Realization is a Deep Communion – Osho

Sarva niramaya paripoornohamasmiti mumukshunam mokshaik siddhirbhawati.

I am that absolutely pure brahman: to realize this is the attainment of liberation.

Existence is divided into two. Existence, as we see it, is a duality. Biologically, man is divided into two: man and woman. Ontologically, Existence is divided into mind and matter. The Chinese have called this “yin and yang.” The duality penetrates every realm of Existence. We can say that sex penetrates every layer of Existence. The duality is always present.

This duality also penetrates into mind itself. There are two types of mind, two types of mentality – masculine and feminine. You can give other names also, Western and Eastern, or, more particularly, you can call it Greek and Hindu. In a more abstract way, the division can be called philosophical and religious.

The first thing to be discussed today is the differences between the Greek mind and the Hindu mind. The Upanishads are the peak of the Hindu mind – of the Eastern mentality or the religious way of looking at Existence. It will be easy to understand the Hindu mind in contrast to the Greek mind, and these are the basic minds.

When I say, “Greek mind,” what do I mean? The Greek mind is one aspect of the duality of minds. The Greek mind thinks, speculates; the approach is intellectual, verbal, logical. The Hindu mind is quite the contrary. It doesn’t believe in thinking, it believes in experiencing. It doesn’t believe in logic, it believes in an irrational jump into Being itself. The Greek mind speculates as an outsider standing outside – as an observer, an onlooker. The Greek mind is not involved. The Greek mind says that if you are involved in something, you cannot think scientifically. Your observation cannot be just: it becomes prejudiced. So one must be an observer when one is thinking.

The Hindu mind says you cannot think at all when you are standing outside. Whatsoever you think, whatsoever you try to think, will be just about the periphery: you can not to know anything about the center. You are standing outside. Penetrate in! So much penetration is needed to know that ultimately you become one with the center. Only then do you know rightly; otherwise, everything is just acquaintance, not knowledge.

The Greek mind analyzes: analysis is the instrument for it to know anything. The Hindu mind synthesizes. Analysis is not the method – not to divide into parts, but to look for the whole in every part. The Hindu mind is always looking for the whole in the part. The Greek mind, in Democritus, comes to atoms, because if you go on analyzing, then the atom becomes the reality – the last particle which cannot be divided. The Hindu mind reaches to Brahman – to the Absolute. If you go on synthesizing, then ultimately the Absolute, the Whole, is reached. If you go on dividing, then the last particle – the last divisible particle – is the atom. If you go on adding, then there is the Brahman, the Ultimate, the Absolute.

The Greek mind could develop to be a scientific mind because analysis helps. The Hindu mind could never develop to be a scientific mind because synthesis can never lead to any science. It can lead to religion but not to science. The Western mind is the development of the Greek seed. So logic, conceptualization, thinking, rational analysis, they are the foundations for the West. Experience, not thinking, is the foundation for the Indian mind. So I would like to say that the Hindu mind is basically non-philosophical – not only non-philosophical, but, really, anti-philosophical. It doesn’t believe in philosophizing: it believes in experiencing.

You can think about love, you can analyze the phenomenon, you can create a hypothesis to explain it, you can create a system about it. In order to do this, it is not necessary to be in love yourself. You can be an outsider, you can go on observing love, and then you can create a system, a philosophy, about love. The Greeks say that if you yourself are in love, then your mind will be muddled. You will not be able to think. Then you will not be able to be impartial. Then your personality will enter into your theory and that will be destructive to it.

So you must be as if you are not. You must be out of it completely, totally. Do not become involved. To know about love, it is not necessary to be in love. Observe the facts, collect the data, experiment on others. You must always remain outside; then your observation will be factual. If you yourself are in love, then your observation will not be factual. Then you are involved, you are part of it, you are prejudiced.

But the Hindu mind says that unless you are in love, how can you know love? You can observe others love, but what are you observing? Just the behavior of two persons who are in love. You are not observing love – just the behavior of two persons who are in love. They may be just acting. You cannot know whether they are acting or really in love. They may be hiding their real hearts. You can see their faces, you can listen to their words, you can look at their acts, but how can you penetrate into their hearts? And if you are not capable of penetrating into their hearts, how can you know love?

Sometimes love is absolutely silent and sometimes the deception of love is very much vocal. So you can observe thousands and thousands of lovers, but still you cannot penetrate into the very phenomenon of love unless you are in love.

So the Hindu mind says that experience is the only way, not thinking. Thinking is verbal; you can do thinking in your armchair. You need not go into any phenomenon. When I say that thinking is verbal, I mean that you can play with words, and words have a tendency to create more words. Words can be arranged in a pattern, in a system. Just as you can make a house of playing cards, you can make a system of words. But you cannot live in it; it is only a house of cards. You cannot experience it; it is only a system of words – mere words.

Jean-Paul Sartre has written his autobiography, and he has given a name to his autobiography which is very meaningful, very significant. He has called his autobiography Words. It is not only his autobiography – this is the whole autobiography of Western thinking – words.

The Hindu mind believes in silence, not in words. Even if the Hindu mind speaks, it speaks about silence. Even if words are to be used, they are used against words. When you are creating a system out of words, logic is the only method. Your words must not be contradictory; otherwise the whole house will fall down. Your system must be consistent. If you are consistent with your words, then you are logical in your system.

So many systems can be created, and each philosopher creates his own system, his own world of words. And if you take his presuppositions, you cannot refute him, because it is only a play, a game of words. If you accept his premises, then the whole system will look right. Within the system there is an inner consistency.

But life has no systems. That is why the Hindu emphasis is not on word systems, but on actual realization, actual experiencing. So Buddha reaches the same experience that Mahavira reaches, that Krishna reaches, that Patanjali or Kapil or Shankara reaches. They reach to the same experience! Their words differ, but their experience is the same. So they say, “Whatsoever we may say, howsoever it may contradict what others have said, whenever someone reaches to the experience, it is the same.” The expression is different, not the experience. But if you have no experience, then there is no meeting point at all. My experience and your experience will meet somewhere, because experience is a reality and the reality is one.

So if I experience love and you experience love, there is going to be a meeting. Somewhere we are going to be one. But if I talk about love without knowing love,  I create my own individual system of words. If you talk about love without knowing love, you create your own system of words. These two systems are not going to meet anywhere, because words are dreams, not realities.

Remember this: the reality is one, dreams are not one. Each one has his own individual dreaming faculty. Dreams are absolutely private. You dream your dreams; I dream my dreams. Can you conceive of it – I dreaming your dreams or you dreaming my dreams? Can you conceive of us both meeting together in a dream, or of two persons dreaming one dream? That is impossible. We can have one experience, but we cannot have one dream – and words are dreams.

So philosophers go on contradicting each other, creating their own systems, never reaching to any conclusion. The Greek mind taught in abstract terms, the Hindu mind in concrete terms of experience. Both have their merits and demerits, because if you insist on experiencing, then science is impossible. If you insist on logic, system, reason, then religion becomes impossible.

The Greek mind developed into a scientific world view; the Hindu mind developed into a religious world view. Philosophy is bound to give birth to science. Religion cannot give birth to science: religion gives birth to poetry, art. If you are religious, then you are looking into the Existence as an artist. If you are a philosopher, then you are looking into the world as a scientist. The scientist is an onlooker; the artist is the insider. So religion and art are sympathetic, philosophy and science are sympathetic. If science develops too much, then philosophy, by and by, gradually transforms itself into science and disappears. […]

In the West, religion has no roots. Poetry is also dying because it can exist only with religion. These two types of mind develop into totally different dimensions.

When I say that religion gives birth to poetry, I mean that it gives you an aesthetic sense, a sense which can feel values in life: not facts, but values; not that which is, but that which ought to be; not that which is just before you, but that which is hidden. If you can take a non-rational, aesthetic attitude, if you can take a jump into Existence by throwing your logic behind, if you can become one with the ocean of Existence, if you can become oceanic, then you begin to feel something which is Divine.

Science will give you facts, dead facts. Religion gives you life. It is not dead: it is alive. But then it is not a fact – then it is a mystery. Facts are always dead, and whatsoever is alive is always a mystery. You know it and yet you do not know it. Really, you feel it. This emphasis on feeling, experiencing, realization, is the last sutra of this Upanishad.

This Upanishad says: “I am that absolutely pure Brahman. To realize this is the attainment of Liberation.”

Before we probe deeply into this sutra, one thing more: if you have a logical mind, a Western way of thinking, a Greek attitude, then your search is for Truth, for what Truth is. Logic inquires about Truth, about what Truth is.

Hindus were never very interested in Truth, never! They were interested more in mokska – Liberation. They ask again and again, “What is moksha? What is freedom?” not “What is Truth?” And they say that if someone is seeking Truth, it is only to reach freedom. Then it becomes instrumental – but the search is not for Truth itself.

Hindus say that that which liberates us is worth seeking. If it is Truth, okay, but the search is basically concerned with freedom – moksha. You cannot find a similar search in Greek philosophy. No one is interested – neither Plato nor Aristotle: no one is interested in freedom. They are interested in knowing what Truth is.

Ask Buddha, ask Mahavira, ask Krishna. They are not really concerned with Truth: they are concerned with freedom – how human consciousness can attain total freedom. This difference belongs to the basic difference of the mind. If you are an observer, you will be interested more in the outside world and less with yourself, because with yourself you cannot be an observer. I can observe trees, I can observe stones, I can observe other persons. I cannot observe myself because I am involved. A gap is not there.

That is why the West remained uninterested in the Self. It was interested in others. Science develops when you are interested in others. If you are interested in trees, then you will create a science out of it. If you are interested in matter, then you will create physics. If you are interested in something else, then a new science will be born out of that inquiry. If you are interested in the Self, then only is religion born. But with the Self a basic problem arises: you cannot be there as a detached observer, because you are both the observer and the observed. So the scientific distinction, the detachment, cannot be maintained. You alone are there, and whatsoever you do is subjective, inside you: it is not objective.

When it is not objective, a Greek mind is afraid – because you are travelling into a mystery. Something must be objective so that if I say something others can observe it also. It must become social! So they inquire into what Truth is. They say, “If we all arrive at one conclusion through observation, experimenting, thinking, if we can come to a conclusion objectively, then it is Truth.”

Buddha’s truth cannot be Aristotle’s truth because Aristotle will say, “You say you know something, but that is subjective. Make it objective so we also can observe it.” Buddha cannot put his realization as an object on a table. It cannot be dissected. You cannot do anything with Self. You have to take Buddha’s statement in good faith. He tells you something, but Aristotle will say, “He may be deluded. What is the criterion? How to know that he is not deluded? He may be deceiving. How to know that he is not deceiving? He may be dreaming. How to know that he has come to a reality and not to a dream? Reality must be objective; then you can decide.”

That is why there is only one science and so many religions. If something is true, then in science two theories cannot exist side by side. Sooner or later one theory will have to be dropped. Because the world is objective, you can decide which is true. Others can experiment on it and you can compare notes.

But so many religions are possible because the world is subjective – an inner world. No objective criterion of judgement, of verification, is possible. Buddha stands on his own evidence. He is the only witness of whatsoever he is saying. That is why in science doubt becomes useful; in religion it becomes a hindrance. Religion is trust because no objective evidence is possible.

Buddha says something. If you trust him, it is okay; otherwise, there is no communion with him, there is no dialogue possible. There is only one possibility, and that is this: if you trust Buddha, you can travel the same path, you can come to the same experience. But, again, that will be individual and personal; again, you will be your own evidence. You cannot even say this, that “I have achieved the same thing Buddha has achieved,” because how to compare?

Think of it in this way: I love someone; you love someone. We can say that we are both in love, but how am I to know that my experience of love is the same as your experience of love? How to compare them? How to weigh? It is difficult. Love is a complex thing. Even simpler things are difficult. I see a tree and I call it green. You also call it green, but my green and your green may not be the same because eyes differ, attitudes differ, moods differ.

When a painter looks at a tree, he cannot be seeing the same green as you see when you look at it, because the painter has a more sensitive eye. When you see green it is just one green; when the painter sees a tree it is many greens simultaneously – many shades of green. When a Van Gogh looks at a tree it is not the same tree as you see. How to compare this – whether I am seeing the same green as you are seeing! It is difficult – in a way, impossible – even in such small simple things as the experience of green. So how to compare Buddha’s nirvana, Mahavira’s moksha, Krishna’s Brahman? How to compare?

The deeper we move, the more personal the thing becomes. The more in we go, the less possibility of any verification. And ultimately, one can only say, “I am the only witness of myself.” The Greek mind becomes afraid! This is dangerous territory! Then you can fall prey. Then you can fall a victim of deceivers, of deluded ones! That is why they go on insisting on objectivity: “What is Truth?” is the inquiry. Then one is bound to fall on objectivity.

The Hindu mind says, “We are not interested in Truth. We are interested in human freedom. We are interested in the innermost freedom where no slavery exists, no limitation; where consciousness becomes infinite, where consciousness becomes one with the Whole. Unless I am the Whole, I cannot be free. That which I am not will remain a limitation to me. So unless one becomes the Brahman, he is not free.”

This is the Eastern search. This too can be contemplated. You can think about it; you can also philosophize about it. This sutra says, “I am that absolutely pure Brahman. To realize this . . .” not “to contemplate about this,” not “to think about this” – because you can think, and you can think beautifully, and you can fall a victim to your own thinking. Thinking is not the thing. “To realize this is the attainment of Liberation.” Know well the distinction between thinking and realizing.

Ordinarily, everything is confused and our minds are muddled. A person thinks about God, so he thinks he is religious. He is not! You can go on thinking for lives together, but you will not be religious – because thinking is a cerebral, intellectual affair. It is done with words; life remains untouched. That is why, in the West, you will see a person thinking of the highest values and yet remaining on the lowest rung of life. He may be talking about love, theorizing about love, but look into his life and there is no love at all. Rather, this may be the reason, the cause: because there is no love in him, he goes on substituting it by theories and thinking.

That is why the East insists that no matter what you think, unless you live it, it is useless. Ultimately, only life is meaningful, and thinking must not become a substitute for it. But go around and look at religious people, so-called religious people; not only at religious people, but at religious saints: they are only thinking – because they go on thinking about the Brahman, go on talking about the Brahman, they think that they are religious.

Religion is not so cheap. You can think for twenty-four hours, but it will not make you religious. When mind stops and life takes over, when it is not your thoughts but your life, your very heartbeat, when your very pulse pulsates with it, then it is a realization. And to realize this is the attainment of Liberation – moksha, freedom. When one realizes that “I am the Absolute Brahman” – remember the word “realization” – when one becomes one with the Absolute Brahman, it is not a concept in one’s mind, now one is that, then one is free. Then the moksha, the Liberation, the freedom, is attained.

What to do? How to live it? This whole Upanishad was an effort to penetrate from different angles toward this one Ultimate goal. Now this is the last sutra. The last sutra says that you have gone through the whole Upanishad – but if it is only your thinking, if you have been only thinking about it, then howsoever beautiful it is, it is irrelevant unless you realize it.

Mind can deceive you – because if you repeat a certain thing continuously, you begin to feel that now you have realized it. If you go on from morning to evening repeating, “Everywhere is the Brahman, I am the Brahman, aham brahmasmi, I am Divine, I am God, I am one with the Whole,” if you go on repeating it, this repetition will create an autohypnosis. You will begin to feel – rather, you will begin to think that you feel – that you are. This is delusion; this will not help.

So what to do? Thinking will not help. Then how to start living? From where to start it? Some points: first, remember that if something convinces you logically it is not necessarily true. If I convince you logically about something, it doesn’t mean that it is true. Logic is groping in the dark. The roots are unknown: logic gives you substitutes for roots. [. . . .]

The whole life is a mystery. Everything is unknown, but we make it known. It doesn’t become known that way, but we go on labelling it and then we are at ease. Then we have created a known world: we have created an island of a known world in the midst of a great unknown mystery. This labelled world gives ease; we feel secured. What is our knowledge other than labelling things?

Your small child asks, “What is this?” You say, “It is a dog,” so he repeats, “It is a dog.” Then the label is fixed in his mind. Now he begins to feel that he knows the dog. It is only a labelling. When there was no label, the child thought it was something unknown. Now a label has been put: “dog,” so the child goes on repeating, “Dog! Dog!” Now, the moment he sees the animal, parallel in his mind the word “dog” is repeated. Then he feels he knows.

What have you done? You have simply labelled an unknown thing, and this is our whole knowledge. The so-called intellectual knowledge is nothing but labelling. What do you know? You call a certain thing “love,” and you then begin to think that you have known it. We go on labelling. Give a label to anything and then you are at ease. But go a little deeper, penetrate a little deeper beyond the label, and the unknown is standing. You are surrounded by the unknown.

You call a certain person your wife, your husband, your son. You have labelled; then you are at ease. But look again at the face of your wife. Take the label off, penetrate beyond the label, and there is the unknown. The unknown penetrates every moment, but you go on pushing it, huffing it. You go on trying – “Behave as the label demands!”

And everyone is behaving according to the label. Our whole society is a labelled world – our family, our knowledge. This will not do. A religious mind wants to know, to feel. Labelling is of no use. So feel the unknown all around; discard the labelling. That is what is meant by unlearning – to forget whatever you have learned. You cannot forget it but put it aside. When you look again at your wife, look at something unknown. Put the label aside. It is a very strange feeling.

Look at the tree you have passed every day. Stop there for a moment. Look at the tree. Forget the name of the tree; put it aside. Encounter it directly, immediately, and you will have a very strange feeling. We are in the midst of an unknown ocean. Nothing is known – only labelled. If you can begin to feel the unknown, only then is realization possible. Do not cling to knowledge, because clinging to knowledge is clinging to the mind, is clinging to philosophy. Throw labelling! Just destroy all labelling!

I do not mean that you should create a chaos. I do not mean that you should become mad. But know well that the labelled world is a false creation of man – a mind creation. So use it. It is a device, so it is good. Use it; it is utilitarian. But do not be caught in it. Move out of it sometimes. Sometimes, go beyond the boundaries of knowledge. Feel things without the mind. Have you ever felt anything without the mind – without the mind coming in? We have not felt anything. [. . . .]

You go to a tree. You say, “Okay, this is a mango tree.” Finished! The mango tree is finished by your label. Now you need not bother about it. A mango tree is a great existence. It has its own life, its own love affairs, its own poetry. It has its own experiences. It has seen many mornings, many evenings, many nights. Much has happened around it and everything has left its signature on it. It has its own wisdom. It has deep roots into the earth. It knows the earth more than you because man has no visible roots into the earth. It feels the earth more than you.

And then the sun rises – for you it is nothing because it is a labelled thing. But for a mango tree it is not simply that the sun is rising: something rises in it also. The mango tree becomes alive with the sun’s rising. Its blood runs faster. Every leaf becomes alive; it begins to explode. We also know winds, but we are sheltered in our houses. This tree is unsheltered. It has known winds in a different way. It has touched their innermost possibilities. But for us it is just a mango tree. It is finished! We have labelled it so that we could move on.

Remain with it for a while. Forget that this is a mango tree, because “mango tree” is just a word. It expresses nothing. Forget the word. Forget whatsoever you have read in the books; forget your recipe books. Be with this tree for a while, and this will give you more religious experience than any temple can give – because a temple, any temple, is finally, ultimately, made by man. It is a dead thing. This is made by the Existence itself. It is something that is still one with the Existence. Through it, the Existence itself has come to be green, to be flowering, to be fruitful.

Be with it; remain with it. That will be a meditation. And a moment will come when the tree is not a mango tree – not even a tree: just a being. And when this happens – that the tree is not a mango tree, not even a tree, but just a being, an existence flowering here and now – you will not be a man, you will not be a mind. Simultaneously, when the tree becomes just an existence, you will also become just an existence. And only two existences can meet. Then deep down there is a communion. Then you realize a freedom. You have expanded. Your consciousness expands. Now the tree and you are not two. And if you can feel oneness with a tree, then there is no difficulty in feeling oneness with the whole Existence. You know the path now. You know the secret path – how to be one with this Existence.

So repeating a sutra like, “Aham brahmasmi – I am Divine,” will not do. Realize that knowledge is useless. Be intimate with the Existence. Approach it not as a mind, but as a being. Approach it not with your culture, your education, your scriptures, your religious philosophies – no! Approach it naked like a child, not knowing anything. Then it penetrates you. Then you penetrate into it. Then there is a meeting, and that meeting is samadhi. And once you feel the whole Existence in your nerves, when you feel yourself spread all over the Existence, “Then,” this sutra says, “this is the attainment of Liberation” – to realize this, not to think about it.

So realization is a deep communion – oneness. What is the difficulty? Why do we remain outside this Existence? The ego is the difficulty. We are afraid of losing ourselves: that is the only difficulty. And if you are afraid of losing yourself, then you will not be able to know anything in this life. Then you can collect money, then you can strive for higher posts, then you can collect degrees, diplomas, you can become very respectable, but you will be dead – because life means the capacity to dissolve oneself, the capacity to melt.

When you are in love you melt: love is a melting. And if you cannot melt in love, then it is going to be simply sex; it cannot become love. When you love someone, you melt. When you do not love, you become cold: you freeze. When you love you become warm and you melt.

Religion is a love affair. One needs a deep melting into the Existence. Science is a cold thing. Logic is absolutely cold, dead; life is warm. The capacity to melt yourself is known in religious terms as “surrender”; and the capacity to be frozen, cold, is known in religion as “ego.” Ego makes you ice-cold, frozen. Then you are just stone, dead. We are afraid of losing ourselves; that is why we, are afraid of love. Everyone talks about love, everyone thinks about love – but no one loves, because love is dangerous. When you love someone, you are losing yourself: you will not be in control. You cannot know things directly; you cannot manipulate. You are melting. You are losing control.

That is why, when someone loves someone, we say he has “fallen” in love. We use the word “falling”: we say “falling in love.” It is a falling, really, because it is a melting. Then you cannot stand aloof, cold, in yourself – you have fallen.

Look at a person who lives through mind: you can never feel any warmth in him. If you touch his hand, you cannot feel him there. If you kiss him, you cannot feel him there. He is like a dead wall. No response comes out of him. A man who loves is in continuous response. Subtle responses are coming from him. If you touch his hand you have touched his soul. It is not only his hand: he has come to meet you there – totally! He has moved: his soul has come to his hand. Then there is warmth. And if your soul can also come to the hand to meet him, then there is a meeting – a communion.

This can happen with a tree. And if it happens at all with anyone then it can happen with anything else – anything! It can happen with a stone, it can happen with the sand on the beach, it can happen with anything if at all it can happen – if you know how to melt, if you know how to dissolve yourself, if you know how to move in response and not in words. Words are not responses. [. . . ]

Religion is a love approach. It is a deep melting. And when you melt into the Existence, you become free. What is this freedom? When you are not, you are free. Let me say it this way: when you are not, you are free. Until you are not there, you cannot be free. You are your slavery, so you cannot become free: the “I” cannot become free. When the “I” dissolves, there is freedom. When you are not, there is freedom. So moksha, freedom, means a total dispersion of the ego. So learn it, or unlearn the coldness that everyone has created around himself. Unlearn the coldness and learn warmth. […]

So learn the language of love and unlearn the language of reason. No one is going to teach you, because love cannot be taught. If you have become bored with your mind, if it is enough, throw it! Unburden yourself, and suddenly you begin to move into life. Mind has to be there, and then it has to be thrown. If you throw the mind, only then will you know that “I am the absolute pure Brahman,” because only the mind is the barrier. Because of the mind you feel yourself finite, limited.

It is like this: you have colored specs. The whole world looks blue. It is not blue; it is only your spectacles which are blue. Then I say, “The world is not blue, so throw your specs and look again at the world.” But you do not know the distinction between your eyes and the specs. You were born with your spectacles, so you do not know the distinction between where specs finish and ‘I’ begins.

You have been thinking that your specs are your eyes: that is the only problem; that your thoughts are your life: that is the problem. The identity that your mind is your life: that is the problem. Mind is just like specs. That is why a Hindu looks at the world differently and a Mohammedan looks differently and a Christian differently: because specs differ. Throw your specs, and then, for the first time, you will reclaim your eyes. In India, we have called this approach darshan. It is a reclaiming of the eyes.

We have eyes, but covered. We are moving in the Existence just like horses move when they are yoked in front of carts. Then their eyes have to be covered from both the sides. They must look straight ahead – because if a horse can look around everywhere, then it will be difficult for the driver. Then it will go running anywhere and everywhere, so a horse is allowed to see only straight ahead in order that his world becomes linear. Now his world is not three-dimensional: he cannot look everywhere. The whole Existence is lost except the street. It is a dead street, because streets cannot be alive. It is a dead street, a dead road. [. . . .]

Every road leads to death. If you want life, then for life there is no fixed road. Life is here and now, multi-dimensional, spreading in every direction. If you want to move into life, throw your specs, throw your concepts, systems, thoughts, mind. Be born into life here and now, in this multi-dimensional life, spreading everywhere. Then you become the center and the whole life belongs to you, not only a particular road. Then the whole life belongs to you! Everything that is in it, all, belongs to you.

This is the realization: “I am that absolutely pure Brahman.” You cannot reach to the Brahman by any road. The path is pathless. If you follow a path, you will reach something, but it is not going to be the All. How can a path lead you to the All? A path can lead you to something, but not the All. If you want the All, leave all the paths, open your eyes, look all around. The Whole is present here. Look and melt into it, because melting will give you the only knowledge possible. Melt into it!

Thus ends “The Atma Pooja Upanishad.” This was the last sutra; the Upanishad ends. It was a very small Upanishad – the smallest possible. You can print it on a postcard, on one side. Only seventeen sutras, but the whole life is condensed into those seventeen sutras. Every sutra can become an explosion; every sutra can transform your life – but it needs your cooperation. The sutra itself cannot do it; the Upanishad itself cannot do it.  You can do it!

Buddha is reported to have said: “The teacher can only show you the path; you have to travel it.” And, really, the teacher can only show you the path if you are ready to see it. Finally, the teacher is a teacher only if you are a disciple. If you are ready to learn, only then can a teacher show you the path. But he cannot force you; he cannot push you ahead. That is impossible! [. . . .]

The Upanishad can give you a light, but then that light will not be of any help, really. Unless you can create your own light, unless you start on an inner work of transformation, Upanishads are useless. They may even be dangerous, harmful, because you can learn them. You can easily become a parrot, and parrots tend to be religious. You can know whatsoever has been said, you can repeat it – but that is not going to help. Forget it. Let me blow out the candle. Whatsoever we have been discussing and talking, forget it. Do not cling to it! Start afresh! Then one day you will come to know whatsoever has been said.

Scriptures are only helpful when you reach realization. Only then do you know what has been said, what was meant, what the intention was. When you hear, when you understand intellectually, nothing is understood. So this can help only if it becomes a thirst, an intense inquiry, a seeking.

The Upanishad ends; now you go ahead and move on the journey. Suddenly, one day, you will know that which has been said and also that which has not been said. One day you will know that which has been expressed and, also, that which has not been expressed because it cannot be expressed.

One day Buddha was moving in a forest with his disciples. Ananda asked him, “Bhagwan, have you said everything that you know:”

So Buddha takes some leaves from the ground into his hand, some dead, fallen leaves – and he says, “Whatsoever I have said is just like these few leaves in my hand, and whatsoever I have not said and have left unsaid is like the leaves in this forest. But if you follow, then through these few leaves you will attain to this whole forest.”

The Upanishad ends, but now you start on a journey – deep, inward. It is a long and arduous effort. To transform oneself is the greatest effort – the most impossible, but the most paying. This Upanishad has been a deep intimate instruction. It is alchemical. It is for your inner transformation. Your baser metals can become gold. Through this process, your utmost possibility can become actual.

But no one can help you. The teacher only shows you the path – you have to travel. So do not go on thinking and brooding. Somewhere, start living. A very small lived effort is better than a great philosophical accumulation. Be religious – philosophies are worthless.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2 #16

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.

Ego and the Self – Osho

In the west I was trained as a social worker. I was taught that it is important that a person respects and loves himself and feels worthwhile. I was taught that it is important to give support to help strengthen the ego. You say kill the ego. I am confused.

Prem Aradhana, the ego is needed because the true self is not known. The ego is a substitute, it is a pseudo entity. Because you don’t know yourself you have to create an artificial center; otherwise functioning in life will be impossible. Because you don’t know your real face, you have to wear a mask. Not knowing the essential, you have to trust in the shadow.

There are only two ways of living in life. One is to live it from the very core of your being — that has been the way of the mystics. Meditation is nothing but a device to make you aware of your real self — which is not created by you, which need not be created by you, which you already are. You are born with it, you are it! It needs to be discovered. If this is not possible, or if the society does not allow it to happen…and no society allows it to happen, because the real self is dangerous — dangerous for the established church, dangerous for the state, dangerous for the crowd, dangerous for the tradition — because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual. He no longer belongs to the mob psychology; he will not be superstitious, and he cannot be exploited. He cannot be led like cattle, he cannot be ordered and commanded. He will live according to his light, he will live from his own inwardness. His life will have tremendous beauty, integrity. But that is the fear of the society.

Integrated persons become individuals, and the society wants you to be non-individuals. Instead of individuality, the society teaches you to be a personality. The word ‘personality’ has to be understood. It comes from a root, ‘persona’ — persona means a mask. The society gives you a false idea of who you are; it gives you just a toy, and you go on clinging to the toy your whole life.

The one way is to live through meditation — then you live a life of rebellion, of adventure, of courage. Then you really live! The other way to live, or to fake living, is the way of the ego — strengthen the ego, nourish the ego; so that you need not look into the self, cling to the ego. The ego is an artifact created by the society to deceive you, to distract you.

The ego is man-made, manufactured by us. And because it is manufactured by the society, society has power over it. Because it is manufactured by the state and the church, and those who are in power, they can destroy it any moment; it depends on them. You have to be constantly in fear, and you have to be constantly obeying them, conforming to them, so that your ego remains intact. The society gives you respect if you are not an individual. The society honors you if you are not a Jesus, not a Socrates, not a Buddha. It respects you only if you are a sheep, not a man.

The West has completely forgotten how to meditate — and Christianity has been the reason. Christianity has created a very false religion, which knows nothing of meditation. Christianity is very formal; it is a ritual. It is part of the society and the political structure of the society. Karl Marx is perfectly right about it, that it is the opium of the people. Because of Christianity, the West has lost track of its own being. And one cannot live without SOME idea of one’s self — and if you cannot discover, then create something. It will be false, but something is better than nothing.

Aradhana, what you have been told is utter nonsense. It does not matter who has been telling it — the universities, the politicians, the priests. Certainly, you will be feeling confused, because I am telling you just the opposite: I am telling you to get rid of the ego, because if you get rid of the ego, you get rid of the rock that is preventing the flow of your consciousness.

Your consciousness is there, just behind the rock; it has not to be brought from somewhere else. Remove the rock — real religion consists only of removing that which is unnecessary, and then the necessary starts flowing. That which is unessential has to be removed. And the essential is already there, is already the case! You remove the rock and you will be surprised: you need not create the real self — it reveals itself to you.

And the real has beauty, and the real is deathless. Because it is deathless it has no fear. The unreal is constantly trembling. The ego is always in danger — anybody can destroy it. Because it has been given to you by others, they can take it back. Today they respect you, tomorrow they may not respect you. If you don’t follow their idea of life, if you don’t confirm their style of being, they will withdraw their respect. And you will be flat on the ground…and you will not know who you are.

Borges writes:

“I dreamt that I was awakening from another dream — full of cataclysms and turmoil — and that I was waking up in a room which I did not recognize. Dawn was breaking: a faint diffused light outlined the foot of the iron bedstead, the table. I thought fearfully ‘Where am I?’ and realized that I did not know. I thought ‘Who am I?’ and I could not recognize myself. Fear grew within me. I thought, ‘This distressing awakening is already hell, this awakening without a future will be my eternity.’ Then I really awoke, trembling.”

Not to know oneself, to know one’s destiny, that’s certainly real hell. And man does not know himself. Now, the cheaper way is to create the ego, and the West has been following the cheaper way. And not only the West: the majority of people in the East, too, have been doing the same. Just leave a few enlightened people aside, and the whole world has been doing the same.

The West consists of ninety-nine point nine percent of the people in the world; the East consists of only a few people, they can be counted on the fingers. To me, the East and the West are not geographical — they are spiritual dimensions. Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Saint Francis — the East consists of these people. Where they were born is immaterial, is irrelevant. Certainly Saint Francis was not born in the East, but I count him as part of the East.

The spiritual dimension, the dimension where the inner sun rises, is the East. And the dark night of the soul, which knows nothing of the sunrise, is the West. You don’t become religious just by being born in India. Religion is not that cheap. It is the costliest thing in existence, because it is the most precious. There is no shortcut to it, and those who seek shortcuts are bound to be deceived by somebody. They will be given toys, and you can go on believing in toys because you don’t want to risk an adventure into the unknown.

The greatest unknown exists within you. The most uncharted sea is your consciousness, and the most dangerous too, because when you start moving inwards, you start falling into an emptiness, and great fear arises, the fear of going mad, the fear of losing your identity. … Because you have known yourself as a name, you have known yourself as a particular person — you have known yourself as a doctor, as an engineer, as a businessman; you have known yourself as an Indian, a German, a Chinese; you have known yourself as black or white; you have known yourself as man or woman; you have known yourself as educated or uneducated — all these categories start disappearing.

As you move inwards, you are neither man nor woman: neti, neti — neither this nor that, neither white nor black, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan, neither Indian nor Pakistani. As you move inwards, all these categories start slipping out of your hands. Then who are you? You start losing track of your ego, and a great fear arises — the fear of nothingness. You are falling into infinity. Who knows whether you will be able to come back or not? And who knows what is going to be the outcome of this exploration? The coward clings to the shore and forgets all about the sea. That’s what is happening all over the world. People cling to the ego because ego gives you a certain idea of who you are, gives you a certain clarity. But the ego is false, and the clarity is false.

It is better to be confused with reality than to be clear with unreality.

Aradhana, you are right: with me a great confusion is bound to happen — because all your knowledge, slowly, slowly, will be proved simple ignorance and nothing else. Hiding behind your knowledge is your ignorance. Hiding behind your cleverness is your stupid mind. And behind the ego there is nothing — it is a shadow.

Once this becomes clear to you, that you have been clinging to the shadow, a great fear and a great confusion, a great chaos is bound to happen. But out of the chaos stars are born. One has to pass through such chaos — that is part of spiritual growth. You have to lose the false to get to the real. But between the two there will be an interval when the false will be gone and the true will not yet have arrived. Those are the moments, the most critical moments… these are the moments when you need a master or a friend.

Just the other day, Buddha was saying, “A master or a friend is needed.” These are the moments when you will need somebody’s hand who can hold you, who can support you, who can say, “Don’t be afraid. This emptiness is going to disappear. Soon you will be overflowing — just a little more waiting, a little more patience.” The master cannot give you anything, but he can give you courage. He can give you his hand in those critical moments when your mind would like to go back, to turn back, to cling again to the shore.

The joy of the master, his confidence, his authority… remember, when I say “his authority” I don’t mean that a master is authoritarian. A master is never authoritarian, but he has authority, because he is a witness to his own self. He knows about the other shore, he has been to the other shore. You have only heard about the other shore, you have read about it; you know only about this shore, and the comfort and the security, and the safety of this shore. And when the storms rage and when you start losing sight of this shore, and you are not able to see the other shore, your mind will say, “Go back! Go back as fast as possible! The old shore is disappearing and the new is not appearing. Maybe there is nothing on the other shore, maybe there is no other shore at all. And the storm is great!”

In those moments, if you are with a master, and somebody is sitting in the boat silent, utterly calm and quiet, laughing and saying, “Don’t be worried,” playing on his flute, or singing a song, or telling you a joke, and he says, “Don’t be worried. The other shore is — I know, I have been there. Just a little patience….” Looking into his eyes…in his absolute confidence will be the only help. Seeing his calmness, quietness, his integrity…. He is not looking back, he is not afraid: he must have seen the other shore, he must have been there. His whole being says it, his whole being proves it. And when he holds your hand you can feel that his hand is not trembling; you can feel that whatsoever he is saying he is saying out of his own experience, not because it is written in the Bible, in the Gita, in The Dhammapada. He knows it on his own! — That is his authority.

Once his confidence, his trust, becomes contagious to you, you will also start laughing. Of course, your laughter will have a little nervousness in it, but you will start laughing. You may start singing with him, maybe just to avoid fear, just as people whistle in the dark. You may join in his dance, just to forget all about what is happening. You don’t want to see the storm that surrounds you, and you don’t want to remember the past and you don’t want to think about the future. It seems dark and dismal to you. You may join in his dance…. Dancing with him, even if out of fear, singing with him even though your singing is bound to be nervous, laughing with him although your laughter is not total, the storm will soon be passed. The deeper your patience, the sooner it happens — you will be able to see the other shore, because when the eyes are not troubled, when the eyes are not full of fear, they become perceptive. A seeing arises in you — you become a seer.

The other shore is not far away; just your eyes are so full of smoke that you cannot see. In fact, this very shore IS the other shore. If your eyes are clear, if your perception is not clouded, if your insight has arisen in your being, if you can see and hear, this very shore is the other shore. When one knows, one really laughs at the whole ridiculousness of life — because we have already got that for which we are longing. The treasure is with us, and we are running hither and thither.

The ego has not to be created, because you have the supreme self within you.

But I can understand your confusion. Remain confused. Don’t go back to your old clarity — it is deceptive. Be in this confusion, be with me a little while more, and soon the confusion will disperse and disappear. And then comes a totally new kind of clarity.

There are two kinds of clarity — one, which is simply intellectual, which any moment can be taken away, doubt can be created any moment…. Intellect is full of doubt. Whatsoever you had heard and whatsoever you had been told has been taken away so easily by me; it was not of much value. Your whole life’s training, and I have taken the earth from underneath your feet so easily…and you are confused. What value can such clarity have? If I can confuse you so easily, that means it was not real clarity. I will give you a new kind of clarity which cannot be confused.

Once a great philosopher went to see Ramakrishna. The philosopher argued against God, and he argued really well. His name was Keshav Chandra Sen. Ramakrishna was utterly illiterate; he knew nothing of philosophy, he had never been to the university, he had only read up to the second standard. He could write and read Bengali a little bit.

The philosopher was well educated, world famous, he had written many books. He argued, and Ramakrishna laughed. And each time the philosopher gave a beautiful, profound argument against God, Ramakrishna would jump and hug him. A great crowd had gathered to see the scene, what was happening. The philosopher was very much embarrassed, because he had come to argue, and what kind of argument is this? This man laughs, dances — sometimes hugs.

The philosopher said, “Are you not disturbed by my arguments?”

Ramakrishna said, “How can I be disturbed? I am really enjoying your arguments. You are clever, you are intelligent, your arguments are beautiful — but what can I do? I know God! It is not a question of argument; it is not that I believe in God. Had I believed, you would have disturbed me, you would have taken all my clarity and you would have confused me. But I know he is!”

If you know, you know — there is no way of distracting you. I will give you that kind of clarity — which knows, and is not dependent on any argument but arises out of existential experience. Then you need not be taught to respect yourself or love yourself or feel worthwhile. Knowing oneself, one knows one is God. Now what more respect can you give to yourself? When this experience arises in you — “Aham Brahasmi! I am God!” — What more respect can you give to yourself?

And who is there to give respect? Only God is. When in the deepest recesses of your being the realization happens: “Ana’l Haq! — I am truth!” what more worthwhileness do you need to feel? You have come to the ultimate, and you have come to know the ultimate as your innermost being, your interiority.

Yes, you have been told to be respectful to yourself because you don’t know who you are. You have been told to feel worthwhile because you feel worthless. You have been told to love yourself because you hate yourself. And the strange thing is, the irony is, that it is the same people who have been doing both things to you.

The same people first make you feel worthless; this is the trade secret of all the churches, of all the so-called religions, of all political ideologies, of all societies, civilizations and cultures that have existed up to now. This is the trade secret: first they make you feel worthless — every child is made to feel worthless. He is told, “Unless you become this or that, you have no worth.” When he starts feeling worthless, than we start telling him, “Feel worthwhile, feel some worth. If you cannot feel worthwhile, your life is wasted.”

First we tell him to hate himself and condemn himself; everything that he does is wrong, hence he starts hating himself because he is not a beautiful person. The parents, the teachers, the priests, they are all joined in the conspiracy. Every child is reduced to such a condemnable state that he starts feeling, “I must be the ugliest person in the world, because I do things that should not be done, and I don’t do things which should be done.” And then one day we start telling the child, “Why don’t you love yourself? Otherwise, how will you survive?”

We take all respect away from the child, and when he becomes disrespectful towards himself we start telling him to create respect. This is such an absurd situation! Each child is born with great respect for himself. Each child knows his worth, his intrinsic worth. He is not worthy because he is like Buddha or Krishna or Christ — he simply knows he has worth because he is, he has being. That’s enough! And each child loves himself, respects himself.

It is you who teach him just the opposite. First you destroy all that is beautiful in him, and then you start painting a false picture. Destroy the natural beauty and then paint his face, make him absolutely false. But why is this done? — because only false people can be slaves, only false people can follow the stupid politicians, only false people can be victims of utterly ignorant priests. If people are real, they cannot be exploited and cannot be oppressed.

Aradhana, remain confused — it is good. It is good that you have come to this point where a great confusion has arisen in you. You can no longer trust your ego — good! It is tremendously important, because now a second step becomes possible. I will give you your childhood back, your inner worth, which is not a created phenomenon; your natural love, which is not cultivated; your spontaneous respect, which arises only when you start feeling that you are part of God, that you are divine.

Remember, ego is comparative — it always compares itself with others — and the self is non-comparative. When you know yourself it is neither inferior nor superior in comparison to anybody, it is simply itself. But the ego is comparative. And remember, if you feel superior to somebody, you are bound to feel inferior to somebody else. So the ego is a very tricky phenomenon: on the one hand it makes you feel superior, on the other hand it makes you feel inferior. It keeps you in a double bind, it goes on pulling you apart. It drives you crazy.

On the one hand you know that you are superior to your servant, but what about your boss? You force the servant to surrender to you, and you surrender to your boss. You force your servant or your wife or your children to be slaves to you. And then to your boss? You wag your tail there.

How can you be blissful? Both things are wrong. To make others feel inferior is violent, it is a crime against God; and to make yourself feel inferior before somebody is again a crime against God. When you know the real self, both things disappear. Then you are you, and the other is the other, and there is no comparison — nobody is superior and nobody is inferior.

This is what I call real spiritual communism, but this is possible only when self-knowledge has happened. Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels, Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong, these are not the real communists. They live in the ego. The real communists are Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu — nobody knows them as communists but they are real communists, because if you understand their vision, all comparison disappears. And when there is no comparison, there is communism. Equality is possible only when comparison disappears from the world.

Not knowing yourself, you are almost fast asleep; not knowing yourself, you are like a drunkard who asks others, “Where is my home?” The drunkard sometimes even asks, “Can you tell me, sir, who I am?”

Once a drunkard came back to the bartender and asked him, “Have you seen my friend? Has he been here?”

The bartender said, “Yes, just a few minutes before, he was here.”

And the drunkard asked, “Will you be kind enough to tell me, was I with him too?”

There was a drunk standing at a bar one day. He turned to the man on his right and said, “Did you pour beer in my pocket?”

“I certainly did not,” said the man.

Then the drunk turned to the man on his left and said, “Did you pour beer in my pocket?”

The man said, “I most certainly did not pour beer in your pocket.”

The drunk said, “Just like I thought — an inside job.”

-Osho

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V. 2, Discourse #8

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.

 

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