Jesus said: Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.
Exactly the same words are in the Upanishads. They say that there are two birds on a tree, one sitting on a lower branch, another sitting on a higher branch. The bird on the lower branch thinks, gets worried, desires, demands, accumulates, fights, competes; it remains in anguish, tension, jumps from this branch to that, always moving, never in repose. The other bird, who is sitting on a higher branch, is in repose. He is so silent, as if he is not. He has no desires, no dreams happen to him. He has no needs to fulfill, as if everything is fulfilled, as if he has attained, nowhere to go. He simply sits, enjoying himself, and he watches the bird who is on the lower branch.
These are the two dimensions in you. You are the tree. And the lower is always disturbed. The lower is your body and the bodily needs and the bodily desires, and if you forget yourself completely into it then you become one with it. On the higher branch, at the top of the tree, sits the other bird who is a witness, who simply looks down at this foolish bird jumping, moving in anguish, anxiety, anger, sex. Everything happens to it; this other bird is simply a witness, he simply looks on and on, he is just a spectator. You are the tree.
Jesus says the same thing with a different symbol: Jesus said: Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.
Now the whole question is to whom the attention should be paid. Towards whom should you move, towards whom should your whole energy flow? Who should become your goal?
Ordinarily, that one who is going to die is your goal. That’s why you are always in anxiety, because you are building a house on sands. It is going to fall – even before it is built it will fall and become a ruin. You are always trembling because you are making your signature on water – before you have completed it, it is gone. Your anxiety is because you are concerned with the realm of death and you have not looked towards life. And on each bed two are sleeping – the other is just a witness.
Pay more attention to it, turn towards it more and more – that’s what conversion means. Conversion doesn’t mean a Hindu becoming a Christian, or a Christian becoming a Hindu. This is foolishness, you simply change labels. Nothing is changed because the inner man remains the same, the old pattern. Conversion means the movement of attention from the death realm to the life realm. It is an about-turn: looking at the witness, becoming one with the witness, losing yourself into the witness, into awareness, and then you know that which is going to die will die. It makes no trouble, no problem, and you know you are not going to die so there is no fear.
Jesus said: Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.
And it is up to you. If you want to remain in trouble, never pay attention to the inner one; if you want to remain always in anguish then remain on the periphery, don’t look within. But if you want repose, a peaceful eternity, truth, the doors of heaven open for you, then look within. It is difficult – it is difficult because it is very subtle. Where the invisible and the visible meet, where matter and spirit meet, it is very subtle. You can see matter, you cannot see spirit, it cannot be seen. You can see where the visible ends, you cannot see the invisible, it cannot be seen.
Then what is to be done? Just remain at the boundary of the visible, and don’t look at the visible, look in the opposite direction. Gradually the invisible can be felt. It is a feeling, it is not an understanding; you cannot see it, you can only feel it. It is just like a breeze: it comes, you feel it, but you cannot see it. It is just like the sky: it is there, but you cannot say where, you cannot pinpoint it, you cannot touch it. It is always there, you are in it but you cannot touch it.
Remain at the boundary of the visible looking in the opposite direction. This is what all meditation is about. Whenever you can find a peaceful moment close your eyes, leave the body behind and the bodily affairs and the world of death; the market, the office, the wife, the children – leave them all. The first time you will not feel anything inside.
Hume has said, “Many people have talked about going in and looking there. Whenever I look, I find nothing – just thoughts, desires, dreams, floating here and there – just a chaos.” You will also feel the same. And if you conclude that there is nothing worthwhile in going again and again to see this chaos, then you will miss.
In the beginning you will see this, because your eyes can only see this – they need a tuning. Just remain there looking at the floating dreams. They float like clouds in the sky, but between two clouds, sometimes you will see the blueness; between two dreams, two thoughts, sometimes there will be a glimpse of the sky behind. Just don’t be in a hurry. That’s why they say that if you hurry you will miss.
There is one Zen saying which says, “Hurry slowly.” That’s right! Hurry, that’s right, because you are going to die – in that sense hurry. But inside, if you are in too much of a hurry you will miss, because you will conclude too soon, before your eyes have become attuned. Don’t conclude too soon.
Hurry slowly. Just wait! Go there and sit and wait. By and by, a new world of the invisible becomes clear, comes to you. You become attuned to it, then you can hear the harmony, the melody; the silence starts its own music. It is always there, but it is so silent that very trained ears are needed. It is not like a noise, it is like silence. The sound within is like silence, the form within is like the formless. There is no time and no space within, and all that you know is either in space or in time. Things are in space, events are in time, and now physicists say these two things are not two; even time is just a fourth dimension of space.
You know only time and space, the world of things and events. You don’t know the world of the witnessing self. It is beyond both, it is not confined to any space and it is not confined to any time. There is duration without time, there is space but without any height, length, breadth – it is a totally different world. You will need to become attuned to it, so don’t be impatient – impatience is the greatest barrier. I have come to feel that when people start working towards the inner one, impatience is the greatest barrier. Infinite patience is needed. It can happen the next moment, but infinite patience is needed.
If you are impatient it may not happen for lives, because the very impatience will not allow you the repose that Jesus talks about, the tranquility. Even if you are expecting, that will be a disturbance. If you are thinking something is going to happen, something extraordinary, then nothing will happen. If you are waiting, expecting that some enlightenment is going to happen, you will miss it. Don’t expect. All expectations belong to the world of death, the dimension of time and space.
No goal belongs to the inner. There is no way to it except by waiting, infinite patience.
Jesus has said, “Watch and be patient.” And one day, suddenly you are illumined. One day, when the right tuning happens, when you are ready, suddenly you are illumined. All darkness disappears, you are filled with life, eternal life, which never dies.
Enough for today.
From The Mustard Seed, Chapter Fourteen
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
Once, I asked Chadwick, “Are you realized?” I have put this question to all of the old devotees like Muruganar, Cohen, Osborne, Sadhu Natanananda, Devaraja Mudaliar and others. None of them either said yes or no – all smiled. When I asked him whether he was realized, he did not say yes or no. Instead, he told me, “I will tell you what happened. After many years of my stay with Bhagavan – four or five years, I committed the mistake of trying to evaluate how much I have progressed spiritually. This is a thing any seeker should not do. I felt that I have not progressed. Many who saw me in Ramanasramam, looked at me like I was a sage or a saint saying, “Oh! He is so fortunate. He is so close to Bhagavan. He meditates so much. He is already in that state.” This created a contradiction in me as I personally felt that I was not progressing spiritually. However, having left the material life I could not go back to a worldly life either. I felt caught between the devil and the deep sea. I was sorrow stricken. I ran to Bhagavan’s hall. He was alone. I told him, “Bhagavan, this is my plight. I am neither here nor there and this causes much sorrow in me.” Bhagavan looked at me compassionately and said, “Chadwick, who says all this?” Immediately, there was a current like shock in my body and I literally ran to my room, shut the doors and went into a neutral state. I was not bothered whether I was spiritually maturing or whether I would be able to stay in the world. I was in a neutral state of silence. A few days passed like that wherein I was neither happy nor worried.” The only luxury that Chadwick allowed himself was taking his bath in a bath tub which he had in the verandah of his cottage. One day, shortly after the above incident, something happened unexpectedly. As Chadwick told me later, “I was taking my bath and very honestly Ganesan, I was not in a spiritual state or in a prayerful mood when it suddenly dawned – the ‘I AM’!” He experienced it – not just as words. He was so ecstatic that he did not even dry himself. He just wrapped a towel around his waist and ran to the Old Hall from where a few days back he had run away. Fortunately, this time too, Bhagavan was alone. In this spiritual ecstasy of experiencing the ‘I AM’, where there was no Chadwick, just the ‘I AM’, he asked Bhagavan, “Bhagavan, is THIS it?” Chadwick recounted, “Bhagavan gave me the most glorious smile, and then confirmed, “Yes, Chadwick, THIS is THAT!” I then asked him, “Bhagavan, is it so simple?” Bhagavan replied, “Yes it is that simple.” Since then, I’ve never had any doubt.”
From Ramana Periya Puranam
What does sakshi mean? Sakshi means the seer, the witness. Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the body?” Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the mind?” Who is this who goes on denying that “I am not this, I am not this?” There is an element of seeing, of watching, of the watcher within us which sees, which observes everything.
This seer is the sakshi, the witness. What is seen is the world. The one who is seeing is who I am, and what is being seen is the world. Adhyas, the illusion, means that the one who is seeing misunderstands himself to be all that is seen. This is the illusion.
There is a diamond in my hand: I am seeing it. If I start saying that I am the diamond, that is an illusion. This illusion has to be broken and one has to come, finally, to that pure element which is always the seer and is never the seen. This is a little difficult. The one who is the seer can never be seen, because by whom will it be seen? You can see everything in the world except yourself. How will you see yourself? – Because two will be needed for seeing, one who sees and the other who is seen. We can grab everything with a pair of tongs except the tongs themselves. That effort will fail. We may find it puzzling that when the tongs grab everything, why can they not grab themselves?
We see everything, but we are not able to see ourselves. And we will never be able to. Whatsoever you can see, know well that that is not you. Thus take one thing to be certain, that whatsoever you are able to see is not you. If you are able to see God, then one thing has become certain, that you are not God. If you have seen light within you, one thing is conclusive, that you are not light. If you have an experience of bliss within you, one thing is determined, that you are not bliss. Whatsoever has been experienced, you are not that. You are that which experiences.
So whatsoever becomes your experience, you are beyond it. Therefore it will be useful to understand one difficult point here, that spirituality is not an experience. Everything in the world is an experience, but not spirituality. Spirituality is reaching towards that which experiences all, but which itself never becomes an experience. It always remains the experiencer, the witness, the seer.
I see you: you are on one side; I am on the other side. You are there, the one who is being seen; I am here, the one who is seeing. These are two entities.
There is no way of dividing oneself into two so that one part sees and the other part is seen. Even if it was possible to divide, then the part that would be seeing is myself, the part that would be seen would not be myself. The matter is finished.
This is the whole process or methodology of the Upanishads: neti, neti – neither this nor that. Whatsoever can be seen, say that you are not that. Whatsoever can be experienced, say that you are not that. You can go on stepping backwards, until nothing remains that can be denied or eliminated. A moment comes when all scenes are lost. A moment comes when all experiences are dropped – all!
Remember, all! The experience of sex is of course dropped; the experiences of meditation are also dropped. The experiences of the world, of love and hate are dropped; the experiences of bliss and enlightenment are also dropped. Only the pure seer remains. Nothing is there to be seen; only emptiness remains all around, only the watcher remains and the empty sky all around. In the middle stands the seer, the watcher, who sees nothing because everything has been denied and eliminated that could be seen. Now he experiences nothing. He has removed all experiences from his way. Now he remains alone, the one who was experiencing.
When there is no experience, there is no seeing; there is nothing seen and there is no object to be seen, and the witness alone remains. It becomes very difficult to express in language what really happens because we have no other word except ‘experience’ in our language, therefore we call it ‘self-experience’ or ‘self-realization’. The word experience is not right. We say “experience of consciousness” or “experience of the Brahma, the absolute,” but none of these expressions are right, because the word experience belongs to that same world which we have eliminated. The word experience does have a meaning in the world of duality, where there was ‘the other’ too. Here it has no meaning at all. Here only the experiencer remains, the witness remains.
The search for this witness is spirituality.
From Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter Three
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
What is Joshu’s single note? This is the single note – emptiness. This is the lotus flower that Buddha transmitted to Mahakashyap. And this is what all of the Buddhas have been teaching through the ages – be empty. The ego wants to be All. The All happens, but it happens through emptiness, and therein lies the difficulty, the impossibility of it. You can become perfect, but if perfection is the ideal, then you will miss it. You can become perfect through being totally empty. That seems inconceivable for the mind, because the mind says: To be perfect one has to make much effort, to be perfect one has to create an ideal in the future, and one has to make effort to reach the goal. The goal happens.
Perfection comes to man, man need not go there. The goal comes to you. Nobody has ever gone to the goal. It has always been otherwise; the goal comes to you when you are empty. And to be empty is just the opposite, just the opposite of all efforts towards perfection, because perfection means you would like to be God himself. Perfection means you would like yourself eternally, infinitely, spread all over. Emptiness is just the opposite – you have to destroy yourself utterly. Not even a trace should be left behind. When your house is empty, the guest comes. When you are no more, the goal has been attained.
So don’t make perfection your goal, the goal happens indirectly. You be empty, and you have created the situation for it to come. Because nature abhors emptiness, nothing can remain empty. If you empty yourself completely, you will be filled by the Unknown. Suddenly, from all directions the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation; it has to be filled. When you are not, God is.
So remember, there cannot be any meeting between you and God. There has never been, and there will never be. When you are not, God is; when you are, God is not. They both cannot be together.
Here you disappear, and suddenly the Total, the Perfect, the Whole appears. It has always been there. But you were filled by yourself so much that there was no space for it to come in. It was all around, but you were not empty.
You are just like a house without doors – just walls and walls and layers and layers of walls. And remember, a house is in fact not the walls but the doors. Lao Tzu says: What is a door? – A door is nothing, it is an emptiness; and from the door you enter. The wall is something, the door is nothing.
And have you observed that the house is not the walls but the emptiness within? The very word ‘room’ means emptiness, space. You don’t live in the walls, you live in the space, in the emptiness.
All that exists, exists in emptiness. All that lives, lives in emptiness.
You are not your body. Within your body, just like within your house, space exists. That space is you. Your body is just the walls. Think of a person who has no eyes, no ears, no nose, no windows, no doors in the body – he will be dead. Eyes and ears and nose and mouth, they are the doors, they are emptinesses. And through that emptiness, existence enters into you. The outer and the inner meet, because the outer space and the inner space are not two things, they are one. And the division is not a real division.
It is just like, you can go to the river, and you can fill an earthen pot with water. When the water is moving in the earthen pot, the river outside and the water inside the pot are the same. Only an earthen wall exists, and even that earthen wall is porous; water is continuously flowing out and in.
Your body is also porous; existence is continuously flowing in and out. What is your breathing? – It is existence coming in and going out. And scientists say, millions of holes in the skin are continuously breathing in and out. You are porous. If your whole body is painted thickly, and only the nose is allowed to remain open, you can go on breathing, but within three hours you will be dead. Because the whole body breathes – it is porous. Existence continuously renews you.
And inside who are you? Inside is an emptiness. When one realizes this emptiness, the ego simply disappears – it is a myth, it is a dream, it is a fallacy. Because you have never looked within, you have created a false ego.
There is a necessity, because no man can live without a center. And you don’t know your own center. So the mind creates a false center; that false center is the ego. When you move inwards and look for the ego, you will never find it there. The deeper you go, the more you will laugh because the ego is not there. You are not there. Sometimes, just close your eyes and look for the ego. Where are you? Who are you? And emptiness surrounds you from everywhere; nobody is there inside. And this moment is the most beautiful and ecstatic moment possible when you feel that there is no ego.
When there is no ego, you are empty. And when you are empty, the Divine rushes towards you. You have created the situation.
From Returning to the Source, Chapter Two
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
There may come a moment in life when the world no longer stimulates us and we feel deeply apathetic, even abandoned. This can motivate us towards the search for our real nature beyond appearances. When we no longer find interest in activities and states, when we no longer feel much pleasure in objects and human relationships, we may find ourselves asking: “Is there something wrong with this world or with my attitude towards it?” This serious doubt can lead us to ask: “What is the meaning of existence? What is life? Who am I? What is my true nature?” Sooner or later any intelligent person asks these questions.
As we live with these questions, look at them closely, we become aware that the “me” always seems to be at the center of things playing several roles: “I am cold. I am tired. I am working.” With a more open-minded alertness it becomes apparent that the body feels cold, tired, or is working, not “I.” In the same way when we look at states: “I wish. I am depressed. I remember. I am bored,” we see that we have identified ourselves with the thought or feeling. In looking at this relation between the “I” and its qualifications it becomes obvious that we have taken it for granted and believe ourselves to be this “me.”
This “me” has therefore no continual reality. It is a false appropriation. It lives only in relation to its qualifications, its objects. It is fundamentally unstable. But because we have mistaken our real self for this imposter we feel an insecurity, a doubt, a lack, a sensation of isolation. The “me” can only live in relation to objects so we spend all our energy trying to fulfill the insatiable insecurity of this me. We live in anxiety, fear and desire trying at one and the same time to be as individualistic as possible and to overcome this separateness. The “me” which appears occasionally is taken as a continuum. Actually it is only a crystallization of data and experience held together by memory. Being fractional, its viewpoint is fractional functioning through like and dislike. Its contact with its surroundings is based on this arbitrary choosing. Living in this way is miserable. The loneliness of such an existence may be temporarily camouflaged by compensatory activity but sooner or later, as we said, our real nature will make itself felt and our questioning will become more urgent. We will begin to feel that what we take for the body and mind is not the actual state of things. In deeper inquiry we feel a certain distancing between the inquirer and his environment, activities and opinions. For a time we may feel like an observer of our life, the spectator of the spectacle. Our body and mind are instruments to be used. We observe the changes of the psychosomatic structure as we grow older. We become aware that many, if not most, of our actions are mechanical reactions. All these happenings are seen from the impersonal observer. We begin to feel closer to the knower of these changes and less identified, lost in, the changing. In the end, the seeker is found to be what was sought.
Q: “What do you mean by that last statement, “the seeker is found to be what was sought?”
A: You are seeking your real nature. What you are looking for is what you are, not what you will become. What you already are is the answer and the source of the question. In this lies its power of transformation. It is reality, a present actual fact. Looking for something to become is completely conceptual, on the level of ideas. It has no reality and no effective power. The seeker will discover that he is what he seeks and what he seeks is the source of the inquiry.
Q: It seems to me that not everyone who is a seeker has experienced this deep feeling of unfulfillment or abandonment that you talk about.”
A: It’s true. There are those who, because of their past, sense the divine anchored deep within them. In these cases there is no motivation. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is seeking himself.”
From I Am, pp.67-68
Could you talk about listening and its origin?
To discover your innermost being you must start from where you are at this very moment, wherever that is. You cannot begin anywhere else. Whatever appears before you—your body, sensations, feelings, thoughts, etc.—must be accepted, listened to as a whole. This does not mean you should analyze, interpret, understand or look for an inner meaning. What is important is to discover listening itself, which sooner or later will be revealed to you. At first the accent is on what is listened to, the sensation, feeling or thought. But the more the listening is sustained the more the emphasis is shifted to this listening itself without a listened to. Then you are at the threshold of the source from which the listening derives. That very instant listening will become a living reality.
Real listening can be neither improved nor perfected, for it is perfection itself. It reveals itself when the mind is struck by wonder, when it no longer refers to the slightest object. This fulfillment is later erroneously attributed to an object but one who is aware of the true perspective knows that the cause of this peacefulness is not to be found in an object, but is a pure reflection of silence, of what Is.
Listening arises from wonderment, to which it also points—a state where there is no projection, where nothing appears. It is as if you had suddenly opened the windows of a dark room full of objects, and in streams daylight. Everything becomes clear in an instant.
– Jean Klein
From I Am