A Bridge to No-body – Osho

Truth is always here. It is already the case. It is not something to be achieved in the future. You are the truth just here and now, so it is not something which is to be created or something which is to be devised or something which is to be sought. Understand this very clearly; then these techniques will be easy to understand and also to do.

Mind is a mechanism of desiring. Mind is always in desire, always seeking something, asking for something. Always the object is in the future; mind is not concerned with the present at all. In this very moment the mind cannot move – there is no space. The mind needs the future in order to move. It can move either in the past or in the future. It cannot move in the present; there is no space. The truth is in the present, and mind is always in the future or in the past, so there is no meeting between mind and truth.

When the mind is seeking worldly objects it is not so difficult, the problem is not absurd; it can be solved. But when the mind starts seeking the truth the very effort becomes nonsense, because the truth is here and now and the mind is always then and there. There is no meeting. So understand the first thing: you cannot seek truth. You can find it, but you cannot seek it. The very seeking is the hindrance.

The moment you start seeking you have moved away from the present, away from yourself, because you are always in the present. The seeker is always in the present and the seeking is in the future, you are not going to meet whatsoever you are seeking. Lao Tzu says, “Seek not; otherwise you will miss. Seek not and find. Don’t seek and find.”

All these techniques of Shiva’s are simply turning the mind from the future or the past to the present. That which you are seeking is already there, it is the case already. The mind has to be turned from seeking to non-seeking. It is difficult. If you think about it intellectually it is very difficult. How to turn the mind from seeking to non-seeking? – Because then the mind makes non-seeking itself the object! Then the mind says, “Don’t seek.” Then the mind says, “I should not seek.” Then the mind says, “Now non-seeking is my object. Now I desire the state of desirelessness.” The seeking has entered again, the desire has come again through the back door. That is why there are people who are seeking worldly objects, and there are people who think they are seeking non-worldly objects. All objects are worldly because “seeking” is the world.

So you cannot seek anything non-worldly. The moment you seek, it becomes the world. If you are seeking God, your God is part of the world. If you are seeking moksha – liberation – nirvana, your liberation is part of the world, your liberation is not something that transcends the world, because seeking is the world, desiring is the world. So you cannot desire nirvana, you cannot desire non-desire. If you try to understand intellectually, it will become a puzzle.

Shiva says nothing about it, he immediately proceeds to give techniques. They are non-intellectual. He doesn’t say to Devi, “The truth is here. Don’t seek it and you will find it.” He immediately gives techniques. Those techniques are non-intellectual. Do them, and the mind turns. The turning is just a consequence, just a by-product – not an object. The turning is just a by-product.

If you do a technique, your mind will turn from its journey into the future or the past. Suddenly you will find yourself in the present. That is why Buddha has given techniques, Lao Tzu has given techniques, Krishna has given techniques. But they always introduce their techniques with intellectual concepts. Only Shiva is different. He immediately gives techniques, and no intellectual understanding, no intellectual introduction, because he knows that the mind is tricky, the most cunning thing possible. It can turn anything into a problem. Non-seeking will become the problem.

There are people who come to me who ask how not to desire. They are desiring non-desire. Somebody has told them, or they have read somewhere, or they have heard spiritual gossip that if you do not desire you will reach bliss, if you do not desire you will be free, if you do not desire there will be no suffering. Now their minds hanker to attain that state where there is no suffering, so they ask how not to desire. Their minds are playing tricks. They are still desiring, it is only that now the object has changed. They were desiring money, they were desiring fame, they were desiring prestige, they were desiring power. Now they are desiring non-desire. Only the object has changed, and they remain the same and their desiring remains the same. But now the desire has become more deceptive.

Because of this, Shiva proceeds immediately with no introduction whatsoever. He immediately starts talking about techniques. Those techniques, if followed, suddenly turn your mind: it comes to the present. And when the mind comes to the present it stops, it is no more. You cannot be a mind in the present; that is impossible. Just now, if you are here and now, how can you be a mind? Thoughts cease because they cannot move. The present has no space in which to move; you cannot think. If you are in this very moment, how can you move? Mind stops, you attain to no-mind.

So the real thing is how to be here and now. You can try, but effort may prove futile – because if you make it a point to be in the present, then this point has moved into the future. When you ask how to be in the present, again you are asking about the future. This moment is passing in the inquiry, “How to be present? How to be here and now?” This present moment is passing in the inquiry, and your mind will begin to weave and create dreams in the future: some day you will be in a state of mind where there is no movement, no motive, no seeking, and then there will be bliss – so how to be in the present?

Shiva doesn’t say anything about it, he simply gives a technique. You do it, and suddenly you find you are here and now. And your being here and now is the truth, and your being here and now is the freedom, and your being here and now is the nirvana.

The first nine techniques are concerned with breathing. So let us understand something about breathing, and then we will proceed to the techniques. We are breathing continuously from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Everything changes between these two points. Everything changes, nothing remains the same, only breathing is a constant thing between birth and death.

The child will become a youth; the youth will become old. He will be diseased, his body will become ugly, ill, everything will change. He will be happy, unhappy, in suffering; everything will go on changing. But whatsoever happens between these two points, one must breathe. Whether happy or unhappy, young or old, successful or unsuccessful – whatsoever you are, it is irrelevant – one thing is certain: between these two points of birth and death you must breathe.

Breathing will be a continuous flow; no gap is possible. If even for a single moment you forget to breathe, you will be no more. That is why you are not required to breathe, because then it would be difficult. Someone might forget to breathe for a single moment, and then nothing could be done. So, really, you are not breathing, because you are not needed. You are fast asleep, and breathing goes on; you are unconscious, and breathing goes on; you are in a deep coma, and breathing goes on. YOU are not required; breathing is something which goes on in spite of you.

It is one of the constant factors in your personality – that is the first thing. It is something which is very essential and basic to life – that is the second thing. You cannot be alive without breath. So breath and life have become synonymous. Breathing is the mechanism of life, and life is deeply related with breathing. That is why in India we call it prana. We have given one word for both – prana means the vitality, the aliveness. Your life is your breath.

Thirdly, your breath is a bridge between you and your body. Constantly, breath is bridging you to your body, connecting you, relating you to your body. Not only is the breath a bridge to your body, it is also a bridge between you and the universe. The body is just the universe which has come to you, which is nearer to you.

Your body is part of the universe. Everything in the body is part of the universe – every particle, every cell. It is the nearest approach to the universe. Breath is the bridge. If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the body. If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the universe. You move into some unknown dimension; then you cannot be found in space and time. So, thirdly, breath is also the bridge between you, and space and time.

Breath, therefore, becomes very significant – the most significant thing. So the first nine techniques are concerned with breath. If you can do something with the breath, you will suddenly turn to the present. If you can do something with breath, you will attain to the source of life. If you can do something with breath, you can transcend time and space. If you can do something with breath, you will be in the world and also beyond it.

Breath has two points. One is where it touches the body and the universe, and another is where it touches you and that which transcends the universe. We know only one part of the breath. When it moves into the universe, into the body, we know it. But it is always moving from the body to the “no-body,” from the “no-body” to the body. We do not know the other point. If you become aware of the other point, the other part of the bridge, the other pole of the bridge, suddenly you will be transformed, transplanted into a different dimension.

But remember, what Shiva is going to say is not yoga, it is tantra. Yoga also works on breath, but the work of yoga and tantra is basically different. Yoga tries to systematize breathing. If you systematize your breathing your health will improve. If you systematize your breathing, if you know the secrets of breathing, your life will become longer; you will be more healthy and you will live longer. You will be stronger, more filled with energy, more vital, alive, young, fresh.

But tantra is not concerned with that. Tantra is concerned not with any systematization of breath, but with using breath just as a technique to turn inward. One has not to practice a particular style of breathing, a particular system of breathing or a particular rhythm of breathing – no! One has to take breathing as it is. One has just to become aware of certain points in the breathing.

There are certain points, but we are not aware of them. We have been breathing and we will go on breathing – we are born breathing and we will die breathing – but we are not aware of certain points.

And this is strange. Man is searching, probing deep into space. Man is going to the moon; man is trying to reach farther, from earth into space, and man has not yet learned the nearest part of his life. There are certain points in breathing which you have never observed, and those points are the doors – the nearest doors to you from where you can enter into a different world, into a different being, into a different consciousness. But they are very subtle.

To observe a moon is not very difficult. Even to reach the moon is not very difficult; it is a gross journey. You need mechanization, you need technology, you need accumulated information, and then you can reach it. Breathing is the nearest thing to you, and the nearer a thing is, the more difficult it is to perceive it. The nearer it is, the more difficult; the more obvious it is, the more difficult. It is so near to you that again there is no space between you and your breathing. Or, there is such a small space that you will need a very minute observation, only then will you become aware of certain  points. These points are the basis of these techniques.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho describes the first technique here Between Two Breaths.

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The Last Technique – Osho

This is the last technique Osho gives in The Book of Secrets. With the first techniques he begins with watching the breath and onto developing the witness, he continues through 112 techniques in total, introducing many doors into our interiority, and then finally, he leaves us here in our utter aloneness.

Enter space, supportless, eternal, still. 

Three qualities of space have been given in this technique. Supportless: there can be no support in space. Eternal: it can never end. Still: it will be soundless, it will be silent. Enter this space, it is within you.

But the mind always asks for support. People come to me and if I say to them, “Just sit silently, with closed eyes, and don’t do anything,” they say, “Give me some avalamban, some support. Give me some mantra as a support, because I cannot sit.” Just sitting is difficult. If I give them a mantra, it is okay. They can go on repeating the mantra. Then it is easy. With support you are never empty, that’s why it is easy. Something must go on, you must be doing something. Doing, the doer remains: doing, you are filled. You may be filled with aumkar, aum, Ram, Jesus, Ave Maria, anything – you may be filled with anything, but you are filled. Then you are okay Mind resists emptiness. It wants always to be filled by something else, because if it is filled it can be. If it is not filled it will disappear. In emptiness you will attain no no-mind. That’s why mind asks for support.

If you want to enter inner space, don’t ask for support. Drop all supports, mantras, gods, scriptures, whatsoever gives you a support. If you feel you are supported, drop it, and just move inside – supportless. It will be fearful; you will feel scared. You are moving to where you can be lost completely. You may not be able to come back because all supports will be lost. Your contact with the bank is lost and where this river will lead you, no one knows. Your support is lost. You may fall into an infinite abyss. Hence, fear grips you, and you ask for some support. Even if it is a false support, you enjoy it. Even a false support is helpful. Because for the mind it makes no difference whether a support is real or false – it must be a support, that’s the point. You are not alone, something is there and supporting you.

It happened once that a man came to me. He was living in a house where he felt there were spirits and ghosts. And he was very worried. Through worries, he started seeing more illusions. Through worries, he became ill, weak. His wife said, “If you live any longer in this house, I am leaving.” His children were sent to some relative’s house.

The man came to me and he said, “It has become very difficult now. I see them clearly. They walk in the night. The whole house is filled with spirits. You help me.” So I gave him one of my pictures and said, “Take it. Now I will tackle those spirits. You simply sleep silently, you need not worry. Really, I will tackle them, I will see to them. Now it is my business. And don’t interfere. Now you need not be concerned.” The man came the next day. He said, “I slept, it was so beautiful! You have done a miracle!”

And I had not done anything but give a support. Through support the mind was filled. It was no longer vacant; someone was there.

In ordinary life you are leaning on many false supports, but they help. And unless you become strong enough, you will need them. That’s why I say that this is the ultimate technique – no support.

Buddha was dying and Anand asked him, “Now you are leaving us, what shall we do? How shall we attain? How shall we proceed now? When the master is gone, we will be wandering in darkness for many, many lives. No one is there to lead us, to guide us, the light is going out.” So Buddha said, “It will be good for you. When I am no more, you become your own light. Move alone, don’t ask for any support, because support is the last barrier.”

And it happened. Anand had not become enlightened. For forty years he was with Buddha, he was the closest disciple, he was just like a shadow to Buddha, moving with him, living with him; he had had the longest contact with him. For forty years Buddha’s compassion was falling over him, raining over him – for forty years. But nothing happened, Anand remained as ignorant as ever. And the day after Buddha died, Anand became enlightened – the next day, the very next day. The very support had been the barrier. When there was no more Buddha, Anand could not find any support. It is difficult. If you live with a Buddha, and the Buddha goes, then no one can be a support to you. Now no one will be worth clinging to. One who has been clinging to a Buddha cannot cling to anybody else in this world. This whole world will be vacant. Once you have known a Buddha and his love and compassion, then no love, no compassion can compare. Once you have tasted that, nothing else is worth tasting. So Anand was alone for the first time in forty years, totally alone. There was no way to find a support. He had known the highest support; now lower supports would not do. The next day he became enlightened. He must have moved into the inner space, supportless, eternal, still.

So remember, don’t try to find any support. Be supportless. If you are trying to do this technique, then be supportless. That is what Krishnamurti is teaching, “Be supportless. Don’t cling to a master.  Don’t cling to anything.”

That is what every master has been doing. A master’s whole effort is first to attract you towards him, so that you start clinging to him. When you start clinging to him, when you become close and intimate with him, then he knows that the clinging must be cut. And you cannot cling to anyone else now – that is finished. You cannot move to anyone else – that is impossible. Then he cuts the clinging and suddenly you are left supportless.

Enter space, supportless, eternal, still. 

That space has no beginning, no end. And that space is absolutely soundless. There is nothing – not even a sound vibrating, not even a ripple. Everything is still.

That point is just within you. Any moment you can enter it. If you have the courage to be supportless, this very moment you can enter it. The door is open. The invitation is for all, all and everyone. But courage is needed; courage to be alone, courage to be empty, courage to dissolve and melt, courage to die. And if you can die within to your inner space, you will attain to the life which never dies, you will attain to amrit, to immortality.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse 79

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairav Tantra)

Here you can listen to the complete meditation technique Enter Space, Supportless, Eternal, Still.

Osho’s discourses on the meditation techniques of Vigyan Bhairav Tantra

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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I am Not Asking You to Start Seeing God in Everything – Osho

The method that you have shown us for realizing the truth or the universal self is of negating everything and knowing oneself. Is the opposite of it not also possible: that we try to see the universal self in all, that we feel it in the whole?

It will be helpful to understand this.

One who cannot realize godliness within himself can never realize it in all. One who has not yet recognized godliness within himself can never recognize it in others. The self means that which is nearest to you; then anyone who is at a little distance from you will have to be considered as being farther away. And if you cannot see godliness in yourself, which is nearest you, you cannot possibly see it in those far from you. First you will have to know godliness in yourself; first the knower will have to know the divine — that is the nearest door.

But remember, it is very interesting that the individual who enters his self suddenly finds the entrance to all. The door to one’s self is the door to all. No sooner does a man enter his self than he finds he has entered all, because although we are outwardly different, inwardly we are not.

Outwardly, all leaves are different from each other. But if a person could penetrate just one leaf, he would reach to the source of the tree where all the leaves are in unison. Seen individually, each leaf is different — but once you have known a leaf in its interiority, you will have reached to the source from which all leaves emanate and into which all leaves dissolve. One who enters himself simultaneously enters all.

The distinction between “I” and “you” remains only so long as we have not entered within ourselves. The day we enter our I, the I disappears and so does the you — what remains then is all.

Actually, “all” does not mean the sum of I and you. All means where I and you have both disappeared, and what subsequently remains is all. If “I” has not yet dissolved, then one can certainly add “Is” and “yous,” but the sum will not equal truth. Even if one adds all the leaves, a tree does not come into being — even though it has had all the leaves added to it. A tree is more than the sum of all the leaves. In fact, it has nothing to do with addition; it is erroneous to add. Adding one leaf to another, we assume each one is separate. A tree is not made of separate leaves at all.

So, as soon as we enter the I, it ceases to exist. The first thing that disappears when we enter within is the sense of being a separate entity. And when that I-ness disappears, you-ness and the other-ness both disappear. Then what remains is all.

It’s not even right to call it “all,” because “all” also has the connotation of the same old I. Hence those who know would not even call it all; they would ask, “The sum of what? What are we adding?” Furthermore, they would declare that only one remains. Although they would perhaps even hesitate to say that, because the assertion of one gives the impression that there are two — it gives the idea that alone one has no meaning without the corresponding notion of two. One exists only in the context of two. Therefore, those who have a deeper understanding do not even say that one remains, they say advaita, nonduality, remains.

Now this is very interesting. These people say that “Two are not left.” They are not saying “One remains,” they are saying “Two are not left.” Advaita means there are not two.

One might ask, “Why do you talk in such roundabout ways? Simply say there is only one!” The danger in saying “one” is that it gives rise to the idea of two. And when we say there are not two, it follows that there are not three either; it implies that there is neither one, nor many, nor all. Actually, this division resulted from the perception based on the existence of “I.” So with the cessation of I, that which is whole, the indivisible, remains.

But to realize this, can we do what our friend is suggesting — can we not visualize God in everyone? To do so would be nothing more than fantasizing and fantasizing is not the same as perceiving the truth. Long ago some people brought a holy man to me. They told me this man saw God everywhere, that for the last thirty years he had been seeing God in everything — in flowers, plants, rocks, in everything. I asked the man if he had been seeing God in everything through practice because if that were so then his visions were false. He couldn’t follow me. I asked him again, “Did you ever fantasize about or desire to see God in everything?” He replied, “Yes indeed. Thirty years ago I started this sadhana in which I would attempt to see God in rocks, plants, mountains, in everything. And I began to see God everywhere.” I asked him to stay with me for three days and, during that period, to stop seeing God everywhere.

He agreed. But the very next day he told me, “You have done me great harm. Only twelve hours have passed since I gave up my usual practice and I have already begun to see a rock as a rock and a mountain as a mountain. You have snatched my God away from me! What sort of a person are you?”

I said, “If God can be lost by not practicing for just twelve hours, then what you saw was not God — it was merely a consequence of your regular exercise.” It is similar to when a person repeats something incessantly and creates an illusion. No, God has not to be seen in a rock; rather, one needs to reach a state in which there is nothing left to be seen in a rock except God. These are two different things.

Through your efforts to see him there, you will begin to see God in a rock, but that God will be no more than a mental projection. That will be a God superimposed by you on the rock; it will be the work of your imagination. That God will be purely your creation; he will be a complete figment of your imagination. Such a God is nothing more than your dream — a dream which you have consolidated by reinforcing it again and again. There is no problem seeing God like this, but it is living in an illusion, it is not entering truth.

One day, of course, it happens that the individual himself disappears and, consequently, he sees nothing but God. Then one doesn’t feel that God is in the rock, then the feeling is “Where is the rock? Only God is!” Do you follow the distinction I am making? Then one doesn’t feel that God exists in the plant or that he exists in the rock; that the plant exists and, in the plant, so does God — no, nothing of the kind. What one comes to feel is “Where is the plant? Where is the rock? Where is the mountain?”… because all around, whatever is seen, whatever exists is only God. Then seeing God does not depend upon your exercise, it depends upon your experience.

The greatest danger in the realm of sadhana, of spiritual practice, is the danger of imagination. We can fantasize truths which must otherwise become our own experience. There is a difference between experiencing and fantasizing. A person who has been hungry the whole day eats at night in his dream and feels greatly satisfied. Perhaps he does not find as much joy in eating when he is awake as he does when he is dreaming — in the dream he can eat any dish he wants. Nevertheless, his stomach still remains empty in the morning, and the food he has consumed in his dream gives him no nourishment. If a man decides to stay alive on the food he eats in dreams, then he is sure to die sooner or later. No matter how satisfying the food eaten in the dream may be, in reality it is not food. It can neither become part of your blood, nor your flesh, nor your bones or marrow. A dream can only cause deception.

Not only are meals made of dreams, God is also made of dreams. And so is moksha, liberation, made of dreams. There is a silence made of dreams, and there are truths made of dreams. The greatest capacity of the human mind is the capacity to deceive itself. However, by falling into this kind of deception, no one can attain joy and liberation.

So I am not asking you to start seeing God in everything. I am only asking you to start looking within and seeing what is there. When, to see what is there, you begin to look inside, the first person to disappear will be you — you will cease to exist inside. You will find for the first time that your I was an illusion, and that it has disappeared, vanished. As soon as you take a look inside, first the I, the ego, goes. In fact, the sense that “I am” only persists until we have looked inside ourselves. And the reason we don’t look inside is perhaps because of the fear that, if we did, we might be lost.

You may have seen a man holding a burning torch and swinging it round and round until it forms a circle of fire. In reality there is no such circle, it is just that when the torch is swinging round with great speed, it gives the appearance of a circle from a distance. If you see it close up, you will find that it is just a fast-moving torch, that the circle of fire is false. similarly, if we go within and look carefully, we will find that the “I” is absolutely false. Just as the fast-moving torch gives the illusion of a circle of fire, the fast-moving consciousness gives the illusion of I. This is a scientific truth and it needs to be understood.

You may not have noticed, but all life’s illusions are caused by things revolving at great speed. The wall looks very solid; the rock under your feet feels clearly solid, but according to scientists there is nothing like a solid rock. It is now a well-known fact that the closer scientists observed matter, the more it disappeared. As long as the scientist was distant from matter, he believed in it. Mostly it was the scientist who used to declare that matter alone is truth, but now that very scientist is saying there is nothing like matter. Scientists say that the fast movement of particles of electricity creates the illusion of density. Density, as such, exists nowhere.

For example, when an electric fan moves with speed, we cannot see the three moving blades; one cannot actually count how many there are. If it moves even faster, it will appear as if a piece of circular metal is moving. It can be moved so fast that even if you sat on top of it, you wouldn’t feel the gap between the blades; you would feel as if you were sitting on top of solid metal.

The particles in matter are moving with similar speed — and the particles are not matter, they are fast-moving electric energy. Matter appears dense because of fast-moving particles of electricity. The whole of matter is a product of fast-moving energy — even though it appears to exist, it is actually nonexistent. Similarly, the energy of consciousness is moving so fast that, because of it, the illusion of I is created.

There are two kinds of illusions in this world: one, the illusion of matter; second, the illusion of I, the ego. Both are basically false, but only by coming closer to them does one become aware they don’t exist. As science draws closer to matter, matter disappears; as religion draws nearer I the I disappears. Religion has discovered that the I is nonexistent, and science has discovered that matter is nonexistent. The closer we come, the more we become disillusioned.

That’s why I say: go within; look closely — is there any I inside? I am not asking you to believe that you are not the I. If you do, it will turn into a false belief. If you take my word for it and think, “I am not; the ego is false. I am atman, I am brahman; the ego is false,” you will throw yourself into confusion. If this merely becomes a repetitive thing, then you will only be repeating the false. I am not asking you for this sort of repetition. I am saying: go within, look, recognize who you are. One who looks within and recognizes himself discovers that “I am not.” Then who is within? If I am not, then someone else must be there. Just because “I am not,” doesn’t mean no one is there, because even to recognize the illusion, someone has to be there.

If I am not, then who is there? The experience of what remains after the disappearance of I is the experience of God. The experience becomes at once expansive — dropping I, “you” also drops, “he” also drops, and only an ocean of consciousness remains. In that state you will see that only God is. Then it may seem erroneous to say that God is, because it sounds redundant.

It is redundant to say “God is,” because God is the other name of “that which is.” Is-ness is God — hence to say “God is” is a tautology; it isn’t correct. What does it mean to say “God is”? We identify something as “is” which can also become “is not”. We say “the table is,” because it is quite possible the table may not exist tomorrow, or that the table did not exist yesterday. Something which did not exist before may become nonexistent again; then what is the sense in saying “it is”? God is not something which did not exist before, nor is it possible that he will never be again; therefore, to say “God is” is meaningless. He is. In fact, another name for godliness is “that which is.” Godliness means existence.

In my view, if we impose our God on “that which is,” we are pushing ourselves into falsehood and deception. And remember, the Gods we have created are made differently; each has his respective trademark. A Hindu has made his own God, a Mohammedan has his own. The Christian, the Jaina, the Buddhist — each has his own God. All have coined their own respective words; all have created their own respective Gods. A whole great God-manufacturing industry abounds! In their respective homes people manufacture their God; they produce their own God. And then these God-manufacturers fight among themselves in the marketplace the same way the people who manufacture goods at home do. Everyone’s God is different from the other’s.

Actually, as long as “I am,” whatsoever I create will be different from yours. As long as “I am,” my religion, my God will be different from other people’s because they will be the creation of I, of the ego. Since we consider ourselves separate entities, whatever we create will have a separate character. If, to create religion, the appropriate freedom could be granted, there would be as many religions in the world as there are people — not less than that. It is because of the lack of the right kind of freedom that there are so few religions in the world.

A Hindu father takes certain care to make his son a Hindu before he becomes independent. A Mohammedan father makes his son a Mohammedan before he becomes intelligent, because once intelligence is attained, a person won’t want to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan. And so there is the need to fill a child with all these stupidities before he achieves intelligence.

All parents are anxious to teach their children religion right from childhood, because once a child grows up he will start to think and to cause trouble. He will raise all sorts of questions — and not finding any satisfactory answers, will do things difficult for the parents to face. This is why parents are keen to teach their children religion right from infancy — when the child is unaware of many things, when he is vulnerable to learning any kind of stupidity. This is how people become Mohammedans, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians — whatsoever you teach them to become.

And so, those we call religious people are often found to be unintelligent. They lack intelligence, because what we call religion is something which has poisoned us before intelligence has arisen — and even afterwards it continues its inner hold. No wonder Hindus and Mohammedans fight with each other in the name of God, in the name of their temples and their mosques.

Does God come in many varieties? Is the God Hindus worship of one kind, and the God the Mohammedans worship of another? Is that why Hindus feel their God is desecrated if an idol is destroyed. Or Mohammedans feel their God is dishonored if a mosque is destroyed or burned?

Actually, God is “that which is.” He exists as much in a mosque as he does in a temple. He exists as much in a slaughterhouse as he does in a place of worship. He exists as much in a tavern as he does in a mosque. He is as present in a thief as he is in a holy man — not one iota less; that can never be. Who else is dwelling in a thief if not the divine? He is as present in Rama as he is in Ravana — he is not one iota less in Ravana. He exists as much within a Hindu as he does within a Mohammedan.

But the problem is: if we come to believe that the same divinity exists in everyone, our God manufacturing industry will suffer heavily. So in order to prevent this from happening, we keep on imposing our respective Gods. If a Hindu looks at a flower he will project his own God on it, see his God in it, whereas a Mohammedan will project, visualize his God. They can even pick a fight over this, although perhaps such a Hindu-Mohammedan conflict is a little far-fetched.

Their establishments are at a little distance from each other — but there are even quarrels between the closely related “divinity shops.” For example, there is quite a distance between Benares and Mecca, but there is not much distance in Benares between the temples of Rama and Krishna. And yet the same degree of trouble exists there.

I have heard about a great saint… I am calling him great because people used to call him great, and I am calling him a saint only because people used to call him a saint.

He was a devotee of Rama. Once he was taken to the temple of Krishna. When he saw the idol of Krishna holding a flute in his hands, he refused to bow down to the image. Standing before the image, he said, “If you would take up the bow and arrow, only then could I bow down to you, for then you would be my Lord.” How strange! We place conditions on God also — how and in which manner or position he should present himself. We prescribe the setting; we make our requirements — only then are we prepared to worship.

It is so strange we determine what our God should be like. But that’s how it has been all along. What, up to now, we have been identifying as “God”, is a product based on our own specifications. As long as this man-made God is standing in the way, we will not be able to know that God who is not determined by us. We will never be able to know the one who determines us. And so we need to get rid of the man-made God if we wish to know the God which is. But that’s tough; it’s difficult even for the most kindhearted person. Even for someone we otherwise consider a man of understanding, it’s hard to get rid of this man-made God. He too clings firmly to the basic foolishness as much as a stupid man does. A stupid man can be forgiven, but it is difficult to forgive a man of understanding.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan arrived in India recently. He is preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity all over the country, but he himself is a staunch Mohammedan; about this, there is not the slightest doubt. It doesn’t bother him that he prays in the mosque like a loyal Mohammedan, yet he is going about preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity. Gandhi was a staunch Hindu, and he also used to preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity. As the guru, so is the disciple: the guru was a confirmed Hindu; the disciple is a confirmed Mohammedan. And so long as there are confirmed Hindus and confirmed Mohammedans in the world, how can such unity come about? They need to relax a little, only then unity is possible. These zealous Hindus and Mohammedans are at the root of all the trouble between the two religions, although the roots of these troubles are not really visible. Those who preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity do not have the vaguest idea how to bring it about.

As long as God is different things to different people, as long as there are different places of worship for different people, as long as prayers are different and scriptures are different — Koran being father for some and Gita being mother for others — the vexing troubles between religions will never come to an end. We cling to the Koran and the Gita. We say, “Read the Koran and teach people to drop enmity and to become one. Read the Gita and teach people to drop enmity and to become one.” We don’t realize, however, that the very words of Koran and Gita are the root cause of all the trouble.

If a cow’s tail gets cut off, a Hindu-Mohammedan riot will break out, and we will blame ruffians for causing the fight. And the funny thing is that no hoodlum has ever preached that the cow is our sacred mother. This is actually taught by our mahatmas, our holy men, who put the blame for creating riots on “hoodlums”. … Because when the tail does get cut off, then for the mahatmas’ purpose, it is not the tail of the cow, it is the tail of the holy mother! When they bring this to people’s attention, the riots begin, in which the hoodlums get involved and are later blamed for starting them.

So the people we call mahatmas are in fact at the root of all such troubles. Were they to step aside, the hoodlums would be harmless, they would have no power to fight. They get strength from the mahatmas. But the mahatmas remain so well hidden underground that we never ever realize they could be at the root of the problem.

What is the root of the problem, really? The root cause of all the trouble is your God — the God manufactured in your homes. Try to save yourselves from the gods you create in your respective homes. You cannot manufacture God in your homes; the existence of such a God will be pure deception.

I am not asking you to project God. After all, in the name of God, what will you project? A devotee of Krishna will say he sees God hiding behind a bush holding a flute in his hand, while a devotee of Rama will see God holding a bow and arrow. Everyone will see God differently. This kind of seeing is nothing but projecting our desires and concepts. God is not like this. We cannot find him by projecting our desires and our concepts — to find him we will have to disappear altogether. We will have to disappear — along with all our concepts and all our projections. Both things cannot go hand in hand. As long as you exist as an ego, the experience of godliness is absolutely impossible. You as an ego will have to go; only then is it possible to experience it. I cannot enter the door of the divine as long as my I, my ego, exists.

I have heard a story that a man renounced everything and reached the door of the divine. He had renounced wealth, wife, house, children, society, everything, and having renounced all, he approached the door of the divine. But the guard stopped him and said, “You cannot enter yet. First go and leave everything behind.”

“But I have left everything,” pleaded the man.

“You have obviously brought your ‘I’ along with you. We are not interested in the rest; we are only concerned with your ‘I’. We don’t care about whatever you say you have left behind, we are concerned with your ‘I’,” The guard explained. “Go, drop it, and then come back.”

The man said, “I have nothing. My bag is empty — it contains no money, no wife, no children. I possess nothing.”

“Your ‘I’ is still in the bag — go and drop it. These doors are closed to those who bring their ‘I’ along; for them the doors have always been closed,” said the guard.

But how do we drop the I? The I will never drop by our attempts to do so. How can “I” drop the very itself? This is impossible. It will be like someone trying to lift himself up by his shoelaces. How do I drop the I? Even after dropping everything, I will still remain. At the most one might say, “I have dropped the ego,” and yet this shows he is still carrying his “I.” One becomes egoistic even about dropping the ego. Then what should a man do? It’s quite a difficult situation.

I say to you: there is nothing difficult about it — because I don’t ask you to drop anything. In fact, I don’t ask you to do anything. The I, the ego, becomes stronger because of all the doing. I am merely asking you to go within and look for the I. If you find it, then there is no way to drop it. If it always exists there, what is there left to be dropped? And if you don’t find it, then too, there is no way to drop it. How can you drop something which doesn’t exist?

So go within and see if the I is there or not. I am simply saying that one who looks inside himself begins to laugh uproariously, because he cannot find his I anywhere within himself. Then what does remain? What remains then is God. That which remains with the disappearance of the I — could that ever be separate from you? When the I itself ceases to exist, who is going to create the separation? It is the I alone which separates me from you and you from me.

There is the wall of this house. Under the illusion that they divide space into two, walls stand — although space never becomes divided in half; space is indivisible. No matter how thick a wall you erect, the space inside the house and the space outside are not two different things; they are one. No matter how tall you raise the wall, the space inside and outside the house is never divided. The man living inside the house, however, feels that he has divided the space into two — one space inside his house and another outside it. But if the wall were to fall, how would the man differentiate the space within the house from the space without? How would he figure it out? Then, only space would remain.

In the same way, we have divided consciousness into fragments by raising the walls of I. When this wall of I falls, then it is not that I will begin to see God in you. No, then I won’t be seeing you, I’ll only be seeing God. Please understand this subtle distinction carefully.

It will be wrong to say I would begin to see godliness in you — I won’t be seeing you any more, I will only be seeing the divine. It’s not that I would see godliness in a tree — I would no longer see a tree, only the divine. When somebody says godliness exists in each and every atom he is absolutely wrong, because he is seeing both the atom and godliness. Both cannot be seen simultaneously. The truth of the matter is that each and every atom is godliness, not that godliness exists in each and every atom. It is not that some God is sitting enclosed inside an atom — whatever is, is godliness.

Godliness is the name given out of love to “that which is.” “That which is,” is truth — in love we call it godliness. But it makes no difference by which name we call it. I do not ask, therefore, that you begin to see godliness in everyone, I am saying: start looking inside. As soon as you look within, you will disappear. And with your disappearance what you’ll see is God.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Both are Half Right, Half Wrong – Osho

I have just arrived from the West—Paris—where I had heard about you and read some of your books.  They touched me very deeply and one question arose in me:

How is your spiritual dimension and the work you do on a spiritual level capable of conducting and enlightening the behavior of a man involved in action on a materialistic level, for instance, urbanism, struggle against hunger, thirst and all other distresses?

Jacques Daumal, I do not divide existence into these old dichotomies, the materialistic plane and the spiritual plane. There is only one reality: matter is its visible form and spirit its invisible form. Just like your body and your soul— your body cannot be without your soul and your soul cannot be without your body.

In fact, the whole split of the past has been a heavy burden on the human heart — the split between body and soul. It has created a schizophrenic humanity. As I see it, schizophrenia is not a disease that happens once in a while to a person. The whole humanity up to now has been schizophrenic. It is very rarely, only once in a while, that a man like Jesus, or Buddha, or Mahavira, or Socrates, or Pythagoras, or Lao Tzu, has been able to escape from this schizophrenic pattern of our living.

To divide reality into antagonistic, inimical realism is dangerous because it is dividing man. Man is a miniature universe; if you divide the universe the man is divided, if you divide the man the universe is divided. And I believe in the undivided, organic unity of existence.

To me there is no distinction between the spiritual and the material. You can be spiritual and function on the materialistic plane—and your functioning will be more joyous, your functioning will be more aesthetic, more sensitive. Your functioning on the materialistic plane will not be tense, will not be full of anguish and anxiety.

Once a man came to Buddha and asked, “The world is in such a distress, people are in so much misery — how can you manage to sit silently and so joyously?”

Buddha said, “If somebody is suffering from fever, has the doctor also to lie down by his side and suffer? Has the doctor out of compassion to get the infection and lie down by the side of the patient and be feverish? Is that going to help the patient? In fact, whereas there was only one person ill, now there are two persons ill — the world is doubly ill! The doctor need not be ill to help the patient; the doctor has to be healthy to help the patient. The healthier he is, the better; the healthier he is, the more help is possible through him.”

I am not against working on the material plane. Whatsoever work you are doing — urbanism, struggle against hunger, struggle for ecological balance, struggle against poverty, exploitation, oppression, struggle for freedom — whatsoever your work on the material plane; it is going to be benefited, tremendously benefited, if you become more spiritually rooted, centered, calm, quiet, cool, because then the whole quality of your work will be changed. Then you will be able to think in a more cool manner, and you will be able to act more gracefully. Your understanding of your own inner being will be of tremendous help to help others.

I am not a spiritualist in the old sense and I am not a materialist either in the old sense. The Charvakas in India, Epicurus in Greece, Karl Marx and others, they are materialists. They say only matter is true and consciousness is only an epiphenomenon, a by-product; it has no reality of its own. And then there are people like Shankara, Nagarjuna, who say just the same thing in a reverse manner. They say the soul is real and the body is unreal, maya, illusion, an epiphenomenon, a by-product; it has no reality of its own.

To me, both are half right, half wrong. And a half-truth is far more dangerous than a whole lie — at least it is whole. A whole lie has a certain beauty, but a half-truth is ugly — ugly and dangerous too — ugly because it is half. It is like cutting a man into two parts.

Just the other day I was reading a story:

It was very hot, and a man with his young daughter was passing by the side of a swimming pool of an intercontinental hotel. It was so hot, the girl said, “I would like to go in the pool and cool myself.”

The father said, “Okay, I will sit underneath the tree, and you go ahead.”

But she was stopped immediately by the guard and he said, “This pool is restricted. It is not allowed here for Jews… and you look Jewish.”

The father said, “Listen: I am Jewish. My daughter’s mother is not Jewish, she is a Christian, so my daughter is half Jew, half Christian. Can you allow her to take a bath only up to the waist?”

Dividing man is dangerous, because man is an organic unity. But this is how down the ages it has been done, and now it has become almost a routine thinking, a conditioning.

Daumal, you are still thinking in the old categories. I don’t belong to any school — the school of the materialists or the school of the so-called spiritualists. My approach is total, it is holistic. I believe that man is both together, spiritual and material. In fact, I have to use the words ‘spiritual’ and ‘material’ just because they have always been used. In fact man is psychosomatic, not material and spiritual, because that ‘and’ creates duality. There is no ‘and’ between the material and the spiritual, not even a hyphen. Man is material-spiritual — I use it as one word, material-spiritual. And both the sides….

Spiritual means the center of your being and the material means the circumference of your being. The circumference cannot be there if there is no center, and the center cannot be there if there is no circumference.

My work here is to help your center become a clarity, a purity. Then that purity will be reflected on the circumference too. If your center is beautiful your circumference is bound to become beautiful, and if your circumference is beautiful your center is bound to be affected by that beauty.

My sannyasin is a total man, he is a new man. The effort is that he will be beautiful from both the sides. […]

We are trying to create a harmony, a new synthesis.

-Osho

From The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, V.3, Discourse #2

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.

Like a Great Surprise – Osho

It all seems so simple – I just can’t understand it. I keep grasping at it and it eludes me, a music that can almost be smelt, a taste that can almost be felt.

Sometimes I am on the very threshold; other times it’s not in a million years, not for me.

Krishna Prabhu, it is simple, hence it is impossible to understand it. If it was complex, understanding would be possible. Only a complex thing can be understood, because a complex thing can be analyzed, divided, broken into parts. A simple thing is indivisible; you cannot analyze it, you cannot dissect it. It is simply there; it is impossible to understand it.

That’s why all that is simple eludes knowledge. God is simple, that’s why science cannot know him. Love is simple, that’s why science can have no idea what it is. Whenever you come across a simple thing you have to drop the effort to understand it; only then can you understand it. A totally new kind of understanding will be needed – an understanding of the heart, which does not analyze, which does not dissect.

See: science dissects, analyzes, divides. It goes on trying to find the smaller and the smaller part – it reaches to the atom, to the electron, and it goes on dividing. It will never know about the whole, it will know only about the parts. And once it comes against a part which cannot be divided, again it is elusive.

Now, science knows nothing about the electrons yet, because they can’t be divided yet. Once you divide them you will know – you will know how they are composed, of what they are composed. But then again you are facing something else – the new division – and that eludes knowledge.

Religion moves in a totally different way. It does not go to the part, it goes to the whole. ‘God’ means the whole – the undivided whole, the totality of all. How can you understand God? In the very effort to understand, you have become separate from it; God is no more total. The one who is trying to understand is separate – division has started, you are on the way to science. The known and the knower have become separate; the first division has happened. Now it is a process ad infinitum.

God can be known only if you remain in an undivided relatedness with the whole. You don’t become a knower, you don’t become an observer. You don’t stand out of it – you can’t. You ARE in it, you ARE it – how can you know it? You can BE it! And that is a totally different kind of knowing, a different kind of understanding – the understanding that arises out of being.

You cannot know love from the outside, but you can be love – and then you will know. But that knowing will not be part of your head. The head will still remain ignorant; you will know, but you will not be able to translate it into the language that the head can understand.

You ask me: It all seems so simple

Not that it seems simple, it is simple! But you have been taught again and again that if something is simple you will be able to understand it immediately. That is absolute nonsense. The simple is impossible to understand. The simple is elusive; there is no meeting between the effort to understand and between that which is simple. Either the simple has to be denied… If you say that it doesn’t exist then you are okay, then the problem has been dropped.

That’s what science has been doing: “There is no God, there is no soul, there is no love.” Deny all those simple things, then you can at least have your peace of mind; there is nothing left which haunts you. Science denies God just in self-defense – otherwise God stands there like an impossible problem. And the scientist cannot become a knower if even God has not been understood. And God cannot be understood. The simple way is: say that there is no God, so there is no question of understanding. Then you are at ease.

Religion says: God is, only God is. In fact to say ‘God is’ is repetitive, because God means is-ness. All that is, is God; God is not a separate entity. This is-ness, just this, is God. How can you understand it? You have to drop understanding, you have to become ignorant. If you approach God with your knowledge, knowledgeability, you will go on missing. You have to drop all your knowledge. You have to allow your scriptures to disappear, your doctrines to depart; say goodbye to them, and forever.

And suddenly, the moment you are in a state of no-knowledge, that is the state of meditation – the state of no-knowledge, the state of innocence.

Blessed are the ignorant. Why? Because only they can know. Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God.” Why small children? Innocent, ignorant, non-knowledgeable. Carrying nothing in the mind, just empty, with no ideas, no thoughts to project – not in any way trying to understand.

Innocence gives you wonder, creates awe. You simply feel a great Aha! like a tidal wave arising in your being. Body, mind, soul, all are involved in this Aha! All has stopped. You are there – not as a knower, you are dissolved as a knower. And then the knowing happens, because then the being happens. Then you are in tune with the whole.

That harmony, that rhythm, that togetherness with the whole, is what religion calls understanding. You are not to be an observer – in fact you are not to be at all. Then the simple is understood. And the simple is great, and the simple has splendour.

You say: It all seems so simple – I just can’t understand it.

True. You can’t, nobody can. Drop the effort – that effort will tire you. And when one becomes too tired doing something impossible, one starts denying it. If you cannot know, you cannot know, you cannot know… a moment comes when it is too much to tolerate it. The question becomes heavy on your heart. For sheer self-defense you start saying, “It is not there. If it was there then I would have understood it. Because I cannot understand it, it cannot be there. It is. pseudo-puzzle. God is not there – a created problem.”

Then you can rest. You can go back to sleep, you can walk again, you can again live your mediocre life. It is the cowards who deny God – cowards because they cannot gather courage to be ignorant enough to know the simple.

I have heard:

The farmer had just returned from a drive in his carriage. His dog, who had been running alongside, threw himself on the grass, his sides heaving with his heavy panting. “It is not the road that tires him,” explained the farmer, “but his zig-zagging. We have ridden for about five miles, but the dog has covered twenty-five miles. There was not a cat he did not chase, not a dog he did not bark at, not a driveway he did not investigate. Straight travelling did not tire him, only the zig-zagging did.”

Philosophy is zig-zagging. Religion is straight.

Jesus says, “My way is straight and narrow.” Religion is the shortest possible way between two points – between the knower and the known, the shortest possible way. It joins the knower and the known directly, without any zig-zagging. Philosophy zig-zags, and zig-zags so much that finally it loses all track of the goal.

What is the shortest distance between two points? Love is the shortest distance between two points – two alive points, two beings, two existences. Love is the shortest distance, knowledge the longest.

And that’s why religion has a totally different dimension in relating to existence. Those who have become accustomed to zig-zagging – analyzing, interpreting, philosophizing – they will go on chasing every cat, every dog, they will go on exploring every driveway, and they will be tiring themselves and reaching nowhere. They don’t have any sense of direction.

The simple man, the innocent man, simply goes straight.

And Jesus also says, “The way is straight and narrow.” Why narrow? It is so narrow that it cannot contain your ego. Only you can go – but you will have to leave your ego outside, outside the door. It is so narrow, two persons cannot walk together. You cannot take your child with you, you cannot take your aging mother with you, you cannot take your beloved with you.

Even a Buddha cannot take you with him. Buddhas only point the way – because two persons cannot walk on it, it is so narrow. One has to go alone: the flight of the alone to the alone. And so alone that not even your ego is with you, and so alone that not even your mind is with you, and so utterly alone that not even your self is with you.

You go into it as absolute silence, as a disappearing person, as an appearing presence.

It all seems so simple – I just can’t understand it. I keep grasping at it and it eludes me…

That’s why it eludes you. Not that it is elusive; that is not its nature. It appears to elude you, Krishna Prabhu, because you are trying to grasp it. You create the elusiveness in it by your grasping.

There are things which cannot be grasped. You cannot grasp the sky in your hand – or can you? You cannot grasp it in your fist; if you try you will miss. The more the fist becomes strong, closed, the less sky it will have in it. Open the fist and you have the whole sky available.

But mind is very much a miser, a hoarder. It always hoards; it immediately closes up on things. If you know something you immediately close up on it, you immediately reduce it to knowledge. That’s why knowing is constantly being reduced to knowledge – and the moment you reduce knowing to knowledge you have killed it. Then you have only a dead bird in your hands – it cannot fly into the sky; then you will never see it again on its wings.

Knowing is alive, a bird on the wing. Knowledge is a killed bird – it is in your hands, but you can only have the dead body. The soul has flown, and that was the real thing, the essential thing. You have missed the real and you are hoarding the unreal. But that’s our way, that’s what we do with everything. Knowing is immediately reduced to knowledge.

Leave your knowing as knowing! Existence consists not of nouns but of verbs. All nouns are false: no noun is true, can be true. There is no tree, there are only treeing phenomena. There is no river, only riverings.

When you say, “This is a man,” what are you saying? You are reducing a verb to a noun – because the man is growing! It is a growth, it is a process. It is not the same even for two seconds, it is a flow.

You say, “This is my friend” – but the time that you take in saying “This is my friend” may be enough to turn him into your enemy. You say ‘love’? There is no love, only loving. See life and you will be surprised: there is no life, only living.

Reduce all nouns to verbs and you will have a far clearer perspective of life. But no verb can be grasped. Nouns can be grasped; because of the miserly mind, man lives through nouns and has forgotten verbs.

And this miserliness penetrates into everything you do. Why grasp? You see a beautiful flower and immediately you are on the way to pluck it. Why? It was beautiful on the stem, alive, rooted in God. And you killed it. And are you thinking you are going to give it to your girlfriend? You are presenting death to your girlfriend! Or do you think you are going to put this flower at the feet of the god in the temple? That god is dead, this flower is dead, and between these two deaths you are dead. The flower was already offered to God on the bush – it was with God, you took it away from God to offer it to a stone. Why this immediate desire to pluck the flower?

I have heard: A friend was visiting George Bernard Shaw. He was very much against people plucking flowers from his garden – he had put notice-boards all over the garden: “Don’t Pluck Flowers.” The friend asked, “Don’t you love flowers? Don’t you like flowers being arranged on your table?”

Bernard Shaw said, “I love flowers, that’s why. I love children too, but I would not like anybody to cut off their heads and arrange those heads on my table.”

The idea of the ego is always to kill and destroy. Why? Because once a thing is destroyed you are in control. You can control only dead things. That’s why people worship dead gods in the temples, and they worship dead masters.

When Buddha is alive they will not worship him, they will worship Krishna. When Buddha is gone they will worship Buddha, they will not worship Christ. When Christ is gone they will worship Christ, they will not worship Kabir – and so on and so forth. Once a master is gone, great shrines are raised in his name and people start worshipping him. But while he is alive they stone him to death, they crucify him, they reject him, they deny him. Why? Why are you so much interested in death?

With death you become masters. With an alive master you cannot be in control, he will be in control. With an alive flower the flower is in control, not you; once plucked, you are in control. Then you can go on doing any stupid nonsense – you can call it ikebana and you can go on arranging flowers and you can go on learning flower arrangement, and that is all nonsense.

You have destroyed the flower, now you are feeling guilty. Hence ikebana – it is out of guilt. Now you are trying somehow to pretend that you are creating beauty again. There is deep guilt – you have destroyed beauty. It was perfectly beautiful on the bush, on the stem, in the wind, with the sun.

But the mind has a constant desire to grasp. Watch this miserliness.

I have heard:

A rich old miser became critically ill and the doctor prescribed a medicine with the following warning: “If after taking the medicine you perspire, it is a sign that you will recover. If you don’t perspire, only God can help.”

The miser took the medicine, but failed to perspire. It seemed that the rich man was about to die.

“Let us call on him,” said the mayor to the elders of the town. “Perhaps he will now repent his way and leave something for the church.”

They visited him, and found him in a repentant mood. They brought paper and ink and the mayor got ready to write. “The church,” he said, “is badly in need of repairs.”

“A hundred dollars for the church,” said the miser, and groaned.

“The widows and orphans fund is depleted,” said the mayor.

“A hundred… wait a minute, wait a minute!” the miser cried suddenly. “Cross it out! I’m perspiring! I’m perspiring!”

The mind is always clinging to things. It may be money, it may be meditation. It may be knowledge, it may be love. Watch that the mind always wants to grasp, hold things in hand.

Now, you cannot hold God in your hand. You can hold a flower, you can pluck a flower, but you cannot hold God in your hand. God is too big for that. God means totality. How can you hold this totality in your hand? One has to approach in a different way – one has to surrender oneself into God’s hands. Rather than grasping God, you have to pray to be grasped by him.

You cannot hold the ocean in your hands, but you can drop into the ocean and disappear. That’s the way to be it.

I keep grasping at it and it eludes me, a music that can almost be smelt, a taste that can almost be felt.

If you go on grasping that will remain so, and forever. You will always be just on the verge, and missing. It will be a music that can almost be smelt – but an almost smelt music has not been heard at all. And almost is almost; it is just a way of deluding oneself. Either you have it or you don’t have it – you can’t say, “I almost have it.” You are alive or you are not alive – you cannot say, “I am almost alive.” You cannot say, “I am almost in love.” Either this or that – it is either/or, and there is no middle way. You will always be on the threshold and missing.

Stop grasping at it; drop that very effort to grasp. Allow it to enter into you, be open to it, be vulnerable. Let him grasp you, let him possess you – don’t try to possess him.

Sometimes I am on the very threshold; other times it’s not in a million years , not for me.

And you will be on this see-saw. Again and again you will think you are on the threshold – just one step more and the bird will be in your hands. But that one step will remain impossible. And then of course you feel frustrated – how long can you remain in hope, just standing on the threshold? You become tired. When you become tired, it is a million years away from you… Again you start striving; again one day you will feel it is just on the threshold. This way it will remain – this is how seekers go on missing.

Seeking is not the way to find God. If you want to find him, stop seeking, and find. Stop seeking, and he is found immediately, instantly – not even a single moment is lost. Why? Because in the very effort of seeking him you are forgetting one thing, that he is already in you. The sought is in the seeker – but the seeker cannot see it, he is engrossed too much in his seeking. He is running after it, he is searching for it – his search keeps him so occupied, so engaged, that he cannot look inside and see who is there.

God is already in you, God is already the case. Just stop seeking. And that is the greatest message of Zen: Stop seeking. “Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.” Zen does not give you any seeking, it takes all seeking away from you. Seekers are the losers! because in their very search they go on looking at distant lands. They go on looking at stars – they don’t look within themselves.

And do you know? There is an ancient parable:

In the beginning when God created the world, he used to live on MG Road. But then he became tired, because people were continuously nagging him. In the middle of the night the phone would start ringing, and complaints….

“Why have you not done this?” and “Why have you done this, and what is the reason for it?” Naturally he got tired.

He asked his counsellors, “Help me. I would like to go somewhere and hide from people.” He confessed, “In creating man I have committed my greatest mistake.” Do you know? since then he has not created anything else; he is still repenting. That was his last – he became so afraid of man that he stopped being a creator.

They suggested, “You can go to the Himalayas, nobody will come there.” And he said, “You don’t know, within just a few seconds”… and millions of light years are just a few seconds for God – a different time scale. For one who lives in eternity, millions of light years are just moments. He said, “Within moments, you don’t know, a man will be there – Hillary. And Tenzing will be there, and they will reach Everest and find me. And once they have found me then the whole MG Road – then people will start moving there. That won’t help.”

Somebody suggested, “Then why don’t you go to the moon?” He said, “Just a few seconds more, and people will reach there. They are going to reach everywhere!”

Then an old adviser came close to him and whispered something in his ear. And he was very happy and he said, “This is the right thing to do.” The man had whispered in his ear, “My suggestion is: why don’t you hide in man himself? There he will never go. He will go to the mountains, he will go to Everest, he will go to the moon and to Mars and he will go to the planets and stars – he will go everywhere. One thing he will never suspect is that you can be hiding within his own soul.”

God agreed. And since then he has been hiding in you. And you have been searching for him on Everest, on the moon, on the stars, in the scriptures, in the temples, in the mosques, in the churches… Go on searching and you will not find him.

A seeker never finds. Seeking is a sure way of missing. Then who finds him? One who relaxes, one who drops all seeking – just dives deep into one’s own being, sits there silently, starts moving towards the bottom, to the very ground of one’s own being. Sitting in your deepest core, you find him. There is no need to go anywhere.

If you are a seeker, and Krishna Prabhu seems to be a seeker…

Sometimes I am on the very threshold

Yes, it will happen again and again. Again and again you will think, “Now! This time I am going to make it, it is going to happen.” And it will never happen. Then again frustration and the dark night of the soul will follow. Many times you will see that you have almost made it, ninety-nine percent made it – but it will never be a hundred percent. And unless it is a hundred percent it is not at all. ‘Almost’ means nothing, ‘approximately’ means nothing. That one step is as far away as millions of light years, because it cannot be taken.

So after each euphoria, elation, ecstasy, after each feeling of “Now I have arrived,” there will be great depression. You will fall back into a dark hole. Again you will have to grope, again you will have to reach that threshold, and again you will fall.

This has been continuing for so many lives – you are not new here. You have been playing this game for millions of lives: coming closer, coming closer, coming closer, and you feel the ecstasy, now you are just there… and all is missed again, you are falling far away, far away, again disappearing. This wheel goes on moving.

You have to jump out of this wheel. He is not out, so you can never come close to him. If he was far away from you then there would be a possibility sometimes to come close, and there would be a possibility to cross the threshold and reach him and hold him. He is not out, he is your innermost core. He is the beat of your heart and the vitality of your breath and the redness of your blood. He is the pulsation of your being. How can you be just on the threshold?

You have to forget all these thresholds and you have to forget all these distances. And remember always: to be close is also to be distant. Closeness is a kind of distance; you are not yet it.

I teach you the way of non-seeking. I teach you to relax. I teach you to forget all about God and just be yourself.

And one day suddenly, like a great surprise, comes the benediction.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #18

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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Enjoying this Living Death – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Visitor: The will to live is strong. To drop this identification with the body is like dying in a sense. Is it possible to do it voluntarily?

Maharaj: What you call the body is this food, which is the fuel for the sustenance of your Consciousness. The mind is the product of the vital breath; when the vital breath flows the mind flows and creates the world. Language is an external impression that’s made on the child. The child absorbs the vital breath and then talks. Consciousness is the wish to ‘Be’. That Beingness wants to be perpetuated and does not want to be extinguished. Its quality is the will to live. Which is love itself. It loves to live. Because it wants to live and sustain itself, it creates the right conditions and goes into activity in the world.

V: Isn’t this detachment from the body-mind like a form of death?

M: Yes, it is a sort of death. (Maharaj sings a morning prayer.) “The greatest advantage I’ve got is out of the fact that I am enjoying this living death.” Most of the saints talk about this living death.

V: Can we reach a state like you, where we are willing to experience this death?

M: You don’t lose your Self. The whole process is to understand your mis-identification and come out of it. If you accept this then nothing can touch you. Knowing that you are not the body, watch the vital breath as a flow of the mind. You are here in the spark of “I Amness.” When you acknowledge the “I Amness” you become the spark. I am like space and do not have an identity – this is my “I Amness” from which all the talk is being produced.

Now you have heard me talk at length. Do you still feel it necessary to have all this play of dancing and jumping about in Rajneesh’s ashram to achieve Self-realization?

V: No

M: A common man who feels inclined towards spirituality will be full of concepts. Unless he is made to dance and jump about he will not understand the futility of the mind and its concepts. Only then will he come here to listen to these talks.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From Beyond Freedom, pp. 59-60

The Journey from non-being to No-Being

We must first come to the recognition that we live outside of our center. We live outside of our body. We know our body from the exterior. We know our senses by sensing objects. Without objects we have no knowledge of ourselves. By our contact with outside objects our body exists. If we had no contact we would have no knowledge of ourselves.

Somewhere along the way our center has been touched and we have become aware of its existence. It may just be a dim flame but we know deep down that it is there. We have the power to move into our center. It is only because of what interests us that we remain on the periphery.

We can move to the center by retracing our steps out. We have made and do make the journey out all day long. Our attention moves from our center out through the senses and chases dreams. Our mind is the sixth sense. By becoming aware of the outward movement of our energy and attention it comes to a halt. When the movement is seen in awareness, the movement ceases.

From where does the thought of “I” arise. What is it pointing to? Is it pointing to this body that people see from the outside? Does it point to this collection of memories, thoughts and dreams that are circulating and referred to as “mind?” Is it not pointing to somewhere deep inside?

Let’s make contact there. Let us feel what it is like to inhabit our bodies. We need not worry about reincarnation let us first learn to incarnate this body here and now. We can move our attention to our interiority. We can feel our bodies from the inside. We can sense ourselves behind the senses. We can find ourselves behind the mind.

It is from this interior position that we are able to allow the unconscious mind to let go of all of its content. By not getting involved but remaining a witness the mind lets go of all of its collectibles, all of its memories, dreams and fears. Without either rejecting or grasping, without judging, we remain a witness and stay rooted in our center, in our interiority, in our being.

It is in this center that the witness grows, that we create our soul. Up until this point we have had no soul. We have had no center. There was not anyone home. Now the fire is lit and we are tending the flame.

The next step will be to let go of this center but we cannot let go of what we do not have. We must first become crystallized. We must first come into Being before we can let go into No-being.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.

 

The Great Forgetting – Jean Klein

The whole problem of dying is based on the premise that we are born and that this born something or someone dies. So the first step is this question: Who or what is born and who or what dies?

The idea of being born is just that, an idea. It is second-hand information. It is what our mothers told us. If we ask ourselves, “Do I know that I am born?” and we look closely, we will see that, yes, a perception is born and dies, but we cannot say, “I am born.”

It is vital in all genuine exploration to become free from second-hand information, free from common sense. If we begin by questioning the questions, we will find that we are led to question the questioner. This is the beginning of self-inquiry.

When we let go of second-hand information, we are face to face with bare facts, precepts rather than concepts. When we leave aside day-dreaming, hypothesis and the taken- for- granted, we are left with the core of the problem, which I would say in this case is: Why speak of death before knowing what life is? Because if we don’t know what life is, how can we even begin to talk of death? So let us first talk about life.

The expressions of life appear and disappear in our awareness. We know what time is, we know what space is, we know what an experience is. How could we know these things if we did not, in some way, also know what timeless, spaceless, experienceless means? Can we know white without reference to black? Can we know dark without reference to light? We know impermanence because in some way we “know” permanence. This permanence is not an experience in time and space. It is not a condition. It does not belong to existence because existence is in time and space. It is essentially nothing, yet in some way we refer to this nothingness very often. It is the background from which we function. It has nothing to do with succession, with past and future. It is cause less and cannot be born.

When we discover this background, the problem of death becomes completely meaningless. When this timeless awareness from which we function unconsciously becomes aware— aware of itself—, then we know that what we are is timeless and spaceless. We know what life is, and it does not enter our mind to even think of death because we live knowingly in this timeless background, in the now, and succession is only an expression of this now.

The real question then is: how can I come to know life so that death is meaningless? I would say that we can never know, in an objective way, what life is. We can only be life, be the knowing. This knowing is an instantaneous apperception, free from space and time, in which there is not a knower and something known. It is the awakening of life in its fullness.

This awakening is our real birth. The phenomenal birth is only an accident and it remains an accident as long as our real nature, our real birth, is not explored. Once we are awake in life, we are profoundly aware that we are not a conceptual object. The object and the reflex to objectify oneself does not arise. It is a state of profound openness, a total absence of being anything, where there is simply life, “isness”. It is timeless and dimensionless, and cannot be objectified, that is, experienced. It is not born and what is not born cannot die. In this original non-state, the idea of death does not even occur.

The fear of dying comes from mis-taking oneself to be the body-mind. This mistake is a thought only. So really the fear of dying comes from the capacity to think. When there is no thought, there is no space and time. Space, time, coming, going, past, future, exist only in thought. They have no autonomous reality. All the fear created by society and religions around so-called dying is mind-fabrication. But it is only an object which can be afraid and you are not an object.

Dying on the biological level does not create fear. Fear is in the mind, not in the body. The fear of dying is only anticipation that “I” will disappear. The idea of a final disappearing destroys all security for the “I” image. But this “You,” “me”, this self-image is also a thought construct built up from memory. The powerful instinct for what is wrongly called self-preservation (the term shows how we have identified with the body-mind) is merely biological survival. Life is desireless but the body-mind is an expression of life, so one could say that the desire to stay alive comes from life itself. As an expression of life, the body accomplishes the course inherent to its nature.

The real meaning of death and dying is completely different from that usually understood by these words. When one knows the continuum that is life, all perceptions (of which our body is but one) are felt as appearing and disappearing in awareness or consciousness. This appearing and disappearing is the real meaning of birth and death. We are born every moment a thought or sensation appears and we die every moment the concept or perception disappears. We die every evening before going to sleep, and we are born every morning. So we need to become acquainted with this dying, this letting-go of the objective world.

We should ask ourselves in our most profound intimacy:
What is there before the thought appears? What is there when the thought disappears? What is there when the body goes to sleep and before it wakes up? When we observe closely, we will find, not the absence we took for granted, but a presence, a presence that cannot, however, be objectified. It is too early, it is our nearest.

If we really know how to go to sleep we will know how to die. We will be already familiar with dying, already familiar with the dissolution of the born. To do this, one must, before going to sleep, lay aside all qualifications. We must become as naked psychologically as we are physically. This means that we put aside all opinions, thought, worries, ideas before we go to sleep. It is an offering of all that we are not. In letting go there is an expansion of mind and body and in all expansion is the fore-feeling of reality, our globality. This should be done each time we sleep until we find that, before the body wakes up in the morning, we are. Presence is already there.

It is better not to postpone this letting-go of the personal entity and all its qualifications until the actual moment of death. Otherwise, it is necessary to have someone who knows life to assist in the final letting go. This is supposedly the priest’s role in the last rites. The function of the priest, shaman, lama or other, is to help one go knowingly through the threshold from the object world to the objectless world. It is to help the dying one forget all the residues of the person and so be open to a new dimension of life. It is an offering back to life of all the expressions that life gave us temporarily. Then what remains is original consciousness.

But whoever is assisting someone over the threshold must be qualified to do so. This simply means that the personality must be absent. In assisting someone to die, one must die with them. The moment you die with the dying one, he or she is stimulated by your dying, by your giving up of all qualifications. Timeless presence, love, has the power to free the dying person from the residues of identification with the phenomenal world. There is no place at all in this assistance for feelings of sadness, pity, fear, nor is there room for talking. All this keeps the dying one grasping onto the objective world.

Ideally, the best way to die is in silence. But when one is steeped in the rituals of a religious tradition, these may help one, in the absence of a qualified priest or real friend, to let go of specific attachments. But the rites must be impersonal, give no hold to the person as, for example, certain sounds draw one beyond the world of sentiment and emotivity.

The way to come to this letting-go is, as I said, the same as before going to sleep. Everything that appears in the moment is seen as a fact. One takes note of the fact without analysis or interference and feels the welcoming in this unconditional taking-note. When we face, in this way, everything that appears, then the openness, attention, in which the perception was welcomed, comes back to us. We find ourselves in the light. This is a natural giving up without intention. So, whether we are dying (and we must!) or assisting someone to die, it is the same procedure. We take a knowing stand in consciousness.

It is crucial to come to know death while still alive. The quality of life is completely different for one who knows letting-go in the waking state. This is the real meaning of the word death. It is the real significance of the word sacrifice. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is when I am not.” We are only born after the death of all that is personal. Only when we are awake in nothingness can we speak of fullness.

But there is another reason for not leaving the real dying until the last moment. There is the real danger that one will remain stuck to the expressions of life and, at the moment of death, emphasize the object, so
that one is taken passively to what is beyond. Passively here means “not knowingly.”

The question may arise: What difference does it make how I die? Consciousness is not affected by birth or death. There is not one moment without consciousness, so after the death of the body, consciousness is
always there. But how one dies does make a difference, because after the death of the person, although consciousness is, it can be awake—conscious of itself—or not. Generally, after the death of the body-mind, this being consciousness is passive, it is not consciousness conscious of itself. What is of utmost importance, therefore, is to be knowingly consciousness and this can only come about before the body dies. Since most of us only know ourselves as objects and do not know ourselves as consciousness, few,
after death, dissolve in consciousness which knows itself.

Consciousness which knows itself is fulfilled and does not look for further expression. As the residues of the body disperse in global energy, consciousness dissolves in its own light. There is nobody to go
anywhere and nowhere to go.

All ideas about different states and stages of the dissolution of energy are, therefore, meaningless to the awakened one and a hindrance to the one who is in the process of letting go of all qualifications and attachments. Such concepts cause confusion. They are mind-constructs since there is no one left to know such things. As long as there are such ideas, there is still a somebody to know. And as long as there is still a somebody to know, there has been no real dying.

It is possible that in one who is still fixed on the objective world, identified with the personality, children, spouse, money, vocation and so on, it may be difficult for the energy to dissolve. It remains concentrated. That is why there are rituals of various kinds which help dissolve the energy and aid the
giving up of all hold on the phenomenal plane. And it is why sometimes, though the body is not visible, there may still be residues of the personality. One should accept these and take several sessions to systematically empty oneself of all ideas, memories and feelings for the dead person. It is a process of elimination. Then one sees that there is much more to the relationship than one could remember. Memory belongs to our minds, but the real relationship is not limited by memory.

The problem of physical suffering during dying needs to be addressed because the question naturally arises as to how one can come to a real letting-go in the face of acute pain. The first thing to clarify is that
pain must be seen as an object like any other, from the perspective that what we are fundamentally is not an object and cannot be afraid or feel pain. So we must be absolutely clear about our profound non-involvement
in the events surrounding the sensation we call pain or illness.

We cannot say, “I am afraid, I am in pain, I am dying,” because the “I” is unchanged and unchanging. It is the body which feels sensation and the mind that creates fear. Once there is clarity about what one is not
—the body and its sensations, the mind and its thoughts—the suffering is dramatically reduced. Then the sensation, the illness can be faced squarely without psychological interference.

Pain, like every object, is a pointer to our real nature. It must be seen objectively, in front of us as if the body belonged to another. In objectifying it, we are extricated from it, no longer drowned in the illness,
the sensation. And in the psychological space thus created, there will be a glimpse of real freedom from the burden. It is not enough to vaguely note this brief feeling of detachment. We must become truly interested in this feeling of freedom, that is, make it, in turn, an object of attention, sustain and live in this free feeling. With it comes the conviction that one is neither the healthy nor the unhealthy body.

Illness and death are an opportunity, par excellence, to clarify the fundamental error of our existence: that we have identified awareness, consciousness, life, with its object and it is through this mis-take that
all conflict and suffering arise. Illness then is a gift, a gift to help us realize more quickly what we are not. It gives us an opportunity that should not be refused: to be what we are.

Our living in wholeness stimulates our surroundings, our family and friends. I would say it stimulates the life in them. Knowingly or unknowingly, they share life with us and, at death, neither we nor they will
feel isolated. This feeling of life will remain and continue to stimulate them because life is eternal and in it all are oneness.

But generally family and friends do not have an honest relation with the dying one. They continue, in some way, to hold onto, to try to save, the person. They do not let him or her meet the light. This is because relationships in the family are of object to object, person to person. So it is better not to have the family present at the moment of dying if they cannot perform the last rites, be priests, so to speak, that is, die with you.

It is important that the dying one offer up the expressions of life consciously. However, in certain circumstances, clarity may be impaired by the intensity of the pain or the use of medications to relieve it. At the very moment of the final release, nature usually takes itself in charge and pain does not cloud awareness, so when assisting a dying person, a doctor has a great responsibility. First and foremost, he or she must represent health, life and, like the priest, prepare the patient for the final release. The doctor
must also die with the patient. All his talent is needed to first help the patient distance himself from identifying with the object, and then to see precisely how much medication is necessary to make this distancing possible. The patient must retain a profound awareness of what is happening.

Either prolonging life artificially or taking one’s life prematurely is a deep lack of respect for all life has given us. It is a lack of gratitude, a profound ignorance. Life gives us the opportunity for a real birth and all interfering is a refusal of this opportunity. When one awakes in the real “I,” the destiny of all that we are not no longer has any meaning. Pain, an accident, death, is on the film, but we are the light which illuminates the film. So, thinking about the fate of the body and trying to interfere is a mark of ego-centredness and a lack of love.

Only an ego can have concepts and intentions, and as long as we live as the contracted ego we will have a false view of what life is. What we generally call “my life” belongs only to the mind and thus appears to take place in succession. The illusion of life as time gives us the impression that we can
interfere. This wrong seeing is sometimes corrected before dying when there is a panoramic memory of one’s whole life. This is because there is a sudden letting-go of the mind’s control, of the channelling of one’s being into strict succession in time and space. In this sudden letting-go we are ejected into the timeless and facts appear to us without all the intervening thoughts that generally qualify every fact. This panorama usually occurs at a crisis when there is a very dramatic letting-go. In a natural death one is
gently dissolved in being.

Real death is, then, the death of conceptual living. Life is presence, always in the here and now, the moment itself. In the absence of the “person” there is simply living, non-volitional acting. Non-volitional living is living in happiness. It is only in non-intentional living that there is acceptance, and it is only in accepting, in welcoming, that all the elements of a situation can be clearly seen. When we live in accepting, illness has no hold, no substance, and we have the greatest possibility of getting better.

All the changes the body undergoes are hypothetical and transitional, but there is nothing hypothetical about what we really are—consciousness. It is prior to body. It is prior to thought. It is between two concepts or percepts. It is silent awareness, nameless, without attribute. It is the total giving up of all qualifications, freedom from all identifications. It is the eternal presence we take for absence. When one lives knowingly in this presence, there is no death.

Then when you see the moment to go has come, and you have learned how, I would even say learned the technique of giving up, it is extremely beautiful. Dying then is thanking, a thanking for having had the opportunity to know life, to be the knowing, to be thanking itself. In the great forgetting of all that we are not, dying is the total release into openness, openness to the light.

-Jean Klein

Excerpt from The Book of Listening, pp. 67-75

On Meditation – Jean Klein

You will feel in your meditation that there is still a residue of the idea of finding something, but we have very often repeated that the seeker is the sought. What you are fundamentally you can never objectify because you are it. An object is a fraction; it appears in your wholeness, in your globality. When you really come to the understanding that the seeker is the sought, there is a natural giving up of all energy to find something. It is an instantaneous apperception. I don’t say perception, because in perception there is a perceiver and something perceived. An apperception is an instantaneous perceiving of what is perceiving. So it can never be in a relation of subject- object, just as an eye can never see its own seeing. That is why I said you will first find yourself behind yourself. I say behind yourself because you know yourself mainly in subject- object relationship, in your factory, in your forehead. The energy which strikes the factory in a certain moment and makes the factory work is localized behind, so stay with the energy behind and you will find a glimpse of non- subject- object relationship. This glimpse is seen with your whole intelligence which is there in the absence of the person, the thinker, the doer. Understanding, being the understanding, is enlightenment.

( Silence)

You can never perceive your globality, your wholeness. If there is a perceived, it is not your wholeness. Your globality, your wholeness, is it’s own perceiving. So it is clear your globality can never be perceived, it can never be an object. It is non- dual. It must be clear for the mind that what you are looking for is the looking itself. When you really see this with your intelligence and love and understanding, there is a natural giving up of all projected energy. All energy directed towards finding something comes back to its homeground. This moment of equilibrium, you must live. It is purposeless because it is what you fundamentally are.

In this non- dual non- state you cannot speak of relation. You must visualize this relationless state, you must love it, you must approach it with your whole intelligence. This is the only thing that you should remember; everything else that has been said can be put in the waste basket!

– Jean Klein

From Transmission of the Flame, pp. 65-66

Meditation is the Bridge Between Yoga and Advaita

Hakuin begins his Song of Meditation, “All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.” Nisargadatta Maharaj tells us to take as a hypothesis that we are the “absolute”, because it is not yet our experience. Osho begins his discourse series on The Heart Sutra with these words, “I salute the Buddha within you. You may not be aware of it, you may not have ever dreamed about it — that you are a Buddha, that nobody can be anything else, that buddhahood is the very essential core of your being, that it is not something to happen in the future, that it has happened already.” But he goes on to say “But you are fast asleep, you don’t know who you are. Not that you have to become a Buddha, but only that you have to recognize it, that you have to return to your own source, that you have to look within yourself.”

This paradox that we are already Buddhas but that we do not recognize it is at the heart of much confusion today. It is here where those who are professing a neo-advaitan philosophy clash with the gradualists, with the yogis. But there should be no conflict. It is just that each side is only seeing half of the situation. We Are already enlightened but it is Not yet our experience. We have not Realized our enlightenment and until we do Realize our natural state then the work continues.

It is important for the neo-advaitans to understand that just intellectually knowing that we are already enlightened does not a Buddha make. And in order to uncover that sleeping Buddha there is a transformation yet to take place. And it is also important for the yogis to understand that we are from the very beginning Buddhas and that our work is not to make us into something that we are not already, but to uncover our already existing true nature. Hence it is not a question of becoming but of uncovering.

So what is the bridge between this gulf of understanding?  What is needed for the transformation from the potential to the realized to take place? When Nisargadatta Maharaj was asked what he did before his enlightenment was realized, he said that he accepted the words of his guru “that he was the absolute” and he meditated on the “I am” for three years.  J. Krishnamurti has said that “seeing is transformation.” He says that it is the observation of the mind itself that is the transformation. And Osho’s entire life work was to illuminate ‘meditation’ as the bridge between our current state of living in the mind and the awakened life of no-mind.

So if my enlightenment is only in words, only in concepts and not in my daily life then perhaps it would be best to continue on the journey back to Self and that journey must pass through no-mind.  On the other hand if I see enlightenment as a goal in the future of becoming then too it would be good to come home to Being and out of the goals in the world of mind.

Meditation is the way in.

-purushottama

More from the collected and uncollected posts of Prem Purushottama.