This State of No Thought is Meditation – Osho

Thus, by meditation, they achieve the ultimate reality, which is unthinkable, unmanifest, the one of endless forms, the ever-auspicious, the peaceful, the immortal, the origin of the creator, the one without a beginning, a middle and an end, the only one, the non-dual, the all-pervading, the consciousness, the bliss, the formless, the wonderful.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

This sutra is basically concerned with meditation: What is to be attained by meditation? What is meditation, and for what does it stand?

The Hindi word for meditation is dhyana; the connotation is very different. By meditation, one thing is meant in English; by dhyana something else is meant. So first we must understand the basic difference between these two words. Meditation is not a right translation, because by meditation thinking is implied. When we say someone is meditating, it means someone is thinking about something. In meditation an object is implied. In dhyan, no-object is a basic condition. By dhyan is meant a meditative mood without any object.

Objects must cease, mind must become just a pure mirror – a mirroring, not mirroring anything – just a mirror without any object in it, a pure mirror. By dhyan, this purity of the mind is indicated.

So first, no object should be in the mind. Mind must remain alone without thinking about anything – with no thought, just a consciousness, just an awareness, just an alertness. This alertness without any object is meditation.

So go on dropping objects. Even if one has to use some object as a help to withdraw other objects from the mind, that one object has to be dropped ultimately. Unless that is dropped, it is not meditation.

For example, there are many thoughts in the mind. You can use a mantra; so now there are not many thoughts, just one thought. You can use a name – Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Maria, anything. You go on repeating, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.” Between two “Ramas” no gap should be left, because only from that gap a thought enters. If your “Ramas” go on overlapping each other there will be no gap for any thought to enter. Now you have a mind with one thought. It is still not meditation, it is still thinking – thinking one thought. Ultimately this “Rama” has to be dropped. When you have become attuned with one thought and other thoughts are not entering the mind, then drop it and remain without thought. Many thoughts have been dropped except one; then drop the one, so you come to a state of no-thought.

This state of no-thought is meditation.

This is dhyana, this is pure consciousness.

In this pure consciousness is achieved that which is known as Brahman. This sutra is concerned with the definition of that indefinable.

It cannot be defined, because definition needs something which becomes impossible with the ultimate reality – definition needs comparison. You cannot define anything without comparing it. That divine is non-dual; it is one, so no comparison is possible. How to define it?

Can you say that the divine is man, or woman? You cannot say, though many religions have defined it in that way. Some religions are man-oriented, so they define God as father. Some religions are woman-oriented, so they define God as mother. But He cannot be defined, because “man” and “woman”… these words are relevant in human language; they become irrelevant for the whole universe. The whole universe is neither male nor female. How to define it? What to say about it?

The moment we use any word to define it, it looks absurd, because every human word implies the contrary also. If you say, “He is light,” then where to put darkness? Then what is darkness? Either you will have to deny darkness absolutely from divine nature, or you will have to imply it somewhere; He must comprehend darkness also. So what to say about Him? – light or darkness? If you say both, they become meaningless. He is both, and He is not both. That is the problem; that’s why He cannot be defined. Every word implies duality: the polar opposite must be there to make the word meaningful. Every word, with the total existence, becomes meaningless.

But this sutra tries to define the indefinable – this is only an effort, it never succeeds. But it has to be made. Even in its unsuccessfulness it helps, it indicates. It may not be able to define the divine; it is capable of indicating it.

Wittgenstein has said somewhere, “There are experiences which cannot be said, but which can be shown.” And he is right. There are experiences – you cannot say what they are, but still, you can indicate them. This sutra is an indication.

Some terms have been used; one is: thus by meditation they achieve the ultimate reality, which is unthinkable – which cannot be thought. Why? – because thinking is not, is not something. It is a process of the known; it never leads to the unknown. The unknown is always beyond thinking: You can think something you know; how can you think something which you don’t know?

And then the whole of thinking becomes absurd. If you can think only that which you know, what is the use of it? You know already, so what is the use of thinking it? If only the known can be thought, then the whole process becomes circular: it leads nowhere, you go on in a circle. You know and you think; and you think and you cannot think the unknown. So you go on in a circle – mind works in a circle.

The mind never achieves anything from the unknown. So mind must cease, thinking must cease; this circle must be broken! You must come to a standstill: not thinking, not thinking at all. And the moment you are in a no-thinking state, suddenly you enter the unknown.

It is not only unknown but unknowable also, because even if you have known it, you cannot make it known to others. By your being, they may feel it – by your movements, by your gestures, by your eyes, by your very presence, they may feel it – but still you cannot make it known to them. You may create a thirst in them for it, but you cannot give them a definition. You may lead them towards it, but you cannot make it known to them – unless they know themselves.

This knowing of the unknown is basically, foundationally, an individual affair. It can never be made collective. You cannot go to it en masse. Alone one has to reach it; alone one has to drop oneself. Alone one has to enter it; alone one encounters it. It becomes known to you, but you cannot make it known to others.

That is the basic difference between science and religion.

A scientist discovers something, and then the discovery becomes that of the whole of humanity. But a religious mystic discovers, and the discovery remains his own. It never becomes a collective phenomenon. A Jesus knows, a Boehme knows, an Eckhart knows, but they are helpless; they cannot make it a common property. It cannot become an object of common knowing; humanity remains in the some grip of ignorance. Each one has to approach it by oneself.

The opening is individual; that’s why it is not only unknown by unknowable. And for one reason more, and that reason is still deeper: even if one comes to know it, one never knows it totally. Even when one comes to know it, no one knows it totally! So the unknowable is infinitely unknowable.

Even if you are satisfied, even if your thirst is no more, the infinite unknowability remains – that’s why it is mysterious. And it is good, and it is beautiful that it is so. Because if you can know the divine totally – if the very moment the divine has been known, you have known it totally – it becomes meaningless.

Anything known totally becomes a thing. Anything known totally creates boredom. Anything known totally will again create a new thirst to know something else.

But once the divine is known, no desire to know anything remains – because you can go on in your knowing . . . deeper, deeper, deeper, infinitely deeper; the abyss is endless. You have a beginning in it, but no end. You drop into it, and then you go on dropping, and there comes no substratum, no bottom where you can stand again and say, “Now the dropping has ended.”

This is the mystery. That’s why this sutra says: the formless, the wonderful . . . the mysterious – God is a mysterium. And when I way a mysterium, I mean that you can know it, but still you cannot say, “I have known it.” You can only say, “I have dropped into it”; you can only say, “I have ceased to be”; you can only say, “Now I am no more and He is.” But you cannot say, “I have known it.”

For one reason more it remains unknowable: because the knower is lost. The moment you enter the divine you don’t enter as a knower; you enter as a drop of water entering the ocean. You become one with it. The knower is not separate, so how can you say, ”I have known it”? How can you say that “I am,” still? You are not; only He is.

This is one of the riddles of religious experience: when the knower is lost, the known is known. When the knower is lost, only then knowledge happens.

Kabir has said, “I was searching and searching and searching. Now He is found but the searcher is not. Now He is there but where is Kabir?” The seeker is no more. There has never been a meeting between the seeker and the sought. Never a meeting! – because the two cannot be together. The seeking ends only when the seeker is lost, and only then the sought is found. You are, then He is not. When you are not, then He is; there is no meeting – or you can call this the meeting. This is the riddle of religious experience.

. . . which is unthinkable, unmanifest, the one of endless forms, the ever-auspicious, the peaceful, the immortal, the origin of the creator, the one without a beginning, a middle and an end, the only one, the non-dual, the all-pervading, the consciousness, the bliss, the formless, the wonderful . . . is known through meditation.

These are just indications, and every indication is a negative. Remember that – every indication is a negative. He is unthinkable – you cannot think about it. He is formless – he is without forms. He has no beginning, no middle, no end. He is non-dual – not two. All these are negatives.

Why use so much negativity for such a positive phenomenon as God? He is the positivity; He is the only positive force. Then why use so many negatives? – without form, without the other, everything – everything that has been used to indicate Him, has remained always negative. Why?

There are reasons. The moment you use a positive word, you create a limitation. If I say that He is beautiful, then the ugly is denied. If I say that He is light, then the darkness is denied. If I say that He is good, then the evil is denied. Whatsoever I say positively will deny something.

To use a negative term is to say that He is so infinite that we cannot use any positive term, because positivity becomes a limitation. We cannot say, “He is one”; rather, it is good to say, “He is not two.” It is better to say that He is not two; then He is left totally without any positive demarcation. If we say, “He is one,” then we have encircled Him.

In meditation, the deeper you go, the more deeply you will come to the positive. But when you want to express it, more and more you will have to use negative terms. The ultimate in using negative terms is Buddha. He has used for this ultimate experience the word nirvana. Nirvana simply means cessation. He has not used moksha, liberation, because it is positive; it says something. He has not used brahmalok; it is positive, it says something. He has not used bliss, consciousness – these are positive. He has simply said, nirvana – cessation of everything, nothingness. And he is right, absolutely right. In meditation you will achieve a positive experience. But when you are expressing it, you will have to use absolute negatives.

If we can create a world consciousness about this use of negatives, there will be no fight between religions. Every fight is because a religion has used something positive. This is strange, but one has to understand it. If you use the negative, then two negatives are never in conflict; but if you use two positives, then two positives are always in conflict.

For example, if Islam says that He is one, and Hinduism says that He is all, one begins to feel some conflict somewhere. Use negatives, and then there is no conflict. If you say that He is not two, then He can be both – He can be one and He can be all. When I say He is not two, I don’t deny that He is not all – He can be all. “He is not two” – He can be all. “He is not two” – He can be one. In saying He is not two, both ends – one and all – are implied. If religions are created around negatives, there will be less fight and more understanding.

In the West, all the three religions which have come out of Jewish mystics have all used positives. Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish religion have all used positives. That is one of the reasons they are mostly fighting religions – too much fighting, too much arrogance. They have never used negatives; they have used positive terms. A linguistic factor has created so much violence . . .

All the Indian religions have used negatives, more and more negatives. And Buddhism is exceptional; Buddhism has used absolute negatives. That’s why Buddhism has been one of the most non-fighting religions.

If you use a negative term to indicate the divine, there is no fight. If you use a positive term, a fight is bound to happen. Someone using another… then two positives are always in conflict. Two negatives are never in conflict. That’s why one other strange phenomenon can be understood: Two theists will always be in a fight, but two atheists will never be in a fight, so there are three hundred types of theists in the world, but only one type of atheist.

What is the reason? An atheist anywhere is the same. What is the reason? – the negative, because he stands only with one statement: that there is no God. So how can there be many types of no- Gods? Only one type, one negative, implies everything. The negative is a universal thing: an atheist anywhere – in Tibet, in Germany, in Japan, in China, anywhere – an atheist is simply an atheist. He stands on a negative.

But theists differ. village to village, neighborhood to neighborhood, theists differ. There are so many brands, and so many types, and so many creeds. Why? The moment you use a positive you have defined an area, and all else is excluded. Unless theists also begin to use negatives more, there will not be a universal religion. If theism also bases itself on a negative definition of the divine, then there can be a universal brotherhood.

Meditation leads you to all. But never define it as positive; always define it as nothingness. […]

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #23

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Meditate on the Untainted – Osho

They have undisturbed space, resting in a comfortable posture, clean and pure, with the neck head, and body in one line, held erect, in a mental attitude of sannyas, having controlled all the senses, saluting one’s own teacher, guru, devotedly, meditate within the lotus of the heart; the untainted, the pure, the clear and the transparent, the griefless principle of devotion.

-Kaivalya Upanishad

Meditation is a very complex phenomenon. It looks simple; it is not. It is a science, a complete science in itself. It is bound to be, because meditation means a deep mutation of your total being. The whole being has to be transformed, so it is obviously going to be a complex affair.

Man is a complexity; the mutation is bound to be also a complex thing. Some basic elements must be understood. One: your body – your body must be in a deep cooperation; otherwise, meditation will be unnecessarily difficult. Your body must be in such a state that it helps, not hinders. As it is ordinarily, it is a deep hindrance. Your body goes on hindering you; it becomes an obstacle, and if you want to transform, you must purify the body first. And by purifying the body many things are meant. First, you must not be identified with it; that is the first and the most basic impurity.

One must not be identified with one’s body. One must remain in a beyondness, in a transcendence. Neither one should think, “I am the body,” nor one should think, “I am in the body.” Rather, one should remain in a constant remembering: “I am something beyond the body – neither one with it, nor in it, nor within it, but beyond.” Constant remembrance that “I am beyond my body” gives a different dimension to your whole being. Try it, constantly! You are moving, walking, sleeping – whatsoever the state – remember constantly that you are as if something is hovering over the body, beyond the body. Not in it, not within it, not one with it, just something beyond, moving with the body, living with the body, enveloping the body.

Think of it this way. Ordinarily we think, “I am enveloped by the body.” That’s why the word “body” – body means that in which we are embodied. We are within and the body is without: “Body is a casket, a house, and I am in it. Change the thing totally, upside down. Let the body be in and you be out – beyond the body, hovering, enveloping.

If you can change this attitude from yourself being within, to yourself being beyond, you will feel a sudden change: your body will become light; all the heaviness will be gone and your body will become something with wings. You will feel that now you can fly; you can go now, any moment, beyond the forces of gravitation. Try it! From this very moment, begin to think that the body is within, and you are without, encompassing it. And then the body is purified. Why? – because identity becomes impossible. You can identify only with something which is greater than you. No one identifies himself with something which is lesser; identification is always with the greater. You are within a very small point and the body is big and great and everything; that’s why you begin to be identified. Let yourself be the greater one, and let the body be just a minor thing. You will never be identified with it.

Secondly, if you are within, you will have limits; if you are without, you become unlimited. If I am within my body, then I am encircled by my body, I have a finitude, a limitation. If I am beyond my body, then there is no limitation; then I am not only beyond my body, I am beyond all. Then there is no ending to it – then suns will rise in me, stars will move in me, creations will come in me and go out and will cease – then I become the whole universe. Body becomes the center – just a minor center, an atomic existence – and I become the whole universe, encompassing it.

Heidegger has used this word “encompassing.” It is beautiful – encompassing. Feel it, try it, imagine it, and you will come to a new understanding of your own being. When I say imagine it, I say it consideredly. Really, this feeling that “I am the body” is just an imagination. This feeling that “I am in the body” is also just an imagination. Because the society has taught you, this imagination has become unconscious.

For example, I would like to tell you: Many cultures, in different ages, different religions, different thinkings, have considered the body center to be in different places. For example, as far as this contemporary world is concerned, more or less everyone thinks that he is somewhere in the head – not in the legs, not in the hands, not in the belly. If someone insists and asks you, “Where are you? Point it out!” Then you will begin to feel something in the head; you are in the head. But ask a Japanese and he will say that he is in the belly, not in the head – because the whole of Japanese culture has always thought that the spirit lives in the belly. So if you think with your head, the Japanese think with their belly – they say, “We think with our belly.” They say, “The belly must be strong. The belly is the center.” But there have been other cultures – some cultures think that the heart is the center. Then if that culture has been imposed on you, you begin to think that the heart is the center. Really, these are just imaginative identifications.

In a sense, the spirit is nowhere in the body; it encompasses it. Or, it is everywhere in the body and everywhere outside of the body. If any center is maintained in your imagination, the body becomes impurified, burdened with the center – tense, diseased. Let there be no center in the body; let yourself be outside, just encompassing the body. And then the body becomes fresh, young, flowing, liquid, an energy – without any burdened feeling upon it. Then the body cooperates. This light feeling of the body becomes a basic source of help for meditation.

Not only the body, but your heart also must be prepared for meditation to flower in it. Unprepared, much energy is wasted unnecessarily. Prepare the heart.

This sutra says you can prepare the heart by throwing all the impurities out of it. But instead, we go on accumulating. You can forget if someone has helped you, but you cannot forget if someone has harmed you. You can forget something which has been a bliss, but you cannot forget something which has been a suffering. We go on accumulating negatives; these negatives become the impurities for the heart. Everyone goes on accumulating negatives. If someone is friendly to you for years, and for a single moment is not friendly, then all that friendship will go down and that moment of unfriendliness will become the most significant thing – and you will remember it.

This attitude must be changed. One must go on accumulating positives and throwing out negatives; then the heart becomes purified. Go on accumulating positives. Never accumulate anything negative; it is not going to help you, it is going to destroy you.

Someone has been angry to you: don’t remember it. What to do? – one has to remember something – find something positive. Someone is angry – why be so much concerned with the anger? Why not be concerned with the phenomenon of anger? There are some people who are beautiful only when they are angry – why not look at the beauty of it? Even if they are not beautiful, everyone when he is angry, is vital. Why not look at the vitality, the energy, the aliveness, the radiance of it?

Why be so much concerned with anger? Why not be concerned with the phenomenon? Something is happening – a beautiful phenomenon in itself, a very radiant phenomenon – energy expressing, alive. Why not look at it in that way? Why not look – when someone is angry – why not look at yourself? What happens to you when someone is angry? If you are also angry then he has won, you are defeated. Why not be victorious? Why not be indifferent? Look at the anger, look at it as if you are looking at a psychodrama – someone is playing a role and you are just a witness. Why not be a witness? And then you will feel grateful to the person who has been angry with you. If you can be a witness when someone is angry, you will feel grateful, because he has given you a situation in which you could know your own mastery.

Whenever someone was with Gurdjieff, he would create many situations. He would create unnecessary situations in which someone would become angry, so angry that everyone would feel that he was going to explode. And then suddenly Gurdjieff would tell him, “Now be aware! Now be a witness to it!” – and everyone would begin to be a witness. Anger becomes a situation, an object to be studied, and that person himself who is angry feels a sudden change, because it has become a study project. Now it is not anger, it has become a drama. So why not look at a thing from the positive, with something to learn from it? Why go on accumulating the negative? This is just a habit – it is not inevitable; it is not.

Buddha could send his disciples to the burning places, to cemeteries to look at dead bodies, to contemplate death, to meditate on death: The body is burning – the dead body is there – it is burning. And Buddha would send his disciples there, to sit there and meditate on death. And meditating on death, the disciple would soon come to realize a different quality of life which never dies. Then he would come dancing, singing, to Buddha – from the dead body burning in the cemetery, he would come running, dancing – why? he should come sad, sorrowful, depressed, dead himself in a way. But he has not accumulated the negative even from a dead body. He has accumulated something positive. He has been meditating on death, and if you meditate on death you become more and more aware of life. He comes running, dancing, grateful – grateful to Buddha, grateful to the dead man also.

Why go on accumulating the negative? – we go on; that’s just a wrong habit. Change it! Always look at the positive, and soon you heart will be purified. Negativities are the diseases of the heart. It begins to feel sore, and then the whole of life will become just a suffering, because you live through your own heart. You go on accumulating negatives; then you have to live through this negativity; then everything becomes just a suffering, a long suffering – meaningless, purposeless, leading to nowhere.

This is suicidal. A negative attitude is suicidal. Purify the heart by looking at the positive. Find everywhere something which can become a cherished accumulation in the heart. When I say, now remember, remember the face which was angry at you in the past – remember the face. Feel the beauty of it, and the whole thing suddenly changes. Someone was abusing you… remember the past, and feel when someone abuses; feel the energy, feel the aliveness, and everything changes – it is up to you.

The body must be purified by encompassing it. The heart must be purified by a positive foundation given to it, negatives denied. Be negative only to negatives, and then, then you can meditate.

On what is one to meditate? – the untainted, the pure, the clear, and the griefless.

Meditate on the untainted.

What is untainted? – only the sky, space is untainted. Meditate on space, pure space, and you will become like it. Whatsoever one meditates on one becomes.

Meditate on purity.

Everyone has felt somewhere a glimpse of purity . . . a flower, a virgin – anywhere. Many moments are there when one begins to feel purity. Meditate on purity . . . a flower, a virgin – anything. Meditate on purity and you will become pure. Whatsoever one meditates on one becomes.

The clear, the transparent – meditate on any transparency. A silent lake – you can look to the very bottom, everything clear; a glass window – so pure, so clear that even you don’t see the glass, that the glass is there. Meditate on any transparency, and you will become transparent, you will become clear.

The griefless – meditate on the griefless . . . anything which is blissful, which is a beauty-tude. We go on meditating on grief; we go on meditating on grief continually. We go on meditating on suffering, then we become part of it. Meditation is the way to make oneself just like the object of the meditation.

Remember a Buddha, a griefless one. Remember a Krishna, a joyous one. Remember anything – a Chaitanya dancing, a Meera singing. Remember anything – a cloud passing in the sky, dancing, rays of the sun coming to you. Remember anything which is blissful to you. Meditate on it and you will become blissful. Don’t continue to meditate on things which you would not like to be like. We go on meditating on wrong things.

Everyone is a meditator, remember. It is not that there are a few people who meditate. Everyone meditates, no one can be without meditation. So what is the difference between a meditator and a non-meditator? The difference is not of meditation, the difference is only of objects. The difference is only of objects. Someone is meditating on sex – he becomes sexual. Someone is meditating on anger – he becomes angry. Someone meditating on some sad event, he becomes sad. Everyone is meditating.

Only Mahavira has divided meditation into four types. Really, this is strange because Mahavira alone has divided meditation into four parts. Many divisions are there, but nothing like Mahavira’s, because Mahavira divides two such things, two such types which no one would like to call meditation. The first he calls raudradhyan – anger meditation. The second he calls artadhyan – suffering meditation. No one has named these. The third he calls dharmadhyan, and the fourth he calls shukladhyan. Dharmadhyan – religious meditation; and shukladhyan – the purest meditation. But he calls all four meditation. The first two, anger meditation and suffering meditation – no one will call these meditation.

If someone is angry, have you felt that he is in a deep meditation? Everything has gone out of his mind, only one point of anger remains. He is focused, the whole world has dropped. Really, when someone is in anger, he is not in this world at all. He is not looking at you, he is not looking at anything; he is not even aware that the whole world exists – only anger exists.

When someone is suffering, deeply suffering – some loved one has died – then he is not aware of anything, only of his own suffering. His suffering encompasses him. Only now the suffering is there, everything has become just illusory. He is in a deep meditation, of course, of the wrong type.

Everyone meditates. The difference is: someone meditates on wrong objects, and someone meditates on right objects. Meditate on some blissful moment. Meditate on something you would like to become like, then meditation becomes a mutation. First, wrong objects are to be dropped, then ultimately right objects are also to be dropped.

When there is no object, and only a meditative consciousness remains, you have achieved the ultimate.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #22

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Dhyana has no Gate

Kinzan, Ganto and Seppo were doing zazen when Tozan came in with the tea. Kinzan shut his eyes.
Tozan asked, “Where are you going?”
Kinzan replied, “I am entering dhyana.”
Tozan said, “Dhyana has no gate, how can you enter into it?”

A monk asked Joshu, “What is the way without mistakes?”
Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”

A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”
“Sit still!” said Ganto.
The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”
“Bring me Mount Ro,” said Ganto, “And I will tell you.”

On another occasion, Zuigan asked Ganto, “What is the eternal and fundamental principle of things?”
Ganto replied, “Movement.”
Zuigan asked, “What is this movement?”
Ganto said, “When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal and fundamental principle of things?”
Zuigan was lost in thought, and Ganto said, “If you agree to this, you are still in the dust of this world, if you disagree, you will be always sunk in life and death.”

Maneesha, these small anecdotes are small only in size; in depth, no ocean can compete with them. It is a miracle that in such small dialogues, the greatest of experiences, which are inexpressible, are expressed. Look at this small anecdote:

Kinzan, Ganto and Seppo . . .

all masters,

. . . were doing zazen when Tozan came in with the tea.

Zazen, as you know, means simply sitting and doing nothing. Not even thinking, because thinking is also doing. Simply not doing anything – physical, mental, or spiritual – just being like a flame, unwavering, without any wind around.

. . . Tozan cane in with the tea. Kinzan shut his eyes. Tozan asked, “Where are you going?”

Do you see the point? By closing your eyes, certainly you are going inwards, but exactly where? Because just the word ‘inward’ is not indicative of any destination. The inwardness is as vast as outwardness.

“Where are going?”

Kinzan replied, “I am entering dhyana”

Meditation.

In an ordinary way, his answer is perfect. But Zen is not ordinary, never for a single moment. It is always and always extraordinary – because Tozan immediately said:

“Dhyana – meditation – has no gate; how can you enter into it?”

Now, great masters – just at tea time – talking of great things. Teatime becomes absolutely sacred. Tozan’s point is that dhyana has no gate; it is all openness, it is the whole sky inside – how are you going to enter? From what gate? It has no gate.

Of the remaining three, nobody said anything. It is true; there is no gate inside. And this is also true, that just by sitting silently, doing nothing, without any gate, you enter in. The gate is not a necessity. Can’t you enter this Buddha Hall without a gate? Inside there is no wall, no question of a gate; hence the remaining three masters did not say a single word. Tozan has uttered an ultimate question; only silence can be the answer.

A monk asked Joshu,

“What is the way without mistakes?”

Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”

Mind can commit mistakes but once you are beyond mind, there is no one to commit mistakes.

Mind can go wrong, but beyond mind there is no way of going wrong. Beyond mind, you are simply drowned into your own nature.

A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”

By the Three Worlds is meant heaven, earth, and hell. And they are all attacking us, throwing us this way or that way, pulling this way or that way.

When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?

Ganto said, “Sit still!”

The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”

A little more is not possible. Sit still is more than enough already. Sit still and there is no hell, no heaven, no earth. Just one single universe, all boundaries dissolved, all divisions disappeared. Now what more can be said? But the poor monk could not understand. He asked, “Please explain a little more.”

Ganto said, “Bring me Mount Ro . . .

Ro is Japanese for Mount Sumeru – I have explained it to you, the gold mountain in heaven, a thousand times bigger than the Himalayas. Nobody knows its end and nobody knows its beginning. Ganto said, “Bring me Sumeru and I will tell you.” He is saying to the monk, “Don’t ask stupid questions; otherwise, I have to answer stupidly. Don’t be idiotic; otherwise out of compassion I have to be idiotic with you, just so you have companionship.”

Nobody can bring Mount Sumeru. It is just a mythology, it exists nowhere. And even if it exists, how can you bring it?

Asking a question that assumes something more can be said about meditation than “Sit still” is asking something absolutely impossible.

Sit still and all three worlds disappear. In this moment, listening to the cuckoo, all has disappeared. There is only a deep silence, in, deepening within your being.

On another occasion, Zuigan asked Ganto, “What is the eternal and fundamental principle of things?”

Ganto replied, “Movement”

Change.

Zuigan asked, “What is this movement?”

Ganto said, “When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal and fundamental principle of things?”

A rosebush growing, bringing roses . . . a cuckoo suddenly starts singing, and each moment everything is growing that is living. The bamboos are becoming bigger, and even the Himalayas are becoming bigger. Howsoever slow the change . . . the Himalaya becomes one foot higher every year. But in this eternity that is too much. Finally, you can imagine, if it does not stop growing it will become absolutely impossible for another Edmund Hillary to reach Mount Everest. But existence is growing. Trees are growing, you are growing, your consciousness is growing.

Nothing is static. Movement is the fundamental question, and Ganto has put it correctly: When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal principle of things? Life is growth, in short. The moment you stop growing, you are dead.

Life has to be a river, always moving. The moment you become frozen somewhere, the movement is stopped, life disappears.

Even your going in is growing every day, deeper and deeper and deeper. You have to find the eternal source of your being. It is a great dive inside. And every day, every moment, you can go on growing in it. There is no end to it. You don’t simply become a buddha and stop. If you stop, then you become just a stone statue.

I sometimes wonder: all these stone statues of Buddha around the world – are these real people who have stopped growing and become stones? Will they ever understand and start growing again, and talking and walking?

Even Gautam Buddha has accepted that there is something still beyond him. He is not the end, he is only the beginning. A true understanding, an honest expression – Buddha says, “I am only born, now the growth begins.”

Zuigan was lost in thought . . .

Listening to Ganto,

. . . and Ganto said, “If you agree to this, you are still in the dust of this world.”

This is a very beautiful point to be remembered. If you agree to this, to what I have said, remember: agreement means movement has stopped. You have already agreed. If you agree to this, you are still in the world.

And if you disagree, you will always be sunk in life and death.

What a great insight, that even agreement or disagreement are not allowed. You are to grow beyond all dualities, it does not matter what the duality is. Because every duality means choosing one against the other, and growth stops.

Life is a choicelessness. Never choose. Just be, and allow your being to grow to unknown skies, to unknown spaces. And you will find your buddhahood bringing more and more flowers, showering more and more blessings, bringing greater and greater ecstasies. And there is no end to it.

Manzan wrote a poem:

One minute of sitting, one inch of buddha.

Like lightning, all thoughts come and pass.

Just once look into your mind depths:

Nothing else has ever been.

Two points he is making in his small poem. One minute of sitting – even one minute of sitting without doing anything, no thought is stirred inside you, all is utterly silent – one inch of buddha. You have found at least one inch of buddhahood. And you don’t need much more. Each moment, go on. And whatever you have found will also go on growing. From one inch to one yard, and from one yard to one mile, and from one mile to one light year, and it will go on and on. Buddhahood is a pilgrimage which ends nowhere.

And what is the meaning of sitting? Like lightning, all thoughts come and pass. Just remain watchful. Don’t make any judgment or identification. Just like lightning, let them come and go. You remain in your depths, just silent and witnessing, and you will be surprised: nothing else has ever been, except your inner depth. Your innermost silence is the stuff existence is made of.

Maneesha is asking:

Osho,

The story of Zuigan seems to hit the nail on the head, doesn’t it?

Is it not so, that we are literally “lost in thought” and found again in meditation?

Maneesha, ordinarily what you are saying is absolutely right. In thought, you are lost, in meditation you are found. But if you want to listen to the answer in Zen language, there is no losing and no finding.

There is simply silence.

You are not.

These songs of cuckoos pass through you just as through a hollow bamboo.

In thoughts, you start imagining that you are. When thoughts are not there, don’t start imagining that now you are really. Once thoughts are gone, you are also simply a thought; you are also gone.

Then what remains is only a pure consciousness, without any “I” attached to it.

You don’t find yourself; you simply lose yourself, both the ways: either you lose yourself in thoughts or you lose yourself in no-thought. But losing yourself in thought is very ordinary; losing yourself in no-thought has a splendor and an eternity of joy and bliss. You are not there, but there is a dance of pure consciousness. It is not your dance – you are gone with your thoughts. You were nothing but the combination of your thoughts. As one by one your thoughts disappear, part by part you melt away. Finally, you are no more.

And this is the moment – when you are no more – that the ultimate is in your hands.

It is a strange situation:

When you are, your hands are empty.

When you are not, your hands are full.

When you are, you are simply misery, anguish. When you are not, there is bliss. You cannot say, “I am blissful”; there is only bliss.

There is only silence.

There is only truth.

-Osho

From Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest, Discourse #11

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #21

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

In the Cave of the Heart – Osho

Neither by work nor by progeny nor by wealth, but by renunciation alone immortality is attained.

Higher than heaven the ultimate truth abides in the cave of the heart, shining, and the sincere seeker attains.

Kaivalya Upanishad

For religion, death is the basic problem – not life, because life is. Life is not a problem; you have it, you are it. But death is a problem. Death is not here and yet is here. Death has not occurred to you, yet it has occurred all around; it will occur to you. Life is the present; death is the future. The present is never the problem – the future is the problem, because future has to be tackled, because future has to be encountered, because future has to be transcended. So man is always face to face with death, not with life.

That’s why animals have no religion, because they cannot imagine death; they cannot conceive of death. They live, they die, but death is never a problem for them. It is never comprehended, it is never conceived, it is never encountered as a problem in their consciousness. They don’t know death – they are alive or they are dead, but they don’t know death. When is death known? How is death known? Death is known – you are alive, you are not dead, but there is death somewhere in the future.

A dead man has no problem with death, he is already dead. Then death is not a problem. Alive, death faces us somewhere, just around the corner, waits for us. This waiting death – this constant awaiting, somewhere near, just any moment it can happen – is the problem. So man goes on fighting it, and the whole of life becomes just a fight with death. The whole of life is just wasted – just wasted in arranging, in making securities – in defense against death.

We cannot be alive, because there is death. We cannot live, we cannot live authentically because death will not allow us to live. How can you live when there is death? When you are going to die, how can you live peacefully? How can you live blissfully? Then every step in life is just a step towards death. Then any movement is a movement towards death, or any movement is a movement of your death coming towards you.

Religion has death as the problem – what to do about it? We are doing many things – through wealth, through science, through health, through protection, through medicine, through philosophy, through theology – we are creating many different measures for how to be deathless. We are creating many things, but everything proves futile, meaningless, absurd. Death comes, and every arrangement is just proved futile. It has always been so and it will always be so, because death is not really just in the future, it is also in the past.

The moment one is born, death is born within him. Death is not only in the future – if it were only in the future then it could be avoided, but it is part of the past. It is just a process of the same thing which we call birth. Birth is the beginning of death – or, death can be said to be just an ending of the process of birth. So your birth day is also your death day. The beginning is the end, because every beginning implies its end. Every beginning has its end as a seed. If death is just in the future, then it can be avoided. It is not; it is part of you, it is here and now – just in you, progressing, growing.

Death is not a fixed point somewhere; it is a growth within you; it is growing constantly. When you are fighting it, it is growing. When you are feeding it, it is growing. When you are escaping from it, it is growing. So whatsoever you do, one thing is constantly going on – that is, you are dying. Whatsoever you do – you are asleep, you are relaxing, you are working, you are thinking, you are meditating – whatsoever you do, one thing is certain: death is growing constantly, continuously. It doesn’t need your help; it doesn’t need you cooperation. It doesn’t care about your defenses; it goes on growing. Why? – because it has come into being with your birth; it is part of birth. So death cannot be escaped in the ways man and the human mind have always tried.

This Upanishad says that death can be escaped, but you can become deathless. You can know something which is immortal, which will never die. So how to know it? Where to search for it, and how to discover it? Because every effort that we know is just meaningless, irrelevant.

The Upanishad says: Don’t fight with death; rather, know that which is life. Don’t try to escape from death; rather, try to enter that which is life. The very flame of life must be entered. Don’t create the sort of life which is negative; don’t go on trying to avoid death – this is negativity. Be positive and try to know what is life. Really, death is not against life. In the dictionary it is; in existence it is not. Death is not against life; death is against birth.

Life is something else. Life is before birth, life is born. Birth is a phenomenon which happens in life.

Birth is not the beginning of life – if birth is the beginning of life, that means you were born dead. Birth is not the beginning of life – life precedes birth. Life is presupposed, it is before birth – because life is there, birth happens.

Life comes first, then there is birth.

You are, even when you are not born.

You are born because you were there before.

And the same is the case with death. If you are before birth, then you will be after death, because that which is before birth is bound to be after death. Life is something which happens in between birth and death, and beyond birth and death.

We must think of life as a river: in this river one point is known as birth, another point is known as death, but the river continues. The river continues beyond death. The river was continuing before birth. This riverlike life must be penetrated – only then we can know that which is deathless. Of course that which is deathless is bound to be birthless . . . but our whole focus is just misguided. Our whole focus is on how to escape death, now how to know life. It is against death, not for life.

This is the only flaw, and because of this we can never know the deathless. We will go on, continue, constantly searching, discovering new methods, new techniques, new ways of how to escape death. And then death will be coming – and death will come.

Know life.

Jesus has said, “Search for life, for more life. Don’t be satisfied with that which is with you as life. Search more, find out more, find in more – go for more life. We are for less death; we are not for more life; the whole focus is turned towards death.

It is like this: If there is darkness, you can do two things – either you can begin to fight with darkness to destroy it, or you can begin to search for light, which is quite a different search. You can fight darkness directly, but then you will be defeated. And darkness will be victorious – not because it is stronger than you, not because you are powerless against it. No, darkness is not powerful, you are not powerless – but darkness is just an absence, and you cannot fight any absence.

Darkness is simply not. You cannot fight it, and if you fight it you will be defeated – not because it is powerful, but because it is not. How can you fight something which is not? A darkness means nothing; it means simply absence of light. So if you fight darkness, then you continue for millennia; you will never win. And the more you are defeated, the more you will search for new methods to fight it. The more you are defeated, the more you will feel impotent, and darkness will feel like something very potent. You will think that you have to find something which can be more powerful than darkness. The whole of logic is fallacious; you can continue it and you will move in a vicious circle. The more you will be defeated, the more you will be frustrated, the more you will fight with new means – and again you will be defeated.

The defeat is not concerned with your power or powerlessness at all.

The defeat is because you are fighting something which is not.

The same is the case with death. Death is not something positive, it is just absence of life. When life goes somewhere else, death occurs. Death is just the going of something; it is not something which comes to you. Death is not something which comes to you; rather, it is only that life goes somewhere else. The river of life begins to flow somewhere else, and death occurs – death is just an absence.

The light is not, darkness happens; the light comes, darkness is not there. So find the light, find life; don’t fight with death, don’t fight with darkness. Don’t be negative; be positive. And by positive, I mean always search for something which is present; never go on any search for something which is absent – you will never find it.

Death happens daily, but no one has encountered it, no one has known it. No one can know it, because how can you know it? You are life – how can you know it? Darkness is there, but the sun has never known it – how can he know it? The moment the sun is there, darkness is not; so they have never encountered each other – they cannot, that is impossible.

If you bring light into a dark room, do you think your light will encounter darkness? The moment light is there, darkness is not. So only one can be; both cannot be together – either darkness can be there or light can be there. Light has not known darkness, darkness has not known light, because darkness is simply the absence. So how can light know its own absence? If it is to know, then it must be present. And if it is not present, only then is the absence there – but then light cannot know it.

You cannot encounter your own absence – how can you encounter it? Death is your absence. When you are absent, death occurs. So allow me to tell you this way, that death is a social phenomenon, not individual. No individual dies – individual rivers continue somewhere else. But when from this crowd the individual river moves somewhere else, then for this crowd someone has died; for this crowd, someone has become absent.

If my friend dies, it means he dies for me; not for himself. Death is a phenomenon which happens to me, not to him. How can it happen to him?

Life cannot face death; life is a movement which has moved somewhere else, so WE face it. Death is a social phenomenon; it is not an individual phenomenon. No one has died ever – but everyone dies, we know everyone dies, because someone becomes suddenly absent.

We are here. If I become suddenly absent, I will die – not for me, but for you. For you I will be absent. How I can be absent from myself? – it is impossible.

The Upanishads say, don’t fight death, it is fighting absence; rather, search for the presence which is in you. Who is present in you? – find out. What is present in you which you call life? What is there which you call life? From where does it come in you? What is the center, the source of it? Go deep into yourself and find the source. The Upanishad says, this source is hidden in the heart.

This source of life is hidden in the heart.

Go in your heart and find the original source.

Once you have known that source then there will be no death for you. Then there will be no fear, then there will be no problem. Once you have known life itself, you have become immortal. You are unconsciously, unknowingly, unaware. Everyone is immortal. Nothing dies, nothing can die – but everyone feels the fear. This fear also comes because of the society, because we see – now today “A” has died and tomorrow “B” will die, and yesterday “C” has died. Then we become aware: “I am going to die.” I am going to die – this fear grips the mind because death occurs in a society.

Think of it in this way: If you are alone and you have never known any death, will death be a problem for you? If you are alone on an island, have never known any death, never heard about it – will you be aware of death at all? Will you be able to conceive that you are going to die? How can you conceive? – it is a social thing; the society teaches you death. The society shows you that death happens. Alone, you will never be able to know it; alone, you cannot even imagine it. Alone, the very word “death” will be meaningless. And in a certain, subtle way, everyone is deeply aware of this. That’s why, howsoever you become aware of death in others, somewhere deep down you continue to think that you are not going to die. Deep down everyone thinks, “Death may occur to anyone else but it is not going to occur to me.” That’s why so many deaths are occurring yet we continue; we continue to live; otherwise, we would be paralyzed, totally paralyzed. A single death occurring and we would be paralyzed. But somewhere deep down one knows: “It may have occurred to him, but it is not going to occur to me.” Everyone goes on deep down believing in something in himself as immortal . . . it is very unconscious; otherwise, there would be no fear.

The Upanishads say, make it conscious. Go deep down and know it very consciously: something that is life in you, that flame, will continue; that flame is not going to die.

How to go into the heart? How to penetrate it? – the Upanishad say, by renunciation. Renounce every outward-going effort, all that leads you outward. All that becomes a vehicle for your consciousness to move outward – renounce it. In the deep inactivity of renunciation, you will come to the center.

For example, how does the mind move outward? It moves for wealth, it moves for prestige, it moves for power. Any movement means a deep desire for something outside, a deep desire for something which doesn’t belong to you inside, but belongs to the objective world. Any desire for any object in the world is a movement outward. Renounce this movement. Even for a single moment, if you can renounce all outward-going movements, you will be in. This means that this in-coming doesn’t need anything to be done directly. It needs something to be done indirectly.

Don’t move outward and you will find yourself in the heart, in the cave of the heart.

Mind moves with desires, outwards. Then it can continue, continue, and go on and on – to the very end of the world it can go. Don’t move with any desires. Desirelessness is the method to come in, and desirelessness is meditation. Do not desire anything. Even for a single moment, if you are in a desireless moment, you will find yourself in. And then you can encounter the flame of life which is immortality, which is non-dying, which has never been born and will not die. Once known, there will be no fear of death. And when there is no fear of death, only then you can live authentically. Then your life will have a different quality altogether. It will be aware, it will be alive, it will be fresh. It will be blissful, it will be a deep ecstasy, a continuous ecstasy.

With no fear, with no longing, with no desire, there will be no pain. There will be no suffering there will be no anguish. With no desire you fall into a deep abyss of ecstasy. This is what is known in the Upanishads as the brahmalok, the world of the divine.

We live in a world of material things, mm? This is outward-going movement. When consciousness comes in, we penetrate a different world, the world of the divine. With outward movement there is suffering; with inward movement there is peace and bliss. It doesn’t mean that one who moves inward will not be able to move outward; he will be more able, more capable. But now he will move with his whole “in-ness,” now he will move in the outward world but untouched by it. Now he will move, but constantly rooted in himself. He will not be uprooted from himself. Now he can go anywhere, but he will be rooted in himself.

This rootedness in oneself is the source of all bliss that is possible.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #20

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.

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You have to be Like a Thief – Osho

After today’s lecture, I felt as if levitating and flying. I walked along the road in front of the ashram gate, approached a flowering bush, and looked at it, suddenly having the sensation of being one with nature and floating like driftwood in the rover. All of a sudden I realized that the driftwood had stepped into a heap of dog shit. Do you happen to see any symbolic significance to this?

The significance is there, but not symbolic; it is very real. You need not go into symbolism, because it is not a dream, It happened when you were perfectly awake. The reality is saying something to you . . .

Listening to me you can feel that you are levitating, but you cannot levitate. The feeling is not the thing, not the real thing. Listening to me you can feel very happy, but that happiness is like a reflection. It is my happiness reflected in your mirror; it is not your happiness. You are bound to land somewhere in dog shit.

One should not depend on anybody else. You need your happiness. Listening to me, you can become engulfed, you can be overwhelmed, but the farther you go from me, that music will start disappearing from you. It was not yours in the first place.

It is as if I am sitting here: in my light your darkness disappears. Then you go away; the farther away you go, the darkness starts surrounding you again.

It is as the Sufis say:

Two travelers were going into a forest. One had a lamp, a lantern of his own, the other had none. But the other was not even aware of the fact. They both walked in light because one had the lantern, so the other also had the light on the path. Then came the moment where they had to depart; their paths were going separately. And when the man with the lantern went on his path, suddenly the other traveler recognized, realized, that there was immense darkness all around.

You can walk with me to a certain extent. The disciple can walk with the Master to a certain extent, but then the paths separate. Then you have to go on your own way. Suddenly you will find you are in darkness.

So while you are with a Master, don’t just enjoy his bliss. Enjoy, but learn also how to create your own bliss and your own light. Those moments with a Master have to be tremendously enjoyed — good. But just enjoyment is not enough. You have to learn the secret of how to create your own light — so when the Master departs, or you have to go on your own way and paths are separate, you are not lost in darkness. Otherwise, this will happen again and again.

I heard one day that Mulla Nasrudin had been caught by the police, so I went to see him in the jail. I asked him, “Mulla, how do you happen to be here? What happened?”

He said, “Housebreaking, and my fault too.”

I asked, “And how was that?”

He said, “I spent three months getting acquainted with the dog, and then I went and stepped on the cat.”

You have to be fully aware.

In Zen they say: The art of meditation is almost the art of being a thief.

You have to be so aware that you can walk into somebody else’s house where you may never have been before; not only can you walk, you can remove things without making any noise; not only that, but without any light in the dark night. You have to be like a thief: very aware, very conscious.

What happened to this questioner? — he was floating, he was no more in this world, he had moved into another world. A vision had dawned on him; he was in a dream, he was not aware, he was drunk. Hence he stepped into dog shit.

This is very, very meaningful; remember it. Otherwise there are many ways to land in wrong places. Unless you are tremendously aware, many times you will come nearer to home and again you will miss the door.

-Osho

From The Discipline of Transcendence, V. 4, Discourse #2, Q2

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Sakshi Means the Witness – Osho

That which is aware of the creation and dissolution of the knower, the known and the knowable, but is itself beyond creation and dissolution is called the sakshi or the witnessing self.

That which dwells in the minds of all beings, from brahma(the creator) down to an ant, and which lives everlastingly even after the destruction of their gross and subtle bodies is called the kutastha or the crest indweller.

From among the kutastha and its different forms, the self, for the sake of the realization of its nature, permeates the body like a thread threading a necklace, and it is called antaryami or the imminent.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now, two more diseases, two more complexes, two more illusions. We discussed three in the night: mind, lust for life, and desiring. Now the fourth is sattva – it means virtue. It means an inner accumulation of being good.

This feeling of being good is also a disease – for so many reasons. One is: you cannot feel you are good, unless you feel others are bad. Mm? that’s impossible. You cannot feel you are good unless you feel others are bad, and the feeling that others are bad is a disease; the feeling of good is just a relative term. So a person who wants to feel good is bound to condemn others as bad; and the more you condemn others as bad, the more you can feel you are good. So these so-called good men go on condemning everyone.

Bertrand Russell has criticized Jesus for this reason. He says, “Everything is divine, everything looks holy, except one thing: why Jesus condemns the sinners so much – that they should be thrown into hell, and they should be condemned? Jesus cannot feel good unless he condemns.” I don’t think that Jesus ever condemned – a person like Jesus cannot condemn. The condemnation has come through the tradition; it is really St. Paul who speaks through Jesus, and he is one of the most deeply involved personalities who feels himself to be good. But whosoever it may be – whether Jesus says so, or St. Paul puts is in Jesus’ mouth – the criticism is valid.

A good man can never be good if he is condemning others as bad, but you can never feel good unless you condemn. So a good man must be unaware of his goodness; only then it is not a disease. He must not be aware at all that he is good; only then is he not aware that others are bad. No religion other than Hinduism has condemned even goodness – even goodness becomes a sin, because it is ego-strengthening. It feeds your ego – of course with very pure food. But sometimes poisons can also be pure, so purity in itself is not something to be hailed. Poisons can also be pure, and when the ego becomes strengthened by purity, by virtue, by being good, it is pure poison – it is dangerous. That’s why you can never feel at ease with any so-called good man. Around him there is always restlessness; no one can feel at ease. and unless you can feel at ease, the man is not good, not good at all.

So around mahatmas you cannot feel at ease – never. There is a very strained atmosphere, because their feeling of goodness can exist only if they create a very tense atmosphere around them. Everyone is bad, and they are on the high pedestal. Only they are good; everyone is bad.

That’s why two mahatmas condemn the other. They have always condemned. So only confirmed sinners, only persons who feel themselves inferior, who are suffering from an inferiority complex, can be around them. Two mahatmas cannot meet, because that is the meeting of two diseases, two strong egos – purified, poisonous. These are the pious sinners.

This disease must cease. Not that goodness is bad, but to feel good is bad, because to feel good is comparative; it is always in relation to someone else. And anything that is related to someone else is not of any worth for the inner journey. And man is so cunning and so deceptive that he can go on being cunning, he can go on being deceptive. He may change methods, he may change devices, but the basic disease remains the same.

For example, one can even boast of one’s humility. This is the deceptiveness: one can boast even of one’s humility, one can say, “There is no one more humble than me!” Now, through humility, ego is strengthened – I am again asserting my superiority in humility! But the contradiction is never seen. You can even say, “I am just a sinner,” and feel good about it.

Tolstoy remembers that once he went to a church early in the morning. The streets were dark and there was no one in the church, only Tolstoy. Then the richest person of the city came. He didn’t know that Tolstoy was there; Tolstoy was praying. This rich man began to pray and confess. He began to say, ‘I am one of the most fallen, deeply fallen, from the right path. I am a sinner. Forgive me” – and he began to relate his sins.

Tolstoy was just bewildered, because this man was known as one of the most virtuous. He listened silently; then the darkness withered away, and the rich man felt someone’s presence. He looked around and he saw that Tolstoy was there. So he said, “Were you here when I was confessing?” Tolstoy said, “I was already here. When you came, I was here; I was praying.” So the man said, “Look, I must make you aware of the fact that I have confessed to God, not to you. So please forget whatsoever I have said! And don’t talk about it in the city, because this was a dialogue between me and my God.”

This is the deceptiveness of the mind. Really, he is confessing so as to feel good. He is not authentic – he is not feeling that he is a sinner. By confessing his sins he is now feeling a very holy man. This is a disease.

The fifth disease is punya – the feeling of holiness, the feeling of serving others, the feeling of doing good to others. And there is a difference: To be good is one thing, and to feel that one is doing good to others, is another. Punya means doing good to others. There are so many do-gooders. Really, the world would be less confused and in less conflict if there were less do-gooders, because their do-gooding just creates more mischievousness in the world. They are not concerned with good at all, really. They are concerned to be doers of good – so anyhow they must do good.

Kirkpatrick has written a book; a very strange statement is in it. He says, “If there will be no poverty, then what will we do service to others?” So poverty must remain, because when you cannot do Service . . . And without service, these scriptures say, you cannot go to heaven. So if poverty is completely destroyed on the earth, then there is no bridge from the earth to the heaven. Kirkpatrick is a good man, and whatsoever he is saying, he means it. It is not just a statement, he means it. He feels it, that if there is no poverty, then how can you serve others? And service is such a necessary thing, that even poverty is needed for service to remain, it must remain.

This is a disease. Then service itself becomes the end, not the served one – he is irrelevant. There are social workers, servants of the people; and psychologists say, “It is their need really – not the need of the people. They cannot remain without doing good to someone else; they cannot remain without serving others. This is an occupation for them.” What will happen to them if a society is really there which needs no service? This has happened so many times.

Revolutionaries are chronic revolutionaries. By “chronic” I mean, if they succeed and their revolution succeeds, they become anti-revolutionary. Stalin had to face these revolutionaries, and he killed all of them. The phenomenon was that those revolutionaries were just chronic revolutionaries. A Trotskyite is a chronic revolutionary; he cannot be without a revolution around him. The revolution must be there; otherwise, where will the revolutionary be?

So there are only two possibilities; whenever there is a revolution, a social revolution, there are two possibilities. If the revolution succeeds, then there are two possibilities: either the revolutionary has to turn traditionalist and orthodox and anti-revolution, or he has to continue his revolution. Stalin chose the first alternative; he became one of the most orthodox minds possible. Not even a czar was such as Stalin was – he became a czar.

Trotsky chose the other, or was forced to choose the other. He continued to be a revolutionary. And how then can you be a revolutionary? You have to go against your own revolution. Trotsky made endeavors for this revolution, and then he was against it. He was trying for a proletarian dictatorship, and then he was against it. And Stalin was doing the same. Stalin, in a way, is more consistent; but he himself turned anti-revolutionary. He was for the revolution he had started, but then he became anti-revolutionary, because no revolution could now be allowed. So Russia, after the great revolution, has been the country without revolutions. So the chronic revolutionaries had to escape and they continued there.

If really, there is a society where no one needs your help and your do-gooding, your service and your revolution and reformation, then all these do-gooders will be just mad, insane – they cannot do anything.

This fifth disease doesn’t mean don’t do good to others – it doesn’t mean that – but don’t be a do-gooder. Let it be just a spontaneous thing. Don’t make it a plan, don’t seek it, don’t go for it; let it be just your spontaneous behavior. Whenever there is a situation, do whatsoever you feel; but don’t plan it, don’t make it a scheme. Don’t sacrifice yourself, because persons who sacrifice themselves are very dangerous: when they sacrifice themselves they begin to sacrifice others. And they have a right because they can say, “We have sacrificed ourselves, so now we have the right to sacrifice others.” They become violent. Persons who have been violent to themselves in doing good to others, ultimately turn to being violent to others. But now they have the credit of being good, and their violence can continue in the garb of being good. And when someone is good and violent, it is the most criminal, the deepest criminal combination.

If the father is good, then he can be a criminal to his son. If the mother is good, then she can be a criminal. This happens daily. Women are more good than men; not that there is any inner necessity, but they are more fearful of being bad, more suppressed. That’s why wives become dictatorial, because the husband feels a bit inferior. He is bad in many ways: he smokes, he drinks, he looks all around at other beautiful faces.

Then the wife becomes dictatorial; she becomes a do-gooder. Now she can sacrifice her husband; now she can virtually kill. And because she is good, the husband is just helpless – he cannot argue. Smoking is bad – of course; and he is smoking, so he is bad. And really, to smoke is not so bad as to feel good on account of someone smoking. It is deeply criminal . . . it is deeply criminal; it is very violent. This is the disease.

Don’t feel good on account of others, and don’t try to be a do-gooder. Be good, simply naturally. That is completely different. If someone feels restless around you, know that you are not a good man, just a do-gooder.

I have read somewhere about a Tibetan mystic, Milarepa. It is written that Milarepa was a saint, because sinners could feel at ease with him – at ease, totally at ease. There was no condemnation in his eyes, in his words, in his behavior. Really, a saint means this: one with whom sinners can feel at ease, friendly; otherwise, the do-gooder is there. That is the ego, and the ego is always destructive of others. And you can destroy in such good ways that you may not even be aware what you are doing. A good mother can destroy the whole life of the child, just by being good – too good.

This, the rishi says, is the fifth disease. And if one is identified with these five diseases, there comes into existence a personality which is not your being. That personality is known a lingasharir – the subtle personality.

This word “personality” is very meaningful. It is a Greek word; it is derived form “persona.” Persona means a mask. Actors use masks in Greek drama; that mask of the actors is known as persona. You are not that, but you use a mask and become that. Mm? You are not a lion, but you use a mask of a lion and you behave like a lion.

Personality is not your being, it is a mask. This mask is very subtle, and this mask is created by being identified with these five diseases. If you become totally identified, and feel that you are this – this disease of the mind, this disease of desiring, this disease of being good, this disease of being virtuous – if you begin to feel that you are a combination of all these five, these five classifications, then you create a persona, a personality. That personality is known as lingasharir – the subtle body. And behind this subtle body, lingasharir – behind this identification, behind this barrier – is the knower.

So to dissolve the personality, to withdraw yourself from the personality, to renounce the personality, is the essential renunciation. That is what is sannyas: to renounce . . . not the world, because how can you renounce the world? – It has never belonged to you. Mm? What nonsense talking about renouncing the world. When? When you are master of it? – it has never belonged to you. Really, again the trick of the ego: one says, “I renounce the world,” and feels very good that one has renounced the world. A beggar renouncing the empire, renouncing the throne, the palace – renouncing everything . . .  It has never belonged to him, so how can he renounce it?

So really, a sannyasin doesn’t mean a person who renounces the world. A sannyasin means a person who renounces the personality – that belongs to you! You are the creator of it, so you can renounce it. Nothing else! You cannot renounce anything that doesn’t belong to you. The personality belongs to you; you can renounce it, but you can renounce only when you begin to be aware that you are not the personality. This is known as kshetragya, the knower of the field. The field is personality, and the knower, the center which becomes aware of this personality. If you become aware of the center, of the knower, then there is not difficulty in renouncing the personality. It is just a clothing, just a clothing, and very dirty and very diseased.

Now, three situational dimensions of the being: We discussed personalities; we discussed bodies; we discussed complexes of diseases. Now the enquiry into the being itself. What is the being? Behind all, beyond all, transcending all – what is the being itself? Three definitions have been given. One is called sakshi; sakshi means the witness. Another is called kutastha; kutastha means the eternal, the indestructible, the immortal. And the third is named antaryami: the innermost, the inner one. It is good and helpful for the seeker to understand these three definitions. They define the one and the same, but they define indifferent contexts.

First is the witness. This is the essential character, the essence, the very essence of the being. Whatsoever is named is never the knower; whatsoever is objectified is never the subject. The moment we know something, we are different form the known, from the object, because the knower cannot be the known, the observer cannot be the observed. A distance is created by knowledge, by knowing. Knowing is the bridge between the known and the knower.

The being is not, and never is the known; it is always the knower – always and always the knower. Whatsoever you know, remember one thing certainly – that you are not that. This much is certain, that whatsoever you have known and experienced, you are not that. That’s why the Upanishads say, “Neti, neti – not this not that.” Whatsoever you say, the Upanishads say, “No, not this, not that – never!” This is the nature of the being; it always transcends objects. It is pure subjectivity, and this pure subjectivity can never be turned into any object. So in a way, you can never know yourself in the same way as you have known all else. So “self-knowledge” is in a way, a very contradictory word, because really the self cannot be made an object of knowledge. But still, self-knowledge exists. But that knowledge has to be defined and guarded, and defined in a specific way. Self-knowledge means: where all knowledge stops. Self-knowledge means: where there is no self.

Self-knowledge means: the knower is not, the known is not, the knowledge is not. But when I say that you are never the known, then one thing must be understood: if you are not the known, how can you be the knower – because the knower is just in reference to the known. The knower is just in reference to the known. If you are never the object, how can you be called a subject? – because subject means in relation to object; it means the other end of the object. That’s why the Upanishads say, “It is just a witness – not even a knower.”

It witnesses all the three: the known, knowledge, the knower. They come up, they dissolve, and the witnesser remains. It will be better not to call it even a “witnesser,” but a witnessing, because when we say “witnesser,” a subtle crystallization comes into the world, a subtle feeling of the ego and “I.” So it is better to say “witnessing.” Then there is simply a process of knowledge without any ego, without any “I” crystallizing it.

And then in the world, there are not things, but processes. This is the difference between a materialist and a spiritualist. This! – a materialist sees in the world, and a spiritualist sees in the world events – not things. The difference is not whether matter is or not; the difference is not whether mind is or not. The difference is basically this: a spiritualist sees in the world energy, processes – energy processes, events, alive events – not dead things.

Now physicists are ready to accept this as far as matter is concerned. They say now, “There is no matter. Matter is dead; matter is not there – only energy waves, only quanta, only processes.” Even a stone is just a process, it is not static; it is dynamic, it is moving. Not only is a river moving, the Himalayas also.

A Zen fakir, Bankei, has said, “I have not seen only rivers moving, I have seen bridges also moving. And once it happened that the river was not moving, and the bridge was moving.” He means by this that there are not things – static, dead – but movement, continuous processes, waves and waves and waves; and each wave is turning into the other. This is what is meant by a spiritual attitude.

So matter is energy, waves. Inside also there is no knower as fixed, as “I,” because the ego is a thing – dead. So it is better to call it not the witnesser, but witnessing – with no center really, just a process.

Buddha says, “There is rebirth, but you are not.” So how can rebirth be? Ordinary logic will say, “How can rebirth be? If you are not, if there is no ego to be reborn, then how is rebirth possible?” Buddha says, it is just a process – a process just like a flamelike process. In the evening you see the flame: the lamp is burning and there is a flame. In the morning you blow it out. You say, “I am blowing out the same flame.” Buddha says not, because the flame is constantly changing. It is a process, it is not a thing, so it cannot be the same. In the evening you saw one thing; this is something else – flame has been constantly changing and going into nothingness, and new flames are being  replaced continuously.

It is continuity. The flame is not a thing, it is a continuity. Every moment the flame is changing, so whatsoever you are blowing out is not the same flame you saw in the night. It is the same continuity – a continuum.

Witnessing is there just like a flame.

It is a continuum.

This is the first situational definition. The rishi talks about it first, because it can be made a means; it can be used as a device; it can become a vehicle towards your being, your center.

The second is kutastha; it means: the eternal, the immortal, that which cannot be destroyed, indestructible. What can be destroyed really? What is destructible? – only the form and the name, namrup. Within these two words is the whole Eastern standpoint: namrup – name and form – can be destroyed, are destructible. Your name can be changed and your form – nothing else.

The ice is transforming itself into water, and the water is evaporating. What changes? – not the essence, but only the form and the name. Now it is ice; now it is water; now it is vapor. What is changing? The essence remains the same, but the name and form change.

This whole world is just name and form. Everything is changing: the child becoming the adult; the adult becoming the old man; life turning into death; birth turning into death; health turning into disease; disease turning into health – everything is changing. Even opposites are not really opposites, because they can change into one another. The north becomes the south, the south becomes the north. The east is also the west, and the west is also the east. It depends. It depends on where you are looking.

Someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, “Where is your house on the road? On the left or on the right?” He said, “It depends: sometimes it is on the left, and sometimes it is on the right. It depends from where you are coming.”

Life is a movement, but name and form change; the essence remains the same. But when I say the essence remains the same, I don’t mean it is a static thing. I mean it is a dynamic force, but still the same. Dynamic and the same must be remembered; otherwise, God becomes just a static phenomenon – dead, with no opening.

Kutastha doesn’t mean a dead thing, it means a dynamic force, essentially remaining the same, but changing its name and form all the time. Beyond name and form, the essential one is known as the kutastha. If you destroy everything – every form and every name – the remaining is the kutastha. If all my five bodies are destroyed, if all my five diseases are destroyed, then the remaining will be the kutastha – that is the essential being which cannot be destroyed. This always is.

This is the end definition; the first one was a means definition. If you proceed by being a witness, you will reach the kutastha, the eternal, but both are far away. Neither we are using witnessing, nor are we standing in the eternal. Then it is, therefore, the third definition: it is called antaryami, the innermost.

This definition belongs to us here and now, as we are. A link must exist between the kutastha, the eternal, and us; otherwise, there can be no traveling towards it, no journey towards it. Somehow, we must be linked in all these bodies, in all these diseases, in all these ignorances. Still the innermost being is here; it is just hidden. it is hidden just like the thread of the beads: the beads are apparent, but the thread is hidden. You cannot see directly, immediately; you have to make a gap between two beads, and then suddenly in the gap is the thread – the innermost running force, the innermost running energy.

So whenever one has to go deep into oneself, one has to make a gap between two diseases or between two bodies or between two thoughts. Wherever you can create a gap between two things inside you, suddenly you become aware of the thread.

For example, there are thoughts in the mind – continuously one thought is followed by another. Bring a gap between two thoughts. There IS a gap, because two thoughts cannot exist without a gap: an interval is a basic necessity. One thought is followed by another, but there is a subtle gap. Be aware of the gap.

We are aware only of the thoughts. From one thought we jump to another, and the gap is lost. Remain in the gap, stand in the interval, slow down your thought process and you will feel a gap. One thought has gone, another has yet to come – there is a gap, a sudden silence. In this silence you will become aware of the thread; that thread is known as antaryami. It is here and now, and we cannot proceed otherwise; we have to proceed from here and now.

So antaryami is the definition for us. Then sakshi, witnessing is the method; then kutastha, the eternal one is the end.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #10

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

There is No Other Work – Osho

I can think of nothing that I wish more clearly than to come closer to your inner temple. Is this possible while I am still doing my own thing? Or is it a prerequisite to drop all activities and interests not connected with you and your work?

If you really are doing your own thing, you have come closer to my inner temple. There is no other way. I am here to help you to do your own thing. I am not here to drag you away from your own thing. That’s what the so-called religions have been doing all along.

Remember this: I am not to make anything out of you.

If you can be yourself, it is enough – more than enough. If I can help you to be yourself then the right thing has happened. If, in some way, I become an opportunity to distract you from your own being, then I am an enemy, not a friend.

So never again think it a prerequisite to drop all activities and interests not connected with me and my work. You are my work. You are my activity. Nothing else is more important than you. You are supreme; there is no higher value than you. So if you are fulfilled, my work is done. If you are blissful, my activity is fulfilled. There is no other work. I have no idea, ideology that has to be fulfilled through you – no.

I am, at the most, just an opportunity where you can find yourself. When you reach to your innermost home, you have reached to my temple. And there is no other way.

-Osho

From The True Sage, Discourse #4

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

That Moment becomes the Door to the Divine – Osho

Grouping of mind, vital breath, desire, essence and virtue with the associates is called panchvarga, or the five groups. A living being identified with the nature of the panchvarga cannot be free of them without knowledge or knowing.

The disease arising out of the subtle elements like the mind and the rest of it seems to be covering the self, and it is called the seed body, it is also known as the knot, or complex of the heart. And the consciousness dwelling inside is called the kshetragya, or the knower of the field.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now the rishi is discussing the complexities of the mind, complexities of the consciousness. Why are we just a complexity? Why is there no innocence and no simplicity? Why is everything just a knot, just a confusion, just insanity inside?

If we can open a mind, then we will see just anarchy there, chaos. We go on somehow managing ourselves, but inside there is nothing which can be said to be a cosmos. Inside there is chaos, simple chaos. This is a miracle that we can manage ourselves; it seems impossible. How are these complexes built? How are they formed? How do we help them form? And how many complexes are there?

There are five divisions of all the complexes. The first complex is the mind. Eastern mysticism has always looked at mind as the disease, as the basic disease. It is just the opposite from the Western attitude towards life. The Greek mind, which is the originator of all Western thinking, always looked towards the mind as the supreme-most thing. Mind is the peak according to the Greek attitude, Greek thinking.

For Aristotle, mind is the peak, mind is the most evolved energy. But to the Eastern mind, mind has been a disease. That’s why the East couldn’t develop science, because if mind is diseased then you cannot develop science really, because science has to be developed with the mind.

The Greek mind could give the impetus to the Western mental evolution, so they could create a very complex structure of science and scientific knowledge. The structure has arrived; the structure is there now, but the consciousness, the human being itself, is lost. It has been at a very big cost. Machines have evolved, but the creator itself is just feeling empty and meaningless. Technology has developed, and now we can create with this technology a very different world – but the very interest to create a different world is no more there.

Sartre or Camus or others – they all feel that there is no sense in existing at all, there is no meaning. Sartre says we are condemned to be alive; there is no need, there is no purpose, nothing is going to come out of all this effort, it is just futile. So Camus asserts that the only philosophical problem, the only metaphysical problem now is suicide. The only possibility for us in which we can be free and active, seems to be suicide; all else is just meaningless.

This has to happen, because with mind, ultimately there can be only madness and suicide. With mind, ultimately there can be only meaninglessness and an effort to forget it. So the whole of the West is now trying to forget – through chemicals, through alcohol, through so many methods, to forget themselves. Life is so meaningless that to be aware is to be in suffering. To know it – the misery all around, the suffering all around, and the meaninglessness of it – to be aware of it is too much; it creates anguish. So it is better to forget it somehow and drop into a world of dreaming.

Chemicals can help. You drop out of the world, and they say to you “turn on.” Where do you turn on? You turn on really to a dream world; there you can find meaning; there you can find purpose. There you can find again the romance and poetry, but not when you are awake, aware, conscious. And they say these chemicals are helping the expansion of consciousness. This is absurd. They are not helping the expansion of consciousness, they are helping only the expansion of the dreaming process. They are only helping you to dream more beautifully, more deeply, to dream more intensely. They are not helping consciousness; they are helping unconsciousness. They are helping deep processes of sushupti – of sleep and dreaming.

This had to happen, because with the mind you cannot go beyond this point. With mind there is no meaning; there cannot be. With mind there is logic, but no meaning; with mind there is reason, but no life. With mind you can create the dead and mechanical, but you completely lose track of existence, of life, of being, of consciousness.

Mind, this rishi says, is the first disease, the basic disease in a way. Why is mind a disease? – because mind is just a disturbance. Mind is just a disturbance in consciousness. It is not your nature; it is just a disturbance. The moment there is no disturbance, there is no mind. And this state of no-mindedness is the state of consciousness – the expansion of consciousness. You drop into yourself: not into dreaming, not into projections, into yourself. Consciously, with full alertness, you come to your center the moment mind is not there.

Meditation means how to be not a mind.

How to be not a mind!

Meditation means how to create the state of no-mindedness.

It doesn’t mean unconsciousness. It means conscious and still, without any disturbance in the consciousness; conscious with no ripples, with no waves, with no vibrations; conscious as a deep, calm, silent pool with no ripples on it, with no disturbances on the surface; just a calm silent pool with no breeze to disturb, just mirrorlike.

With mind one goes on being disturbed more and more, and then this whole process of disturbance is self-perpetuating. One disturbance creates ten more, and those ten create a hundred more. This is self-perpetuating, and then you are in a vicious circle. With this mind something can be done. That is, you can travel outwardly, you can go more into the world. But the more you go into the world the farther you are from yourself. And the farther you have gone, the more the track back is lost. Then you only remember that there is a home, but there is no way to get back. And we continue to remember there is a home; there is a homesickness always somewhere present. There is a home and one has to go back.

But there is no way, and we continually try to find the home with the mind itself, which has lead us astray. Then we go into scriptures, then we go into words, then we go into philosophies, metaphysical systems. And then we are lost even more in it, even more deeply, and the track is not found at all. The track can be found only if you begin to feel and understand that mind is the disease, so you cannot go back with the mind; the mind cannot be used as a vehicle, it cannot be used as a passage. It is not a door towards consciousness. It is a door towards the world, towards objects – not towards the subjectivity. That’s why it is said to be a disease, a complex.

The second is prana, life itself; rather than life, the lust for life. There is a deep fear – fear of death – and there is a deep lust to continue anyhow, to live anyhow. Life itself seems to be the end.

Life cannot be the end itself; if life itself is the end, then one will have to exist on the periphery.

Something must transcend life itself; something must be higher than life itself; otherwise, life can have no meaning. If you say that life itself is the end, then life is bound to be meaningless, because meaning comes from the beyond – always from the beyond. Something for which you exist gives the meaning – that’s why we create many so-called meanings all around us.

Money becomes the meaning because you live for it; power becomes the meaning, prestige becomes the meaning. You create meanings, but those are just bogus meanings – because really, if life is at peril, you will be ready to lose power, money, everything. So you just deceive yourself, but those deceptions can never become the reality. Life remains above them; they are not beyond, they cannot be. That’s why in the West, there are so many feelings of frustration and meaninglessness. That’s an obvious corollary of life being taken as the end.

Life originates in something and then again dissolves into something. Life comes up and then goes down and is dissolved. So the original source of life must be beyond life. It comes out of it and the goes back, just as a wave raises itself and then falls down into the ocean; the ocean remains beyond the wave. The wave comes and goes; it is there this moment, and the next it is gone. The ocean is behind, beyond.

Life is just a wave. Existence is beyond life.

So one who begins to be too involved and too attached, too infatuated with life, loses the existential source of life itself.

Life is just the periphery:

The center is existence.

We have called that existence God.

We have called that existence moksha.

We have called that existence nirvana.

This is something very delicate to be understood. Really, we have never said that God exists. We have said, rather, God is existence. Those who say God exists don’t know what they are saying.

Man exists; God cannot exist in the same way. Trees exist, the earth exists, the sun exists, but not God. A tree may go out of existence, man may not exist, the sun may not exist, but God cannot be conceived as not existing. God is existence; God is is-ness. So really, to say God is, is to repeat oneself.

God means is; God means is-ness.

That is-ness is beyond life.

Life is just a wave on the ocean of is-ness. So we are separate as waves, but not as the ocean. We are separate on our peripheries, but not at the center. At the center we are one. So many waves on the ocean, but in the ocean they are one.

But no wave will be able to conceive it, because it seems so absurd. How can a wave conceive that all the waves around are one with it? – because when another wave is just rising up, one is just dying and falling down. If waves are one, then they must fall simultaneously, they must rise simultaneously. That’s why we are the same. If we are all the same, then how is one rich and how is one poor? Then how is one young and how is one old? And how is one born and how is one dying? – we must be separate, obviously. Then how is one intelligent and one is not? And one is beautiful and one is not? – we must be different, we must be separate. But we are not. There are small waves and there are big waves; there are waves which go higher, there are waves which cannot go higher. But still they are the same – in the ocean they are the same.

f you are aware only of your wavelike life, then you cannot go inside; then this becomes a disease.

And if you are aware that you are a wave, then you must be afraid – you are bound to be afraid of death, of dying, because every wave has to die. You can see that every wave is dying – coming up and down – so you are afraid. This fear comes because you have not known the oceanic existence which is yours; you have known only the wave existence which means life, which means prana.

So, the rishi says the second bondage, the second complexity, the second division of diseases, is lust for life. What does it mean?

It means if one is to go deeply into existence, one has to be ready to die. This readiness to die is the basic quality of a religious mind. This is what constitutes the very essential core of being religious: this readiness to die. This doesn’t mean a suicidal tendency. This doesn’t mean any suicidal tendency, because really all those who commit suicide, commit suicide because of lust for life. This may look paradoxical – but never has a buddha committed suicide, never! Why?

A person who is not in the least lusting for life, desiring life, why is he not committing suicide? Buddha would say, “I am so indifferent to life, I cannot be so infatuated with death. How can I be so infatuated with death? To me, they both mean the same. If life is – okay. If death is – okay.” A buddha okays everything. He cannot choose.

Whenever someone commits suicide, really, he is imposing conditions on life. He is saying life must be like this; otherwise, I commit suicide. “I must get this woman, I must get this post, I must get this and that. If I am not getting, I can live only with my conditions. Then if there is no fulfillment of my conditions, I am ready to die.” Really this readiness to die is not readiness to die. He is asking too much. He is asking too much of life, and out of life; he is so filled with lust that he is even imposing conditions. This death is just a revenge, just a revenge towards life, because life could not fulfill his demands: “I will destroy life if life is not going to be what I desire it to be!” This is revenge, this is violence.

So when I say readiness for death, it means no lust for life, so that whatsoever comes, one is always in a welcoming attitude, in a receptivity. Whatsoever happens, one is ready – even death. Lust for life is the disease. This readiness, simple readiness to die, unties the lust for life.

The third complexity is that of desires. We don’t live in existence; we live in desires. Really, we don’t live in the world at all, we live in desires. Our life is not here and now, it is always somewhere else where the desire is arrowed. It may be anywhere, but it is never here. Never here, because desire needs time – desire cannot be here.

Can you desire anything in the present moment? The moment you desire, you desire for the future; you cannot desire here and now. Here and now there is no desire, there is no possibility of desiring.

Desire needs space – that space is time.

Desire needs some point somewhere else from here – only then can desire exist. It exists as a bridge: a bridge needs two banks, a bridge cannot exist only on this bank. How can the bridge exist? There must be the other; the other bank must be there. Only then does the bridge become possible.

Desire is creating a bridge from here to there.

And the moment you have gone there and lost this moment, you will live always in an inner tension, inner anguish. And really you will never be existential; you will always be in desires, in desires, in desires – always longing for the other shore. Even if you can get to the other shore, you will be again longing for the other shore. No shore can be the fulfillment – desire is self-frustrating. We are nothing but desires. Can you find anything in you which is not a desire? Even when you are praying, it is desire; even when you are meditating, it is a desire; even when you are thinking of the divine, it is a desire. We convert everything into desire. This is the disease, that we cannot conceive of anything without desire.

Buddha used to say, “There is no God.” And he was himself one of the most existential proofs of the divine. He was the perfect argument for the divine; his presence was divine. And he used to say there was no God. One day, Sariputta asked him, “Why do you continue to say there is no God? – because we all feel that when you are, God is. It seems contradictory, a person like you denying God. It seems contradictory because you are the proof, you are enough! We don’t require any argument, but why do you deny it?”

Buddha said, “I deny it because I don’t like God being made an object of desire. If I say God is, you will begin to desire: ‘Then I must get, then I must reach.’ And God is something which you cannot desire, and by desiring cannot get.”

People would ask him, “Is there existence beyond death?” And he would say, “No, there is no existence beyond death.” Why? – simply because if there is existence beyond death, you will begin to desire it.

They would ask, “Is there bliss? Is bliss possible?”

Buddha would say, “No. There is only the cessation of misery, no bliss.”

He was one of the rarest geniuses to see the phenomenon of desiring, the tricks of desiring, and the cunningness of desiring. He would say, “No, there is no bliss at all; only cessation of suffering.” Why? – because if bliss is positively asserted, one begins to desire it.

We convert everything into desiring. We have a mechanism for converting and transforming anything. Put anything into it, and it becomes a desire. We can even desire desirelessness. I have come across people who come and say, “How can I be desireless?” How to be desireless –

they are asking for the supreme-most desire – how to be desireless! But we go on converting. This is the disease; really, this is the disease.

Look at the disease, look at the fact, and don’t ask the “how.” Look at the fact: this is the fact. Live with the fact. Be aware of your mind’s mechanism, and how it transforms everything into desiring.

In that moment of awareness, desiring stops.

And when there is no desiring, you are just here – this very moment. That moment becomes the door to the infinite.

That moment becomes the door to the divine – to nirvana.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #9

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

That Moment Becomes the Door to the Divine is from the evening talk, The Very Awareness is Transformation is from the morning talk of the same day.

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

The Very Awareness is Transformation – Osho

In the context of pleasure and pain, the desire for pleasurable things is called the sense of pleasure, and aversion to painful things is called the sense of pain. And because of what one does to gain pleasure and shun pain, one is called a doer.

Sound, touch, form, taste and smell – these five objects are causes of pleasure and pain. When the self, in pursuit of virtuous and sinful acts, identifies itself with the body, which it is not, then it is called the diseased being.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Why this bondage with the body and bodies? What is the secret? How are we in it, and why do we continue to be in it? Why is it such a struggle to go beyond? If bliss is inwards, and outwardly we cannot achieve anything other than anguish, then why this absurdity of living outward and outward? Why not go inward? Who is preventing you?

You are the prisoner.

And you are the imprisoned.

No one else is involved in it – No one except you, yourself.

Then why not take the jump?

There must be something which hinders you, which prevents you, which becomes a barrier to you. What is that? This rishi says that the longing for pleasure, the fear of misery, and the fear of pain are the root causes – the longing for pleasure and the effort to avoid any pain, any suffering, any dukha. And the illusion is created because pleasure and pain, happiness and misery, are not two things, are not two opposites; they are two polarities of one phenomenon, two ends of one phenomenon.

They are joined and one. That’s why pleasure turns into misery; they are convertible. Anything that you feel as pleasurable this moment may become unpleasurable the next. So pleasure and pain are not qualities of a thing, because the thing remains the same. I love you and feel happy; you remain the same. And the next moment, I hate you and feel miserable. But happiness and misery are not qualities of you, you remain the same. They must belong to my mind, to my attitude; they must belong to me.

That’s why the same thing can be a source of deep happiness to one, and a deep source of misery to someone else. The same thing can be a source of happiness to you this moment, and the next moment a source of your very hell. Pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering are not qualities of things as we presume; they are not. They are your attitudes – they belong to you.

So try an experiment: You are feeling happy in some situation – then be in that situation and begin to feel unhappy. And soon, soon you will begin to feel unhappy – it depends on your choice. Your beloved is nearby; you are feeling happy – now begin to feel unhappy, and soon you will be able to create unhappiness. Begin to feel happy, and soon you will change the whole situation – it depends on you.

Once you know the secret, the whole clinging drops – with pleasure or with fear of pain, the whole clinging just drops. The moment you know you are the master – whether to feel happy or to feel miserable depends on you – you become free of all dependence on others. But one has to know, one has to experience.

Things are just neutral; they don’t give you anything. It is you who contributes the feeling – not the thing. Really, you determine the whole thing unconsciously; that is why there is clinging. Determine it consciously.

Try an experiment. You are feeling very pained, suffering, you are ill. Then accept the illness; don’t fight it, remain in it, be a companion to it – don’t try to escape. Accept it totally, be with it, and soon a moment comes when you explode into a new dimension. The illness may be there still, but now it belongs only to the body, not to you. It is just on the periphery somewhere, as if it belongs to someone else – you have transcended.

Once the consciousness begins to feel that there is no bondage from the outside, then the longing for pleasure drops, because it is your projection. Then the fear of suffering drops, because it is your projection. In a very subtle way you become the master, the converter. You can convert anything into anything, because it is only your choice, your decision, your mind. Whatsoever you put into things you can get back – it is really just an echo.

You fall in love with someone, and if I ask you why, you will say, “Because the face is beautiful, the person is beautiful.” But really the thing is quite the reverse. It is not that the person is beautiful and so you have fallen in love; rather, because you have fallen in love the person looks beautiful. Your falling in love is primary, and the second thing is just a projection, because the same person can become ugly the next day – he remains the same with the same face, but everything has changed. This happens so often but still we are unaware. You say, “I cannot live without you!” And soon a moment comes when you cannot live with him. Why? – because you have not taken things in the right order.

You fall in love – that means you begin to project; love is a hypnosis. Love is a very delicate state of mind in which you can project anything – anything! So the beloved is not really there outside, it is here inside. It is a projection, and the person is just a screen. And you have projected much, you have contributed much. The moment you withdraw your contribution, the person is just ordinary. There is no halo around, no aura; everything has just dropped. The person is just ordinary, even more ordinary than ordinary, because now, it is so without luster. Now dreams have dropped, and dreams were the thing the whole stuff was made of.

Remember this fact: It is your mind which begins to feel happy or miserable – it depends on you. And once you know the secret, you have become really the master. Now you know the alchemy; you are the alchemist now, you can change any base metal into the higher. Now, you have the secret to turn anything into gold – now you can convert. And once you begin to convert base metals into higher metals, nothing is higher and nothing base. Now you know it is just you and your projection – your mind is doing the whole trick.

But one has to do much to be aware of this fact; one has to go deep into the facticity, into the very phenomenon of desiring, of avoiding, of longing for this and trying to escape that – one has to go deep into it. And it is not a doctrine – whatsoever the rishi is saying is not a doctrine – it is not a conception really; it is the facticity. It is how the mechanism of the mind works; it is just a fact. It is not a philosophy; it is a science in the sense that it is how the mind works. You project first, then you begin to believe. Then any moment you can withdraw your projection and the idol is lost, the temple is destroyed, and there is nothing left. But again, you will do the same thing, and you will go on doing the same thing: projecting, then feeling miserable or happy, and never being aware that you are creating – that you are the creator.

Everyone is a magician – everyone is a magician, and everyone goes on doing tricks with himself. Then these tricks become habits, mechanical habits; you can repeat them ad infinitum. And we have repeated them ad infinitum – lives and lives and lives. We have been repeating them always.

Buddha and Mahavira both tried a very novel experiment with the human mind. Whenever someone would come to them, seeking, they would tell the seeker, “First, try to remember your past lives. First, go deep into past lives.” But the seeker would say, “There is no need. I am concerned with the future; I am concerned with how to know the truth, how to realize the divine, how to be liberated, how to get to nirvana. What is the need of going into past lives?”

And Buddha would say, Mahavira would say, “There is a deep need. Unless you know your past, you will never be able to see that you have been playing tricks with yourself, continually, repeatedly. In each life you have done the same. It is a repetition: the same love – the falling in love and then frustration; riches, and then the feeling of inner poverty; prestige and power, and yet the helplessness. And the same!”

But we forget. Every life we drop all memories and we forget, and we begin anew. Esoteric science says that this forgetfulness is intentional. It is intentional that you have forgotten your past lives, because you wanted to forget. Psychologists say that you forget all that you want to forget. Sometimes you say, “I know your name, but I wonder why I have forgotten it.” Really, you wanted to forget. You are playing tricks with yourself; you wanted to forget; you never wanted to remember the name – that’s why you have forgotten.

We go on forgetting things. For example: Everyone remembers childhood as the very heaven, but it has never been so. Ask any child – he is in a hell. He is trying to grown up rapidly, trying to be a young man soon, because he feels very helpless. Everyone is more powerful than him, and everyone is suppressing him; everyone is just trying to destroy him. Everyone is just ordering him to do this and that; everyone is trying to discipline him. He is not at all free, he is feeling he is in prison and trying to get away soon from all this – trying to be a grown-up. But when he is grown-up he says, “What bliss it was to be a child.”

And when he is old, he is remembering childhood, painting about it, making poetries about it, dreaming about it. What has happened? – the trick of the mind. He has forgotten all that was not good to remember; now, he remembers only the good things, and all else has been just dropped. Now he remembers the love; now he remembers the freedom from all responsibilities; now he remembers… it was never a fact!

Whatsoever he felt as total helplessness, now he feels as freedom from responsibility. Whatsoever he has really felt in the past as a very bothersome burden of the parents, now he feels as love. He has dropped all that was not good, not ego strengthening, not creating a beautiful image – he has dropped it all.

Bring that man into deep hypnosis and ask him, “How was your childhood?” And he will begin to say that it was just hell. Awake, out of hypnosis, he says, “It was a heaven; I am longing again and again to go back.” Put him into hypnosis, then ask, and he will say, “It was just hell. There was nothing in my childhood.”

Psychologists have come to know now that all the misery, all the diseases, all the schizophrenia, all the insanity that develops later in life, is just a by-product of your childhood. So how was it a heaven? They say all that happens later on is just a by-product of your childhood. In your childhood, seeds are put into you which will develop into insanities, into abnormal perversions.

But the poets have always been talking about the innocence of childhood, the beauty of it, the benediction, the blessedness.

Psychoanalysts know more, and better. Whenever someone is ill, they have to bring out this very seed that has been planted in childhood. Unless that seed is destroyed – that seed is traumatic – unless it is destroyed you can never be really well. So psychoanalysis goes on trying to make you free from your childhood and all its impressions, all that childhood has done with you. If you are free from it, only then you can grow positively; otherwise, positive growth is impossible.

Buddha and Mahavira will say, “First go deep” – and there are methods. There are methods which can bring you back all the memories of your past lives. And once you know and go back on this time track, once you know that you have done the same nonsense every time, and you have longed for the same things, and always received quite the opposite . . . This has been a wheel constantly turning and turning and turning, and always forgetting and forgetting, and doing the same thing again and again. If one becomes aware of it, the very awareness becomes transforming.

The very awareness is transformation.

It is an inner revolution.

But leave aside past lives; even this life is enough – if you can go back in this very life and can find out that whatsoever was happiness one day became misery the other, that whatsoever you longed for, when you achieved it, was totally frustrating…. One of the greatest miseries of human life is to get that which you long for. If you never get it you are still happy, happy in the hope, happy in the possibility. But when you get it, even hope is lost. Now there is no future – you have got it.

Every achievement is frustrating. They say, “Nothing succeeds like success.” But I say, “Nothing fails like success.”

Nothing fails like success.

The moment you succeed, you know nothing has been achieved. It was just a dream, and now you are disillusioned.

So go back in this life, even this life is enough; go back and feel. Really we always go to the future, never to the past; we always go for the tomorrow, never for the yesterday. Go back and feel, go back. You have lived with the same desires, with the same longing, with the same dreams. Now take account of your past – what have you achieved? What have you gained? Was any hope ever fulfilled, or has every hope just proved hopeless? – go back. Don’t always move into the future, because in the future you will be doing the same – repeating the past. Go back. Realize your whole past; feel what has been wrong with it and don’t continue that wrong again. Drop it. Drop it consciously because it has become a habit now, it has become a mechanical routine. Drop it consciously!

Don’t repeat the past in the future, and you will be a new man.

This is what I mean by sannyas, by renunciation – to be a new man. This is what I mean by “breaking with the past,” discontinuity with the past. Remember what you have done with yourself in the past, and then drop it! Don’t drop it in steps, because you can never drop anything in steps – drop it totally, suddenly. Only then there is a discontinuity; otherwise, if you drop it in steps, there is a continuity.

Drop it suddenly.

This is what is meant by sannyas: Dropping the past as useless for the future.

This is a reorientation of all your attitudes, a reorientation of your total consciousness. Once this reorientation is there, you begin a new journey, and that journey is inwards. Then you can pass all the five bodies and come to the one which is embodied, but is not a body itself.

Why does consciousness become so involved with the body – not only involved, but identified? Why do we begin to feel that we are the bodies? – not that we are in the bodies, but we are the bodies?

This is really a miracle, because the knower can never be the known; the observer, the source of consciousness, can never be identified with the object. This body we know as an object; this hand I know, I feel, as an object. I never feel . . . I Can never feel it as me. It is always something outside – an object. It hurts, I know; it doesn’t hurt, I know – but I remain the knower.

But why does it happen that the knower becomes the known? How? How does the subject become the object? It cannot become really – that is impossible; becoming is impossible. The subject can never become the object – but it appears, it appears that it has become the object. We have become the bodies, and we go on living as if we are bodies.

Vahinger, a western philosopher has written a very strange book. The book is called The Philosophy of “As-if.” Really, this is our whole lives. We behave as if we are bodies; we behave as if we are material. We behave always not as we are, but as if – the “as if” is always there. How does this happen? – this which is impossible – how does this impossibility happen? What is the key? What is the clue?

The clue is very simple. The logic in the trick is very simple. You begin to be identified with anything which is pleasurable, because if you feel identified with the pleasure, you can feel more pleasure. If you do not feel identified with pleasure, then you cannot feel the pleasure at all, really. So the lover begins to feel identified with the beloved, the friend with the friend, the father with his son, the mother with her son; they begin to feel identified. The mother feels as if she is living in the son, and that if the son succeeds, the mother succeeds. If the son achieves, the father achieves. Then the son becomes just an extended part of the father’s ego.

With whatsoever we feel as pleasure, we begin to be identified. The moment the son becomes rebellious or becomes a criminal, the father tries to destroy the identification. He says, “Now, no more. You don’t belong to me at all.” Why? Why does the son belong at all?

I have a friend – he is an old man, an old politician, with many ambitions unfulfilled, obviously. A politician can never feel fulfilled, mm? That is intrinsically impossible. He is now seventy-five. His son died; he was only forty, but he was a minister in a state.

The son was a minister; this old man could never be a minister; he had tried in every way. And now he says, “There were many chances but I just escaped; I never wanted to be in any post.” He had tried everything possible, but now he says that he is beyond. But his son was a minister . . . he had two sons – one was just ordinary; the second was extraordinary. The old man has never felt identified with the first son – never. His identity was with the second one, who was a minister. Then the second son died, and this old man began to feel that he could not live anymore.

He came to me and asked, “What to do? I think of committing suicide, I cannot live anymore. My son has died; my young son has died, and I am old and I am still . . . It is not good – the father should die first.”

I asked him, “Had your son been a criminal, bad, evil, unsuccessful, would you have felt the same?” He pondered over it and said, “No.” Then I told him, “It is not the death of the son which has become so significant to you, really – it is your death, your ambition’s death.”

I asked him, “If your other son dies, will you commit suicide?” He said, “I have never loved him at all. He is just ordinary.” He has loved his ambition, not the son. The other son is as much a son, but there has been no communication between the two, never. They have not even talked. He said, “No, if he had not been up to my conceptions I would not have felt like this.”

The ego begins to be identified with something which is pleasurable. And this is the logic of our minds, the logic of this whole illusion, that we feel that our body is the source of pleasure. Of course, there are pains and there are sufferings, but we always transfer pains and sufferings to others. Suffering is always created by someone else, mm?

Jean-Paul Sartre has said – and said a very beautiful thing, but of course absolutely nonsense. He has said, “The other is hell.” The other is hell, always the other is hell. Oneself? – it is heaven, the very heaven. The other is the hell – this is the division, the bifurcation.

We continue to be identified with the body because we feel this is the source of pleasure. Whenever someone else’s body becomes the source of pleasure, we begin to be identified with that also. But always, pain comes from someone else; suffering comes from someone else. With this trick, this deep involvement in identification becomes possible.

The truth, the fact, is quite different: the body is both or neither. Either it is both the source of pain and pleasure . . . Remember this; it is both, because it cannot be one or the other. Pleasure and pain are one. Your body is the source of both. If you can feel this and realize this, then they both negate each other; the pain and the pleasure both negate each other and the body becomes neutral. Or, feel that pleasure and pain both come from outside, both are devices. They both come from outside; don’t divide, take them as a whole. Then also there is no identification with the body; the body is neutral.

And if the body is neutral, this rishi says you become a soul; otherwise, you are a conditioned soul. And this conditioned soul is the bondage; this conditioning is the bondage. And the rishi says this is the only disease, the spiritual disease: to be conditioned so much, identified so much with the body that one begins to feel as if one is the body.

This “as if” must be broken.

But it begins to be difficult. One feels to break it, but it looks impossible, because we have investments in it. We can break it if someone can make us confident that “if you break this body consciousness, you will be very happy and blissful” – then we can break it. But again, the old fallacy goes on, the old longing goes on. So I am not saying that if you want happiness, then break this conditioning and identification with the body, because you cannot break it. Rather, be aware of the fact that happiness or misery both will always remain side by side; you cannot leave one and choose the other. That is not possible. They are just like negative and positive poles of electricity; they are two parts of one phenomenon.

So be aware of this, that they are two parts of one phenomenon. Then you can just drop them without any further longing.

You cannot drop anything if there is a desire to gain something else; then that desire is again desire for happiness, pleasure. Be aware of the fact that both are one; pleasure and pain are one. Your interpretation differs, but the thing is always the same. This awareness of the fact becomes the dropping, the turning. And the soul, for the first time, realizes that it has never been identified with any object at all; it is the subjectivity.

Kierkegaard has said, “To know the subjectivity as the subjectivity is the realization. To know the subjectivity as an object is the bondage.”

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #8

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

The Very Awareness is Transformation is from the morning talk, That Moment Becomes the Door to the Divine is from the evening talk of the same day.

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 in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

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