The Guest is Found in the Host – Osho

Friedrich Nietzsche declared that God is dead and hence man is free. That has been one of the most ancient arguments: if God is, man cannot be free. How can man be free if God is? Then God is the master and man is the slave. Then God decides, man has only to follow. Then God has will and man has no will; man is only a plaything in the hands of God. So either God is, or man is free. If man is free, there can be no God at all.

Charvakas in ancient India, Epicurus in Greece, and then Nietzsche, Marx, Diderot, Freud, Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, they all have been repeating the same argument again and again in different words. The argument seems to be very appealing. The argument proposes freedom for man: man can be free only if God is removed. Then there is nobody above man. Then there is nobody to dominate man, nobody to decide for man. If there is nothing higher than man, then freedom is absolute. But howsoever appealing the argument, it is fundamentally wrong; it is based on wrong premises.

The declaration that God is dead is in a sense true: the false god, the man-made God, is certainly dead. The god of the temples and the churches and the synagogues and the mosques and the gurudwaras is certainly dead. The god that man has imagined in his own image, the god that man has made according to his own wishes, the god that is nothing but a projection of man’s mind and desires, that god certainly is dead.

But that god had really never existed; it is dead because it has never existed in the first place. And it is good that the man-made god is dead, because when the artificial is removed the natural can sprout. When the false ceases the true can explode. The untrue MUST cease for the truth to be.

I look at atheism with great respect, because it removes the false. It has a great work to do. Its work is not against God; its work really is for God, because it destroys all man-made idols of God. And then, in that emptiness, the time God can become manifest, can be revealed.

All the great saints have been against the false god. They will agree perfectly with Nietzsche, Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre. Of course, they will agree for a totally different reason: not that the true God is dead, not that the true God can ever be dead. To say that God is dead is a contradiction in terms if by God you mean the true God, the God ‘that which is’. It is a contradiction in terms because God is nothing but life, and how can life be dead? It goes on and on, it is an unending process. Life is a pilgrimage with no beginning and no end; God is another name for life.

Those who know, they know God as the fragrance of life, the perfume of existence, the very ground of being. For them, God is not a concept, not a theory, not a hypothesis. For them, God is an existential experience. For them God is not separate from man, for them God is man’s innermost core.

Hence how can man’s freedom and God be antagonistic? Without God there would be no freedom, because without God there would be no man. Without God there would be no inner core to your being. Without God you would be hollow; you wouldn’t have any meaning, any significance. Without God you would be just accidental, a plaything of circumstances. With God you have a certain significance, some meaning, some poetry.

With God you are free because God is your freedom. God gives you space to grow; God is the space to grow in. Because there is something higher, you can grow, you can reach for it, but the higher is not separate from you. The higher is nothing but your own depth trying to manifest itself. The higher is not something like a goal to be achieved. It is more like something which is already there and has only to be recognized. The height and the depth are one and the same. Your innermost core is also the innermost core of the whole existence.

To think of God and man is wrong. God is man fulfilled, man is God on the way. Man is the journey, God is the reaching, the arrival. Man is like a seed and God is like a flower… one chain of growth.

God is not to be worshiped but realized. There is no need to make temples for God. You have to learn how to look within you. The temple is already there: your body is the temple! That’s what Kabir goes on saying again and again: your body is the temple. God has already chosen it as its abode.

God is already in you, God exists as you. Hence there is no question of any conflict between you and God; there cannot be. Without God you would be just a flower without fragrance. Without God you would be a temple without any deity, empty. Without God you would be just pure accident, with no significance at all. It is only with God that you become part of the great symphony of existence, that you become something which is needed, utterly needed; that without you existence will miss something, that without you existence will be less.

God is not an ideal as we have been thinking down the ages. And it is good that that God is dead; now we can declare the birth of a new God. Now we can declare the true God. The true God is always your interiority, your subjectivity.

Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most important atheists of this age, says that we cannot allow God to exist because His existence reduces us to objects. He becomes the subject – He is omniscient, He goes on looking at us, and because He looks at us and we cannot look at Him, we are reduced to objects, things, commodities. Whenever you look at a thing you cannot look at its interiority, you can look only at its outer core. By looking, you reduce everything to a thing.

That’s why in all the cultures, in all the societies down the ages, looking at somebody for a certain period is thought to be unmannerly. For almost two or three seconds you can look and there will be no objection, that is casual; you are passing by and you look at a person, just a casual look, a glance. But if you stare it is offensive. Why? Why is looking at a person for too long offensive? It reduces him into an object: you become the seer and he becomes the seen. And who are you to reduce him into an object? It is offensive!

Jean-Paul Sartre also says that that is one of the reasons why lovers always go on fighting, because they both go on looking at each other, reducing each other into things, and nobody likes it. The man does not like to be reduced into a thing, neither does the woman like it. And they are lovers so they stare at each other – it is offensive; even in love it is offensive. Deep down somewhere your being revolts against it.

Women are far more sensitive, naturally. They are more graceful. When they are making love they close their eyes; they don’t reduce the man who is making love to them into an object. Man is a little crude: he likes to see while he is making love. Even while he is making love he wants to see, he would like to keep the light on. And there are extremists also who would like it to be photographed, so they can make an album and later on they can look at it.

But the woman feels offended. Certainly she is more sensitive, and her sense of propriety is far more refined than the sense of man. You kiss a woman, she immediately closes her eyes – she gives you the freedom of being a subject.

Jean-Paul Sartre has some truth in his statement that lovers are always in conflict because they reduce each other into things, and nobody wants to be a thing. Then what to say about God? – He reduces the whole humanity, all beings, into things. He is the eternal subject and we are objects. Hence Sartre says we cannot allow God to exist. Even if He is, He has to be killed, He has to be destroyed.

There have been thinkers like Immanuel Kant, Schiller, Hegel, who say: If there is no God He has to be invented, because without God man will lose all significance. And they are also right: even if there is no God he has to be invented, for man’s sake. It is better to have an invented God than not to have any. At least He will give an appearance of significance to life, a certain rhythm. The noise will start looking at least like music. The accidental will not be accidental any more, some meaning will arise. Hence they say if there is no God, He has to be invented.

And on the other pole, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud say: Even if there is God, He has to be killed, because if He remains man is reduced into an object. Man loses all freedom, man loses all will. But both are wrong, because both are thinking in terms of God as if God is the other.

Kabir says – just as all the mystics of all the ages have been saying – God is not the other. He is you. He is your inside. He is your subjectivity, so how can He reduce you into an object? He is not separate, so how can He take your freedom away? He need not be invented because He is already there. And He need not be killed, because in killing Him you will be simply committing suicide – and that is impossible; nobody can commit suicide. You can drop one body, you will immediately enter into another womb. Suicide is impossible. You can pretend the game of committing suicide but you can never succeed in it, because nothing can be destroyed. Not even a grain of sand can be destroyed.

Physicists say there is no possibility of destroying anything. Neither can something new be created nor can something existent be destroyed. If this is so even about a grain of sand, what to say about the being of man?’ – that is the highest flowering – how can it be destroyed?

Life is eternal. Life is immortal. It changes forms, certainly, just like the waves in the ocean go on changing but the ocean remains. Bodies come and go, minds come and go, but your innermost witness remains always there. And that witness is God.

Hegel, Kant, Schiller, are wrong; so is Freud, so is Nietzsche, so is Jean-Paul Sartre. They both accept the same premise: that God is the other. And God is not the other. God is your very soul.

God is already in you… just a little alertness.

Wake up and see! You need not wait for the Guest. The Guest has already arrived in the very being of the host. The Guest is found in the host.

-Osho

From The Guest, Chapter 13

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

God Is Existence – Osho

This century started with a very strange declaration. The declaration was made by Friedrich Nietzsche. He said, “God is dead, and hence man is totally free from now on.” The declaration looked very strange the moment it was made but it proved prophetic. And, by and by, it became the base of the modern mind.

Really, for the modern man, God is dead. It is not that God is dead: if God can be dead then nothing can be alive, because by God we mean the essential, eternal life, the very ground of existence. But for modern man God is dead. Or, we can say in another way that modern man is dead toward God.

The relationship has broken; the bridge is no longer there. Whether you believe or disbelieve, it makes no difference. Your belief is superficial; it doesn’t go very deep. Your disbelief is also superficial. When belief itself is superficial, how can disbelief go very deep?

When theists are very superficial, how can atheists be very deep? When the yes itself has lost its meaning, how can the no carry any meaning? All the meaning that atheism can carry comes from the depth of theism. When there are people who can say with their total being YES to God, only then does the no become meaningful. It is secondary.

God is dead, and with God even the disbelief is dead. Belief is dead and with it the disbelief is also dead. This century and the modern mind are, in a way, in a very peculiar situation. It has never been so before. There have been persons who were theists who really believed that God exists. There were persons who were really atheists and who believed with the same intensity that God does not exist. But the modern mind is indifferent: it doesn’t care; whether God exists or not, it is irrelevant.

No one is interested in proving it one way or the other.

Really, this is the meaning of Nietzsche’s declaration that God is dead. You do not care even to deny him. You do not care even to argue against him. The bridge is simply broken. We have no relationship with him – neither for nor against. Why has this happened? Why has this phenomenon become so prominent in the modern mind – this indifference? We will have to seek the causes.

The first cause is that we have always been thinking of God as a person. To think about God as a person is false, untrue, and that idea had to die. The idea that God is a person – controlling, managing, creating, maintaining – is false. God is not a person. The idea became so significant because of our minds. Whenever we think about something, either we can think of it as a thing or as a person. Only two alternatives are open: when something exists, then it must either be a thing or a person.

We cannot think, we cannot imagine, that things and persons are both manifestations of something deeper – hidden. The same force becomes a thing; the same force becomes a person. But the force itself is neither. God, taken as – a person, is dead. The concept is dead, and the concept had to die because as a person God cannot be proved. And taken as a person, he doesn’t solve any problem.

Rather, on the contrary, he creates more – because if God is a person then why is there evil in the world? He must be allowing evil, he must be cooperating with it. Then he becomes an evil person.

Andre Gide has said somewhere, “It is difficult for me to conceive that God exists as good. But I can conceive that God exists as evil, as Satan, because there is so much evil in the world, so much suffering, so much pain, so much anguish.” He cannot imagine that God is managing this whole affair. There must be something like a devil in charge of it, a supreme devil. God must be good; otherwise what type of God is he? A basic goodness must be there. But as the world appears, it seems that God is devilish and not good – that he is playing with evil, and somehow it appears he is enjoying this whole suffering and torturing.

If God is a person, then there are two alternatives open: either he will become a devil or we will have to deny that he exists. And the second is better. God as a person had to die because it became impossible to conceive him as good. But the concept was wrong; it was anthropocentric.

We conceived of God as a supreme man, as a superman. God was conceived of as a magnified person like ourselves. We only magnified man.

In The Bible it is said that God created man in his own image, but this is said by man. The real thing is just the reverse: man created God in his own image. This man’s image had to disappear. And it is good that this type of God is dead, because with that concept of God removed we can start a fresh inquiry into what God is.

The Upanishads are totally different. They never say God is a person; that is why they have a relevance for the modern mind. They do not say that God is a person. They say that God is the very ground of being, not a person. God is existence, not existential. This distinction is subtle, but try to understand it.

A thing exists, a man exists, a woman exists, a person exists, but they can go out of existence.

Whatsoever exists can become nonexistent – it is implied. Whatsoever exists can go out of existence. But existence itself cannot go out of existence. So we can say the chair exists, we can say the house exists, because they can go out of existence. But we cannot say that God exists.

God is EXISTENCE – it is not that God exists; God is simply synonymous with existence. Really, to say that God is, is to repeat. God means is. It is bad language to say God is, because the very isness is God. God means isness. To say God exists is wrong. God is existence. Or God is just another term for existence. Existence never dies, never goes out of existence. Forms come and go, forms change. Nothing is permanent in the world of forms. So the Upanishads say Nama and Rupa – name and form – they are the world, and that which is beyond name and form is God. But what is beyond name and form? Existence itself is beyond name and form.

The Upanishads think of God not as a person but as existence itself – as the very ground of existence. Nama-Rupa-Ateet – beyond name, beyond form. What is beyond name and  beyond form? There are trees around this house; they exist. There are hills beyond those trees; they exist.

You are here; you exist. In the trees, in the hills, in you, what is common? Form is not common: you have a different form, the trees have a different form and the hills have an altogether different form. The names are not common, the forms are not common. What is common? That common denominator will be God. You exist, trees exist, hills exist. Existence is common: everything else is just accidental. The essential is that you exist, the trees exist, the hills exist. Existence is common.

That existence is God.

But the Upanishads never became very popular. They cannot become popular, because if God is existence then for you all meaning is lost – because then how to relate to existence? If God is a person, a father, a mother, a brother, a beloved, you can relate, you can think of relationship.

But how to relate with existence? Existence is so pure, so abstract. How then do you pray to it? How do you call it? How do you cry and weep before it? No one is there.

Because of this human weakness, the Upanishads never became very popular. They are so true that they cannot become very popular. To make truth popular is almost impossible because the human mind will not take it as it is. The human mind can only think, “If God is a person, then we can relate.” That is why there is so much influence of BHAKTI cults – of devotional cults. One needs to pray, to be in devotion, to surrender, and a person is there so it becomes easy. You can pray, you can talk, you can communicate. Of course, there is no one there, but for you it becomes easy. If you can imagine that someone is listening to your prayer, it becomes easy for you to pray.

No one is listening. There is just abstract existence which has no ears to listen, no eyes to see you, no hands to touch you. But it will be difficult for you to pray. Because of this difficulty, man always thinks that God is a person. Then everything becomes easy but everything becomes wrong.

It becomes easy on the one hand but it goes wrong on the other hand.

So THAT God is dead, and there is no possibility to revive him, no possibility to give blood or a heartbeat again to him. He is really dead. That God cannot be introduced again in the world. We have passed that moment. The human mind has become more mature; the childish attitude toward God cannot be there again. But it is a hangover. We still go on thinking in terms which are dead.

We still go on picturing him although all name and form has dissolved.

The Upanishads have a relevance now. Five thousand years ago they were before their time. When this Kenopanishad was written, it was before its time; now the time has come and the Kenopanishad can be understood. The Upanishads can be understood because God as a person is no more there. Now God can exist only as an impersonal existence.

But there will be difficulties because then you will have to change everything: your whole religion will have to be changed, because the center disappears. For the old religion the center disappears, and with a new center a new type of religion will arise – a new religious attitude.

Hence, my insistence is on meditation not on prayer. Why? – Because prayer needs a person, meditation needs no person there. You can meditate without there being a person to listen to you, because meditation is not prayer; it is not addressed to anyone. It is just something you are doing without someone else being there. It is not a relationship.

If God is dead, then prayer has become meaningless. Only meditation can become meaningful.

When you pray, you pray to someone. When you meditate, you simply meditate. When you pray, prayer is dual – dualistic: you are there and someone else is there to whom the prayer is addressed.

Meditation is non-dualistic – ADVAITA; there is no one else. It is not a relationship at all. You are alone. And the more you enter this aloneness, the more you enter meditation.

Meditation means the capacity to be alone – not only to be alone, but to enjoy the very aloneness; to become so alone that the other disappears completely – the other is not there; to become so alone that you start falling within yourself. The abyss opens, and you go on falling within yourself. When you fall within yourself, sooner or later the form will be lost, the name will be lost, because they exist only on the surface. The deeper you drown the more you come nearer to God – God as existence, not as a person.

So this is the distinction. If you are praying God is outside you and that God is dead. Now that outside God is no more. You can go on thinking about him, that he is somewhere there in heaven, in the skies, but you yourself will feel this is childish. There is no one there. That God has been escaping from every abode.

Once, in the days of the Rigveda, he was living just near in the Himalayas, because the Himalayas were unapproachable. He used to live on Kailash. But then men entered there, so he had to fly from there to where he could not be found. Then he made his abode on the stars, on the moon.

But now man has also reached the moon, and now he is not there. Sooner or later, man will be everywhere and God will be nowhere, because where can he hide? Nothing is unapproachable now, or everything will become approachable sooner or later. He has no place to hide. That concept cannot exist anymore. God as a person is not to be found there. And it is good because now you can turn from prayer to meditation.

Really, prayer is childish. In a way it is neurotic, because you create a God in your imagination and then you start praying to it. And you can become so hallucinatory that you will start answering your prayer from the side of the God. Then you really have gone mad. Then you are not in your senses.

You can do it; many people have done it and they are known as great saints. They were ill, because with God only silence is possible. When you become silent you cannot relate to the other; you fall within yourself. God has now come to be a force within. He is not a person without; he is now a force within.

There is one beautiful story in the old Indian literature. It is said it happened that God created the world, and then he used to live on earth. It was his own creation, so he enjoyed it and lived with men and animals and trees. But he was in a great difficulty, because the whole day he was disturbed and even in the night he was not allowed to sleep, because people would go on complaining: “This is wrong, that is wrong; why have you done this, why not do it this way?” Everyone would come to advise him and give suggestions.

He got so fed up that he called a council of his wise deities, wise counselors, and he asked them, “Find a place for me to hide from my own creation, because they will kill me or I will commit suicide.

Every single moment they come to advise me, and they keep saying, ’Do this and do that; this is wrong, and this must not be done,’ and their opinions are so contradictory that if I follow them the whole thing will become a mess.”

So someone suggested, “You go to the Himalayas. Hide there on Gourishankar, Everest.”

“But,” God said, “you cannot see further ahead. Some day Tensing and Hillary will come there, and it is only a question of a few hours.” For God it is only a question of a few hours, so he said, “This will not do.”

Then someone suggested, “Go to the moon.”

“But,” he said, “You don’t know. Only a few minutes more and men will be there.”

Then one old, wise counselor came to him and said in his ear, “It will be better that you hide in man himself. There he will never try to enter.”

And it is said that God accepted the suggestion, and from that moment he has not been troubled at all.

Now the moment has come to trouble him there. And only through meditation can you enter there, not through prayer, because prayer goes on believing that he lives somewhere – on the moon, on Everest; prayer goes on trying to locate him outside. Meditation completely washes away the whole concept that he is outside, or that he can be prayed to, or that he can be talked to, or that you can relate to him. No, you can simply move within yourself. And the deeper you move, the deeper you are moving in him. But this meeting will be in silence because he is not the other. He is YOU – he has been hiding as you.

-Osho

Taken from The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter 6

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.