a group with a broken leg still on the snowed-in trail was the story.

 I remember the couple.  The name Ben comes to mind and I can’t remember the name of the girl, Kathy is very close.  This was a significant time.

She was from the east coast, living in an artists and musicians commune, a photographer and roadie with Jethro Tull, I think.  The social and other experiments she participated in at such a tender age, this boy from Nebraska was challenged to comprehend.  In this respect she was much more worldly, wiser than me, an elder in a killer 20 something body.   

She was also the first lover in my life where the center of gravity and conversations were about spirituality, Buddha’s teachings in particular, and how to reconcile our limited understanding with what we saw in the monasteries and monks, which was then followed by the most present lovemaking for me up to that time.  We flew high, were consumed with each other, and parted consciously in mid bubble, purposely in crescendo. I review that time with joy and sadness. It is hard to think of that extraordinary woman and time without sometimes tearing. She was finished traveling, wanted to return to her art. I knew I didn’t want to go back to anything. I was sure I wanted to go forward. We knew but unspoken that to go further would have brought reality into the mix. We wanted to say goodbye in full bloom. Things like that were easier in your 20’s.  I must say probably the most, bitter sweet, intense affair I ever remember in a life riddled with less meaningful affairs.

I remember spending the winter in Kathmandu immersing myself in everything I could about the Buddha’s teaching, going to the temples, hanging with the monks, partaking in the local produce followed by the pie shops.  I was completely blown away and still am today about the psychology, the profound understanding of the science of the mind, but could not get my head around the asceticism. Why the monks, western included had to walk around in winter without shoes or why the poor food needed to be covered in flies.  Also the live translations of the Lama’s discourses by some very severe and grim western types.   If there was any juice in the teaching, these translators sucked it out and everything was completely lost in translation. I knew for me to go deeper I needed to be able to listen and speak about all this in my tongue.

This is also where the timing gets confused. I do not remember you during that winter.  I remember attending the Karmapa’s Black Hat ceremony after spending those cold months in study.  This is when I had the most profound experience with him.

The ceremony lasted several days.  There were many westerners mingled with the overflowing crowds of Tibetans.  The first few days I could not get into the hall but stood outside with the multitudes listening and catching glimpses through the barred windows of the pageantry.

There was one day that I did get in and sat with a few other westerners along with it seemed several hundred monks with the Karmapa on podium doing chants and mudras. The monks deep toned chanting in response, the horns, the incense, I got completely stoned.  When it was over, I lingered.  The hall was clearing out.  I stood in the middle looking up at all the hanging tangkas.  I turned around, a few people parted and there was the Karmapa sitting alone on his dais looking at me with an inviting smile a few meters away.   I was so shy and not sure what to do.  I smiled, bowed and retreated. 

The next day I could not get in. I was peering through the open air barred window being jostled back and forth by the crowds feeling the music and chanting; suddenly the Karmapa was at the window looking directly at me about 50 centimeters away. He had been making the rounds inside, blessing everyone in the hall.  He looked in my eyes and smiled. He threw water on my face and these words came into my head “Don’t worry, this path is not for everyone” Then he was gone.

I was so shocked. This was the confirmation.   Whenever I think of this I feel I was blessed by this very extraordinary being. How he got those words clearly into a very confused mind was magical.

It was not long afterward that I headed south and planned to go to Sai Baba’s ashram as we had planned, on my way to Madras before heading back to the states.  As you remember we gave Sai Baba magical powers and were convinced he was going to help us financially.

I got to Bombay and stayed at the Salvation Army behind the Taj Mahal hotel.  The very place you and I stayed on our first nights in India coming by boat for 10 days from Madagascar and Mauritius.  Do you remember waking up to the Shiva Baba’s with their pythons and cobras, the junkies some dyed from head to toe in blue, including one with a blue dog, the color of the local antiseptic? What a circus before we took a train to the edge of town and hitched our way to Nepal.  Do you remember the time a truck stopped for us and we threw our packs into the back, climbed up and jumped into a truck full of cow shit along with our packs?  Do you remember all the chillum brakes at the roadside temples?  Or the nights in small villages waking up to thousands of the same face staring at us with vacant eyes and all with small pocked scars, village after village the same?  

When I was in New Delhi, I heard that there was a Meher Baba center and so I visited during one of their evenings. Upon hearing that I was on my way to visit Satya Sai Baba, an older Baba lover suggested that I go see a rebel of a guru named Rajneesh. I remembered the name and said that I did have in mind possibly stopping there as well. He told me that the Rajneesh ashram was in Poona, just a couple of hours by train from Bombay. He also said that although Satya Sai Baba was not in Poona, there was some kind of Baba center there. At this point, it became clear to me that I would indeed head to Poona.

Walking out of the Poona train station, I found a rickshaw and told the driver to take me to the Sai Baba center. I said, “Sai Baba center, not Rajneesh ashram.” “Yes, yes,” he replied. I had decided that I would first go to the Sai Baba center and then check out the Rajneesh ashram.

As we got nearer and nearer to our destination I saw increasing numbers of young western people dressed in orange clothes. By this time, I had been exposed to a couple of Rajneesh sannyasins and so recognized what I was seeing. We arrived at a large gate and on the top was written Shree Rajneesh Ashram. A large blonde German fellow greeted me and I heard myself say, “I don’t think I am where I was going, but I know that I’m in the right place.”

The first thing that I read from Osho (I will now begin to refer to Rajneesh by the name he took only a few months before leaving this planet) spoke directly to me. There was no space; no separation between the words and my self, there was an immediacy. It was clear within days that I would not be going on to the Sai Baba ashram; I had found the living Master I was looking for. I had arrived just weeks before a major celebration day, March 21st, honoring Osho’s day of Enlightenment. I took initiation, became a sannyasin and did a couple of groups. During this time I read one of Osho’s books called The Silent Explosion. At the very end of the book was the story of an Indian sannyasin who had gone to Sikkim and visited the Karmapa at his Rumtek Monastery. This was the same Lama that had been in Kathmandu months earlier. I had learned that he was highly respected in the Tibetan Buddhist community and was on par with or even more highly regarded than the Dalai Lama.

This is the story that was recounted:

     In 1972, Swami Govind Siddharth, an Osho sannyasin, visited the Tibetan Lama Karmapa, who had fled from Tibet and who at that timed lived in his Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. When Siddharth arrived, accompanied by his wife and two young daughters, the monastery was completely closed. In an interview at the time, he told of his initial disappointment at not meeting the Karmapa. Then all of a sudden, one monk came running out to tell him that he was immediately wanted inside by His Holiness. He went in and was greeted by the Karmapa as if he was expected there. The Karmapa never even knew anything about him beforehand as he had not made an appointment… he knew nothing about him except that he was dressed in the faded orange of early neo-sannyas.

     Of Lama Karmapa, it was said he was a ‘Divine Incarnation’, a Bodhisattva. In Tibet, they believe that whosoever attains to Buddhahood, and then by their own wishes is born again to help people in the world is a divine incarnation — Bodhisattva. His Holiness was said to be the sixteenth incarnation of Dsum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa, who was born about 1110 AD.

     When Swami Siddharth first entered, the Karmapa immediately told him that he knew where he was from. He said, “I am seeing that you have somewhere some photograph or something which is printed on two sides, of your Master.” Siddharth answered that he had nothing like that which is printed on two sides. He had completely forgotten about the locket hanging from his mala with Osho’s photograph on both sides! There was an English woman who was acting as an interpreter, since the Lama Karmapa did not speak English. She immediately saw his mala and said, “What is this?” He then remembered that the locket was printed on two sides and he said, “This is the photograph of my Master.” She was curious to see it, so Siddharth took it off and showed it to her.

     Immediately, the Karmapa said, “That is it.” He took the locket of Osho in his hand and he touched it to his forehead and then said: “He is the greatest incarnation since Buddha in India — he is a living Buddha!” The Karmapa went on to say, “You may be feeling that he is speaking for you, but it is not only for you that he speaks. Rajneesh speaks for the Akashic records also, the records of events and words recorded on the astral planes. Whatever is spoken is not forgotten. That is why you will find that he goes on repeating things and you will feel that he is doing this for you, but, as a matter of fact, he speaks only for a few people.  Only a few people realize who Rajneesh is. His words will remain there in the Akashic records, so that they will also be helpful to people in the future.”

     The Karmapa went on to say that Osho had been with Siddharth in past lives. “If you want to see one of Rajneesh’s previous incarnations — who he was in Tibet — you can go to Tibet and see his golden statue there which is preserved in the Hall of Incarnations.” He continued to chat about Osho and his work, “My blessings are always there, and I know that whatever we are not going to be able to do to help others, Rajneesh will do.” He explained that one of the main aims of the Lamas in coming to India was to preserve their occult sciences. Osho from his side also confirmed this in his Kashmir lectures given in 1969. He said then, “The Dalai Lama has not escaped only to save himself, but to save the Tibetan religion, the meditation secrets and the occult sciences”

     The Karmapa went on to explain, “We have gotten these things from India in the past, and now we want to return them back. Now we have come to know that here is an incarnation, Rajneesh, who is doing our job in India and the world, and we are very happy about it. The world will know him, but only a few people will realize what he actually is. He will be the only person who can guide properly, who can be a World Teacher in this age, and he had taken birth only for this purpose.”

When I read this story I was very skeptical, because all devotees of gurus like to exaggerate the importance of their teachers. Although I believed the story must be based on some truth, I could not be sure what the Karmapa thought about Osho.

In the meantime, I had written to my friend Randy to tell him about Osho and the ashram and had sent it to American Express, Delhi, where I knew he would pick up mail. One day I went into the ashram office to check for a response and as I was walking down the steps leaving, coming through the gate was my friend Randy. He had never received my letter but had learned of Osho on his own.

Narayanadeva’s letter continues:

Anyway I returned to Bombay to catch a boat to Goa and then planned to go to Sai Baba by land.  I needed to get something to read.  The best bookstore I knew was at the Taj Mahal Hotel.  I went to the section on psychology and religion.  I was browsing when I swear this book fell on my big toe.  “Archarya Rajneesh” was the title.  The first page mentioned that he gave lectures in English and lived in Poona only one day away. 

Getting there, first person I meet is you.  And our stories join and the rest is history.

Brother, we shared some amazing times together.  I have forgotten so many of them.  It is a complete delight to hear from you with your photographic memory of those days.    We were so lucky. I am so grateful for that time.

Much Love to you my fellow traveler.

Narayanadeva a.k.a. Randy

I had by this time realized that my time traveling outside of the States was coming to an end. Taking sannyas was a new beginning for me and to be honest I wanted to return to my hometown and share this remarkable discovery. I had received a name for a meditation center that I would start. Randy, (who had become Narayanadeva by this point), and I said our farewells again with approximately the same plans to return to the States by going east from India through Thailand but with slightly different time frames.

On the plane from Bombay to Calcutta I sat next to a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He didn’t speak a word of English but there we were— he in his maroon robes and me in my orange clothes.

It might have been the first or second night of my stay in a Sutter Street guesthouse in Calcutta and in walked Ben, the American Tibetan Buddhist who had given me the contact info for Osho. I was very happy to see him. I had thought about him many times and was so grateful for his sharing and I wanted to tell him what I had found. We talked a bit and then he told me that coincidentally the Karmapa was in Calcutta and he was going to see him the next day at the Oberoi Hotel. He invited me to go with him. I was delighted. For one thing in the back of my mind was the Rumtek story and so I thought I would be able to see what the Karmapa actually did think about Osho for myself.

The Karmapa’s room was a corner one and Ben and I approached from one hallway and as we neared we could see an Indian sannyasin couple in orange approaching from the other direction. He was dressed in a lunghi and had a very long beard and long hair. She was dressed in an orange sari. They were Osho sannyasins and ran the Calcutta Osho center.

We all entered the room and were shown to sit just in front of the Karmapa who was seated on a sofa. He was immensely childlike, full of love and innocence and looked to be always on the verge of a good chuckle. He sat stroking the beard of the Indian sannyasin who was sitting slightly to his right. This in itself would have been enough to let me know what he thought of Osho but it was not all. Sitting next to him on the sofa he had propped up a copy of Sannyas Magazine (published at the ashram) with a photo of Osho beaming out on to our group.

At that point it did not matter whether the story that I had read was factual or not, I could see the connection between the Karmapa and Osho. That space out of which the Karmapa and the photo of Osho appeared was One.

Of course I had related the story to Ben when we met in Calcutta but after the meeting at the Oberoi we didn’t talk of it again. We were invited to a private Black Crown (Empowerment) Ceremony that was taking place at the home of a wealthy Indian woman later that evening. This is the same ceremony that took place months earlier at the Swayambhu Monastery in Kathmandu but that I had not been able to attend.

One of the first people I met after arriving at the house was the Tibetan monk who had sat next to me on the flight. As it turned out he had been traveling to join up with the Karmapa and return with him to Rumtek. He was as surprised as I was.

The ceremony was penetrating; to be in a room with Tibetan horns blaring is in itself a transformative experience. After the ceremony the few westerners that were there, I think maybe we were five, were invited into a side room where the Karmapa gave a teaching on Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra. This is the most important text of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Osho had himself given a discourse series published as Tantra: the Supreme Understanding on this text, and I was traveling with the book.

Because the Karmapa didn’t speak English he had a translator, but his translator told us he was having a very difficult time translating this teaching into English. He was frustrated but the Karmapa was understanding and compassionate. This experience highlighted for me one of the advantages of having a teacher who spoke English. Osho’s words did not need to be translated and we were able to hear them directly without a filter.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to first spend some time with the Karmapa and then to take part in this mysterious ceremony. It was the only time I met the Karmapa. But my wife, Amido, and I did have a chance in 2006 to visit the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim where his relics are today housed.

-purushottama

This story is from a collection of stories and essays from along the Way titled From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva.

I have recently come across the entire story of Govind Siddharth’s visit with the Karmapa A Visit to a Tibetan Monastery.

Another post related to Govind Siddharth’s visit with the Karmapa is Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami.

And another: The Enlightenment of Govind Siddharth.

Link to site for Tibetan Black Crown Ceremony.

Buddha and the Knotted Handkerchief – Osho

I am reminded of a story. Gautam the Buddha one day comes into his morning discourse; ten thousand sannyasins are waiting for him, just like every day. But today there is something surprising.

Everybody is puzzled and looking at each other, because Buddha is coming with a handkerchief, it is very costly – perhaps some king has presented it to him.

But he does not accept that kind of thing, so everybody is looking, thinking, what is the matter?

And why should he bring it just in his hand ahead of himself almost saying to everybody, “Look, look well”? And then he comes and sits; and keeping the handkerchief in his hand, says to his sannyasins, “Look very carefully.”

They all look. There is nothing to look at, just a beautiful silken handkerchief.  And then Buddha starts putting knots in the handkerchief; he puts five knots in it. There is immense silence… everybody is simply watching what he is doing. Then Buddha asks them, “Is this the same handkerchief the same that I had brought with me, or is it a different handkerchief?”

Sariputta, one of his chief disciples, stands up and says, “Why are you joking with us? You have never done such a thing. This is the same handkerchief.”

Buddha says, “Sariputta, think once again – because the handkerchief that I brought had no knots, and this has five knots. How can this be the same?”

Sariputta could see the point. He said, “I am sorry. I do understand. Although it is the same handkerchief now it is in a very knotted condition – such as a man in anguish. He is the same man; a man in suffering is the same man but in knots.”

Buddha said, “Exactly right. That’s what I want to show to you: that the man who is in suffering is not different from Gautam the Buddha. I am just a handkerchief without knots. You are a handkerchief with five knots.” Of course Buddha has his philosophy of five basic problems that trouble man: violence, greed, untruthfulness, unawareness, and the ego. You can find many more knots; these are just the main ones according to him.

Secondly he said, “I would like to ask you one thing more. I am trying to open these knots. Look at me – will this help to open the knots?” He pulled both the ends of the handkerchief; the knots became smaller and tighter. Somebody shouted, “What are you doing? This way those knots will never open. Such fine silk and you are pulling so hard! The knots are becoming so small that it will become almost impossible to open them again.”

Buddha said, “You can understand about this handkerchief so clearly – can’t you understand yourself? Can’t you see yourself in the same, understanding way? Have you been pulling your knots or not? Otherwise why do they go on becoming smaller and smaller, and tighter and tighter?

”A child is loose, relaxed. Look at the old man, just knots and knots. Certainly, whatever you are

doing is wrong. You are pulling the handkerchief. You are trying hard; your intention is good, you want to open the knots. You are taking much trouble – but your doing is your very undoing. You are making things more and more complicated, worse and worse. And the more complicated they become, the harder you pull, because you think, what else to do?”

Buddha asked, “Then I would like to ask you, what do you suppose I should do?”

One monk stood up and he said, “I would like to come close, and first I would like to see how the knots have been put together.”

Buddha said, “That’s a scientific way. Before you can undo something, you have to know how it has been done, because if you know how it has been done, you have already known all that is needed to undo it; you have just to reverse the process.”

The monk looked at the handkerchief and he said “The knots have been done in such a way that if we relax the handkerchief and allow the knots to become looser rather than tighter, and help them to become loose, it is not going to be very difficult. They are simple knots.”

Buddha gave the handkerchief to him and the man opened the knots one by one. Buddha said,

”Today’s sermon is finished. I am not going to speak anymore today. Just go and meditate about your knots, and how you have managed to make them so tight. And just do the reverse.”

Any small problem, just look at it, at how you have been trying to solve it and it goes on becoming worse and worse. Certainly in your doing there is something which is becoming a  nourishment to it rather than a killer. You are not poisoning it; you are nourishing it, feeding it. And don’t try to work on so many knots together. Just choose one small knot, the smallest you can find in yourself; by smallest, I mean the most insignificant.

People have the tendency to choose the most significant; even when they are choosing to solve their problems, they choose the greatest problem first. Now, that is simply foolish. Just become a little aware, alert. Start from the small things, very small things.

In one sermon Buddha was speaking, and a man sitting in front of him was moving his toe continuously. Buddha was not like me; otherwise he would have stopped him immediately. He tolerated it, tolerated it, tolerated it – but it was too much, because the man was just in front of him and he went on, went on, went on.

At the end Buddha said, “What is wrong with your toe?” The moment he said, “What is wrong with your toe?” the man stopped. Buddha said, “This is what is wrong with your toe: you are not aware of it. You were not doing it, it was happening almost unconsciously. It is just a habit; you must be doing it everywhere you are sitting. Now it goes on doing it by itself knowing that the master needs it. The master is not even aware that it is happening, because the moment I asked you about it, it stopped immediately. That means the moment your awareness went to the toe there was a complete break.”

Now, start with such small things which have not much investment in them. People start with their ego – they want to become egoless. Now, you are taking on such a big problem. You are so small, and the problem is so big, that you are going to fail.

In fact that’s why you have chosen the big problem, because you want to fail, you don’t want to succeed. Perhaps this too is the way of the ego, to choose the biggest problem. You are no ordinary man trying to change small things here and there; when you want to change, you want to change the real problem. Perhaps this is the ego coming in from the back and deceiving you.

Now choose something very insignificant, which makes not much difference. But the beauty is,

the smallest problem has the same properties as the biggest problem, the same ingredients as the biggest problem and the same solution as the biggest problem.

All problems are one problem.

If you can solve a small problem – dissolve it, get rid of it, be finished with it – you know the master key.

Now you can go on opening all the locks in your house. And there is not going to be any trouble.

The basic key is awareness.

And while solving a small problem, you are starting to learn the ABC of awareness.

Choose something meaningless with no investment; it will be easier to work with. And once you have worked with it, you will be surprised: you have the secret, the whole secret of your puzzled, knotted life.

Solve it, then man is born in you. Before that, you are only a problem.

-Osho

Taken from the series From Misery to Enlightenment, chapter 19.

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Both audio and pdf files can be downloaded from Osho World.