For Such a Mind, Self-inquiry will Become Easy – Ramana Maharshi

11. What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought ‘Who am I?’

R.M. When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they arise?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, “To whom has this thought arisen?”. The answer that would emerge would be “To me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?”, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness” (antarmukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation” (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity “I”. If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).

12. Are there no other means for making the mind quiescent?

R.M. Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed, is the nature of the mind. The thought “I” is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).

Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.

Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed.  The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.

13. The residual impressions (thoughts) of objects appear wending like the waves of an ocean. When will all of them get destroyed?

R.M. As the meditation on the Self rises higher and higher, the thoughts will get destroyed.

14. Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?

R.M. Without yielding to the doubt “Is it possible, or not?”, one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep “O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?”; one should completely renounce the thought “I am a sinner”; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds – one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds – auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.

The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one’s self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one’s self arises all arises; when one’s self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.

15. How long should inquiry be practised?

R.M. As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry “Who am I?” is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.

-Ramana Maharshi

From Who Am I?

Without any Breaks – Annamalai Swami

Q: Are there no breaks at all in the jnani’s awareness of the Self? For example, if he is engrossed in reading a good book, will his full attention ‘be always on the book? Will he simultaneously be aware that he is the Self?

AS: If there are breaks in his Self-awareness this means that he is not yet a jnani. Before one becomes established in this state without any breaks, without changes, one has to contact and enjoy this state many times. By steady meditation it finally becomes permanent.

It is very difficult to attain Self-abidance, but once it is attained it is retained effortlessly and never lost. It is a little like putting a rocket into space. A great effort and great energy are required to escape the earth’s gravitational field. If the rocket is not going fast enough, gravity will pull it back to earth. But once it has escaped the pull of gravity it can stay out in space quite effortlessly without falling back to earth…

-Annamalai Swami

From Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 284

Hence, You Can be the Cause of Your Bliss – Osho

We very often feel that we create our own suffering. In spite of this, why do we continue creating them? And when and how does one stop creating one’s own suffering?

The first thing, and very basic to be understood, is that whenever you say, We very often feel that we create our own suffering, this is not the case. You never really feel that you are the creator of your own suffering. You may think so, because you have been taught so; because for centuries and centuries teachers have been teaching that you are the creator of your own suffering and no one else is responsible.

You have heard these things; you have read these things. They have become your blood and bone, they have become your unconscious conditionings, so sometimes you repeat like a parrot we create our own suffering. But this is not your feeling, this is not your realization, because if you realize it, then the other thing is impossible. Then you cannot say, In spite of this, why do we continue creating them?

If you really feel, and if it is your own feeling that you are the creator of your own suffering, any moment you can stop – unless you want to create it, unless you enjoy it, unless you are a masochist. Then everything is okay, then there is no question. If you say, ‘I enjoy my suffering,’ then it is okay; you can go on creating it. But if you say, ‘I suffer and I want to go beyond it. I want to stop it completely – and I understand that I am the creator,’ then you are wrong. You don’t understand it. Socrates is reported to have said that knowledge is virtue. And there has been a long discussion for these two thousand years over whether Socrates is right or wrong – knowledge is virtue.

Socrates says that once you know something, you cannot do contrary to it. If you know that anger is suffering, you cannot be angry. This is what Socrates means – knowledge is virtue. You cannot say, ‘I know anger is bad; still, I move in it. What to do about it now?’ Socrates says that the first thing is wrong. You don’t know that anger is bad; that’s why you go on moving in it. If you know, you cannot move in it. How can you move against your own knowledge?

I know that if I put my hand in the fire it is going to be painful. If I know, I cannot put my hand in. But if somebody else has told me, if I have heard through the tradition, if I have read in the scriptures that fire burns, and I have not known fire, and I have not known any similar experience, only then can I put my hand into fire – and that too only once.

Can you conceive it? That you have put your hand into fire and you have been burned and you have suffered, and again you go and ask, ‘I know that fire burns, but in spite of it I go on putting my hand into the fire. What to do about it?’ Who will believe that you know? And what type of knowledge is this? If your own experience of suffering and burning cannot stop you, nothing is going to stop you. Now there is no possibility, because the last possibility has been missed. But no one can miss it; that is impossible.

Socrates is right, and all those who have known, they will agree with Socrates – that agreement has a very deep point in it. Once you know…. But remember – the knowledge must be yours. A borrowed knowledge won’t do; borrowed knowledge is useless. Unless it is your own experience, it is not going to change you. Others’ experiences are of no help.

You have heard that you are the creator of your own suffering, but this is just in the mind. It has not entered your being; it is not your own knowledge. So when you are discussing, you can discuss about it cerebrally, but when the actual phenomenon happens, you will forget, and you will behave in the way you know, not in the way others know.

When you are at ease, cool, collected, silently discussing anger, you can say it is poison, it is a disease, evil. But when someone makes you angry then a complete change occurs. Not it is not an intellectual discussion, now you are involved. And the moment you are involved, you become angry.

Later on again, retrospectively, when you again get cool, the memory will come back, your mind will again start functioning, and you will say, ‘That was wrong. It was not good of me to do that. I know anger is wrong.’

Who is this ‘I’? – just intellect, just the superficial mind. You don’t know – because when someone pushes you into anger, you throw this mind away. It is useful as far as discussion is concerned, but when a real situation arises, only the real knowledge will help. When there is no situation, you can go on. Even in a discussion the real situation can arise. The other can go on contradicting you so much that you become angry and then you will forget.

Real knowledge means that which has happened to you. You have not heard about it, not read about it, you have not collected information about it – it is your own experience. And then there is no question, because after that you cannot go against it. Not that you will have to make an effort not to go against it; simply you cannot go against it.

How can I? When I know this is a wall and I want to go out of this room, how can I try to pass through the wall? I know this is a wall, so I will search for the door. Only a blind man will try to go out through the wall. I have got eyes. I see what is a wall and what is a door. But if I try to enter the wall and tell you, ‘I know very well where the door is, and I know this to be a wall, but in spite of this, how can I stop myself from trying to enter the wall?’ then that means that as far as I am concerned that door looks false. Others have told me that it is the door, but as far as I am concerned, I know that door is false. And others have told me that this is a wall, but as far as I see, I see the door here in this wall, and that is why I try.

In this situation you have to make a clear-cut distinction between what you know and what you have gathered as knowledge. Don’t rely on information. From the greatest source – even if you collect from the greatest source – information is information. Even if a Buddha says it to you, it is not your own, and it is not going to help you in any way. But you can remain thinking that it is your knowledge, and this misunderstanding will waste your energy, time and life.

The basic thing is not to ask what to do so that suffering is not created. The basic thing is to know that you are the creator of your suffering. Next time whenever a real situation arises and you are in suffering, remember to find out whether you are the cause of it. And if you can find out that you are the cause of it, the suffering will disappear, and the same suffering will not appear again – impossible.

But don’t deceive yourself. You can – that’s why I say it. When you are suffering you can say, ‘Yes, I know I have created this suffering,’ but deep down you know that someone else has created it. Your wife has created it, your husband has created it, someone else has created it, and this is simply a consolation because you cannot do anything. You console yourself: ‘No one has created it, I have created it myself, and by and by I will stop it.’

But knowledge is instant transformation; there is no ‘by and by.’ If you understand that you have created it, it will drop immediately. And it is not going to come up again. If it comes again, it means the understanding has not gone deep.

So there is no need to find out what to do, and how to stop. The only need is to go deep and to find out who is really the cause of it. If others are the cause then it cannot be stopped, because you cannot change the whole world. If you are the cause, only then can it be stopped.

That’s why I insist that only religion can lead humanity towards non-suffering. Nothing else can lead, because everyone else believes that the suffering is caused by others; only religion says that suffering is caused by you. So religion makes you the master of your destiny. You are the cause of your suffering; hence you can be the cause of your bliss.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #50, Q4

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.

The Goose is Out!

The Goose is Out!

In 2010 a sannyasin wrote “The Final Call” which was “a call to arms” trying to galvanize support for a movement that would counter the organization of the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune.

Below is an excerpt of the response that I wrote. It seems even more relevant today.

My understanding is that Osho’s entire work was to wake us up out of the dream. When I heard that Osho had said to Jayesh “To you I leave you my dream”, initially I am sure that I also felt some tinge of jealousy. ‘You leave it to Jayesh!’ But then it became clear. His work was to bring us out of the dream. End the dream forever. He never suggested that we chase dreams, make goals, live with some intentions. In-tensions can only come out of the past. Dreams can only be an effort to improve upon the past and yet they are still tied to the past. My understanding is that Osho was pointing us to that unknown space where there is no past operating; where action is taken without intent but with complete awareness. So yes, Jayesh can have the dream, I’m opting for the End of all Dreams.

You speak about the “failure” of Rajneeshpuram. Failure means that the goal was not realized. Do you know what or even ‘if’ Osho had a goal? There were many after the Ranch who also felt that it had failed. Everyone who thought that we were creating some kind of ‘utopia’ felt that it had failed. They had grabbed onto the dream of future where things were going to be better than they were now. They were victims of “becoming”. Osho’s whole effort was to take us out of becoming and into “BEING”. All of the activities of the ranch were just an excuse to have us gathered together in some great mysterious energy. And you proclaim “Rajneeshpuram failed”. It certainly did not fail for Swami Anand Maitreya;  It certainly did not fail for Ajit Saraswati; both of which reached their ultimate enlightenment within that Buddhafield and who knows how many more.  Although I cannot testify to the degree that Maitreya and Saraswati could, I can and will say, for me, Rajneeshpuram was not a failure.

My understanding is that Osho’s work was not about a religious movement, or social movement; but rather a movement out of the collective and into individual BEINGNESS, consciousness without a second, the one true ground.

Now you want to harness sannyasins unhappiness with how things are in Pune. Now you want to be a true politician and create a movement, garnering the discontent for your cause. I hope, for your sake, that you do not proceed down that path. With every step taken it becomes increasingly difficult for you to return home. I have watched a few tread that path.

If Osho had wanted to create an organization, a collective movement, I doubt very much that he would have left his dream to Jayesh. I admit that I too was disappointed that Pune was left into his hands. But now, especially now, his wisdom becomes clear. I don’t know if Jayesh has a religious bone in his body; so, who better to ensure that Pune does not become the next Rome. Do you really believe that Osho wanted to create a new Christianity? But now we can see the jostling for position that the early Christians must have experienced. Osho said that he was dissolving into his sannyasins. Individually each is moving into their own light. We do not need a movement. We do not need to centralize the spontaneous happenings that are occurring around the globe. It is not a movement – it is life spontaneously erupting. In fact, a movement is only a distraction from the inner investigation that each of us needs to complete. It is a way to avoid, “If only Jayesh was not in power then I would be Enlightened”. Yeah, you bet. We do not need to ‘belong’ to some greater group than our own individual consciousness, because that individual consciousness Is the greater group, it is the Totality. We will not find our own fulfillment out in some movement but in our own Beingness.

So, let us not get distracted with politics or social movements or religious organization. Let us each complete the work that has been assigned. Come home to our own inner being, then whatever activities that we engage in will be right. But first we must end the tyranny of our own minds and then we will not be interested in how many people approve or how many people disapprove of our actions.  Whatever psychic experiences we have experienced let them not distract us from finishing the task. Enlightenment is not a state that we come in and out of, Enlightenment is not an experience, it is not an object that we perceive. Enlightenment is Consciousness without an object. Enlightenment is Love without an object. Enlightenment is who we BE. Our work is to become a light unto ourselves. Until we do, let our actions come out of the emerging Awareness that is awakening in each one of us individually. Whether photos of Osho are hanging in Pune or not, has nothing to do with our own BEINGNESS. Let us see that waking up out of the dream is the movement Osho left us.

The goose Is out!                                                                                                                   

In Love,

Prem Purushottama

Worlds Beyond Thought – Albert Blackburn

The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Albert Blackburn  and Gabriele, his wife.

Albert Blackburn:  Can thought go beyond?

Gabriele:  How can it? And what can go beyond? How can one go beyond?

A:  A new factor must obviously be introduced in order to transcend the thought process; and once again, we should be able to go into it right from this present moment.  Does anything exist in this present moment that is not a part of thought, and that is not a part of our memory bank and ego?

G:  I would say awareness, perception, and the factual things we are surrounded by.

A:  I think that you’re right.  I feel that perception is something beyond thought, because perception is inherent in every living creature in the world.  Every living creature has perception and is able to use perception within its own particular field of consciousness.

G:  Yes.

A:  I think the problem that exists is that we have identified ourselves with perception.  We say we’re perceiving, or we’re feeling, or we’re smelling, or we’re doing.  I think these are all ideas because from a factual point of view there is only seeing, there is only doing, there is only feeling, there is only smelling, there is only hearing; it is only an idea that we are seeing, we are hearing, we are smelling, we are feeling these things.  I believe that each person has to explore this themselves, and see if it is true; does perception exist beyond our personal ideas about it?

To me, it is a very real fact that perception is outside my field of consciousness.  It is completely separate from the thought process.  When my mind is quiet, there is complete perception; there is no fragmentation due to my personal identification with one object.

G:  But the moment I say that I am aware of that beautiful sunset, I bring in my ego, or I bring in the ‘I’ of thought.  I create a memory so that tomorrow I can say, “Yesterday I saw a beautiful sunset.”

A:  That’s right; in other words, we take a mental picture of something the minute we identify it and say, “I have seen it,” or “I am seeing it.”  I must remember it because it is a beautiful picture and I want to put it into my photographic album so that tomorrow I can drag it out and compare it to something else that I have seen, or so that I can tell you about it.

G:  That’s how we generate our own personal body of knowledge. 

A:  It’s also a matter of communication. We can’t communicate with another person without using words and ideas.  Communication on the physical level has to be through the field of consciousness, doesn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  I can communicate to you things that I have experienced, or things that I’m experiencing at the present time.  I can do it through words, or I can do it through memory, but I have to use the field of human consciousness.  I have to use the values, the words, and everything else that we both understand in order to get the idea across to you.

But your perception of an idea doesn’t have to involve the field of consciousness. A sudden understanding or a sudden knowing may occur inside of you when you hear me talking about it or describing it.  And even though I’m using my conditioning to describe it, you don’t have to use your conditioning to understand it.  That’s the point.

G:  I can use now-consciousness to understand it.

A:  Right!  This is very important, because it creates an entirely new situation.  In other words, you or I or anyone else, who is endeavoring to communicate a certain idea or a certain insight has to use accepted grammatical forms in order to be understood.  But the holistic understanding of the other person has to lie outside of the field of human consciousness.  If the person who is listening is understanding or interpreting the words in a mechanical way only, then that person’s understanding is only on the verbal level; it doesn’t go any deeper and it doesn’t affect the person’s actions.  For your actions in life to be really affected at the gut level, you have to understand things outside of the field of your personal conditioning. You can’t be caught by any of the words that you hear.  You can’t bring up something from your memory bank or bring up some photograph that you have personally taken, some memory, and have understanding take place.  The minute you catch yourself interpreting something in any way at all – going back to your memory bank in any way at all – drop it.  In dropping the memory, you are open again and free of your conditioning.  Once free, understanding can take place at a deep level, and this can really change your life.

This is why Krishnaji had such difficulty in communicating with the people who listened to him; most of them were interpreting the words that he was using.  They were mired down by the ideas that were evoked in their minds by the words that he used, and they made no impression on them at a deep level.  Consequently, there was no understanding.  They would say, “I understand what Krishnamurti is talking about, it is very plain he’s talking about,” but there was no inner revolution in their understanding of life.

G:  So it became another accumulation of ideas.

A:  Exactly, there was no inner revolution.  The inner revolution can only take place outside of the field of consciousness.  There has to be a listening, not you listening, there has to be a listening without ‘you’ in the picture.  And when there is that listening, then what is heard is not being interpreted, it is not being analyzed, and it is not being filtered through your conditioning.  In that, there’s a holistic understanding which affects you at a deep level, and changes your life, and brings about this inner revolution that Krishnaji was talking about.

G:  That’s right.

A:  I think that is the whole secret of it.

G:  Yes.  So this perception, this awareness is necessary.  If one is in a state of now-consciousness, then what is beyond that?  What is beyond man’s creation, beyond man’s whole field of the known?  What happens?  Let us go into that now.

A:  Well, the world of nature is beyond; understanding, love, affection, attention, compassion, beauty, and all the so-called virtues are beyond; everything that humanity has ever dreamed about possessing, but has never really possessed except as a name or an idea, is beyond human consciousness.  And it is not something that can’t be touched at any time, because what is beyond human consciousness (as we have said before) is the present moment. Thus beauty can be touched in the present moment if I’m not in the picture, ‘I’ as an idea.  Affection can be touched in the present moment; love can be touched in the present moment; understanding can be touched.  All of the things we have just named can be touched in the present moment.

G:  Yes.

A:  It is so simple everybody passes it by, because most of us expect a complicated answer.  You have to experiment and discover for yourself the simple beauty of this approach to life.

G:  It is so direct.

A:  Absolutely direct; direct perception; direct action.

G:  So how does one wake up?  How does one stay in the now?

A:  Well, let us start in this present moment again, because this is the beginning point.  Every step, every question has to begin with this present moment.  Would you ask the question, “How can I sit in this chair?”

G:  No, I guess I know how.

A:  “How can I put my feet on the floor?”  “How can I put my two hands together?”  “How can I look at another person?”  You know, it is so simple. There’s no how to it for us.  So the question is not how to do something in a positive way, but rather what prevents us from doing it? That should be the question.  What prevents me from being aware that I’m sitting in this chair?  What prevents me from being aware that I have my hands clasped together and my thumbs are moving together against each other?  What prevents me from being aware of this?

G:  All that we’ve been talking about.

A:  Right; thought.

G:  Thought.

A:  In other words, identification with a certain object or a certain idea that was recalled through the memory process, a retrieval from our personal memory bank. That’s what prevents us from being constantly attentive and aware of what is happening in the present moment.

G:  Then without awareness there is no true love, no beauty, no compassion, no affection, none of those things that are beyond thought.

A:  They don’t exist, if I’m thinking.

G:  No.

A:  They can’t.  Each one can exist as an idea; I can name each one as an abstraction.  But it is just an idea, it is not the thing itself.  The emotions themselves, which are part of the holistic feeling about life which contains all of those so-called virtues, are there every moment.  But we’re simply not aware of them because we’re busy thinking about some picayune idea that has nothing to do with them at all.

Of course, you have to use thought in order to make plans.  If you have a certain insight into what has to be done this afternoon, or tomorrow, or whatever, you have to use thought.  You have to use the creative planning capacity of your brain in order to bring it about.  But most of the time we’re not in that situation; most of the time we could sit back and enjoy these other things that we’ve been talking about as possibilities.  We could enjoy them as facts, and not just as ideas.

G:  In other words, I don’t see nature when I’m thinking.

A:  Of course not.

G:  I can see that that’s a tree, or a bird, and so on, but I don’t really see it, feel it, or perceive it when the mind is chattering

A:  The minute you name something you don’t perceive it, either.  You perceive the tree, and the minute you name the tree, the perception is gone.  In the act of naming, the name you are giving the tree becomes superimposed between you and the tree.  The same phenomenon takes place in every phase of our life.

G:  Seeing the beauty of what we’re saying, and the necessity of it, and perhaps experiencing it – how does it come about?

A:  I think we should start once again with something that we can understand.  Obviously, thought cannot wake itself up.  I consider thinking a form of dreaming.  (People call it thinking, you know, but actually it is day-dreaming!)  Thought can’t wake itself up.  If you’re in the middle of a dream at night, you normally can’t wake yourself up immediately.  However, there are certain techniques that the occultists use to trick themselves into waking up in the middle of a dream; they then go on with the dream in a different way, objectively.

G:  They’re experimenting with this now in dream labs.

A:  There’s the possibility of doing this.  There’s also the possibility of waking yourself up and becoming aware of the fact that you have been thinking a certain train of thought.  Then, instead of continuing that particular thought (which, from your point of view, might be a negative thought), you continue in the thought process by substituting what you consider to be a more positive, more acceptable thought.

G:  That’s still the same old thing.  It is still using memory to trick yourself into thinking in another way.

A:  So both ways are really tricks of the mind, aren’t they?

G:  Yes.

A:  So, if thought cannot wake itself up, if thought cannot bring itself to an end, if thought cannot extricate itself from the field of human consciousness – which is the origin of thought in the first place – then something else has to take place, doesn’t it?  Another factor must come into play to break the impasse.  Earlier, we came to the realization that perception and awareness are outside of human consciousness.  So what is it that will wake us up?  That was the question you asked.

G:  Just now you said thought can’t achieve its own end.  What do you mean by that?  You can’t think yourself to the end of thought?

A:  No, there has to be some outside agency, doesn’t there?  There has to be some factor outside of my conditioned response.

G:  You said that thought can’t stop itself.  You can’t sit there and say, “I’m going to meditate and stop thinking?”

A:  No, because consciously stopping a negative type of thought, for instance, and turning it into a positive thought, is still continuing the thought process.  Some of the so-called New-Thought organizations do this type of mental manipulation; they tell you to think positively instead of negatively.  It is just a trick of the mind.  In other words, they continue to experience the same dream, only they’ve edited it now, and they turn it into a positive dream instead of a negative one.

But this doesn’t answer your question, and I think it is an intriguing question.  I like to use analogies, because I think analogies are really another way of talking about harmonics on another level.  For example, you yourself have thoroughly studied and used your mind and your mental capacity to its utmost to determine all of the facts concerning a certain way of living.  You’ve gone as far as you can go in creatively thinking about the subject, and have used your mental capacity to find out everything related to the healing work that you do.  Is that true?

G:  Yes, it is.

A:  Then suppose that somebody calls you this afternoon and tells you that your assistance is required tomorrow morning at 8:00, that the capacity that you’ve developed as a ‘healer’ is needed to help someone.  You realize the value of doing this, you see that life has chosen you to do this and that you have the capacity to do it, and you have a feeling that you can perhaps help this other person.  Are you going to need an alarm clock to wake you in time to be ready for your 8 o’clock appointment tomorrow morning?  Or are you going to wake up spontaneously?

G:  I’ll wake up by myself.

A:  You’ll wake up.  You won’t need an alarm clock.  You may set one just as a safety measure because you may not be completely sure you’ll wake up, but you will always awaken.  Just as I’d wake up if somebody called me and wanted to talk about my favorite subject, now-consciousness.  I would wake up; I wouldn’t need an alarm clock because I’m intensely interested in the subject, just as you are intensely interested in what you are doing, too.  We can’t say it is ‘you’ waking yourself up, or ‘me’ waking myself up.  It is the interest that we have in the things with which we are involved that wakes us up.  That interest is part of the life-force, the vitality or energy of life, that awakens us.  Isn’t that true?

G:  Yes, one can hardly wait to get started.

A:  Well, if this is true on the physical level, why doesn’t it apply on other levels as well?  Wouldn’t it apply to waking up from a thought pattern?

G:  It is part of that inner intention, that interest.

A:  Suppose that I have gone into this deeply enough to see the value and the logic of waking up.  I realize that most of the time I identify with just one fragment of each moment.  I can see the potential danger in this limited response to unforeseen challenges and am really serious in my desire to change.  I see that I will be unable to cope adequately with emergencies that may come up as long as I’m plugged into only one channel.  Suppose that you have told me all of this, and I’ve looked into it and understood logically at least that what you say must be true.  I may not have felt it deeply because I have not experienced it myself, but I see that life must be much richer; there must be a thousand things out there of which I’m unaware.

My inquiry and deep interest opens the door for insight.  There is freedom from the known, because I clearly see that thought cannot make a breakthrough.  Another factor, outside of myself, must become operative.  In other words, I can’t consciously awaken myself from sleep, nor can I consciously bring about awareness.

Perceiving the validity of these observations gives me the inner intention to wake up, and this inner incentive accomplishes what thought cannot do.  Thought can’t extricate itself from the trap it has created.  It is the sincere acknowledgement of this impasse that opens the door for insight to occur.

G:  That’s exactly it.

A:  If I’ve reached that stage mentally, and have really pushed it and am really interested, my inquiry and my interest are going to be the very things that wake me up.

G:  And then you carry that through into action.  When someone comes to you with a problem, you approach it with an attitude of ‘I’ don’t know.  For example, I can’t approach the healing process with any knowledge that I have; but if I stay away from thought and just ‘tune’ into the energy that is there, that exists in that same state of perception, the healing may occur.

A:  Exactly.

G:  And if you take that approach when someone comes to you with a question, rather than approaching it from the standpoint of what you’ve already written or thought or experienced, then real communication may occur.  Or you may at least say something important to that person; whether they can comprehend it in the same way or not is not your responsibility.

A:  You are not personally providing the answer.  If you are open, if your cup is empty, and life is pouring information into you moment by moment through the medium of insight, then you are not consciously saying something designed to engender a particular reaction in the other person.  If you have the idea that you are going to effect a certain result, it is a product of thought

G:  That’s right.  ‘I’ am not a healer, ‘I’ can’t heal anybody.

A:  You will spontaneously and intuitively say the right thing, with no idea at all as to why you are saying it.  And it is life that engenders the understanding in the other person that might change the course of that person’s life.  But you are not doing it to bring about a specific result; that is the important point

People thought that Krishnaji deliberately said certain things to them personally that were designed to elicit particular results, because specific results did occur as a consequence of what he said.  But I don’t believe that he himself had any intention of doing that; he said what he did because at that moment it was the right thing to say.  It was life that engendered an understanding in the listener.

G:  Yes, because that energy, that life, that love that comes through, is then actually working in that state beyond thought.  And that is the state of pure insight and pure compassion, and in that state, healing and understanding can take place.

What do you think Krishnaji meant by saying that you must follow a thought to its end?

A:  If I’ve suddenly awakened to the fact that my mind has been identifying with a certain train of thought, there are two directions in which I can go, aren’t there?  Usually that direction is forward; I use thought and imagination to conclude the particular thought that I had been involved in at the time I awakened.  In other words I analyze my thought, interpret the thought that I’ve just had, and follow it through to a conclusion of some kind.  That would involve the thinking process, wouldn’t it?

G:  Yes.

A:  In other words, it would be impossible to proceed from the point at which you have awakened without using thought.

G:  So Krishnaji couldn’t have meant that, could he?

A:  No.  Let’s go back to the analogy of sleeping.  When you wake up in the morning, there’s an immediate awareness of the fact that you are in the bed where you went to sleep (if everything is normal).  An awareness of how you went to asleep at night, of how you prepared yourself for bed, of all of the events leading up to it – all of this comes to you in a flash when you wake up in the morning.  You don’t have to think about it; in a flash you see the whole backward track.  You even picture some of the dreams that your mind was involved in during the night.

In the same way, at a different and higher harmonic level, you can wake up or suddenly become aware of the fact that you’ve been involved in thought.  Immediately, instead of proceeding, instead of analyzing and editing the thought, and all of the rest of the process, be aware of your tendency to do this, and the minute that you start doing it, drop it.  In that dropping there is a clear seeing of the whole backward path.  You see the train of thought that you were involved with and how it originated.  You see the memory that triggered it; you see the life challenge that triggered it – you see the name, or the person, or whatever it was triggered that particular train of thought.  You can then perceive where the thought originated, how it started in your mind, how you were conditioned to react to a particular thing, and how you programmed yourself to respond in a particular way.  And then the thought can even be traced back into all kinds of other little channels back to the actual origin of the memory itself.  When all of that is clearly seen, it dissipates, it withers way.  It is no more, and you will not be troubled by that particular memory again

G:  Are you saying that it diminishes, that the content goes out of it, as well as the feelings associated with it?

A:  The feelings go out of it, the life goes out of it and it shrivels up in the light of understanding.  It withers away in the light of awareness that you focus upon the backward path leading to the whole train of thought.  But if you make the mistake of going forward, you give it new energy, you give it new life, you give it new continuity; and then it keeps coming up over and over again, and there’s no end to it.  It becomes a neurotic response

G:  And there is no end to it at all.

A:  So that’s what I feel that Krishnaji meant when he spoke of following thought to an end.  He knew that if you followed it forward it would lead to a dead end, that you’d never escape it, and that you would discover for yourself that you could never escape it.

G:  Is following thought to an end different then from analysis?

A:  Oh yes, completely; analysis is going forward with thought.  Analysis is going forward, but also looking back while you’re going ahead and analyzing the thing that you thought you were thinking about.  Analysis is part of the thought process.

Now-Consciousness is the world beyond thought, where there is love compassion beauty, and a holistic unity with all of life.

-Albert Blackburn

Excerpt from Worlds Beyond Thought, Conversations on Now-Consciousness, p.102 – 117

A Light Without Source – Osho

You mentioned that rapid eye movements indicate mental processes and that if eye movements are stopped the mental process will also stop. But this physiological control of the mental processes, this stopping of eye movements, seems to create psychic tensions such as happens when we keep our eyes closed under a blindfold for a  long time. 

Firstly, your mind and your body are not two things as far as tantra is concerned. Remember that always. Do not say, “physiological process” and “mental process.” They are not two – just two parts of one whole. Whatsoever you do physiologically affects the mind. Whatsoever you do psychologically affects the body. They are not two, they are one.

You can say that the body is a solid state of the same energy and the mind is a liquid state of the same energy – of the same energy! So no matter what you are doing physiologically, do not think that this is just physiological. Do not wonder how it is going to help any transformation in the mind. If you take alcohol, what happens to your mind? Alcohol is taken in the body, not in the mind, but what happens to the mind? If you take LSD, it goes into the body, not into the mind, but what happens to the mind?

Or if you go on a fast, fasting is done by the body, but what happens to the mind? Or from the other end: if you think sexual thoughts, what happens to your body? The body is affected immediately. You think in the mind of a sex object and your body starts getting ready. […]

Physiological processes and psychological processes are not two things, they are one, and you can start from either pole to affect and change the other. And any science will do that. For example, tantra believes deeply in the body. Only philosophy is vague, airy, verbal; it may start from something else. Otherwise, any scientific approach is bound to start from the body because that is within your reach. If I talk of something which is beyond your reach, you may listen to it, you may gather it in your memory, you may talk about it, but nothing happens. You remain the same. Your information is increased, but not your being. Your knowledge goes on increasing, but your being remains the same poor mediocrity; nothing happens to it.

Remember, the body is what is within your reach; just now you can do something with it and change your mind through the body. By and by you will become a master of the body, and then you will become a master of the mind. And when you become a master of the mind, you will change the mind by and by, and you will be moving beyond it. If the body changes, you move beyond body. If the mind changes, you move beyond mind. And always do something which you can do. […]

If you close your eyes, sometimes you may feel a certain tension gathering there, or an uneasiness.

Then there are certain things you can do. One, when you close your eyes do not become tense about it, let them be relaxed. You can close your eyes forcibly – then you will get tense. Then your eyes will get tired and inside you will feel uneasiness. Relax the face, relax the eyes, and let them be closed. I say, let them be closed; do not close them. Relax! Feel relaxed. Drop the eyelids and let the eyes be closed. Do not force them! If you force them, that is not good.

If you cannot feel the difference, then do this: first force them to close. Let your whole face become tense, strained, and then close your eyes forcibly. For a few moments remain strained, then relax. Then again close your eyes relaxedly. Then you will feel the difference. Do not strain to do anything – that will tire you.

Two, when the eyes are closed and your face is relaxed, look as if everything has become dark. A deep darkness is around you. Imagine you are amidst darkness, in a deep, velvety darkness, surrounded by it, in a deep, dark night. Go on feeling this darkness. That will help your eyes to stop their movements. With nothing to be seen, the eyes will stop. Be in darkness.

You can do it in a dark room. Open your eyes, look at the darkness, then close them and feel the darkness. Again, open your eyes, feel the darkness; close your eyes, feel it inside. Darkness is deeply relaxing. Darkness is outside and inside you; everything is dead – dark and dead. Both are related. That is why we paint death as black, dark. All over the world death is painted as black, and people fear darkness.

While doing this method, feel darkness, love darkness, and feel inside that you are going to die. Darkness is all around, and you are dying. The eyes will stop. You will feel that they cannot move: they will have stopped. In that stopping, suddenly the energy will go up and start hammering the third eye. When it starts hammering, you will hear it, you will feel it. A warmth will come, a fire will flow – a liquid fire trying to find a new path.

Do not be afraid. Help it, cooperate with it, let it move, become it. And when the third eye opens for the first time, the darkness will disappear and there will be light – light without a source. You have seen light, but always with a source. Either it comes from the sun or from the stars or from the moon or from the lamp, but some source is there.

When your energy moves through the third eye, you will come to know a light without source. It is not coming from any source, it is simply there, not coming from anywhere. That is why the Upanishads say that God is not like the sun or like a flame. He is sourceless light. There is no source anywhere, simply light is there, just as if it is morning.

The sun has not arisen, but the night has disappeared. In between there is the dawn – the predawn.

Or in the evening, the sun has set and the night has not yet come. Just in between there is the margin. That is why Hindus have chosen sandhya as a proper time for meditation. Sandhya is the in between time – neither night nor day, just the line that divides. Why? Just as a symbol. The light is there, but without a source. The same will happen inside, light will be there without a source. Wait for it; do not imagine it.

The last thing to be remembered: you can imagine anything, so it is dangerous to tell you many things. You can imagine them. You will close the eyes and you will feel and imagine that now the third eye has opened or is opening, and you can imagine light also. Do not imagine; resist imagination. Close your eyes. Wait! Whatsoever comes, feel it, cooperate with it, but wait. Do not jump ahead; otherwise nothing will happen. You will be having a dream – a beautiful, spiritual dream, but nothing else.

People go on coming to me and they say, “We have seen this and we have seen that.” But they have imagined it – because if really, they had seen, they would be transformed. But they are not transformed. They are the same persons, only now a spiritual pride is added. They have some dreams – beautiful, spiritual dreams: someone is seeing Krishna playing on his flute, someone is seeing light, someone is seeing kundalini rising. They go on seeing things, and they remain the same – mediocre, stupid, dull. Nothing has happened to them; they go on relating that this is happening, that is happening, but they remain the same – angry, sad, childish, stupid. Nothing has changed.

If you really see the light which is there waiting for you, to be seen through the third eye, you will be a different person. And then you need not tell anyone. People will come to know you are a different person. You cannot even hide it; it will be felt. Wherever you will move, others will feel that “Something has happened to this man.”

So do not imagine; wait, and let things take their own course. You do the technique, and then wait. Do not jump ahead.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #22, Q3

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.

 

This Witness is Our Truth – Osho

A few days ago, I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice. When I try to find the answer, I only find silence.

Chidvilas, the moment you look into your self you only find silence. But are you not aware that you are also there? Who finds the silence? Silence itself cannot find itself; there is somebody as a witness who is finding the silence. Just your focus is wrong; you are still focusing on the object. It is just an old habit, perhaps cultivated for many, many lives, that you always focus yourself on the object, and you always forget yourself.

An ancient Eastern story is that ten blind men crossed a stream. The current was very strong, so they took hold of each other’s hands because they were afraid somebody may be taken away by the current. They reached the other shore, and somebody amongst them suggested, “It is better we should count because the current and the stream were really dangerous. Somebody may have slipped, and we may not even be aware.”

So they started counting. It was a great shock, and they were all crying and weeping; everybody tried, but the count was always nine—because nobody was counting himself.

Naturally, he would start counting, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….

My God, one has gone!” So they all were crying.

A woodcutter was watching all this drama and he said… he had never seen ten blind men together, in the first place. Second, what a stupid idea these people had. What was the need to cross the stream when it was so strong and flooded? And, above all, now they were counting, and crying and weeping for someone — they did not know who, but certainly someone had been taken away by the current. Watching them counting, he was simply amazed how was it possible that they were ten persons, but the count always came to nine?

Some help was needed, so he came down from his tree and he said, “What is the matter?”

They all said, “We have lost one of our friends. We were ten, and now we are only nine.”

The man said, “I can find your tenth man. You are right, you used to be ten, but there is a condition.”

They said, “We will accept any condition, but our friend….”

He said, “It is not a very big condition, it is a simple condition. I will hit on the first man’s head; he has to say “one.” Then I will hit on the second person’s head two times; he has to say “two.” Then I will hit on the third person’s three times; he has to say “three.” As many times as I hit, the person has to speak the number.”

They said, “If this is the way to find the lost friend, we are ready.”

So he enjoyed hitting very much, and he hit them in turn. When he had hit the tenth man ten times he said “ten.” All the nine said, “You idiot, where have you been?

Unnecessarily we have all been beaten! Where you have been hiding up to now?”

He said, “I was standing here, I was myself counting, and it always came to nine. This man seems to be a miracle man; he managed to find the tenth man.”

The story is significant for the simple reason that it has become our habit not to count ourselves. So when you are watching your thoughts, inside, you are not aware that there is a watcher too. When you are watching silence, you are not aware that you cannot watch silence if you are not there.

Chidvilas, you are asking, “A few days ago I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice?” Certainly I am not hearing it, and as far as I know nobody else is hearing it. You must be the guy who is hearing this voice. Everybody else has his own problem!

“When I try to find the answer I only find silence.” But then too the question arises: Who finds the silence? It is the same guy who was hearing the voice. His name is Chidvilas.

You have to become more subjective, more alert to yourself; we are always alert to everything around us.

Pat followed his friend Mike’s example and left Ireland to work in England. Though they had since lost contact, Mike had mentioned how easy it was to get a job at Whipsnade Open Zoo, so Pat applied. Unfortunately they had no keeper’s jobs available; there was not even the position of a sweeper vacant.

“But I tell you what, Pat,” the manager said, “the gorilla died a couple of days ago, and what is a zoo without a gorilla? But we have kept his pelt entire; now if you crawl into that skin and take over his enclosure, we will feed and house you, and pay you handsomely as well.”

Pat had a look over the lovely field that was the gorilla enclosure; he surveyed the comfortable gorilla house, and tested the bed provided. He agreed to take the job. Very soon Pat had become a great favorite with visitors to the zoo. Being a bit of an extrovert, he would always put on a good act,  tumbling, chest-thumping, and growling. But the climax of his performance was most popular. Whenever there was a good crowd, Pat would scale a large oak tree at the side of his enclosure where it adjoined the lion’s pen and pelt the lioness with acorns. The big-maned lion, in particular, would roar with rage and stamp about, and the crowd would roar with delight.

One public holiday a particularly large crowd had gathered, and Pat was aloft and reaching the peak of his performance. He had just finished off the acorn pelting with a bit of chest-thumping when the branch he was balanced on broke; he fell to the ground at the lion’s feet. Pat jumped up, shouting for help, and was about to scarper when the lioness whispered, “Hold your tongue Pat, do you want to lose us the best jobs we have ever had?”

Here, everybody has different skins only; inside is the same consciousness. Whether you are hearing a voice, or you are hearing silence, remember more about yourself—who is the watcher? Who is the witness?

In every experience, when you are angry, when you are in love, when you are in greed, when you are in despair, it is the same key: just watch—are you really in danger, or are you only a witness. Here we are, just sitting. Deep down, who are you? Always a witness.

Whatever happens on the outside, you may be young, you may be old, you may be alive, you may be dead—whatever happens on the outside, inside is the same witness.

This witness is our truth. This witness is our ultimate reality, our eternal reality. So all your work is concerned with shifting your focus from the object to the subject.

Don’t be bothered about anger, or silence, or love. Be concerned about whom all this is happening to, and remain centered there. This centering will bring you the greatest experience of your life. It will make you a superman.

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #3

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 Viha Osho Book Distributors.

Ignorance of Mind – Osho

The whole ignorance of mind consists in not being in the present. Mind is always moving: into the future, or into the past. Mind is never here and now. It cannot be.

The very nature of mind is such that it cannot be in the present, because mind has to think, and in the present moment there is no possibility to think. You have to see, you have to listen, you have to be present, but you cannot think.

The present moment is so narrow that there is no space to think about. You can be, but thoughts cannot be. How can you think? If you think, it means it is already past, the moment has gone. Or you can think if it has not come yet, it is in the future. For thinking space is needed, because thinking is like a walk — a walk of the mind, a journey. Space is needed. You can walk into the future, you can walk into the past, but how can you walk in the present? The present is so close, really not even close – the present is you. Past and future are parts of time; the present is you, it is not part of time. It is not a tense: it is not at all a part of time, it doesn’t belong to time. The present is you; past and future are out of you.

The mind cannot exist in the present. If you can be here, totally present, mind will disappear. Mind can desire, can dream— dream a thousand and one thoughts. It can move to the very end of the world, it can move to the very beginning of the world, but it cannot be here and now—that is impossible for it. The whole ignorance consists in not knowing this. And then you worry about the past, which is no more—it is absolutely stupid! You cannot do anything about the past. How can you do anything about the past which is no more? Nothing can be done, it has already gone; but you worry about it, and worrying about it, you waste yourself.

Or you think about the future, and dream and desire. Have you ever observed? – The future never comes. It cannot come. Whatsoever comes is always the present, and the present is absolutely different from your desires, your dreams. That’s why whatsoever you desire and dream and imagine and plan for and worry about, never happens. But it wastes you. You go on deteriorating. You go on dying. Your energies go on moving in a desert, not reaching any goal, simply dissipating. And then death knocks at your door. And remember: death never knocks in the past, and death never knocks in the future; death knocks in the present.

You cannot say to death, “Tomorrow!” Death knocks in the present. Life also knocks in the present. God also knocks in the present. Everything that is always knocks in the present, and everything that is not is always part of past or future.

Your mind is a false entity because it never knocks in the present. Let this be the criterion of reality: whatsoever is, is always here and now; whatsoever is not is never a part of the present. Drop all that which never knocks in the now. And if you move in the now, a new dimension opens—the dimension of eternity.

Past and future move in a horizontal line: A moves to B, B to C, C to D, in a line. Eternity moves vertically: A moves deeper into the A, higher into the A, not to B; A goes on moving deeper and higher, both ways. It is vertical. The present moment moves vertically, time moves horizontally. Time and present never meet. And you are the present: your whole being moves vertically. The depth is open, the height is open, but you are moving horizontally with the mind. That’s how you miss God.

People come to me and they ask how to meet God, how to see, how to realize. That is not the point. The point is: how are you missing him? — Because he is here and now knocking at your door. It cannot be otherwise. If he is the real, he must be here and now.

Only unreality is not here and now. He is already at your door—but you are not there. You are never at home. You go on wandering into millions of words, but you are never at home. There you are never found, and God comes to meet you there, reality surrounds you there, but never finds you there. The real question is not how you should meet God; the real question is how you should be at home, so that when God knocks he finds you there. It is not a question of your finding him, it is a question of him finding you.

So it is a real meditation. A man of understanding does not bother about God or that type of matter, because he is not a philosopher. He simply tries to be at home, meditates on how to stop worrying about the future and the past, thinking about future and past; he meditates on how to settle here and now, how not to move from this moment. Once you are in this moment, the door opens. This moment is the door!

I was staying once with a Catholic priest and his family. It happened one evening that I was sitting with the family: the priest, his wife, and their young child who was playing in the corner of the room with a few blocks, making something. Then suddenly the child said, “Now everybody be quiet, because I have made a church. The church is ready, now be silent.”

The father was very happy that the boy understood that in a church one has to be quiet.

To encourage him he said, “Why is it one needs to be quiet in a church?” “Because,” said the boy, “the people are asleep.”

The people are really asleep, not only in the church, but on the whole earth, everywhere.

They are asleep in the church because they come asleep from out-side. They go out of the church, they move in sleep—everybody is a sleepwalker, a somnambulist. And this is the nature of sleep: that you are never here and now, because if you are here and now you will be awake!

Sleep means you are in the past, sleep means you are in the future. Mind is the sleep, mind is a deep hypnosis—fast asleep. And you try many ways, but nothing seems to help you because anything done in your sleep will not be of much help, because if you do it in sleep it will not be more than a dream.

I have heard that once a man came to a psychoanalyst, a very absentminded psychoanalyst—and everybody is absentminded because mind is absent-mindedness, not at home; that’s what absent-mindedness means. A man went to this very absentminded psychoanalyst and told him. “I am in great trouble. I have knocked at the doors of all types of doctors but nobody could help me, and they say that nothing is wrong. But I am in trouble. I snore so loudly in my sleep that I wake myself up. And this happens so many times in the night: the snoring is so loud that I wake myself up!

Without exactly listening to what this man was saying, the psychoanalyst said, “This is nothing. A simple thing can change the whole matter. You simply sleep in another room.”

You understand? — This is exactly what everybody is doing. You go on changing rooms, but sleep continues, snoring continues, because you cannot leave it in another room. It is not something separate from you; it is you, it is your mind, it is your whole accumulated past, your memory, your knowledge—what Hindus call samskaras, all the conditionings that make your mind. You go in another room, they follow you there.

You can change your religion: you can become a Christian from a Hindu, you can become a Hindu from a Christian—you change rooms. Nothing will come of it. You can go on changing your masters  from one master to another, from one ashram to another: nothing will be of much help. You are changing rooms; and the basic thing is not to change rooms but to change you. The room is not concerned with your snoring; the room is not the cause, you are the cause. This is the first thing to be understood; then you will be able to follow this beautiful story.

Your mind, as it is, is asleep. But you cannot feel how it is asleep because you look quite awake, with open eyes. But have you ever seen anything? You look wide awake with your open ears, but have you ever heard anything?

You are listening to me so you will say, yes! But are you listening to me or listening to your mind inside? Your mind is constantly commenting. I am here, talking to you, but you are not there listening to me. Your mind constantly comments, “Yes, it is right, I agree;” “I don’t agree, this is absolutely false;” your mind is standing there, constantly commenting. Through this commentary, this fog of the mind, I cannot penetrate you. Understanding comes when you are not interpreting, when you simply listen.

In a small school the teacher found that one boy was not listening. He was very lazy and fidgety, restless. So she asked: “Why? Are you in some difficulty? Are you not able to hear me?”

The boy said, ‘Hearing is okay, listening is the problem. ‘

He made a really subtle distinction. He said, “Hearing is okay, I am hearing you; but listening is the problem”—because listening is more than hearing; listening is hearing with full awareness. Just hearing is okay, sounds are all around you—you hear, but you are not listening. You have to hear, because the sounds will go on knocking at your eardrum; you have to hear. But you are not there to listen, because listening means a deep attention, a rapport not a constant commentary inside, not saying yes or no, not agreeing, disagreeing, because if you agree and disagree, in that moment how can you listen to me?

When you agree, what I said is already past; when you disagree, it is already gone. And in the moment you nod your head inside, say no or yes, you are missing—and this is a constant thing inside you.

You cannot listen. And the more knowledge you have the more difficult listening becomes. Listening means innocent attention—you simply listen. There is no need to be in agreement or disagreement. I am not in search of your agreement or disagreement. I am not asking for your vote, I am not seeking your following; I am not in any way trying to convince you.

What do you do when a parrot starts screeching in a tree? Do you comment? Yes, then too you say, “Disturbing.” You cannot listen even to a parrot. When the wind is blowing through the trees and there’s the rustling noise, do you listen to it? Sometimes, maybe; it catches you unawares. But then too you comment, “Yes, beautiful!”

Now watch: whenever you comment, you fall asleep. The mind has come in, and with the mind the past and future enter. The vertical line is lost — and you become horizontal. The moment mind enters you become horizontal. You miss eternity.

Simply listen. There is no need to say yes or no. There is no need to be convinced or not convinced. Simply listen, and the truth will be revealed to you—or the untruth! If somebody is talking nonsense, if you simply listen the nonsense will be revealed to you without any commentary from the mind. If somebody is speaking the truth, it will be revealed to you. Truth or untruth is not an agreement or a disagreement of your mind, it is a feeling. When you are in total rapport, you feel, and you simply feel that it is true or it is untrue—and the thing is finished! No worrying about it, no thinking about it! What can thinking do?

If you have been brought up in a certain way, if you are a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan and I am saying something which happens to agree with your upbringing, you will say yes. If it doesn’t happen so, you will say no. Are you here or is only the upbringing here? And upbringing is just accidental.

The mind cannot find what is true, the mind cannot find what is untrue. The mind can reason about it, but all reasoning is based on conditioning. If you are a Hindu you reason in one way, if you are a Mohammedan you reason in a different way. And every type of conditioning rationalizes. It is not really reasoning: you rationalize.

Mulla Nasruddin became very aged; he attained one hundred years. A reporter came to see him, because he was the oldest citizen around those parts. The reporter said, “Nasruddin, there are a few questions I would like to ask. One is, do you think you will be able to live a hundred years more?”

Nasruddin said, “Of course, because a hundred years ago I was not so strong as I am now.”

A hundred years before, he was a child, just born, so he said: “A hundred years ago I was not so strong as I am now, and if a small child, helpless, weak, could survive for a hundred years, why shouldn’t I?”

This is rationalization. It looks logical, but it misses something. It is a wish-fulfillment. You would like to survive longer, so you create a rationale around it: you believe in the immortality of the soul. You have been brought up in a culture which says that the soul is eternal. If somebody says, “Yes, the soul is eternal,” you nod, you say, “Yes, that’s right.”

But that’s not right — or wrong. You say yes because it is a deep-rooted conditioning in you. There are others: half the world believes, Hindus, Buddhists and Jainas believe that the soul is eternal, and there are many rebirths. And half the world, Christians, Mohammedans, Jews, believe the soul is not eternal and there is no rebirth, only one life and then the soul dissolves into the ultimate.

Half the world believes this, half the world believes that, and they all have their own arguments, they all have their own rationalizations. Whatsoever you want to believe, you will believe, but deep down your desire will be the cause of your belief, not reason. Mind looks rational, but it is not. It is a rationalizing process: whatsoever you want to believe, the mind says yes. And where does that wanting come from? It comes from your upbringing.

Listening is a totally different affair, it has a totally different quality to it. When you listen, you cannot be a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jaina, or a Christian. When you listen you cannot be a theist or an atheist; when you listen you can’t listen through the skin of your -isms or scriptures. You have to put them all aside; you simply listen.

I’m not asking you to agree, don’t be afraid! Simply listen, not bothered by agreement or disagreement, and then a rapport happens.

If the truth is there, suddenly you are drawn—your whole being is drawn as if by a magnet. You melt and merge into it, and your heart feels “This is true,” without any reason, without any arguments, without any logic. This is why religions say reason is not the way to the divine. They say it is faith, they say it is trust.

What is trust? Is it a belief? No, because belief belongs to the mind. Trust is a rapport. You simply put aside all your defense measures, your armor; you become vulnerable. You listen to something, and you listen so totally that the feeling arises in you as to whether it is true or not. If it is untrue, you feel it. Why does this happen? If it is true, you feel it. Why does this happen?

It happens because truth resides in you. When you are totally non-thinking your inner truth can feel wherever truth is—because like always feels out like: it fits. Suddenly everything fits, everything falls in a pattern and the chaos becomes a cosmos. The words fall in line… and a poetry arises. Then everything simply fits.

If you are in rapport, and the truth is there, your inner being simply agrees with it — but it is not an agreement. You feel a tuning. You become one. This is trust. If something is wrong, it simply falls from you, you never pay it a second thought, you never look at it a second time: there is no meaning in it. You never say, “This is untrue”; it simply doesn’t fit, you move! If it fits, it becomes your home. If it doesn’t fit, you move.

Through listening comes trust. But listening needs hearing plus attention. And you are fast asleep — how can you be attentive? But even fast asleep a fragment of attention remains floating in you; otherwise there would be no way. You may be in a prison, but possibilities always exist — you can come out. Difficulties may be there, but it is not impossible, because prisoners have been known to escape. A Buddha escapes, a Mahavira escapes, a Jesus escapes — they were also prisoners like you. Prisoners have escaped before — prisoners have always escaped. There remains somewhere a door, a possibility; you simply have to search for it.

If it is impossible, if there is no possibility, then there is no problem. The problem arises because the possibility is there — you are a little alert. If you were absolutely un-alert, then there would be no problem. If you were in a coma, then there would be no problem. But you are not in a coma; you are asleep — but not totally. A gap, a leakage exists. You have to find within yourself that possibility of being attentive.

Sometimes you become attentive. If somebody comes to hit you, the attention comes. If you are in danger, if you are passing through a forest at night and it is dark, you walk with a different quality of attention. You are awake; thinking is not there. You are fully in rapport with the situation, with whatsoever is happening. Even if a leaf creates a sound you are fully alert. You are just like a hare, or a deer — they are always awake. Your ears are bigger, your eyes are wide open, you are feeling what is happening all around because danger is there. In danger your sleep is less, your awareness is more, the gestalt changes. If somebody puts a dagger to your heart and is just going to push it in, in that moment there is no thinking. Past disappears, future disappears: you are here and now.

The possibility is there. If you make the effort you will catch the one ray that exists in you, and once you catch the one ray, the sun is not very far; then through the ray you can reach the sun—the ray becomes the path.

So remember: find attention, let it become a continuity in you twenty-four hours a day, whatsoever you do. Eat, but try to be attentive: eat with awareness. Walk, but walk with awareness. Love, but love fully aware. Try!

It cannot become total just in one day, but even if one ray is caught, you will feel a deep fulfillment — because the quality is the same whether you attain to one ray or the whole sun. Whether you taste a drop of water from the ocean or the whole ocean, the salty taste is the same — and the taste becomes your satori, the glimpse.

Here, listening to me, be alert. Whenever you feel that you have gone again into sleep, bring yourself back: just shake a little and bring yourself back. When walking on the street, if you feel you are walking in a sleep, shake a little; give a little shake to the whole body. Be alert. This alertness will remain only for a few moments; again you will lose it, because you have lived in a sleep for so long, it has become such a habit, that you cannot see how you can go against it.

I was traveling once from Calcutta to Bombay in a plane, and one child was creating a great nuisance, running from one corner of the aisle to the other, disturbing everybody — and then the stewardess came with tea and coffee. The boy ran into her, and everything was a mess. Then the mother of the child said, “Now listen, I have told you many times, why don’t you go outside and play there?”

Just old habit. She was sitting just by my side and was not aware of what she had said. I listened as she spoke, and she never became alert to what she had said. Only the child made her alert. He said, “What do you mean? If I go out I am finished!”

A child is more attentive of course, because he has less habits. A child is more alert because he has less armor around him, he is less imprisoned. That’s why all religions say that when a man becomes a sage he has some quality of a child: the innocence. Then habits drop. … Because habits are your prison, and sleep is the greatest habit.

-Osho

From And the Flowers Showered, Discourse #7

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.

The Eternal Present – Jean Klein

The “eternal present”, our theme in these meetings, lies within the depth of ourselves. It is the eternal awareness of the self.

Seen from the Ultimate, the world projected by the mind appears and disappears, in other words, it “becomes”. When we talk of time and space, it must be thoroughly understood that their reality is relative, it is a reality in the world of becoming. But beyond space- time is that stillness which knows no becoming.

If the background is to be revealed, first of all we must ask the essential question: “Who Am I?”

When we say “I”, we are identical with the background and this “I” expresses our most intimate self. Each time we say “I think”, “I see”, “I hear”, we qualify it. We associate the “I”, the subject, with an object of consciousness, with which we identify ourselves. But if we manage to keep the “I” clear of this identification, then appears the Self, the non-dual, everlasting, un changeable reality.

I would like the questions put during these talks to be spontaneous, not elaborated. This spontaneity comes if you adopt an attitude of true listening to yourself.

We obviously have to make use of language, as we use words, to remain open and to transcend them and feel out the ideas in their true reality, beyond the verbal plane. The hearer may then experience a genuine reaction enabling him to put questions which are truly pertinent.

The path which is here advocated is the direct path. Its process is the elimination of the known, since the experience of the Self, of our true nature, is for the moment unknown to us. The Self can only be described negatively since no positive concept, no part of anything we know, can be applied to it. All thoughts are fragmentations which place us in duality; they set themselves before the Self, thus making unitive knowledge impossible.

It is therefore by discarding the known, that is to say our thoughts, perceptions and emotions, that integration with the ultimate “I”, the everlasting present, is possible. The man who experiences this return, who has broken down the limitations set up by the ego, ceases to be tormented by desire and fear. He is in no way diminished by the loss of his individuality; he knows himself to be “out of time”. Only such a timeless “I” is entitled to say: “I am”.

Whether thoughts appear or not, the eternal Presence remains, transcending the three states (waking, dreaming and deep sleep). Nothing can cause the Sage to return to the level of duality. He is established in an undifferentiated state where the Atman, having realized its identity with the Brahman, shines its own light.

-Jean Klein

From Be Who You Are, pp. 29-30

Self-consciousness is Not Consciousness of the Self – Osho

For years I am most of the time witnessing and I feel like it is a disease. So is it that there are two kinds of witnessing and mine is wrong? Tell me.

It must be wrong; otherwise it cannot be felt like a disease. Self-consciousness is not consciousness of the self, and there is the problem. Consciousness of the self is totally different. It is not self-consciousness at all; in fact, self-consciousness is a barrier for consciousness of the self. You can try to watch, observe with a very self-conscious mind. That is not awareness; that is not witnessing, because this will make you tense. […]

If you are continuously thinking in terms of the ego, then even your witnessing will become a disease, then your meditation will become a disease, then your religion will become a disease. With the ego everything, becomes a disease. The ego is the great inconvenience in your being. It is like a thorn in the flesh; it goes on hurting. It is like a wound.

So, what to do? The first thing, when you are trying to watch, the first thing that Patanjali says is: concentrate on the object and don’t concentrate on the subject. Start from the object – dharana, concentration. Look at the tree, and let the tree be there. You forget yourself completely; you are not needed. Your being there will be a continuous disturbance in the experience of the greenery, of the tree, of the rose. You just let the rose be there. You become completely oblivious of yourself – you focus on the rose. Let the rose be there: no subject, just the object. This is the first step of samyama.

Then the second step: drop the rose, drop the emphasis on the rose. Now emphasize consciousness of the rose – but still no subject is needed, just the consciousness that you are watching, that there is watching.

And only then can the third step be taken, which will bring you close to what Gurdjieff calls self-remembering, or Krishnamurti calls awareness, or the Upanishads call witnessing. But first the two steps have to be fulfilled; then the third comes easy. Don’t start doing the third immediately. First the object, then the consciousness, then the subject.

Once the object is dropped and the emphasis on the consciousness is no longer a strain, the subject is there but there is no subjectivity in it. You are there but there is no “I” in it, just being. You are, but there is no feeling that “I am.” That confinement of “I” has disappeared; only amness exists. That amness is divine. Drop the “I” and just be that amness. […]

-Osho

Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Discourse #10, Q3 (Previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.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.