In 1969 followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi invited Osho to talk to them. This was the first occasion on which Osho addressed a western audience, and the first time he talked publicly at length in English. The discourse has been published in Osho Times International on January 1 & 16, 1991; and February 1, 1991.
OSHO: Really, there can be no method as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation is not a method. Through technique, through method, you cannot go beyond mind. When you leave all methods, all techniques, you transcend mind. So meditation itself is not a method. Truth cannot be achieved through method.
Method is our own invention. We, who are ignorant, have achieved knowledge through methods constructed, created, projected, in our ignorance. Through method you can achieve a sort of self-hypnosis, a sort of auto-hypnosis. Any method, whatsoever its name, can only give you an illusory kind of peace. Through method you cannot go beyond yourself, because the method is yours, and it will strengthen you, your ego, your state of mind. If you leave all methods and all paths, and all ways, and remain in a total vacuum, doing nothing, thinking nothing – only then what we call meditation can be achieved.
But if you are following some method, some path, some guru, then you are going nowhere…
(Many people laugh loudly in disbelief)…. because it cannot lead you anywhere. It can only lead you into an illusory state of auto-hypnosis.
QUESTION: Since the material aspect of life is governed by physical application of the essence of life, it would seem that without any method at all that there would be no result since we must go from the physical to the non-physical.
So my question is: There must be some mechanical process involved, there must be, even if it is only working on a level, you know?
OSHO: No there cannot be any mechanical process, because through any mechanical process you cannot achieve consciousness. A mechanical process itself leads to unconscious states of mind, because a mechanical process itself is unconscious. If you are thinking in terms of seeking a state of awareness it cannot be achieved through any mechanical process. A mechanical process makes you a machine, not a man. The more you become mechanical, the more technical, the more like a machine, you lose consciousness. You can achieve some unconscious states of mind, but you cannot achieve awareness. Awareness is not an achievement through mechanical process.
And you make the distinction between the physical and the spiritual – there is no such distinction. There is nothing like physical and nothing like spiritual. There is one thing: when it is seen it is material, when it is unseen it is spiritual. And there is no going beyond the physical because there are not two things; there is not a gap between the material and the spiritual. The whole is one.
So don’t think in terms of material and spiritual. That is the old nonsense, the very old nonsense. People have made a gulf in the human mind, divided the human mind into parts – physical, spiritual, mental. There are no such divisions.
QUESTION: You say that there is no technique to achieve the consciousness of being. Then, one shouldn’t do anything. Right?
OSHO: That is very arduous. You may think that this is the simplest thing, not to do anything. That is the most difficult thing – not to do anything…. because our mind through old habits, and through old patterns, needs constant occupation.
The mind needs constant occupation. If you give it some occupation, then it is all right. You may be doing “japa” (chanting a mantra); that too is an occupation. If you don’t do anything, and even for a single moment can remain without doing anything – not even a single thought, not even doing any mantra, if you can remain for a single moment alone, not doing anything, that very moment leads through into inner depths.
QUESTION: I see that. But it seems to me that if we are really going to look at it as being no technique…I mean we do nothing. Just coming up to the mountain and doing anything – Like meditating, or sitting, or anything – is a technique of a sort.
OSHO: They are all techniques, so they are not spiritual. They are all things projected by the mind.
You cannot go beyond through any ceremony, any puja. That cannot do it.
QUESTION: You say, in other words, that a situation has to arrive where the mind is by itself for a period of time with no thought or no motion. And yet you say there is no way to really do that, it just happens. So if you are working in a shop, why come to the mountains, why sit down, why “do” anything?
OSHO: I tell you, there is no question of that. It can happen anywhere. But it can only happen in a mind which is totally unoccupied totally vacant. This is not a method rather this is an understanding of the total situation of life. If you understand it, then one thing becomes clear. If you have to go somewhere else than yourself, then there can be a method, there can be a path. But if you have to come to your own self, there cannot be any method, any path – because you are not going somewhere else. Every path leads to somewhere else.
QUESTION: But what is the value of that knowledge? It strikes me that the only value of that knowledge is not to undertake any spiritual activity. In other words, what does that give you beyond ignorance of any sort of spiritual activity where you just live your life for whatever reason you would live it, and if you happen to reach that state automatically you reach it? What’s the point of knowing that? That’s what I want to know.
OSHO: The very awareness of the situation that surrounds you, the very mind… one has to become aware of it – not to do something with it, but be aware of it.
Question: And then it will happen? If one is aware of this situation then one, without any further anything, will automatically at certain times go into that state – is that it?
OSHO: That is to create an opportunity. Not doing is an opportunity for the happening to come. It is not your effort that brings it; your effort cannot bring it. Any effort, whatsoever its name, cannot bring it. Your effort cannot be above you. If you are effortless, you are not doing anything, non-tense, not doing even meditation because that too is a doing – only then you are in a state of meditation. Not doing anything, totally unoccupied, then something happens.
QUESTION: But if one is always accustomed to activity, isn’t it then an effort not to be active?
OSHO: We are accustomed to activity, and that is the hindrance. One has to be aware of this mechanical habit of being occupied every moment. I’m not saying that you should leave life, you should leave activity; I am simply saying that you should be aware of this very process of the mind to be engaged constantly. You should be aware of it – then moments come. They come by themselves – unknown, unconceived, they come by themselves – and when they come something is revealed. That is not your doing. Something is revealed.
QUESTION: They wouldn’t come by themselves unless you had this intellectual awareness, though.
OSHO: They come by themselves, only you have to be open. And a mind engaged is not open; a mind engaged is closed. A mind engaged has no windows.
QUESTION: But aren’t you using your intellect to be open? I think to myself, I will be open, and that is an effort of some sort. In other words, if one is truly open without effort, then it probably wouldn’t occur to oneself to be open.
OSHO: You cannot be open through effort. If you are thinking this, then you have not understood it. Thinking means non-understanding. The person who thinks is a man of non-understanding. A person who knows doesn’t think. (Much laughter) It is not a question of thinking. He sees, he is aware, but not in thinking. Thoughts are not opening, thoughts are closing; they close your mind.
The more you are in a thinking mood, the more you are closed and isolated from the whole. If you are not thinking, if you just are, if you are in a state of being, then something comes, that is not thinking, that is the realization. That is not thinking, you have not thought it. And the more you have thought about it, the less is the possibility for its coming. The known must go for the unknown to come. The thinking must go for the truth to be revealed.
One is to be aware of the mechanism of the mind, how the mind works, how the mind needs constantly occupation. Every moment mind needs to be occupied. It has become a mechanical tendency – you need occupation, you need occupation. Once you leave the so-called worldly occupations you become occupied in spiritual affairs, but you remain occupied. One is to be aware of this very process of the mind. That awareness of the mechanical process stops the process. Moments come – they break through – and you see something. That is not your thinking, not a by-product of your thought.
QUESTION: Isn’t it possible to use that tendency of the mind, that engagement of the mind to good purpose?
OSHO: No, there is no question of good purpose or bad purpose. Mind constantly deludes you.
QUESTION: Maybe we can give it something very engaging, so beautiful that it will engage the mind to something that is the most beautiful of all.
OSHO: It may be beautiful, it may be good, but an occupied mind cannot transcend itself.
QUESTION: But if there is something more beautiful that what the mind is occupied with, then it will throw off what it is not….
OSHO: Your mind or my mind cannot conceive something beyond it. The beauty must be below the mind. If something beyond is to be conceived, the mind must cease to be.
QUESTION: Yes. But what I am saying is, you talk of how the mind constantly is engaged. Now I am saying that isn’t it possible that we can give the mind….
OSHO: Who can give? The mind gives itself….
QUESTION: … A thought that is so beautiful to the mind that….
Osho: You are giving it!
QUESTION: No, no, I’m not.
Osho: And you are thinking it is so beautiful.
QUESTION: No, no, no.
Osho: That is your mind giving it.
QUESTION: No, I am not thinking it is so beautiful. The mind likes enjoyment, yes?
QUESTION: Fine. Now, if the mind likes enjoyment, it will naturally be enjoyed with thoughts. Now is it possible that there is one thought that can be in the mind that is so beautiful it will keep the mind entertained until it finds something that is ultimate beauty – namely bliss, the Self? Is that possible?
Osho: It is not possible. (Laughter)
OSHO: It is not possible because mind likes enjoyment, that is right. Why does it like enjoyment? – To forget itself. It likes enjoyment to be occupied, to be engaged, to forget oneself. A mind which is constantly trying to forget oneself is a mind which is constantly seeking some type of hypnosis, some type of unconsciousness. A mind which dreams or which is engaged in puja, in ceremony, in bhajan, in prayer, is a mind which is constantly escaping from oneself. And the mind which is escaping from oneself cannot know oneself; because to know oneself one has to cut this constant escapement. A thing may be beautiful; you may project beauty on it – but you are projecting it. There is nothing like beauty or ugliness; that division is made by our own projections. There is nothing beautiful, there is nothing ugly. Things are, they exist in themselves. Without our projections they are, simply they are.
There is nothing beautiful, nothing ugly. But you can project, and escape from yourself. And we are always thinking how to escape from ourselves. It has become so burden-some to be oneself, it has become so ugly, it has become so tense to be oneself. We are – in love, in beauty, in films, in wine, in meditation even – we are escaping from ourselves.
That is to be understood: why are you escaping from yourself? And you cannot come to you through any escape from you. The active must cease. The constant seeking for pleasure, for enjoyment, must cease to be oneself, to know oneself, to know who you are.
QUESTION: What becomes of the desire? Let’s say you escape all worldly pleasures? Now how do you account for the desire that remains after you cut whatever it is you cut?
OSHO: Something new happens. The desire is gone; the very seeking for the enjoyment is gone.
Then really comes the divine enjoyment, the bliss you are seeking. It cannot come – it is not possible – through your occupation. It comes only in an unoccupied mind, in an aware mind – unoccupied, totally unoccupied. It comes – the bliss comes, God comes, the divine comes. It comes, not through your escape from yourself, but through your coming to yourself. How can you come when you are engaged in enjoyment?
QUESTION: If realization, if the ultimate beauty or knowledge of god, of bliss, of reality, lies in the Self, why are we constantly trying to escape from the Self? It would seem to me if that’s where it all lays, what a cruel trick for nature to play on us. We run away from what we are most looking for – it seems illogical.
OSHO: The bliss lies within oneself, but that you have gained from some scripture; you don’t know it. You don’t know there is bliss in oneself, there is God in oneself. If you know it, then there is no question. If you don’t know it, and this has become a borrowed part of your knowledge, then the question comes. The question is created by the borrowed knowledge, not by one’s own mind. You have not known the self; neither have you known the bliss; neither have you known God. If you have known it, then there is no question.
QUESTION: Do you know all at once, or could one feel the bliss of the Self before confronting God?
OSHO: No, there is no question of God! The very bliss is God.
QUESTION: You said earlier that the mind comes into a vacuum, if I understood correctly. If the nature of the mind is to think, then to put the mind into a vacuum would be going against the nature of the mind.
OSHO: No! That will be going certainly against the nature that we have known. There is no question of going against the nature; against the habit, yes. The nature is much more comprehensive.
QUESTION: What is the nature of the mind?
OSHO: To think is the nature of the mind. And if you don’t think then there is no mind. A state of no-mind comes, then you know. That is nature, this too is nature; that is not against this nature which creates ignorance, creates unknowing, creates conflict. We have not known the total mind; we have known only the mind which thinks. If you transcend it then you know the total mind – which knows.
Thinking is one thing, knowing is quite another.
QUESTION: The nature of the mind is to think, and then it ceases to think. What do you do in order to cause it not to think? Does it naturally not think?
OSHO: If you become aware of your thinking process, then the process by and by is dissolved. If you become aware, if you become aware of your thoughts, the passing, the going, the coming in and the going out of the thought – if you become simply aware, a witness then the process stops by itself.
QUESTION: It becomes more subtle until it stops….
OSHO: It stops. And then there is no mind. Then you are.
QUESTION: That’s a technique, which you’ve been discouraging.
OSHO: You can call it a technique, but when you call it a technique you have not understood…
Because awareness is not a technique. (laughter) Awareness is not a technique. (laughter)
Knowledge does not come in steps, in degrees; only ignorance goes in steps and degrees.
Knowledge comes in an explosion, that is not a process. The coming of the knowledge is not a process, the going of the ignorance is certainly a process, because when your mind is, by and by, awakening, becoming conscious of the thought process, thoughts become less and less. The process gains gaps, intervals. But this is not the coming of the knowledge, this is simply mind going in slow process. The mind is going, the mind is continuing. When the mind completely goes off, then the knowledge comes. It comes as an explosion, not in steps.
Q: It’s like a fuse on a piece of dynamite; the fuse burns a little bit at a time, right? And when it reaches the dynamite, then it explodes. But the path to the explosion nevertheless is a scientific process. It can be predicted, it can be measured and it can be taught to other people no?
Osho: No, it cannot be scientific.
QUESTION: Not the result, the approach to the result.
OSHO: Not even the process can be. The process cannot be scientific, cannot be known as a technique, because when you make it a technique, then everybody can follow it mechanically. The technique can be followed mechanically, and when it is followed mechanically you cannot become aware through it.
QUESTION: If you take the same fuse and you light it with your eyes closed or you light it with your eyes open, the dynamite’s still going to explode.
OSHO: It can explode, because the outer knowledge can be made a methodology, a technique, and it can be followed unknowingly. A mechanic who doesn’t know the process simply switches off or switches on and the explosion can go. But spiritual knowledge, the knowing of oneself, the gaining of bliss, cannot be like this. If it can be like this then you are simply creating through a process, through a technique, an illusory state of mind that can be created.
QUESTION: How do you know that?
OSHO: You can know it.
QUESTION: In the bible there’s a very short sentence and it says, “Be still and know.”
OSHO: That is quite right!
QUESTION: “Be still and know that I am God.”
OSHO: That is right.
QUESTION: You have defined mind for us, I would ask you to define awareness. Someone else used the phrase “intellectual awareness” and you didn’t test him on that. I would like you to define awareness.
OSHO: There cannot be any intellectual awareness. Awareness is always total. It cannot be divided as intellectual, as emotional….
QUESTION: Do you agree with that sentence then that says, “Be still and know”?
OSHO: That sentence is beautiful. Be still means don’t make yourself still. Be still means be still.
Don’t make any effort to be still, just be still. And if you are doing something to be still, then the stillness will simply be a created, cultivated stillness not the real.
QUESTION: “Be still and know…. ”
OSHO: Then you know ultimately – there is no sense in prolonging the sentence – be still, and you know. There is no question of knowing. It comes by itself. Just be still….
QUESTION: Every man speaks from his own experience, his own level, right? Isn’t it possible that there might be a technique that would work that perhaps you haven’t experienced.
OSHO: No, it is not possible (laughter) because you are thinking always how to get a technique; that is, how to make it easy, how to make it simple, how to make it a market product – how to make it. But the awakening is so individual, it is so authentically individual, it is so uniquely individual, it cannot be made a mass technique.
QUESTION: But everyone thinks….
OSHO: Everyone thinks.
QUESTION: Everyone wants pleasure from thinking.
QUESTION: So maybe there is something there that can be used for everyone. The individual knowing – that’s individual. But is it not possible that since everyone’s mind wants to think, wants to enjoy, it’s possible to somehow do something with that?
OSHO: Yes, everyone wants to enjoy, everyone wants peace, bliss, but then everyone wants to create some technique to achieve it. But the mind asking for enjoyment and the mind asking for technique is the mind of a person who is not ready to be aware. He wants to remain in his sleep and to cling to a technique. The sleep remains there, and he clings to a technique. The technique too will become a part of the sleep and will not disturb it, but will make it more convenient, more comfortable, and he will be more at ease in his sleep. The very need, the very asking for a mass technique is saying that I am not going towards the goal individually.
OSHO: I am asking others to be with me.
QUESTION: How long does it take to….?
OSHO: There is no question of how long.
QUESTION: If you had proof that this technique did work. If you would try the technique – like flipping a light switch on – and you recognized the fact that this switch…. this condition, that would bring the mind to this absolute….
OSHO: No! I understand you. She is saying that if someone says this technique, this method, this way has become for me the achievement, then you can follow it. But when you follow, then you are misguided forever. The very following is misguidance, the very following…. because the following is mechanical, the following can be without any awareness. When you follow someone you follow blindly; the very following is blindness. It cannot give you awareness. When you are not following anybody, you just become aware of the very process of life, or the very process of the mind, the very entanglement, the conflict, the anxiety, then you become aware of this whole life, this totality.
Something comes to you, not from following somebody else, not from going in the steps of others but in your own search. The search is so authentically individual you cannot follow anybody.
QUESTION: Each one finds this for himself only by being given the keys….
OSHO: There is no key. If there can be any key, then it can be produced and everybody can be given it.
QUESTION: Don’t believe it! This is so scientific, do not have faith in it and don’t believe it. Just try it. That’s all we ask. And when one starts to recognize the expansion of mind…. this greater energy, the greater energy for all things in life….
OSHO: You can try it and you can even experience what has been propagated. You can even experience it, because experiences are not spiritual. The very experiencing can be created through a technique. But those experiences are created through the technique, and you will think that the technique is right because the experience has come. But the experience which has come through a technique is not the explosion; it’s simply a false coin. It is not the real stillness.
QUESTION: It seems that there might be a slight confusion about the word ‘technique’ here. What we’re speaking about in terms of the word ‘technique’ is not a process where the mind is held up at each level. Or actually engages in some thought through an intellectual process whereby there is an experiencer and an object of experience.
QUESTION: What we’re speaking about is a technique whereby through no effort at all, through a situation which is entirely innocent, which is in each person, the object of experience becomes subtler, subtler, subtle until the object of experience is transcended, and we’re in a state of pure experience – alone. The self is left alone with the self. Not through any technique as such, but through a very innocent, effortless, natural flow of the mind to this state.
OSHO: If you begin with an object you cannot transcend the object. The very first step will be the last step. Don’t begin with the object. If you begin with the object the knowledge will remain objective; it will not transcend the object. The more subtle you go, the object may become more subtle, but you don’t transcend it.
QUESTION: No, but we do! (Lots of laughter)
Osho: You can be in illusion. (More laughter) And no one who is in illusion, no one who is in a dream, no one who is under hypnosis, will say, ”I am under hypnosis, I am in illusion.”
What I am saying is that mind can be made still. Mind can be brought to a state of stillness through method. But through method, when the mind comes to stillness, that stillness is nothing but self-hypnosis.
Through method, only, you can hypnotize; you cannot achieve. You can only achieve when the mind has not done anything. If the mind has done anything, then the creation is of the mind. If the mind has not done anything, only then…. If you are feeling, and thinking that you are feeling something, and you stop the process, then the feeling will go. I am saying that if you leave the technique, if you stop your meditations, this feeling will go. The feeling will continue only if you continue the process.
QUESTION: Not so! If you will excuse me saying so, in the New Testament, Christ says, “By their fruits ye shall know them. When we come out of meditation, the things which we have been feeling and doing which are negative just don’t happen. We are much happier out of meditation.
OSHO: You can be happier through LSD too.
QUESTION: We are not here to teach you the way of transcendental meditation, but to hear from you your path. And I think it’s better now to perhaps start with you telling us something of your path. Well, what I’d like to know is, when you realize your stillness you say that knowledge comes all at once. Well, I imagine it would, take a while until this would come, right? But then after this has come, are you like an enlightened man forever, or do you have to repeat this path?
OSHO: No, you have not to repeat.
QUESTION: You only have to do it once and then when you stop doing it … but what if you life in the world? How are your perceptions of the world and your actions in the world changed?
OSHO: They change totally. You are quite a different person – not even a person, because the person too was a part of your old mind; that too has gone. Not even are you an individual now – the individual has gone; you have become part and parcel of the whole. There is no ego, no doer; you become simply a part of the divine process, of the divine life.
When it comes, it comes and never goes. And if it is achieved through any process, it comes and it goes, because it has not come, really; it has been part of the feeling created by the process. When the process stops, it goes. It will go by and by, but it will go. And you will have to repeat the process constantly.
When the explosion comes, then it has come. In the explosion, it is not that you have achieved bliss, because in the explosion you have gone. Only the bliss is there… not even you, not even the experiencer. When you go through a technique the experiencer remains, the ego remains, and the ego says, “I have experienced, I am experiencing.” If the experiencer is there, then you have not come to the explosion, because the very explosion is the explosion of the experiencer. That experiencer is gone. There is now no experience, no experiencer, no object, no subject. There is only experience. Not even the experiencer is there.
QUESTION: This state of explosion, is there a corresponding state of the nervous system? What is the state of the physical nervous system that corresponds to the state you are speaking of?
OSHO: This body is not there, but the whole body of the cosmos is there. Your body has gone – not as body itself but “your,” the “your” has gone. The body is there but it has become a part of the whole cosmic body. It is not your body now, not your nervous system now.
QUESTION: Is it a dreaming or a waking or a deep sleep? Is there breathing? If a person looked at that body, would he describe it a being different than before it exploded?
OSHO: There is breathing, there is not sleep, there is not unconsciousness. But the breathing will become subtly different; it will be different from our normal breathing, because….
QUESTION: You see, what I am trying to establish is that in transcendental meditation this state of not in illusion corresponds to a physical state of the nervous system that possibly is the same to which you are referring, and that is the state of what is called restful alertness. Where there is no breath and the metabolic rate is lowered to nil. But the point is: Is there a state of the nervous system that one can look at and observe…?
OSHO: Yes, you can look and observe, but don’t think that a state cannot be illusory because there is a corresponding change in the nervous system. Even in illusion, the corresponding change can exist – even in illusion, because in a dream, in a nightmare, you awake; you feel that the whole body has been trembling. Even in the nightmare the body has gone through a change, the body has been affected. There has been a parallel change in the nervous system.
Because there is a change in the nervous system, you cannot say that a state is not illusory. There will be a change; there will be a change in the whole system because when the mind has gone, a transformation, a mutation, has taken place.
QUESTION: It’s obvious by now that we can’t arrive at a conclusion using words, so therefore, if you call my experience an illusion….
OSHO: No, no, I am not calling your experience illusion. I am calling a particular experience achieved through a technique an illusion. I’m not calling your experience illusion – don’t take it that way.
QUESTION: Is it illusion or the end of illusion?
OSHO: The means create the end, so if you use illusory means you create an illusory end.
QUESTION: My end is not an illusion; you can’t call my end of absolute being my illusion.
OSHO: No, no, I am not calling your end an illusion. (The group laughs) If you are achieving some states of mind through techniques then through techniques only illusion can be created.
QUESTION: But in your state of Enlightenment, are you a witness to everything around you?
OSHO: No, not even a witness. Even the witness has gone. You are not even a witness.
QUESTION: You’re not a witness anymore?
OSHO: You are one with it – not even a witness.
QUESTION: Are there thoughts too?
OSHO: No, there are no thoughts then.
QUESTION: You do not have thoughts?
OSHO: There are no thoughts then.
QUESTION: I see, I see.
OSHO: When I am talking to you, I am using thoughts as means.
QUESTION: Yes, that’s what I mean. What is your relationship to those thoughts?
OSHO: As a means of expression, not as a means of achievement.
QUESTION: Are you the thought, or do you watch the thought?
OSHO: No, there is no thought, so there is no question of watching the thought.
QUESTION: I thought you said you just use thoughts as a vehicle, as a means of expression.
OSHO: Of course.
QUESTION: So there are thoughts. All right; now, what is your relationship to the thoughts?
OSHO: No, there is no question of relationship. The relationship comes if there are two – then the question of relationship comes. If there is only one, there is no question of relationship.
QUESTION: Then you are your thoughts.
OSHO: No, there is no question of you and your thoughts.
QUESTION: There’s just one.
OSHO: Just one. There is no question of relationship.
QUESTION: Let me go back a little while here. You said before that you could not experience this. But how could you talk about explosion without experiencing it?
OSHO: One can talk about explosion, not what comes out of it. The explosion can be talked about but what comes after it cannot be talked about. That is impossible to say.
QUESTION: Without knowing the explosion, could one talk about it?
OSHO: No. How can you talk without knowing it? But when you talk, something different comes out of the words, something quite different; rather, quite opposite to what you have experienced. This going out of existence, going out of existence of the experiencer, it comes after the explosion.
QUESTION: It comes in degrees?
OSHO: No, how can explosion come in degrees?
QUESTION: I want to make sure I understand: In your philosophy, is the mind and the Self the same?
OSHO: If the mind is without thoughts, it is the same.
QUESTION: The mind and the Self are then the same?
OSHO: The same – if there are no thoughts. But if there are thoughts then the barrier between the self and the mind is created. The thought is the barrier.
QUESTION: What happens to the Self when the mind ceases?
OSHO: It is! It is simply… It is the very isness, the very being. When we ask “What happens?” then we are again thinking of becoming. What happens? – no?
QUESTION: The mind is a physical thing, is it not?
OSHO: The brain is a physical thing, not the mind.
QUESTION: You are making a distinction between the brain and the mind?
OSHO: A distinction to be discussed; there is no distinction in the reality.
QUESTION: I just want to make an observation. I think it is very obvious to me – I don’t know if it is obvious to many people – that in this situation with the person we are communicating with…. he hasn’t even given his position, so we have done a reverse technique… to defend our position. Remember what Shakespeare said: “Thou doth protest too much.” It is an indication to me of a lot of insecurity that we all have about our position. Why don’t we let our learned gentleman – who I basically agree with everything he says on an intellectual level – state his position, and what his movement is about, because that is what we want to learn about. (Clapping)
OSHO: There is nothing like my position, because to posit a position, to conceive a position, is to be untrue. I have got no position. You may have got your position, so you can be opposed to me, but I have no position of my own. I am totally negative. I am negative, I am not a positive mind. I am totally negative. I will negate what you say, but I won’t say anything as my position, because to me a positive mind cannot become a vacuum, cannot become vacant, cannot be a nonentity. A positive mind can never be; only a negative mind. A mind which comes through thinking to be negative, negates everything. When you negate everything then the mind becomes a vacuum. This is my position. (Laughter)
QUESTION: Can you tell us how you manage to get an unoccupied mind – because that is the first step for your experience, yes?
OSHO: I tried to understand the occupied mind. My own mind, occupied constantly – I observed it. The very observation of the occupied mind makes the mind unoccupied. If you go deep and deep and observe it, simply observe it, don’t do anything – the moment you do something the observation has gone. Even if you criticize it, even if you say it is bad or good, even if you appreciate it or condemn it, then the observation has gone. If you simply observe it, then through the observation the unoccupied mind comes, the occupied mind goes. Simple observation.
QUESTION: Can a vacant, an unoccupied mind be a dynamic, a creative mind?
OSHO: Of course. Only an awakened mind can be creative – only.
QUESTION: Awakened, but I said vacant and unoccupied.
OSHO: Aha! A vacant and unoccupied mind becomes awakened, and an awakened mind is a dynamic and creative mind. Only an awakened mind is a dynamic and creative mind.
QUESTION: So in the state of Enlightenment it is no longer vacant and unoccupied, it is occupied?
OSHO: No! It is not occupied, it is creative. But to be creative and to be occupied are two different things.
QUESTION: What do you mean by creative?
OSHO: To be creative means constantly, moment to moment, living as a creative force – as a creative force, not as an occupied doer, not as a doer. There is no doer so there is no occupation, but the creation goes on. The very creation of the world, the very creation of the cosmos goes on. Not that there is an engineer, a God who is thinking about it, a painter – not thinking about it. There is no thinking.
QUESTION: Watching it?
QUESTION: What about the process of observation?
OSHO: Only an authentic painter is really not different from his painting. The painter and the painting are one. There is no actor, there is no ego, and there is no occupation, because when there is no ego, who can be occupied?
QUESTION: By explaining this process, you only explained to us what we should not do, but we want to know what to do.
OSHO: No, I won’t say, because that is the wrong… that is the pseudo path. If someone says, “Do this,” then he creates a positive mind, and the positive mind is a filled mind, an occupied mind – not vacant, not receptive, not open. So I won’t say what to do, I will say what not to do.
QUESTION: That’s a fullness too. You are filling the mind with negative things, not to do this, not to do that. That’s horrible! (Many comments all at once, and a voice: “Oh, come on, we’re starting to argue again!”)
QUESTION: I have a question, sir. Before we try to start you on transcendental meditation, I think you said something about “freedom from the known.” Strangely, coincidentally, this is a title of a book by Krishnamurti. I would like to ask if he is in accord with you, and more pointedly, is there something I can do to liberate myself?
OSHO: No, you cannot understand through any comparison. There is a book by Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, but if you want to understand me, understand me; why bring Krishnamurti between us? There is no sense….
QUESTION: But is there anything I can do to liberate myself from it all? Is there something that I can do – must I simply sit and wait and hope, or can I act?
OSHO: You think that simply sitting is something simple? (Laughter) It is the most difficult thing! If you can simply sit then everything will come to you; then there is no question.
COMMENTS: That’s again process….
OSHO: In the word, in the expression – because our whole language, our whole terminology is based on process, technique, method. So in words you cannot express a thing which has not been experienced – in words, in thoughts. So when I say it, it looks like a process, but it is not a process.
QUESTION: What is it?
OSHO: It is the very stopping of the process.
QUESTION: Again the process….
OSHO: The word – the word carries the meaning of the process.
QUESTION: Because stopping something means, I thought….
OSHO: Of course, in language. That is what you are saying. That’s what you are understanding. In language you cannot say anything which is not a doing, not a process. So it has to be understood.
QUESTION: Again a process?
OSHO: Of course, I am saying that. Every word is a process, every word! Every word is a process. But there are things which are not a process. If you can understand, then it is alright. If you don’t understand, then too it is all right!
QUESTION: What you are saying and what you are teaching cannot be thought, because….
OSHO: It cannot be thought.
QUESTION: How long will it take to learn the technique of not using a technique? (Laughter)
OSHO: If you can understand, then this very moment is the moment. If you don’t understand, there is no question of the length. It can be for lives. If you understand, you understand in this very moment, NOW!
QUESTION: But is understanding the same as being?
OSHO: Of course, it is the same.
QUESTION: I think we are saying the same thing. It’s just a matter of vocabulary and semantics. Why should we make an issue out of it when basically we agree? (Comments all together)
QUESTION: Except, except….
QUESTION: We make it simple, you make it difficult!
OSHO: About truth, only the negative statement can be made. You can only be consistent with the untrue, because the truth is so vast. It comprehends the contradictions. So about truth, whenever someone speaks he is bound to make contradictions, and if someone is constantly consistent, not making any contradictions, he is not concerned with the truth. He is concerned with a hypothesis. A man-made hypothesis can be consistent, but the real – that which is – is always contradictory. There is darkness and light, both, it comprehends both, it comprehends the birth and the death. Life is both, birth and death. It is not contradictory in life, but to us it seems contradictory – two things quite opposite. Another thing: Maharishi says there is a path from the here to there. But there can be no path from the here to the here. There is the illusion. The point there – is the illusion. The question is coming from the here to the here, and until and unless the “there” is dissolved you cannot come from the here to the here. The “there” is the disturbance. You are always going to the “there” and always going there, going there, going there – in richness, in meditation, in religion, in science, going there. That is the question.
The mind which goes there cannot be here. (Laughter) A mind which leaves going there can be here – just this moment can be here. The very going to there is the hindrance, so there can be no path. Only one has to be aware of this constant trick of the mind of going there, going there – this very business.
This “there” is the illusion, this is the very point of illusion. It may be anything – it may be a god, a liberation, a moksha – but mind always longs for there, and that has been the disturbance, that has been the misguiding of the mind. One is to be here.
So the question is not going in the hotel; the question is going somewhere where you are already.
So there can be no path, there is no possibility of there being any path. A path can join two points – here and there, present and future. A path can join two different points, but you are and there is no question of there, you are here – always here. You have been here always. And unless and until the there is dissolved you cannot know what here is. So there is no possibility of there being any technique.
And one thing more Maharishi says: If you sit still the mind will become dull. If you do something, the mind by the very doing becomes dull. If you don’t do anything, the mind is completely fresh, total; how can it be dull? Mind can be made dull through any process. The very process makes the mind dull because the process is a repetition. The repetition is yet dullness. Whenever you repeat something you become dull. You go on repeating, go on repeating, repeating, repeating, you become a dullness.
The very achieving mind, the mind which longs for achievement, the mind which seeks achievement, the mind which is after achievement, is the hindrance. This longing to achieve is the hindrance. So God cannot be made an achievement. The enlightenment cannot be made an achievement. You cannot make it an achievement. It is the non-achieving mind which achieves.
QUESTION: Does it depend on what level the mind is on?
OSHO: There is no such thing as level. There is no question of level. Maharishi says there are deeper realms, there are…. There is only Being. There is no question of level. There is only a total Being.
MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI: It is necessary to be here. It is necessary to be here only if we are there. If we are here then it is not necessary to be here. We have gone there, and if we have gone there, in illusion we are here. Now Enlightenment will be that we come back here. So there is here. If we have to come back, then we have to come back. That means it’s a procedure whether we come back in a car or in a jet or…. If you have gone really….
OSHO: If we have gone really, then some means must be used. But if you have not gone, if you are simply asleep here, simply asleep here – there are two steps – asleep here or we are here. There is no question of there: asleep here, or we come here.
MAHARISHI: Fine, beautiful. Here and here! But from sleep to waking from one to the other, there is no difference in space. But there is…. in time. Sleep and waking, and if there is simultaneous solution that we have accomplished through actually…. If I become awake, there is no question that I am awake. And for me I believe I do have to be awake. I am. So If I am not and if I have to be, then that way I adopt a technique, a procedure, a simple something, so that the difficulty may be over. The teaching of spirituality is to show a simple, natural, direct way which will prove to be a very less way. Actually speaking, Acharya Rajneesh means that there cannot be a way to the only present because that is there where I am, that is where I am, and therefore, because the state of Enlightenment is awareness of the omnipresent unboundedness which my own nature is, therefore, there cannot be a way to it that if I am help up in the waking state or in the dreaming or sleeping as is our ordinary state of awareness, then I am not open to that which is omnipresent. If I am open to the omnipresent, if my awareness is already back then I am here and I Am, but I Am and the device is needed. But I am not open to myself then I have to be opened to myself, thrown to where I am opened. If I am opened here and here and here in the gross field of perception, then my perception has to be brought to finer regions, and then it has to travel to that fineness and get to that unboundedness of your awareness.
When I have done…… in transcendental awareness will increase. But a teacher is needed. A …… is needed. So that shifting of the awareness from the waking to the transcendental has to be correct so that if something has to be achieved then that way it can be achieved in a systematic manner, so that it is easily achieved. And if nothing is to be achieved, then, if I am established in the goal, fine. I don’t have to take the course in any method or anything.
MAHARISHI: When you are on the path, then you are on the path. Then you have transcended the path, and you can only transcend the path by trekking it. The reality of the path is experience, experience, experience. The reality of the goal is that we are in a state of being. As long as you are proceeding, as long as the awareness is not open to that unbounded, pure, transcendental consciousness, as long as your experience in something……
MAHARISHI: Transcending on the verge of the finest perception is of the immediate. That can be gross perception or, if one has arrived at the finest perception that one has, then he experiences. And…. he experiences. Eventually in a very systematic manner the awareness reaches the pure awareness – it transcends. Transcending is applicable from the level of gross perception, through all the subtle perceptions, to the subtlest perception. Transcending, one has to take one’s awareness, and this is the method. What can be refuted is the practice of meditation if I have already achieved cosmic consciousness where the pure awareness is already established. But if I know I am not living in this consciousness, then something has to be done to live it. And if you can say there nothing to be done, fine. Nothing is to be done and the…. can be achieved.
OSHO: The very achieving mind, the mind which longs for achievement, the mind which seeks achievement, the mind which is after achievement, is the hindrance. This longing to achieve is the hindrance. So God cannot be made an achievement. The enlightenment cannot be made an achievement. You cannot make it an achievement. It is the non-achieving mind which achieves, the non-achieving. It can never be an achievement, because that which has been achieved has been always with me. It has never been lost.
QUESTION: But how do you know it?
OSHO: This knowing, in that knowing, you also know this: that this has been with you, and you were not knowing it. But nothing has been achieved.
QUESTION: But you know it afterwards.
OSHO: You have simply awakened that which was asleep. Then when you try to go through safe, secure, systematic methods, your mind is a mind which longs for serenity, safety, systems. All that you gain is a big ego.
MAHARISHI: The state of Enlightenment is not inertia. It is an achievement. God-Realization, when we say you have God-Realization, it is an achievement from the state where you have not achieved it. Enlightenment, the very word Enlightenment, means “I was so long in ignorance, and now I am in light; so this, in the common language of ignorance, is called Enlightenment. In the language of the enlightened people it has ever been, it is ever; nothing has been realized. If you have lost the awareness of your glasses and then you begin to be aware of the glasses here and here, you have the glasses on, but yet you are searching and somebody says it is there, it is lost. It is lost in the awareness. It was present there certainly. If achieved, it is realized. It has been there, but I have lost it; without really losing it I have lost it, and without really gaining it, I have gained it. It is there. So this is the achievement of the already achieved. Omnipresent is that thing, and eternal is that thing. And it is nothing that I was – never – not it, or it is nothing that I would at one time be it. From this level of…. state of awareness, nothing to be achieved, nothing to be done, nothing to be done. And, therefore, if there is need of achieving it, there is need of being that we achieve it quickly through a technique. It happens, it happens, and then it will happen through a technique. It happens, it happens, and then it will happen at all, at all, at all.
These are different ways of expressing. There is a story in some Upanishad with three or four very good seekers of truth come to an acharya and said, “we want to ask some questions.” He said, “Questions to ask? All right. Remain in my ashram for a year, and after that I’ll give a chance, and if I know the reality, I’ll tell you.” He doesn’t give a guarantee that even after the year he will tell them actually where…. Are. He just says, “Remain in my ashram, and after a year.” With preconditions, with a devotional attitude – service to the Master, obedience; what is the relevance? If someone knows a thing, if you ask in good faith, but it is necessary to get acquainted with the language of a teacher. It is to the expression that we can go. And if you live with him for some time, then you know what he means by what. The Indians feel you have to be near a teacher to know what he means by what expression. Otherwise, he has his usual way of expressing; you have your usual way of understanding. There may not be any connection between the two. You may not be understood by him. He may not be understood by you. There will be a lack of achievement…. That is why familiarity with the teacher, familiarity with the way of his expressing, what he says when he says something, what he means when he says something; that is why nearness to the teacher is necessary. You have been exposed to a phraseology with which you were not familiar. And once you hear Acharya Rajneesh a few times, you will know what he means because you are familiar with the expressing.
1969 pm in Pahalgam, Kashmir, India
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