Relaxation Without Concentration – Osho

When we start watching our bodies, and then our minds and emotions, there remains an element, although subtle, of concentration. Initially, for example, watching my breathing, I would watch it to the exclusion of everything else – here there was an element of focus. On other occasions, when silence is just there, the breathing may be all there is to watch. This seems to be nearer, but still I feel that more soft focusing of the awareness would take me further and further back, as if relaxing enough to to let the watcher move far enough away so that all is seen, rather than any one thing like thoughts or breathing. Does relaxing allow the watcher to be on the hill?

It is true. Relaxation helps the most. No part of concentration should be in your watchfulness. Concentration is sabotaging the whole process of watchfulness, because concentration is an act of the mind, and watchfulness is something that comes from above, from beyond. If there is any concentration… I can understand, if you start watching your breathing – in the name of watching, you are concentrating on the breathing, you are excluding everything else. Don’t exclude.

Watch your breathing inclusive of all.

Watching your breathing… a temple bell starts ringing, a car passes by, a child starts crying – all that should be included. Your watchfulness should be open. Watching the breathing is simply to begin with. It is not the end. It is just learning how to watch.

But there is a difficulty – you can start thinking that concentration is watching. Concentration is not watching. Concentration is narrow, narrowing the mind, bringing it to a focus on one thing, forgetting everything else. That’s why in relaxing, you will feel more watchful, yet without concentration. If that is happening, that’s perfectly good.

The essential thing is watchfulness, inclusive of all. Concentration can be disturbed, watchfulness cannot be disturbed. These are the differences. If somebody is concentrating on something, anybody can disturb him. Just a small boy can do something and he is distracted and his focus is lost – or not even a small boy, just the wind comes and the door opens and the noise is enough.

So you will find the phenomenon in so-called religious people. They are always angry, because their concentration is continuously disturbed.

Watchfulness cannot be disturbed. It is simply inclusive of all. If the door opens, makes a noise, the wind passes through the trees singing its song, it is available to it. It is not choosing breathing or anything in particular, but simply being there, open, available, present to everything that is happening.

So remember the difference: concentration is sabotaging watchfulness.

To begin with, something has to be given to you so you can have a little taste of what watchfulness is. Then it has to be made wider and wider and bigger, so much bigger that there is no need to do anything. You simply sit, or lie down relaxedly and everything that is happening around you is mirrored in you.

You don’t think about it, you don’t justify it, you don’t condemn it, you don’t evaluate it – you simply watch.

So it is perfectly right. Relaxation, utter relaxation with no focusing of consciousness is real watchfulness.

-Osho

From The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter Twelve

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.

Let Consciousness Be Your Master – Osho

You say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Do not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed. 

Prem Lisa, the difference is so great that it is impossible to miss it. Repression happens through fighting with your mind. Discipline happens through being watchful, aware, alert. In discipline, there is no fight implied. In discipline, there is no condemnation, no evaluation. One simply looks at the mind silently, seeing the whole traffic, without saying what is right and what is wrong, what should be and what should not be, just as, standing by the side of the road, you watch the people walking by – saints and sinners, beautiful people, ugly people, good people, bad people – but you are unconcerned. It has nothing to do with you; you are out of it.

That’s exactly the meaning of the English word “ecstasy”. Ecstasy means to be out of the mind. You are just looking, as one looks at the clouds moving in the sky or at the river flowing by – cool, detached. Neither are you trying to cling to something nor are you trying to push something away from you.

This is pure awareness: you are only a mirror. And in just being a mirror, the miracle happens – the miracle of discipline. Slowly, slowly, the traffic starts disappearing. Less and less thoughts are moving on the road; less and less pictures are appearing on the screen, less and less memories, fantasies. Gaps start appearing.

A mother was telling her child, “Be very careful when you go to school because the traffic is dangerous at rush hour time.”

The child said, “Don’t be worried. I always wait by the side of the road. When a gap comes by, then I cross the road.”

“When a gap comes by…” As you are looking at your mind you will be surprised: gaps come by, intervals when there is nothing to be seen. The observer remains alone and because it is alone it is no longer an observer either. You can’t call it an observer because there is nothing to observe. The mirror is there, but it is not reflecting anything. There is no duality of the seen and the seer. In these intervals discipline arises.

The word “discipline” is also beautiful. It is sometimes very significant to go to the roots of words. “Discipline” comes from a root which means learning. When you are looking at a gap, learning happens. Learning about what? Learning about yourself, because there is nothing else. You are full of awareness. You are just full of your own being, overflowing. And this experience of just being yourself, overflowing, undistracted by anything, undisturbed by anything, is the greatest learning, the greatest possibility of knowing the truth. This is discipline.

From the same root comes the word “disciple.” Disciple means one who is becoming capable of being utterly silent in the presence of the Master. The disciple is one who allows the interval to happen when he is with the Master. With the Master you are bridged only through silence; when there is nothing in your mind you are bridged. Something then transpires between the Master and the disciple. A flame jumps from the Master into the heart of the disciple. The unlit candle of the disciple suddenly becomes lit. All is joy and light and love, and a great dance arises.

Lisa, discipline can never be misunderstood as repression. Repressions are totally different. In repression you have already decided what is wrong – a priori decisions. In fact, others have decided for you what is wrong and what is right. Now you are simply trying to impose the ideas and opinions of others upon yourself. You will have to repress your nature. You will have to force that which is wrong – or which you have been told is wrong – deep into the unconscious. There will be a fight, great turmoil. Instead of bringing silence to you, every method of repression brings more turmoil.

That’s why the so-called religious people are more restless, more worried. You are worried only about this world; they are worried even about the other. You are worried only about this life, they are worried about many, many past lives and future lives. Your worries are nothing compared to the worries of the so-called religious people. And they are sitting on a volcano, because whatsoever is repressed is there; it is not destroyed.  Repression never destroys anything; you are simply sitting on top of it. And the danger is that you cannot sit on top of it for twenty-four hours a day; you have limitations. You will get tired, you will need some rest. And whenever you will be tired and you will need rest, repressions will start arising in you.

Hence, even your greatest saints go on thinking, fantasizing, dreaming about all those things that they have repressed.

Mahatma Gandhi has written in his autobiography: “I have been able to control my sexuality as far as my day is concerned, but in the night, in my dreams, it comes with a vengeance.” This he was writing at the age of seventy… a whole life of repression!

Yes, in the day you can somehow manage, but in the night, in the dreams, that which you have repressed in the day is bound to take revenge. It will come back, it will explode in you.

Hence, down the ages your saints have been very much afraid of sleep. They go on cutting down on their sleep – five hours, four hours, three hours, two hours. And the less they sleep the greater the danger, because all their repressions have to come in those two hours in a very condensed way. Then they are crowding in from everywhere. And people worship them! The less a saint sleeps, the more people worship him. They say, “Look how much he has sacrificed! What a great austerity he is doing – he is not even sleeping! Or he sleeps for only two hours or one hour.”

The reality is that he is afraid of sleep. And from where is the fear coming? The fear is coming from the fact that when you are awake you can control, but when you are asleep, who is there to control? The controller is asleep, is in a relaxed state. He cannot sit on top of all the repressions, and they will assert themselves.

So, Lisa, if you are fighting with anything, then it is not discipline. I don’t teach fight, I teach awareness. It is useless to fight with the darkness, utterly useless and stupid. Bring the light in. Why fight with darkness? And how can you ever hope to win by fighting with darkness? Bring the light in and the darkness is found no more.

You are surrounded by much darkness: greed, anger, jealousy, lust, ambition, ego. These are layers of darkness. If you start fighting with all these layers of darkness you are not going to win, because there is no way to fight with darkness directly. Darkness does not exist in the first place; it is only the absence of light. So if you want to do something with darkness, don’t try to do it directly, do something with light. If you want darkness, put the light out. If you don’t want darkness, put the light on. But do something with the light, forget about darkness. If the light is there, darkness is not there. If the light is not there, you cannot avoid darkness. You can close your eyes, you can try to forget about it, you can become occupied somewhere else, you can take your mind far, far away from it, but it is there all the same. And it will show in your acts, in your thoughts, in your behavior. It will come up again and again. You cannot hide it – it is impossible to hide it. The truth of your being, whatsoever it is, is bound to surface.

Lisa, become aware. And I am not saying what is wrong and what is right. I am simply saying: Be aware; or, awareness is right and unawareness is wrong. When you are aware, things will start changing of their own accord, and then the mind functions as a servant. It is a machine, a beautiful machine, one of the most complex machines invented by nature in thousands of years. Man has not yet been able to create anything comparable to it. Even the best computer is not yet so capable.

A single human mind can contain all the libraries of the world. It is almost infinite. Its capacity is great, its use is great, but it should be your servant not your master. As a servant it is beautiful; as a master it is dangerous.

Let consciousness be your master and mind your servant. It happens through awareness. And I am not telling you to control it, because all control is repression. I am not telling you to fight, because all fight is a sheer waste of energy. You are fighting with your own servant – you are wasting your energy. You need not fight with your servant, you have simply to say, “I am the master”; that’s all.

You have simply to be the master, that’s all, and the servant bows down. The servant immediately understands that the master has come in. And how does the master come in? The moment you become awake, the master comes in.

You ask me, Lisa:

You say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Don not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed? 

It is very simple. Nobody can ever mistake the two; nobody can ever confuse the two. They are so different – just like light and darkness, just like love and hate, just like flowers and thorns, just like poison and nectar. They are so totally different! But if you think about them you may get confused.

In thinking you cannot make the distinction. Don’t think about them – experiment, experience, and the distinction will be absolutely clear.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Three

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Being a Light Unto Myself – Dayanand Bharati

The alchemy of transcendence

A lot of water has flown down the Ganga since that article about the addiction, How I Came to One-Mind.

I had transcended alcohol addiction and sobriety then. It is not quite correct that “I” had transcended it. Transcendence happened after “I” had failed absolutely, completely. Only through the power of awareness and watching both had disappeared, in a blaze of grace never to be seen or heard of again.

The first true transformation had happened in my life. It was real. It was a miracle. I was in awe and the mind still cannot comprehend, even now, because he was left out of the loop. I mean something that was such a strong destructive habit for almost half of my life, suddenly just gone, evaporated like it never existed from one moment to the next.This was a key experience; I knew this key can be used to transcend the mind itself, and not just part of it.

Many changes happened right after this transformation.

I was filled with love and gratitude.

All doubt about myself was erased from my mind forever. I knew for certain that truth existed.

It was a clear confirmation that transcendence is possible, I had experienced it, even just on this small scale of the personal mind, the impact was mind blowing, literarily.

I had been on the right path.

I was not in some kind of spiritual illusion about myself, because even in all that time I had been with my master I never had an experience that confirmed that I was on the right path, never a proof, except his acceptance of me and my love and trust for him.

Of course many other things happened on the emotional and mental plane but never this final proof, this dropping into another dimension this falling out of polarity. But now this was it, the first real transformation made it all real.

I was free now of all personal unconscious layers, free of the hidden influences that had directed this life so far.

I was conscious of myself as part of existence and not anymore part of Society. I was free of all the games society is playing. I had nothing to do with it any more, there was nothing I wanted from the outer world.

Therefore, anxiety dropped away immediately, replaced by a natural trust in existence.

I was loved, accepted and embraced by life, I was ultimately worthy to be alive.

I looked at myself now, not anymore at others.

I had asked my whole life, the other, the woman, the mother image to confirm me, give me worth and value, love me, or the lover, to satisfy me, give me bliss and fulfillment.

But I was asking a mirror image, there was nobody in these reflections, only my own projections, nobody really there, only the reflection echoing back, asking the same from me.

Just like when I look in my bathroom mirror and ask, do you love me?

What will happen?  Will the reflection say: Yes!

No, the reflection will say “Do you love me”?

There was no other!

To me, this is best described by a small anecdote my beloved master Osho has told once.

I don’t recall in which discourse so I tell it as I remember it.

My master had a friend who had a butcher shop in his village,

(It must be a made up story, no Jain, even an enlightened one ever walks into a butcher shop), anyway he liked the man and he dropped in occasionally to say hello.

One day just before closing time my master stopped by and asked how his day was, the butcher said he had a great day today, I sold all my meat except for this chicken here.

That very moment the shop door burst open and a customer rushed in, “ahh.. glad I made it, I have some friends over today for dinner and need a chicken.”

The Butcher winked at my master and put the chicken on the scale, “$5 please”, he said.

“Hmmm”, said the customer, “do you have a bigger one?”

Without hesitation the butcher walked back in his storeroom with the chicken, made some noise and came back with the same chicken

He slapped it on the scale and said, “this one will be $7”.

“Tell you what”, said the customer, “I will take both.”

Now there is only one chicken. My master said there is always only one chicken. Asking for both will reveal the truth! That there is not two!

Being alert, watching, looking, inquiring is asking for both.

Love this story!

The steps that led to transcendence

I want to elaborate on the steps that led to this transcendence, because this is a key that can be applied to transcend any duality.

And it can be used by anyone.

Before the transformation of getting drunk and trying to control it I had always believed I was going in a straight line, from this point to that, from unhappiness to happiness, from addiction to sobriety, from dependence to independence. And to get there I just had to try hard enough, give it my all and one bright sunny day…it will happen. I will arrive at my final destination. I will be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. And when it didn’t happen, as I hoped, the reverse attitude kicked in, no matter how hard I try I will never make it.

I will be never be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened.

But in the struggle to be free of the drunkard I became aware that I was not going in a straight line at all, I became aware of the circle, going from negative to positive and back again to negative, from addict to anti-addict back to addict….. From unhappiness to happiness back to unhappiness, round and round….

If I follow a straight road and keep going and going I will eventually drive around the planet and arrive exactly where I am now same with the mind.

Before I was never aware of this fact, because the opposite was always hidden in the unconscious, half of the globe hidden in the dark night.

The road invisible appears non-existent, that is why it looks like it is a straight line, a half circle looks like a straight line, going from dawn to dusk from here to there, the other half is dark, unconscious, hidden, but I had somehow, through watching my mind and by trying, digging myself out of myself hopelessly, brought eventually light to that dark hidden part.

I suddenly saw the whole mind, I stood apart, I saw the full circle not just half. I became aware that they are one whole and not 2 separate things.

It changed everything!

“If you make a circle, the end and beginning meet — only then is the circle complete. If you become a circle, whole, total, in you will meet the beginning and the end. You will be the very source of the world and you will be the very climax of the world. You will be both the alpha and the omega. And unless you become that, something is incomplete; and when something is incomplete you will remain miserable. The only misery that I know is being incomplete. The whole being tends to be complete, needs to be complete, and the incomplete becomes a torture. The incompletion is the only problem. And when you become complete, the end and the beginning meet in you. God as the source and God as the ultimate flowering meet in you.”

-Osho

From The Hidden Harmony, Chapter #4

It is not that the mind saw that, he cannot, he is not able to look around the full circle, around the whole globe, the mind, just like the eyes, can always only see half, the front or the back, the up or the down but the eyes can never see front and back, up and down at the same time.

That is the limitation of the mind and body.

Only awareness can see all, not see, be all, rooted at the center with full awareness of all that is.

Being aware of that, I could not be in illusion anymore that one day I will be fulfilled, that this mind would one day arrive at its destination, at one side and stay there, there was no destination, a circle has no end, no arrival point it just goes round and round, on and on, like the horses on a merry go round.

Understanding this clearly, the turning in happened, the “letting go” happened, the transformation happened, addict and anti-addict evaporated into awareness, into the heart of being, because reaching anywhere was not possible, choice was not possible, choice was an illusion.

I would never reach one side, because there is no one side, there is always 2 sides, like breathing in and breathing out, there cannot be only breathing in, or only breathing out. But the mind believes that this is possible, that is the illusion.

I would never attain fulfillment in any of my desires because they are all based in duality.

There was no love waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, or security, or happiness.

There was always both waiting for me.

Love and hate, happiness and unhappiness, life and death.

If I am in love unaware, hate is waiting in the basement for its turn, because love is based on hate and vice versa, they are each other’s contrast, how would I know what love is if I did not know hate, its opposite.

Seeing this, understanding this, choice was now irrelevant.

I would always end up at the opposite again sooner or later.

The illusion that I was going somewhere that I was growing, winning, that one day I will arrive at my goal was only an illusion, or that I will be condemned for ever, in eternal despair was also only one side of the coin.

It is like a chess player suddenly becomes aware that he is actually playing against himself, his own mirror image.

I became aware that I was 100% addicted to alcohol, I wanted to get drunk, escape, forget, period.

And I was aware that I wanted 100% to get rid of the addiction, be free of it, period.

And both identifications where mine. I was the only player in this game

I was aware of the opposite player as myself, I was my own enemy my own competitor, I competed against myself, tried to win against myself.

But now the light was on, I saw who I was playing against and I knew the next move I would make because the opponent was me, myself my own mind.

I played from now on with an open deck of cards.

Like playing poker with all the cards open faced you know exactly the next card coming up, the game is meaningless, there is no more game because the game consists of the not knowing what card will be next, will it be a winner or a looser?

That day, the game of playing and winning against the world, collapsed, because it was all me, my projection.

I was the world and I was the individual, because I projected me onto the world, the world was me, my projection.

The mind got it too!

Once a fact is known it cannot be reversed, once a child knows by experience that fire burns it will know it for life and not touch fire again.

Once the mind knows 100% it is not possible to get fulfillment outside

It will cooperate and stop reaching out.

The mind itself inside of me did not collapse yet, only the mind going out, playing with the world, getting, desiring, escaping resisting the outside was now meaningless. I did not project the images in my mind onto the outside anymore, but the images themselves where still intact.

The conditioned mind fell onto itself.

I was the center now and the world was the periphery. Before I had no center I was kicked around like a ping pong ball on the periphery.

I became a light onto myself, I could see where I was going. Now I had a center. I was “in” but the center was again divided in itself, inside, into its own duality.

“If you are wise, intelligent, and you know how to contain the opposites together in a deep friendly embrace, then thesis opposed by antithesis will create a new phenomenon in your being: synthesis. On a higher plane you will arise. In a deeper way you will be united. And then again the synthesis functions as a thesis, creates its antithesis, and again, on a higher plane, synthesis. It goes on and on, waves upon waves, higher and higher. There are planes upon planes, and one can go on reaching. The ultimate plane is the total synthesis of your life. All conflict disappears – is not dropped, but disappears of its own accord.”

Osho

From The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2 #13

For me the addiction to alcohol was the catalyst that pushed me into awareness, but it can be anything that the mind is addicted to, the mind is basically in its essence addiction.

What I am pointing to in this writing is, that any duality can be transcended with deep inquiry and awareness.

The conditioned mind, acquired in this life had been erased.

But the ancient mind, the totality of the mind with its roots in the beginning of time had not yet. But it opened the door to “The final ultimate synthesis”.

In deep gratitude to my beloved master Osho.

Dayanand Bharati

This is a follow-up to a previous posting by Dayanand, How I Came to One-Mind.

 

Samadhi Without Seeds – Osho

In yesterday’s sutra, Buddha says ‘someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that “I must lead all the beings to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind.”’ What is this realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind?

Buddha has talked about two kinds of nirvana. One he calls nirvana with substratum. The tree has disappeared, the tree of desires. The foliage, the leaves, the flowers, the fruits—everything has disappeared. But the roots are still there underground, hidden in the dark soil. From the outside the tree has been removed, but the tree is still capable of renewing itself again. The substratum is still there, the seed has not been burnt yet. This he calls ‘nirvana with substratum.

This is exactly the same that Patanjali calls nirbeej samadhi —samadhi with seed. It is very difficult from the outside. The tree has been completely removed, but underneath the soil the roots are still alive, waiting for the right moment to sprout again. Rains will come and they will sprout. They are waiting for their season, for the moment again to assert.

This is the state when many times you have come to the point where mind disappears, no-mind is felt, but again mind comes back, again it sprouts. You reach to a peak. That moment of that peak experience, you think all is finished—now you will never be falling back to the valley of darkness. You think that you will never go back into those ugly and miserable days—that the dark night of the soul is over, that the morning has arrived, that the sun has arisen.

But again one day you suddenly find you are slipping back into the darkness—again the valley, again light is no more, again that peak experience is just a memory. And one starts becoming doubtful whether it has happened or not. “Have I been just imagining? Or maybe I was just dreaming.” Because if it had happened then where has it gone?

Where is that sunlit peak? Where are those moments of ecstasy? And misery is back and anger is back and agony is back—you have fallen into hell again. This happens many times.

This Buddha calls nirvana with substratum; sabeej samadhi in Patanjali’s words. Manifestation of the world is gone but the unmanifested seed remains.

The second nirvana Buddha calls the nirvana without substratum—in Patanjali’s words nirbeej samadhi—seedless samadhi. Not only the tree has been destroyed, but the seed also burned. A burned seed cannot sprout again, all substratum is gone. Then you remain on the peak forever, then there is no falling back.

That’s what Buddha says in yesterday’s sutra: ‘Someone who has set out in the vehicle of a Bodhisattva should decide that “I must lead all being to nirvana, into that realm of nirvana which leaves nothing behind…”‘ which leaves no substratum, no roots, no seeds behind.

-OSHO

From The Diamond Sutra, Chapter Two

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.

Absolute Perfection is Here and Now – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: The war is on. What is your attitude to it?

Maharaj: In some place or other, in some form or other, the war is always on. Was there a time when there was no war? Some say it is the will of God. Some say it is God’s play. It is another way of saying that wars are inevitable and nobody is responsible.

Q: But what is your own attitude?

M: Why impose attitudes on me? I have no attitude to call my own.

Q: Surely somebody is responsible for this horrible and senseless carnage. Why do people kill each other so readily?

M: Search for the culprit within. The ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ are at the root of all conflict. Be free of them and you will be out of conflict.

Q: What of it that I am out of conflict? It will not affect the war. If I am the cause of war, I am ready to be destroyed. Yet, it stands to reason that the disappearance of a thousand like me will not stop wars. They did not start with my birth nor will end with my death. I am not responsible. Who is?

M: Strife and struggle are a part of existence. Why don’t you enquire who is responsible for existence?

Q: Why do you say that existence and conflict are inseparable? Can there be no existence without strife? I need not fight others to be myself.

M: You fight others all the time for your survival as a separate body-mind, a particular name and form. To live you must destroy. From the moment you were conceived you started a war with your environment—a merciless war of mutual extermination, until death sets you free.

Q: My question remains unanswered. You are merely describing what I know, life and its sorrows. But who is responsible, you do not say. When I press you, you throw the blame on God, or karma, or on my own greed and fear—which merely invites further questions. Give me the final answer.

M: The final answer is this: nothing is. All is a momentary appearance in the field of the universal consciousness; continuity as name and form is a mental formation only, easy to dispel.

Q: I am asking about the immediate, the transitory, the appearance. Here is a picture of a child killed by soldiers. It is a fact—staring at you. You cannot deny it. Now, who is responsible for the death of the child?

M: Nobody and everybody. The world is what it contains and each thing affects all others. We all kill the child and we all die with it. Every event has innumerable causes and produces numberless effects. It is useless to keep accounts, nothing is traceable.

Q: Your people speak of karma and retribution.

M: It is merely a gross approximation: in reality we are all creators and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other’s burden.

Q: So, the innocent suffers for the guilty?

M: In our ignorance we are innocent; in our actions we are guilty. We sin without knowing and suffer without understanding. Our only hope: to stop, to look, to understand and to get out of the traps of memory. For memory feeds imagination and imagination generates desire and fear.

Q: Why do I imagine at all?

M: The light of consciousness passes through the film of memory and throws pictures on your brain. Because of the deficient and disordered state of your brain, what you perceive is distorted and coloured by feelings of like and dislike. Make your thinking orderly and free from emotional overtones, and you will see people and things as they are, with clarity and charity.

The witness of birth, life and death is one and the same. It is the witness of pain and of love. For while the existence in limitation and separation is sorrowful, we love it. We love it and hate it at the same time. We fight, we kill, we destroy life and property and yet we are affectionate and self-sacrificing. We nurse the child tenderly and orphan it too. Our life is full of contradictions. Yet we cling to it. This clinging is at the root of everything. Still, it is entirely superficial. We hold on to something or somebody, with all our might and next moment we forget it; like a child that shapes its mud-pies and abandons them light-heartedly. Touch them—it will scream with anger, divert the child and he forgets them. For our life is now, and the love of it is now. We love variety, the play of pain and pleasure, we are fascinated by contrasts. For this we need the opposites and their apparent separation. We enjoy them for a time and then get tired and crave for the peace and silence of pure being. The cosmic heart beats ceaselessly. I am the witness and the heart too.

Q: I can see the picture, but who is the painter? Who is responsible for this terrible and yet adorable experience?

M: The painter is in the picture. You separate the painter from the picture and look for him. Don’t separate and don’t put false questions. Things are as they are and nobody in particular is responsible. The idea of personal responsibility comes from the illusion of agency. ‘Somebody must have done it, somebody is responsible’. Society as it is now, with its framework of laws and customs, is based on the idea of a separate and responsible personality, but this is not the only form a society can take. There may be other forms, where the sense of separation is weak and responsibility diffused.

Q: An individual with a weak sense of personality— is he nearer self-realisation?

M: Take the case of a young child. The sense of ‘I-am’ is not yet formed, the personality is rudimentary. The obstacles to self-knowledge are few, but the power and the clarity of awareness, its width and depth are lacking. In the course of years awareness will grow stronger, but also the latent personality will emerge and obscure and complicate. Just as the harder the wood, the hotter the flame, so the stronger the personality, brighter the light generated from its destruction.

Q: Have you no problems?

M: I do have problems. I told you already. To be, to exist with a name and form is painful, yet I love it.

Q: But you love everything!

M: In existence everything is contained. My very nature is to love; even the painful is lovable.

Q: It does not make it less painful. Why not remain in the unlimited?

M: It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to see adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alteration of being and becoming is inevitable; but my home is beyond.

Q: Is your home in God?

M: To love and worship a god is also ignorance. My home is beyond all notions, however sublime.

Q: But God is not a notion! It is the reality beyond existence.

M: You may use any word you like. Whatever you may think of I am beyond it.

Q: Once you know your home, why not stay in it? What takes you out of it?

M: Out of love for corporate existence one is born and once born, one gets involved in destiny. Destiny is inseparable from becoming. The desire to be the particular makes you into a person with all its personal past and future. Look at some great man, what a wonderful man he was! And yet how troubled was his life and limited its fruits. How utterly dependent is the personality of man and how indifferent is its world. And yet we love it and protect it for its very insignificance.

Q: The war is on and there is chaos and you are being asked to take charge of a feeding centre. You are given what is needed, it is only a question of getting through the job. Will you refuse it?

M: To work, or not to work, is one and the same to me. I may take charge, or may not. There may be others, better endowed for such tasks, than I am —professional caterers for instance. But my attitude is different. I do not look at death as a calamity as I do not rejoice at the birth of a child. The child is out for trouble while the dead is out of it. Attachment to life is attachment to sorrow. We love what gives us pain. Such is our nature.

For me the moment of death will be a moment of jubilation, not of fear. I cried when I was born and I shall die laughing.

Q: What is the change in consciousness at the moment of death?

M: What change do you expect? When the film projection ends all remains the same as when it started. The state before you were born was also the state after death, if you remember.

Q: I remember nothing.

M: Because you never tried. It is only a question of tuning in the mind. It requires training, of course.

Q: Why don’t you take part in social work?

M: But I am doing nothing else all the time! And what is the social work you want me to do? Patchwork is not for me. My stand is clear: produce to distribute, feed before you eat, give before you take, think of others before you think of yourself. Only a selfless society based on sharing can be stable and happy. This is the only practical solution. If you do not want it—fight.

Q: It is all a matter of gunas. Where tamas and rajas predominate, there must be war. Where sattva rules, there will be peace.

M: Put it whichever way you like, it comes to the same. Society is built on motives. Put goodwill into the foundations and you will not need specialised social workers.

Q: The world is getting better.

M: The world had all the time to get better, yet it did not. What hope is there for the future? Of course, there have been and will be periods of harmony and peace, when sattva was in ascendance, but things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays. From the summit all roads lead downwards. Societies are like people—they are born, they grow to some point of relative perfection and then decay and die.

Q: Is there not a state of absolute perfection which does not decay?

M: Whatever has a beginning must have an end. In the timeless all is perfect, here and now.

Q: But shall we reach the timeless in due course?

M: In due course we shall come back to the starting point. Time cannot take us out of time, as space cannot take us out of space. All you get by waiting is more waiting. Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. The secret is in action—here and now. It is your behaviour that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect—whatever your idea of perfection may be. All you need is courage.

Q: Where do I find such courage?

M: In yourself, of course. Look within.

Q: Your grace will help.

M: My grace is telling you now: look within. All you need you have. Use it. Behave as best you know, do what you think you should. Don’t be afraid of mistakes; you can always correct them, only intentions matter. The shape things take is not within your power; the motives of your actions are.

Q: How can action born from imperfection lead to perfection?

M: Action does not lead to perfection; perfection is expressed in action. As long as you judge yourself by your expressions give them utmost attention; when you realise your own being, your behaviour will be perfect—spontaneously.

Q: If I am timelessly perfect, then why was I born at all? What is the purpose of this life?

M: It is like asking: what does it profit gold to be made into an ornament? The ornament gets the colour and the beauty of gold; gold is not enriched. Similarly, reality expressed in action makes the action meaningful and beautiful.

Q: What does the real gain through its expressions?

M: What can it gain? Nothing whatsoever. But it is in the nature of love to express itself, to affirm itself, to overcome difficulties. Once you have understood that the world is love in action, you will look at it quite differently. But first your attitude to suffering must change. Suffering is primarily a call for attention, which itself is a movement of love. More than happiness, love wants growth, the widening and deepening of consciousness and being. Whatever prevents becomes a cause of pain, and love does not shirk from pain. Sattva, the energy that works for righteousness and orderly development, must not be thwarted. When obstructed it turns against itself and becomes destructive. Whenever love is withheld and suffering allowed to spread, war becomes inevitable. Our indifference to our neighbour’s sorrow brings suffering to our door.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From I Am That, Chapter 82

Pure Is-ness – Osho

There is a Sufi song:

A lover knocked at the door of his beloved. A voice cried, “Who is there?” The person outside said, “It is I.” He heard in reply, “This house has no place for two, ‘I’ and ‘Thou’.”

The closed door remained closed. The lover retreated into a forest. There he made penance, observed fasts, and offered prayers. After many years, he returned and again knocked on the closed door. Again the voice asked, “Who is there?”

This time the doors were thrown open, for his reply was, “It is thou.”

This reply, “It is thou”, is the essence of all religion. On the endlessly flowing river of life, “I” is the only bubble. “I” alienates the individual from existence. The bubble of “I” thinks itself distinct from the river, whereas in reality the bubble has no separate existence. It has no separate center, no separate life. It is the ocean. The ocean is its life. Its very existence is in and through the ocean. Even the idea of its being separate from the ocean is ignorance. Look into the bubble, and you find the ocean. Look into the ‘I’, and you find Brahman.

Where ‘I’ does not exist, ‘Thou’ too is absent. There is only ‘being’. Only existence, pure is-ness is there. To awaken into this pure existence is nirvana.

-OSHO

Excerpt from Seeds of Wisdom, Chapter Eight

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

 

Zen: Twenty-four Carat Gold – Osho

Maneesha, perhaps Zen is the only path that has led thousands of people to the ultimate reality. And in a way, it is so simple. There have been arduous ways, there have been self-torturing systems of belief. There are religions which are nothing but moralities, which are very temporary, having no relationship to the ultimate values of existence.

Zen is not a morality. It never talks about right and wrong. It never talks about the saint and the sinner. It is so respectful of reality that nothing in the whole of history can be compared with this respectfulness. It is not only respectful to human beings, but to this cricket, to these cuckoos, to these crows. Wherever life is, the Zen experience is that it is the same life. There is no categorization; nobody is lower or higher, but just different forms of the abundance of existence. It blossoms in many forms, in many colors; it dances in many ways and in many forms, but hidden within it is the same eternal principle.

Zen does not belong to the ordinary category of religions either, because it has no theology, no God, none of the nonsense questions which have troubled people for centuries. It has reduced the whole of religiousness to a single point within you. These anecdotes again and again reinforce the same point. Remember, the ultimate is within you but it is not within your mind. It is beyond the mind but within you.

Mind is a small corner in you, a small mechanism. It is useful, if you understand its ways of working; but it is otherwise dangerous, because it tends to take possession of you, to become the master, and to lead you into the ways of power, money and prestige. You are lost in a jungle of desires, longings; you live thirsty and you die thirsty, while the source of all fulfillment is within you.

Zen cuts all nonsense out. It is twenty-four carat gold, no mixture. That makes it very simple and also very difficult. It is difficult, because the simple is the most difficult thing in the world to understand. It is simple because it does not require you to do anything at all. Just sit silently, settle within yourself, and you have arrived at the place which is your home and has been always your home. It is your very being.

-OSHO

From Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, Chapter Five

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.