A Dream Within a Dream – Osho

You do not exist even in dream. You must sometimes have dreamed a dream within a dream. You dream that you are going to bed, you have fallen asleep and you are dreaming a dream.

There is an old Chinese story: A woodcutter was cutting wood in a jungle. He was tired, so he came down from the tree and fell asleep. He dreamed that nearby lay buried a great treasure of diamonds and gold in huge pots that were lightly covered with dirt. In his dream he thought that he would come at night and remove the treasure quietly. If he removed it in the daytime he might be caught. He was a poor man and the treasure was worth millions. When he awoke, he buried a stick to mark the place and returned home.

When it became dark, he went back to the spot. He found the stick in place but the pots had been removed. He went back and told his wife, “I don’t understand whether I dreamed about the treasure or actually saw it. The stick is there all right, and there are holes where the pots were, so it is certainly not just a dream. But someone has removed the pots.”

His wife replied, “It must be a dream. You must also have dreamed that you went out at night and saw the stick in the ground, and that there was an empty place where the pots were supposed to be. So go back to sleep and sleep in peace.”

But it happened that another man also dreamed that he saw these very pots buried in the same place, and that a woodcutter had buried a stick to mark the place. When he got up from his sleep he ran to the place. He found the stick in the ground and also the vessels underneath! He removed the pots and brought them home. He told his wife, “I cannot understand whether I dreamed a dream or I actually saw a vision.  Whatever it is, I have brought the pots home. They are proof that it is not just a dream. I must actually have seen the woodcutter burying the stick and therefore I knew where the treasure was.”

His wife said, “The pots are here. That much is clear. But if you actually saw the woodcutter marking the spot, it isn’t right that we should keep this treasure. Take the pots to the king and let him decide.”

He was an honest man, so he took the pots to the king’s court where the woodcutter had already lodged a complaint. The king was perplexed. Finally he told them, “It is very difficult to decide whether you were asleep or awake, so I shall divide the treasure equally between you both, for the pots are very much there.” So he divided the treasure between them.

That night the king told his wife, “A very strange thing happened today: Two men dreamed the same dream. Now it is difficult to decide whether they dreamed or whether they really saw the treasure. But the pots of treasure were actually there, so I divided them equally between them.” The queen said, “Go to sleep, you must be dreaming.”

For thousands of years this was discussed in China – did they dream it or not? Who actually dreamed? But this is what happens by the time we reach the end of life. All of life seems like a dream. It is difficult to decide whether the stick was really there and whether the pots were really buried; whether the wife and children ever existed, or friends and foes; whether there was poverty or riches; whether there was conflict and competition; whether we really lost or won, were successful or unsuccessful. At the time of death all events pass before a man like a dream. Did we really live, or was it only a dream?

Those who have known say, “This is a dream dreamed with open eyes.” It is a dream because it has no relation to that which is. This is an intermediary state of imagination; it is merely a thought. It makes no difference whether you saw it when asleep or when awake. The characteristic of a dream is that it is here one moment and gone the next. At the time of death all is lost…

-OSHO

Excerpt from The True Name, Chapter Fifteen

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The True Name

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

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

 

What Am I Looking For – Osho

What am I looking for? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-OSHO

From Unio Mystica, V.2, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Unio Mystica, V.2

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

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

Awareness – J. Krishnamurti

j-krishnamurtiQuestioner: I should like to know what you mean by awareness because you have often said that awareness is really what your teaching is about. I’ve tried to understand it by listening to your talks and reading your books, but I don’t seem to get very far. I know it is not a practice, and I understand why you so emphatically repudiate any kind of practice, drill, system, discipline or routine. I see the importance of that, for otherwise it becomes mechanical, and at the end of it the mind has become dull and stupid. I should like, if I may, to explore with you to the very end this question of what it means to be aware. You seem to give some extra, deeper meaning to this word, and yet it seems to me that we are aware of what’s going on all the time. When I’m angry I know it, when I’m sad I know it and when I’m happy I know it.

Krishnamurti: I wonder if we really are aware of anger, sadness, happiness? Or are we aware of these things only when they are all over? Let us begin as though we know nothing about it at all and start from scratch. Let us not make any assertions, dogmatic or subtle, but let us explore this question which, if one really went into it very deeply, would reveal an extraordinary state that the mind had probably never touched, a dimension not touched by superficial awareness. Let us start from the superficial and work through. We see with our eyes, we perceive with our senses the things about us – the colour of the flower, the humming bird over the flower the light of this Californian sun, the thousand sounds of different qualities and subtleties, the depth and the height, the shadow of the tree and the tree itself. We feel in the same way our own bodies, which are the instruments of these different kinds of superficial, sensory perceptions. If these perceptions remained at the superficial level there would be no confusion at all. That flower, that pansy, that rose, are there, and that’s all there is to it. There is no preference, no comparison, no like and dislike, only the thing before us without any psychological involvement. Is all this superficial sensory perception or awareness quite clear? It can be expanded to the stars, to the depth of the seas, and to the ultimate frontiers of scientific observation, using all the instruments of modern technology.

Questioner: Yes, I think I understand that.

Krishnamurti: So you see that the rose and all the universe and the people in it, your own wife if you have one, the stars, the seas, the mountains, the microbes, the atoms, the neutrons, this room, the door, really are there. Now, the next step; what you think about these things, or what you feel about them, is your psychological response to them. And this we call thought or emotion. So the superficial awareness is a very simple matter: the door is there. But the description of the door is not the door, and when you get emotionally involved in the description you don’t see the door. This description might be a word or a scientific treatise or a strong emotional response; none of these is the door itself. This is very important to understand right from the beginning. If we don’t understand this we shall get more and more confused. The description is never the described. Though we are describing something even now, and we have to, the thing we are describing is not our description of it, so please bear this in mind right through our talk. Never confuse the word with the thing it describes. The word is never the real, and we are easily carried away when we come to the next stage of awareness where it becomes personal and we get emotional through the word.

So there is the superficial awareness of the tree, the bird, the door, and there is the response to that, which is thought, feeling, emotion. Now when we become aware of this response, we might call it a second depth of awareness. There is the awareness of the rose, and the awareness of the response to the rose. Often we are unaware of this response to the rose. In reality it is the same awareness which sees the rose and which sees the response. It is one movement and it is wrong to speak of the outer and inner awareness. When there is a visual awareness of the tree without any psychological involvement there is no division in relationship. But when there is a psychological response to the tree, the response is a conditioned response, it is the response of past memory, past experiences, and the response is a division in relationship. This response is the birth of what we shall call the “me” in relationship and the “non-me”. This is how you place yourself in relationship to the world. This is how you create the individual and the community. The world is seen not as it is, but in its various relationships to the “me” of memory. This division is the life and the flourishing of everything we call our psychological being, and from this arises all contradiction and division. Are you very clear that you perceive this? When there is the awareness of the tree there is no evaluation. But when there is a response to the tree, when the tree is judged with like and dislike, then a division takes place in this awareness as the “me” and the “non-me”, the “me” who is different from the thing observed. This “me” is the response, in relationship, of past memory, past experiences. Now can there be an awareness, an observation of the tree, without any judgement, and can there be an observation of the response, the reactions, without any judgement? In this way we eradicate the principle of division, the principle of “me” and “non-me”, both in looking at the tree and in looking at ourselves.

Questioner: I’m trying to follow you. Let’s see if I have got it right. There is an awareness of the tree, that I understand. There is a psychological response to the tree, that I understand also. The psychological response is made up of past memories and past experiences, it is like and dislike, it is the division into the tree and the “me”. Yes, I think I understand all that.

Krishnamurti: Is this as clear as the tree itself, or is it simply the clarity of description? Remember, as we have already said, the described is not the description. What have you got, the thing or its description?

Questioner: I think it is the thing.

Krishnamurti: Therefore there is no “me” who is the description in the seeing of this fact. In the seeing of any fact there is no “me”. There is either the “me” or the seeing, there can’t be both. “Me” is non-seeing. The “me” cannot see, cannot be aware. Questioner: May I stop here? I think I’ve got the feeling of it, but I must let it sink in. May I come again tomorrow?

* * *

Questioner: I think I have really understood, non-verbally, what you said yesterday. There is the awareness of the tree, there is the conditioned response to the tree, and this conditioned response is conflict, it is the action of memory and past experiences, it is like and dislike, it is prejudice. I also understand that this response of prejudice is the birth of what we call the “me” or the censor. I see clearly that the “me”, the “I”, exists in all relationships. Now is there an “I” outside of relationships?

Krishnamurti: We have seen how heavily conditioned our responses are. When you ask if there is a “me” outside of relationship, it becomes a speculative question as long as there is no freedom from these conditioned responses. Do you see that? So our first question is not whether there is a “me” or not outside of conditioned responses, but rather, can the mind, in which is included all our feelings, be free of this conditioning, which is the past? The past is the “me”. There is no “me” in the present. As long as the mind is operating in the past there is the “me”, and the mind is this past, the mind is this “me”.

You can’t say there is the mind and there is the past, whether it is the past of a few days ago or of ten thousand years ago. So we are asking: can the mind free itself from yesterday? Now there are several things involved, aren’t there? First of all there is a superficial awareness. Then there is the awareness of the conditioned response. Then there is the realization that the mind is the past, the mind is this conditioned response. Then there is the question whether this mind can free itself of the past. And all this is one unitary action of awareness because in this there are no conclusions. When we say the mind is the past, this realization is not a verbal conclusion but an actual perception of fact. The French have a word for such a perception of a fact, they call it “constatation”. When we ask whether the mind can be free of the past is this question being asked by the censor, the “me”, who is that very past?

Questioner: Can the mind be free of the past.

Krishnamurti: Who is putting that question? Is it the entity who is the result of a great many conflicts, memories and experiences – is it he who is asking – or does this question arise of itself, out of the perception of the fact? If it is the observer who is putting the question, then he is trying to escape from the fact of himself, because, he says, I have lived so long in pain, in trouble, in sorrow, I should like to go beyond this constant struggle. If he asks the question from that motive his answer will be a taking refuge in some escape. One either turns away from a fact or one faces it. And the word and the symbol are a turning away from it. In fact, just to ask this question at all is already an act of escape, is it not? Let us be aware whether this question is or is not an act of escape. If it is, it is noise. If there is no observer, then there is silence, a complete negation of the whole past. Questioner: Here I am lost. How can I wipe away the past in a few seconds?

Krishnamurti: Let us bear in mind that we are discussing awareness. We are talking over together this question of awareness.

There is the tree, and the conditioned response to the tree, which is the “me” in relationship, the “me” who is the very centre of conflict. Now is it this “me” who is asking the question? – this “me” who, as we have said, is the very structure of the past? If the question is not asked from the structure of the past, if the question is not asked by the “me”, then there is no structure of the past. When the structure is asking the question it is operating in relationship to the fact of itself, it is frightened of itself and it acts to escape from itself. When this structure does not ask the question, it is not acting in relationship to itself. To recapitulate: there is the tree, there is the word, the response to the tree, which is the censor, or the “me”, which comes from the past; and then there is the question: can I escape from all this turmoil and agony? If the “me” is asking this question it is perpetuating itself.

Now, being aware of that, it doesn’t ask the question! Being aware and seeing all the implications of it, the question cannot be asked. It does not ask the question at all because it sees the trap. Now do you see that all this awareness is superficial? It is the same as the awareness which sees the tree.

Questioner: Is there any other kind of awareness? Is there any other dimension to awareness? Krishnamurti: Again let’s be careful, let’s be very clear that we are not asking this question with any motive. If there is a motive we are back in the trap of conditioned response. When the observer is wholly silent, not made silent, there is surely a different quality of awareness coming into being?

Questioner: What action could there possibly be in any circumstances without the observer – what question or what action?

Krishnamurti: Again, are you asking this question from this side of the river, or is it from the other bank? If you are on the other bank, you will not ask this question; if you are on that bank, your action will be from that bank. So there is an awareness of this bank, with all its structure, its nature and all its traps, and to try to escape from the trap is to fall into another trap. And what deadly monotony there is in all that! Awareness has shown us the nature of the trap, and therefore there is the negation of all traps; so the mind is now empty. It is empty of the “me” and of the trap. This mind has a different quality, a different dimension of awareness. This awareness is not aware that it is aware.

Questioner: My God, this is too difficult. You are saying things that seem true, that sound true, but I’m not there yet. Can you put it differently? Can you push me out of my trap? 9

Krishnamurti: Nobody can push you out of your trap – no guru, no drug, no mantra, nobody, including myself – nobody, especially myself. All that you have to do is to be aware from the beginning to the end, not become inattentive in the middle of it. This new quality of awareness is attention, and in this attention there is no frontier made by the “me”. This attention is the highest form of virtue, therefore it is love. It is supreme intelligence, and there cannot be attention if you are not sensitive to the structure and the nature of these man-made traps.

-J. Krishnamurti

From The Urgency of Change, Chapter One

 

On Considering the Story of Sisyphus – Anand Amido

dsc_0026On considering the story of Sisyphus, an ancient Greek, destined to forever push his rock up a hill, resonated this morning.  Thinking about this story has filled many a lapse in attention.  To begin with, what a waste of time, how dedicated, how stubborn, how relentless rattled around the paltry brain but today the inter-relatedness of the two emerged.  Sisyphus would have been unable to accomplish his life’s work without the friendly rock.  No rolling down, no pushing up.

Years and years of grappling with the rock’s surface must have engendered in both of them friendliness, compassion for each other’s task, even love for the skill of the other.  Perhaps the rock felt playful on some days, giving Sisyphus a break, wiggling to stay in place while he wiped his sweaty brow or downed a much needed snack.  Other days, perhaps the rock dug in its heels and refused to budge causing Sisyphus to despair, rage, weep and possibly, ultimately, laugh.  Some days Sisyphus may have handled the rock with appreciation for the handholds provided by its ridged surface.  Others he blamed it for his ceaseless, apparently futile, labor.  Day after day, what goes up must come down, toiling in frustration, joy, pain, anger, impatience, even love, in all weathers of emotion and the elements.

Is there a deeper meaning to this tale? Sisyphus is attempting to rise.  He is putting his life on the line.  There is nothing more important to him than to reach the peak.  To do so, he must struggle against gravity, the world, all that attempts to return him to a base condition.  Is the rock totally indifferent to its position?  Would it prefer to be the peak or the base?  Its level of cooperation bespeaks indifference.

And so it is!  Engagement with the world is colored by demands and desires.  It cares not, playfully tossing the waves of humanity this way and that.  The conundrums faced provide the strength, and determination to continue on (provided self-pity is not indulged in overly)!

-Anand Amido

Much More is Possible – Osho

To me, your discourses feel like an inside deep cleaning. Whatever load of pain, anger, or any negative feeling I carry with me when I come into discourse, it has disappeared when I walk out, and I feel light and refreshed. Sometimes, it doesn’t take me long to create another one, but I know it is not going to last longer than the end of the next discourse. When away from you, although I used to meditate every day, things were taking much longer to disappear. Can you comment?

Away from me you were trying to meditate, and that doer was your disturbance.

With me… I am not even telling you to meditate. I am just talking to you and creating a certain atmosphere in which meditation happens to you.

So while you are here, see the difference between doing and happening. Alone also, let it happen. If you become accustomed to my voice, perhaps you can put on the tape recorder: forget about meditation; you just listen and the meditation will come. And, slowly, slowly, this coming of meditation can be detached from listening to me.

You can sit by the side of the sea and listen to the waves crashing on the shore – so joyfully, so dancingly they come, and they have been doing that for millennia and they are not tired yet. Just listen to them. Or sitting under a tree, just listen to the birds, or the wind blowing through the tree.

Slowly, slowly, get rid of listening too. Just sit silently – because that listening was only a device. This is only a device to help you avoid doing. But the device is only for the beginning; soon you have to drop the device and it will be happening anywhere you are, and it will cleanse you the same way it does here.

And remember one thing: if it cleanses you that does not mean you have to be careless about collecting the garbage again because you know in meditation it will be cleaned away. You are using meditation for a very small job. It is not meant for that.

I have heard – it happened in Burma after the Second World War – a small airplane was left in the forest. The Japanese were surrendering, but a few stubborn samurais still wanted to fight, so they escaped in an airplane. Then they left the airplane in the forest, and were hiding somewhere in the forest.

But a tribe lived there, a very ancient tribe. They had seen airplanes in the sky, but they could not connect the two things, that this was the same thing they had called “the great bird.” They tried to figure it out: “What is it? It has wheels, so one thing is certain, it is a vehicle.”

They used it with two horses as a bullock cart. And it was working well and they were very happy: “This is great!” Then somebody who had been to the city, said, ”You don’t know – this is not a bullock cart, it is a car. Just… I don’t understand why these wings are there, but let me try…” And he tried, and it started.

Then they started using it as a car, and the man suggested, “You will need fuel, so somebody who goes to the city should bring fuel. No horses, no bullocks are needed, just fill it with fuel and use it as a car.” And they were immensely happy.

Then a man who had been in the army passed by and he said, “What are you doing! You are using a small aircraft as a car? This can fly.”

They could not believe it. They asked, “Is it a great bird?”

He said, “Yes,” and he was a pilot, so he showed them how to fly it.

Meditation can be used as a bullock cart – and that’s how you are using it, just cleaning the rubbish that you accumulate. But you will accumulate that rubbish every day and you will have to clean it every day. Meditation is a great bird, and you are using it for something it is not meant for, although it can do that work too.

So when it cleanses your burden, be careful not to collect it again. What is the need to collect the burden? – Just unawareness. And what you collect is all rubbish. You know it – that’s why, when through meditation it is cleaned away, you feel fresh. So why destroy your freshness? Don’t collect it. And the way is to be more alert, to be more meditative, even while you are doing other things. It is a great defense, it won’t allow any rubbish to collect. And slowly, slowly, you will be collecting less, and one day you will find, between two meditations, that you have not collected anything.

Now the bullock cart can become a motor car – and there is a great distance between the two. Now you don’t need the bullocks or the horses to carry it, and it can go faster. Now you have speed; otherwise, you can do the same thing every day and you will die the same.

And when there is nothing else to cleanse, then the meditation, your energy, starts rising up because there is no work on the ground. You can take off. You can become a bird in the inner sky. Then it will not be only refreshing, it will be growth. You will be growing, maturing, getting more centered, becoming more individual. And the higher you will go, the more and more you will see new things happening to you – the spring coming to you and the grass growing all around. The whole of life becomes so green, so full of juice.

You have found the way – now go on. There is so much to discover. It is your own territory you have forgotten, your own empire that you have forgotten. Remember it. The remembrance will come also by itself.

So what is happening is good, but not good enough. Much more is possible. Don’t be satisfied with small things.

Unless you have come to a point where you feel absolutely contented, don’t stop. That is the culmination of evolution, where each individual becomes a god.

-OSHO

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 24

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Path of the Mystic

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.

All and Nothing Mean the Same – Osho

You said that really there is no one inside us, there is only a void, an emptiness, but then why do you often call it the being, the center?

 Being or non-being, nothing or all – they look contradictory but they both mean the same. All and nothing mean the same. In dictionaries they are opposites but in life they are not. Nobody understands. Look at it in this way: if I say that I love all, or if I say that I love no one, it means the same. If I love someone, then only is there a difference. If I love all, it means the same as loving no one. There is no difference then. The difference is always in degrees, relative. And these are both two extremes, they have no degrees: the total and the zero have no degrees. So you can call the total a zero, or you can call a zero the total. That’s why some enlightened persons have called the inner space emptiness, sunya, the void, nothingness, non-being, anatma – and some have called it the inner being, the absolute being, the Brahma, atma, the supreme self. These are the two ways to describe it. One is positive, the other is negative. Either you have to include all or have to exclude all – you cannot describe it with any term which is relative. An absolute term is needed.

Both the contradictory poles are absolute terms.

But there have been some enlightened persons who have remained totally silent. They have not called it anything, because whatsoever you call it – whether you call it being or non-being – the moment you give it a name, a term, a word, you have erred, because it includes both.

For example, if you say, “God is alive,” or “God is life,” it is meaningless, because then who will be death? He includes all. He must have death in him as completely as life, otherwise to whom will death belong? And if death belongs to someone else and life belongs to God – then there are two Gods, and then there will be many problems which cannot be solved. God must be both life and death. God must be both the creator and the destroyer. If you say God is the creator, then who is the destroyer? If you say God is good, then who will be evil? Because of this difficulty, Christians, Zoroastrians, and many other religions have created a Devil side by side with God, because to whom will the evil belong? They have created a Devil. But nothing is solved – the problem is only pushed one step back because then it can be relevantly asked, “Who has created the Devil?” If God himself creates the Devil, then he is responsible. And if the Devil is something independent, not related to God, then he himself becomes a God, a supreme power. And if God has not created the Devil, how can God destroy him? It is impossible. Theologians go on giving some answers to a question but that answer again creates more questions.

God created Adam, then Adam became evil. He was expelled. He disobeyed God and he was expelled from the heavenly world. It has been asked again and again, and relevantly, why did Adam become evil? The possibility must have been created by God in him – the possibility to be evil, to go wrong, to disobey. If there was no possibility, no inherent tendency, then how could Adam go wrong?

God must have created the tendency. And if the tendency for evil was there, another thing is also certain: the tendency to overcome it was not so strong. The tendency to fight it was not so strong. The evil tendency was stronger. Who created this strength? No one except God can be responsible. Then the whole thing seems to be a hoax. God creates Adam: he creates an evil tendency in him, a strong evil tendency which he cannot control; then he goes wrong; then he is punished. God should be punished, not Adam! Or, you have to accept that some other force exists side by side with God.

And that other force must be stronger than God, because the evil can tempt Adam and God cannot protect him. The Devil can provoke and seduce and God cannot protect. The Devil seems to be a stronger God.

There is a church, recently born in America, called the church of Satan, the church of the Devil. They have a high priest, just like the pope of the Vatican. And they say that history proves that the real God is the Devil. And they look logical. They say, “Your God, the God of good, has always been defeated, and the Devil has always been the victorious. The whole of history proves it. So why worship a weak God who cannot protect you? It is better to follow a strong God who can seduce you but who can protect you also – because he is stronger.” The church of the Devil is now a growing church. And they seem logical. This is what history proves.

This duality – to save God from the negative pole – creates problems. In India we have not created the other pole. We say God is both: the creator and the destroyer, the good and the bad. This is difficult to conceive of because the moment we say “God” we cannot conceive of him being bad. But in India we have tried to penetrate the deepest mystery of existence – that is, oneness. Somehow, good and bad, life and death, negative and positive, meet somewhere, and that meeting point is existence, oneness. What will you call that meeting point? Either you will have to use a positive term, or a negative one, because we don’t have any other terms. If you use positive terms, then you call it “Being” with a capital B – God, Absolute, Brahma. Or if you want to use s negative term, then you call it nirvana, nothingness, sunya, non-being, anatma. Both indicate the same. It is both and your inner being is also both. That is why sometimes I call it being, and sometimes I call it non-being. It is both. It depends on you. If the positive appeals to you, then call it being. If the negative appeals to you, then call it non-being. It depends on you. Whatsoever feels good, whatsoever you feel will give you maturity, growth, evolution, call it that.

There are two types of persons: one who cannot feel any affinity with negativity and the other who cannot feel any affinity with the positive. Buddha is the negative type. He cannot feel affinity with the positive, he feels affinity with the negative. He uses all negative terms. Shankara doesn’t feel affinity with the negative. He talks about the ultimate reality in positive terms. Both say the same thing. Buddha calls it sunya, and Shankara calls it Brahma. Buddha calls it the void, nothing, and Shankara calls it the Absolute, the All. But they are saying exactly the same thing.

Ramanuja, one of Shankara’s greatest critics, says that Shankara is just a hidden Buddhist. He is not a Hindu, he only appears to be because he uses positive terms. That is all the difference there is. Wherever Buddha says nothing, he says Brahma – all else is the same. Ramanuja says that Shankara is the great destroyer of Hinduism because he has brought Buddhism in from the back door by just using a trick – wherever a negative term is used, he uses a positive term, that’s all. He calls him a Prachhana-Bouddha, a crypto-Buddhist. And he is right in a way because there is no difference. The message is the same.

So it depends on you. If you feel an affinity with silence, nothingness, then call that great being Emptiness. If you don’t feel an affinity, if you feel afraid, then call that emptiness The Great Being.

But then your techniques will be different. If you feel scared with emptiness, aloneness, nothingness, then the four techniques I talked about last night will not be of much use to you. Forget them. There are other methods about which I have been talking. Use positive techniques.

But if you are ready and have the courage to be supportless, to move into emptiness, alone, ready to cease completely, then these four techniques will help you tremendously. It depends on you.

-OSHO

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 80

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

The Book of Secrets

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.

Forget All About the World – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-OSHO

From The Rebellious Spirit, Chapter 14

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho's mulshree tree

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

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